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“Youth BMX Blueprint” Puts Best Pedal Forward

April 17, 2018 by · Comments Off 

Youth BMX Blueprint

Notwithstanding the polar punch in the mouth many of us in the midwest felt last week, it’s about to be spring time, and the return to outdoor racing in the Northern Hemisphere.

This means you can stop duckin those indoor parking garage security guards and return to a life of sprinting on the straight & narrow, and getting your general conditioning, back to peak condition.

Coach Jake Stephenitch of Spark BMX Training is out with the “Youth BMX Blueprint,” an eBook and step-by-step training program developed especially for riders 7-16 years old. The eBook is 50-pages thick and dives-deep into all the important aspects of training younger riders. The program also comes complete with a library of companion videos to help both rider and trainer understand the exercises.

Knowing what type of training is appropriate for 16-unders is not easy; there are special considerations to observe. This book will give you the knowledge to understand what physical qualities should be emphasized at each age and stage.

Jake told News, in a release:

Youth BMX Blueprint training programs are broken up into three stages of development. Each stage has multiple training programs written specifically to help build coordination, strength, power, and fitness, safely for young BMXers. There are 16 different training programs as well as a video exercise library of over 200 coaching videos. Most programs require minimal equipment.

Finally, each purchase comes with free access to the Spark Kids private Facebook group. Here you will receive extra videos and help from coach Jake. You can post videos, ask questions, and show off results from the program.

Here’s some additional info on the goodies you’ll have access to as part of your investment:

INSTANT DOWNLOAD INCLUDES
- Youth BMX Blueprint eBook
- 16 total training programs
- Over 200 coaching videos of fundamental and unique exercises
- Huge Exercise library with many extra videos for each age level
- Printable workout sheets

The Blueprint requires minimal gym equipment and is on sale now for $39.95. Check the link below for more info and to order yours today.

More about Jake:
Jake Stephenitch is an NSCA certified personal trainer, Functional Movement Specialist, gym owner, parent, and longtime BMX racer. (and BMX News contributor, we’ll hasten to add)

Links

Youth BMX Blueprint Order and Info

Sprinting: There’s an App For That

January 5, 2018 by · Comments Off 

BMX Sprint Timer App
Jake Stephenitch is a popular coach in BMX training circles, around the Midwest, and beyond. His Spark BMX Training blog has some great articles, some of which we have adapted and published here on BMX News.

In a pre-new-years blitz on social media, Jake rolled out a new addition to his practice: a purpose-built app he developed specifically for BMX sprinting.

The BMX Sprint Timer app ($24.99 on the Apple App Store) is accurate up to 0.004 of a second and stores each sprint on your device for playback later. Training data is stored in handy graphs to show progress in your performance.

We asked Jake for some of the back story behind developing the project. here’s what he told us:

I really needed a way to measure my athletes’ training progress from around the world. Unfortunately, timing systems are very expensive.

Stopwatches and speedometers were not accurate enough. Going by a feeling of what was faster or slower just wasn’t cutting it for them or me.

This is the tool that I needed for me to track my athlete’s performance and for them to get immediate feedback on their training.

Video quality in new smartphones is quite amazing.

Not only does using your iPhone or iPad provide accurate timing, up to 0.004 (four-thousandths) of a second between frames, they store your video so you can review your technique.

The app instantly averages your times each session and stores them in a chart.

This provides a baseline of your past performance and creates a challenge for you to beat the following training session. Also, a random cadence built in as an optional feature that allows you to train your reaction timing.

Here’s a short video that has some of the screen shots and functionality on display:

From now til Jan 10, when you purchase the app, you will also receive a copy of Jake’s new book “The BMX Sprint Manual,” a $19.95 value, free! Check the link below for more info.

We will be checking in with Jake again soon for more on the app, and his progress applying it to his own training practice.

—Mike Carruth

Links

BMX Sprint Timer Website

Spark BMX Training Website





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

BMX Sprint Timer App

Does Weight Training Make You Slower?

March 7, 2017 by · Comments Off 

Does Weight Training Make You Slower?
Ahhhh the weight room. A place where you will find some of the most interesting people, using some of the most interesting training methods. When you’re younger and first start going to the gym, teenagers will do some kind of bodybuilding workout that their friends show them. You know what? Read more

Fast After 40

September 15, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Fast After 40

When you’re in your late teens, the proverbial “fumes” (perfume and exhaust fumes) tend to distract you from racing. All-too-often, a promising teenage BMXer gets his drivers license, picks up a hot pit-tootsie GF, and they are off the moto sheets in mere months.

