Great fitness off bike and very poor on bike

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10/12/2019 3:15 AM

I do a lot of fitness off the bike. My fitness consists of lots of cycling, running, gym. I cycle 4 times a week and gym 2 times a week. I also add in balance and the general flexibility training. I have great fitness off the bike I can run for miles. My issue is soon as I throw a leg onto the bike. Shattered within 2 laps and bad arm pump. How should I approach this?

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10/12/2019 3:24 AM

A couple things may be cause:
1) poor riding technique
2) you’re trying to ride too fast
3) not enough seat time.
I place them in this order of importance. Technique is everything in this sport and it’s easy to throw it out the window when you’re on the track.

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10/12/2019 3:45 AM

Jackyy231 wrote:

I do a lot of fitness off the bike. My fitness consists of lots of cycling, running, gym. I cycle 4 times a week and gym 2 times a week. I also add in balance and the general flexibility training. I have great fitness off the bike I can run for miles. My issue is soon as I throw a leg onto the bike. Shattered within 2 laps and bad arm pump. How should I approach this?

I don't think anything you can do at the gym that replicates riding and will help remedy arm pump. More hours on the bike will definitely help.

First off I would take a few warm-up laps versus hitting it from the beginning. Try standing up more and use your legs to grip the bike. When I'm sitting down the arm pump comes on faster. I also avoid arm pump by properly breathing deep breaths. you'll be surprised that you're taking super shallow breaths while riding and what a difference it makes by taking deep breaths.

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10/12/2019 4:16 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/12/2019 4:19 AM

It always amazes me how everyone thinks gym fitness applies to motorcycle fitness. I have seen guys train in a gum for months and months and as soon as they get on the bike. They get slammed with a big shock that they cannot go out and run 10 minutes..

For most non pro riders. The only training you need to be doing is laps on the bike. Start by skipping the gym and put an hour a day on the bike or burn 5 or 10 gallon a gas a week.

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10/12/2019 4:30 AM

zippytech wrote:

It always amazes me how everyone thinks gym fitness applies to motorcycle fitness. I have seen guys train in a gum for months and months and as soon as they get on the bike. They get slammed with a big shock that they cannot go out and run 10 minutes..

For most non pro riders. The only training you need to be doing is laps on the bike. Start by skipping the gym and put an hour a day on the bike or burn 5 or 10 gallon a gas a week.

Well said. It's good to have some sort of base fitness but it still can't replace time on the bike.
If he did 2 days of cycling and 1 day of gym he'd still have enough base fitness.
Also what the others said: proper technique. You need to be efficient with your energy.

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10/12/2019 4:31 AM

Riding technique. Try to ride loose and squeeze with your legs

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10/12/2019 4:32 AM

I taught Dirt Bike School. In the morning introductions I talk about how riding may seem non-physical from the outside, but it can be very much so, and it will use muscles you normally don't use in that way. I had an adult student a while back who was a gym rat, and I saw him roll his eyes when I said that.

After about 2 minutes of teaching standing to ride, (standing on the pegs, riding in big circles on flat ground), he pulls in and says "Dude, I need to do more squats!"

No, you need to ride more.

Different muscles. Using different muscles will affect your cardio, too.

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10/12/2019 4:51 AM

Seatime > gym time.

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10/12/2019 5:06 AM

I'm certainly no MC or Aldon Baker, but ride, ride, ride. I train for triathlons. Just got back on the bike after a few years off, because my son is finally old enough to ride. I was gassed after a couple laps and my forearm felt like it was going to burst lol. It was embarrassing. Just no substitute for having your ass on the seat.

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10/12/2019 5:25 AM

Try to relax, don’t death grip the bars. Relax your grip on jumps , use your legs. Fear stops your breathing , try running in a busy freeway. That’s what mx is like.

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10/12/2019 5:43 AM

You have to ride yourself in shape.

Also its good to be strong in addition to good cardio health. From the sounds of it you do more cardio than heavy squats and deadlifts.

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10/12/2019 5:56 AM

I know I have to tell myself to take it easy the first few minutes of a GP. I like to go out blazing and can pump up bad if I do.

