"Don't simply outdo the competition, blow them away!"
Prepare well, do a good warming-up (light running/bicycling), when you start to sweat do stretching exercises. A good warming up prevents you to get juries and your body can deliver better results when warmed up. Most people do forget this, but a cooling down is just as essential as a warming-up.
By far the most important form of exercise is riding your bicycle. Obviously, riding develops the exact muscle and reactions required with the tremendous added benefit being, you are not only exercising bur practicing technique as well. It is very important to ride ones bike as much as possible. This allows you to learn to anticipate every move of your BMX bike. Reactions should become automatic and you should strive for the point where you will have complete control over you bicycle. Constant riding is the only way of getting your body in shape.
However, If you are an average rider, pizza eating, beer drinking, television watching shape, then riding by itself will not be enough as well to get you in the kind of shape that is requires at top level in BMX nowadays. Even top riders above average will reach a point where improvement by just riding ones bike is not possible anymore. Then you have to OVERLOAD (and that's what physical training in fact is) and that is were an additional training program comes in. More on this later on 4 a, b etc...
The best way to get in good shape and to enjoy yourself at the same time, in my opinion is, to play other sports. It is the approach that I advice and I think it is much more in keeping with human nature. For most people, the habit of spending a few hours several times a week playing a sport will be easy to establish and stay with. Any active sport that builds endurance and strengthens your legs is good training for BMX. Think of basketball, soccer, road bicycling, mountain biking, cross country skiing, tennis even table tennis and similar sports are excellent. Just be certain to play them vigorously because the emphasis should be on sustained exertion. Handball is especially good. It can be played year round, requires only two people, is extremely strenuous and is also a lot of fun. In addition to physical exertion involved, handball is a game that sharpens reflexes, timing and balance exactly the factors involved in BMX.
Those who want to undertake a very regimented training program can of course do so. Such a program is a fine exercise and will get you into shape in short order (for instance in 12 weeks). More about this kind of training programs you will find attached in section 4 a, b etc.
No matter what type of program you finally choose, regularly exercise with the same people. By doing so, you ensure that when you might not be up for working out, there will be someone to pressure you into sticking to your program. In Holland we do have several clubs that have special off-season indoor and outdoor training programs, that's an advantage.
In BMX concentration is very important. The ability to concentrate 100% in you riding must be developed to be successful. Several riders seem to have trouble with concentration. They ride around worrying about looking impressive or wondering where their girl friend is standing or dwelling on how fast/slow the they are. That will not do. If your not 100% concentrated on the track, someone else will be and he will beat you. It is as simple as that.
There are some riders, however, who get the distraction out of their mind but do not stop there. They do over-concentrate. The impulse that determines his riding seems to come straight from his gonads and go directly to his legs, completely bypassing the brain. You will see him only the first half of the track, want to break every law of physics and gravity until he finally self-destructs.
In BMX as in almost everything else, the single most important rule is THINK.
GENERAL ADVICES (coaching):
- Work and relief ratio! You can train as much as you want, if you want to have a good result, an equal amount of REST is essential. You must rest at an equal amount. Don't' go to bed at midnight after a hard day of training.
- Thinking of QUITING is a mental thing (its a "between the ears" thing, in the brain). You can do more then you think you can!
- Always keep in mind, you train for yourself and nobody else.
- If you want to loose weight (burn vet), do exercises for at least 20 minutes constantly at a low intensity (heartbeat below 115/120 per minute).
- Training must become a daily routine.
- If you do train early in the morning, that will give you energy throughout the day as well.
- Relaxing is just as important as training. Learn to "listen" to your body.
- Always do a warming up before and... a cooling down after any training session. This is the most neglected part of training, but very important!
- Mental attitude: before the start of a race, knowing you have prepared yourself 100%,
never think: WILL I be out of the gate first and in the first turn leading?
but think: I WILL be at of the gate first and I WILL be leading everybody into the first corner and win this race!
This section will be updated from time to time as well.