If they’re like me Read more

Building the Perfect Home Gym

June 20, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Creating a Home Gym
By Jake Stephenitch and Shawn DiPrete

You know that home trend a few years ago where everyone wanted a man cave in their house? They would plaster everything in sight with their favorite sports team souvenirs. Decorative beer collectibles. Maybe a Reggie Miller signed jersey. Blackhawks ceiling fan. You know, all the essentials.

This year Shawn DiPrete and I are starting our own trend – replacing all that junk with a sweet home gym. A place of your own to do really high quality strength training without breaking the bank. Instead of spending a ton of money on one of those multi station machines that don’t really work all that well, let us show you some better options.

Option 1: The Mega Baller Home Gym
The Mega Baller Home Gym is awesome if you have some extra space and a bunch of money to spend. You will have the benefit of being able to do all of your training from the comfort of your own home without those creepy naked guys in the locker rooms. Basements can be a particularly good place to put a gym because the temperature is usually perfect for training year-round. You could also put the equipment in a garage and possibly catch the attention of a cute girl walking her dog in front of your house as you Squat shirtless.

Baller Equipment List

Power Rack (squat rack) -craigslist/Rogue fitness

Olympic Barbell and weights – Craigslist

Dumb Bells – Craigslist (usually $.50/pound)

Trap Bar(hex bar) – Craigslist/Perform Better

Flat Bench – Craigslist/Rogue Fitness

Resistance Bands – EliteFTS/Rogue Fitness

TRX or Suspension trainer or Gymnastic Rings (much cheaper than suspension trainers) – Craigslist/TRX/Perform better

AB Wheel-Target 
Plyo Boxes – Do it yourself (I recommend building them in three-dimensional sizes) example the ones I have at my gym are 30x36x42 http://www.artofmanliness.com/2015/07/21/how-to-make-a-plyometric-box/

Medicine balls – Rogue Fitness/Perform Better

Chin up/Pull up bar – DIY, or comes with power rack

Bike for conditioning (Schwinn Airdyne, Spin bike, Rollers, trainer)

Gym Flooring – Horse stall mats from your local farm supply store are about $30 for a 4′x6′ super heavy mat.

TOTAL INVESTMENT: About $1500-$2000*
*depending on your deal-seeking skills, how much weight and what you choose for a bike.

With all of this equipment we should be able to do just about anything we want in the gym. Here, Shawn shows us an example of what you can do with a fully equipped gym.



BMX News Training and Coaching, Presented by Pro Gate
BMX Training and Coaching, Presented by Pro Gate

Option 2: “Ballin On A Budget” Home Gym

Most of us don’t have an extra few grand to invest in the baller gym. For just a few hundred you could definitely buy enough equipment to get a great workout.

Ballin On A Budget Equipment List-

Kettle Bell and Trap Bar
Kettlebells – If you look around you can find places that sell kettlebells for about $1/pound. To get started, for the bare minimum you could get away with one bell. Probably a 35 pound bell for men and 25 for women would be a decent starting weight for many exercises. As you get stronger (or have more money) you can get heavier bells or buy pairs of the same bells.

Super Bands – bands are awesome because you can do so much with them. You can make exercises harder or easier depending on how you use them. They could be used for speed training, core work, pushing, pulling exercises, etc…

Furniture Sliders – For about $6 you can find a pack of these at your local hardware store. They can be used to move a couch across your carpet or we can use them for tons of different exercises.

With a little creativity and a sound understanding of basic exercise principles you can get a killer workout with very little equipment. In this video I show you several exercises that you could pull off in your home with less than $100 of equipment.

TOTAL INVESTMENT: $100-$300*
*depending on your deal-seeking skills, and if you want various kettlebell options




If you spent all your money on race entry fees and can’t afford any equipment, don’t worry. Many of the strongest pound for pound athletes in the world get strong by doing bodyweight exercises. Gymnasts can do things with their body that some of the most jacked lifters could only dream of.

Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Single Leg Squat and core exercises are all great things to master, before you ever need to lift any weights.

Whatever your budget, you have no excuses for not doing your strength training. Not only will it make you faster, it also makes you more resilient for when you take a good crash. Remember – strong people are harder to kill!

-Jake Stephenitch with Shawn DiPrete

Links

Spark BMX Training Website

DiPrete Strength & Power

Building a Perfect Home Gym

June 20, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Creating a Home Gym
By Jake Stephenitch and Shawn DiPrete

You know that home trend a few years ago where everyone wanted a man cave in their house? They would plaster everything in sight with their favorite sports team souvenirs. Decorative beer collectibles. Maybe a Reggie Miller signed jersey. Blackhawks ceiling fan. You know, all the essentials.

