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Coach Robb is a human performance expert that helps amatuer and pro-level riders perform their best, focusing on diet, fitness, and mental conditioning.

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Eliminate Arm Pump - Part 1 (Establish Optimum Range of Motion & Strength): Quads, Hamstrings, Calves

A few weeks back, I published a video about Arm Pump and received a tremendous amount of emails questions along with some comments posted here on TT. As promised, I have put together a six part series of videos to help you eliminate arm pump during riding and racing. If you watched my Arm Pump video ( if you haven't seen it yet), you understand that my experience with arm pump is associated with bad body position. Specifically, if your center point (i.e. belly button) falls behind the pegs, the only muscles left to hand onto the bike is your forearm muscles. To keep this from happening, you need to grip and move the bike around with your legs, glutes (butt muscles), core muscles and lower back verses your arms (specifically your forearms). This week we will look at the lower body muscles (front and back): Pre-Exercise Foam Rolling With this in mind, please and implement 5-10 minutes of these lower body foam roller exercises PRIOR to warming up with some low intensity cardio for 10 minutes (Concept 2 rower, Bicycle, Treadmill, Elliptical, etc.). Note: you can use a foam roller, tennis ball, lacrosse ball, etc. Leg Specific Strength Exercises and choose four (4) of the leg exercises. 2 to 3 sets - 10-15 Repetitions - 30 second rest Two to the front and two to the back of your legs. This will create muscular balance and help eliminate knee pain. Cardio Challenge - Lower Leg specific Complete 3 x 30 seconds of a Star ( for an instructional Video). and learn how the Star exercise is relative to riding a motorcycle. Post Exercise - Single Leg Stretches and spend 10 minutes completing these seven single leg exercises to improve your flexibility. Strive to implement this series of exercises three times a week. If you would like to review how we implement strength training with riding and other cross training exercises, please click here to reach our Customer Service department and request "Sample Training Overview". Next week we will discuss and break down your core and lower back. Until next time, Train Smart, Not Hard! Yours in sport and health, -Coach Robb If you would like to follow my blog, please click the "Follow this Blog" button in the upper right.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Eliminate Arm Pump - Part 2 (Establish Optimum Range of Motion & Strength): Glutes, Lower Back & Core)

Here is part two of a six part series of videos to help you eliminate arm pump during riding and racing. If you watched my Arm Pump video ( if you haven't seen it yet), you understand that my experience with arm pump is associated with bad body position. Specifically, if your center point (i.e. belly button) falls behind the pegs, the only muscles left to hand onto the bike is your forearm muscles. To keep this from happening, you need to grip and move the bike around with your legs, glutes (butt muscles), core muscles and lower back verses your arms (specifically your forearms). This week we will look at the glutes (your butt muscles), lower back and core (abdominal muscles) to help improve your strength and endurance on the motorcycle to maintain the proper body position and keep the load off of your arms and onto bigger and stronger muscles. Pre-Exercise Foam Rolling As mentioned in Part 1, please and implement 5-10 minutes of these lower body foam roller exercises PRIOR to warming up with some low intensity cardio for 10 minutes (Concept 2 rower, Bicycle, Treadmill, Elliptical, etc.). Note: you can use a foam roller, tennis ball, lacrosse ball, etc. Glutes, Lower Back and Core Specific Strength Exercises for a complete list of Glutes, Lower Back and Core specific exercises to choose from. Choose four (4) exercises per body part: Glutes, Lower Back and Core Complete 2 to 3 sets and 10-15 Repetitions with 30 seconds of rest in between each exercise. Cardio Challenge Complete 3 x 30 seconds of a Jump Rope ( for an instructional Video). and learn how the Jump Rope exercise is relative to riding a motorcycle. Post Exercise Flexibility and spend 10 minutes completing two to four exercises specific to your glutes, lower back and core to improve your flexibility. Strive to implement this series of exercises three times a week. If you would like to review how we implement strength training with riding and other cross training exercises, please Click Here to reach our Customer Service department and request "Sample Training Overview". Next week we will discuss and break down your Shoulders, Chest and Neck and how they relate to proper body position on the bike. Until next time, Train Smart, Not Hard! Yours in sport and health, -Coach Robb If you would like to follow my blog, please click the "Follow this Blog" button in the upper right.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Reduce Your Body Fat to Improve your Speed & Endurance (Part 1)

It isn’t a secret that there is an optimum strength to weight ratio when it comes to going fast on a motorcycle; however, getting to your ideal weight (percentage of lean muscle & body fat) where you have both strength & endurance is the key to your success. Most riders & racers, when they attempt to lose body fat, end up tearing down muscle for energy which results in a lighter number on the scale, but a significant reduction in overall body strength, along with reduced levels of speed & endurance on the bike.   In my opinion, when it comes to losing body fat long term, you must first stabilize your blood sugar levels and satisfy your appetite. There are only two things that satisfy appetite: fat and protein. Protein plays a significant role with building new muscle and supporting your immune system. Fat plays a major role in vitamin & mineral regulation, protection of internal organs, etc.   Below is a Clean Eating Challenge that I believe is a great tool to implement every three months throughout the year. This Clean Eating Challenge is designed to help stabilize your blood sugar levels with real food & determine your sensitivities associated with carbohydrates (a medical symptom referred to as carbohydrate intolerant-CI).   Coach Robb’s Clean Eating Challenge
CI is a common problem in many populations and the diseases associated with this condition are reaching epidemic proportions. This challenge, created by Dr. Maffetone, helps you identify if you experience common symptoms of CI including: sleepiness after meals, intestinal bloating, increased body fat, fatigue and others. Here is an outline of the various stages associated with CI:   Early stages of CI include elusive problems associated with blood-sugar handling, such as fatigue, intestinal bloating and loss of concentration.   Middle stages include a more serious conditions including hypertension, elevations of LDL, lowering of HDL, elevated triglycerides, excess body fat and often obesity.   Long term CI manifests itself as various diseases, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease.   Final stages include a condition referred to as Metabolic Syndrome. This stage is includes disorders such as: hyperinsulinemia, Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity, Polycystic ovary, Stroke, Breast Cancer, Coronary Heart Disease, High Blood Cholesterol and Triglycerides.   Please note, CI is an individual one, affecting different people in different ways. The key to avoiding disease is to be aware of CI in its earliest stage and to make the appropriate diet and lifestyle changes. The following are some common complaints that occur immediately after eating a meal or for others remain a constant symptom or feeling.   STEP ONE
Prior to beginning this challenge, evaluate if you experience any of the following (check the box if applicable so that you can reference if the symptom(s) still persist after completing the two week Clean Eating Challenge):   Physical Fatigue: Overall feeling of fatigue; morning through lunch or even all day.   Mental Fatigue: Inability to concentrate; loss of creativity, poor memory, poor grades, various forms of “learning disabilities”. This is more pronounced immediately after a meal or if a meal is delayed or missed.   Blood Sugar Handling Issues:
Fluctuations in blood sugar are normal during the day, but are amplified if meals are not eaten on a regular schedule.
Feeling jittery, agitated and/or moody (symptoms that immediately subside once food is consumed).
Craving for simple sugars, chocolate or caffeine; bouts of dizziness.   Intestinal Bloating:
Suffer from excessive gas; antacids or other remedies are not successful in dealing with the gas levels.
Gas tends to be worse later in the day and into the night.  
Sleepiness:
Feel sleepy immediately after meals containing carbohydrates, particularly a pasta meal or a meal that contains
bread, potatoes or dessert.   Increased fat storages & weight:
For most individuals, too much weight is too much fat. In males, abdominal fat is more evident and in females it is
more prominent in the upper body, upper thighs and in the face.   Increased triglycerides:
High triglycerides are not only found in overweight individuals. Individuals with high triglycerides are the direct result
of carbohydrates from the diet being converted by insulin into fat.   High Blood Pressure:
Most individuals dealing with hypertension produce too much insulin and as a result are carbohydrate intolerant. For
some, sodium sensitivity is common and eating too much sodium causes water retention along with elevated blood
pressure.   Depression:
Because carbohydrate adversely affect the levels of neurotransmitters made in the brain, feelings of depression
and/or sleepiness can result. Sugar has been promoted as if it is a stimulate, but in actuality, has the opposite effect.   Addiction:
Individuals who are addicted to alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes or other drugs often have many of the above mentioned
symptoms.   STEP TWO
Send me your email and I will send you a copy of my MotoE Body Measurement Spreadsheet. When you receive the file, double click on the attachment and print. You will want to capture these numbers prior to completing the Clean Eating Challenge. to watch a video on how to correctly capture your body measurements for accuracy.   STEP THREE
Purge (throw away – don’t give it to anyone, they don’t need it either!) your cabinets and refrigerator of the following:
- Breads, rolls, pasta, pancakes, cereal, muffins, chips, crackers and rice cakes
- Sweets and products that contain sugar such as ketchup, honey, etc. (read the labels to ensure there is no sugar)
- Fruit juice
- Processed meats that contain sugar
- Fat Free, Skim & 2% Milk, half and half
- Fat Free or Low Fat Yogurt & Ice Cream
- Energy Bars and Energy Drinks that contain fructose
- All soda, including diet
- Alcohol, except dry wines   STEP FOUR
Time to go shopping to stock up with what you will need to get this challenge under way!   Few considerations:
Note: don’t consume anything on this list without prior approval from your doctor-NO EXCEPTIONS!
- Plan ahead so that you are never without sufficient food
- Avoid becoming hungry – unlimited amounts of food are available to you, eat every 2 hours
- Don’t focus on the volume of food you are consuming – just eat
- Take the time to chew your food completely – this will aid in the digestion and absorption of your food
- Consume enough vegetables (at least 6 servings per day) to maintain fiber intake (and avoid constipation)
- Drink cold filtered water at a rate of .5 ounces per pound of body weight
For Example: 150 pounds x .5 ounces = 75 ounces per day   Food you can eat in unlimited amounts:
- Smoothies made with real fruits and vegetables
- Steamed or raw vegetables (avoid white potatoes and corn) – organic ideally
- Fresh fruit - organic ideally
- Nuts and seeds – organic and free of any oils and salt
- Almond butter – organic ideally
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Whole fat mayonnaise
- Whole eggs
- Non American yellow cheese – look for hard cheeses like Swiss, Provolone, etc.
- Meats (beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, etc.) – free range and sugar free (read the label here!)
- Fresh Fish (cold water Atlantic) – salmon, sardines, albacore white tuna (nothing out of a can)
- Fresh Shellfish
- Tofu
- Mustard (as long as there isn’t any sugar added)   Helpful Suggestions:
Eggs
- Omelets: any combination of vegetables, meats and cheeses
- Scrambled with guacamole, sour cream and salsa
- Scrambled with a scoop of ricotta or cottage cheese and tomato sauce
- Boiled or poached with spinach or asparagus   Salads
- Chef-leaf lettuce, meats, cheese, eggs
- Spinach-with bacon & eggs
- Caesar-romaine lettuce, eggs & parmesan cheese
- Any salad with chicken, tuna, shrimp or other meat and/or cheese   Salad Dressings
- Extra-virgin olive oil & vinegar with sea salt and spices
- Creamy-heavy cream, mayonnaise, garlic and spices   Fish and Meats
- Pot roast cooked with onions, carrots and celery
- Roasted chicken
- Chili made with fresh meat, and a variety of vegetables such as diced onions, celery, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and spices
- Steak and eggs
- Fish (not fried) with any variety of steamed vegetables
- Tuna melt on a bed of broccoli or asparagus   Snacks
- Celery stuffed with nut butter or cream cheese
- Guacamole with vegetable sticks for dipping
- Hard boiled eggs   Supplementation
Whey Protein
Fish Oil
Branched Chain Amino Acids   STEP FOUR
Time to eat and train! As mentioned above, eat every two hours (even if you are not hungry). During the next two weeks, keep all of your workouts aerobic, which means eliminating any and all weight lifting (it is anaerobic by nature) and any strenuous workouts (above Heart Rate Zone #2).   What to expect during the first week: If you have been eating lots of sweets or other carbohydrates, you may experience cravings for sugar for the first few days. You may experience a headache associated with withdraws – strive to use & to relax the muscles in the neck and upper shoulders. You may find yourself falling off of the program, not because you intend to, but rather due to the realization that processed foods are everywhere. If you eat something that is not “approved” you need to start over and this is ok!
  STEP FIVE
Stay consistent with both your food and aerobic training. Maintain a food intake log along with a detailed training log, specifically mental clarity, energy levels, average and max heart rate with each workout.   Over the next two weeks you will capture a better snap shot of your eating and how it reflects on your health, wellness & performance. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or need anything clarified.
-Coach Robb   Coach Robb has been working with riders and racers since 1987 and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance System, the Mental Blueprint of Success, the MotoE Amateur Development Program, the MotoE Educational Series and Nutritionally Green Supplements based out of Orlando Florida.   CompleteRacingSolutions.com is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages. Visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com & subscribe to his bi-monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used by Factory KTM/Red Bull’s Ryan Dungey, multi-time Loretta Lynn’s & Mini O Champion’s Jordan Bailey (Factory Monster Energy/Kawasaki), Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo and Loretta Lynn’s Champion, Gracie VanHorn, GNCC bike racers Charlie Mullins and Chris Bach, and GNCC Quad racer Roman Brown along with thousands of riders all around the world.   Instructional videos with Coach Robb can be found on the Coach Robb’s Youtube Channel addressing rider’s questions about speed, endurance, strength, nutrition, biomechanics, stretching, and soft tissue maintenance. Please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com to subscribe to his bi-newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him socially on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb & Facebook: Coach Robb.   In addition to his own newsletters, Coach Robb is a regular contributor to various websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Don't Stretch Prior to Exercise

