What is training?
Training is a planned activity which is designed to help us improve our performance on and off the bike.
Achieving your goals involves combining various types of training to create overall body strength, conditioning and skill. Each athlete's training will vary depending on their personal goals and current strengths and weaknesses. The various training types are (and not limited to) cardiovascular training, weight training, core training, power and plyometric training, and sprint/speed training. Each of these will be briefly explained and their advantages.
Firstly cardiovascular training, often a form of training that is easily forgot. This type of training helps the body to transport oxygen-rich blood around the body to muscle groups to create energized movement. The more developed you can get your cardiovascular system, the easier it is to push the body harder and for longer. Also, by participating in cardiovascular training, it allows your body to flush out negative toxins after intensive work out sessions or races.
The cardiovascular system has an important job come race day. If you have a strong system it will allow you to perform at a higher level for a longer time. It will also allow the rider to recover quicker in between mottos.
Secondly, weight training is using force and weight together to create strength and size in targeted areas of the body. When participating in weight training, a large amount of effort needs to be spent on the proper technique to prevent injury and also maximize strength gains. Weight training varies between athletes. Depending on personal goals, the weight and repetitions of the exercise are adjusted accordingly. Weight training allows athletes to build strength in specific areas of their body which allows them to improve their riding. Once you develop the strength in your body, you will be able to better prevent injuries. It will also have a positive influence on your start out of the gate, as you gain more strength to generate speed.
Thirdly, there's core training. Again, easily forgotten but a crucial part to every athlete as it's the centre hub for the whole body. Core training focuses on strengthening muscles around the abdominal and lower back area. This is important as it improves both posture and allows for heavier lifting and better technique in all activities.
Power and plyometric training have their place in every sport. Both forms of training are very similar as they involve very fast moving activities, but have a slight difference. Each have their own benefit depending on the goal.
Power training is based around moving an object with great force,. The faster you can move the weight the more powerful you'll be.This uses a lot of muscle activation to create maximal force using a range of the body's muscles. The exercises often use equipment such as barbells kettlebells as it allows you to easily hold and move the weight.
Plyometric training is based around explosiveness and working in the amortization phase of an exercise. The idea is that you will exert maximum force in short intervals to increase speed and strength. People often call it 'jump training' as majority of the plyometric exercises are based around jumping as high, fast and as quick as possible. Both these exercises work well with athletes as it helps with explosive bursts, such as the start of a race. It helps the body to build fast twitch fibres and improves athlete's reactions.
Sprint/speed training is getting from point A to point B in the fastest time possible. It involves getting the body working in a fluid motion to allow the fast twitch fibres to work. It is a repetitive exercise, which for BMX athletes would be bike sprints for a certain distance on a particular grade depending on the athletes goals. It is important to rest in between sprints. The idea is to get fast, so you must train fast. Giving each sprint a hundred percent effort is crucial. This particular training becomes very sport specific and involves many of the other training types to make it effective.
Overall, never take training for granted as the difference between the top of the podium and standing on the sidelines is how much work you put in before race day. Understanding the difference in training types and combining them together will help you become a well rounded athlete and achieve your goals.
If you need help with your programming, feel free to reach out:
Facebook: Andrew Hickey Coaching
Phone: 604 500 9148