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Overtraining, and How it Affects Performance

January 11, 2016 by · Comments Off 

Jared Becker of Becker Fitness

Stress is something that we all deal with, and we deal with it in many different forms. When stress is increased, it can inhibit the body and its performance. You can experience stress from finances, relationships, school, work, and even exercise. Yes, exercise is stress and this is why.

Let’s start at the foundation: the “autonomic nervous system.” This system is responsible for bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, and breathing. Thanks to the autonomic nervous system, we do not have to tell ourselves to breathe. We do not have to tell our heart to beat. There are two branches of this system – sympathetic and parasympathetic.

The sympathetic nervous system is our “fight or flight” instinct while the parasympathetic is known as “rest and digest.” The most important thing to remember when comparing the two is when one system is activated, the other system is deactivated. Before I bore you with more anatomy, lets simplify things a bit. What are instances you have noticed these systems working?

We’ve all been there… The moment when you almost crash. What happens? Your heart rate immediately spikes, you suddenly become more aware, and your strength and ability are temporarily increased. All of this happens in a few seconds without telling your body to do so. This is the “fight or flight” system at its finest.

And while a momentary jolt of hypersensitivity might sound cool, you need to know that it comes at a cost for your body. Overperformance leads to physical breakdown. When we are in the “fight or flight” state, our body releases adrenaline and cortisol which are both a limited resource. The only way to recharge the “fight or flight” system is to rest. We now know that this can only happen when the “rest and digest” system is activated. An example of this would be a “rest day” in a BMXers training program. When the “rest and digest” system is activated, the body releases growth hormone and testosterone. These are vital for repairing the body and essentially making it stronger. Now lets look at this as part of a training program.

A hard training day can be represented as our “fight or flight” (breakdown) and a rest day as our “rest and digest” (rebuild). Lets say we have had three hard training days in a row. The body is fatigued because you have called on the sympathetic nervous system a lot with your demanding schedule. This means that adrenaline and cortisol stores are depleted. When these are depleted the body loses its performance edge. Look at adrenaline and cortisol as gasoline in a car – it doesn’t matter how hard you push on the gas pedal, if the tank is empty, you aren’t going anywhere. Training day-after-day in a depleted state like this will lead to a decline in performance and breakdown of the body.

So how do you fill up that empty gas tank? You guessed it, a rest day! Give your body nutrient-dense food and water along with ample rest and you will show up to your next training session fueled up and ready to go!

Phrases like “no rest days” or “you can rest when your dead” (with or without a hashtag) just don’t make sense. They encourage people to think that every training session needs to be a “Rocky” montage where we are chasing chickens, eating raw eggs and training day and night. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for this mindset, but what’s also right is listening to your body and knowing when rest is needed.

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

The purpose of this article isn’t for me to tell you to “rest all the time in order to get faster.” So, how do you know if you’re training too much? Not enough? Or just right? This is where documented training and testing is a must.

When I talk with a lot of athletes, I often find that they have little-to-no data proving that they are actually getting faster. Getting faster on a bike does not just come along with getting stronger in the gym. Sprint times and lap times with a legitimate timing device are often the best way to make sure your training is working. As long as your tests are showing an increase in performance, I would say you’re on the right track. If you feel like you have been stuck in your training for a long time with no performance gain, then it’s time for change.

Maybe the training parameters have to change, or maybe you need to rest and recover to let your body catch up to the stress you’ve been putting it through. If you are overtrained, the body will tell you. You just have to listen. Here are some common signs of over training:

• You are unmotivated to train. You have to self-motivate yourself just to do the workout.
• You need high amounts of caffeine to feel like you can perform well.
• You are craving sugary/junk food.
• You are having trouble falling asleep at night and/or waking up exhausted in the morning
• You can simply feel your performance is below average
• You are in a bad mood often
• You are having trouble concentrating

I would say that if you have two or more of these symptoms, you may have to look at temporarily reducing the volume of your current program in order to allow your body to regenerate. In my opinion, caffeine is used far- too-much by athletes. It’s a way for a person to fool their body into thinking they aren’t tired. If your body is tired, it’s tired for a reason.

Caffeine is just a way of artificially stimulating your “fight or flight” system by the use of chemicals. Do you find it strange that your usual dosage leaves you feeling flat? This is because your adrenal glands are overworked and exhausted because of overstimulation. Try to go 2-4 weeks with a reduction in, or an absence of caffeine, to give your “fight or flight” system time to recharge.

