With a team of nutritionists and personal trainers dedicated to ensuring that their diet and exercise plan is tailored to their tough racing schedule, it isn’t surprising that jockeys keep fit and trim. Flat racing jockey Martin Lane, in an interview with CNN, has said: “Now we’re at our peak fitness. It’s definitely not just sitting on a horse!” So how can you get race fit like the professionals? Well, here are five steps to help you on your way:
Focus your training:
The recent Cheltenham festival meant daily races so it is essential that jockeys are fit and healthy. To do this, jockeys will focus their training, whilst the 3 areas jockeys focus on especially during training are legs, lower body and core they must also ensure that they have the upper body strength to be able to control their horse.
Mix it up a bit:
Top jockey, Martin Lane, will cycle 6 days a week, as well as doing some basic strength training and a bit of boxing at the gym. In other words, he keeps his fitness routine interesting by ensuring there are different types of workouts. Other exercises jockeys use includes yoga, Pilates, bleep tests, squats, sit-ups, and the plank. These are more targeted and allow jockeys to work on the “Martini glass” position aka the crouched stance they use during races.
Training to attain the fitness level of a jockey is not for the faint hearted! The only way you can stay at your peak physical and fitness level is through constant exercise. Professional jockeys will train for 6 days a week to maintain their lean and fit physique. If you have a busy work schedule to work around, exercising little and often will benefit you more than a long work out once or twice a week.
Watch your diet:
With a team of professional nutritionists ensuring they get the right mix of essential nutrients it is clear that diet is just as important as exercise when it comes to attaining the fitness levels of a jockey. Professional jockey and 2003 Grand National winner, Barry Geraghty, swears by a low-fat, high-protein diet to prevent weight gain but ensuring his body is fuelled for his exercise sessions. This includes a breakfast of muesli and a dinner of meat and vegetables.
Find something that will stop you from sitting on the couch all day and up, out and exercising. Whether that’s reading some motivational quotes, finding some photographs of your favourite athletes or making a playlist of your favourite work-out songs, this will help you stay on track and ready for the race season!