I posted another video that I did back during the summer about this subject and it created quite a disturbance with a few of you! Please watch this slightly more detailed video about the importance of a warm up prior to exercise. I am confused why some think that this concept is BS? When you think about how the body protects itself (keeping the majority of the blood in around the heart and spine while resting) why does sport specific exercise at a low intensity prior to a workout so far fetched? If you try to bend anything that is cold, it is more prone to snapping - think about this. To test the stretch reflex that I am discussing put your right leg up on a chair and lock your knee out and bend over and try to touch your toes. When you feel that "strain" behind your knee you will understand the stretch reflex. When you add sport specific movement, the muscle tissue warms up (because of friction), the blood vessels open up and the muscle's is more receptive to stretching and increasing it's range of motion. When you watch professional athletes stretch, they don't stretch until they have implemented some sport specific and/or dynamic movements first. Please post any thoughts - concerns or questions that you may have regarding this topic. I picked up injured athletes from other coaches who "stretched prior to exercise" and actually tore the tissue they were striving to lengthen - and I don't want this to happen to you! I have been doing this type of work for 29 years and have never had someone become injured from stretching when they preceded stretching with sport specific exercise, dynamic movements and foam rolling. Yours in sport and health, -Coach Robb If you would like to follow my blog, please click the "Follow this Blog" button in the upper right.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Eliminate Arm Pump – Part 3 (Establish Optimum Range of Motion & Strength: Shoulders, Chest and Neck

Here is part three of a six part series of videos to help you eliminate arm pump during riding and racing. If you watched my Arm Pump video ( if you haven't seen it yet), you understand that my experience with arm pump is associated with bad body position. Specifically, if your center point (i.e. belly button) falls behind the pegs, the only muscles left to hand onto the bike is your forearm muscles. To keep this from happening, you need to grip and move the bike with every muscle possible to keep the load levels off of your forearms. This week we will look at the Shoulders, Chest and Neck to help improve your strength and endurance on the motorcycle to maintain the proper body position and keep the load off of your arms and onto bigger and stronger muscles. Pre-Exercise Foam Rolling As mentioned in Part 1, please and implement 5-10 minutes of these lower body foam roller exercises PRIOR to warming up with some low intensity cardio for 10 minutes (Concept 2 rower, Bicycle, Treadmill, Elliptical, etc.). Shoulders, Chest and Neck Specific Strength Exercises for a complete list of Shoulders, Chest and Neck specific exercises to choose from. Choose four (4) exercises per body part: Shoulders, Chest and Neck Complete 2 to 3 sets and 10-15 Repetitions with 30 seconds of rest in between each exercise. Cardio Challenge Complete 3 x 30 seconds of a Military Spiders ( for an instructional Video). Post Exercise Flexibility and spend 10 minutes completing two to four exercises specific to your Shoulders, Chest and Neck to improve your flexibility. Strive to implement this series of exercises three times a week. If you would like to review how we implement strength training with riding and other cross training exercises, please Click Here to reach our Customer Service department and request "Sample Training Overview". The next article will discuss and breakdown how proper cardio training can improve your body position on the bike keeping your heart rate low and resulting in better endurance and the elimination of arm pump. Until next time, Train Smart, Not Hard! Yours in sport and health, -Coach Robb If you would like to follow my blog, please click the "Follow this Blog" button in the upper right.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

15 Simple Foods to Fuel Your Workouts and Races

When it comes to getting faster and having better endurance, nothing creates more confusion than what to eat and when. I receive close to three hundred emails a day, and I would say that 25% of them pertain to nutrition and hydration. With the internet being the go to source for most everyone, the conflicting claims about carbs, protein and fat have left most people frustrated.   As stated by Liz Applegate, Ph.D “most supermarkets stock more than 30,000 items, yet every time we race up and down the aisles of the grocery store, we toss into our carts the same 10 to 15 foods. Which isn't such a bad thing, as long as you're taking home the right foods -- ones that will build muscle, burn fat and fuel your workouts. These 15 foods fit the bill -- add these to your must-buy list:”   Almonds These are an excellent source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that many of us fall short on because there are so few good food sources of it. And the form of vitamin E found in the nuts, called gamma-tocopherol (a form not typically found in supplements), may also help protect against cancer.   Eggs One egg fulfills about 10 percent of your daily protein needs. Egg protein is the most complete food protein short of human breast milk, which means the protein in eggs contains all the crucial amino acids your hard-working muscles need to promote recovery.   Sweet Potatoes Just a single 100-calorie sweet potato supplies over 250 percent of the DV for vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, the powerful antioxidant. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, iron, and the two trace minerals manganese and copper.   Whole-Grain Cereal with Protein Look for whole-grain cereals that offer at least five grams of fiber and at least eight grams of protein. If you pour on a cup of milk or soymilk, you'll get 30 to 40 percent of your protein needs in one bowl.   Oranges Each oranges supply over 100 percent of the DV for the antioxidant vitamin C, and a recent study from the University of North Carolina Greensboro showed that taking vitamin C supplements for two weeks prior to challenging arm exercises helped alleviate muscle soreness.   Canned Black Beans One cup of these beauties provides 30 percent of the DV for protein, almost 60 percent of the DV for fiber (much of it as the cholesterol-lowering soluble type), and 60 percent of the DV for folate, a B vitamin that plays a key role in heart health and circulation.   Mixed Salad Greens Rather than selecting one type of lettuce for your salad, choose mixed greens, which typically offer five or more colorful delicate greens such as radicchio, butter leaf, curly endive, and mache. Each variety offers a unique blend of phytonutrients that research suggests may fend off age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.   Salmon Besides being an excellent source of high-quality protein (you get about 30 grams in a four-ounce serving), salmon is one of the best food sources of omega-3 fats. These essential fats help balance the body's inflammation response, a bodily function that when disturbed appears to be linked to many diseases including asthma.   Whole-Grain Bread Whole-grain bread may help the weight-conscious. One study showed that women who eat whole-grain bread weigh less than those who eat refined white bread and other grains.   Frozen Stir-Fry Vegetables Research shows that eating a combination of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, may lessen muscle soreness after hard workouts by reducing the inflammation caused by free-radical damage.   Whole-Grain Pasta Whole-grain versions are a must over refined pastas because they contain more fiber to fill you up, additional B vitamins that are crucial to energy metabolism, and disease-fighting compounds such as lignans.   Chicken Along with protein, chicken contains selenium, a trace element that helps protect muscles from the free-radical damage that can occur during exercise, and niacin, a B vitamin that helps regulate fat burning during exercise.   Frozen Mixed Berries The colorful compounds that make blueberries blue, blackberries deep purple, and raspberries a rich shade of red are called anthocyanins--a powerful group of antioxidants that may help stave off Alzheimer's disease and some cancers.   Dark Chocolate Chocolate contains potent antioxidants called flavonols that can boost heart health. In one study, a group of soccer players had lower blood pressure and total cholesterol levels, and less artery-clogging LDL cholesterol after just two weeks of eating chocolate daily. Other research suggests that the chocolate flavonols ease inflammation and help prevent blood substances from becoming sticky, which lowers the risk of potential blood clots.   Greek Yogurt Besides being a good source of protein and calcium (one cup provides 13 grams of protein and 40 percent of the DV for calcium), yogurt with live cultures provides the healthy bacteria your digestive tract needs to function optimally.  
Coach Robb has been working with riders & racers since 1987 and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance Program, the Mental Blueprint of Success, MotoE Amateur Development Program & Nutritionally Green Supplements based out Orlando Florida.   CompleteRacingSolutions.com is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages. Visit his website & subscribe to his bi-monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used with great success by Factory KTM/Red Bull’s Ryan Dungey, Star Yamaha’s Jerry Martin and Alex Martin, RCH’s Brock Tickle, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo, multi time Loretta Lynn’s & Mini O Champion’s Jordan Bailey (Monster/Pro-Circuit/Kawasaki), multi time amateur national champion Jon Jon Ames (Thousand Oaks Yamaha), GNCC champion Charlie Mullins (Factory Red Bull/KTM), Chris Bach & GNCC Quad racer Roman Brown along thousands of riders all around the world.   Instructional videos with Coach Robb can be found on the Coach Robb’s Youtube Channel addressing rider’s questions about speed, endurance, strength nutrition, biomechanics, and stretching and soft tissue maintenance. Please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com to subscribe to his bi-newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb & on Facebook: Coach Robb.   Coach Robb is a regular contributor to Vurbmoto.com, Racer XVT, FLMX & FTR Magazine and various websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Arm Pump: Fact or Fiction? (video)

If you struggle with the dreaded arm pump symptoms while riding or racing, please watch this video to understand what is going on. You may be surprised about what is the source of this dreaded pain! Next week I will show you how you can easily reduce these symptoms, so be sure to click the "follow this blog" button in the upper-right. If you have any questions, feel free to submit them in comments section below. I'll do my best to respond to your questions and concerns. Yours in sport and health, -Coach Robb If you would like to follow my blog, please click the "Follow this Blog" button in the upper right.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Low Back Pain: Strength or Flexibility?

When you are riding or racing and your lower back begins to fatigue and ultimately become sore, your position on the bike naturally adjusts to accommodate the pain (actually trying to alleviate the pain) but results in bad body position as outlined by Gary Semics. The big question that arises when this happens is should the rider become stronger or work on flexibility? The answer is YES to both. Over the last 29 years, I have seen lack of flexibility be the cause of both bad body position on the bike and consistent back pain. Here is the reason why. Imagine you and another person are pulling on a rope, unless one of you take a step closer to one another, you are not going to release the tension within the rope. If you both keep pulling on the rope, one (or both) of you will keep making adjustments in your stance to keep from falling over, this is EXACTLY what happens within the muscles. This week, lets break down Flexibility When it comes to increasing your flexibility in your back, refrain from stretching your back! Sounds odd, but let's take a look at the way the muscles attach to the bones. Quadriceps (muscle in the front of your legs) When you quadriceps (the muscles in the front of your legs) are tight, they "pull" on the top of your hip bones which tilts your pelvis forward. When this happens, your lower back now has a "bend" in it which puts a tremendous amount of stress within the muscles that run along your spine (the erector spinae muscles). Glutes (butt muscles) Your glutes (butt muscles) are a very strong group of muscles (glutes maximus and minimus) that serve numerous stabilization purposes. Hamstrings (back of your legs below your butt) The hamstrings work in conjunction with the quadriceps to stabilize the knee. However, just like the quads, when the hamstrings become tight, they pull down on the pelvis but tilt the pelvis backwards. When the hamstrings pull down, they over lengthen the quads and create muscle tightness in the lower back again. Please don't let this become confusing, picture the pelvis tilting forwards and backwards. If the muscles on either the front or the back of the pelvis become tight, the joints around the muscle group become fatigued and eventually sore. So with this being said, let's begin getting the muscles in your legs and glutes loosened up before we introduce any strength exercises. After a 10 minute warm up, and implement stretches #1-7 single muscle stretches. If you have a foam roller, please and implement the first six foam roller exercises. Next week we will look at some strength exercises that you can implement to improve your strength and endurance for riding and racing. -Coach Robb If you'd like to follow my blog, click the "follow this blog" button in the upper right.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Dangers of Ice Baths and Anti-Inflammatory Medicine

Based on research – we need to rethink Ice Baths & Anti-Inflammatory Medicine
Each year, thanks to improvements in technology & extensive research, exercise physiologists are discovering more about how the body responds to the numerous variables that contribute to performance. This includes, but is not limited to: energy systems, muscular strength & endurance, nutrition & hydration, neuromuscular and many more. With this being said, it is a surprise that many performance coaches are adhering to the mindset that ice baths and NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin & ibuprofen are still being advocated as part of the recovery process.   In 2006, the European Journal of Applied Physiology studied a group of college age males for six weeks while they trained on stationary bicycles. Following each workout, each student placed one leg in an ice bath and the other was left out and kept at room temperature. Over the six weeks, they discovered that the non-iced leg had gained more strength, circulation and endurance.   At the University of Florida, a study found that muscle strength decreased after taking NSAID’s while a study at the University of Arkansas showed that high doses of ibuprofen appeared to limit the body’s ability to increase the development of new muscle.   As stated by Mackenzie Lobby, “there is more than a decade of research that backs up these studies’s suggesting that for recovery, there are better options than ice baths and anti-inflammatory drugs”. According to Dr. Jennifer Solomon, a sports medicine physician in NY City, “The bottom line is that in order to recover, your body needs to go through a process which includes inflammation – and ice bathes and NSAID’s inhibit the normal inflammatory process”. Dr. Solomon points to a more natural approach to recovery, low intensity & impact exercise, dynamic movements after a warm up and a post exercise massage.   Anti-Inflammatory Medicine
Old School: use anti-inflammatory medicine to control inflammation after a hard workout or race
New School: use raw fruits & vegetables, eliminate refined carbohydrates (most anything in a box or a bag that you eat), consume extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, high quality Omega 3 fish oil & walnuts to offset inflammation; foam roll and if possible massage work.
Exception: when dealing with inflammation and swelling associated with an injury, anti-inflammatory medicine will help limit the negative side effects of excessive swelling: pain and limited range of motion. This would be imperative in a multi-day race. Remember, it is the excessive, long term use of NSAID’s that have proven to inhibit new muscle regeneration, muscular strength and interrupt sleep patterns.   Cold Plunge & Ice Baths
Old School: use to reduce muscle damage & speed up recovery
New School: unless you are racing a multi-day event (see below), let your muscles recover and rebuild naturally. The inflammation process is part of adaptation to training and racing, facilitate recovery with real food and soft tissue work (foam roller, trigger point & massage work).
Exception: similar to NSAID’s, when dealing with inflammation and swelling associated with an injury or high intensity racing over several days, a cold plunge/bath will help offset the inflammation & swelling. Remember, the inflammation process is a natural reaction to training and racing, and your body needs the opportunity to react and adapt long term for optimum performance results.   How To Reduce Your Core Body Temperature
The key is to bring down the core body temperature slowly to minimize the “shock” to your body. Think about when someone falls into a frozen lake, the biggest shock to the body is the drastic temperature change. This creates incredible stress and ultimately fatigue to the body. The body’s natural defense mechanism is to try and heat the body of water that you are in, unfortunately, being submerged in freezing cold water lowers the core body temperature too quickly and you begin to shiver (your body’s natural way to warm itself). Shivering is fatiguing on the body and uses a tremendous amount of energy – not a good state to be in between races when you are attempting to conserve energy to finish each race strong.   Step 1: Come off of the track and into the shade of your awning, strip out of your gear (logistics pending) and sit under an oscillating fan. Place hand clothes on the back of your neck, both wrists and your groin. On your neck and groin you have to large arteries that will help decrease your body temperature quickly. Your wrists are low in fat and will help cool the core temperature quickly as well. Consume a cold sports drink slowly.   Step 2: Pour room temperature water onto the wash clothes while you are sitting under the fan; continue to pour onto the clothes to keep them damp with the air blowing across them. Duration: 3-5 minutes.   Step 3: Pour slightly cooler water (not ice cold) onto the wash clothes while the fan blows across the slightly cooler clothes. Continue to re-hydrate with cold sports drink. Duration 3-5 minutes.   Step 4: Pour ice cold water onto the wash clothes while the fan blows across the cold clothes. Duration: until you begin to feel slightly chilled. Then move back to room temperature water and stay under the fan. If you begin to get “goose bumps”, discontinue the water and adjust time in front of the fan accordingly. Remember, if you get too cold, your body begins to shiver to create internal heat, robbing you of much needed energy.   Once you have pulled your core temperature down; strive to consume fresh fruit for the water, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes to prepare you for your next race. Remember to add some high quality, easily digestible protein to control your hunger during the day (protein and fat are the only elements that control your hunger).   Thank you for taking the time to read this article, if you have any questions about your current program or would like MotoE to create a customized mental, nutrition and performance program for your racing program, please email me directly.   -Coach Robb   Coach Robb has been working with riders and racers since 1987 and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance System, the Mental Blueprint of Success, the MotoE Amateur Development Program, the MotoE Educational Series and Nutritionally Green Supplements based out of Orlando Florida.   CompleteRacingSolutions.com is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages. Visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com & subscribe to his bi-monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used by Factory KTM/Red Bull’s Ryan Dungey, Star Yamaha’s Jerry Martin and Alex Martin, RCH’s Brock Tickle, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo, multi-time Loretta Lynn’s & Mini O Champion’s Jordan Bailey (Factory Monster Energy/Kawasaki) GNCC bike racers Charlie Mullins and Chris Bach, and GNCC Quad racer Roman Brown along with thousands of riders all around the world!   Instructional videos with Coach Robb can be found on the Coach Robb’s Youtube Channel addressing rider’s questions about speed, endurance, strength, nutrition, biomechanics, stretching, and soft tissue maintenance. Please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com to subscribe to his bi-newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him socially on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb & Facebook: Coach Robb.   In addition to his own newsletters, Coach Robb is a regular contributor to Vurbmoto.com, Racer XVT, iMotoOnline, ThumperTalk & and various websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

