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Essential MX talks fitness with Dr. Corey Peacock, PHD CSCS RSCC CISSN FCRms

Dr. Corey Peacock is currently serving as the Head Performance Coach and Sports Scientist at Peacock Performance Inc.


Dr. Corey Peacock is currently serving as the Head Performance Coach and Sports Scientist at Peacock Performance Inc. In this role, he is responsible for providing strength & conditioning, physiological analysis, and injury prevention methodologies for some of the world’s ‘Elite’ Combat Athletes. He fulfilled this same role previously with MMA’s The Blackzilians fight team. Prior to MMA, Dr. Peacock spent his time as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the collegiate level, where he focused his application on Football. Corey graduated from Ashland University with a M.Ed. in Applied Exercise Science and from Kent State University with a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology. He works closely with many Strength & Conditioning professionals from the NFL, NHL, MMA and NCAAF and is regarded as one of the top Performance Coaches and Sports Scientists in South Florida. Along with coaching, Dr. Peacock also serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at Nova Southeastern University. As a researcher, he has contributed multiple peer-reviewed publications integrating the fields of exercise physiology, athletic performance, and supplementation.

1. Motocross is a very demanding sport.  Races last between 15-25 minutes at 85-90% of Maximum Heart Rate.  What’s the best training strategy to build better endurance?

Multiple factors, including adrenal activity account for the elevated cardiovascular responses present during a Motocross competition.  This elevation is not only to meet the demands of cardiovascular stress, but also the demands of other stresses influencing physiological systems necessary to racing.  To meet the energy demands necessary, it is very important to train the particular energy systems necessary for competition.  Focusing on improving energy system function, rather than focusing on 15-25 minute “motocross” conditioning, will allow the systems to function more efficiently during the training sessions.  This is where true “race” conditioning is trained.  In turn, competition conditioning is improved.

2. When training cardio, is it better to do more of an interval-type of training or a consistent speed?  How many days per week?

For a competitive Motocross Athlete, the physiological stresses of interval type training will better mimic the demands placed on the Athlete during competition.  If competition performance is the primary factor, interval type should be the focus.  If an athlete has an issue of weight, for which improvements in body composition may improve the aerodynamics of the athlete, then steady-state may show benefits.

3. Moto incorporates a lot of training modes into the sport including balance, vision, flexibility, reaction time, and strength.  Should we focus on training more of a circuit style with a variety of exercises at once, or train different aspects on different days?

A conjugate style periodization will allow the strength and conditioning coach to better improve multiple aspects of physical performance when compared to general periodization models.  Incorporating “contrast sets” or “contrast days” will better allow the athlete to make gains in multiple aspects, such as strength and power in one phase. Trying to improve too many variables at once, may contribute to neural fatigue.  So, finding the correct variable combinations in relationship to competition dates, will prove most beneficial for the athlete.

4. Let’s talk strength training!  A lot of riders feel that they do not need to put much focus into that area so they can keep their weight down.  Will lifting weights improve riding?  How?  Can someone gain strength without putting on a lot of mass?

Aside of size and weight-gain, lifting weights has also proven to improve neuromuscular/proprioceptive function.  These improvements can drastically influence multiple aspects of competition including body awareness, reaction, and balance.  To avoid hypertrophy and mass-gain, focus on low repetitions and high intensities.  In doing so, the training will influence neuromuscular function rather than just muscular size and gain.

5. While training pro athletes, how much time do they spend warming up and cooling down?  Is it important?

The Warm-up is a staple in programing proper strength and conditioning for professional athletes.  It’s very important to increase body temperature, mobilize/align tissue, and prepare the nervous system for movement patterns particular to the strength and conditioning demands.  In doing so, we will improve movement quality, range of motions, and neuromuscular function.  Time is a limiting factor (10-15 min~); so, focus on quality warm-up segments over quantity.

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