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Christopher Dodd and Joe Courtney Respond to Lead Based CPSC Act Against Youth Motocross

CPSC

If you are a regular visitor here, or an active member of any online motocross communities, you probably have read about the outcry over the latest CPSC act which essentially outlaws youth motocross across the country.

As part of my fight against this legislation, I sent email correspondence to Connecticut’s Senator Christopher J. Dodd and Representative Joe Courtney. A few weeks after my emails were sent, I was somewhat surprised to receive a response from both politicians. I know many of you are actively fighting this yourself, so I decided to share their responses with the motocross community.

Senator Christopher J. Dodd

Christopher Dodd Supports the Ban on youth Motocross. Photo by sskennel.

Photo by SSkennel.

Dear Mr. Martin:

 
Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 4040, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Reform Act. I appreciate hearing your views on this important issue.
 
The responsibilities of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are some of the most critical to our nation. The CPSC is charged with protecting consumers from unreasonable risks of serious injury associated with faulty consumer products. Created by Congress in 1976, the CPSC is responsible for examining more than 15,000 types of goods, and has contributed to a 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the last 30 years. However, public alarm about a series of product recalls, particularly of toys and other products used by children has focused attention on major reforms to the CPSC.
 
As Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Children and Families, child safety issues are of the utmost importance to me. That is why I am proud to have supported the final passage of H.R. 4040. Signed into law on August 14, 2008, this critical overhaul of the CPSC contains key reforms that will help to protect American consumers.
 
This legislation requires that as of February 10, 2009, products intended for use by children may not be sold if they contain more than 600 parts per million (ppm) of lead, even if they were manufactured prior to that date. Other products may also not be sold after this date if they contain more than 0.1 percent of specific phthalates, which have been determined to cause reproductive development issues in children. You may be interested to know that on January 30, 2009, the CPSC voted to grant a one-year stay of testing and certification requirements for manufacturers and importers of regulated products intended for children under 12 years of age. This decision will provide CPSC staff time to finalize and clarify the four proposed rules relating to lead testing. The stay will remain in effect until February 10, 2010. For further information relating to the stay of testing, the proposed rules, exempt materials, or other issues relating to the administration of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act, please visit the Commission's website at http://www.cpsc.gov. Please be assured that I will continue to monitor the implementation of this law closely, and will continue to support efforts to protect the health and safety of all children.

Thank you again for contacting me. If you would like to stay in touch with me on this and other issues of importance, please visit my website at http://dodd.senate.gov and subscribe to receive my regular e-mail issue alerts. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can be of assistance you in any way.

 Sincerely,
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD
United States Senator

After reading Dodd’s response, I was slightly disappointed. It is obvious that Dodd openly supported the recent bill. On the other hand, I can see where his point of view is from. The CPSC covers many other types of consumer goods besides motocross bikes and they are responsible for protecting children from lead in mass produced products.

However, I was surprised to see that he did not address the fact that this legislation was much farther reaching than initially anticipated and prevents children from riding motorcycles which contain lead that is never in contact with the child.

Dodd almost failed to defend the outlaw of youth motocross and instead just listed his support of the bill in general. I totally agree that many products imported into our country contain dangerous levels of lead and should be outlawed. Motocross bikes, are not one of these products and Dodd’s failure to address this oversight strikes me as an admittance that the CPSC has gone one step to far with this legislation.

Representative Joe Courtney

Joe Courtney Does Not Supports the Ban on Youth Motocross Bikes

Dear Michael,
 
Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.  I appreciate your comments and having the benefit of your views.
 
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is charged with regulating and enforcing consumer product safety standards, has proven ineffective in its duties. Our nation bore witness to these failings in recent years, with unprecedented numbers of unsafe consumer products being pulled from shelves in  Connecticut and across the nation. The passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA, P.L. 110-314), which was signed into law on August 14, 2008, delivered promise of much needed change to the CPSC and consumer protection standards.  Since passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, the CPSC has been responsible for implementing commonsense applications of the law. 
 
