This training strategy will get you “Trackday Ready”

25 Mar

One factor that never seems to get thought about in motorcycle racing is the use of isometrics. Think about it, Although a riders heart rate is racing, and muscle are being used, there isn’t too much movement that occurs.

So why do we spend so much time with dynamic contractions yet most of the movement while on the bike has the knees bent to 90-120 degrees of flexion. When we get on the bike our legs aren’t pushing our body all the way up. Instead we are hovering with muscles contracted for almost the entire time.

And this is what will make you sore. I remember my first time on a track. I thought I was going in fairly fit. But my legs were sore for the next 3 days. I just wasn’t expecting the soreness to reach that level. But shifting your weight from side to side quickly, requires a lot of work and also creates a lot of stress on the muscle. As a result we get a lot of soreness. No surprise there, huh?

So what would an isometric training program look like for motorcycle racers or trackday riders? Well, if you’re following this program it’s a 5-second hold and then come back to the top. Repeat 5-8 times.

Another exercise I’ve included in the Isometric phase is a lateral slide thru. Basically, you hold a a pair of dumbbells in a front squat position with your feet placed wide. Squat down and shift your weight to the right. Hold for 2-seconds and slide back thru to the left without coming up. Hold for 2-seconds and slide back to the right. Repeat this until you’ve done 10-12 per side. When that starts to get easy, increase the hold to 3-seconds.

There are plenty of great core exercises that are isometric in nature, which is what we trackday riders need most. Pushups, planks, side planks, dead bugs, mountain climbers are all great isometric exercises as they force our core muscles to overcome inertia during a movement. This is VERY similar to how we have to react on a motorcycle when hustling around the track.

Maintaing proper body position when accelerating or cornering is imperative to not upsetting the suspension. Keep the core rigid and you’ll become a part of the bike!

So give this isometric workout a try. But be prepared, isometrics will bring a new found level of soreness that is uncommon to most people!

Perform exercises in pairs, doing A1 followed by A2. Rest for 60-seconds and repeat for 2 more sets before moving on to pair B, and finally pair C.

A1: Squat + 5-second hold x 5

A2: Pushup triple pause x 10 (pause at top, middle and bottom of pushup for 2-seconds)

B1: Stability Ball Leg Curl + 5-sec hold x 5

B2: Wide Grip Row triple pause x 10 (same as pushup pausing)

C1: Side Plank x 45-seconds per side

C2: Chin-up eccentric x 6 (jump to the top of the chin-up bar and let yourself down as slowly as possible)

Again, just be prepared as these will leave you aching for days!

Also, you don’t necessarily have to do a full 4-5 week cycle of isometric work. But throw this workout in once per week to make sure you train that characteristic. You’ll thank me on your next trackday!

 

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