Reducing stress is one of the most important pieces of a training program, and we have only scratched the surface. Imagine adding the daily stress that everyone deals with at school or work to the stress your body endures from a training program. Doing your best to reduce stress in your everyday life, training in the right dosages, and allowing the proper amount of recovery will, in turn, increase performance.

Links

Becker Fitness Website





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Review: Greg Romero’s Race Day DVD

December 28, 2015 by · Comments Off 

BMX Training Race Day DVD

The fifth in Coach Greg Romero’s DVD series covers every-aspect of race day preparation, visualization and positive-response. The 30-minute program packs-in four high-impact chapters, plus some closing thought that will help you prep at the local track before you hit the parking lot on the day of the next big race. “Race smarter and use your head to win” is how G frames it in the opening titles.

Chapter One: Preparing for the track.

In the opening chapter, Coach G covers the all-important preparation leading in to race day. This is material that is not normally covered, and gives viewers insider tips on how to arrive and thrive with a “Business Focused Approach.”

Chapter Two covers warmup strategies. One of the key quotes in this chapter is “Don’t over-do it. It’s not a training session, but a quick session to wake up the mind and body.” Coach G gets into the granular details on how to structure your warm up, whether you have 10 minutes between laps, or several hours–making it primo for any rider, in any class.

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

Chapter Three is all about making the most of your practice time at the races. You may think it’s just about ripping a gate, and trying to get out ahead of the guy next to you. But there is so much more you should be doing to optimize your few laps on the track before race time. Coach Romero gives us three goals to stick to for all practices. One of the things we liked most about this chapter was the advice Coach gave on working with different gate set-ups, and how you can adjust your form to get the best start.

The heart of the program is the fourth and final chapter: Race Strategy. “BMX Racing is a very quick and competitive chess match” is how the chapter starts, as he sets the tone for the lessons to follow. Again, Greg goes super-granular and shows more than a dozen examples of actual race footage, where he critiques the on-track moves of both elite and amateur riders, then gives live-tips on how to best execute your race strategy when faced with these scenarios.

“Tactics are a big part of racing. Sometimes riders lack the bravery to employ racing tactics and all they want to do is ride in their own lane the entire track.” This quote gives a blunt peek into the real-deal world of what a BMX coach does. He is there to make you race smarter, and at your best–and sometimes, that means confronting the elephant in the proverbial room and helping you get past your “nice guy” ways on the track.

Coach G closes out with some solid advice you should use in practice and training sessions at the local track. “Work on race simulation in practice,” and “practice executing when the pressure is on” are both key tips, among many others, to help you in those important sessions when it is not down to a 20-minute practice session before a group of super-important race laps.

BMX News screened the DVD with a couple trusted reviewers–”Coach Dads” themselves.

Here was some of the feedback:

“This video is great. The narration is kind of dry and emotionless, but the material is definitely on-point. There is a lot in here that we work on in our own “coach dad” sessions, but it will mean a lot coming from Greg Romero to reinforce those points.”

“I’m ordering a copy so I can sit my rider down and make him put on the headphones to watch it (a few times).”

The tagline for the whole program is “Prepare, Strategize and Win!” This DVD delivers on the first two in a big way. Order it, watch it repeatedly, then the third part is up to you.

At the end, you’ll find an exclusive link to a bonus-content PDF on goal setting. The five-page PDF gives you goal setting advice, examples of how you might set your goals, and a form you can complete to get on the proper path to setting your own goals–which is important for anyone who is truly-serious about taking their racing to the next level.

Links

Order the Race Day DVD





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Get Some Gate Coaching at Pro Gate

November 24, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Pro Gate Coaching at the 2015 Grands

Thursdays in Tulsa are famous for a few things. BMX friends meetin’ up for the first time in a month or two, thanksgiving-dinner-ala-pit-space, and fine tuning your gate start game at Pro Gate. This year, they’re changing things up a bit, with free coaching from Noon-4PM, offered alongside your Pro Gate punch card.

Here is the schedule of coaches waiting to help you out on Thursday:

Noon to 1PM: Donny Robinson and Carley Young
1PM-2PM: Olijuwon Davis and Tyler Whitfield
2PM-3PM: Justin Travis and Justin Richmond
3PM-4PM: Heather Collman and Zach Alexander

No need to sign up for anything, just show up at the Pro Gate area on Thursday, purchase a punch card ($20 for 25 gates), and watch the magic happen. The coaching will be underway continuously from Noon-4PM, so they’re rollin as long as you’re snappin.