A major provision of the CPSIA established limits on lead content in children's products. Under current law, children's products cannot contain any component that exceeds a lead limit of 600 parts per million (ppm).  In response to these

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restrictions, many ATV manufactures have sent notifications to distributors regarding ATV parts that may exceed the allowable lead limit.  This in turn has impacted ATV businesses as well the availability of children's ATV for purchase. 
 
I understand concerns regarding the application of lead limits restrictions on parts that could, realistically, never cause lead exposure.  Under the CPSIA, the CPSC has the authority and responsibility to establish exclusions of materials or product parts from lead content limits if they will not result in absorption of lead into the body.  I would encourage the CPSC to closely examine ATV parts, including brake components, battery terminals, and other components that could be excluded from lead limits.  I would also encourage the CPSC to use the flexibility granted to them in this legislation to establish commonsense applications of the law and to improve information for those affected by the new requirements. 
 
As the CPSC moves forward with implementing provisions of this law, I will continue to monitor the balance of regulation for both practicality and the goal of consumer protection.  Should you have any additional comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.  For more information on my views on other issues or to see what I have been working on in Congress, please feel free to visit my official website at www.house.gov/courtney and sign up for my e-newsletter.
 

                                                                  Sincerely,
                                                                  
                                                                  JOSEPH COURTNEY
                                                                  Member of Congress

Joe Courtney’s response, on the other hand, was much more reassuring. He addresses the fact that the CPSC has to outlaw unsafe products, but does not fail to mention that motocross bikes and ATV’s are not unsafe and their lead would never realistically come into contact with their youth riders.

I was extremely pleased to read that Joe Courtney has the safety, yet also enjoyment of youths across the country in mind and that he totally understands the impact of this ban.

Joe Courtney's reviews almost exactly reflect mine on this issue: The CPSC must continue to ban unsafe products, but they crucially need to exclude motocross bikes and ATVs in order to preserve the sport we love and the economic ecosystem which is the motocross community.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that not all politicians think alike. Obviously, if they did our democratic system would just not work. As a result, the lead politicians of Connecticut, and undoubtedly other states across the nation have different views on this issue.

For me, Joe Courtney sympathizes with my views while Christopher Dodd apparently does not. Because of this, I will continue to support Joe Courtney in his political ventures. If certain politicians from your state are supporting the review and modification of this latest CPSC act, then you should return the favor and support them in return. This will ensure that they see results from their actions and continue supporting pro motocross legislation.

What Can You Do

Paul Buckley Photos

Photo by Paul Buckley

Even if your politicians agree that HR 4040 is incredibly far reaching and needs to be reviewed, then cannot accomplish the goal of fixing this act alone. They need your help! There are a number of things you can do to help this effort, check them out below!

  • Spread the Word: Do you have a podcast or blog? Are you active on social networks? Leverage this communities to your advantage. Spread the word of this atrociety and make sure that all of your friends are aware of the ban and are helping in the fight.
  • Submit a Letter: The following letter has been prepared by the MIC to be sent to the CPSC in support of the petition and ultimately in support of the removal of this ban. Download CPSC Letter here
  • Sign the Petition: visit http://www.tomself.com/, submit your info and sign the petition.
  • Write to your Congressmen and Senators: Let them know the far reaching affects of this law and the many benefits provided to families by the small powers ports industry.**Thanks to Commenter Joe Roth, I have been made aware of an automatic system to submit a letter to your congressmen and senators which has been set up by the AMA. Check out the AMA’s Rapid Response System right away.**
  • Watch and Spread the Video: Matt Wozney of MXPTV has produced an awesome video regarding the ban. Watch it, spread the link, and embed it on your site. The more people aware of this issue the better.

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MX Sports Delays Rule Change to Allow 250 Two-Strokes in the Pro Lites Class for 2009

MXSports

MX Sports

For months there have been rumors that MX Sports would allow 250 two-strokes in the Motocross Lites class for 2009. This effectively put both “strokes” on a level playing field, with no CC advantage.

However, it looks as though this is not going to happen. Due to the CPSC Ban on Youth Motocross, Davey Coombs and the MX Sports grew have decided that it is probably not in the sports best interest to concentrate their efforts on this issue.

