12 Months or 12 Weeks?
When does your pre season for MX and OFFROAD start??
For some Aussie OffRoad Racers who focus on the big two events, Hattah and Finke, your Pre Season really has just begun!
I hear so many people say to me, “I’ll start a Program next year, a few Month’s before Finke or Hattah” or perhaps whichever Racing Series you are competing in, MX or OFFROAD.
The 12 week lead up to your main Goal can be two very different things, depending on how you spend your “Off season”.
Picture this. You stop training, grinding away massive weeks at work, food choices aren’t great and Friday Night Beers are the Highlight of your week.
12 Weeks before your Goal event you decide you better get your arse into gear and do some training so you start a 12 week training program.
You spend the first 6 weeks of that 12, figuring out your Nutrition and learning how to actually move correctly and increase Mobility so you can then start to build some Intensity and Load into the Strength Exercises to see some real progress.
The 12 weeks Flies by and sure, you are fitter, you have moved forward with the time given, but you know you could have done better.
Pretty simply, you can use all the time between now and the 12 weeks prior to your training Goal to turn your Weaknesses into your Strengths, Correct Mobility, Get your Nutrition Dialed in, practice Mindset techniques etc.
You don’t have to be a slave to the Gym, because what you have on your side before next season is TIME!
What you need to bring to the table is CONSISTENCY!
You can go backwards by doing nothing, or achieve a Great deal in 2 or 3, 1 hour Gym sessions a week over a long period of time, given consistency.
So when next season’s goal comes, you can ask yourself this question, Are you putting the icing on the cake in the 12 weeks leading up to your Goal event or are you starting from scratch again and rolling out your swag at Base Camp, just like year’s gone by?
That Mountain can be a steep, long climb in 12 weeks!
If you are leaving it till the last 12 weeks, then I feel you’re pain!
That used to me every Year too! I would train hard, eat better and give up alcohol and parties every 3 months before Hattah each year……. Then I would be straight back to my old habits after the race, little exercise, poor food choices and back on the booze!
A down hill spiral until the next year’s prep.
I now know, I wasn’t even close to my True Potential.
I know, I know, “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda!
My aim is to help you learn from my mistakes so you can reach your true potential!
What I was really telling myself was that Race alone, was more important than myself, and my overall health and longevity.
This all changed for me when we had our first Boy, and I actually discovered I wasn’t really very Healthy.
Despite being quite Lean and “Fit”, I was Pre Diabetic and many of my blood markers were shot!
This little wake up call, and becoming a Dad, made me start to value my Health, Fitness and subsequent choices and habits a hell of a lot more.
That was 6 years ago. Now staying Strong and Mobile is part of my daily routine.
I can maintain a pretty good base of fitness and strength, so when I do decide to race, or take on any other challenge, like a Spartan race, an MTB Race or a long distance run, it’s simply a matter of putting the icing on the cake in the lead up.
Why Strength training you ask? Well here are just a couple of reasons why Strength training is an essential part of your Longevity, before we even talk about the WHY’s for MOTO Riders…
Two things have been repeatedly shown in research to be correlated with overall life expectancy
- Overall Muscle Mass
- Grip Strength
Now if you ride MOTO, I am guessing your grip strength is probably pretty good! But what about your muscle mass?
After the age of 30-35, we start to lose muscle mass due to Sarcopenia, a naturally occurring reduction in muscle mass.
If you also compete in endurance exercise (which pretty much all Moto riding is) in a calorie depleted state (believe it or not most people don’t eat enough to support the intensity of MOTO racing-especially protein), you also hold yourself open to the chances of muscle depletion when your body turns to its own muscle stores (protein) to convert to energy to fuel your body.
Overall muscle mass also dictates the amount of calories our body burns at rest, without even moving. More Muscle mass means more calories burned. Win Win. This means more food to enjoy, Eat up!
These reasons alone are enough to warrant including some strength training in your weekly routine.
