We often see articles and photos that explore the various methods riders use to train off the circuit. These include mountain biking, motocross, weight lifting, boxing… just to name a few. When combined, all training tools utilized by racers are used to help them go fast, stay fast, prevent injury and bounce back after failure.
Yes, many of the techniques used to train off the circuit provide great benefits for physical strength, but many of these are also used to exercise the mind. MotoGP is arguably just as much of a mental game as it is a physical game. A bad memory or loss of confidence on a bike can jeopardize a rider’s entire race or sometimes season, regardless of their physical preparation. The general population holds professional athletes on such pedestals that it is easy to forget the extreme emotional strain, whether it be good or bad, that they go through.
So in order to not let these intense race weekends consume them and their mental health, riders must find outlets to exercise both their bodies and their minds. The goals of cross-training vary for each rider but generally, riders train to improve:
- Reaction time
- Physical stamina
- General strength
- Specific muscle group strength/movement that are used most on the circuit
- Mental endurance
Riding a MotoGP bike is no walk in the park. Being able to manhandle them around uniquely configured circuits, react quickly to the electronics and be able to fall without getting seriously injured all stems from experience on the circuit and training off the circuit.
Throughout the off-season, we will be releasing articles that zero in on cross-training for MotoGP from various angles. Stay tuned and stay fit!