And, of course once the coaching is over, the Pro Gate area will still be open til deep into Sunday afternoon, so you can stay sharp and ready to rip some major holeshots when it’s for real.

Links

Donny Robinson’s Pedals 2 Medals Website

Carley Young on Instagram

Olijuwon Davis on Instagram

Tyler Whitfield on Instagram

Ohio Dreams Website

Justin Richmond on Instagram

Heather Collman on Instagram

Zach Alexander on Instagram

Pro Gate Website





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Rio Olympics Pro Gate Will Start its Journey Soon

July 31, 2015 by · Comments Off 

Rio 2016 Pro Gate Starts Journey Soon

News was up in Rockford on Friday for a meeting at Pro Gate, getting a first-peek at some new products they’ll be rolling-out soon. Just as we were about to leave, marketing honcho, Jay Patch casually asked, “hey, want to check out the Olympic gate?” Read more

Pro Gate Free Clinic: Rockford

June 9, 2015 by · Comments Off 

2015 Rockford Pro Gate Clinic

With the 2015 USA BMX Midwest Nationals in Rockford, IL coming up next week, Pro Gate has announced a free gate clinic for the first 40 riders to sign up. The Pro Gate clinics are an always-awesome addition to the big race, wherever they pop-up, and we are stoked to bring you Read more

Free Pro Gate Grands Clinics

November 21, 2014 by · Comments Off 

14Pro Gate Grands Clinics

The free gate clinics that Pro Gate organized at last year’s Grands were a huge success, with each session filling to capacity, and a waiting list holding more hopefuls. This year, Pro Gate is back with more free clinics, a newly-designed “Crescent” gate for the races, and a posse of professor power to train you up for the big laps to come.

Wednesday, November 26 – Afternoon
3:00PM – 5:00PM
Instructors:
Dominique Daniels – Factory Doublecross
Tim Daniels

Thursday, November 27 – Afternoon Session
12:00PM – 1:00PM
Instructors:
Donny Robinson – Factory SE Bikes / Pedals 2 Medals
Olijuwon Davis – Factory Doublecross
Tyler Whitfield – Factory Ssquared-Answer

Thursday, November 27 – Evening Session
4:00PM – 5:00PM
Instructors:
Greg Hill – Owner, GHP and Greg Hill Speed Seminars
German Medina – Colombian National Coach
Jordan Seward – A-Pro

Big props to Pro Gate and all involved for making these super-valuable clinics happen. Sign up now–don’t wait–using the link below.

Share some free gate clinic action with your Facebook friends:

Links

Sign Up for Free Pro Gate Grands Clinic





BMX News Promax Top Story, Presented by Promax Components

Free Pro Gate Clinics Friday in Rockford

June 23, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Pro Gate Midwest Nationals Clinics

After a pair of very successful clinics at the Grands last year, Pro Gate is back on the schedule with two free gate clinics at this week’s Midwest Nationals in Rockford.

Pro Gate has lined up some awesome instructors for the sessions, all of whom get props for the work they do with up & coming riders on an on-going basis.

It just so happens that Rockford is Pro Gate’s home town, so they will be around all weekend with the UCI Gate trailer, so you can sharpen up your gate at Friday’s clinic, then keep it dialed til the EZ-ups come down.

So, before motos are posted on Saturday, get in on one of these two free clinics.

Friday, June 27 – Morning Session
10:00AM – 11:00AM
Instructors:
Olijuwon Davis – Factory Doublecross
Tyler Whitfield – Factory Ssquared-Answer
Justin Richmond – Factor Ssquared-Answer

Friday, June 27 – Afternoon Session
12:30PM – 1:30PM
Instructors:
Donny Robinson – Factory SE Bikes / Pedals 2 Medals
Lauren Reynolds – Factory Ssquared
John Paul Pfeiffer – Factory Hyper

Both clinics will definitely fill up, so enter your info below and join the fun.

**You must pre-sign in order to participate. Use the link below**

Sign Up Now

Free Pro Gate 2014 Midwest Nationals Gate Clinic

Podcast: Olijuwon Davis on Pro Gate Clinics

December 24, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Pro Gate Grands Clinic Podcast

The free clinics promoted by Pro Gate as last month’s USA BMX Grand National were very popular, with over 250 riders signed up for the two sessions. In the morning session, Mariana Pajon, German Medina and Greg Hill spent more than an hour with the kids, coaching them as they gated up on their form and other things that go in to getting rippin holeshots consistently.