4 Easy Ways To Improve Your Speed, Strength and Endurance in 8 Weeks!

In attempt to make up for lost time associated with winter, athletes & riders have a tendency to get a little over zealous during early season workouts which frequently produces injuries, sickness and performance frustrations. Implementing these 4 components will maximize your speed, strength and endurance in 8 weeks or less!   Identify and Eliminate Your Weaknesses
“Race your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses” is the motto that I say to all of my clients because as humans, we spend the majority of our time doing things that we like & what we are good at. To make the greatest progress within your training program, you must identify what you are NOT good at and start there. Establish where you are physically lacking – muscular strength, endurance, lactate tolerance and don’t forget the non-sweating disciplines of flexibility, nutrition and realistic goal setting; begin where you are the weakest or have room for the most improvement (relevant to your personal goals). Early season/baseline testing will help pinpoint your weaknesses as well as capture your current maximum heart rate for that specific discipline (see below).   If you don’t know how to identify your physical weaknesses, please email me at Robb@CoachRobb.com and I will send you some protocols (specific to your goals) to help you identify your physical weaknesses. Please include your specific goals in your email to ensure that I send you relevant assessment protocols.   Avoid Training Yourself into Exhaustion
By not knowing how hard you are actually training (verses perceived exertion), athletes run the risk of injury & burnout. Actual intensity levels need to be monitored with a heart rate monitor to ensure that you are training within your aerobic zone for the majority (not all) of your early season efforts. Please note that you must establish your heart rate training zones for each discipline that you train. For example, if you utilize the Concept 2 rower as a cross training tool, you cannot use your heart rate zones from the bicycle – more muscles are engaged during rowing than cycling which results in a different max heart rate number and associated heart rate zones. Over my last 22 years of coaching, I have seen the use of generic formulas (for example, 220-age) have a margin of error as high as 30-50%. The assessment of your pre-season max heart rate can be captured with a simple pre-season max heart rate assessment.   If you would like some assistance determining your accurate heart rate zones, please email me at Robb@CoachRobb.com and I will send you a copy of my sport specific Max Heart Rate Assessment and Heart Rate Spreadsheet so you can create your personalized heart rate zones to maximize your training efforts. Please include all sports that you currently train and race (specifically race distances/durations) so that I can provide you accurate assessment protocols.   Improve Your Power and Endurance without Sweating
Chiropractic care, massage therapy, trigger point therapy and hydro-therapy are that should be a part of every athlete’s routine for one simple reason: tight muscles pull bones out of alignment; misaligned bones keep muscles tight. If you visit a massage therapist and the attachments of the muscles are out of line, it is the same as if you pulled the ends of a rubber band far apart, no matter how much you rub the center, the band is still tight. You have to get the attachments of the muscles to the correct position before you will get the tension out of the muscle. The reverse is true as well. If you get an adjustment and the muscles are tight, the muscles will simply pull the bones back out of alignment. Lining up the spine and removing tension within the muscles will result in better strength and improved endurance.   Trigger points are the “knots” that you feel within the muscle tissue. These knots need to be removed before they become a chronic pain site along with the source of a muscle tear. Just like a piece of rope, a knot becomes the weakest point of the muscle tissue and needs to be addressed on a daily basis. Please implement these trigger point therapy exercises daily to improve your range of motion within a muscle.   Hydro therapy is the use of hot and cold to relax and facilitate recovery within a muscle tissue. Hot water will vasodilate (open up the blood vessels) and bring fresh blood flow to muscle tissue. Cold water will vaso-constrict (close up the blood vessels) and off set inflammation within the muscle tissue. By switching between hot water (ideally a Jacuzzi tub) and an ice bath (painful thought I realize!) you will reap big rewards when it comes to a faster recovery and improved muscle flexibility. Protocol suggestion: 10 minutes hot – 10 minutes cold – 10 minutes ambient air temperature while foam rolling.   Smart Eating Habits Produce Faster Speeds and Improve Endurance
Hands down, NOTHING will improve your speed and endurance faster than eating smart and staying hydrated!   What to eat, how much to eat and when to eat has become a big convoluted mess thanks to social media and the internet; however, it isn’t difficult at all. Simply shop the perimeter of the grocery store where you will find fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein sources. Every two hours strive to eat one to two pieces of fruit and vegetables and 3-5 ounces of lean protein along with 10-16 ounces of cold water. That’s it – that simple!   The lean protein that you consume will repair any muscle tissue damage associated with training as well as improve your immune system. The fruits and vegetables will provide your body the necessary vitamins and minerals necessary to support your cardiovascular efforts, immune system as well as provide the catalysts necessary to produce energy.   If you would like to see how powerful eating is, please email me at Robb@CoachRobb.com and ask for my 2 Week Food Challenge. This challenge is designed to stabilize your bloods sugar levels and help you see how quickly the food you ingest influences your energy levels and performance (of all intensities and duration's).   Yours in sport and health,   -Coach Robb  

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

4 Reasons Why Training Might Be Making You Feel Nauseated

Nutrition and how the human body absorbs and responds is unique from individual to individual, influenced by outside variables (i.e. heat, humidity and intensity) and has to be validated by trial and error. Let’s review some basic elements that may cause nausea and some suggestions on how to reduce or eliminate associated symptoms.   Cause #1: Pre Race Anxiety & Race Intensity
Everyone experiences anticipation and stress on race day. Pre race stress can lead to feelings of nausea and may have a negative effect on your race day nutritional plans. This is caused by the fact that body has to “decide” which is more important: digestion for fuel or maintaining core body temperature.   Digestion: blood & water are needed in the digestion process to convert your food to stored sugar
Performance: your racing efforts require blood (for oxygen to be carried to the working muscles) along with water (to be diverted to your skin to rid yourself of internal heat).   You can see how this creates a “stress” on your entire body as it attempt to prioritize what to do: break down food for fuel or sweat to maintain your core body temperature. Solution: consume easily digestible foods that maintain blood sugar levels within the blood.   Cause #2: Food Timing & Types
Low blood sugar levels are frequently associated with dizziness and nausea. Maintaining a consistent blood sugar level has a significant impact on your energy and performance. Because the body stores carbohydrates in limited quantities, 60-90 minutes of stored energy in the muscles and liver, it is important to eat throughout the day. To keep your blood sugar level stable and energy stores high, aim to eat 4 to 6 small meals throughout your race day. Solution: eat at the correct time with the correct types of food.   Timing
Give yourself 2 hours between your prerace meal and start time. This will allow enough time for your body to break down, absorb and purge completely. On race day, choose food items that are easy to digest (see below).   Types
The following sources of carbohydrates (stored in the muscles as glycogen) should be consumed throughout the day: whole wheat grains, rye, stone ground bread, oatmeal, lentils, beans, peas, asparagus, broccoli, fresh ripe fruit (specifically apples, pears, apricots & bananas) high quality cereals, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, couscous and quinoa.   The following sources of carbohydrates should be consumed immediately after your race: white potatoes, watermelon, white rice, noodles, cereal, waffles and pancakes.   Don't forget the protein
For controlling appetite and speeding up recovery after your race, immediately consume a carbohydrate-protein beverage to replace depleted sugar & repair torn down muscle tissue. The ideal recovery nutrition source is 150 to 200 calories at a mixture of 3:1 of carbohydrates & protein. By consuming this carb-protein drink within 30 minutes of your race; your body takes advantage of a highly active enzyme (glycogen synthase) responsible for replenishing depleted sugar within the muscle and liver. This will result in a higher level of replenishment, setting you up for higher levels of output in your next race.   The following foods are great sources of protein: salmon, tuna, lean deli meat, mixed nuts (avoid peanuts), beans, lentils, tofu, whey, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream (if you are not lactose intolerant).   Avoid Excessive fiber & fat
Meals in the day leading up to the race need to be easy to digest. As mentioned above, stick to carbohydrate-based meals with lean protein and a small amount of fat. The low fiber residue will lessen the severity of G.I. (gastro-intestinal) disturbances on race day.   Cause #3: Fluid Timing, Types and Amounts
The key to proper hydration is not the act of drinking water and sports drinks that contain sugar and electrolytes, but rather the absorption of what you drink. Solution: drink at the right time with the correct concentration of carbohydrates & electrolytes specific to your sweat rate.   Timing
Throughout the day, sip consistently on a sports drink that has a 4-6% carbohydrate concentration and a solid electrolyte profile (Energy Fuel) to ensure that you are maintaining your hydration levels.   1 Hour before your race: consume 8 to 10 ounces of ice cold sports drink (cold absorbs better than warm)
15 Minutes before your race: consume 4-6 ounces of your ice cold sports drink
Immediately following your race: consume 8 to 10 ounces of your sports drink; when you have raced your last race of the day, consume your protein-carbohydrate beverage as mentioned previously.   Drinking too much water can lead to a state of hyponatremia (low blood sodium) which can increase nausea related symptoms. Drinking too little water can lead to a state of de-hydration which can also cause nausea related symptoms. The key is to determine the optimum amount of fluids to consume – see below.   Amounts
You need to determine your sweat rate given your intensity level, duration, air temperature and humidity. If you haven’t picked up a copy of Coach Robb’s Sweat Rate Calculator, please email me directly and I will forward you a copy for FREE. By determining your sweat rate, you can determine how much fluid you need to consume on race day.   Choosing the right sports drink
Research science has shown that the key to maintaining high levels of energy from a sports drink is determined by how quickly the body can convert the sugar to energy. Complex carbohydrates have to be broken down over a long period of time which results in a slower delivery of energy. During high intensity racing (and in high temperatures), the digestive process is slowed down, as mentioned earlier because the body is working hard to deliver oxygen and rid itself of heat. When you compound a slowed digestive system with complex carbohydrates, you have delayed delivery of energy for racing.   The solution is to use sports drinks that have a 4-6% concentration rate, which are made from simple sugars and have electrolytes added for better absorption. A product that I helped develop, Energy Fuel, has this exact profile and has been tested for over a year with great results on the track. The sugar in Energy Fuel (cane sugar) is absorbed passively (without the need of your digestive system to break it down) and will not only sustain your energy, but also help prevent any backing up in the stomach (and associated discomforts).   Cause #4: Cold & Hot Environments
Both hot and cold weather places stress on your body by elevating your heart rate. This places a demand on your stored sugar levels and begins to shut down your digestive process (refer to Causes 1-3). Solution: choose your racing gear accordingly.   Hot weather: as your body strives to rid itself of heat, you will notice that your heart rate will be elevated and sweating will start immediately. Wear gear that is light in color, has wick away characteristics and vented.   Cold-weather: your body is constantly trying to conserve heat & stay warm (hence the shivering). Wear throw away clothing to the start line & discard as come up to the starting line.   Other possible irritants
Alcohol, caffeine, spices, artificial sweeteners & ibuprofen can create irritation in some people. The body’s various systems (circulatory, respiratory, etc.) become more sensitive to any irritants when under physical emotional or mental stress. Racing tends to present all three of these types of stress. Identifying anything that might create symptoms before you get to the races will result in better race day results.   What else can you do?
As always, speak with your physician about anti-nausea medication that may offer some relief when racing or training hard. Probiotics may assist with G.I. disturbances as well as being of assistance to general immune health.   Yours in health and sport,
Coach Robb   Coach Robb has been working with riders and racers since 1987 and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance System, the Mental Blueprint of Success, the MotoE Amateur Development Program, the MotoE Educational Series and Nutritionally Green Supplements based out of Orlando Florida.   CompleteRacingSolutions.com is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages. Visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com & subscribe to his bi-monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used by Factory KTM/Red Bull’s Ryan Dungey, Star Yamaha’s Jerry Martin and Alex Martin, RCH’s Brock Tickle, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo, multi-time Loretta Lynn’s & Mini O Champion’s Jordan Bailey (Factory Monster Energy/Kawasaki) GNCC bike racers Charlie Mullins and Chris Bach, and GNCC Quad racer Roman Brown along with thousands of riders all around the world!   Instructional videos with Coach Robb can be found on the Coach Robb’s Youtube Channel addressing rider’s questions about speed, endurance, strength, nutrition, biomechanics, stretching, and soft tissue maintenance. Please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com to subscribe to his bi-newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him socially on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb & Facebook: Coach Robb.   In addition to his own newsletters, Coach Robb is a regular contributor to Vurbmoto, Racer XVT, iMotoOnline, ThumperTalk & and various websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

10 Body Indicators That Tell You When to Workout & When to Back Off!

TIME TO REST - Pay attention to these 10 body indicators to gauge when to work out and when to back off!   If you don’t take time to rest and recovery, your body wont adapt to the stress of training and racing – and as a result you won’t get stronger or faster. If you neglect recovery for too long, you will start to lose strength and speed.   Here are some symptoms to look for: First your sleep patterns will be off (tired and you can’t sleep, restless sleep, etc.). Second your energy levels will be negatively affected. Third, you will begin to get sick more frequently (and take longer to heal from the virus). Fourth, your appetite will become suppressed.

