Train with Jonathan Rea, the best program for motorbike riders

  By Aayesha Khan  /  

Do you know why we worked with Superbikes champion racer Jonathan Rea to create a program specifically for motorbiker riders and cyclers?

Did you know that specialized functional training can help you improve as a rider?

When you delve into the needs of the motorbike rider, you realize that competing in a race requires extreme physical capabilities.

You have to work on maintaining balance, building strength without bulk, and developing the mental fortitude that helps you fight fatigue and stay concentrated on making smart decision when riding.

During the last decades there has been a lot of talk about technological advances to make bikes faster, but in reality the rider is the true protagonist.

Until recently, the preparation and training for riders was something that was truly underexploited and not well studied.

At the end of the day, it is the driver controlling the bike and not the other way around.

That’s why when we met Jonathan Rea and heard his story we wanted to create this program to meet an unmet need specific to motorbike riders and cyclers.

In this article I’ll tell you all about:

Important considerations when developing a training program for motorbike riders

Many people have the perception that motorbike racing does not require a lot of physical preparation, because you are sitting on the bike for a long time. But, the truth is that during a race and in training, the heart rate of a professional rider, like Jonathan Rea, exceeds 90% Max HR, as you can see in this study

This simply means that a rider must have a very good aerobic base and a high anaerobic tolerance to be able to maintain this rhythm throughout a whole race. Not only that, but also that his circulatory system must effectively lubricate the muscles that stay fixed in one position during most of the competition.

The way that the muscles of a rider work is completely different than that of a footballer or a tennis player. In fact, the way his core works mimics the sensation of being on a roller coaster, constantly in tension.

This is because throughout the race a driver must maintain an aerodynamic position that allows him to gain more speed and maintain control of his motorcycle at the same time. He needs to stay actively in control of the bike to take turns or unexpected movements with grace.

The obstacles within a race often require explosive movement at the same time as efficient coordination between the visual stimulus, muscle reflexes, and coordination, and all of this at speeds above 180 km / h.

This requires not only impressive strength, but flexibility, in the abdominal muscles and lumbar back to maintain stability and provide the right amount of tension in the extremities.

Furthermore, the same time the rider must ensure that he is not doing damage to his wrists and ankle.

To work on these areas it is necessary to perform exercises of trunk flexion, rotation and lateral movements, and spinal stabilization, which are all included in Train with Jonathan Rea.

Even above physical abilities, the mental capacity of a rider is supremely important. The brain has to be able to make the right decision at 300 kilometers per hour. Any mistake can be fatal. And an imperfectly trained body, that can steal your focus, can get in the way of making good split second decisions.

All these basic factors are the base of the Train with Jonathan Rea program, which has been created based on the philosophy of functional training by specialist trainers with the Kawasaki team.

Learn more about the program here.

How is the Train with Jonathan Rea program structured?

The Train with Jonathan Rea program combines the extensive experiences of both Mammoth Hunters and 3x Superbikes World Champion Jonathan Rea, to offer you the chance to train like a super athlete.

The program is divided into a hierarchy that follow the World Superbike Championships circuit. The sessions get progressively more difficult and technical as you move from the pre-season to the final in Qatar.

Program Duration

The training is made the last 6 months, but you take it faster or slower depending on your schedule and how demanding you would like to make the training.

During the pre-season we work on muscle conditioning and exercise technique to prepare you for the more demanding training to come.

To prepare you like a profession rider, we include sessions that combine aerobic resistance and exercises with weights or bodyweight exercises to improve joint mobility and build muscle strength. We avoid hypertrophy in order to maintain the appropriate range of motion and reduce the percentage of body fat.

Training Periods

We have put together the most complete training program to give you incredible strength, agility, and mobility. The program is broken down into 4 periods to work on different objectives.

Period 1: Pre-season – Preparation. This is the time to work on improving technique and correcting some of the errors of the previous season. When there is no pressure of impending competition the workout can be lighter and more focused. Complementing the functional training with cycling or running helps to vary the training and give the rider a chance to heal before getting back into intensive training.

The training are lighter, easier to complete to ensure that you learn proper exercises techniques before starting the difficult training.

Period 2: Rounds 1 to 4 –  Perfecting Technique. Now the time for the real work. Leading up to each circuit the training is designed to work on a different skill. The rider builds strength and mobility as the intensity of the training increases. The beginning of every round starts with a Mobility & Aerobic Recuperation session to ease you into the next increase in your training.  

You will also find many sessions that include Metabolic exercises like biking or running along with functional training exercises to prevent lactic acid build-up on your muscles. Finally, you will do therapeutic work on the wrist and ankles to prevent any sensitivities and/or pains.

