Red Bull athlete Mohammed Al Balooshi is a motocross and desert rally rider, and the first Emirati to take part in the Dakar Rally. For the first article of his monthly column Balooshi talks about his training regime, which he’s been doing for 17 years.
I combine training and riding and then do a lot of cycling, gym work and running to keep myself in shape throughout the year. I’ve been doing pretty much the same workouts for years now, I might try a few new things and adapt them to my daily routine but the majority of my training has always been the same. It’s broken down throughout the week with weights, cardio and bike training.
I’ll do one set of training for three weeks then mix-up the routine. I don’t train like a bodybuilder; instead I combine three exercises then rest. For instance, I’ll do bench presses, squats and side slides. I’ll do this for four sets and then incline bench presses, squats and reverse flyes for four sets. Then chest flyes, leg curls and shoulder presses for three sets before resting. To finish I’ll do downwards cable flyes, hamstring curls and front flyes for three sets. All the reps are done fifteen times. Then I work my back and calves and abs, and some pull downs to work my lats. Roughly it comes down to 245 sets and this would be the routine for the week with the weights.
My bread and butter is racing bikes so everything else I do is to keep me fit to make sure I can do my job properly. Right now I’m drinking a can of Red Bull in the morning before doing 35km cycling in a day and then work on my abs and mobility exercises afterwards. Another form of cardio I do is 40 minutes of high intensity workouts including running 200 metres, burpees and press-ups, then repeating. It goes hand-in-hand, you can be riding fit, but that will only take you so far. Being in good shape means you can recover quicker. When you ride, the body takes a lot of beating and if you’re not gym-fit it’ll take you longer to recover.
Usually I do four days of riding training a week, some days I’ll just do two days until I get closer to competition. The off-season is about six months but because I race internationally I do it throughout the year so need to maintain everything. I’m in the gym for five days with Thursday off and then I race on Friday, so I have one rest day a week. I like to keep the same days off throughout the year as it prepares both my body and mind.