Remember, over training is not applicable only to elite athletes and professionals, recreational athletes have to balance, personal, professional, bills, children, inadequate sleep, etc. which is what makes recovering from your workouts and racing even more difficult.  
Symptom Evaluation
See if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:   Symptom #1-Body Mass
A 2% drop in weight from day to day indicates a body-fluid fluctuation. More than likely, you didn’t hydrate enough to offset heat, humidity, intensity and duration. Dehydration negatively impacts both physical and mental performance and could compromise the quality of your next workout or race.   Symptom 2-Elevated Resting Heart
An elevated resting heart rate is a significant indicator of stress within the body. An elevated HR indicates that your nervous system is in that “fight or flight” mode which results in elevated hormone levels to provide more oxygen to the muscles and brain. Your body doesn’t know the difference between and physical and psychological stress. A hard day at work and/or a hard workout or race both require additional recovery protocols.   Symptom 3-Sleep Quality: you wake up and don’t feel fresh.
Quality sleep: falling asleep quickly, deeply and staying there for a long period of time will allow your body to release the much needed growth hormone (hGH) necessary for rebuilding muscle and burning body fat. Several low quality nights of sleep will decrease your reaction time, immune system, can cognitive functions – not a good scenario when it comes to quality workout or high end performance on race day.   Symptom 4-Hydration: your urine is dark yellow
Unless you are taking B vitamins, a dark colored urine can be an indicator of dehydration. Your urine is an easy indicator of your water levels throughout your body.   Symptom5-Energy Levels are Low
Honesty is the key here. You know the difference between being tired and having low energy. Being tired is about recovering from yesterday’s workload. Being low on energy is a at a completely different level. Athletes think they can block out signs of fatigue and push to the next level of fitness, performance just doesn’t develop in this environment.   Symptom 6-Mood State: your moody (and even cranky).
When your body is overwhelmed by stress (training, racing, work, family, etc.), it produces the stress hormone cortisol that can cause irritability and/or anxiety. Stress also halts chemicals like dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that has a big bummer effect on mood when depleted. Crankiness means not enough recovery.   Symptom7-Sick Frequently
Any illness or even a woman’s menstrual cycle, will increase your need for energy to refuel your immune system, which is having to work overtime. This translates into fewer resources available for recovery from training.   Symptom 8-Pain: your excessively sore or have a nabbing injury.
Whether you are sore from over worked muscles or have an injury that continues to linger is an indicator that your body needs more energy to put towards the repair, which extends your total recovery time.   Symptom 9-Performance is sub-par.
This is a subjective measure of workout quality, not quantity nor intensity. If you perform well on a particular workout, you would rate that workout as “good”. If you have a sub-par performance or feel like you are struggling to complete that same workout, you would rate that workout as “poor”. Trending workout quality – multiple poor workouts in a row – is one of the easiest ways to identify the need for more recovery.   Symptom 10-Oxygen Saturation: low oxygen levels.
The amount of oxygen in the hemoglobin of the red blood cells can be measured and is thought to be an accurate assessment of recovery because of the association of high oxygen saturation levels and higher energy levels.   Evaluation Time: count how many of the above symptoms you have experienced over the last week and then compare this against the following:
0-1: Green Light: you are recovering adequately and can maintain your normal volume and intensity
2-4: Caution: You can complete your hard workouts; however, cut the workout short if you are struggling to complete the first couple of intervals after a long warm up
5-6: Warning: This is the zone where you are close to tipping the scales and becoming over-worked, sick and injury prone. You need to add a second rest day to your week
7-10: Danger: You are IN the danger zone and need to take one week completely off (no sport specific training); increase your high quality food intake and take 2 hour naps each day.   If you want me an my staff to review if you should take a break from training and racing, please feel free to contact us at Contact@CoachRobb.com.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Eliminate Arm Pump – Part 4 (Why Improving Your Endurance will Help Eliminate Arm Pump!

Why Improving your Endurance will Help Eliminate Arm Pump   This week we will look at how improving your cardiovascular (aka Cardio) engine will reduce your overall fatigue and help you maintain the proper body position and keep the load off of your forearms.
If you watched my Arm Pump video ( if you haven't seen it yet), you understand that my experience with arm pump is associated with bad body position. Specifically, if your center point (i.e. belly button) falls behind the pegs, the only muscles left to hand onto the bike is your forearm muscles.   As a human performance coach for the last 29 years, I have seen riders experience the dreaded arm pump symptoms because they are not properly prepared for the demands of a specific race. By understanding, training and improving your 5 energy systems will result in faster times on the track. First let’s break down the five Energy Systems and how often to train them for optimum performance.  
Pictured: Ryan Dungey   Explosive Speed
What it is: the effort level used during maximum efforts
When used on the track: to pick up the bike after a crash and sprint back up to speed
How to improve: complete 8-10 sets of 15 to 30 second all out sprint efforts
How often to train: no more than 2x a week allowing for 2 days of recovery   Sprint Speed
What it is: the effort level used for durations lasting 1-2 minutes
When used on the track: opening lap of a race
How to improve: 4-6 sets of 90 seconds to 2 minute interval
How often to train: no more than 2x a week allowing for 2 days of recovery   Anaerobic Threshold
What it is: the effort allows the racer to perform at a higher level of output and for the entire duration of the race without becoming anaerobic (and slowing down!)
When used on the track: between first & last lap
How to improve: 10-20 sets of 2-3 minute intervals
How often to train: 2-3x a week allowing for 1 day of recovery   Aerobic Training
What it is: the effort level needed for races lasting longer than 15 minutes in duration
When used on the track: maintaining consistent lap times as the race goes longer than 15 minutes
How to improve: 2-6 sets of 10 minutes to 1 hour
How often to train: 5-6x a week; no recovery needed because of the minimal fatigue placed upon the muscular system   What is your physical limiter on the track?
Ironically, this is one question that many riders can’t answer as it relates to their performance on the track. Think about the question, where do you fall apart during a race? Do you lack opening speed? Are you unable to maintain a consistent pace for the duration of the race? Is your last lap your fastest lap at every race? The answer to these questions should dictate your training efforts on a daily basis–where you fall apart on the track is EXACTLY what you should be training during the week to eliminate any weaknesses on the track. At MotoE our focus is to identify & train your weaknesses during the week and race your strengths on the weekend. Eventually, you will have no weaknesses; once this achieved long term domination becomes a reality.   In addition to the MotoE Strength & Plyometric Assessment (please email me if you would like a copy of this assessment), you need to complete cardiovascular assessments to determine where to focus during your training both on the track and in the gym for maximum results in the shortest period of time. For a copy of MotoE’s Baseline Aerobic Assessment Protocols, please email me directly and I will send you a seven day training schedule that incorporates these assessments along with a spreadsheet that you can upload your results for future comparison.   The key to your improvement on the track is that your intensity during training (both on and off of the track) needs to be specific to the energy systems that have been validated as needing improvement. If you train at the wrong intensity, you will not eliminate your weakness on the track and your current breaking point on the track will continue to exist.   Race to Evaluate your Progress
A few races, planned two to four weeks out from your key race will help you identify if your training efforts are on point. For example, if your early race speed needed to be improved – how did you do when the race began? Where you able to sustain the high intensity levels necessary to be competitive? Was your warm up sufficient to allow you to get up to top speed early or did you use the first part of the race to make this happen? If there is a skill that needs to be developed for your key race, how is that skill developing? If you miss your mark, you have clear focus on what to work on over the remaining two to four weeks before your key event. I hope you see how this becomes an endless circle that guarantees your success!   Establish Training Volumes and Intensity Levels
Knowing your overall training volume (sport specific and cross training) is key to understanding if your body is getting the correct mixture of speed, endurance, strength, flexibility and mental development (all of which need to be outlined on your weekly schedule). I say this often, but feel it is worth repeating, “it isn’t what you do in the form of training, but rather, what you absorb”. If you are not seeing your performance elements improving, then guess what, you are not getting any better – think about this!   Additionally, most athletes are not training at the intensity levels that they think they are. It has been my experience that most athletes train too hard on their easy days and not hard enough on their high quality days. This creates a two-fold problem. They train too hard on easy days which leaves them too fatigued to push the intensity levels to the next level for improved fitness and top end speed. With this in mind, I have all of my clients train with a heart rate monitor to ensure that this scenario doesn’t happen. I have each client complete a maximum heart rate assessment every 6 to 8 weeks to ensure that we are using accurate numbers to maximize their training efforts. Note: please refrain from using the 220 – your age formula; I have seen this formula be off by more than 50%!   Properly Evaluate Key Workouts
As mentioned above, I have my athletes train with a heart rate monitor for every workout to eliminate any misperceptions of true intensity levels. I have some people argue that a heart rate monitor doesn’t factor in variables such as heat and humidity, but I would have to strongly disagree. If the body is struggling with these variables, it will be clearing indicated in the heart rate monitor. The athlete can adjust the intensity and the interval distance if the heart rate monitor is indicating that the overall stress on the body may be too much and counterproductive.   With the utilization of a heart rate monitor and the implementation of key workouts over a specific training cycle (based on your key race dates), you are able to specifically evaluate the progress of your endurance and top end speed. All of my clients are provided performance report cards so that they can specifically see the progress and adaptations that their body is going through during their training cycles of 6 to 12 weeks depending on their race schedule. With the feedback of these key workouts, we can structure the next weeks training protocols accordingly to ensure that the athlete’s efforts are laser focused – providing the athlete the results that he or she has outlined in their goal profile.   In Part 5, I will provide you specific workouts for each energy system that you have identified are holding you back while on the bike. In Part 6, I will show you (and provide you) how a week of cross training and riding should be combined to develop the necessary strength, endurance and flexibility to eliminate any physical limiters on the bike. Until next time, Train Smart, Not Hard!   Yours in sport and health,
-Coach Robb, Coaches and Staff     If you would like to follow my blog, please click the "Follow this Blog" button in the upper right.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

RIDING BETTER STARTS AT THE GROCERY STORE?

10 SHOPPING RULES FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH & PERFORMANCE
Yes, believe it or not, there are some “rules” to follow EVERY time you go shopping, these will keep you from purchasing items that will keep you from making wise food choices and ultimately undermining you’re eating & drinking habits. Keep in mind that you eat for only one purpose: to fuel your life in the healthiest way possible. Following these rules will ensure that you have exactly what you need, how much you need and avoid having to throw anything away because it has spoiled (this will save you money too!).   Shopping Rule #1: DON’T SHOP ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
Literally eat a high protein & fat snack (protein & fat are the ONLY nutrients that satisfy hunger) prior to walking in (i.e. apple and cheese stick, banana and almond butter).   Shopping Rule #2: PREPARE A SHOPPING LIST & ONLY PURCHASE WHAT IS ON YOUR LIST
If you have to purchase something this isn’t on your list but a necessary ingredient to a recipe, meal or snack then add the item to your shopping list for future reference. The key is to create & maintain a consistent shopping list (you will notice that you eat 18-25 of the same items every week) to carry with you to your farmers market or grocery store every time you go shopping.
[NOTE: your energy levels & performance results will help you determine if you should keep an item on your weekly shopping list. If your energy is high & your performance results are good, you know your food items are working and vice versa.]   Shopping Rule #3: SHOP 2 TO 3 TIMES A WEEK
Shopping two to three times per week will ensure that you have ripe, high quality fruits, vegetables and lean sources of protein readily available. Ideally, set your personal schedule to permit you visiting the store on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Shopping on Sunday allows you the opportunity to go home and prep, pack and store your food items for Monday – Wednesday. Wednesday allows you to purchase, prep and store for Thursday and Friday. Friday provides you the opportunity to purchase, prep and store what you will need for an active Saturday and Sunday. As we will discuss later, it is the lack of availability that keeps individuals from eating properly verses the lack of desire. If it isn’t available, you are forced to lean on convenience and you find yourself eating out of a drive through window or out of a package.   Shopping Rule #4: SHOP SOLO
Shop solo – this will keep others from influencing your shopping efforts. This will eliminate the impulsive purchases and save you money.   Shopping Rule #5: SHOP THE PERIMETER OF THE STORE
Shopping the perimeter of your grocery store is where you will find fresh/raw food items. With the exception of small ingredients (salt, pepper, olive oil, etc.), there is nothing in the center of the store that you need to be eating. This is NOT to be confused regarding the dairy case – especially the organic items. Dairy items can be a good source of protein, calcium, etc. for those that are not lactose intolerant.   Shopping Rule #6: PURCHASE MORE THAN YOU NEED
Purchase one or two more items than what is on your shopping list – especially your fruits and vegetables. If you think you will consume 10 oranges, purchase 12. This will keep you from running out. If you find that every three days you have two to three items left, then cut back. But as a general rule of thumb, it is better to want it and not have it verses wanting it and not having it available. Running out should be avoided at all costs – your health is worth it.   Shopping Rule #7: USE A SHOPPING CART VERSES A BASKET
If the basket becomes full (or heavy) you will be tempted to cut back on the amount of real-raw food that you are purchasing – this undermines Rule #6. If you are purchasing fruits and vegetables in bulk, you will have numerous bags; putting them in a shopping cart will minimize the amount of damage to your items because you are not “stacking” them in your basket.   Shopping Rule #8: LABELS SHOULD ONLY CONTAIN 1 INGREDIENT
When you pick up an item, stop and read the ingredients listed on the label. If it has more than one ingredient, put the item back on the shelf. Remember, single ingredient packages represent an ingredient that will be used with your snack and meal preparations. If the item has more than one ingredient, read shopping rule #9.   Shopping Rule #9: EAT ONLY WHAT YOU CAN PRONOUNCE
If you can’t pronounce it, don’t purchase–much less eat it! This shopping rule is actually eliminated when you implement shopping rule #8; however, if you must purchase something that has more than one ingredient (we all have weak moments & time restraints) you should be able to pronounce each ingredient in the product (the Braap Bar is a perfect example of a convenient, real food snack bar). If you can’t pronounce the ingredient Trimethylxanthine, it is safe to assume that it isn’t good for you to consume!   Shopping Rule #10: UPDATE YOUR SHOPPING LIST
Before checking out, take a moment to review and update (with items you forgot to write down before you left for the store) your shopping list. This is also your last opportunity to verify that you have everything on your shopping list in your shopping cart. Not only will this eliminate you having to make another time consuming trip back to the store for one or two items, it will also eliminate the need to run through a drive through because you didn’t have the necessary elements to prep, prepare and pack your snacks and meals.   Until next time, Train Smart-Not Hard!
-Coach Robb

