Chapter 2: Core stability & yoga

Victor Campenaerts is going to break the World Hour Record, timed by Tissot
Details make the difference. It’s a known saying and Victor Campenaerts truly believes it. Especially when in the position to break the World Hour Record. You notice it in everything he does. While we were zooming in on his preparation in Namibia, the following photo was taken.
That’s a particular exercise, Victor! Could you explain this position to us?
“To explain it as easy as possible: it’s a time trial core stability exercise. Doing a TT requires such a specific position. It’s important to be able to hold that ideal position while sitting as stable as possible. That’s why I do specific muscle training,” explains Victor.

Is it useful to train every muscle? “Of course not. Training quadriceps extensively is something sprinters do. My gains would be too small to put in so much effort in those exercises,” clarifies Campenaerts. “That’s why I train my shoulders and my back. Both are being put into such a specific position during a TT, they have to be 100% ready for the job.”
Interested in doing core stability? Victor has these 5 tips:
   1. Know your weaknesses. Do you have a sore back from sitting on your chair all day long? Perhaps that part needs exercises.
   2. Pay attention while doing your exercises. Executing the exercises correctly is key.
   3. It’s not a race. Don’t start comparing. Start at your own pace and push yourself every week, but don’t exaggerate.
   4. Hang in there! Core stability can be boring. You see a lot of cyclists doing core between November and January but try to find riders who still are doing these         exercises in August! I can count those riders on 2 hands.
   5. Don’t train for 2 hours! You’re doing specific exercises on particular muscles; workouts of 45 minutes are sufficient.
Core stability isn’t the only tool Campenaerts is using to prepare the World Hour Record and his TT's. Yoga is another kind of exercise in his book.
“It’s the best way to relax. I’ll always do Yin Yoga at night while I’m racing stage races. It’s the best way to get rid of some adrenaline. But watch out, you have a lot of different kinds of yoga. Most of the time I go for relaxing yoga because combining the heavy ones with core stability would be too much.”

Any tips for the readers?
“Definitely follow some group lessons. Don’t quit after a single lesson. You need to get used to those exercises. Doing an ‘OHM’ (a traditional sound or mantra used in Eastern cultures) in group without laughing generaly takes some time. Definitely check out YouTube to discover your best fitting kind of yoga.”

The next in-depth blog will be released on Monday and will focus on his TT position and windtunnel testing.