However, I feel that this major rule change could have had a very large positive impact on the motocross community and delaying it will ultimately cause a negative effect on the development of the sport. While the far reaching affects of this act are impossible to summarize in one article, here are some of the major areas where I believe a 250 two stoke in the Lites class could have significantly benefitted the sport.

More Defined Class Names

Class names may seem like a trivial aspect of the motocross community, but to a newcomer to the motocross community, the current class names are extremely confusing.

While the AMA tried to change the class names from “250” and “125” to “Motocross” and “Lites,” this effort has all but failed. The new names are arguably worse than the old and tell newcomers to the sport absolutely nothing about each class.

As a result, many people have stuck with the traditional numerical denominations. But, that has led to further confusion. For newcomers it can be an extremely hard concept to grasp why a “250” four stroke would race in the “125” class. Unless you truly understand the stark difference between the two engine configurations, the placement of four strokes makes almost no sense.

The confusion continues with the experienced members of the motosphere. While most motocross riders know that “250” four strokes ride in the “125” class, when discussing events in the class, conversations can get very confusing.

Imagine if your friend said “Hey man, did you see the crash at the start of the 250 moto?” Because so many riders are now on four strokes, some people have begun calling the “125” class the “250” class and the “250” class the “450” class, so when people actually use the common number, “250,” it is unclear which class they mean.

On the other hand, if the AMA went ahead and allowed 250 two-strokes in the “Lites” class, this issue would be all but cleared up. The “Lites” class, whether officially or unofficially, could be talked about as the “250” class and the “Motocross” class could be reffered to as the “450” class. This would clear up confusion both for newcomers and seasoned vets of the sport and would ultimately help the sport in its current branding crisis.

Two Strokes are More Economical for Privateers

Photo by Karel Kramer.

While Factory riders may not care about the economic difference between two strokes and four strokes, for privateers it can make a huge difference. In the current economic trouble our country is in, struggling privateers need all the help they can get. Riding a two strokes, especially a 250cc two stroke in the “Lites” class, can be just this economic relief.

To begin with, Two Strokes are cheaper to purchase. However, the savings do not stop there. Two Strokes are easier to maintain and easier to workout, saving privateers money on mechanic fees. These small savings could have a huge effect on the lives of privateer motocross racers in the current times of economic turmoil.

Furthermore, a 250cc two stroke is competitive out of the box with 250 four strokes. In the Lites class where power is everything, not having to pay for expensive modifications can save a privateer thousands of dollars a year.

By lowering the costs to privateers, allowing 250cc two strokes to race in the Lites class will once again put privateers on a relatively level playing field which is a bonus for the sport as a whole as it will allow more riders to make the tough transition from local pro to national pro.

More Variety In the Pro Pack

This may be a matter of personal taste, but I love seeing some personality and some variety in the pro pack. The same cookie cutter personalities and standard bike setups may be easy to market for the factories backing the major teams, but for me it makes motocross something it should never be, boring.

I love seeing variety and personality on the pro motocross track. Whether this is in the riders or their bikes, it makes the nationals more exciting as a spectator. In the same sense that cialis generic no prescription

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“Why We Will See a new Jason Lawrence in 2009″>Jason Lawrence lights up the entire motocross community each time he opens his mouth, two strokes help to make races more exciting.

Maybe its just the sound of a freshly tuned premix bike, or maybe it is because two strokes are advantageous in certain sections of the track and four strokes in others, but something about having a heterogeneous field greatly increases the excitement of any pro moto and helps to shake up the results a bit. This is ultimately a bonus for the sport as it shakes up the results and prevents the same two or three riders from winning every week.

Inspires Competition

250 two strokes in the lites class would inspire privateers to compete. Photo by MX Matt

Two Strokes in the Lites class would inspire privateers to compete for readily. Photo by Matt Wellumson (MX Matt).

As the two strokes will help to enhance the variety within the pro pack, it will also help to further inspire privateers and local pros to go up against the factory riders. If they know that they are automatically on a more level playing field with the 250 four strokes of the factory riders, then they will be much more inspired to go out to the national week in and week out to compete against the factory riders.

This will benefit the sport by adding variety to the field, helping to diversify the pack between factory and privateer riders. This will allow more riders to make it big time in the pro ranks and deepen the depth of talent within the pro ranks.