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Avoid Injuries, Speed Ruts and Burn Out Through Periodization

Many riders and racers will reach out to me around the month of April and describe symptoms that inevitably hinder a riders speed and endurance: injuries, a plateau of speed and/or the lack of desire to ride, race and cross train. At both the amateur and professional levels, the racing season has increased to the point where the racer is competing nearly year round and actually inhibiting his or her ability to improve physically as a racer. It is unrealistic to think that a racer can be in top form every weekend from January through December. Throughout the year, the body has to be provided the opportunity to develop various energy systems through specific workouts. For long term improvement, a window of time must be provided to rest and recover from the stress loads applied to the muscles and cardiovascular system. This is where Periodization comes into a racers program. Periodizaton (breaking the year up into “seasons”) answers how hard, how long and how often a racer should train to reap the benefits of training without becoming injured, fall into a speed rut or become burned out? PERIODIZATION: WHAT IT IS AND WHY IS IT AN IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF YOUR PROGRAM? As a rider and racer, you need to look at a year as four different seasons of performance development. At MotoE, we break a year into four training “seasons”: Pre-Season, Pre-Competitive, Competitive and Off Season. Each season has a different performance objective to optimize the racers training time for maximum results. With riding & racing encompassing so many elements, it has literally become a lifestyle – sleep, eat, ride, train off the motorcycle, repeat until the next ride or race. However, this lifestyle of training, doesn’t allow you to systematically decide to begin training seriously for four weeks out and then be ready for the season’s first big ride or race. On the other hand, hitting the open road on your road bike hard the Monday after your big ride or race and riding every day until next year’s race isn’t productive either. You don’t push the body beyond its familiar performance level and you don’t allow enough time for the body to adapt to the stress loads. At MotoE we work with four seasons of training - each having a specific physiological purpose. The four seasons and the necessary physiological adaptations are: Pre-Season: developing maximum aerobic capacity, muscular strength and flexibility; this is also an ideal time to work with your riding coach to help with technique and mechanics. Pre-Competitive: continued development of your aerobic engine, final stage of maximum strength development and the implementation of slight lactate tolerance intervals. Competitive: specialization is the main component of this season. Your anaerobic threshold and sprint training should make up the high quality workouts during the week. Also during this season is the increased need for rest – ideally one complete day of rest per week to help you recover both mentally and physically. Off Season: this is ideally four to six weeks in duration where you deviate away from heavily structured training. This is where you’re back to riding verses training when you are on your motorcycle or any other type of cross training. You don’t want to become so inactive that you begin to lose the conditioning you have worked so hard to achieve throughout the year; you do, however, what to remain active and healthy. PERIODIZATION: STEP ONE: ESTABLISHING GOALS This step involves establishing long term goals and developing a plan for achieving each goal. This step needs to be quantified, simple, optimistic and also realistic. Though this sounds like an easy task, it is going to take some real brain storming to narrow this first step down and onto paper. Here is an example of an unrealistic long term goal: “I want to be fast”. There is no way to quantify fast and there is no time line established to complete it. It also doesn’t tell you who you are setting your standards against. If you say: “I want to be the top local rider in my class by the next national” – this is quantified, specific and with a little research you are able to determine what it is going to take to surpass the current top riders to achieve the status you are looking for. At MotoE we have our clients establish three sets of goals – 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. If you would like a copy of this MotoE Goal Profile, please email me for your personal copy. If you have established goals in past seasons and you have had trouble obtaining your goals, feel free to forward your MotoE Goal Profile to me and I will be happy to review and help you develop some training objectives to help you achieve your personal goals for the season. The most important thing to remember when you are sitting down to establish your goals is that they need to be specific and each should have a date applied. Without specific goals, you will quickly lose your motivation to stick to the homework, especially when it becomes difficult (due to either the duration or intensity levels required). PERIODIZATION: STEP TWO: DETERMINING A STARTING POINT WITH YOUR TRAINING If you are starting at a minimum fitness level, you will have to increase your overall strength and endurance before your dive into a comprehensive performance program. As a general rule of thumb, don’t increase your duration of your overall workouts by more than 5-8% every other week. Once you have been consistent with some level of training for six to eight weeks without any physical setbacks, it is time to determine exactly where your fitness levels are – this will identify your strengths and weaknesses and what to address with daily training to maximize your training time. The main concept to keep in mind when it comes to training is to strengthen weaknesses which have been specifically identified through field testing. Riders and racers, like any athletes, have a tendency to complete workouts focusing only on the elements where strength already exists. For example, in the gym, you rarely see riders and racers working their legs due to the high levels of lactic acid and associated increased heart rate levels. Instead they avoid these uncomfortable exercises and complete lower intensity exercises which do not address their physical limiters. If you use riding a road bicycle as a form of cross training, and you are not a strong climber, how often do you go out and complete hill repeats to increase your strength and lactate tolerance? It is not that you are soft as an athlete; it is simply human nature to do the activities where we feel strong and confident. With this in mind, it is imperative for riders and racers to capture three key testing data points in field testing (no matter what time of year the testing is completed): aerobic capacity, muscular strength and lactate tolerance. There are numerous debates about which form of training (off of the motorcycle) are the most effective measures of your aerobic capacity, muscular strength and lactate tolerance. At MotoE, we are more interested in testing these three variables within the training modalities that you have been using over the last six to twelve months. The important thing to keep in mind with establishing base line assessment numbers is to be consistent with your testing protocols. For example, if you use the road bike for your cardio training, it would not be a wise choice to use a running test for your lactate tolerance and aerobic capacity testing due to the different muscle groups and demands on the cardiovascular system – ultimately your testing data would be inaccurate. If you would like MotoE to provide some suggestions on how to determine your aerobic capacity, muscular strength and lactate tolerance given your current training methods, feel free to contact me directly (please be sure to indicate what you are currently doing in the way of training to help me determine what is most productive for you and your program). PERIODIZATION: STEP THREE: ESTABLISHING A TRAINING PROGRAM BASED ON YOUR FIELD TESTING RESULTS This is where a human performance specialist can be an asset to a riders and racers development program – identifying where the most progress can be achieved in the shortest amount of time. As an illustration, as it relates to riding the bike, a rider or racer gets a riding coach to help work on problem areas on the motorcycle. A rider or racer may be fast through the whoops, but if he or she cannot get in and out of the corners fast, the time gained in the whoops is immediately lost in the next corner. The same applies to developing the training protocols that are going to maximize the appropriate energy systems to enhance the elements of aerobic capacity, muscular strength and lactate tolerance. As mentioned earlier, at MotoE we break the year up into the four seasons of Pre-Season, Pre-Competitive, Competitive and Off Season. During each season of training there are two key elements that have to be factored into the development of a racers training program: the energy system(s) being enhanced and the order in which they are put into place within a workout. For example, implementing muscular endurance protocols prior to explosive power protocols may actually be counterproductive based on the training season (based on race goals and the physiological adaptations needed) and the field testing results – remember, we need to constantly work on your physiological weaknesses due to the fact that you are only as strong as your weakest link in your racing program. If you would like to watch three short videos about Periodization, . The presentation is geared towards the sport of triathlon, but the concepts apply to riding and racing motorcycles as well. FOLLOWING A CUSTOMIZED NUTRITION & TRAINING PROGRAM For 29 years, MotoE has been creating customized and semi-customized nutrition and training programs for riders and racers specific to their riding and racing goals and based off of identified physical and mental limiters discovered through various assessments (based on your age, goals and availability of time to train). Our programs are broken down and priced based on the services requested; prices start at $100 per month. If you are interested in more information about pricing and services, please don’t hesitate to drop me an email. Until next time, Train Smart, Not Hard! -Coach Robb If you'd like to follow my blog, click the "follow this blog" button in the upper right.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

What is holding you back from reaching your full potential?

When speaking with my clients, we frequently discuss training protocols (duration, intensity levels, frequency, workout purpose, etc.) however, nutrition is a big area of confusion for most riders. With this in mind, I wanted to discuss the importance of post workout/recovery nutrition. Simply put it is THE key component of improving your fitness and speed by 1% every day. The first 20 minutes after a workout or race, your muscles have an enzyme (glycogen synthase enzyme) that is responsible for the replenishment of depleted sugar (specifically glycogen) in your liver (to feed your brain) and muscles (for movement).   Benefits of Post Exercise Nutrition
Research has proven that consuming a post workout/race meal or snack consisting of a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates (for depleted sugar) to protein (to repair torn down muscle tissue) will not only facilitate your recovery but also help offset the negative side effects of training: high cortisol levels (a fat magnet) associated with physical and mental stress. Keep in mind, that training is designed to “stress” your muscles and various hormonal systems; however, too much intensity (HR too high) or duration (going to long) will cross that fine line from training into the zone of over training and the associated negative side effects.   Optimum Recovery Through Nutrition – Phase 1
To nail your post exercise/racing nutritional recover (at a 3:1) ratio, strive to consume 70-100 grams of carbohydrates, and 20-25 grams of protein (err on the high side of these ranges) within the first 20 minutes of finishing a workout or race (plan ahead to ensure that this materializes).   Optimum Recovery Through Nutrition – Phase 2
The second window of recovery occurs 2 to 3 hours after your workout or race. Similar to your immediate post workout/race meal or snack, consume a 3:1 carbohydrate/protein meal or snack.   Convenient Recovery Options
10-12 ounces of Recovery Fuel
10-12 ounces of a post exercise smoothie
2 hardboiled eggs and a piece of fresh fruit
10-12 ounces of chocolate milk
4-6 ounces of mixed nuts (macadamia, pecans, almonds, almonds) and organic raisins   Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything clarified.   Yours in sport & health,
-Coach Robb   Coach Robb has been working with riders & racers since 1987 and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance Program, the Mental Blueprint of Success, MotoE Amateur Development Program & Nutritionally Green Supplements based out Orlando Florida.   CompleteRacingSolutions.com is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages. Visit his website & subscribe to his bi-monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used with great success by Factory KTM/Red Bull’s Ryan Dungey, Star Yamaha’s Jerry Martin and Alex Martin, RCH’s Brock Tickle, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo, multi time Loretta Lynn’s & Mini O Champion’s Jordan Bailey (Monster/Pro-Circuit/Kawasaki), multi time amateur national champion Jon Jon Ames (Thousand Oaks Yamaha), GNCC champion Charlie Mullins (Factory Red Bull/KTM), Chris Bach & GNCC Quad racer Roman Brown along thousands of riders all around the world.   Instructional videos with Coach Robb can be found on the Coach Robb’s Youtube Channel addressing rider’s questions about speed, endurance, strength nutrition, biomechanics, and stretching and soft tissue maintenance. Please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com to subscribe to his bi-newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb & on Facebook: Coach Robb.   Coach Robb is a regular contributor to Vurbmoto.com, Racer XVT, FLMX & FTR Magazine and various websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

