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Shoot for Hydro with Yamaha athletes and trainer Gareth Swanepoel at the Yamaha track and gym and cycling.

Gareth Swanepoel

Checking In: Offseason Training with Gareth Swanepoel

Dec 022020

Former professional motocross racer turned physical trainer Gareth Swanepoel currently has his hands full as the Covid-19 Pandemic put a pause on the 2020 racing series, which resulted in a much later end time for the series. The result has given Gareth a shorter window of time to get his athletes ready for the 2021 season. With a staple of riders under his watch for the Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha team, Gareth looks to get his guys race-ready for their assault on the 2021 Supercross Series.

For the 2021 season, Gareth will have Aaron Plessinger, Malcom Stewart, Justin Cooper, Colt Nichols, Christian Craig, and Jared Frye under him.

With the Pandemic throwing off Season Schedules Supercross prep has been cut Short

Where are we at as far as off-season prep goes going into the Supercross season?

We are a little behind but not too far behind because the Motocross season went a lot longer than usual, so usually, we start October 1st with Supercross training. Still, now we started the last week of October. We’re only really three weeks into training, but so far, it’s been going well. Everyone’s going okay, but obviously, we don’t quite have the luxury of easing into it as we usually do.

Supercross Is on everyone's minds

Who is your current roster of riders that you’re working with right now?

For the Star Racing 450 squad, I have Aaron Plessinger and Malcom Stewart, and on the 250 team, I have Justin Cooper, Colt Nichols, Jared Frye, Christian Craig, and Nate Thrasher, who may be going pro, but that is still undecided.

How far out are we from the first round of Supercross?

We are just under eight weeks out from the first round in Houston.

Star Yamaha Prioritizes riding in their training

At this point, with that timetable, what type of training are you having your guys do?

We’ve changed it up a little bit for this year as we usually go through a base style training, which is longer and slower efforts, and then we will typically ramp it up closer to Supercross. At this point, though, we have about a month less than we would typically have. I’m making similar efforts, but this time the intensity is much higher because we had to bump everything up a month sooner. 
Everyone had to do it, though. We’ve just prioritized the riding, and this week has been more of a recovery week because we are just coming off a three-block of solid training. Our schedule will typically be a three-block of intensity and then one week of recovery, so next week we’ll start our next three-week block of intensity.

the intensity changes from week to week for the riders

What does a three-week block typically consist of?

Well, each week gains more volume, so basically, for week one, there will be a certain number of hours of cycling, gym, and riding at the track, and then week two would be more than that, and then week three we would add even more to the previous two weeks. It doesn’t sound too much, but it’s the intensity that is so high, so the third week of the block, we’ll be doing a good number of hours.

All Training is catered to the Individual riders

With the outdoor season-ending sooner, did your riders get a shorter offseason to rest than usual?

Oh, for sure, they had a shorter break. The riders typically get two weeks completely off the bike, and then they do two weeks of slowly getting back into a routine, so technically, it’s almost a month off. But this year, they got about a week off, and then it was back at it.

How do you tailor each guy’s training with so many athletes under you if someone is below another person in terms of fitness or vice versa?

That’s quite hard, but if I see someone a little behind, I will send them on different workouts or have them do more specific work on their own in the morning. Maybe one guy would do a 30-minute run in the morning, where another guy may do a 15-minute run in the morning, or their recovery spin is slightly different. I also will do shorter laps compared to doing a full moto. Again, I’ll break down other things at the track, so possibly a guy behind may have to work on sections, whether that’s woops or turns. I have a set program for everyone, but once that program is finished, I may have to adjust it after seeing where an individual rider is.

Christian Craig has Joined Star Yamaha

How is it having a new guy with Christian Craig? Did you have to change his program a lot, or how is it overall bringing a new person with your current guys?

It was quite simple because he’s always been into training, but he didn’t know what exactly to do. He’s worked with different trainers in the past, but when I picked him up, he just was a blank slate and said, tell me what to do. So, there wasn’t any questioning from him. 
I’ve just been writing the program, and he does it with no hesitation. Usually, you may get a guy who comes from a different team or training structure, and they’re older and set in their ways, and I thought he’d be more like that, but he hasn’t been like that at all. He’s just stepped up and done the work, which has been great.