Sep 29 2011

Setting up for Corners Mid-Flight

Saving time on the track is always a priority.  If you can master a technique to get faster, you better take advantage of it.  When things get tight during racing, it’s the little things that add up and make a big difference in the end, especially if you can set up for corner more efficiently.  When the outside is not available or you need to make a pass on the inside, sometimes setting up mid air for a corner can help get that pass made.

If there is a berm already there, you don’t have to do this, but if the inside is flat off the downside, this technique will come in handy.  You want to make sure that you have the jump sized up before trying to sit down and set up mid air.  If you come up short or over shoot it, this will hurt.  Especially guys.  Once you have everything timed right, you want to loosen up in the air, trying to get the back end of the bike out just slightly.  You can let the outside leg out and lean in to get the rear end moving.

As you approach the down side, you want to start moving into the correct position for the corner.  You don’t necessarily have to be seated in the air, but as long as you are ready for the landing and corner, this transition will be smooth.  When you land, make sure that your inside leg is ready for the forces of gravity; keep it high and stiff.

If traction is not a problem, you can apply a handful of throttle and accelerate towards the corner.  Remember to keep weight on the outside foot peg and outside elbow up as this will plant you into ground for more traction.   If the downside is harder, you will have to apply the throttle with grace as you don’t want to the rear end to break loose.

This is something that you should start small on and on a jump you are comfortable with.  No sense in trying this on a new jump and getting hurt.


Sep 23 2011

Saving Energy on the Track

With heart rates constantly through the roof, moto is no doubt one of most physically demanding sports on the face of the planet.  Your heart is pumping just from the adrenaline, but throw in a rough track, huge jumps and some whoops, you will definitely work every energy system in your body.  Although it is still hot as hell down here in the Deep South (not hell, just Florida), things seem to be cooling down for the rest of the country.  However, just because it is not as hot, fatigue will creep up on you before you know.  Save yourself some pain and read on!

One of the most important things to remember is to stand up.  I know this is probably a no brainer, but some people will still ride as though the track is still smooth.  Most of the time, you will have to stand up later into corners and then get up sooner when exiting.  For rougher corners, it is even a good idea to stand up through the whole turn and look to the edges of the track for smoother lines.  Many European riders will do this because the course gets so brutal, if you sit down; your back will take all of the impact.  This is not the best idea because your back could tense up and result in some serious pain.

This next tip goes hand and hand with standing up: gripping with your legs.  I have said many times before that you will save yourself from arm pump and getting tired quickly if you squeeze the tank.  The quadriceps are large enough to take the impact from a rough course and they can handle this stress much better than your forearms and biceps/triceps.  You almost want to think of your arms as hinges to your core.  Relaxing your grip on jumps will also keep your “hinges” from cramping and pumping up too much.  To help get through extra tricky sections; you can even apply pressure to one side of the tank with your leg to help steer the bike.

If you watched the 250’s, then you saw Barcia killing it everywhere.  Other than his crazy style, he was doing something that caught my eye more than a few times during the second moto.  If you notice, he was riding on his back wheel, a lot.  The deep holes and moguls were not as bad when he could get the front wheel up.  The back wheel would just roll over the bump and the rear shock absorbs the tire’s vertical travel.  If you go through a rough section with both wheels down, it just rocks you back and forth.  I am not saying to do a full blown wheelie here, but just getting your front tire to skim or get over the rough stuff will make life much easier.  Remember that riding in a high gear will help the suspension work properly in the chop and provide you with more traction to get the front tire up.

One final tip is to just relax!  If you know that the track is rough, just accept it and ride.  When you tense up, any bump and hole you hit is sent throughout your entire body.  If your breathing is deep and even, you should be able to roll your shoulders back and ride smoother.  By your rolling them back, you can keep that attack position much easier and you open up the diaphragm for this more efficient breathing.  Like I said earlier, this is not hard stuff.  Keep it simple and remember the basics!

