Motocross is one of the most physically demanding sports on the planet! To ride well, have fun and stay safe your physical fitness is a primary key. During a race or even during practice sessions a Motocross racer's heart rate (HR) will max out. Their average HR hits about 90 percent of max during a 15 minute or longer Moto. Just by lining up on the starting gate most riders reach about 75 percent of their max HR. In light of these facts it's easy to understand that Motocross is an extremely physical and demanding sport.
For anyone, even seasoned athletes, in excellent shape, maintaining a 90 percent of max HR average is very difficult to do. However, racing Motocross makes this feat seem a bit easier. Why is this, you ask? When maintaining a high HR while doing things like running, cycling or swimming, your HR raises by the work your body is doing and your mind feels pretty much all of the discomfort, even down-right pain.
When riding or racing Motocross, not only is your body working hard, but your mind remains on high alert. All of your senses fully activate by your sensory perception. Because of the excitement and the element of danger, this sensory perception is turned on full throttle, so to speak. Since your body and mind use mass amounts of energy it takes an excellent cardiovascular system to keep all your blood flowing which contains fuel, nutrients and oxygen. I guess this could be bad or good news. It all depends on how you look at it. The bad news could be you have to train, exercise and lead a relatively clean life style. But is that really bad news? The good news is being in good physical shape offers many benefits like looking and feeling better. Again, it's all in the way you look at it.
Most people don't understand that the body needs movement on a regular basis in order to deliver blood and nutrients to all the muscles and soft tissues of the entire body. The proof of these facts is easy to understand when you consider what happens to an arm or leg that is put in a case for six weeks - atrophy! Many riders think they don't need to be in very good shape because they are just riding for fun or compete in short races. But they fail to see the fact that being in better shape means more fun because they can ride longer and increase their skill levels.
Riders who think they don't need to be in good shape just use that belief as another excuse not to train. Riders can have many different excuses for not taking training seriously, excuses like not enough time, no one to train with, they live too far from a gym, or they are too tired to train before or after work. I'm sure all these excuses are very real to them. I say real to them because they have convinced themselves that they are real. For one thing, you don't need to go to a gym to train. In the time it takes to get ready, go to the gym and get back home you could have done your workout at home. If they have a physically demanding job and they really are too tired, they could do some type of easy cardio training, stretching or yoga that would be mentally and physically beneficial.
Many ways to train at home exist. To make a real change with your training habits you have to change the way you think about training and change your perception about training. This doesn't mean just changing your conscious thoughts about training but changing your beliefs about training at the core, in your sub-conscious mind. If you're not already training regularly, it means you have negative thoughts and therefore negative beliefs about training and exercising. This causes you to not want to do it and it's easy to find excuses for not doing it. Once you change these negative thoughts and beliefs into positive ones you will want to train and exercise on a regular basis then it becomes a habit, a life style and your enjoyment of Motocross, along with your riding skills and safety increase big time!
The bottom line? If Motocross is toward the top of your list then except the facts - change your thoughts and beliefs about training and make it a life style. Changing your beliefs is easy to do and just takes a little ambition and know how. It helps to start with some daily short and long term goals. This first step is very important, so take some time and write out your goals. Then put them in a place where you see them every day. Doing this not only reminds you but also makes them more real.
Changing everything at once works for some people, but for most this is not the best method. It's usually better to change things gradually, like one or two things per day. This method is a lot less stressful on your mind and body and likely contributes to lasting changes. Of course getting the desired results from changing your thoughts and beliefs takes time. Until this happens and you really want to exercise you're going to have to use commitment and will power. Your brain comes up with all the excuses you can imagine and you're going to need to ignore them and workout anyway. The import thing is to start out gradually with your frequency, duration and intensity and be consistent. It's better to workout a little, five days a week, then workout too much two days a week.
If you haven't been training you shouldn't train too hard in the beginning. Just do what's comfortable and keep building. If you're not used to training and you go too hard, chances are you won't stick with it. The first step is make it a habit. Then accordingly, increase the frequency, duration and intensity in order to reach your goals. Once exercising becomes a habit you'll be like the millions of other people who have kicked their bad habits and replaced them with good, healthy habits like exercise and smart eating. Don't think of why you can't do this or that rather think of how you can. One step at a time. Discover how fun Motocross really can be!
Ok, so once you make the commitment to start training how do you know your training methods and strategies are effective for Motocross? All sports have different training methods. This is known as "Sports Specific Training." Motocross is one of the sports where this is the most complicated because Motocross uses all the muscles of your body at the same time constantly. Not only do all your muscles get worked at the same time but they also get worked both aerobically and anaerobically, meaning both cardio and strength is needed. There's a fine line in the way these two forms of exercise need to be done in order to get the best benefits on the MX bike. More bad and good news - in order to understand and apply the most effective ways to training for Motocross, you would need a personal Pro Motocross trainer or "how to" videos and books. The good news is we have videos and manuals available.
Riders can choose one of three subscriptions, with one being an "Online Coaching" subscription. This one has all the most important MX practice drills, fitness workouts, weekly routines, the mental side of training and racing, stretching, strength, nutrition and pretty much everything that goes into a rider's weekly preparation plans. It has a wide verity of Weekly Routines for the Weekend Warrior to the full time Pro.
I hope this article gives you some motivation to keep training or if you haven't already started. Whatever your goals, I hope you ride and train smart, stay safe and have fun!
Here's a video with some exercises that can be done at home.
About Gary Semics:
Learn our GSMXS time tested and proven practice and training methods to improve your riding skills and race results. How? Through our hands on Motocross School Group and Private classes, with 10 GSMXS Certified Instructors located in six countries. Through our Techniques and Training DVDs (currently 28 titles)