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Are you an extreme sports fan? If so, you know how the bodies of extreme sports athletes can take a beating. Extreme sports athletes have to stay in shape to prevent injuries and maximize performance. Motocross is especially physically demanding, because of the upper body strength that you need to steer, and the lower body strength that you need for balance and jumps. Motocross also requires endurance and a strong core.
We talked to Motocross champion Ryan Dungey to find out what it takes to train for an extreme sport like motocross. Check out his tips:
Name: Ryan Dungey
2010 AMA Motocross 450 Class Champion (rookie season)
2010 AMA Supercross 450 Class Champion (rookie season)
2009 AMA Supercross Lites West Champion
2009 AMA 250 Class Motocross Champion
Ryan Dungey is all about rising to the occasion. At only 22 years of age Ryan Dungey has won every title in the sport of motocross. After making the jump from amateur racing to a factory team, Ryan wasted no time in showing the sport he means business, winning the 2009 AMA 250 Class Motocross Championship and locking down the most successful 450 Class rookie season in the history of Motocross. He then went on to lead the USA to victory in the Motocross of Nations that same year.
All of Dungey’s tremendous success is not without a lot of hard work and encouragement from his family and sponsors, including Target, Nike, Oakley, and KTM. His dad, Troy, was an amateur racer and his siblings, Jade and Blake, were amateur competitors as well. They all travel with Ryan ensuring he is well supported during his mission to have continued success in motocross.
Q: What muscle groups do you focus on for building strength for Supercross?
A: Racing my dirt bike is pretty much a full body workout. I try to focus on doing gym strength exercises like plyometrics and mobility and also doing a lot of core work. Cross training on the road bike, running, swimming, and rowing machine also to help with cardio and building a base. I think for me, I always want to work hard and sometimes get behind on recovery and all of that. But, this year I’ve been giving my body a day or two to recover even if it means doing nothing and sleeping. I feel this year I have gave my body the proper rest to recover which, in return, I have felt physically stronger in the long run.
Q: Does cardio play a big role in your fitness routine?
A: Cross training with different cardio exercises I believe has helped big time. Motocross is such a physical sport with heart rates – at times – in the 180-190 range. So, for me, I use the time I spend cross training building a base, which in return allows me to build a bigger and stronger, high intensity workload.
Q: Can you describe a few of your favorite exercises?
A: Cycling for me is one of my favorites. I always enjoy going on long road rides and even taking a chance on a new road, getting lost and hopefully finding a cross road I remember!
Q: Have you altered your diet in any way to improve your strength? If so, how?
A: Yes, I recently did an allergy test and dairy and eggs showed to be causes of inflammation, which in return was affecting my recovery. I also added red meat 2-3 times a week for iron. I wasn’t a big red meat eater, but I feel at times it’s necessary for long term performance.
Q: What are a few key sleep and nutrition tips that you use to stay healthy while traveling across the country for competitions?
A: Sleep is a huge part of recovering and repairing the body as an athlete. I try to get 8-10 hours every night, and even try to fit in an occasional nap. Travel to different time zones make it tough but even if I lay in bed to fall asleep when I don’t want to is still good to know you’re relaxing and resting (as long as you can shut your mind off as well).
Q: Are your sponsors involved in helping with your fitness routines? Or do they help with anything while you’re on the road to make your fitness routine or life easier?
A: Yes, one of the most fortunate things that’s helped a great deal is Target providing a motor coach for my seasons. It allows me to stay at the tracks instead of hotels and get a better night’s sleep and not have to wake up so early. They provided me with a great warm up bicycle to get ready for racing and I get to stock it with all the right foods and accessories. Also, when things feel real stressed on race day, I can go there and sit down and relax and get my mind right. I’m very fortunate to have a great team of sponsors supporting me.
Thanks for your tips Ryan!
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