Technique is crucial in the gym, just as it is on the bike!
Technique wins hands down every time…
So often I’ve seen riders training in a gym, thinking that the program on paper alone will help them with their performance on the track.
This article applies to all modes of bike sports. Whether it’s on a MTB, Road Bike, Enduro or Motocross bike. A program, although it can be designed on paper to suit your specific sport is useless unless you know how to perform the workout using your mental strength rather than just relying on your physical effort.
It doesn’t matter which modality of bike you are on, there is one given that stands out above all. Staying upright gives you a greater chance of getting better results. So how does staying upright count and what causes riders to crash. Let’s dig a bit deeper.
Reasons why you crash;
- Lack of concentration with your cognitive skills
- Technique on the bike
- Lack of knowledge on how to ride the bike
- Fatigue on the body causes incorrect body positioning
- Physical fatigue causes mental lapses in concentration
- Other riders Bump you
- Take your line
- Trees popping up out of no where
- Track changes over time
- Missed lines
Your technique or lets say your ability comes from time on the bike, being coached on how to ride the bike correctly and of course your natural talent over time mixed with experience. But how often do you see riders that have the speed to take on the top guys, but always fail when it comes to results. What makes a rider crash or slow down during a race, barring bike failure.
Why do riders change their technique mid race? It comes down to one single fact. Their physical ability to match the technique and speed on the bike.
One of the first things you have to understand in fitness/gym/training programs is the expectations from the coach that wrote your program.
What is your coach trying to achieve out of the workout?
When I train riders in any sport my one and only focus in every session I aim to do is purely and simply challenge the person’s mindset.
It rarely matters what exercise I prescribe. What matters is how I want the rider to better understand the session and pretty much how to beat the session. Most riders who have trained with me get the nervous feeling you get prior to a race. When they see the workout written out for them you can already see them thinking about how to best complete the session without losing concentration. Before the session they’re already thinking about strategy and how to get through the session without failure. Sounds like race day??
Failure to me in the gym has many factors.
- Can the rider complete the task I set out
- I’ve always known a rider’s ability. It’s my goal to always challenge their ability, but not too far out of reach where it creates automatic failure. I want a rider to see the finish line with reach and all they have to do is get outside their comfort zone for maybe 5-10 seconds to complete the movement
- Can the rider stay focused on the task whilst experiencing physical fatigue throughout the session.
- Sometime I simply put a rule in the session that your knees cannot touch the ground when going down for a push up and coming up out of the push up.
The biggest goal of any session when I train riders is to ensure they are continually thinking whilst working out. It doesn’t necessarily mean I have to have the perfect exercise for that given sport. But what I do is challenge their mind and bodies at the same time in more ways than any conventional gym program I’ve ever seen.
Nearly every movement I prescribe in a gym requires correct technique otherwise failure will happen. This applies to you in the track or on your bike. I’m assuming you know how to ride the bike when you are fresh and full of energy. But can you maintain that speed, the technique required to perform and the same lap time lap after lap without the onset of both physical and mental fatigue.
So next time you enter the gym for a workout here are some of my main focuses I aim to achieve with riders I train;
- Make sure they understand correct technique
- Elevate their heart rate and then challenge their cognitive skills whilst out of breath.
- Fatigue their muscles, elevate their heart rate and then set balance and coordination movements immediately after.
- Provide little to no rest in a workout, unless I’ve designed a 90%+ maximal output exercise. In this case the rider has been set out a challenge of sequences of strength, balance, fitness and strategy to complete the task. In which I will allow rest before moving to the next phase of their workout.
Here is a very simple workout I’ve designed which you can have a go at.
Go to this link to view the 15minute workout and see if you can get through it without a crash.