Promotes the Popularity of Two Strokes Among General Public

Two Strokes would become more popular with the general public under these new rules. photo by Cori Chesnutt.

Photo by Cori Chesnutt

Alright, there may be some convoluted reasoning in this point, but it makes sense, believe me. If Mx Sports had gone through with their original plan of allowing 250cc two strokes in the “Lites” class, they would instantly make these bikes more popular among the pro riders. Penny pinching privateers as well as vets looking to have a good time would almost undoubtedly choose 250cc two strokes over the easier to ride, yet less fun and more expensive 250cc four strokes.

Because the two strokes would once again regain popularity among some of the pros, they would also begin to gain popularity among the general public. There is no denying that as a sport we follow the pros, and if some pros switched back tot two strokes, I believe that certain local riders would also make this switch. Once otherpeople began to see the fun which can be had on a two stroke, the transition would spread throughout the motocross community.

I'm not saying that two strokes would ever return to the dominance they had a few years ago, however, they will gain a strong cult following and be able to sustain themselves as a viable alternative to the four stroke motocross bike.

Who Doesn’t Love the Two Strokes?

Everyone loves the classic sound of a two stroke. Photo by Paul Buckley

Everyone loves the classic sound of a two stroke. Photo by Paul Buckley.

Let’s face it, anyway who has ridden motocross for any number of years loves the sound of a two-stroke. Nothing beats hearing a 250cc two stroke rip through a deep loam berm. For this same reason, any motocross enthusiast wants to see two-strokes brought back to professional motocross just for the sake of it.

It may seem like a trivial concern, but something about an all four stroke pro moto just seems booring to me. I would love to be able to hear another pro moto with two strokes at the front of the pack. Something about it would just add some variety and originality back to the pro motocross community and return something to pro motos which has been missing since the demise of the two stroke.

Further Resources

Want to read more about the failed attempt by MX Sports to allow the 250cc two stroke to race in the “Lites” class? Check out the resources below.

What do you think of this news? Were you looking forward to seeing 250cc two strokes on the same level as 250cc four strokes? Or do you think concentrating our efforts on the Lead fiasco is more beneficial to the development of the sport?

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8 Most Inspiring Professional Supercross Bike Setups

Everyone loves looking at professional Motocross and Supercross bikes. They are the trickest and most advanced bikes in the world, and it is inspiring as a rider to look at the incredible bikes ridden by my favorite pro racers.

It is easy to miss the number of incredible bike set ups in the midst of Supercross races, controversies and penalties. That’s why I have rounded up the 8 most inspiring Professional Supercross Bike Setups, enjoy!
Read more »

Freestyle Motocross Star Jeremy Lusk Dies, Is This a Sign That FMX Has Come Too Far?

The Metal Mulisha Crew. Lusk on right. Photo from Jeff Kargola.

The Metal Mulisha Crew. Jeremy Lusk on right. Photo by Jeff Kargola.

Tragically, on February 10th, 2009, freestyle motocross star Jeremy Lusk passed away due to head injuries after a failed heart-attack backflip attempt. Lusk was a star in the FMX world and a member of the renowned Metal Mulisha team. The entire motocross industry was automatically sent into a sense of shock and mourning after hearing the news. As a community, we all pulled together to remember the great rider that was Jeremy Lusk.

Looking past his death, however, I believe that this incredibly tragic event is a sign to the entire freestyle motocross industry that perhaps the evolution of the stunts performed by FMX stars has gone too far. The FMX industry has been pushing the envelope for too long, and maybe it is time for something to change.

I don’t want to make the impression that the current crop of FMX tricks don’t require incredible skills, however, it has definitely gotten to the point that a rider with the guts to huck out the latest tricks will beat out a rider with serious motocross skills.

What Caused This Transition?

The Backflip is responsible for the denaturing of FMX GuyB Photo.

The backflip is responsible for the downfall of Freestyle Motocross. Photo by GuyB.

I believe that the backflip and subsequently the variations of the backflip are 100% responsible for the mutation of FMX from a display of skill to a display of guts. The backflip has become a necessary trick in any freestyle routine. Throwing multiple backflips and backflip variations is almost a guarantee for a good score, but if you don’t do one, despite how much skill you display in the rest of your run, your chances of a top 5 or even top 10 score are slim to none.

