TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT STARTING A TRAINING REGIME
(1) Recovery. Every training program must include rest days to ensure your body is not overtrained. Many young, motivated athletes believe that the more they train, the better shape they will be in. You can only train that way for so long, then your body starts to break down and your immune system weakens. Resting doesn’t mean sitting on the couch all day, though. “Active recovery” is something that helps your body flush out toxins. Thirty minutes on a bike or elliptical (at a low heart rate) is all you need. No need to break a sweat on this one.
(2) Sprints. Sprinting is the ability to go all out for a short period of time. There are many ways to practice sprints. Sprinting on the bike is the most effective for racers, but running, rowing or any other red-zone heart-rate activity will work. High-intensity, short-duration exercises help keep weight off, increase bone density and increase the body’s lactate threshold. Start with 15- to 30-second intervals with double the amount of rest between sprints. If riding, start with one-lap sprints and double the lap time for rest.
(3) Rehab. Many people overlook small aches and pains until it is too late. Pain is the body’s way of telling you there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Small injuries often become chronic injuries, so take care of small injuries before they get worse. As they get better, do not stop the rehab, as chances are the problem will come back. Include rehab in your weekly training program, even if the issue feels resolved.
(4) Specificity. In any workout program, you want to be as specific about your desired outcome as possible. This can be tricky in many sports. If you want to become a better motocross rider, riding is obviously the most specific to the goal, but finding things other than riding that are sport specific is important in creating an effective training program. Such activities could include rowing, core training, flexibility, Romanian dead lifts and squats.
(5) Consume. Whether your goal is to lose weight or pack on some muscle, it all comes down to how much energy you consume and when. Either way, eating clean is important to your body. If you’re looking for a muscular physique or have trouble gaining weight, then you need to be consuming clean calories every chance you get. If you’re trying to lose weight, eating clean is as vital as limiting your calories. Eat lots of vegetables and lean meats. Don’t starve yourself or take diet pills. Eating at the right time is also important. Make sure to eat soon after riding or working out to restore depleted nutrients.
(6) Stretch. Stretching is one of the most overlooked facets of training, especially in males. After a hard workout, it is the last thing on your mind; however, being flexible, regardless of your sport, will help minimize injuries and allow your body to move more efficiently through the specific movements of your sport.
(7) Heart rate. Get to know your body. Track your morning heart rate each day and you will learn volumes about your body. Your heart rate can tell you when you’re getting sick, are overtraining or are fully recovered, and can help direct your day-to-day training.
(8) Sleep. Getting enough sleep is critical. While you are asleep, your body is repairing and rebuilding itself to become better than yesterday. Listen to your body. If you are tired, sleep. Naps are also very beneficial if you can find the time.
(9) Plateau. Plateaus are frustrating. In most cases, it is a result of sameness. You might have a great routine going, but after six weeks, your body adapts to the exercises. Keep your body guessing and you will keep seeing results. Try switching things up every four to six weeks.
(10) Plan. Always have a plan. Plan your week out as much as you can, scheduling the days you train, recover and ride. Write everything down and track your progress. This will keep you on target and give you the ability to look back and see progress or find problematic areas that need attention.