SheADVantage 12-Week Program Overview
Take this time in the off-season to focus on your fitness. Before you begin the program, read this overview first to get acquainted with how it works and then go to the SheADVantage Workout Sheets. As always, before you begin any new excercise regime consult with your health care provider.
There are 3 Parts to this program. These parts are designed to build a general fitness foundation at the beginning, stepping it up in the middle by focusing on overall endurance and strength and then wrapping it up with a transition back into the riding season. I don’t believe in the “no pain, no gain” mind-set of many trainers. I think a person is better off easing into the program and building up progressively in order to reach their optimum fitness, verses hitting it so hard and too soon that the thought of going to the gym is so not motivating and that you’ll find any excuse possible to avoid it. If you gradually add to your fitness level, before you know it you’ll be looking forward to the gym/workout because you are feeling AND seeing the difference.
This program, along with any good program, will consist of strength/endurance and cardio training, as well as flexibility and coordination exercises. Your fitness goals can be achieved either at home or the gym. I personally enjoy going to the gym. For me, it’s easier to commit to the program.
Eating properly is a huge part to your overall fitness. I strongly recommend setting yourself up on a healthy eating program as well. Our bodies are very much like the engines to our bikes. We need proper fuel in order to perform to our fullest potential. What’s that saying? Garbage in, garbage out! Soon… I’ll be posting short videos on how to perform the strength exercises, how to choose the right weight, and how to select the right resistance level on cardio equipment. If you find that you need more instruction and/or help, I recommend that you get with a personal trainer at your local gym. Also, feel free to contact me at and I will help you if I can. Good luck! You can do it! ~ Shal
Plan to workout 3 times a week. That will include a full-body workout, with cardio and flexibility. Your workouts should go as follows: warm-up > strength training > cardio training > finishing with stretching. This routine is the best way to make use of how your body generates energy for activities. Initially, our bodies will use glycogen, sugar stored as glycogen in our muscles and in the liver. Glycogen is easy to process and is the best energy source for the high intensity strength training. After 30-40 minutes of strength training, the body has exhausted its glycogen reserves and needs to shift to fat as its primary source of energy. It is much harder to tap into the fat reserves because it needs lots of oxygen, so it is ideal to lower the intensity a bit during the cardio training.
Always warm up before you lift weights! I recommend warming up for about 5-10 minutes or until you feel your body temperature rising or you start a light sweat. I do things like the rower or the elliptical where it requires both upper body and lower body so that I’m warming up everything. You don’t have to do that though, as long as you are warming up. Additionally, I recommend doing a set of 10 reps using a lighter weight before you do your 3 sets of 12 reps of each strength exercise. Move slow and feel a good stretch through the full range of motion.
In Part 1, you will perform 1 exercise per body part for 3 sets with approximately 12 reps. It is important that you select a weight that allows you to do 12 reps with the last few reps being a bit hard to finish but still having good form. If you find that 3 sets is too much to start with, then bump it down to 2 sets for the first 2-3 workouts. I challenge you to commit to this program though and to do your best. Remember to ALWAYS make sure you are performing with good form. Once you start compromising your form (usually happens when you start getting fatigued), you need to STOP!
The circuit training will follow in this manner:
For example, you’ll start with Seated Rows for 12 reps. As soon as you are done, you will do a set of Chest Presses of 12 reps. Go back to the Seated Rows and perform the next set of 12; and so forth until you have finished 3 sets for each exercise. After doing 3 sets of both exercises, you will then rest for a minute or two. The focus on this circuit like training is the combination of strength AND endurance. Overall, strength AND endurance is what you want to accomplish for your motorcycling riding. This full body program shouldn’t take much more than 30-40 minutes. Watch the clock and push yourself. After the strength training, I recommend 20-30 minutes of cardio training. Keep your pulse at least 65% of your maximum heart rate (220 – your age = maximum) in order to work on your basic endurance. The best way to check you pulse is to find your heart rate at your neck (see picture below,) once you have found your pulse, take a 6 sec count and add a zero. For example: I am 47 years old. 220 – 47 = 173, 173 x .65 = 112 BPM. I want my heart rate to be at least 112 beats/min during my 20-30 minutes of cardio training. This will increase as we get into Part 2 of the program and/or as you start getting in better cardio shape.
Please use the workout sheets that are provided to document your workouts. Doing this gives you feedback about your progress and keeps you motivated. Use the space provided in the workout sheet to write down the actual weight and reps that you perform (note: your goal is 12 reps but actual weight and reps may vary.) It is essential that you challenge yourself to increase weights and thus intensity. Remember: The last few reps should be fairly hard to finish but you should still have good form.
In Part 2, you are going to increase your workouts to 4-5 times a week. You will have 2 workout days in a row followed by a rest day; then another 2 workout days, followed by a rest day; and so on. The routine stays the same, different exercises will be provided. Select a weight that allows you to do 12 reps. The exercises will continue to be done as a circuit. Try to keep the rest between circuits to 1-2 minutes, then continue onto the next circuit or group of exercises. The cardio training in Part 2 will also increase in intensity. You will now take your heart rate up to 80 – 85% of your maximum heart rate (220 – age = maximum heart rate.) For example: I am 47 years old. 220 – 47 = 173; 173 x .80 = 138. 173 x .85 = 147. So, I would want to have my HR between 138 and 147 in order to be between 80-85% of my MHR. Another way to check yourself to see if you are in the “zone,” is to try and hold a conversation. If you are able to talk with a little effort, then you are in the “zone.” If you can’t hardly speak, then you are working too hard and need to bring your intensity level down a bit. If the outside conditions allow, I highly recommend giving mountain biking a try if you don’t already ride. Mountain biking is a GREAT way to not only work on your cardio, but it also helps with balance and coordination not to mention it gets you outside where you probably would rather be. I’ve found that by having mountain biked for 20+ years, it has enable me to pick up adventure riding and dirt bike riding so much faster and easier. The skills needed for mountain biking transfer over very easily to motorcycling, especially off-road riding. Download the workout sheets.
In Part 3, you will start to transition your activities more and more towards what you’ve been working your tail off for – Riding! You will reduce your workout program to 2 -3 workouts per week (using the program from Part 1, but changing up the actual exercises, suggestions will be provided.) The purpose here is to maintain your fitness level, but also freeing up time for motorcycle riding and hopefully even mountain biking. If you get into mountain biking, the sessions should be at least 1 hour, 2-3 times per week. If you don’t get into mountain biking, you need to have this same amount of time in the gym or going similar types of cardio training activities like jogging or going on much longer hikes. I cannot emphasize enough how beneficial mountain biking is in this part of the training. It works the exact muscles, endurance and coordination that you will need on the motorcycle, especially if going off-road.