In the afternoon, Tyler Whitfield and Olijuwon Davis rocked the house, Rockford style, with serious tips & tricks for over 100 attendees.

We caught up with OD to talk a little about how the clinics went, and get some tips on how you can give your self a gate clinic every day (both mentally, and on the bike).

Since recording the Podcast over the weekend, we learned that Olijuwon finished at the top of the A-Pro points chase for 2013. There is no title in that class, but we’re very happy for our buddy, nonetheless. Congrats, OD!

Here are some photos from the clinics



Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Listen To The Podcast Now:

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iPhone users: paste the link below in your phone’s browser
http://www.bmxnews.com/podcasts/at-086-olijuwon-davis-progate.mp3

Links

Pro Gate Junior Info Page

Doublecross Bikes website





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

Pro Gate Hosting Two Free Clinics at The Grands

November 21, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Pro Gate Grands Clinic

Thursday at the Grands is all about walking the massive expanse of the Expo Center, catching up with old friends and ripping some gates over at Pro Gate to keep the skills razor sharp before Friday’s ROC. Well, that and your 30 minutes of practice at some point.

This year, Pro Gate is stepping up to put some “Set-em-up” in your Thursday downtime.

Sign up for one of our two FREE gate clinics on Thursday. We are doing two in order to accommodate practice times for all ages.

Morning Session
10:00AM – 11:00AM
Instructors:
Mariana Pajon – 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist
German Medina – Coach, Colombian National Team
Greg Hill – Former Top Pro and Owner of GHP BMX.

Afternoon Session
3:30PM – 4:30PM
Instructors:
Felicia Stancil – Factory GT
Tyler Whitfield – Factory Ssquared-Answer

Registration is free, but spots are limited. Register using the link below to assure yourself a spot.

Links

Sign Up for the Pro Gate Grands Clinic





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

UCI Gates Up Again With Pro Gate

April 14, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Pro Gate and UCI Renew Partnership

Great news out of Rockford (IL) today, as Pro Gate announces a fresh four-year deal with UCI to be their starting gate guys, through the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio–and everything in-between.

Whether it is the bigness of the Supercross World Cup series, the stripes-on-the-line seriousness of the UCI World Championships, or the ultimate world-stage BMX event of the Olympics, the podium has been decided by a Pro Gate falling perfectly, for a good-long time.

UCI posted the following official release to make the great news official, complete with remarks by “Mr. Pro Gate,” Pierce Barker III:

UCI has renewed its partnership with BMX gate manufacturer, ProStuff, LLC, makers of the “Pro Gate” line of products. Under this agreement, ProStuff will be the sole supplier of BMX gates for the next four years at all UCI BMX Supercross World Cups (managed by GSX), the UCI BMX World Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It is essential to ensure a safe, reliable and consistent starting system for riders throughout the season. ProStuff will also provide upgrades and new systems to the World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland, consistent with the latest technology available. This will support the WCC’s development work with the best BMX riders in the world.

ProStuff has been a major force in development of starting gate and control technology for the sport of BMX since 2002. As a market leader and a long partner of the UCI, ProStuff has worked hand-in-hand with the UCI to improve the sport’s safety and technology in BMX.

ProStuff President, Pierce Barker, III said, “We bring innovations to the sport to help the rider be more competitive and successful no matter where he or she trains, rides or competes. As this branch of cycling continues to grow at a very rapid rate on six continents, we are pleased to announce that our partnership with UCI will continue to grow and prosper. We are excited and honored to be selected as the sole supplier for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.”

UCI Sponsors Coordinator Emmanuel Blanchard adds: “This collaboration with ProStuff enables us and event organisers to rely fully upon a professional start gate we can all trust. The ProStuff team pro-actively responds to the technological challenges of the fast evolving discipline of BMX Racing.”

The best part is that the rock-solid Pro Gate technology is now available, and ready to ship to your driveway, via the Pro Gate Junior. Check it out using the link below.

Pro Gate Junior, by Pro Gate

Top Photo Courtesy of UCI

More Info

Pro Gate Junior on ProGate.net





Speedco Top Story, Presented by Speedco Bicycles

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