This year Shawn DiPrete and I are starting our own trend – replacing all that junk with a sweet home gym. A place of your own to do really high quality strength training without breaking the bank. Instead of spending a ton of money on one of those multi station machines that don’t really work all that well, let us show you some better options.

Option 1: The Mega Baller Home Gym
The Mega Baller Home Gym is awesome if you have some extra space and a bunch of money to spend. You will have the benefit of being able to do all of your training from the comfort of your own home without those creepy naked guys in the locker rooms. Basements can be a particularly good place to put a gym because the temperature is usually perfect for training year-round. You could also put the equipment in a garage and possibly catch the attention of a cute girl walking her dog in front of your house as you Squat shirtless.

Baller Equipment List

Power Rack (squat rack) -craigslist/Rogue fitness

Olympic Barbell and weights – Craigslist

Dumb Bells – Craigslist (usually $.50/pound)

Trap Bar(hex bar) – Craigslist/Perform Better

Flat Bench – Craigslist/Rogue Fitness

Resistance Bands – EliteFTS/Rogue Fitness

TRX or Suspension trainer or Gymnastic Rings (much cheaper than suspension trainers) – Craigslist/TRX/Perform better

AB Wheel-Target 
Plyo Boxes – Do it yourself (I recommend building them in three-dimensional sizes) example the ones I have at my gym are 30x36x42 http://www.artofmanliness.com/2015/07/21/how-to-make-a-plyometric-box/

Medicine balls – Rogue Fitness/Perform Better

Chin up/Pull up bar – DIY, or comes with power rack

Bike for conditioning (Schwinn Airdyne, Spin bike, Rollers, trainer)

Gym Flooring – Horse stall mats from your local farm supply store are about $30 for a 4′x6′ super heavy mat.

TOTAL INVESTMENT: About $1500-$2000*
*depending on your deal-seeking skills, how much weight and what you choose for a bike.

With all of this equipment we should be able to do just about anything we want in the gym. Here, Shawn shows us an example of what you can do with a fully equipped gym.



BMX News Training and Coaching, Presented by Pro Gate
BMX Training and Coaching, Presented by Pro Gate

Option 2: “Ballin On A Budget” Home Gym

Most of us don’t have an extra few grand to invest in the baller gym. For just a few hundred you could definitely buy enough equipment to get a great workout.

Ballin On A Budget Equipment List-

Kettle Bell and Trap Bar
Kettlebells – If you look around you can find places that sell kettlebells for about $1/pound. To get started, for the bare minimum you could get away with one bell. Probably a 35 pound bell for men and 25 for women would be a decent starting weight for many exercises. As you get stronger (or have more money) you can get heavier bells or buy pairs of the same bells.

Super Bands – bands are awesome because you can do so much with them. You can make exercises harder or easier depending on how you use them. They could be used for speed training, core work, pushing, pulling exercises, etc…

Furniture Sliders – For about $6 you can find a pack of these at your local hardware store. They can be used to move a couch across your carpet or we can use them for tons of different exercises.

With a little creativity and a sound understanding of basic exercise principles you can get a killer workout with very little equipment. In this video I show you several exercises that you could pull off in your home with less than $100 of equipment.

TOTAL INVESTMENT: $100-$300*
*depending on your deal-seeking skills, and if you want various kettlebell options




If you spent all your money on race entry fees and can’t afford any equipment, don’t worry. Many of the strongest pound for pound athletes in the world get strong by doing bodyweight exercises. Gymnasts can do things with their body that some of the most jacked lifters could only dream of.

Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Single Leg Squat and core exercises are all great things to master, before you ever need to lift any weights.

Whatever your budget, you have no excuses for not doing your strength training. Not only will it make you faster, it also makes you more resilient for when you take a good crash. Remember – strong people are harder to kill!

-Jake Stephenitch with Shawn DiPrete

Links

Spark BMX Training Website

DiPrete Strength & Power

4 Exercises Every BMXer Must To Do Well

April 13, 2016 by · Comments Off 

4 Exercises Every BMXer Must Do WellBy Jake Stephenitch
Being proficient in these four essential movements/exercises will help your rider express their full athletic potential. From my experience working with young BMXers, Basketball, Football players and coaching 1st-12th grade PE. The kids that have an above-average athletic ability can do these four exercises well. In fact, anyone of any age could (and should) use these to make themselves better BMXers.