4 Reason (and solutions) Why Your Training is Making You Fat and Slow!

Mistake #1: Not knowing YOUR sport specific heart rate training zone Your maximum heart rate number changes specific to the sport that you are training and racing.  For example, your maximum heart rate on the motorcycle will be higher than on a bicycle (because of the amount of muscle you are using).  A frequent mistake athletes make is completing a maximum heart rate assessment within one discipline and then use the established heart rate training zones across all forms of training and racing.  An additional mistake is using the generic algorithms that are programed into heart rate monitors.  When you plug in your age, height, body weight and activity level, the watch is programmed to provide you GENERIC heart rate zones.  The most accurate assessment of your maximum heart rate is to complete field testing every 6 – 8 weeks. Solution #1: Complete Sport Specific Time Trials and Determine Your Maximum Heart Rate [Note: your maximum heart rate varies from sport to sport – the more muscle you utilize, the higher your heart rate] Your maximum heart rate changes as your aerobic engine improves.  The stronger your aerobic base, the lower your resting heart rate.  With this being said, your maximum heart rate will come down as well because the heart can pump the necessary amounts of oxygenated blood to the working muscles at a lower number because it is “stronger” and pumps more volume of blood with each beat.  Over the duration of my career, I have found the following field tests as a solid indicator of maximum heart rate along with muscular endurance: Swimming: 500 yards (capture your interval at each 100 yard interval) Cycling: 10 miles (capture your elapsed time and heart rate at the five mile and ten mile mark) Running: 3 miles (capture your elapsed time and heart rate at each mile marker) For physical strength, I have a customized Plyometric routine that I feel tests your lactate tolerance and anaerobic thresholds.  This test is EXTREMELY difficult and requires a doctor’s approval.  If you have your doctor’s approval and would like a copy of this Plyometric Assessment, please email me directly.   Mistake #2: Not Testing and Evaluating Your Training Efforts Correctly When you complete your maximum heart rate assessments through time trials, you want to make sure that you are not fatiguing the muscles too quickly which keep you from accurately testing the strength of your heart (specifically oxygen volume as it fuels your working muscles with oxygenated blood). Keep in mind that there is a difference between muscular endurance and muscular power.  If you muscles fatigue due to excessive load or exertion, you will not push your heart into its upper limits.  The key is knowing how to evaluate your time trial results.  Below mistake number three, I will outline testing protocols along with how to evaluate them correctly.  Solution #2: Allow for an Adequate Warm Up When you are attempting to test your aerobic engine, you need to make sure that you don’t increase your intensity too quickly for two reasons. First: the muscles need adequate time to warm up (usually 20-30 minutes) so that you don’t use the first half of your assessment as your “warm up”.  Second: trying to hit maximum effort too early.  The idea is to see what your maximum is over the entire duration, not the first five minutes.    Mistake #3: Following a Generic Training Plan Following a generic training plan that doesn’t take into consideration your training background, physical abilities and availability of time to train will lead to performance plateaus, illness and injuries. Within our performance programs, we factor in your testing results, physical limiters (see Mistake #2), goals and objectives as we develop your training program.  Too frequently I interview new clients who are frustrated with their last year of training and racing because they don’t see any improvements despite the consistency in their training.  The reason for this is that the efforts are not being quantified and the athlete spends too much time in the “grey zone” that yields little to no improvements in performance.  Solution #3: Begin Following a Scientifically Backed Training Program If you would like to begin maximizing your training efforts, please email me and let’s get a nutrition & performance program built for you ASAP!  I guarantee that you will burn body fat, build muscle and improve both your speed and endurance in as little as 12 weeks.  Stop the insanity of training without a plan and email me today.   Mistake #4: Not Eating Enough Fat, Protein and Raw Fruits & Vegetables Many athletes become fat and protein phobic because of the misinformation that is floating around on the internet and morning shows.  The truth of the matter is that the body needs more protein and fat than you can even begin to imagine. Simply put, lean protein re-builds torn down muscle.  If you want to build more muscle you have to eat protein.  Lean protein also supports your immune system which helps protect you against viruses and being down and out being sick. Clean fat will help your body recover from the oxidative stress of aerobic exercise (at all intensity levels).  Eating raw fruits and vegetables will provide your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals to both produce energy as well as recover from your daily training.   Solution #4: Begin Eating More Protein, Fat and Raw Vegetables & Fruits to Burn Body Fat and Improve Your Speed & Endurance The only two things that satisfy appetite is fat and protein – NOTHING ELSE.  If you are on a low fat, low protein diet, you will never experience the true feeling of being full.  This will negatively affect your ability to sleep (which makes you gain weight because your body doesn’t have the chance to release human growth hormone (hGH) which is responsible for making you lean).  The key to burning fat and building muscle is to satisfy your appetite so that you can sleep deeply (REM patter three).  When you get to REM pattern three your body rejuvenates from the inside out and allows your body to release human growth hormone naturally – you will wake up both refreshed and leaner.  However, it starts with real, raw fruits, vegetables, high quality fats and lean protein. You can now see that by training with a scientific, yet simplistic approach will yield the long-term results that you have been always wanting.  I look forward to hearing from each of you and how me and my staff can help you and your program. Until next time, Train Smart-Not Hard! -Coach Robb   About Coach Robb and MotoE (CompleteRacingSolutions.com)  Coach Robb has been working with riders and racers since 1987 and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance System, the Mental Blueprint of Success, the MotoE Amateur Development Program, the MotoE Educational Series and a nutritional consultant to Nutritionally Green Supplements based out of Orlando Florida. CompleteRacingSolutions.com is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages.  Visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com & subscribe to his monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used by Factory KTM/Red Bull Ryan Dungey, Geico Honda's Jeremy Martin, Factory KTM/Red Bulll Alix Martin, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit Adam Cianciarulo, multi-time Loretta Lynn & Mini O Amateur Champion Jordan Bailey (Factory Rockstar/Husqvarna), Factory KTM/Red Bull Broc Tickle, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit Stilez Robertson, off road riders Charlie Mullins (Factory KTM/Red Bull), Chris Bach and Ryan Overton along with quad racer Roman Brown (Factory Yamaha) along with thousands of riders all around the world who have families, hold full time jobs and just love to ride and race motorcycles.   Instructional videos with Coach Robb can be found on the Coach Robb’s YouTube Channel addressing rider’s questions about speed, endurance, strength, nutrition, biomechanics, stretching, and soft tissue maintenance. You can also find articles and videos at CompleteRacingSolutions.com relevant to riders of all abilities.  If you are into social media, you can find him on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb, Instagram: CoachRobbBeams and Facebook: Coach Robb.  If you are into podcasts, CLICK HERE for his first three shows where he outlined: How to Eat Healthy on $10 a Day; Importance of Sleep and It's Influence on Weight Loss; The Dangers of Over-Hydrating.    

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

KETOGENIC DIET & INTERMITTENT FASTING: DO THEY WORK? - PODCAST #23

During this Coach Robb Podcast I shed some insight into how the Ketogenic Diet (a.k.a. Keto Diet) originated and how this suggested way of eating has some immediate benefits, but also long-term consequences. I also discussed the similarities of the Keto Diet and past “popular diets and systems” that focus on one element of nutrition, take it out of context, and market that element as a brand new idea that is revolutionizing the way humans should eat to shed body fat and improve performance. As they say, everything old becomes new again, and after listening, you will see how there is a much simpler and sustainable way to eat to drop those unwanted pounds of body fat without sacrificing your foundation of health and wellness. During the second half of the podcast, I explain what intermittent fasting is and how the body adjusts and adapts to short periods of complete fasting (eating no calories at all). In addition to the pros and cons of intermittent fasting, I explain that if you implement fasting, of any duration, at the wrong time, the consequences could be quite substantial. If you have read about fasting and wondered if this process is good for you, grab a piece of paper and jot down some notes. The decision to fast has many implications beyond what it does to the body during the fast. You also need to understand the timing of the fasting process to avoid detrimental long-term results. Listeners questions include: What do I do if eating prior to exercise and/or racing makes me sick to my stomach? Why does training in the heat makes it difficult to drop body fat? How does a warm-up and cool down improve performance? What are the hierarchy of needs relevant to overall health and performance? What can I do to reduce cholesterol levels naturally?
  http://www.coachrobbpodcast.com/
 

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

How Setbacks Can Elevate Your Performance

Extended recovery can be the key to peak performance later in the season. I want to recap an insightful article written by a retired professional triathlete who had reached the pinnacle of his professional career and is providing validation to many scientific studies about the value of rest and recovery. There is no better way to learn something than from someone who has been there before.   How Can Setbacks Elevate Your Performance Potential?
As articulated by Torbjorn Sindballe, "the rules of training to achieve your peak will tell you that a top performance after an injury isn't possible. Those rules say peak performance requires relentless commitment over many months and endless hours of training. How then is it possible to come back stronger than ever in a season that has offered more than a fair share of health issues, setbacks and injuries eroding the base of consistent hours you typically rely on? Is it the body responding to a welcome break? Is it a reinvigorated hunger to win? Or is it a sense of urgency to perform?"   When you see a professional athlete come back from a major setback and then perform at an all new level, it sheds light on amateur training and racing that forced rest can help you achieve your own peak performance.   Health is the Key to Fitness and Performance
"With all we know about training, examples of incredible comebacks should be surprising. We know that 2-3 weeks of tapering leads to improved performance, but two to three months with a drastically reduced training load should be detrimental to performance and require much more than a month or two to build back. As quoted by Craig Alexander, 2 time winner of the Hawaii Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run), "Being healthy is as important as being fit. Because I was forced to rest because of an injury, my body responded well to training and I became more mentally confident in my ability".   "An injury typically exposes a weak link somewhere in your musculoskeletal chain. For example, low back dysfunctions typically stem from weak and poorly controlled abdominal muscles. The body spends a lot of energy compensating for such instabilities. Taking time off to recover and restore function with treatment, strength and stability training will allow you to tap into your body's full potential.   Being rested is an important part of being healthy. A body that has gone through half a season of training and racing will not respond as quickly and effectively to training as a fully rested and balanced body.   What Causes Declining Performance
Timothy Noakes, a South African sports physician and physiologist, has studied the human body for many decades with a particular interest in how the brain regulates fatigue and hence affects human performance. According to Noakes, there isn’t any controlled studies on how forced rest upon an athlete effects mental perspective and performance output.   Take a top endurance athlete like Robert de Castellas who set the marathon world record in 1981 but was barely able to break into the top ten at various marathons over the next five years. This is a clear indication of complete physical and mental fatigue. His body wasn’t capable of performing at its optimum level because it was offset with overall fatigue. Castella then took a full year away from structured training and racing. Over a six month time period he built a base of strength and endurance along with systematically adding speed and threshold work. The end result was winning the Rotterdam marathon in 1991.   Noakes did a study on chronically fatigued athletes with adrenal or hypothalamic (mental) burnout. In such a state, “an athlete is unable to secrete stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which are responsible for raising blood glucose levels or mobilizing fat for energy”. Keep in mind that these hormones are part of a natural functioning body and are needed when exercising, training hard or racing.   Noakes’ research team injected insulin into the test subjects to get their blood glucose levels down and observed the results. In a chronically fatigued state, their bodies were unable to get blood sugar levels back up which is a critical stress response in sports.   The take home message? When chronically fatigued, your body’s ability to produce hormones required to function normally is suppressed and you will more or less be forced onto the couch.   Chronic Fatigue
During heavy training (volume or intensity) the body is under a tremendous amount of physical stress. This is a combination of mechanical breakdown of muscle and tendons or use of energy storages along with oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a byproduct of metabolizing sugar commonly referred to as free radicals. Their effects on the body are similar to a peeled apple; the antioxidants in the apple are all in the skin. When the apple is peeled, the flesh is exposed to the reactive oxygen in the air and a breakdown begins which is illustrated with the flesh of the apple turning brown.   During hard training sessions and racing, the body has a difficult time consuming enough antioxidants from foods such as raw fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate, wine and certain teas imperative to maintaining optimum health and performance.
Noakes points out that oxidative damage is higher when eating a high-carbohydrate diet. Keep in mind that a high-fat diet may be important to reduce overall oxidative stress on the body as well.   In addition to the oxidative stress it is important to look at the brain itself. Noakes’ research points to the critical role of
the brain in regulating fatigue; hence anything that affects our brain function will also impact our physical performance.
Heavy workloads or high stresses in life often compromise sleep quality which is paramount to brain recovery. You can recover physically during the day, but the brain only recovers at night during deep sleep. Lack of quality sleep will then, over time, affect your body’s most basic levels of function.   Keys to Recovery
As outlined by ex-professional triathlete, Torbjorn Sindballe, the idea is that forced rest improves performance in athletes who have a form of chronic fatigue. We can distinguish between short term fatigue linked to the body’s day to day carbohydrate stores and long term fatigue linked to fatigue in the brain, changes in the hormonal system as well as micro-tears in the tendons, ligaments and muscles. Long term fatigue can result in injuries, illness or can even cause severe chronic fatigue with adrenal or hypothalamic burnout.   Noakes’ personal experience is that it takes six weeks with complete rest to recover from chronic fatigue and much more when the case is severe. As a result, for athletes with excessive training volumes and intensity, it may be beneficial in their longevity and performance results to take longer periods of the year where rest, good sleep and light alternative activity replace sport specific/structured training.   Recovery Tips for Peak Performance
Take an extended break from training and racing. Most racers take too little time off at the end of a season or after a peak performance. Strive to take 8-10 weeks away from structured training and racing, depending on your training background, volume and training intensity. The focus must be on the restoration and recovery of the body and the mind, this is imperative to your longevity as an athlete.   Improved sleep. Quality of sleep is the key to brain recovery. Many athletes cut into the volume of sleep so they can train. This strategy will have a negative impact on your health and ultimately your performance.   Eat more antioxidants and fewer carbohydrates. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants and experimenting with how many carbs you need to maintain training intensity and volume with will help you offset some of the negative side effects of high training loads and reduce the oxidative stress on your body. Keep in mind that carbs are imperative to fueling performance efforts; be cautious of cutting back your carb intake too aggressively.   Conclusion
What can you learn from elite athletes and clinical researchers? Ask yourself the question why you are afraid to rest? The logic of rest and recovery are simple. No amount of training will do someone good if they cannot absorb the adaptations associated with training. I have known many athletes who get injured and suffer from burn out as their season progresses. The overtraining culture of athletics is enormous and very few have the confidence to go against it. It is not surprising that those who adhere to the benefits of rest are the most successful within their respective sport.   Until next time, Train Smart-Not Hard!
-Coach Robb   Coach Robb has been working with riders and racers since 1987 and is the founder of the Complete Racing Solutions Performance System, the Mental Blueprint of Success, the MotoE Amateur Development Program, the MotoE Educational Series and Nutritionally Green Supplements based out of Orlando Florida.   CompleteRacingSolutions.com is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages. Visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com & subscribe to his bi-monthly newsletter that outlines the training solutions used by Factory KTM/Red Bull’s Ryan Dungey, Star Yamaha’s Jerry Martin and Alex Martin, RCH’s Brock Tickle, Factory Kawasaki/Pro-Circuit’s Adam Cianciarulo, multi-time Loretta Lynn’s & Mini O Champion’s Jordan Bailey (Factory Monster Energy/Kawasaki) GNCC bike racers Charlie Mullins and Chris Bach, and GNCC Quad racer Roman Brown along with thousands of riders all around the world!   Instructional videos with Coach Robb can be found on the Coach Robb’s Youtube Channel addressing rider’s questions about speed, endurance, strength, nutrition, biomechanics, stretching, and soft tissue maintenance. Please visit CompleteRacingSolutions.com to subscribe to his bi-newsletter and learn more about various resources for riders. You can follow him socially on Twitter: @MotoCoachRobb & Facebook: Coach Robb.   In addition to his own newsletters, Coach Robb is a regular contributor to Vurbmoto.com, Racer XVT, iMotoOnline, ThumperTalk & and various websites. Robb can also be heard on the monthly radio show DMXS answering listener’s questions about nutrition & fitness.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

