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Strength Training And How to Apply for Faster Lap Time - Part 3

Last article we discussed the benefits of strength training and how to apply into your weekly program based on where you are at within your racing schedule. If you haven’t had a chance to read that article, please take a moment and do so before reading any further to ensure that the concepts are applicable.

Complete the following gym testing assessment:

Take each of your gym exercises and take the average weight amount that you have been using over the last two weeks. Complete as many repetitions that you can complete with good form (no swinging – no momentum) until you can not complete any more repetitions. Using a load level calculator (there are many of these calculators on the internet), you can determine what your max strength level is for each muscle group. The idea behind this test is to determine what load levels and repetitions you should be using during your time in the gym. Remember, our goal with strength training is to optimize your time in the gym to enhance your overall body strength as it relates to racing.

Together with your track and gym assessment numbers, you have the foundation to create your own individualized strength program. If you have questions about your testing results, please feel free to email the testing data to Robb at robb3@earthlink.net and he will provide you with some training protocols to enhance your strength program.

How did I determine what muscles are weak?

To keep things in perspective, we are analyzing the racers body in three planes: Front and Back Top and Bottom Left and Right Side The more in balance we can keep the strength levels in the related muscle groups found within each of these two planes, the higher the overall strength levels. For example, we would like to see similar strength levels in the quadriceps (front of leg) and the hamstrings (back of leg) to avoid unnecessary strains around the knee. We would like to have the chest muscles as strong as the back muscles to avoid any strains to the shoulder capsule. Though there are typically some strength discrepancies amongst muscle groups (front and back of the body for example), we are constantly striving to develop functional integration of all muscle groups to avoid unnecessary injuries.

What muscle group do I need to work on in the gym?

The answer to this question is all muscle groups! If you can identify one muscle that is not used during a race, then you have found a muscle that you don’t have to train during your strength workouts. From head to toe, we are looking to enhance your overall body strength. As a rule of thumb, the muscle groups that you identify as weak based on your load level calculations, need to be put under more load levels and lower repetitions than the established strong muscles (which would need moderate load levels and higher repetitions). Remember, once we get your weaknesses to match your strengths, then your overall program has risen to the next level of capability and performance potential. For exact repetitions and sets to complete in your program, contact Robb to discuss in greater detail.

What exercises do I need to complete in the gym?

At Motoendurance.net, we see three key weak links in a racer’s overall strength program: 1. Lack of core body strength 2. Lack of balance between prime movers and antagonist muscle (i.e. biceps and triceps in the arms and the quadriceps and hamstrings in the legs) 3. Lack of flexibility in all muscle groups Motocross is all about the concept of pushing and pulling throughout the entire body while racing. Think about it this way, the back of the body is working (engaged) while the bike is accelerating and the front of the body is working (engaged) while the bike is de-accelerating. Therefore, you need to address every muscle group from head to toe while in the gym. While in the gym, Motoendurance.net prefers to use stretch cords and individual dumbbells for all strength work for one main reason – the solicitation and development of the stabilizer muscles around each joint verse the machine doing this work for you. Please consult a qualified personal trainer at your gym to help you determine which exercises you will be doing to develop strength and show you the proper form with all of your lifting exercises. Keep in mind that it is better to have quality lifting exercises than to have quantity. Also, don’t be afraid to change up the program every four weeks to avoid getting bored and allowing the muscles to get stale with your program.

What should a typical week look like for a racer?

Remember, all physical training is a supplement to riding your motorcycle. Nothing replaces seat time. The concept behind human performance is to prepare your body to perform at a higher level for longer periods of time while reducing fatigue and potential injury. Here is a Motoendurance.net sample outline of a racers training schedule for a week (NOTE: ONLY FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES TO OUTLINE STRENGTH, ENDURANCE AND FLEXIBLITY PROGRAMS PROTOCOLS). For an individualized training program, please visit Motoendurance.net.

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