Train like a BSB Racer

October 23rd, 2014 | In: BSB, Jordan Gilbert, Motorbike

It’s not easy being a motorbike racer. It requires daily training, strict eating habits and lots of dedication. Check out Jordan’s blog and work out diary to see how he stays in tip top condition for his British Superbike Superstock 600 races. 

” As a motorcycle racer, fitness is one of the key factors to success. MotoGP riders train every single day. During my training, I try to perform to my highest ability. When I am training I think of the benefits of completing the training, and replicate how my training compares to riders of a higher level. I push myself to train as hard as more experienced riders to try and follow in their footsteps. Reading up on Jonathan Rea’s training, I try to compete at his level in the gym or out on the roads. His training is for a race that is almost double in length and distance on a bike more powerful and heavier. If I can train as hard as he does, with a shorter race and lighter bike, I will believe I can achieve highly.

The benefit of working as hard as other riders is that it will push me on to try harder. It will give me confidence as I will believe that if they can achieve, so can I, making the training seem very much worthwhile. My race is roughly last 25 minutes, depending on the race, so if a safety car comes out, we would add about 3-4 minutes on to the race time. In our races, the distance for most races will be around 37 miles. Obviously this isn’t just 37 miles straight; it is 37 miles with hard braking, hairpins, chicanes etc. A typical number of laps will complete is 12 laps, depending on the circuit we are at Silverstone is 10 laps, but MotoGP and World Superbike races will be 20-22 laps.

Jordan Gilbert on the Haribo/Devitt bike

A lot of work will go into my race preparation. I have to make sure I am still keeping active and training up until the day we leave to go to the circuit. I keep my fitness very high and make sure I am always running or cycling due to my natural stamina, which isn’t my strongest point, so therefore I will try my hardest to keep it as high as possible. Fitness is important because the fitter you are the stronger your heart is as the more efficient your cardiovascular system is, so the heart, lungs and blood. It will mean the heart is working less but still providing enough oxygen in the blood to feed the muscles, therefore making the system more efficient. These benefit me as my body can perform to the highest level.

Weekly Training Regime 

Monday:
Mondays consists of a mix of Muscular strength and endurance training at the gym.
I complete 30-40 minutes cardiovascular workouts, such as running, cycling or rowing. Making sure to get some cardio training in each day is so important to me because of my lack of natural stamina. I have to keep my fitness at such a high level because it doesn’t last long with me! I usually run in the gym on the treadmill for about 20 minutes, but pushing myself so the heart rate is very high, increasing my fitness. Rowing I will complete the same, but because it is a more strenuous exercise, I usually do a little less.
I do enjoy my cardiovascular training, when I remember my earphones! I struggle to train without music. It makes it a lot easier and takes your mind off of the burn in the muscles. I enjoy it when I beat a personal best, because I know I am making progress.

In the muscular training I focus on the parts which I struggle with, the arms and core. I sometimes struggle with fighting the bike around and pulling it from side to side; abdominal and pectoral workouts are vital. These workouts will usually consist of leg raises, or reverse crunches. I complete 75 press ups in 3 sets of 25. This works the all of the shoulder muscles along with pectorals and some abdominals. Planks are good for burning fat. They are an isometric exercise which means the muscle is not moving but still tensed. I would try and hold planks for a minute each. I also try to increase the time each time I visit the gym. The only equipment I use is when I am doing a free dumb bell press. I lie on my back on a bench, and use the weights to push them above me. Its good for pectorals and the core muscles underneath for stability.

Tuesday:
I take the bike out and cycle about 30 miles. Cycling outside is much more effective than cycling in the gym, because it gives you an option to stop, but when I am out, I cannot stop due to having to get home!

I never take any rest during the cycle if I can because it allows the heart rate to drop, and the best results usually come from pushing the limit. I only get to stop if I have reached traffic lights or traffic, living in a built up area it’s hard not to bump into traffic! I use a phone application which allows me to determine a route. In the area we live in, the roads are a good surface but it is a very congested area. As there are no country roads, it makes it very difficult.
Cycling does have some resemblance to being on the actual bike. For one it’s a bike which is a good start, but it also helps with posture and positioning, but mostly it’s about the fitness.

