Motocross and Trial have much the same movements on motorcycles and can use a program that not only enhances the ability to ride harder, faster, and compete, but also has an injury potential factor that in itself adds a great benefit.
It is not just the strength you need to ride that most people think about, but “what” the strength can be converted to.
This is all called Periodization of Training
Power = Strength x speed. This means you get to take the weight of your bike and throw it around any place you please whenever you please. In short more precise focused handling. Why do you think they make bikes light and more powerful every year? Well we can get even better every year by getting the body stronger, and more powerful.
Take “Power” one step further and you have what is called Power/ Muscle Endurance. Muscle Endurance is the ability to apply force many times. What good is have the ability to jump or drive into a turn 2 or 3 times when you cannot do it throughout the race? In motocross and trial the ability to control that bike time, after time, is what you want. Everyone experiences the weakness in these maneuvers. Now you will have the answer to prevent it.
We cannot do all this wonderful body renovation at once. We have to have a plan. It is like building a motorcycle. We start with a plan, we design it into an annual plan. That is a plan for a year based on your goals, holidays, trips and peaking seasons. It is called an Annual Plan in training.
Even with a busy schedule as many people in school have the Human Body can stay in top shape the entire year. Answer this: when you take you bike to a contest or home for holiday do you maintain it in good running order? Sure you do. You may not change the engine, but you always try and keep your bike in good running order. The same is done with the body. We train more when we have time and then we have what is called a maintenance work out while we are on vacation or away. Always staying in shape. It just has to be planned. See a general “Annual Plan” Here. Now let’s get to the workout itself.
We know from experience that running or riding a bike is not going to give us the cardiovascular fitness that is totally needed in riding, thus the focus on strength, power and muscle endurance.
Start with our goal. Anytime I design a program for sports I have to see what the sport and athlete requires.
- Aerobic base always helps, so we always keep some cardio in our program.
- Strength to pull the bike, as well as hold it in turns over hills.
- After strength we have to add a degree of Power, that means the ability to do all these things fast and I mean, hard and fast.
Now we are getting someplace. As anyone who have ridden more than a lap or two or climbed a couple of hills for fun, the muscles, no matter how many miles you can run or ride a bike, start to get really tired and when they get tired ,they get weak. Thus the need for Power/Muscle endurance.
Like building that awesome bike, you are now ready to build an awesome “Robo-body”.
Oh did I tell you about the side effect? You’ll look a lot better too when you finish this plan. So guys when you have to take your shirt off on those hot days. Ya, you will look the part.
First we have to give some guidelines on our program.
- What are the goals? We got those earlier.
- When are we going to start, vacation, travel , compete.
- What gym are we going to us? How far away is the gym?
- How much time do we have to train a week? A day?
- What equipment does the gym have available.
- What exercises do we choose?
- When choosing exercises you want to duplicate as closely as possible the movements of the sport. Of course a piece of equipment must be available in your gym that allows for this movement to be done. Especially if there are a group of people. This is also why we group exercises. One group may start on one group exercises while another group starts on another group of exercises. This way a large group of people can split up in to smaller groups and all train together.
- Exercises that stabilize these main movements (that means what small muscle might weaken and not support the main movement creating a weak link. What good is a powerful engine if the motor mount is broken?)
- A muscle that could be easy to injure or in the case of the neck when it gets tired it could bring on fatigue faster.
Exercises: The equipment for the exercises I picked can be found in most gyms. You will see they are grouped in a way that allows you to do small circuit groups. See more here Circuit Training.
Leg Press– In this sport since everything is done seated or nearly seated the leg press machine is a great exercises because it obviously duplicates the motion in cycle riding. Also, other factors can be taken into consideration. The time it takes for a number of people to do the movement. The workouts go faster too. No waiting around time.
Abdominals: The shock to the core: Abs and Lower back are always a major concern due to the possibility of injured low back. A strong core also makes all twisting and turning movements faster.
Lower back: The lower back historically is a concern, but working the proper movement for being seated on a cycle is not the standard movement. So we have designed a special lower back movement.
Seated Calf. Since the knees are bent the soleus muscle closest to the bone is the effected muscle. Many have felt the burn and the fatigue set in here.
Seated row: Yes, in this sport the athlete is holding on to the handlebars, maneuvering and pulling at them constantly. In the exercise the difference comes at where you hold the row bar when doing the exercise. Remember I said you try and duplicate the sport? When doing the rowing exercise you try and duplicate where you hold the handlebars. This can depend on the individual, the sport or even the bike you are using.
Gluteus medius: This is one of those muscle on the side of the leg that if tired takes the power away from the legs. (the motor-mount muscle I talked about) Don’t worry, a picture is coming.
Neck: A muscle that could be easily be prone to injury injured or in the case of the neck when it gets tired it could bring on fatigue faster. Few gyms are lucky enough to have a neck machine but there are numerous ways it can be worked.
Bench Press: Motorcycle sports are actually the only sport I will suggest that the athletes do bench press. My reason being, in what other sport does the athlete hold a bar in his hand? Well, none that I know of. In most sports I have athletes use dumbbells for just that reason.
Tibia Anterior: This is the muscle on the front of the lower leg. Opposite of the Calf muscle. If the A.T. tires out then the calf tires. This balances out the movement and strength of the ankle joint.
Shrugs: For the trapezoids. This is the point on your body where all the force of hard riding ends up. Strengthening this is something that anyone who has ridden a bike knows about.
Forearms: The importance of training forearms for cycle sports seems a little silly since they are so important.
Biceps/Triceps: Another set of muscle that are important to train to finish off the body. Picking the right exercises is another issue.
Biceps: The average guy would just do any set of curls, but believe it or not one curl exercise is actually the best. This is dumbbell rotating biceps curls. Why, you may ask? It has to do with the way the biceps muscle is attached to the forearm bone.
Triceps: Thesamegoes for triceps. Not any triceps exercise will due. Have to do close grip bench presses. In this case it has to do with the way the triceps attach into the shoulder.
There are two final things we have to talk about here. When to do these workouts and how many sets and reps to do?
Each exercise should be done 2xs per week. Depending on the time you have you can do them all on one day or what we find if you have the time is to break them up into 2 different workouts. Then you would be training 4 days a week.
The final question is what are the sets and reps that should be done
- to start training
- to get strength
- to Power/Muscle Endurance.
I have all this information available in English and på norsk and will supply it to anyone who is interested. I just didn’t have the room on this blog to post all that. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Final Note: This program is designed for riders that are serious about their sport. I look at training the body for sport just as important as a mechanic takes the works on your machine. Or your coach takes learning the way to ride. There are 3 pieces to the puzzle. When you think about it the weak link in riding it is the human body. Sure, there are a few great athletes that will get to the top on natural ability. It has been scientifically proven, these people are few and far between. It has also been proven that these fews careers would last a lot longer and go alot higher if they took the fitness aspect more serious. So take your strength training as serious as you take you riding. Yes, it takes some time, but it will help you enjoy your riding even more.