Top 5 tips to hone in on your motocross training! – Hydro Power
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Top 5 tips to hone in on your motocross training!

Top 5 tips to hone in on your motocross training!

Motocross training can be a challenging and demanding sport, but with the right preparation and training, you can improve your skills and performance on the track. Here are some tips for training for motocross:

  1. Physical conditioning: Motocross requires a high level of physical fitness, including strength, endurance, and agility. To improve your physical conditioning, you should incorporate a combination of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility training into your training routine. This can include activities such as running, cycling, weight lifting, and yoga.

  2. Mental preparation: In addition to physical conditioning, it's important to train your mind for motocross. This includes developing mental toughness, focus, and strategy. Visualization techniques, such as imagining yourself successfully navigating a difficult track or overcoming a challenge, can help improve your mental preparation.

  3. Practice riding: The best way to improve your motocross skills is to get out on the track and practice. This can include both riding on the track and simulating riding through drills or exercises off the track. Practice different techniques, such as cornering, jumping, and braking, to improve your overall riding ability.

  4. Seek out experienced coaches and trainers: Working with experienced coaches and trainers can help you develop a training plan that is tailored to your specific needs and goals. They can also provide guidance and feedback on your progress and help you identify areas for improvement.

  5. Don't neglect recovery: Training for motocross can be physically demanding, so it's important to prioritize recovery to avoid burnout and injury. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and incorporating rest and recovery activities into your training routine.

By following these tips, you can develop a well-rounded training plan that will help you improve your motocross skills and performance on the track. With dedication and hard work, you can reach your full potential as a motocross rider.

 

Motocross training used to go by the saying go hard or go home, train harder, hard work beats talent, and out train the competition. These all make for cool shirts at the gym, but the word hard(er) should be replaced by the word smart(er). When I was racing intermediate and eventually pro in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, Ricky Carmichael came out for the season opener in 2001 and instead of the pudgy kid he used to be, he was fit and lean. According to the magazines, Ricky took his training off the bike very seriously and decided he wanted to leave no stone unturned and hired the support of a personal trainer. This was a complete shock to the motocross community, and everyone plugged in all the Rocky movies and had them on repeat (well, I did). That year Ricky Carmichael de-throned the king of Supercross, Jeremy McGrath. With this shocking visual and physical change in Ricky Carmichael, everyone wanted to get the results like he was. Motocross and Supercross went from a sport where talent and some physical work was common, to a sport in which physical fitness off the bike started to take control and a lot of racers started prioritizing off the bike training over on the bike training.

What we started to see was a lot of overtraining and quite a few cases of the Epstein Barr Virus. I believe the reason for this was that motocross guys thought they could take the training on themselves and if they had the luxury of paying for a personal trainer, they hired an ex 80’s-90’s pro who was probably fantastic on the bike, but just threw the rider into their old training program that they may or may not have applied back in the day. Riders were reaching the point of no return and driving themselves into the ground. These riders were doing themselves a disservice by pushing their bodies too hard and being worse off than if they simply just did on the bike training.

I learned the hard way that training smarter, not harder, would win in the end. I was sixteen when I turned professional. I received Rookie of the Year in my first professional season of AMA Arenacross. The sky was the limit for me if I put my head down and trained harder. Well, that did not work out how I had planned. I would find myself doing 30-minute motos multiple days during the week, hitting the gym after and doing intense cardio in the anaerobic zone, only to get to the races and last a pathetic four or five laps. I was only taking 1-2 days of recovery a week. After each race I was devastated, sitting in my van, I would tell myself, I just was not in good enough shape and double down on the week. On came the next weekend with even worse results than the week before, gassing out early and suffering from terrible arm pump. I would get injured very frequently too. When I came back from a few months off, healing from my injuries, I would have the best race I had had all year and tell myself, “Man, wait until I start training and get back in shape, these guys don’t have a chance against me.” Boy was I wrong, I would just repeat the cycle, train harder, poor results, train even harder than the week before, even worse results and sprinkle a lot of injuries in there too!