I like decent balance of gym and seat time. Gym 2-3 days a week, ride 1-2 times a week, ice hockey once a week. Race once a month.

Also suspension set up. I’ve played around with it to find a setting I like that keeps the arm pump down While trying to focus on loosening my grip on the bars, standing more, and overall technique.

My practice days have consisted of two laps standing and two laps normal. Back and fourth. It’s helped a lot I’m starting to prefer standing a lot more. It’s also helping with gripping with the legs and loosening my grip.

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10/12/2019 6:07 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/12/2019 6:07 AM

I am not an expert at all ; i just think that these off bike trainings are great to build a base but in term of cardio, there are not many sports that put your body in the red zone between 160 to 200 beat per minute, and it would be super unhealthy to be in this zone all the time. Half if not more of your off bike training can become "fractionated training", i think it is the only way to improve that a bit, full speed, a bit of recovery, full speed, recovery, and so on ; otherwise it is more a training for enduro where your heat beat is more between 120 to 150 during many hours. Then of course technique, not over attacking, and seat time to avoid arm pump, nothing really replace seat time. Good luck !

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10/12/2019 6:13 AM

Alot is riding technique, like said before, try to relax, work on regrip and over grip for throttle and braking, dont forget to breathe, I know when I go out and ride and I get arm pump it registers with me that my technique is off and position, grip with knees, elbows up and look ahead, I still tell my self the basics when I ride, also seems to help if I breathe through my nose and mouth.

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10/12/2019 6:16 AM

No time like seat time. Although I will say I have a buddy that rides(or doesn’t ride) about as much as me. We both lift, but I also do a lot of running. When we do go ride I can ride a lot longer than him. So it’s not all for nothing. But compared to someone who rides all the time I don’t measure up endurance wise.

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10/12/2019 6:20 AM

I noticed for me that doing a lot of arm exercises at the gym truly hurt my ability to hang on to the handlebars when I ride. Cardio has always been good for me but doing all the curls/extensions really was a disadvantage for my riding. I don’t know if it was just muscle memory that I wanted to grip the bars like a dumbbell/bar

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10/12/2019 6:29 AM

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10/12/2019 6:43 AM

JWalkowiak951 wrote:

I noticed for me that doing a lot of arm exercises at the gym truly hurt my ability to hang on to the handlebars when I ride. Cardio has always been good for me but doing all the curls/extensions really was a disadvantage for my riding. I don’t know if it was just muscle memory that I wanted to grip the bars like a dumbbell/bar

That makes sense really. A curl has little to no cross over in moto.

Stand on the balls of your feet, knees bent, back about a 45 degree like and aggressive position on the bike. Use those same dumb bells or bar and pull to chest about grip length apart. You are still targeting the same muscles but in a conditioning way relating to moto. Moto gym training really is the opposite of "vanity gym training".

I enjoy gym work, it helps me in my job and in life. But I focus it to help me on my bike as well.

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10/12/2019 7:04 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/12/2019 7:04 AM

Jackyy231 wrote:

I do a lot of fitness off the bike. My fitness consists of lots of cycling, running, gym. I cycle 4 times a week and gym 2 times a week. I also add in balance and the general flexibility training. I have great fitness off the bike I can run for miles. My issue is soon as I throw a leg onto the bike. Shattered within 2 laps and bad arm pump. How should I approach this?

I agree with all of the recommendations for technique, but there is something else that I haven't seen anyone mention,

Breathing. Focus on breathing when you are riding. If you are holding your breath or not breathing deep enough, you will go upside down cardio wise after a lap. I always remind myself to breath over the jumps and it helps.

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10/12/2019 7:07 AM

JWalkowiak951 wrote:

I noticed for me that doing a lot of arm exercises at the gym truly hurt my ability to hang on to the handlebars when I ride. Cardio has always been good for me but doing all the curls/extensions really was a disadvantage for my riding. I don’t know if it was just muscle memory that I wanted to grip the bars like a dumbbell/bar

Markee wrote:

That makes sense really. A curl has little to no cross over in moto.