The backflip began as a demonstration of how skilled freestyle motocross riders have become, but it has readily transformed the sport. Now the backflip has turned into an avenue for aspiring FMX stars to be skyrocketed into fame without developing the necessary skills.

Why is This Bad for the Sport?

Scott Murray did not have the skills of the real freestyle motocross stars when he attempted the double backflip. Photo by GuyB.

Obviously, this transition has been horrible for the sport of Freestyle Motocross. As the number of riders who can do a backflip has increased, more and more of the top FMX riders have become riders who are not necessarily more skilled than their competitors, but simply have more guts to, quite literally, risk their lives.

Examples of this can be seen in a very real way in the evolution of both the backflip and double backflip in freestyle motocross competitions. Arguably, the first person to ride away from a backflip in competition was Caleb Wyatt. Even as a fan of motocross in general and of FMX, I had never heard of Caleb Wyatt until he landed the first backflip. He was an absolute no one. He had not honed his skills to the level of Travis Pastrana, Mike Metzger, Brian Deegan, or any of the other old guards of FMX. He just happened to have the guys to put his life in danger time and time again in order to land the backflip.

Almost exactly the same scenario occured with the Double Backflip. While Travis Pastrana is credited

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with landing the first backflip in competion, before him came “stunt man” (I do not believe he deserves the title of freestyle motocross ride) Scott Murray who attempted it multiple times, and in the process made himself and the sport of FMX look like a total joke. Skill wise he was clearly on a lower level than every other of the competitors he was riding with, yet he continuously threw himself into double backflips, constantly crashing and making FMX look more like an exhibition than a sport.

Almost all of the “old guards” of FMX will tell you that the backflip is not a necessarily hard trick. It just takes guts. As a result, many riders have begun to rise in the sport of FMX without having the right skills to put a flowing, consistent and stylish run together. This has ultimately dumbed down the sport and devalued the work all of the past stars did to make it a legitimate motocross sport.

It is a terrible tragedy, but I believe that it has taken the death of a comrade, Jeremy Lusk, into shocking the FMX world back into reality. This tragedy will, I hope, help bring FMX back to the grassroots and back to the times where skill, not bravery dominated.

What Can Bring the Sport Back?

Travis Pastrana is an example of a skilled FMX rider. GuyB Photo.

Travis Pastrana is an example of a skilled FMX rider. Photo by GuyB.

While I do not believe that the Backflip should be banned from freestyle motocross motocross alltogether, I do believe that some serious changes must be made. While the backflip is an amazing trick and one that I believe will continue to influence the sport, I firmly believe that the influence of the backflip on the sport needs to be reduced. I am unsure of how exactly this can be accomplished, but there are a number of viable options.

Maybe the number of backflips allowed in one run should be reduced, or maybe their point value needs to be considerably reduced so that a winning run can be put together with the prescense of only one or two backflips. I believe that it needs to be possible for riders to win by displaying that they have extreme freestyle motocross skills without actually doing a backflip. Sure, it was a great way to bring the sport to the next level. But in my opinion, its value has been considerably reduced and now it much be treated like any other trick, and must not be the deciding factor in a riders run.

A more viable option, in my opinion, is to change to layout of the freestyle courses. Return the courses to primarily, or all natural terrain hits to promote the evolution of new tricks, and limit the use of the backflip. With natural hits, the riders skill becomes more important than the ability to throw useless tricks such as the backflip and the riders who truly are the best rise to the back through difficult maneuvers perfected through years of time perfecting their skills.

Various competitions have already been formed with this format, and the response has been incredible. They have allowed skilled riders to rise over lucky or brave ones and has promoted the reemergence of basic, yet skillfully complicated tricks which ruled the FMX world prior to the evolution of the backflip.

What Will I Do Until This Happens?

As a display of my disgust at the current state of the Freestyle Motocross World, I will refuse to follow the freestyle motocross community until something changes. I am sick of riders putting their lives in danger performing stunts which are not even good indicators of their skill. I want to see FMX return to the times when skill rules and talented riders rise to the top of the field.

