INSIDE SCOOP INTO BUILDING POWER AND IMPROVING SPRINT TIMES
Want a little inside scoop into my training? I’m about to show you a few things that not many trainers/coaches will show you. In this article, I’ll give you some details on a block of training I did and some interesting and measurable results I got. Typically people assume bigger muscles from weight lifting must equal more speed on the bike. Most of the time those people are disappointed in the results. It’s critical that we work on the important things in the gym if we want to see improvements on the bike.
Let’s cut to the chase
This April I conducted a little experiment on myself. I started a new program I developed and wanted to see what kind of results I would get… and if they would do anything for my speed on a BMX bike. At the beginning, I tested vertical jump heights. I would have also tested sprint times right away but the weather in Illinois at that time just wasn’t having it, so I had to wait a week or two before I recorded my sprint times. I also did some testing to find my reactive strength index (more on this later) and establish a baseline of what I will call stiffness.
Below are just some of the tests I look at to help me understand what kind of athlete I’m working with. The performance tests also give me some feedback to let me know if the training we are doing is actually working or not.
So while jumping isn’t pedaling a bike, it is one indicator of performance potential. If you produce more power with the same or less bodyweight, you should jump higher. Pedaling a bike is the same. The goal of any training program is to produce more power while moving the same or less bodyweight.
Average Sprint Results
With the chart above showing my jump results we see the trend rising over time, meaning I’m jumping higher.
On this one, we want to see that trend down meaning it’s taking less time to get from the start to 50′ distance.
Another performance indicator that I tracked was my Reactive Strength Index (RSI). WTF is that you may be asking?! It’s a measure of your ability to create stiffness and use your elastic energy to jump. To test this you need to drop off a box, land and rebound into a maximal effort jump as quickly as possible. The amount of contact time it takes to produce the height of jump is how the RSI is calculated.
Although I said earlier that vertical jump did not necessarily mean you will pedal a bike any faster… If you notice that on my two graphs, as the vertical jump dips, my average sprint times rise. Towards the end where I see a noticeable rise in vertical jump heights, I also see faster 50′ sprint times.
So, maybe vertical jumps and/or our reactive strength index can be correlated to sprint speed…
What was I doing differently to get results?
I focused on improving my reactive stiffness. Reactive stiffness is what many great athletes seem to have. They have an amazing ability to turn on muscles super quick and relax when needed. Think of watching Connor Fields ride a bike or Micheal Jordan drive to the basketball hoop.
In an effort to find my weakness by using some performance tests, I found that my Reactive Strength Index test was pretty below average. Over 3.0 is considered to be elite level in some circles. Mine started out at 1.75 and at the end of my block of training was up to 2.57. During that time my vertical jumps went from approx 15.5″ to 18.5″ and most importantly I dropped around .15 seconds to 50′ or 3/4 of a bike!
My dominant physical trait is the ability to produce Force (brute strength), but unfortunately, not particularly quickly. I found that my isometric transition (the moment where you stop going down to going up into a jump for example) was particularly slow. In sports, you don’t have time to be slow. You need to be efficient in every movement.
I think our reactive strength is one of the big things that often goes untrained, particularly in adults. Usually, adult racers are Force dominant athletes rather than Velocity dominant. They are like a semi truck with a lot of torque. While that pencil thin teenager (Velocity dominant) in the gate can smoke you. He doesn’t weigh much and has the ability to turn on his power very quickly.
You may think that to achieve faster movements, I need to train faster movements right? Well, yeah kinda but you may be surprised to find that what I really focused on during the 5 weeks was moving slowly, or not at all.
I added some eccentric (lowering) controlled exercises followed by some Isometrics (paused). This helped me to train 2 of the 3 actions of a movement. In most any athletic movement there are 3 actions, take a Squat for example: eccentric (down), isometric (transition from down to up), concentric (up).
We train the concentric action all the time. It’s what we focus on in the gym. No one ever asks how much weight you can lower into a Squat. Or how much weight can you isometrically hold for 10 seconds? Many people even train their box jumps by sitting down first and driving from a seated position up (mostly concentric).
But, people are missing out training a huge piece of the puzzle. Did you know that you can eccentrically handle somewhere between 20 – 60% more force than concentrically? Isometrics are also vastly undertrained by athletes. In fact, It’s one of the best ways to get someone strong really quickly.
After building a substantial base of strength in the eccentric and isometric phases, we can now go back and focus on improving our acceleration with a concentric emphasis. As you put all three of these movements together, you will notice a big boost in power off the bike and hopefully on the bike as well.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
My newest project is called MASTERS MOBILITY & SPEED. It is designed for the more seasoned veterans of our sport. Now that I’m in the 36-40 class, I guess it’s for me as well. It’s a program that incorporates the methods I was just talking about earlier to make you fast like you were when you were a teenager.
But that’s not all. We will be including a healthy dose of mobility exercises that are intended to keep your body healthy, flexible, and feeling good. BMX is a very demanding sport. We can not afford to forget about mobility. It doesn’t matter how much power you can produce if your back doesn’t hold up while doing gate starts.
READ BELOW FOR SPECIAL SALE DETAILS!
From now until the end of the month, you can get the program for a special price of $19.95 ($15 off!) by entering – 15off into the promo box at checkout. Oh, and if you want to save more money, sign up for my email newsletter and I will send you a special promo code for $20 off. This price is only good until the end of the month, so HURRY!
WHAT THE PROGRAM INCLUDES
With this digital download, you will receive a PDF that includes a Program Manual, 3 Month Gym Training Plan, and as a bonus – 3 home body weight Mobility Flow workouts.
Your Program Manual will walk you through how to read the workout, terms, choosing proper weights, equipment, etc. Read this first as it will answer many of the frequently asked questions.
There is a completely done for you 3-month gym training program with coaching comments, and full videos of each exercise. You will be coached up on the finer points of all the warm ups, plyometrics, speed training, strength, and restorative exercises.
As a bonus, you will also receive 3 months of home, body weight Mobility Flow workouts. These are the perfect way to recover from a workout or hard day at the track. It’s also one of the best ways to improve mobility and challenge your endurance without taxing your body. These quick workouts can be great for the busy person that just wants to get in a quick workout for the day.
Your program will include a follow along coaching video of each level of Mobility Workout. You can also click on each exercise and get a brief coaching video of the individual exercises.
Also, I have set up a private Facebook coaching group where you and others can ask me questions, share videos, and check out exclusive training tips just for the people that purchased Masters Mobility & Speed!
DO NOT WAIT!
As we age, mobility and speed are becoming more and more difficult to improve. If you sit around and do nothing you should expect to continue losing both of these. If you get started now, you can maintain and even improve your levels of mobility and athleticism! Coupled with track time, this is an amazing BMX training plan for anyone over 30!
STILL NOT SURE?
I understand that buying things off the internet can be sketchy at times. I want to assure you that you will be satisfied with your purchase. If you check it out Masters Mobility & Speed and it isn’t helping you, just email me within 30 days and I will return your money. It’s that simple.
- 3 Month Gym Program
- 3 Month Home Program
- Access to the Private Facebook Coaching page
- Over 60 videos
- 30 Day money back guarantee