Stalker's Superbike circuits

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Of interest to the many riders that I speak to over a race weekend is how Stalker trains for riding a Superbike. Up until now you’ve not had the chance to learn about the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of Stalkers training world.

Stalker is not only one of the older riders on the British Superbike grid but he’s also with a brand new team and riding a brand new undeveloped bike and it’s partly down to his superior conditioning that allows him to still be running up there with the top 10 riders.

When I speak to other riders they tell me that their training comprises of cycling, random weights and the famous core! Little do they know about the detailed periodised planning of phases that go into designing an off season or competitive season for Stalker.

Firstly the type of training that most riders do is very non specific and secondly the weights they lift are mainly from a mashed together old school body building programme. They don’t take into account the strength or specific energy system requirements for riding a superbike. Here’s an example of why strength training and not just core training is important.

If your shoulders, neck and back aren’t strong enough, your core alone will not support you through the full race distance. As soon as you start to get tired in the upper body you shift to try and use other parts of your body to compensate. Not only does a drop in strength slow you down but it also dramatically affects your reaction time.

So when people tell me that strength is not as important as fitness in Superbike racing I normally have plenty to say! All the hard work that has been put in over the off season can be lost very quickly when the season starts.

Plenty of travelling, hard long race weekends and the injuries that can occur occasionally take their toll. As the season moves further on riders are getting tired, losing muscle mass and losing strength.

In season training is a very important area to consider. So when it comes to in season fitness training with Stalker I focus on a few main areas, maintenance of flexibility, maintenance of strength and my special Superbike conditioning circuits.

A typical session in season when there is enough of a gap between race weekends involves strength work after a specific warm up and then finished with a timed circuit and neck training. Now that the season has started, it’s very important to know what you should be doing in season.

It’s very important to not lose any strength that you’ve gained in the off season and it’s certainly important to maintain your level of conditioning. The other main area that I concentrate on with Stalker is recovery. This doesn’t just mean protein shakes post workout, it means rest and recovery, stretching, massage and the all important chill time!

Whilst recovery drinks are very important after training, a full weekend of racing takes its toll on the body and a full recovery strategy is very important. So to give you an idea of the circuits Stalker does, here’s one of them: A1 Box drops with fat grips battling ropes 20 reps A2 Grappler anti rotations 20 reps A3 Sprawl 10 reps A4 Lateral box shuffle with fat grips battling ropes 20 reps A5 Power bag shifts 20 reps A6 Thrusters 20 reps.

The circuit is performed 4 times through without a break. Stalkers time is recorded and he works to beat it every time (and he does!!). Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting some more pictures and maybe videos of the exercises Stalker uses so you can give them a try. In the meantime, here’s one of his neck exercises.

4 sets of 8 seconds Isometric holds for this phase Also in this series there will be some more cool exercises that many Motocross and Superbike riders often overlook when they write themselves a fitness program for motorsports. Mark Coles Strength and Conditioning Coach to Stalker since 2008.

Mark Coles

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By Mark Coles