What are your opinions regarding the current state of Freestyle Motocross? How has the death of FMX star Jeremy Lusk affected your view of the sport? Let me know in the comments!

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7 Ways to Make Your Motocross Training More Effective

Floyd Landis knows how to train effectively, and you should too!

Floyd Landis knows how to train effectively, and you should too! Photo by Whileseated on Flickr

Training is a crucial part of motocross racing. It is impossible to be successful in motocross without a vigorous and effective training routine. Being fit allows you to push harder and last longer which can be extremely beneficial at rough tracks such as Southwick. Motocross is a physically demanding sport and being in excellent shape can have lasting effects on your performance.

However, most motocross athletes are novices to training. They are unaware of how to workout and how to make it as affective as possible. Here are seven ways to make your motocross training more effective.

Eat Right

Eating right is crucial to effective training. Drawing by Timothy Pearson.

Eating right is crucial to effective training. Drawing by Timothy Pearson.

I have found that most amateur motocross are notoriously bad eaters. Maybe this is as a result of the heavy influence of the energy drink market, or maybe it is due to the nutritionally lacking food sold by vendors at the races, or maybe it is a result of the fact that many motocross riders are teenagers, who also, notoriously eat badly. Regardless of the reason though, many motocross riders eat poorly, which has a significant negative impact on our training.

As a result, if you want to maximize the effect your training has on your fitness, eat right. Eating right can be an incredible task, and I am not going to begin to cover it all here, but there are some tips which should get you on the right path to eating healthier.

  • Go Organic: Organic foods contain less chemicals, more nutrients and are ultimately better for your body. They allow you to maximize the nutritional value from your food and minimize the damaging chemicals found in many of todays foods. Thankfully, organic foods are clearly labeled and can be found at many big grocery stores including Wal-Mart, Stop and Shop and, obviously, Whole Foods.
  • Eat a Big Breakfast: Eating a big breakfast prevents mid morning snacks and helps to carry you throughout your entire day nutritionally. Don’t skimp on breakfast, its an important nutritional step in your day.
  • Don’t drink your calories: Calories in a liquid format go down much easier than in solid food. Furthermore, sugary drinks such as soda contain incredible amounts of sugar and calories an considerable decrease the effectiveness of your training.

These are just a few of the ways to help improve your eating habits. In the future, I will go over the many other ways, but those are a few tips to help you get started improving your diet.

Recover After Hard Workouts

Recovery is crucial after hard workouts. Photo by danya.

Recovery is very important to maximize the effects of a hard workout. Photo by danya. on Flickr.

There is no way around it, intense workouts take a toll on your body. Whether cycling, running or lifting, exercising puts a toll on your muslces, your bones, your joints, and ultimately your mind. Almost as important as actually working out is the recovery days in between tough work outs. Whether you choose to take a day off to recover, or simply take it easy, recovery days can do wonders for your fitness.
Recovery days allow your your muscles to rest and repair themselves for another hard day. In addition, they allow your mind to rest and get recharged for another hard day in the gym or on the bike. Finally, taking an occasional day off gives you time to do other things that are crucial to your motocross success.

Take a day off from cycling to work on your bike, do a few extra laps at the practice track, get organized for the weekend or spend some time resting your mind and getting yourself in a good mental position to perform at your best during the race weekend.

Recovery is almost as important as actually exercising and without it your training routine is simply doing harm to your body and is not actually allowing your fitness to improve.

Take Your Training Indoors

Taking your training indoors can maximize your available time to train. Photo by Velo Steve.

Taking your training indoors can maximize your available time to train. Photo by Velo Steve on Flickr.

We all love sunny weather. It makes running and cycling much more enjoyable and ultimately motivates us more to get out there and exercise. However, it is not always sunny out. Whether rain, snow, ice, or wind, in New England adverse weather is unavoidable.

But, this does not mean that your training routine must be put on hold while the weather is holding you up indoors. There are a number of ways to continue training inside your home. Even if you cannot get to the gym, the show much go on as far as your training goes, here are a few ways to go that.

