Increase Speed Through Strength & Plyometric Training – Part 1
Robb Beams – CompleteRacingSolutions.com
HOW MUSCULAR IMBALANCES OCCUR AND THE PROBLEMS IT CREATES
As a racer, specific training requires certain ranges of motion (involving more than one muscle group and associated joint) that are completed to improve the skills necessary for faster lap times. By recognizing that each movement within the muscles involves a concentric action (the muscle shortens and acceleration of the body part) and an eccentric action (the muscle lengthens to decelerate the body part), and that movement requires traveling through more than one plane of the body (i.e. front, back, top, bottom, side to side), you immediately see how important it is to focus on engaging more than one muscle at any one time during your strength training.
To perform actions specific to riding & racing, the primary moving muscles tend to become over developed at the expense of the antagonist muscles limiting the range of motion that can be performed by the necessary muscle groups. Muscular imbalances can create the following symptoms:
THREE DIRECT BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING
THREE INDIRECT BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING
FUNCTIONAL INTEGRATION – THE FOUNDATION TO FASTER SPEEDS ON THE TRACK
As racers, you understand that your core muscles (i.e. your stomach, lower back and butt) are the foundation for all of our movements – nearly every movement originates (directly or indirectly) from your core muscles. As you move around on the track, your core strives to maintain balance and provides a foundation for the other muscles to interact with for correct biomechanics and ultimately optimum strength & endurance. To ensure that you are forcing your sport specific muscle groups to engage in a more functional way (i.e. through all three planes-front/back; left/right; top/bottom), you have to incorporate a Functionally Integrated Strength & Plyometric Program into your cross training exercise program.
A simple illustration of what Functional Integration “feels” like, simply stand on one leg and close your eyes with your head facing forward. As your core strives to maintain balance (i.e. not fall over), you will feel the functional integration of the muscles starting at the foot and coming all the way up into your gluts, core and lower back. This is a simple example of Functional Integration in a nut shell. Your body makes these subtle adjustments every time you ride or cross train off of the track. However, you are moving so fast, you don’t “feel” the balance taking place. [Side note: now try the exercise again, but this time tighten up your abdominal muscles so that you feel like you are piercing your spine with your belly button and notice how much more stability you have!]
TRAINING TOOLS TO IMPROVE MUSCLULAR INTEGRATION
At MotoE we use the following training tools to improve overall strength in the shortest amount of time with our riders:
WORKOUTS TO TEST & IMPROVE YOUR STRENGTH MUSCLE INTEGRATION
To help you assess how well your muscles work together to create speed on the track, I encourage you to complete the following steps over the next six weeks. Here is how the next six weeks are broken down:
Week 1: Complete the Strength & Plyometric Assessment
Week 2: Complete the Push-Pull-Sprint Assessment; interpret your results; determine weaknesses to train
Weeks 3 thru 6: Complete the Functional Strength & Plyometric Workout 2-3x per week
Week 7: Low Volume/Intensity Recovery Training (Reduce the amount of weight that you have been using by 20-25%)
Week 8: Re-Test and Assess
NOTE: DUE TO THE INTENSITY LEVELS, DO ATTEMPT TO COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING WORKOUTS WITHOUT PRE-APPROVAL FROM YOUR PHYSCIAN
Week 1/Step 1: Strength & Plyometric Assessment
Email me directly to receive a 10 exercise Strength & Plyometric Assessment Spreadsheet. Each exercise has an instructional video provided for each exercise along with the directions on how to complete the assessment specific to that exercise. After you complete all 10 exercises, you will be provided some evaluation tools to determine your muscular strength, muscular endurance and lactate tolerance.
Note: due to the intensity of this exercise, you will want to complete this assessment when you are well rested and fed; ideally at the beginning of the week.
Week 2/Step 2:
During Week #2 I will send you a copy of the MotoE Push-Pull-Sprint Assessment. In addition to the spreadsheet outlining the actual exercises, there is an instructional video provided that outlines the assessment over a 10 Minute block. This combo assessment will provide you additional insight into your muscular strength, endurance and lactate tolerance.
Evaluating Your Results
In addition to the Push-Pull-Sprint Assessment Spreadsheet,you will be provided a video to help you interpret both your Strength & Plyometric Assessment as well as the Push-Pull-Sprint results. Within this video I will walk you through how to determine if you need to improve your Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance (eliminate late moto fatigue) or Lactate Tolerance (your ability to hold race intensity).
Week’s 3 through 6/Step 4: Functional Strength & Plyometric Workout (Phase 1)
At the beginning of week #3, I will send you a complete strength & conditioning program for you to follow for four (4) weeks which will address your physical limiters: muscular strength, endurance or lactate tolerance.
At the end of week #6, I will provide you a low volume/intensity workout program to follow to allow your body the chance to absorb your last four weeks of training. During week #7, you will implement your Plyometric and Push-Pull-Sprint testing protocols again and compare your results to evaluate the progress you have made over the last four weeks. If you have any questions or need anything clarified, please email me directly. Until next time, Train Smart-Not Hard!
Coach Robb has been working with riders & racers for the last 25 years and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance Program & Nutritionally Green Supplements based in Orlando Florida. He has contributed to publications such as Vurbmoto.com, Racer X, FLMX, FTR Magazine and is a regular contributor to RacerX online, RacerXVT, Vurbmoto and various racing websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness. CompleteRacingSolutions.comis a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages. The website outlines the training solutions used with great success by Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo, Broc Tickle, Darryn Durham; Factory, Factory Honda’s Ashley Fiolek, Thor’s Jordan Bailey, Factory JGR/Yamaha’s Jon Jon Ames, Factory KTM Off Road Charlie Mullins & Yamaha’s Roman Brown. Instructional videos with Coach Robb can be found on the Coach Robb’s Youtube Channel addressing rider’s questions about speed, endurance, strength nutrition, biomechanics, and stretching and soft tissue maintenance. Please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com to subscribe to his newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb and on Facebook: Coach Robb.