Sep 14 2011

Wednesday Workout

Today’s workout is pretty straight forward.  It will combine your cardio and muscular endurance.  Most of the time, people either perform bouts of cardio or a certain volume of resistance training.  While this is great for setting a foundation, you can really get a great workout from alternating between the two in a certain amount of time or sets.  Like yesterday’s routine, this can be used in the middle of the week during a race series or for an upcoming race.  It is high intensity, so you need to properly warmed up and give yourself some time in the next few days to recover.

  1. Run 200 meters
  2. Overhead Squats
  3. Run 200 meters
  4. Dips
  5. Run 200 meters
  6. Dead Lifts
  7. Run 200 meters
  8. Inverted Rows
For the overhead squat, you want to use light weight because the bar will be held over your head like a shoulder press as you squat.  Keep you core tight and back straight.  This is a great exercise like the dead lift that can work both portions of the body.  The dips will hit the anterior side of the upper body and the rows will be a nice way to end the circuit.  Since these are body weight movements, there won’t be a rep count, just do as many as you can.  For the squat and deads, 8 to 10 reps is good.
The running does not need to be an all out sprint.  Run at a fast pace that will keep your heart rate up and around 85% of your max HR.  However, on the last run, try to give it all you have.  As far as the number of circuits, begin with 2, then you can progressively workout your way up.  Take your time with this and as I mentioned before, warm up and stretch.
Good Luck!

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Sep 13 2011

Core Strength Workout

Here is a little circuit workout to mix things up.  This keeps your heart rate up and gets the blood flowing through some resistance movements.  These are pretty simple exercises modified to stimulate the core a little bit more than usual.  Building and maintaining a strong core in moto is one of the most important aspects when strength training for this sport.  As I have said before, the legs and core provide a base while the arms are simply attachments to the handle bars.  Not to say that you shouldn’t throw in some arm work, but the main idea is to concentrate on strength and power movements, not working on the “gun show.”

This workout is best utilized in the middle of week or if you are short on time.  For this reason, you want your rep range to be 12 – 15 and your rest should be around a minute.  For beginners, start out with 3 sets, and then advance to 4 sets when you complete 3 sets easily.

  • One leg push up – Jump Squats – Medicine Ball Crunches
  • Stiff Leg Deadlifts – Pull ups with Legs held up – Dumbbell Press on Medicine ball
  • Lunges – One leg and alternating Dumbbell shoulder presses – Plyo crunches

Let me explain this work out a little bit.  For the one leg push up, simply get into the push up position.  Instead of having both feet planted, raise one leg and begin the push ups.  Switch legs half through your rep count.  For you jump squats, you want to perform a regular squat, but with much lighter weight.  When you go down, you want a smooth and controlled descent. On the ascent, you want to explode up and jump just a few inches off of the ground.  When you come down, you want to land “lightly” on your toes.

For your stiff leg deadlifts, you want to be careful and not put too much weight on.  This is supposed to work your lower back and hamstrings, so make sure you stretch for this one.  The next exercise adds some intensity to the whole workout.  Simply perform a pull up, but pull your knees up so that they are parallel with the floor.  If you are feeling really crazy, straighten your whole leg out as well.  The presses on the medicine ball are really for balance.  This is basically bench press on a medicine ball, so have someone hand you the weights to avoid injury.

This shoulder exercise hits the core with fury.  You can stand on one leg or grab a bench to place one foot on and simply do your shoulder presses.  Standing on one leg adds a balancing act while your core muscles are used to keep you up straight.  With the plyo-crunches, you need a friend.  If you don’t have a friend, face a wall.  Start by lying down on a medicine ball with a 10 lb. ball in your hands.  Stretch back with the ball touching the ground behind your head, crunch back up and simultaneously throw the ball to your friend.  Then have your friend toss it back to you.

Tomorrow I’ll be back with another workout that hits your cardio and muscular endurance.

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