A Guide to Proper Hydration for Optimum Health, Wellness & Performance

Proper hydration is one of the “easiest” nutritional components to implement, yields huge performance gains but is still one of the most misunderstood and neglected component of a nutritional program. The Importance of Hydration Here are some statistics to shed some light on the incredible importance of being properly hydrated: -The average human body consists of 96 pints of water (64 pints inside the cells & 32 pints in the blood, lymphatic & digestive juices) -Brain: 75% water -Bone: 20-30% water -Body Fat: 10% water -Digestive Juices: 86% -Blood 85% -Muscle: 70% And in my opinion, the most staggering statistic is relevant to muscle strength; a muscle that is dehydrated by only 3% can lose up to 10% of its strength and 8% loss of speed! The potential for optimum levels of performance literally dries up! Core Body Temperature When your body is running low on proper water levels within any system of your body: lymphatic, digestive, circulatory, etc. your athletic performance is negatively affected. The most detrimental is the ability to avoid overheating. Exercise (or more specifically any form of movement) creates heat within the muscles; the higher the intensity the hotter your body becomes. When this happens, your body’s metabolic systems move into over drive to maintain 98.6 degrees (your core body temperature while you are at rest). As your core body temperature increases, your body moves this increased internal heat to the skin via your blood. The performance issue is associated with your bloods responsibility to deliver oxygen, nutrition to your working muscles and the transfer of metabolic waste of your working muscles. Outside of 98-100 degrees and your body will automatically sacrifice muscle contraction for regulation of core body temperature. Think about it this way, a reduction in muscle function, even immobility isn’t life threatening; however, if your core body temperature rises more than 9 degrees Fahrenheit, normal biochemistry ceases and you can die. Simple Steps to Properly Hydrate Daily Tips: -Strive to consume half of your body weight in ounces of cold filtered water (For example: 150 pound athlete divided by 2 = 75 ounces per day) -Keep a post it note of how many water bottles you consume throughout the day or put a black marker hash mark on your disposable water bottle to indicate how many times you have re-filled it -Drink cold fluids: this has been documented to absorb quicker and helps pull down your core temperature -Avoid carbonated water and sodas; they slow down the absorption of water -Consume complex carbohydrates - fruits & vegetables at every meal and snack: o In addition to vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are high in water and electrolytes o To store sugar in your liver & muscles for energy, your body stores 2.7 grams of water – this is the way to pre-hydrate from the inside out During exercise: -Refrain from waiting until you become thirsty – you are already dehydrated [Note: the sensation of thirst, regulated by hypothalamus in your brain, occurs due to the lower concentration of water in the blood.] -Consume a sports drink that has a 5-7% carbohydrate ratio for optimum absorption -Consume 8-10 ounces every 15 minutes throughout exercise -Sip your fluids versus gulping to avoid the ingestion of air -Know your sweat rate: your goal is to lose no more than 2% (dehydrated) and no less than 1% (overhydrated). If you haven’t received a copy of our MotoE Sweat Rate Calculator, please email me and I will send one over to you -Test your hydration volumes, intake frequency and carbohydrate concentration in training and under the same conditions (temperature & humidity) as your race Post exercise: -Consume a carbohydrate and protein liquid drink within the first 20 minutes of finishing -Avoid juices, especially citrus juice, this will only add to your stomach acidity which will increase your chance of cramping and feeling nauseated. -Continue to sip on your sports drink to help replenish depleted electrolytes and sugar storages If you have any questions or need anything clarified, please email me directly. Until next time, Train Smart-Not Hard! -Coach Robb If you like my blog, you may follow it by clicking the "follow this blog" button in the upper right.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Which of These 3 Things Are Making You Slow?

When it comes to halting a rider’s progress both on and off of the track, nothing will stop you quicker than an injury.  Unfortunately, for many rider’s, we have either become complacent to injuries and have adopted the mindset that “it is just part of the sport” or assumed that the injury is a result of overusing a particular muscle or group of muscles.  With the exception of trauma associated with direct impact, injuries are an imbalance within your performance variables: sleep, food, hydration, training (volume & intensity) and your ability to “absorb” the daily workloads that you subject your body to in an attempt to improve.  As surmised by Dr. Maffetone, injuries fall into three categories: mechanical, chemical & mental.  Let’s review how each of these categories influence the status of your performance.  #1 - Mechanical Injuries Let’s create a scenario. You wake up one morning and when you step out of bed you feel a “slight pull” in the arch of your right foot.  You notice it, but you don’t think much more about it because within a few minutes of walking around the “slight pull” dissipates.  For the next week, every morning when you take your first few steps, you feel the tenderness in your foot lasting progressively longer and instead of being a “slight pull” it is actually becoming painful to walk on it.  This pain is now lasting throughout the day and is beginning to negatively affect your workouts.  As you train, your body senses the pain in the arch of your right foot and counterbalances this pain by shifting the way that you walk, stand and land when you run or walk. You know that you should run on your mid-foot, but it hurts too much, so you begin running by landing on your heel (mechanical mistake) and your body adjusts more of your weight to your left leg, this causes increased load levels on your left side and a domino effect of issues.  Keep in mind, this entire chain of events wasn’t a byproduct of a high impact injury, instead it is your body compensating to some soft tissue issue that resulted in a loss of biomechanics.  The key to avoiding a mechanical injury is a three step process: identify how the problem started, properly address the associated symptoms & implement a system to keep the issue from arising again.  Step One: Identify the Difference between the Pain Site & Pain Source If we continue to use the illustration of your right arch in your foot, let’s say that you purchased a new pair of shoes and they didn’t fit properly for the type of training you are doing.  Your left foot (notice the opposite side of the foot that hurts) gets tweaked during exercise which results in micro trauma (small tears in the muscle & connective tissue).  While there are no symptoms (swelling, hot to the touch, etc.), this micro trauma is sensed by the brain and is immediately addressed with compensation – you shift your body weight from being equally distributed with both feet, to more weight being distributed to your right foot (the eventual site of your pain, but not source of the problem). This distribution of more body weight to the right side of the body puts more loads on the bones and muscles which creates a “secondary compensation”; an excessive amount of load that has to be distributed to keep you upright and able to walk.  This excessive load eventually weakens (because of fatigue) both the primary and secondary muscles become so tight (part of the compensation process), flexibility is limited and movement is creating micro tears in the tissue that your brain picks up as pain.  When this point of the process is achieved, the muscles are like a tight guitar string and the slightest movement ends up being the “action” that you feel – a muscle tear or chronic tenderness.  Solution: find an experienced human performance coach or physical therapist who understands movement associated with your specific sport to help you identify the source of your pain. If you can’t move without pain, you will never be able to achieve your full potential. Step Two: address the symptoms.  It is not a rational thought to think that you can correct pain by acting as if it isn’t there – sometimes this means taking some time off!  The therapy needed for dealing with symptoms needs to begin with the cause of the pain in the first place.  In the illustration of your right foot, you need to source the problem all the way back to a poor fitting shoe that didn’t support your training efforts.  Once you are put into the correct shoes, the body will cease making adaptations and compensations – this is the critical step to dealing with the painful symptoms.   The body has an incredible natural ability to heal itself once the cause of the problem is properly addressed.  As a general rule of thumb, if the injury is acute (you have felt the pain for the first time within the last 48 hours), then apply ice for 10 minutes and then air temperature and manual massage for 10 minutes.  If the symptom has persisted for more than 48 hours, apply ice for 10 minutes, moist heat for 10 minutes and air temperature/massage for 10 minutes.  Repeat as many times as logistically possible.   Step Three: Prevent the Cycle of Pain Before it begins Most racers are able to narrow down the source of an injury quite quickly when questioned.  For example, if I ask an athlete how old their shoes are, they are able to tell me that they are 8 months old and not very comfortable to wear.  They have literally narrowed down the source of the problem with just a few questions.  The problem arises when racers ignore their body’s feedback relevant to pain and not make the necessary (usually easy) adjustments to keep the symptoms from getting worse.  When your body provides you an obvious signal – tenderness in your foot for example, stop and ask yourself what is actually going on.  If you don’t stop, rest and evaluate what conditions have led to this situation, you will be eventually forced to stop resulting in more down time from riding & racing.    #2 Chemical Injuries – Epstein Barr/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome The typical racer spends most of his or her spare time riding, cross training, working/school and spending time with your family & friends.  Riding & cross training is as common as eating lunch each day.  However, you may notice that it is getting progressively harder to get through a workout or a race feeling strong.  Additional symptoms may include irritability, weight gain, craving simple sugar, not sleeping well and getting ill frequently.  Though this may not be as “painful” as a mechanical injury, you are chemically injured.  Although some chemical injuries may provide symptoms of inflammation, which can be painful, the most common characteristic of a chemical problem is that you feel tired and fatigue quickly when training and/or racing. To properly address chemical injuries, you must first rule out more serous conditions such as anemia (low red blood cell levels), infections or other disorders.  To help narrow this condition quickly, a full panel blood test, evaluation of family history and a physical exam by a professional should be performed every three months. A personal schedule that is spread too thin creates an environment where the ability to recover completely is hindered and the stress level placed on your adrenal system becomes excessive.  Your adrenal system is designed to adapt and compensate for all the stress that you subject your body to on a daily and weekly basis.  With your adrenals not being able to sustain your stress levels, your bodily functions begin to decline.  Symptoms include: Ø  Blood sugar becomes unstable leading to fatigue Ø  The brain is deprived of the necessary sugar it needs, cravings & increased hunger follows.  Ø  Irritability - because the brain is sensitive to relatively small changes in blood sugar Ø  Weight Gain – stress slows down your metabolism which causes your body to shift from using more sugar and less fat for fuel which leads weight gains Ø  Suppressed immune system – this leads to frequent illness and lingering sickness Ø  Allergies become more common & severe Solution: clean up your personal schedule so that you are doing exactly what you have outlined in your personal schedule to maximize your mental focus and overall productivity.  Additionally, add more high quality fat to satisfy your appetite and fuel your body with high quality MCT (medium chain triglycerides) for energy.    #3 - Mental Injuries As stated by Dr. Maffetone, “a chemical may trigger impairment on a mental or emotional level.” If the brain becomes distorted from a chemical effect of diet, nutrition, excessive training volume or intensity, a mental injury can occur.   Symptoms include: Depression Low desire to train Fearing competition High levels of anxiety Personal life and balance becoming stressful Decreased performance results (even with more effort being put into training) A functional imbalance in the brain’s chemistry is a change in two neurotransmitters: Serotonin & Norepinephrine.  The brain’s imbalance may be caused by a mismatched diet, lack of nutrients, or training too hard, too long or too often.  Serotonin has a calming, sedative, or depressing effect in the brain.  A high carbohydrate (high glycemic) meal, results in more serotonin production.  Norepinephrine has a stimulating effect on the brain.  A racer who is depressed could benefit from more of this brain chemical. Overtraining frequently is preceded by too much anaerobic work.  Anaerobic work creates excessive lactic acid which has been shown to create depression, anxiety and phobias amongst racers.  The catalyst for this is an overstimulation of the adrenal glands, and occurs with the release of endorphins. 
  Conclusion The key to optimum performance is to think through how the problems were created and implement a specific process to pull you out of the negative environment and into an environment that yields optimum health, wellness and ultimately performance.  Each injury needs to be seen as part of the racer and each racer must be approached individually based on age, experience, status of the injury, how the body responds to therapy and overall goals.  Finally, step back and review this entire process.  It has taken weeks, maybe months, for your injury to get to the point where you stop and address the issue with therapy.  And all along this process, your body has not been healthy and your performance has been negatively affected.   Next issue we will discuss: The Anatomy of an Injury: Knees & Ankles.  If you have any questions or need anything clarified, please email me directly.  Until next time, Train Smart-Not Hard! -Coach Robb

About MotoE and Complete Racing Solutions MotoE-CompleteRacingSolutions.com (the world’s largest and most successful moto specific Human Performance Company) is a complete Motocross Performance Training company with a vision of developing good racers into championship level racers through proven nutrition, mental, fitness and performance programs. MotoE currently manages the nutrition, mental, speed, strength and endurance programs for Ricky Carmichael’s GOAT Farm, the Georgia Training Facility (GPF) and WildwoodMX - with more partnerships to be announced in 2018. Led by Head Coach and Founder, Robb Beams, MotoE offers 33 years of success including four-time supercross and three-time motocross champion Ryan Dungey, and current pro riders Jeremy Martin, Adam Ciancirulio, Alex Martin, Isaac Teasdale, Tristan Charboneau and Mitchell Harrison.  Current top amateur riders developed by MotoE’s Performance & Nutritional Program include Jordan Bailey, Lance Kobush, Jake Pinhancos, Stilez Robertson, Joshua Guffey and Dylan Greer.   If you are frustrated with "gusessing" what to do or why your performance levels are below your expectations, contact MotoE's Customer Service department and request a FREE 20 minute consultation with Coach Robb to see what can be done to get you to that next level of fitness and performance.      

