Get in Shape for Lorettas: 5 Key Components
by Kirk Layfield, PhD EMT-P
In an effort to bring Racer X Virtual Trainer readers the best information available regarding MX fitness, postings on this website are open to anyone with a specific and proven expertise in the fitness field. Kirk Layfield is an Exercise Physiologist and former Pro MX rider. Kirk has a bachelors and masters degree from the University of Florida and has been racing for over 30 years. Kirk has also worked with many top MX athletes over the years including Ernesto Fonseca when he rode for BSY as am amateur, Jason Thomas of the Subway Honda Team, Brian Gray Factory Suzuki, Robbie Jenks GNCC Yamaha support, Chris Witcraft Yamaha Samsung/Radio Shack as well as Loretta Lynn's national champions Shaun Skinner, Matt Boni and Matt Goerke - Virtual Trainer.
So, you decided you want to get in better shape for the up coming Loretta Lynn’s Amateur National this summer? Or maybe you just want to start hammering those guys you compete against week-in-and–week-out at the local track? Okay, let’s talk about the things that make up a good training program.
The 5 components of a good training program are:
- Strength Training
- Cardiovascular Conditioning
1. Nutrition is the food we put in our body to provide it with energy. If we don’t fuel our body with good foods and plenty of water, we will not have the energy to practice or race at full speed. You would not put 87 octane gas in your race bike, so don’t expect you body to perform properly if you don’t provide it with nutritious foods and generous amounts of water.
2. Strength Training is the key to help your body become stronger and gain more endurance for those long motos or even the short intense ones. It also is important to the stronger your body is, the less likely you will sustain a serious injury. If injured, a proper strength training program will allow the body to recover faster from injury.
3. Cardiovascular exercises allow the body to become more efficient and, in return, deliver more oxygen to your muscles. Cardiovascular conditioning is essential to your performance and is a vital part of your body’s ability to function at full capacity.
4. One of the most neglected factors in an athletes training program is a flexibility routine. Stretching exercises should be performed before and after training sessions. A good flexibility routine will allow the body to function through a full range of motion and reduce the chances of serious injury. In conjunction with a good strength training program, flexibility exercises also allow the rider, if injured, to recover at an accelerated rate.
5. And last but not least, it is essential that your body obtain the proper amount of rest. The majority of riders will need 8-9 hours of sleep per night. The body recycles and repairs itself during the hours we sleep. Training and race performance will suffer severely if you are not properly rested.
This is just a brief description of the basic components that you need to follow to become a successful racer or Weekend Warrior. Many of the topics have been covered in previous posts on Racer X including strength training, cardiovascular exercises, interval training, mental training, and flexibility training. Check out the archive section for all of these articles and more! NO TRAIN, NO MAIN!
That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.