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Why do motocross racers need supplemental training? Isn’t riding enough?
Riding is the best activity that you can do in order to improve your skills. But, are you able to ride every day?
Supplemental training, especially the exercises that I recommend, can be done in a short amount of time with little or no
equipment. Like any other athletes, motocross racers need to train their body to reach a higher level of fitness in order
to perform at their very best. Motocross racers can learn from other athletes and the types of training they do. I have
outlined some of these activities for you in my book, but, remember that practicing your sport is the most important
activity that you can do. One of the positive aspects of supplemental strength and conditioning is that it improves the
effectiveness of your training (riding practice) when you are able to focus on improving your riding skills rather than
worrying about your fitness to finish a race.
What is "functional training" and why do motocross racers need it? Will it build big muscles?
"Functional training" (for lack of a better phrase) stresses working the body and muscles as one total unit. Working the
body as one functional unit rather than as individual muscles will develop the total athlete, and that’s the most important
type of training that motocross racers need. Most of the exercises that I describe in this book work the body as a unit.
However, there are instances where you should work individual muscles a little more than some other athletes (forearms
for example). Functional training focuses on developing strength, power, coordination, speed, and flexibility over
building big muscles. Some muscular development will occur, but you will not build big muscles (like a bodybuilder)
unless you train specifically for that.
I already lift weights and run, isn’t that better than other types of training?
Lifting weights is an excellent means of training if you are properly trained, and you use the correct exercises. I would
not discourage any athlete to stop lifting weights if they are already doing it. I, myself, have lifted weights for over twenty
years and have competed in powerlifting for seventeen years, but bench pressing 400 and squatting 600 never helped
me win a race. If you are strong but lack endurance, speed, or flexibility, then you are not a complete athlete. If you
already lift weights, then the exercises that I outline for you can be just another aspect of your training. For some of you
who work hard at these exercises, they may even replace weight lifting in your training program. If you continue to lift
weights, make sure that you focus on compound (complex) exercises that use the major muscle groups of the body.
Squats, power cleans, deadlifts, military press, and bench press are examples of these types of weight lifting
movements. Remember that weight lifting mainly addresses strength and muscle mass. The exercises that I describe in
my book also address other aspects of your fitness besides strength such as power, speed, balance, muscular
endurance, coordination, and flexibility. Motocross racers need to train all of these areas in order to maximize their
fitness for their sport. Quit following programs outlined in bodybuilding magazines because they will do nothing to help
you improve your motocross fitness or skills. Running is also very important in your physical training. If you already run,
then keep doing it. Motocross racers need the aerobic base that running develops. In my book I describe alternative
workouts besides just distance running that should be helpful to most athletes.
What if I’m already in good shape? Do I really need to work out?
If you are already in good shape, then you are ahead of most people. But, working out in addition to riding / racing is
important to increase your strength and conditioning, and push you to the next level in your racing career. In the long
run, it is also important to establish good exercise and diet habits to improve your health as well as your athletic
conditioning. Remember, if you do the same as you’ve always done, then you will be what you’ve always been. Think
How often should I train? What if my exercise time is limited?
Some athletes are able to train every day, while others get by on less. Everyone is different, but if you are serious, then
I would recommend no less than three times a week (or every other day). If your time is limited, you should be able to at
least set aside 20-30 minutes three times a week. Even with this limited amount of time, you can improve your strength
and conditioning, which in turn will improve your riding fitness and skills. Remember, twenty minutes of training is better
than none at all.
Why do you recommend the Wrestler's Bridge exercise for motocross athletes?
The wrestler's bridge, or back neck bridge, is an important exercise that develops neck, back, and leg strength, as well
as flexibility, balance, and muscular endurance unlike any other exercise. Motocrossers need to develop these areas
because it gives them extra strength and protection, in addition to their protective gear. It also reduces the chance of
serious injury when your neck and back are stronger and more flexible, and this should be a priority for any motocross
racer. As we know, motocross is dangerous and the potential for serious injury is always present. Therefore, motocross
athletes should train and strengthen their bodies to withstand the punishment of their sport. This is why I recommend
the wrestler's bridge (as well as many other exercises) to help strengthen the total body. However, I do recommend
extreme caution in executing the wrestler's bridge until you develop the strength in your neck and back to hold yourself
in this position for more than a few seconds. If you have previously experienced a neck or back injury, you should get
your doctor’s approval before doing this (or any other) exercise. As with any new exercise, you should learn the proper
exercise technique, and you should work into the exercise slowly until you have mastered it.
What are your credentials in motocross, and strength and conditioning? Why should I follow
I am not a professional motocross racer, although when I was younger I did have those aspirations. At this time (2009) I
am 46 years old, and I still occasionally race the Over 40 class at local races in Texas. I have ridden motorcycles since I
was six years old, and I started racing when I was eight. Racing throughout my teenage years, I did have a fair amount
of success. I raced some major state (Texas) and national amateur events, and I did reach the expert class by the time I
was 16. Consequently, I do have a large amount of experience in racing motocross, so I can relate to it on a personal
level unlike most personal trainers in the field of fitness.
Professionally, I have coached high school football, wrestling, powerlifting, and track and field for the past 20 years. I
also have one year of college coaching experience in track and field. I am a Certified Strength and Conditioning
Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association since 1998.
In addition to my racing experience, I am an accomplished powerlifter with more than twenty years of weight training
experience. I have competed in powerlifting for the past 21 years. In 2002 I won the World Association of Benchers and
Deadlifters National Championship in the bench press in the 220 lb. submasters division. In 2003 I placed 2nd at the
National Meet in the 220 lb. masters division with a lift of 407 lbs., and that same year I placed 10th at the WABDL World
Bench Press Championships in the same division.
In 2005 I once again qualified for the WABDL World Bench Press Championships with a lift of 435 pounds. In November
of 2005, I finished in a tie for 4th place at the WABDL World Championships. In 2005 I also won two classes at the NAP
(National Alliance of Powerlifters) National Championships and was awarded the outstanding lifter award at that meet.
In November 2006, I finally achieved a World Bench Press Championship (WABDL) when I finished in 1st place in the
220 lb. Class 1 Division with a 473 lb. lift. This lift was also a Texas state record in that division, and I was fortunate
enough to be named the best Class 1 Middleweight lifter at the World Meet. Consequently, I do have national and world
level experience in powerlifting in addition to my motocross accomplishments.
The exercise program that I have outlined in this book is a result of many years of training experience – not only for
myself, but for other athletes that I have trained. It does not focus on heavy weight training or powerlifting. Even though
I, personally, have trained many years for powerlifting, there is very little carryover to motocross from that sport. Instead
of powerlifting movements, I have chosen exercises that benefit the unique demands that motocross racers face in their
sport. And, the best part of this program is that it requires little (or no) financial investment on your part, and most of the
exercises can be done at home in a short amount of time.
Since I have experienced motocross myself, I have the perspective of a racer and what will benefit them in their training.
Motocross is a great challenge for any athlete, but for me it has posed an extreme challenge because I am naturally a
big person, and motocross doesn’t really favor the bigger athlete. As you will see from the training pictures in the book, I
am not a small person (220 lbs.), but I have trained for the past 25+ years, and I am in fairly good shape for a 46 year
old man. However, whether you are big or small, skinny or overweight, old or young, male or female, professional or
beginner, all athletes can benefit in some way from this program.
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