 

The reason I am writing about this topic is that it is something I am seeing to this day. Like my good friend Ben Moberg of Pure Endurance Training said, “You can be a professional at a very young age, but you need to train with the wisdom of a fifty-year-old.” Now I am not saying we should all be couch potatoes and we can win a Supercross title. This article is for the dedicated racer who has the Rocky Balboa mentality. We can pick on the couch potato some other time. We need to be smart and listen to our bodies. If you do not have the restraint and lose your mind without going to the gym every day, find a recreational hobby to help you recover. I find with racers; their hobby is riding and fitness. They want to do it every day. Training and riding every day are a recipe for disaster, as an athlete, you need recovery days just as much, if not more, than you need those hard training days. If you can only ride one day a week, then it is great to get a few cross-training days in during the week. If you are an aspiring professional or at the professional level doing three days of three 30-minute motos during the week, proceed with caution. That intense level of riding during the week just may be enough of physical activity. Instead of going and destroying yourself at the gym on the days off, focus on some restorative exercising like stretching, walking and flexibility.

Here's a sample of a 5-day workout plan for a Motocross athlete:

Day 1:

  1. Warm up with a 10-15 minute easy spin on the bike.
  2. Do 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions of single leg squats, using a bench or chair for support. This will help improve your pedal stroke and balance.
  3. Do 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions of lunges, using dumbbells for added resistance. This will help strengthen your hips and glutes, which are important for cycling.
  4. Do 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions of calf raises, using a step or block for added resistance. This will help strengthen your calf muscles, which are important for generating power on the bike.
  5. Cool down with a 5-10 minute easy spin on the bike.

Day 2:

  1. Warm up with a 10-15 minute easy spin on the bike.
  2. Do a 30-minute steady-state ride at a moderate intensity. Focus on maintaining a consistent effort and keeping your heart rate in a specific target zone.
  3. Do 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions of push-ups, using a bench or chair for added resistance if needed. This will help improve your upper body strength, which is important for maintaining good cycling posture.
  4. Do 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions of tricep dips, using a bench or chair for support. This will help strengthen the muscles in your arms and shoulders, which are important for maintaining control of the handlebars.
  5. Cool down with a 5-10 minute easy spin on the bike.

Day 3:

  1. Warm up with a 10-15 minute easy spin on the bike.
  2. Do a 30-minute interval workout on the bike, consisting of 4-6 sets of 1-minute hard efforts followed by 1-minute easy recoveries. This will help improve your cycling speed and power.
  3. Do 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions of standing cable rows, using a low pulley and a handle attachment. This will help strengthen your back and shoulder muscles, which are important for maintaining good cycling posture.
  4. Do 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions of bicep curls, using dumbbells or a cable machine. This will help strengthen the muscles in your arms, which are important for maintaining control of the handlebars.
  5. Cool down with a 5-10 minute easy spin on the bike.

Day 4:

  1. Warm up with a 10-15 minute easy spin on the bike.
  2. Do a 45-minute endurance ride at a moderate intensity. Focus on maintaining a consistent effort and keeping your heart rate in a specific target zone.
  3. Do 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions of chest presses, using a bench or stability ball. This will help improve your upper body strength, which is important for maintaining good cycling posture.
  4. Do 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions of lateral raises, using dumbbells or a cable machine. This will help strengthen the muscles in your shoulders, which are important for maintaining control of the handlebars.
  5. Cool down with a 5-10 minute easy spin on the bike.

Day 5:

Warm up with a 10-15 minute easy ride to get your muscles and heart rate warmed up.

Complete a long, endurance ride of at least 90 minutes at a moderate pace. Focus on maintaining a steady pace and staying hydrated and fueled throughout the ride.

Finish with a cool-down ride at an easy pace for 10 minutes.

Remember to listen to your body and adjust the intensity and duration of your workouts as needed. It's also important to include rest days in your training plan to allow your body to recover and adapt to the stress of your workouts. I am a firm believer, that if you sit on the “go hard, or go home” side of the spectrum. It is better to be slightly undertrained going into the weekend than over trained.

 

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