Health and Fitness with Greg Lutton

Greg Lutton will be one of the new authors for SMR Training. Here is a little about him and what direction his articles will be going in. -Ryan  Have you ever looked at some of the pro racers and wondered what it is they do to prepare for race season? If you're like me, I am always looking to improve my riding but time is definitely not on my side. In fact, it feels like I have to work a bit harder to get better every year. One of the things I like to do is look at pre-season training regiments people use but again, if you're like me, some of these might be too intense for us weekend racers living with days jobs.

Through the next few months we are going to examine what some of the pros use all the way down to some of what my fellow riders and I do to get in and maintain shape. For me, even a few weeks away and BAM! I can feel gravity working again. We will look at what will essentially turn into "performance based fitness" and what makes us great athletes, not just great riders.

First, a disclaimer: While I am working towards my Certified Personal Trainer certificate, in no way am I prescribing any training for anyone to follow who has not had a personal health assessment or consulted with their doctor before beginning any exercise. This is purely for informational purposes and mainly a survey of activities used to make us better riders. If you do anything discussed, you do so at your own risk, if it hurts while you do it, STOP. In the end, if you have questions or concerns about your health, seek a healthcare professional.

Alright, with that out of the way, let's go. I watch Supercross, Outdoor MX, go to local dirt track car racing, coach Lacrosse to high-school kids and am pretty active myself. One of the things common in all of these activities is the amount of energy needed to make it all happen. Like most things, if you let it sit, it will rust. Same goes for our bodies. What I notice most is that all people do some form of exercise even if it just done on race day racing. Racing, riding, even daily life can be taxing on the body. We all have different jobs that put demands on the body. The question is, what can I do to get better not just at racing, but also in my daily life. It is well known that exercise and training not only helps your sport, but also has awesome side effects in that it makes daily life easier.

Let's take a look at a few evaluation techniques to assess our fitness level. For that I like to defer to a standard, the Physical Readiness Test. Essentially it asks you to perform as many pushups, situps, pullups in 2mins each. Also, run a mile and see what your time is. This gives a really clear assessment of where you stand. Want some of my numbers? When I first started to monitor I was 196#: 25pushups, 60situps, and 4pullups with a 13min mile! If you can do more, awesome, if you do less, even more awesome because  that means you have more room to improve and trust me, if you stick to any form of regular exercise, you WILL improve. Another is to test out flexibility: can you touch your toes, how high can you lift your legs, when seated and legs spread apart, can you lean to one toe and touch it? Even if all of this seems daunting, it is a baseline, a start point. The one thing I want to make sure of is that everyone gets something out of this, from the person who has done nothing for a few years, to an experienced gym rat. Everything we talk about, when scaled and stacked appropriately, will be challenging.

Once, you get a baseline, take those numbers and hold on to them. As we discuss this, I would like to hear some feedback on what seems important to you about your fitness and riding, what you're looking to get out of it and where you would like to see yourself in a few months. Feel free to share. Enjoy and happy training.