Stand on the balls of your feet, knees bent, back about a 45 degree like and aggressive position on the bike. Use those same dumb bells or bar and pull to chest about grip length apart. You are still targeting the same muscles but in a conditioning way relating to moto. Moto gym training really is the opposite of "vanity gym training".

I enjoy gym work, it helps me in my job and in life. But I focus it to help me on my bike as well.

Do high rep curls. Like 3 sets of 30. That helps tremendously. People think 3 sets of 12 is considered high rep-it’s not.

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10/12/2019 7:24 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/12/2019 7:34 AM

You can also try to get a good warm up in before you ride . I do 30 to 40 pushups about 20 minutes or so before I ride and I think it makes a huge difference. This has helped with arm pump immensely

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10/12/2019 7:30 AM

Sounds like you have a great fitness foundation---I live in an area (rough winters) and have a job that prohibits riding 4 days a week but the "gym exercise" that my trainer and I found that's closest to replicating racing was doing moto's with 50' Battle ropes while doing body weight squats. Its a lot more difficult than it sounds and works just about the same muscles as riding. We started by doing 60 seconds on , 60 seconds off, to failure. and as I got stronger we upped the time and added the squats . It really helps cardio, arms, wrists,grip, shoulder/chest /back , obviously quads and really helped with balance training as well. It blasts you're heart rate while on and then gives you a short recovery time. All very similar to racing. Try it. May work for you too

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10/12/2019 7:50 AM

1. Make sure you have good technique (watch rynos videos)
2. Ride more
Eliud Kipchoge would be spent after 10minutes, no matter how fast he can run a marathon.

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10/12/2019 8:13 AM

Concept2 rower

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10/12/2019 8:26 AM

cody41 wrote:

A couple things may be cause:
1) poor riding technique
2) you’re trying to ride too fast
3) not enough seat time.
I place them in this order of importance. Technique is everything in this sport and it’s easy to throw it out the window when you’re on the track.

I would put 1 even with 3. If you ride enough, the bike becomes a second home and you can ride a lot longer because you’re relaxed.

When I was in college I rode 3-5 times per week. Before and since then I’ve been in much better physical condition at times, yet could never match the length of time I could ride before getting tired. I could also go full tilt with comfort after one sight in lap.

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10/12/2019 8:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/12/2019 8:29 AM

Watch Some Ryan Hughes videos on YouTube!
=Problem solved

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10/12/2019 8:34 AM

Struggled with the same issue. Gym 6-7 days. Get on the bike, was spent after 2-3 laps. The more I rode, not just worrying about how fast I tried to go, was never going to be fast just loved to ride, helped with muscle memory and the focus on longer seat time during a riding session. Even if it went from rolling the bigger jumps, just pushing a few more extra laps. Along with changing my diet helped a ton. Just purchased a concept 2 rower can’t wait to see where that take me on the track as well.

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10/12/2019 8:37 AM

Do 2-3 sets, 10 min each, 2x a week with a posthole digger and a T-stake driver. its how I start my moto Spring training since it’s really hard to get seat time in the PNW over the winter. Concept 2 and HIIT are my other 2 workouts. I don’t get arm pump except a bit during my first session of the ride day. Then I’m good.

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10/12/2019 9:02 AM

You're not squeezing the bike with your legs. Try riding and concentrating on just that and I bet you go more than two laps. Your arms are writing checks that only your legs can cash.

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10/12/2019 9:56 AM

Jackyy231 wrote:

I do a lot of fitness off the bike. My fitness consists of lots of cycling, running, gym. I cycle 4 times a week and gym 2 times a week. I also add in balance and the general flexibility training. I have great fitness off the bike I can run for miles. My issue is soon as I throw a leg onto the bike. Shattered within 2 laps and bad arm pump. How should I approach this?

Is the issue just armpump?

And for a hard packed track you just need cardio fitness. Zone 2,4,5. You need all of them.

And it is no problem doing off bike cardio and gym to get you to a close elite level, or for your level to get better fitness then guys riding 4-7 days a week.

Doing Moto only is not a good way of getting optimal fitness, not even for moto itself since it is solely zone 5, or some zone 4 which creates a lot of stress on your system.

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