In Episode 4, I spoke with professional fitter and elite trainer, Jerry Gerlich. When we connected for our pre-meeting, I sincerely wanted to describe Jerry as the “MacGyver” of bike fitting with his cavalcade of intricate and sometimes odd tools and his solution-focused philosophy that endeavors for answers in non-traditional formats, but as we traversed his bike fitting journey, two main topics arose: watch and listen.
The pod will describe it, but Jerry went from investing in the leading technology in fitting back in 2005 to now where his assessment and treatment relies heavily on the ears and eyes. He listens to the sound of pedaling, the cadence and the rhythm of the chain. He intently observes the cyclist; the patterns, body movement and global functioning on the bike.
Jerry also possesses the uncanny ability to describe the experience as if you could feel it yourself as if you could see fitting through his eyes.
Inside Episode 4 of the pod, Jerry delves into a range of important topics:
- Jerry’s history of bike fitting and use of the Velotron
- What looks good in the bike fit studio doesn’t always feel the same in real life
- Using Duct Tape to augment arch support
- Sock movement’s guide in fitting
- Global functioning across the bicycle
- Jerry’s unique tools (image to the right)
- Customizing G8 Insoles (cheese grater, toe nail clippers and heating plastic)
- Teaching the cyclist how to ride (feedback loop)
- Proprioception in Cycling
- The worst first approach to fitting
- How the cyclist feels vs. how they look (stability). Which one is more important?
- Stability and symmetry
- The journey from high tech to low tech: moving away from the numbers
- Listen to the bike
- Incline and decline testing in fitting
- Fit expectations vs. the functional reality of a cyclist. Why you should not attempt to emulate the position of a pro cyclist
- Preconceived ideas could lead to unintended consequences
- Small changes make big differences
- Big Changes make small differences
- Shoes are the most important part of bike fitting
- What to look for and ask when trying to find a competent fitter
Jerry Gerlich has worked with cyclists and triathletes since 1990, gym clients since 2001 and delved into the world of endurance auto racing in 2015 with effective ergonomic suggestions, functional movement remediation, and foot correction techniques. His knowledge, experience, and truly unique techniques combined with a passion for improved function, posture and performance have improved the lives of hundreds of local, national and international clients. Jerry’s training includes a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin, personal trainer certification the American Council on Exercise, advanced conditioning through the C.H.E.K Institute, Powerplate USA, Trigger Point Therapy, Heartrate Zone Training/Cycling certifications with Sally Edwards along with dozens of continuing education courses since 2001.
Jerry is one of the few “Steve Hogg Approved” bike fitters worldwide and one of two in the United States. Because of the stringent acceptance requirements, less than 10% of applicants get through the door to train with Steve in Australia. Steve’s patented fitting techniques are challenging to learn and more challenging to execute across a wide variety of clients. Some have compared these techniques to effectively tuning musical instruments by ear. Less than 30% of those allowed in for training make it through the process successfully. Steve was so confident with Jerry’s bike fitting, assessment, and movement remediation skills, that he was referring U.S. clients to Jerry three years prior to training him. All of Jerry Gerlich’s comprehensive fitting sessions come with free follow up consultations and a money back if not happy guarantee.
Jerry also has experience helping golfers, skiers, equestrians, musicians and auto racing drivers with improved comfort/function and achieving new performance heights. Clients have ranged in age between 15 and 94 with many of them arriving from different states and countries. Testimonials can be found on the Castle Hill Fitness Ergo Lab and Steve Hogg’s bike-fitting websites.