Period 3: Rounds 5 to 9 – Aerobic Resistance. You’ll be alternating between heavy and light sessions to improve your recuperation time and prevent overloading. Strength resistance training will help you gain more lean muscle. You will see great improvement in your balance as new exercises and session types are added, and you work with equipment like the Bosu or balance trainer.

Period 4: Rounds 10 to the Final – High performance. In the final stretch of your training you will really start to master your stress management and concentration techniques. We will work on both mental and physical balance that will positively impact your daily life. You will feel more aware of your muscles and perform at an extremely high level.

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The Warm-ups

All of the sessions start with a short warm-up to lubricate the joints and increase the heart rate. We work on spine mobility, balance training and core stability. We will also focus on mobility of the hips, ankles, shoulders and wrists.

Warming up before an intensive training session help you to perform at your best during the session and prevent injury.

The Training Sessions

In Train with Jonathan Rea you will find a variety of training session to keep you and your muscles constantly entertained.

The sessions are divided into 5 different types each with a different object for your training:

  1. Functional training sessions: That work on improving your physical abilities. You will find traditional functional training sessions like to the To The One & Tabatas – but be warned, we have suped them up to bring you an even greater challenge like the excruciating To the Hundred and Tabata Double Double Mixed Plus sessions
  2. Transference sessions: These sessions use materials that enhance the characteristics of each circuit like imbalances, sustained effort, working cross muscle chains, etc.
  3. Circuit sessions: Sessions that should last approximately the duration of a race circuit and mimic the physical requirements necessary.
  4. Metabolic sessions: Many sessions include metabolic exercises like biking or running along with functional training exercises to prevent lactic acid build-up on your muscles
  5. Recovery and mobility sessions: Lastly, there are sessions build in to ensure that your muscle have recovery time after a grueling workout.

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Training Equipment

The program has the optional use of the same equipment that high performing athletes, like Jonathan Rea, use to prepare for their races:

  • Kettlebell (obligatory)
  • Bosu or balanced trainer ball (optional)
  • TRX (optional)

Jonathan Rea is using his new program to stay on top in the 2018 – 2019 season. Let’s see if he can make it 4 in a row!

Do you want to train like Jonathan Rea?

What are the benefits of completing a training program for motorcycle riders?

Having a well balance training program that fits the needs of your body as a motorbike rider or cycler can have many incredible physical and mental benefits, that help you to improve your strength and move more deliberately.

The Physical Benefits

  • Gain strength and increase intensity of your movement. You won’t inflate your muscles like a bodybuilder, but instead get stronger without losing mobility or elasticity. The ideal musculature of a racer. Remember that when you have to straighten the bike after a curve you will need a lot of core strength to not lose stability.
  • Increased joint mobility. The joints suffer greatly during each race of the circuit due to the high levels of demand to which they are subjected. Appropriate preparation needs to be taken to avoid injury, while maintaining control of the posture. This is fundamental to remain aerodynamic during the competition and to stay in the lead.
  • Improved resistance against fatigue. Working on aerobic resistance we achieve cardiovascular and respiratory improvement. In addition, it optimizes the use of energy and improves recovery after intense training.
  • Muscle coordination. In order to improve the reflexes, we stimulate the muscles and nerves responsible for motor function. This improves accuracy during key moments or when split second decisions need to be made.
  • Balance, a lot of balance. Stability is extremely important for a rider. That’s why we work heavily on improving balance by training on unstable surfaces or with the support of just one side of the body. This trains the central region and the deep musculature to provide better balance and posture.

The Mental Benefits

  • Sharp focus. By working on precision in your training you are building mental sharpness. Each session increase your concentration and ensure you are progressing towards your goals.
  • Rapid decision making. A rider or cycler needs to think quickly especially when facing tricky curves and on coming competitors. When you work on building these skills the solutions will become more instantaneously and require less reaction time.
  • Mental fortitude. Having to complete long sessions with a high level of repetition challenges you mentally to not give up. As you progress through more complex session you will be so mentally tought that your doubts will fade away. This is key for times when you will have to manage high levels of stress, both inside and outside of your trainings.  

Other Benefits

When every second of your training counts, you transfer those skills to performance in other areas of life as well as to other sports. The mental concentration and decision making skills can make you more effective and efficient in your work and home life. The physical benefits can help you improve your performance in other sports as you are more agile, flexible, and strong.

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How is Train with Jonathan Rea different from other programs?

Having a program that is sports specific helps to work on the muscles that make you stronger in the specific actions and repeated motions that you are constantly making. Unlike other sports, riders must have enough strength to maintain stability in curves, so isometric work is essential in order to easily withstand the acceleration forces.

A specific program also helps to prevent injury. Staying in the stooped position to decrease friction with the wind, for long periods of time, can overload the muscles and cause long-term negative impacts on the body.

This is because the lack of shortening in the joints and the tension maintained in the muscles of the back and discs of the spine, as well as in the knees and elbows. Having a prepared body will not only improve your performance in the short-term but, for a professional rider, can help to extend their riding career.