Riding and racing Dirt Bikes is a feat like no other. It requires a combination of Full Body Strength, Power and Endurance to wrestle a 100+kg beast around a track and put it where you want lap after lap, often for hour after hour in Offroad events.
So let’s just start there. Strength. Power. Endurance.
When most people think Endurance, they instantly think Cycling or Jogging….
How do you build Power and Muscular Endurance?
You must first build Strength.
Maximal Strength is the determining factor in Power and Muscular Endurance.
Remember, we are not Marathon runners. We are not Cyclists.
Our aim is not be light, lean and mostly weak, apart from our quads!. **(on a side note I would recommend any runners/cyclists par take in a Strength Program to boost there performance and Iron out imbalances)
We are wrestling 100+ kgs and 50+ HP up and over Gnarly obstacles for extended periods.
We must be Mobile.
We must be Strong.
We must be able to produce Power in a Split Second, in most planes of Movement.
Then we can Build Muscular Endurance.
To produce maximal power requires maximal Strength (Lifting Heavy Weights).
To produce sustained muscular endurance requires Strength and work capacity! (Volume and Intensity)
Did you get that bit??? 😂😂
STRENGTH IS KEY!
12 weeks or 12 months?
So why shouldn’t you leave it till 12 weeks before your Goal event? Well it depends.
If you are already proficient in Strength exercises, movement patterns and have a good level of body awareness and mobility, then 12 weeks is the minimum time I would recommend to see a measurable result is Strength, Power and Endurance to nail a Program and peak for your desired Goal event.
On the other hand, most people I see fall into the next catergory! And that was me once not all that long ago so I speak also, from personal experience.
If you answer NO to these questions, then you probably fall into the second
CAN YOU BACK SQUAT YOUR BODY WEIGHT FOR REPS?
CAN YOU DEAD LIFT TWICE YOUR BODY WEIGHT?
CAN YOU BENCH PRESS YOUR BODY WEIGHT?
**You don’t have to Reach these numbers to be a competitive racer. But if you aim to build a Bulletproof body, and take big weekends on the bike in your stride, then these are some good bench marks.
If you answered a resounding NO! then you probably have more than 12 weeks work ahead of you!
If you have little experience in Strength exercises, Weight Lifting, Mobility etc then you are going to spend the best part of 12 weeks just learning movement patterns and gaining the skills, body awareness and mobility needed to even think about adding enough load to the barbell to actually begin building true Strength.
A massive part of Strength training at the start is building the Neural Pathways and Firing up our Mind Body Connection to overcome our mundane Lifestyles these days when the pathways firing certain muscle groups go to sleep.
This takes TIME!
TIME. REPETITION AND CONSISTENCY.
For some it’s going to be closer to 2 year’s to get you to your absolute peak!
But you know what? That’s totally OK. We all have our starting point. What matters is making the choice to start.
Building Long term Strength, Health and Longevity isn’t about doing a 12 week program once a year and then stopping.
Remember this, above all;
You are your most valuable asset.
Getting Strong and Mobile is a skill. And just like any skill, it takes a lot of practice to get really good at it.
So is 12 weeks enough for you to reach your true potential or are you on the YoYo routine? Never really getting any better.
At it’s core Two things will determine your results, Repetition and Consistency. (Not to mention a kick arse Program)
The secret sauce is TIME.
The longer time frame you have, and the more of that time you can commit then the better the results you will yield, and the quicker they will come.
GET A LIFE!
That doesn’t mean you need to set up camp in a Gym!
There are 167 hours in a week.
2 or 3 One hour sessions (I would recommend 3) is enough to Build Strength, Mobility and Skills with the correct Program.
That’s 3 hours out of your 167…… 3 out of the 7 days in your week, you need to find an hour to train hard. (If it suits your schedule better, break them down to shorter windows)
In my eye’s that’s not a lot.
Consider it an Investment. In Yourself.
Considering how much time and money we invest in our bikes and racing?
This is a fraction.
What you value most will dictate your daily habits, it’s as simple as that.
Question is, how much do you value the guy twisting the throttle?
Pre Season Starts Today!
GIVE IT 100%