Jordan training on a push bike

Wednesday:
Wednesday is the day I go to the gym but do not do any cardiovascular work. It is all muscle. I make sure I can do more repetitions than increasing the weight to make the training more endurance than strength. The weight training I do is getting a suitable weight for me, but increase by 2kg to make myself push for next time. I carry out drop sets on the workout machines which means setting weight, doing the repetitions, then dropping the weight by 10kg, and almost doubling the repetitions as before. The thing to remember is to make sure you are doing enough training to cater for all the physicality of a race, so I almost try and work 3 times as hard in the gym as I would do on the bike. On Wednesdays, I would work the whole body due to having no cardio work done.
In the evening, I train with a football team. An hour and a half on solid cardiovascular work, therefore not needing to do any at the gym. 

Thursday:
I always take a day off from the gym because the body needs time to rest, so I rarely do a muscular workout, but I usually play badminton with my cousin so I continue to do some light exercises.
Rest and recovery is very important because it means the muscles have time to rest and build. Protein is very important on this day because it means the muscles repair faster. This means next time I will perform to a higher level.

 

Jordan mid-cycle break

Friday:
I will do another big session at the gym. I try to do as much rowing as I can because it is such a physically demanding sport. An all body workout that makes everything ache! I also make sure all arms and legs get tested. I may then do a smaller cycle than the first one out on my bike, to make sure my fitness is still at its best!

When I row on Fridays, I complete 25 minutes. As it’s a whole body workout, it is really tough. I find it the most demanding sport there is. It allows me to push my arms and legs to the limit, and force me to have a massive break afterwards!

Saturday:
On Wednesdays I play football for my local team, and to add a competitive edge, we have games on Saturdays. They are strenuous games which make you work very hard on your cardiovascular fitness, and also makes your mind stay active and in a competitive state.

Football is a sport I have played since I was 5 years old. I always used to play for my brothers team and my own team throughout all the years I was playing, it was a sport I could have succeeded in if I really put my mind to it, but racing came along! I got to county level in football, so a decent standard. Football came naturally to me, some other sports didn’t. Swimming, I was never the strongest at, and never enjoyed it competitively. I used to play Rugby for my school team, but the team didn’t have the commitment, so we didn’t compete as we should have. As I had started so young, football was the sport I was excelling at, therefore I enjoyed it more.

The football team I am playing for now is a whole new start in football for me, I didn’t know anyone in the team, so at the moment, I am not fully into the team, but that will come soon as chemistry starts to build in the squad. Racing allows me to perform on my own, and if I do well, I take pride for myself, but also the team is a base to the performance.

Sunday:
I go out for another long cycle. Being on any bike will help with development on the Triumph 675, it will allow my legs to become stronger and allow for long endurance training, like it would be on the bike, which will ultimately help me on the bike.

As for motivation, I do not listen to any music. It puts me in the wrong frame of mind and takes my focus off of the race or job in hand. I put my earplugs in and block everyone out of my mind, so I am thinking about what I am doing. As for training partners, sometimes I train with someone else for tips and how to perform to a higher level or to help me improve my technique, but for cardiovascular training, I always train on my own. Logistically, I cannot train with other riders; it would make it difficult as they are a long distance away from me. As for muscular training, it always helps to be in the gym. It’s good for motivation to see other training, but also every piece of equipment I need is there, which is an added bonus.

If it wasn’t for racing and racing giving me something to work towards, I wouldn’t like training, but because I have a goal and I know what I need to do to achieve it, it makes training sessions more enjoyable because I think of how it will benefit me.

 

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  • Tom Willard

    I believe becoming the racer is the hardest part! Without a lot of money or a supportive team, it’s pretty impossible….dying to be able to, saving up to buy a bike, a van, and independently take myself and compete in the thundersportGB as I have no background growing up in racing and therefore nobody can see if I’m a worthwhile investment (just putting it all out there in any place I can to see if anybody can offer anything or point me somewhere helpful) being 17, I’m on getting to the point where it’s starting to get too late to start racing in things like the Aprillia superteen, I’m even doing a motorsport course to be able to be mechanically independent…. So I don’t know if this is the best place to post but if it goes through to someone on the inside of the BSB or anyone in bike racing in general, any good contacts or places to start would be a great help, I know about getting an ACU license and all that Jazz that comes with it, it’s just funding and contacts that would be the greatest of help…thank you