Andrea Dovizioso: the body of a rider

Smiling, shy and carefree. He seems already focused, concentrating on the work that awaits him. A gaze embracing every detail, with clear and sharp mind. Andrea Dovizioso, a MotoGP driver class 1986, is ready for training in the gym.
Andrea Dovizioso has been playing in the World Championship since 2001 and holds the highest number of Grand Prix contests -  two hundred and seventy-five.
We asked Andrea about his secrets, the way he trains and when he started, the changes throughout his preparation: his workouts in a chat training; when he started and the changes throughout his preparation.

How important is MotoGP physical training?

Motorcycling on asphalt is an adrenalin sport, not only for the spectator. It requires a neurogenic cardiovascular effort, i. e. the stress to which the pilot activates his nervous system with a consequent increase in heart rate.
The emotional component of the pilot is especially important in competitions, as it is this, which determines the increase in heart rate. Technical skill has always been considered a primary characteristic in motorcycling, to the detriment of athletic skills.
The driving style doesn't change - Andrea points out, but we all know that the final performance also depends very much on the athlete's training, nutrition and lifestyle.
Tell us how you work your physique and your preparation, when did you start?
First of all, there are moments and moments in life: when you are fifteen or sixteen and you start ridingeriously and enter the world of preparation. Before, you were running around on a bike. there was just fun.  Once you start to race in the World Championship there is a need to evolve, to work. And you have to be willing to work.
I had three experiences with athletic trainers and they were all very interesting, very different but very interesting.
In some moments, there was intense training and in others when I was younger, it felt more like fun and I had much more freedom. Then I had another athletic coach for 5 years. Until last year.
Then what happened?
Then I started training with the Technogym method. I'm going through a totally different experience from what I've done so far. I'm 31 years old and I already have an athletic base.
The big challenge for me was conceiving the training with a completely different method as compared as to the one received from previous trainers.
The work has been based completely on other aspects. My physical condition is quite contracted, closed and I do not always the right and flexible openings and levers. Perhaps I don't use them in the best way possible, being quite small as most pilots are. We have therefore focused a great deal on stability, core stability and the levers. No painful amount of work has been done. I've never been forced to get out on my bike and train for so many hours for endurance and breathing tactics.
We've worked more than ever before, on aspects I've never worked on for very long in my career. I've discovered so many things and it was nice to get important results "even with little effort".
Often one thinks about preparation in terms of the more you work the better. But that is not the case at all. In some cases it’s very difficult to understand exactly how the body works.
I have to admit that I discovered a different world this year.
Even when I'm expecting a very tough workout mentally, I'm not worried. Exhausting trainings and a tough preparation require also preliminary work on a nutritional level. The type of work that’s required today is much more specific, no exercises and maximum performance. All in less time and with more quality, and this very quality shows its results during the race, on the motorcycle.
I discovered new exercises, and parts of my body that I didn't believe to be weak. By working on them, they have also improved performance on the motorcycle. I believe there’s still room for improvement.
Stability and levers, how much do these aspects influence the driving style?
Levers and stability are fundamental on the bike. The driving style doesn't change much anymore, after many years of riding everyone has set their own position.
We do a lot of work on the levers and we do exercises with instability, to better simulate the situations that can be found on the motorcycle, for example on a bend.

It's all a talk of levers, and it's all about balance.

In the championship, I have often felt comfortable on the bike, , and this is a sign of the good work that was done at the gym. An agile and reliable body, ready for anything.
And I've hardly ever reached my limit, which happens in almost every race because everyone is pushing 100%. Instead, I managed to control myself during the races, which was very difficult for me in the past. They are all small things that can make a big difference when you have to pull out 100% of the 45 minutes of race time.

Tell us about training periods and types of training.
I discovered there are no complete rest days. Maintaining the preparation is fundamental, without doing exhausting exercises or workouts, it’s necessary not to let too many days pass between one training and the other. The risk is to nullify the whole preparation altogether.
You don't need to be strong-on a motorcycle, but it's the basis for building other aspects that are more important.
How do you train and what kind of equipment do you use?
I usually always do all the activation and warming up first, then move to the equipment. It depends on the day and type of training. When the training is centred on strength we go into the Pure zone, for three or four specific strength exercises with increasing weights, and then at the end of training we always do the abdominals.
How long does a workout last? How much do you train?
Not long. This is also somethingh new for me. In the gym, between warm-up and workout, I don't spend more than an hour and a half in the gym. It’s not much at all, when you put your body under certain stress conditions, the training time is reduced and concentrated. And it is not that "the more you work the better". So I am happy.
When you're out for the World Championship, how do you organise your days?
I'm the one who comes home right away from the races, trying to spend as much time as possible at home.
Emilia-Romagna is my region and I feel really good here, second, but not less important, my family and daughter live here. Being there for them makes me feel good.
And then being at home to have your own routines is very important, I think. It's nice to travel, it's nice to go to so many places, but you need to create your own recovery routine.
Recovery is one of the most important and primary aspects of the motorcyclist’s life. During this training period at Technogym I had proof of its actual benefit. You can train perfectly, achieve impeccable execution of exercises, but without the right recovery times, body and mind will not reach their maximum potential.
Assessing the physical and mental state during the training session is crucial to deciding the right intensity of the workout. The routine after each race is going back home as soon as possible, rest on Monday, then start training again according to the physical condition.
Always the same routine?
It depends. During the summer, for example, we decided together on other sports to be included in the preparation. This year I have added motocross, which has always been my passion, and I don't want to take it away. However, while studying in detail the workouts I do on motocross, we found out that they are also excellent for the race season. Of course the risk is real, you can hurt yourself and so the team is not very happy but the level of training quality is excellent. Great work at cardio level, and you're on a bike.
Then we tried the kart and watercraft. What’s important is to organise these outdoor activities according to “spare time” from the gym.
Gym workout is fundamental, but practicing many different kinds of sports is also very important, being versatile and a good all-rounder.
It's true that we have to be fast and competitive in ;otoGP but in the end there's no chance for us to do a lot of tests on the bike. Times are really tight. The position is odd, uncomfortable, it’s really extreme. These are the reasons why practicing many sports is really helpful. You learn to improvise and keep a certain degree of confidence even in the most uncertain situations.

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