Regardless of the level of BMX competition it is widely accepted that a superior gate start is one of the most important skills for riders to focus their energy towards, balanced with exercises that improve bike handling confidence.
The Sprintblock™ is the first tool ever designed specifically to address the development of the gate start away from the competition starting gate, allowing the "skills within the skills" to be built.
The BMX gate start is a complex development and transfer of energy. It is a coordinated counter-movement which has evolved over the years, along with the gate design itself. Throughout time one thing that has remained the same is the need to accelerate a rider from stationary to maximum speed as rapidly as possible. Athletes both past and present can be seen pulling back off the gate before it’s released, perception is that they are pulling back . The 'snap' (explosive reversal strength) as it may be called is essential in loading up the muscles and tendons with elastic energy, which then improves the explosive drive forward as the rider initiates the first pedal revolution. BMX athletes in the developmental stage of maturity have struggled to understand, or consistently replicate the classical movement performed by all pro’s...until now.
Research has taught us that physical improvement is specific to the task being trained, more so, the muscles and nerve adaptations to physical training need to be specific to the velocity, direction and intensity of effort, as well as the type of contraction, joint angles and the muscles work through. Focus should therefore target the training task, developing optimal body mechanics to produce torque and acceleration at the start of the race.
Sprintblock™ develops five fundamental training characteristics that are required in producing the gate start.
1) Balance - Balancing on the gate is the first skill all riders have to master before any progression is possible. An even distribution of energy and spatial awareness are crucial to any gate start, once achieved, skills can develop, confidence grows in the "set position".
2) Technique - There are many ways to produce a clean start in a BMX race. Experimenting with different pedal height, foot angles and various body positions to suit the individual’s mechanics is encouraged, this is achievable by using Sprintblocks™ "specifically engineered adjustability".
3) Psychology - The ability to concentrate, focus and stay calm throughout the start is one of the most important fundamentals of BMX racing. Sprintblock™ allows all riders the chance to master these key ingredients during sprint training sessions before transferring to the gate.
4) Reaction Time - The initial movement of the rider from the gate is very important, the less time spent responding to a stimulus, the higher level of explosive potential allowing the rider to start at the optimum time of the gate drop. Sprintblock™ will improve reactive ability.
5) Acceleration - Once an initial reaction time has been recognised, producing force explosively in the right "direction" to reach top speed is essential. Sprintblock™ develops specific ranges of the force velocity curve.