Virtual Trainer: Christmas ListThursday, December 15, 2005 | 7:53 AM
Well, never fear, Virtual Trainer is here to help with a Christmas list of sorts to make sure those resolutions don’t end up as just another set of faded dreams. The list is not only made up of a few cool gadgets that will help get you into those new racing pants, but also a couple new exercises that will be perfect for the long, cold winter to come.
I vaguely remember an electronic game I had growing up that was a little red box with hand grips on each side, a drag-strip Christmas tree in the center, and funky sounds effects as you raced down the imaginary track. The throttle was a little button under your right thumb and the gear shifter was a button under your left. The goal was to see how fast you could shift the gears and get down the track without getting the dreaded false start. Well, Alan Gerkey, owner and proprietor of All Pro MX Performance in Menifee, CA, has reinvented that little game in the form of a product called Start Bars. Start Bars are a reaction trainer intended to assist racers in refining their starting skills. The product is an actual set of handlebars, complete with a clutch and digital readout. They cost $149.95 and can be purchased at www.motocrosstrainer.com.
Arm pump is a menacing condition that affects riders of all abilities at some point in their riding life. Some like to think that the condition can be resolved with pills and surgery; however, like most things in life, the only sure way to eliminate the beast is through hard work, in the form of training. Jeff MacDonald of MotoSport Training has developed a product that takes handlebar technology and applies "rotational grip training,” which offers the most advanced upper body and forearm conditioning available for motocross and off-road racing. By attaching the Moto-X-Trainer to a rowing machine, you transform a good total body exercise into a sport specific motocross training machine that is extremely effective in reducing arm pump. A key factor in eliminating arm pump is to work the muscles of the forearm at the same time as the cardiovascular system. The exclusive rotational grips activate the upper and lower forearm muscles, which trains forearm muscular endurance at the same time as cardiovascular conditioning, giving the most sport specific conditioning available for motocross. Get yours at www.motosport-training.com.
Stationary bikes are a great way to warm up at the track or get a little cardio in while watching TV or talking on the phone. Consider getting a bike that makes use of both the upper and lower body, like the Schwinn Airdyne. A quick check on Ebay shows 36 Schwinn Airdyne’s for sale—and Trixter X-Bikes are practically built for motocrossers. With all the used exercise equipment lying around in people’s basements, finding a stationary bike should be a snap. If you are more into brand-new stuff, check out www.nautilus.com or www.workoutideas.com/trixter.html.
Motocross Training Book or CD
Okay, so you want to get into better shape, but you just aren’t sure how to get there on your own. If the articles and workouts on Virtual Trainer aren’t enough, then maybe you need some personal attention, like a CD or training manual. Two such CDs that I highly recommend are Gary Semics’ MX Conditioning: Training and Diet as well as Jeff MacDonald’s Total Body Training CD. Both are high-quality products that will give you that personal-trainer feel without the personal-trainer price. (Semics’ stuff can be found at: www.sportsflicks.com/motocross/instructional.htm; McDonald’s at www.motosport-training.com).
If you have tried in vain to motivate yourself to work out in your garage, basement, or even your own personal gym, then a membership to a fitness club may be the answer. At first glance, training at home seems to be a great idea. However, if you have ever gone this route, you soon realize that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t match what the local gym has. Most well-equipped gyms have a multitude of equipment and classes that are perfect for MX training. If you have never tried a group exercise class like yoga (RC does yoga), kickboxing, spinning, and yes, even step aerobics, then you are missing the boat when it comes to great cross-training exercises for MX. How do I know this? I teach all of them except yoga! So get over your bad self and get into a class.
So there you have it, eight new ways to get your butt into gear and into shape for next season. Resolutions are good, but only if you actually keep your resolutions. If you know of any cool gadgets or MX-specific training tools, let me know and I’ll spread the word to the rest of the readers. Until then, happy shopping, and as always, VT can be reached anytime at [email protected]. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X archives section, your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. Archives before November 2005 can be found here.