Push Up

When you think of BMX training we usually think of things like Squats and Box Jumps to build strength and power. Chest is one of the last things many people train. But Push-ups are actually more of a core and shoulder stability exercise/test than anything.

You can have super strong pecs but if you’re core resembles a wet noodle you can’t do a decent push up. Being able to stabilize your pelvis, ribcage and shoulder blades well enough to do a push up is actually pretty tough for many young kiddos. Hell it’s fairly difficult for grown ups too.

That pelvis, ribcage, shoulder blade stability thingy is kind of important for riding bikes, especially gate starts and standing pedaling. If your push up sucks, chances are you’re not strong enough to do a good gate start.

Bad Pushup Form

This woman doesn’t have very good control of her shoulders, ribcage and pelvis during push ups

Often times strength isn’t even the issue in bad push ups. It’s more of a muscle sequencing thing. People don’t know what goes where and when to turn on their core. Instead of your core muscles reflexively firing, first the spine jams together, shoulder blades wing, neck flexes and then they finally rise into a somewhat of a push-up .

How to improve the Push-up
Use good cues and start in an easier position.

Hinge
“The Hinge” is the basic foundational movement for athletics. Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer and BMXers all share this same movement. All the ball sports I named hinge to create vertical or linear movement. They also use it to keep center of gravity low so they can transition side to side as quick as possible. BMXers use the hinge while doing gate starts, manualing, jumping and turning.

You would not believe how many kids have a very difficult time understanding the Hinge at first. Be patient and you will probably have to use anywhere from 1-43 different coaching cues to get them to do a proper Hinge.

Stick with it though, it’s really important. Every new kids group I get I like to do a vertical and broad jump test on their first day. Then within the first week I teach them to Hinge. About a month later we retest their vertical and broad jumps and they gain like 4 or 5 inches of vertical jump height and about a foot of broad jump distance. No joke. Their parents think I’m awesome.

Many report big improvements on the track in the first month or two as they start to get into better riding positions and begin using their muscles the way they were intended.

Teaching “The Hinge”
Start in the easiest position, take your time and use several or many different cues over time.

Crawl
Oh come on… “Crawling?!” Yes, seriously. It’s one of those things that everyone did as a prerequisite to walking, but believe me it’s not easy.

Everyone can get on the floor and crawl forwards but the real challenge is to be able to go forward, backwards and side to side while maintaining your stability. With my adult groups I like to have them imagine they have their favorite beer or margarita sitting on their low back. Their mission is to not spill a drop.

To do this you have to have good ability to stabilize the shoulders and pelvis, sequence the core activation in much the same way we did on Push-ups. This time instead of the forces being in a more forward to backwards (sagittal) they’re challenging your rotational core stability (transverse). And you can’t forget the challenge you face from side-bending (frontal) while taking each step.

So while it looks like something easy, it’s actually a very difficult 3 dimensional challenge to your core stability, sorta like riding your bike huh?!

How to teach crawling
Find a good starting position where abs are lightly on and shoulders are engaged (reaching arms long). Start on hands and knees and put something on their backs as a point of reference to remain slow and steady.

BMX News Training and Coaching, Presented by Pro Gate
BMX Training and Coaching, Presented by Pro Gate

Lunge
Finally onto something to really challenge the legs! Well yeah you will need leg strength to lunge but guess what, it’s a “core” exercise too. Those damn 3-D forces come into play again. While Lunges look simple, they’re not, especially for kids.

Again you need to look at more than just the ability to bend their knees and lower to the floor. They need to do that but also have control over their ribcage, pelvis, knee tracking and feet. This one can be really tough for some people.

How to fix a bad Lunge
It’s quite rare where someone just does perfect Lunges right from the start. So I like to start people in an easier position then they would think. If the balance beam in the video is too difficult you could start someone in a half kneeling position with arms reached straight out and finger tips on a wall. Get their torso into an upright position, ribcage and top of pelvis level and have them breathe and get used to it. Then progress to an isometric where they hold in a lunge position with knee a few inches above floor.

There you have it. If your athlete can do these things well they will be quite ahead of the curve. Having these 4 basic movements down will help them on their bike and also in the gym when they’re of age to really start training. If you would like any more ideas on training your kiddos please send me an email and we can chat.

—Jake

*This article was originally posted on SparkBMXTraining.com. Thanks to Jake for lending his voice to News.

Links

Spark BMX Training Website

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