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 10/23/16 22:17:53 PM

The “Missing Link” in Your Strength and Conditioning Program



Rodney Womack, CSCS

Most of the questions that I receive every week here at www.motoxfitness.com fall into two general categories. They either come from a beginner who wants to know how to get started and / or what exercises to do.  Or, they come from someone who already has a training program in place, but there is something missing from their training that is keeping them from improving their fitness or being able to last throughout an entire moto.  To fix this problem we must uncover the “missing link” in their training program. Usually their question goes something like this:

“Hey Rodney,

I currently train with weights 2-3 times a week following this program (insert program here).  I also do cardio training 3 times a week (insert jogging, distance running, biking here), but I still get tired and I have a hard time with my endurance during a moto.  Is there something wrong with my training?  I’m in fairly good shape and can run 5 miles easily, but why do I still struggle with this problem?  Thanks for you help.”

I get this sort of question several times a month, and my typical response is that there is a lack of intensity in the training program.  Here’s something to think about: It’s not so much the exercise that you do, it’s HOW you do the exercise.  When you perform any exercise with intensity and little rest between sets you will see an improvement in your strength and conditioning quickly.  Not only will your workouts be much more difficult, but more productive as well. In fact, I have previously written about this type of training when talking about circuit training.

What usually happens is that the athlete gets in a rut with their training.  They do the same thing every week with the same exercises, the same weights, and the same number of sets and reps.  They also run or bike the same distance in the same time. In essence, they never get out of their comfort zone – they never push themselves to the limit. When you continuously push yourself to higher levels outside of your comfort zone, then you are training with intensity.
When an athlete’s training doesn’t change, their condition won’t change either.  Consequently, their riding condition doesn’t improve, and they stay at the same level without getting any better.  The “missing link” in their training program is intensity.
Remember this:  If the intensity of your training doesn’t exceed the intensity of riding motocross, then you are better off just riding rather than doing the supplemental training.  I’ve said it many times – 15-20 minutes of intense training is much better than one hour of just “going through the motions”.  Don’t just go through the motions! Train hard with the purpose of getting better. The bottom line is that it takes HARD WORK to improve your strength and conditioning on a consistent basis.  There is no substitute for hard work in becoming a better athlete.
How do you get out of this rut and increase the intensity of your program?  Here are a few suggestions:

      *Do high intensity interval training on a bicycle, stationary bike, treadmill, rower, etc.
      *Run sprints / hills / stadiums with little rest in between sets
      *Do circuit training with strength exercises with little rest between sets
      *Add jumping rope and other quick movements to your program
      *Find a workout partner so you can push each other to a higher level
      *Train in a different gym or environment to change your attitude or workout
      *Set goals- write down specific training goals that you will reach by a certain date
      *A combination of all of these things will help add intensity and a new sense
        of purpose to your training

Any of these ideas will help jump start your training and take you to a higher level of strength and conditioning.  In turn, this should carry over to your riding and racing which should help improve your results.
If your training isn’t providing you with the desired results, maybe the “missing link” is intensity.  Try these ideas for a few weeks and see if it helps you get out of your training rut. Remember - There is no substitute for HARD WORK on the road to becoming a better athlete!

Rodney Womack is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA), a high school sports coach for 18 years, and an MX racer since 1971.  Through his website – www.motoxfitness.com – he writes a free weekly MX fitness newsletter.  He is also the author of three training books, Motocross Fitness:  The Ultimate Home Training Guide for Motocross Athletes, The Power of Pushups, and Arm Pump Solutions:  How to Reduce Arm Pump Through Stretching and Exercise.  If you have any questions or comments he can be reached by email at rw3@motoxfitness.com.

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