In the motorcycle that you use for transportation, the effects are not as exaggerated.  Although it depends, to a great extent, on the type and model of motorcycle, varying considerably, especially in the joints of the back and the hip.

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Program components

With this specialized training plan, the sessions contain the following aspects to improve your performance as a rider:

Progressive training. It is important that you learn how to perform the exercises properly and build up your resistance to a greater number of reps. The training are build to quickly get more difficult, but not without preparing you first for what is to come. Since the level of intensity is high it is important to work progressively to avoid injury and give the muscles time to heal and get stronger.

Multiplanar movements. The training plan should also take into account the coordination and multiplanar movement. The anteroposterior and lateral axes to control the body position during acceleration and braking, as well as the craniocaudal or longitudinal axis to maintain the stiffness in the curves, and also the fundamental adductor muscles of the hip that main contact between the bike and the driver.

Light weight training. During training, the extra weights should be very well controlled because the primary objective is to gain muscle strength with the least possible hypertrophy, to create strength without building bulk. The rider needs to be at an optimal ratio with the weight of the bike.

High repetitions and breaks. To work on muscle resistance it is important to increase the number of repetitions and breaks during a long session. This helps the body get accustomed to long tedious workouts that will optimize aerobic functioning at the same time as improving circulation of oxygen to the muscles.  

Fight psychological barriers. When we are tired, even 30 minutes of physical activity can feel like an eternity. In racing, it is important to be able to push past the tiredness and fatigue to continue at peak performance for the entire race.

To prepare, long sessions are an important to mentally challenge you to keep pushing from minute one up to the last second. That can make the different for a rider from the minute they see the checkered flag to crossing the finish line first, and strong.

Balance and coordination. Maintaining good posture through the circuit comes for intensive work on balance and coordination. The best way to improve in these areas it to perform exercises that alternate sides and help to build your rely on one side of the body at a time.

We all tend to favor one side of the body or one muscle over another. These exercises help to ensure that you are building equal muscles on both sides and improving your mobility, agility, and coordination.

Here’s an example of a lunge exercise that uses a single point of support to activate your quadriceps and calf muscles, as well as your core to stabilize the posture.

Training on unstable surfaces. The balance trainer is an excellent tool to continue to work on improving posture and balance. This is why we have included it as an option pieces of equipment in the program. It helps you get accustomed to training on unstable surfaces and serves to strengthen the abdominal muscles and improve your reflexes.

The amount of concentration necessary to keep you body up right and execute the movement precisely so that you land properly on the balance trainer also improve your concentration. As you continue to perform these exercises you will get faster and more accurate.

What is included in the application?

The Train with Jonathan Rea program is found within the Mammoth Hunters app and can be purchased here. The application is available for both Android and iPhone. It is built to make training anytime and anywhere simple for anyone who has the program.

Video-guided sessions

Like all of our program each session that you will encounter is made to be as easy to follow as possible. Read the session description and check-out videos and descriptions of the exercises before you start to get an idea of what is ahead.

During the session, follow along with videos of Jonathan Rea and our professional trainer so that you always know the right technique to complete the exercises and get the maximum benefits.

Training Calendar

We recommend completing the Train with Jonathan Rea program over 6 months with 3-4 session per week. You have the flexibility to do the program faster or slower by selecting your training days from the calendar during the onboarding questionnaire.

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Training advice

Now that you know everything there is to know about Train with Jonathan Rea and why having a sports specific program is beneficial, I want to offer you some additional training advice. 

The Train with Jonathan Rea program is designed for users who already have a high level of fitness capabilities. The training is purposefully difficult to provide the maximum benefits to users who are looking for the next challenge to elevate their training level.

If you can comfortably complete one of the Mammoth Hunters free workout, Train with Jonathan Rea could be the perfect program for you.

And, as with every training program that you follow, there are three key pieces of training advice to follow so that you can be successful.

  1. Follow a health diet. In this case I recommend you follow the protocols of the paleo diet to increase energy levels and normalize the processes of cell and muscle regeneration.
  2. Make sure that you hydrate. We developed a hydration guide to give you a good idea of how much water you should consume, you can take a look at the guide here. Remember that, during a race, a rider can lose between 1.5 and 2 kilos and much of this weight is liquid.
  3. Sleeping. Rest hours allow you to recover from the wear and tear of a race, it gives your body time to heal and helps you adjust better the demands of training at a high level.

So…are you ready to train like the World Superbike Champion? Sign-up for Train with Jonathan Rea from this link.

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3 thoughts on “Train with Jonathan Rea, the best program for motorbike riders”

  1. Compré el Programa.
    ¿De qué medida es el bosu que utiliza Jonathan?
    ¿Qué peso tiene la kettlebell pequeña?

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