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A Critical Component for Success - An Effective Warm Up

Coach Robb


Quick Note: over the last two weeks I was discussing the importance of fats and protein (Part 1). Please click on Protein – Part 3 for the information relevant to macro nutrients. If you have any questions or need anything clarified, please email me directly.

Why Warm Up?

This is a question that I answer frequently both in my office and at the track. Riders are confused why they should exercise before exercising. Some are afraid that they will become tired; some feel it is a waste of time because it cuts into their ride or cross training time and others feel that they will look silly amongst their fellow riders. What most riders are aware of is that there are physiological changes that need to take place as the human body transitions from idle to very active.

Re-Distribution of Blood

When you are resting or at a low level of movement, the majority of your blood resides in your spine and your organs. As you begin to move progressively faster, you’re increasing your body’s demand for oxygen, so your blood vessels dilate to deliver blood to the moving muscles (specifically your arms and legs).

Heat is a by-product of movement. As you begin to move faster and faster, your core body temperature rises and your body responds by “waking up” your sweat production. There tends to be a slight lag time between the initiation of movement and the production of sweat on skin (your body’s natural radiator). Allowing your body this transition window of time is imperative to optimal performance because you want your body’s natural cooling system to be at full capacity before high intensity cross training, riding or racing.

Preparing the Muscles

When you burn stored sugar (glycogen) from your liver and muscles, the energy production cycle releases a hydrogen ion that is acidic in nature. This acid “burns” the muscles as it begins to accumulate. Just like a motor, if you allow your body to “warm up” correctly, your body will be familiar with the presence of lactic acid and perform at a higher level of output with less effort.

The Ideal Bicycle Warm-Up Routine

Stage 1: 14 Minutes:

Gearing: small chain ring up front, middle rear gearing Cadence: 80-85 (no higher/lower)

Misc.: stretch and hydrate before moving into your main set

Stage 2: 6 minutes:

1 Minute at 80-85% effort (you should not be gasping for air here!); mentally focus on

1 Minute at 60-70% effort (very relaxed; stretch as necessary)

The Ideal Concept 2 Rower Warm-Up Routine

Stage 1: 14 Minutes:

Even tempo – smooth pulls, initiated with your legs and gluts; if you feel any muscle group(s) tighten up,

by isolating both the front and back of the overly tight muscle(s).

Stage 2: 6 minutes:

1 Minute strong and smooth (not a sprint); mentally focus on

1 Minute; very easy/low pull rate/active recovery

After 20 minutes

and top off on your glycogen reserves by consuming Energy Fuel (this will top off the glycogen levels within the muscles and the liver needed for high intensity riding.

By allowing adequate time for a warm up will result in faster opening speeds, improved endurance along with improved skills on the track. If you have any questions or need anything clarified, please email me directly.

Until next time, Train Smart-Not Hard!

-Coach Robb


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