WE CAN’T ALL GO TO THE TRACK EVERY DAY. THE DEMANDS OF MODERN LIFE OFTEN KEEP US AWAY FROM THE TRACK MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. DON’T VEGETATE IF YOU CAN’T RIDE.
It is possible, even desirable, to spend most of your six-week conditioning time just riding your bike, but real life often interferes. We can’t all go to the track every day. The demands of modern life often keep us away from the track Monday through Friday. Don’t vegetate if you can’t ride. Choose an alternate form of conditioning. Join a running club. Start mountain biking with your friends. Cycle to work. Go to the weekly criterium practice race in your town. Or, join a nighttime basketball league. If you would love to go to the local track and put in a couple hard motos (of 20 minutes or more) but can’t do it, try a 30-minute high-intensity run, a 45-minute road ride or a pickup hoops game. The goal is to keep active regardless of your situation. As your fitness progresses, you can start to combine a hard day of riding with a high-intensity run or bike ride. Just be aware of what your body is telling you. Too much too quickly will lead to overtraining and possible injury. It isn’t training if you just do it one day a week. To gain benefits from exercise, you have to push yourself at least three times a week, which could work out to be a race day, a mountain bike day and a day at the gym. It is the consistency of training that yields results. Training hard one day a week probably tears you down more than it builds you up, but add two other training days to that schedule and you are on your way to fitness.
WHEN YOU WERE A KID, YOU WERE LIKE THE ENERGIZER BUNNY—YOU JUST KEPT GOING AND GOING, DAY IN AND DAY OUT.
You only can train as hard as you can rest, and, as you age, recovery time becomes even more critical. When you were a kid, you were like the Energizer Bunny—you just kept going and
HOW TO BE FACTORY-RIDER
going, day in and day out. Unfortunately, as the years passed, you got busy with life and became more seden- tary. And when you did exercise, you discovered aches and pains that you never noticed at 13 years old. As you age, your body produces less of a chemical called HGH (aka the anti-aging drug), which is one of the reasons your body can’t keep up the way it used to. The older you are, the more time it takes to recover from exercise. After a hard day of training, your body needs time to repair the broken-down muscles and tendons. If you don’t give it that time, you will wind up experiencing diminished performance, illness or even injury. But, taking time off doesn’t necessarily mean plopping yourself on the couch for the day. Active recovery is better than passive recovery, because it increases blood circulation, which helps remove lactic acid from your muscles. The activity you choose for active recovery should not raise your heart rate above 110 beats per minute. Your exertion level should be comparable to a brisk walk. Not everyone has access to a gym, but if you belong to a gym, spend a little time on the elliptical machine. It works both your arms and legs—unlike cycling, which only works your legs.
YOU CAN LIFT WEIGHTS IF YOU WANT BULGING MUSCLES TO IMPRESS THE GIRLS, BUT BUSTING OUT CURLS CAN LEAD TO DREADFUL ARM PUMP DOWN THE ROAD.
Clearly you need to be strong to manhandle a 240- pound bike. How can you get stronger? You can lift weights if you want bulging muscles to impress the girls, but busting out curls can actually hinder your riding and lead to dreadful arm pump down the road. The best strength-training exercises are prehabilitation exercises. These exercises are designed to prevent injuries by strengthening your whole body and correcting muscular imbalances. Everyone knows riding is a high-risk sport, so it is important to do what you can to stay injury-free. If you have been around motocross long enough, you know the kinds of injuries that are common in this sport. At the top of the list are bad knees, rolled shoulders and thoracic kyphosis (hips rolled forward). So, right off the bat, you should be looking to keep these areas strong and solid. Knees and hips: The best exercises for your knees and hips focus on strengthening and elongating your hamstrings and glutes. Squats and Romanian dead lifts are good examples, but be sure to focus on proper technique. Shoulders: Simple rotator-cuff exercises with light weights can help you avoid rounded shoulders and dislocations. Internal and external shoulder rotations and back rows (make sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together) will help keep those shoulders rolled back and the secondary muscles nice and strong. As you build core strength, you also need to focus on staying flexible. Flexibility is a weak point for most motocrossers. As you hammer through whoops and land hard from big jumps, you eventually become a compact,
FIT IN SIX WEEKS