Basic Cardio Training

A lot of people have been mailing me lately and asking what they can do to improve themselves for MX or Enduro riding. Most of them are the novice to Intermediate rider with little or no training experience. What I will do now in 2 articles is give you a basic outline on what to do in order to improve your cardiovascular system, lose some weight and increase your muscle endurance.

1st off on the cardio side I suggest that you all go spinning 2 -3 times a week at the gym. Some of you might be asking  “What the heck is spinning?”  Spinning is basically indoor cycling, it was designed by a South African (who else) who started cycling indoors when he couldn’t train outside in the rain. Not only is it a good cardio workout it is also a comprehensive, mental and physical training program – the original indoor cycling program.  Spinning classes combine a foundation of basic cycling movements with motivational coaching techniques, breathing awareness and heart rate training.  Participants burn an average of 500 calories in 40 minutes of non-impact, individually-paced cardiovascular exercise.  Inspirational music and an energized environment ensure a fun, safe and effective journey for participants of all ages and fitness levels.  A spinning workout offers the best of both worlds, enabling you to go at your own pace, but still enjoy the energy and camaraderie of a group workout.  This is particularly important when so many people are restricted from riding due to weather, traffic and safety concerns.

The benefits of spinning related to training for MX and SX?  Benefits you will notice when you start spinning will include improved cardiovascular endurance and leg strength.  In addition, with most peoples limited training time spinning twice a week will make a tremendous difference in your ability to maintain conditioning.  This is because spinning is sport specific to MX training.  The different exercises performed in a spinning class simulate many of the activities performed while practicing or racing.  Spinning is also time efficient and can be worked into anyone’s busy schedule.  The classes range from 30 to 60 minutes, and going only twice a week is enough to reap the benefits.

If you are new to spinning, there are a few things you should know before your first class.  There are a few essential items you will need to bring with you: 1.) a towel, because you are guaranteed to work up a good sweat; 2.) a water bottle full of water or your favorite sports drink; and 3.) possibly cycling shorts.  I suggest trying a few classes to evaluate the need for cycling shorts.

Proper nutrition and hydration are very important if you are going to add spinning to your training regiment.  Most spinning workouts burn an average of 500 calories, so it is essential that you take in the proper amounts of proteins, fats and carbohydrates throughout the day.  It is even more important to keep hydrated throughout the day because of the amount of water lost during your workout through sweat.  Make sure you have enough water to last through the class and drink plenty of water after as well.

Spinning is also an excellent way of losing extra Kg’s if that is your motivation for training.  Bicycle racers in the Tour de France burn an average of 6,000-10,000 calories a day.  When the race is grinding through the mountains, riders can burn up to 10,000 calories!  Whether you’re outdoors or indoors on a spinning bike, you can harness the fat-burning potential of cycling.

No matter if your goal is to shed some extra pounds or to get in the best shape of your life, you should prepare to improve.  If you are serious about losing weight or reaching your full potential as a rider, the following workout, geared for any level of experience, will burn between 500 and 800 calories an hour and depending on how hard you want to work, prepare you for any level of MX.  So, grab a stopwatch and hit this workout three times a week and watch as not only those extra kg’s melt away but your lap times as well.

I hope this helps you all out there and good luck.

Until Next time, Hang Cable!



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