Strength Training For Motorcycle and ATV Racing
What do you think it takes to ride a motorcycle or ATV at a competitive level for an extended period of time out on the track? Riding experience, skills, guts, a bit of insanity? Yes all of those are needed, but more importantly STRENGTH! The laws of physics are against us here. Our machines can weigh from 250 to 400 pounds and our protective equipment approximately another 30, now throw in gravity and inertia and we have created a force on the body that absolutely requires strength. Every competitive athlete in the world strength trains including golfers……GOLFERS! Yet so many racers believe that strength training is going to have a negative impact on their riding and racing abilities. Nothing could be further from the truth and I am going to explain why and be the STRENGTH TRAINING MYTHBUSTER!
First myth about strength training is that racers believe they are going to get to big or to muscular.
Everyone equates strength or weight training to looking like a body builder. Coming from a body building background let me ensure to you that it takes a lot of food, supplements, a body building style-training program, and drugs to get a physique like that. If your program design is to make you stronger and more functional out on the track you do not have to worry about becoming too big or too muscular, just stronger. Being stronger allows you to maneuver the quad better, push harder under times of pressure, and if you crash or get stuck it can help you get your ATV back in motion.
Second myth, strength training will not develop or improve cardiovascular endurance. Racers who believe this obviously have not worked out intensely enough or have never worn a heart rate monitor during resistance training. Strength training requires a lot of cardiovascular as well as respiratory assistance. Have you ever done a set of squats or dead lifts and not felt your heart pounding through your chest while gasping for air? If not up your weight and reps you pansy. Do you think you are in good shape? If so try doing power cleans at 80% of your max weight to failure (this is when you start to lose good form) immediately drop down and do push ups to failure, then jump back up and do pull ups to failure. Are you breathing hard? Do feel like falling down and crying like a pleeb? Welcome to real world strength training and conditioning, now do 5 sets of that and finish with some wind sprints, stair climbs, and crab crawls and you will know how and why MPT racers are some of the best conditioned racers around.
Myth number three, strength training causes arm pump! No it does not, in fact it will make your hands and forearms stronger, which as expressed in my arm pump article will improve riding ability. Get a grip on some weights and you will get a grip strong enough to hold on to some Baldwin motor power!
So the long and the short of it is strength equals speed and power, who doesn’t want more of that? The quicker and stronger your muscles respond to a reaction the better the chances are that you are going to go faster while controlling your machine! So now strength equals faster lap times, which equates to better placed finishes, isn’t that the over all goal of racing? Still want to walk by those weights in the gym?
I will give you my favorite compound movements to build over all full body strength and power. The first is the front squat. Great compound movement that really fires up the core. The second is the dead lift (using dead lift bar or dumbbells), really primitive and recruits deep muscle fibers when down properly. The third is a combination of pull-ups directly into push-ups. No weights necessary and every muscle in the body experiences activation. Power cleans, tons of fore arm strength and gut wrenching energy demand. Incorporate any of these exercises into your routine and you will be on your way to developing some serious strength and power.
Time seems to be an issue with every racer, fitting in your work-outs between working and wrenching always seems to be a limiting factor! Choosing one of the compound strength exercises and performing several sets could be the answer to fitting in a quick and effective work out. Remember some training is better than no training! By doing so you will challenge every system in the body and maintain and hopefully improve the strength you already have. These compound movements should be incorporated into your routine throughout the year. Stick with the suggested exercises and you will soon see why they are at the heart of every athlete’s training program no matter what the sport may be.
Well my coaching is done for today, best of luck out on the track and as always if I can help please reach me at http://www.motoprotraining.com
By: Marc A. Spataro Moto Pro Training