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Beat the heat! Rider's guide on proper hydration for max performance

This article is in addition to the last three articles where we broke down fats, protein and carbohydrates as it related to health, wellness and ultimately performance. Proper hydration is one of the “easiest” nutritional components to implement, yields huge performance gains but is still one of the most misunderstood and neglected component of a nutritional program.   The Importance of Hydration   Here are some statistics to shed some light on the incredible importance of being properly hydrated:   The average human body consists of 96 pints of water (64 pints inside the cells & 32 pints in the blood, lymphatic & digestive juices) Brain: 75% water Bone: 20-30% water Body Fat: 10% water Digestive Juices: 86% Blood 85% Muscle: 70%

And in my opinion, the most staggering statistic is relevant to muscle strength; a muscle that is dehydrated by only 3% can lose up to 10% of its strength and 8% loss of speed! The potential for optimum levels of performance literally dries up!  
Core Body Temperature   When your body is running low on proper water levels within any system of your body: lymphatic, digestive, circulatory, etc. your athletic performance is negatively affected. The most detrimental is the ability to avoidoverheating.   Exercise (or more specifically any form of movement) creates heat within the muscles; the higher the intensity the hotter your body becomes. When this happens, your body’s metabolic systems move into over drive to maintain 98.6 degrees (your core body temperature while you are at rest). As your core body temperature increases, your body moves this increased internal heat to the skin via your blood. The performance issue is associated with your bloods responsibility to deliver oxygen, nutrition to your working muscles and the transfer of metabolic waste of your working muscles. Outside of 98-100 degrees and your body will automatically sacrifice muscle contraction for regulation of core body temperature. Think about it this way, a reduction in muscle function, even immobility isn’t life threatening; however, if your core body temperature rises more than 9 degrees Fahrenheit, normal biochemistry ceases and you can die.   Simple Steps to Properly Hydrate   Daily Tips:   > Strive to consume half of your body weight in ounces of cold filtered water (For example: 150 pound athlete divided by 2 = 75 ounces per day).   > Keep a post it note of how many water bottles you consume throughout the day or put a black marker hash mark on your disposable water bottle to indicate how many times you have re-filled it.   > Drink cold fluids: this has been documented to absorb quicker and helps pull down your core temperature.   > Avoid carbonated water and sodas; they slow down the absorption of water.   > Consume complex carbohydrates - fruits & vegetables at every meal and snack:
- In addition to vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are high in water and electrolytes
- To store sugar in your liver & muscles for energy, your body stores 2.7 grams of water – this is  
During exercise:   > Refrain from waiting until you become thirsty – you are already dehydrated [Note: the sensation of thirst, regulated by hypothalamus in your brain, occurs due to the lower concentration of water in the blood.].   > Consume a sports drink that has a 5-7% carbohydrate ratio for optimum absorption.   > Consume 8-10 ounces every 15 minutes throughout exercise.   > Sip your fluids versus gulping to avoid the ingestion of air.   > Know your sweat rate: your goal is to lose no more than 2% (dehydrated) and no less than 1% (overhydrated). If you haven’t received a copy of our MotoE Sweat Rate Calculator, please email me and I will send one over to you.   > Test your hydration volumes, intake frequency and carbohydrate concentration in training and under the same conditions (temperature & humidity) as your race.   Post exercise:   > Consume a carbohydrate and protein liquid drink within the first 20 minutes of finishing.   > Avoid juices, especially citrus juice, this will only add to your stomach acidity which will increase your chance of cramping and feeling nauseated.   > Continue to sip on your sports drink to help replenish depleted electrolytes and sugar storages.   Until next time, Train Smart-Not Hard!   Coach Robb
http://www.completeracingsolutions.com/

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Natural Alternatives to Performance Enhancing Drugs

It has been a few years now since Lance Armstrong appeared on TV and admitted to his, and his teams, use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDS).  To say that there was an awareness of PEDS influencing the race results of the Tour de France is an understatement; however, to the extent that past racers and champions have admitted to using PEDS (both regarding the type and amounts) is frightening.  In this article, I thought I would provide a recap of the most popular PEDS and how you can get the same performance results in a healthy and natural way.  Note: Your body produces these substances naturally in the body, the key to optimum health and performance is to maintain a high quality & quantity of healthy blood through clean eating and controlled training efforts (volume, intensity and frequency). Drug: Erythropoietin (pronounced, ah-rith-ro-poy-tin, and abbreviated, EPO) What EPO Does Within the Body Erythropoietin (pronounced, ah-rith-ro-poy-tin, and abbreviated, EPO) is a relatively recent entry into the deceitful pursuit of glory. EPO is a protein hormone produced by the kidney. After being released into the blood stream it binds with receptors in the bone marrow, where it stimulates the production of red blood cells (erythrocytes). Medically, EPO is used to treat certain forms of anemia (e.g., due to chronic kidney failure). Logically, since EPO accelerates erythrocyte production it also increases oxygen carrying capacity. Side Effects of EPO: Death In the 1990s, there was a spate of sudden deaths associated within the cycling world associated with EPO: Marco Ceriani (16 years old), Johan Sermon (21 YO), Fabrice Salanson (23 YO), Marco Rusconi (24 YO), Jose Maria Jimenez (32), Denis Zanette (32 YO), Marco Pantani (34 YO), Michel Zanoli (35 YO).  This negative publicity was at least part of the reason for the clamping down on EPO use, which was rampant at the time.  The reason that EPO, and transfusion blood doping, is dangerous is because of increased blood viscosity. Basically, whole blood consists of red blood cells and plasma (water, proteins, etc.). The percentage of whole blood that is occupied by the red blood cells is referred to as, the hematocrit. A low hematocrit means dilute (thin) blood, and a high hematocrit mean concentrated (thick) blood. Above a certain hematocrit level whole blood can sludge and clog capillaries. If this happens in the brain it results in a stroke. In the heart, a heart attack. Unfortunately, this has happened to several elite athletes who have used EPO. EPO use is especially dangerous to athletes who exercise over prolonged periods. A well-conditioned endurance athlete is more dehydration resistant than a sedentary individual. The body accomplishes this by several methods, but one key component is to “hold on” to more water at rest. Circulating whole blood is one location in which this occurs and, thus, can function as a water reservoir. During demanding exercise, as fluid losses mount, water is shifted out of the blood stream (hematocrit rises). If one is already starting with an artificially elevated hematocrit then you can begin to see the problem -- it is a short trip to the critical “sludge zone”.

Additional dangers of EPO include sudden death during sleep, which has killed approximately 18 pro cyclists in the past fifteen years, and the development of antibodies directed against EPO. In this later circumstance, the individual develops anemia as a result of the body’s reaction against repeated EPO injections. There are some other reasons why cyclists might be predisposed to sudden death - riding at high intensities when carrying viral infections (as pro athletes tend to do) is one of them. And, as Ryan Shay, and a number of other high-profile cases have shown recently, sudden death is a tragic, but not completely uncommon event. There are reports that Nolf’s cardiogram was normal, but even that are not a guarantee of health, because those tests can often miss the quite rare conditions that cause sudden death in athletes. Source: click here How to improve the quality & production of red blood cells naturally With a balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein sources, your body will produce the blood chemistry necessary to perform at an elite level.  Determining the optimal amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats that an individual need for optimal health and performance is beyond the scope of this article; however, I want you to know how to create healthy red blood cells.  Natural Eating Solution: eat high quality protein along with high quality brown bread with real butter.  The protein will provide your body with iron (helps form hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the bloodstream from the lungs to the muscles & brain) and the brown bread will provide you B vitamins (also referred to as Energy Vitamins).  An additional benefit of eating protein and brown bread is that the bread with improve your absorption of the iron.  Drug: Human Growth Hormone (hGH) What HGH Does Within the Body hGH is stored in a pea sized ball called the pituitary gland and is the primary stimulus to muscle & muscle strength, bone growth & bone strength, tendon growth & tendon strength, injury repair and mobilization of body fat for use as energy.    Warning: this gets technical, but necessary to fully understand this process.  The key to overall health and performance is to stimulate your own production of growth hormone and you accomplish this by stimulating the pituitary gland correctly.  The pituitary is stimulated to release growth hormone by another hormone circulation in the brain called somatocrinin.  Levels of somatocrinin can be increased by increasing levels of brain neurotransmitters.  These neurotransmitters are the chemicals that carry information from one nerve to another.  Their activity constitutes your mind, your consciousness and dreams.  To increase neurotransmitters, you have to get the amino acids that influence them past what is called the blood-brain barrier.  This concept is beyond the scope of this article, but what needs to be discussed here is an amino acid, Tryptophan, which is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin.  Serotonin is a compound that slows down brain activity during rest & sleep.  Shortly after you fall asleep, your pituitary gland releases a burst of growth hormone.   Source: Optimum Sports Nutrition, Dr. Michael Colgan. Side Effects of Synthetic hGH External side effects of synthetic hGH include: intense wrist nerve pain, diabetes, overgrowth of the facial bones, gaps between the teeth as the jawbone widens, development of a fatter nose, thickened bone above the eyes resembling an ape and excessive hair growth.  Internal side effects include stressed liver, thyroid & pancreas symptoms, diabetes and historically die prior to the age of 60.  How to improve the production of hGH naturally As mentioned above, the largest growth homone release occurs 30-60 minutes after falling asleep along with high intensity exercise (within moderate volume levels).  To take advantage of these normal physiological functions, racers need to increase the duration and quality of sleep and monitor exercise durations and intensity levels.  Ideally, racers should train twice daily, mid morning and early afternoon and take a nap immediately after training.  Remember, each time you rest, your body receives a burst of growth hormone naturally.  Natural Eating Solution: consume a high-quality smoothie that contains a high quality whey protein prior to sleeping and napping.  Research has shown that the production of hGH can improve by up to 300% when high quality whey protein is consumed before resting.  Drug: Testosterone What Testosterone Does Within the Body Testosterone has two distinct modes of action, androgenic (masculinizing) and anabolic (tissue building).  Up to a certain level of testosterone in your body, a level that varies widely with biochemical individuality, the androgenic action produces more maleness, broader features, more hair, deeper voice, and larger sex organs.  Along with it, the anabolic action produces larger muscles and greater strength. 

Side Effects of Synthetic or Excessive Testosterone If you take synthetic or excessive testosterone, the androgenic action turns nasty (aggression, violent anxiety, paranoia, and manic-depressive reactions).  Additional negative side effects are irreversible baldness, overgrowth of the prostate, (which chokes the bladder and requires a catheter in order to urinate), acne (the blood fails to contain the excess hormone and overloads the sebaceous glands), impotence, shrinkage of testicles, cardiovascular disease and cancer.  How to improve the production of testosterone naturally Sleep 8-10 hours; eat high quality fruits, vegetables and high-quality protein.  Control your exercise intensity & volume to avoid over stressing your body.  Natural Eating Solution: eat foods that are high in boron, zinc, vitamin C, branched chain amino acids and maximize the release of growth hormone.    If you have any questions, comments, or suggestion for a future article, hit me up on the comments section below. I enjoy hearing from you. Oh, and don't forget to tap that "Follow" button so that you're notified when I post new tips on reaching your highest potential. Coach Robb Beams
Complete Racing Solutions
         

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

Improve your Speed & Endurance by Dropping Some Body Fat

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how to improve speed and endurance on the bike and my answer is always "drop some body fat". When you carry around unwanted body fat, your muscles have to work harder to complete the same amount of work. Fat insulates your body which makes you over-heat, another energy robbing component to your riding and racing. When you decrease your body fat, you immediately improve your VO2 Max number (a sports science number that dictates your ability to utilize oxygen, the higher the number, the better). Here are four simple steps to decreasing your body fat. Four Ways to Decrease Body Fat 1. Weight training is the key to weight loss. Building a foundation of lean muscle will provide you fat burning centers found in the muscle spindle cells that is created and enhanced with loadbearing exercises like strength training. 2. Feed your gains with protein. People often skip protein intake immediately after they exercise, thinking that they will save 200 to 300 calories. However, a high-quality shot of protein – specifically amino acids, will accelerate lean muscle growth and muscle repair post exercise. The more lean muscle you build the more efficient you are at burning body fat. 3. Determine your physical and mental limiters by completing a strength and cardiovascular assessments (sport specific). Establish specific goals and objectives for the next three, six, and 12 months that will help you eliminate your physical limiters. Research indicates that eight workouts per month is the minimum required to stick to a fitness plan. The more frequently you exercise, the better the odds are that you that your initial effort will turn into a habit. Being mentally focused will help you maintain your motivation levels. 4. If you have been away from training (i.e. off season, illness or injury), ease back into strength training and cardiovascular fitness slowly. Many people try to resume or pick up where they left off when they exercised in the past. This only results in excessively sore muscles, stressed joints, and a negative mental outlook on working out. When you begin your strength exercises, choose a load level that's extremely easy to lift for 8 to 10 reps for two sets. Complete that same amount of weight and reps for three weeks to allow your body adequate time to adjust and adapt (I refer to this as the Anatomical Adaptation Stage). For your cardiovascular exercise, keep your duration less than 30 minutes and keep your intensity low – you should be able to pass the talk test, which is where you could talk to someone else or sing to yourself while exercising without becoming winded. If you have any questions or need anything clarified, please don't hesitate to post a comment below. Until next time, Train Smart, Not Hard! -Coach Robb If you'd like to follow my blog, click the "follow this blog" button in the upper right.

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

 

3 Things to Avoid When Peaking for a Race

1. Getting sick: as you get closer to your race (especially the last week), you need to kick into overdrive your hygiene habits. Wash your hands regularly, keep them covered in anti-bacteria gel, stay hydrated, load up on immunity supporting foods and supplements, use a netty pot two times a day (morning and evening).   2. Too much time: as you taper down your training, your volume should be coming down and your intensity should be going up. As your volume of training time comes down, you are left with a surplus of "idle time". Use this time to sleep, eat or get a massage.   3. Squeezing in one more hard workout: the body will ALWAYS perform better if you come into an event rested and hungry to compete. If you squeeze in one more hard workout (out of doubt and fear), you run the risk of dumping your best potential in training instead of racing.   Yours in sport and health,
-Coach Robb  

Coach Robb

Coach Robb

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