  • Rollers or a trainer: Rollers and trainers are excellent ways to take your cycling training indoors. Rollers help to increase your straight line stability and trainers can significantly increase the overall power of your pedal stroke. Both devices can easily be used indoors, regardless of the weather.
  • Push Ups and Sit Ups: Most people who spend a lot of time in the gym overlook push ups and sit ups as a waste of time because the effects are not as noticeable and they obviously put much less resistance on your muscles. However, the fact is that when done right, they can be very beneficial to your overall fitness. In order to maximize the effect, do many sets of many reps, do your reps slow, and don’t allow too much recovery time in between sets. While push ups and sit ups will never be as effective as lifting, they can be a great alternative if you are stuck inside.
  • Recover: I just went over how beneficial recovery is to your training. So, if your stuck inside due to inclement weather, take a day to recover so you can come back rested and recharged when the weather improves.

Find a Workout Buddy

Finding a workout buddy can make your exercise more fun and thus more effective. Photo by Adrià garcía.

Finding a workout buddy can make your training more fun and thus more effective. Photo by “Adrià garcía on Flickr.

One of the toughest parts about keeping your motocross training effective is working out when you plan to. There is no denying that some days, you just don’t feel like getting on the bike and putting in a hard 60 mile ride. This is where a workout buddy comes in. Having a friend to work out with is a great way to stay motivated.

Working out with a friend as opposed to doing your exercises solo can benefit your training in a number of ways. Not only does planning workouts with a buddy keep you on track and makes skipping a workout less convenient, but exercising with a friend can be incredibly motivating.

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While running, riding, or lifting by yourself, it is too easy to give up when the going gets tough and let up while in the middle of a tough climb. I’m not saying everyone will give in, but the vast majority will, and this limits how effective your training can be. Thankfully, working out with a partner can help to eliminate this and as a pair you can push yourself to new levels and allow you to go further on the bike, running, or in the gym than you ever thought you could.

Develop a Schedule

Having a schedule can keep your training on track. Photo by roland.

Having a schedule can help keep your training on track. Photo by Roland on Flickr.

Another tip to help prevent missed workouts, developing a schedule can be infinitely useful in keeping your training on track. Formulating a set in stone schedule not only allows you to easily plan around when you will be working out, it also allows your body to adjust to your workout/recovery cycle. A predetermined schedule prevents you from the dangerous cycle of extremely hard periods of training followed by extended periods of rest. Instead, having a good schedule can ensure that you get a consistent amount of training in week in and week out.

Furthermore, having a schedule can make your life easier when it is time to increase your training regime. With a good solid schedule as a starting point, it is easier to add a number of miles to certain days when you know you feel the freshest in your week.

I strongly feel that most athletes do not plan their training regime enough and rather just train when they feel like it which is both inefficient and can be quite dangerous.

Push Yourself To the Edge

Pushing yourself to the edge can do wonders for your fitness. Photo by pl jakub.

Pushing yourself to the edge can do wonders for your fitness. Photo by pl jakub on Flickr.

While it is important to ensure that your training and your workouts are all done safely and within your own personal limits, it is equally important to take certain days out of your schedule and really push yourself to the bitter edge. It is almost impossible to ever improve in your fitness if you always ride within your comfort level. Instead, it is crucial to push yourself as far as you can, essentially to the verge of failure.

This will benefeit your training in a number of ways. Not only will it test your body so you know exactly how much your training has improved your fitness, but it also pushes your muslces to an area of fatigue that they are not adjusted too which makes it easier to go to that same level next time. Essentially, this will ultimately allow you to increase your lactate threshold which helps build stronger muscles and ultimately increases your fitness. Here are a few ways for you to push your training to a whole new level.

Cario Exercises (running/cycling):

  • Distance: Manny cardio athletes have a certain distance they are comfortable with. For me, this is about 60 miles cycling and 3 miles running (I don’t run a lot). One way to push yourself to the edge is to increase this distance. The key, however, is to not give up. Many people would be surprised to see how far they can actually ride/run, and the key is to push yourself up the last hill on your ride and push yourself to spring the last 100m after a long run. It is tough to do, and takes a certain amount of mental integrity, but can have an incredible effect on your fitness.
  • Hills: Every cyclist and running dreads hills. They take an incredible amout of extra energy and force your body to push it self beyond its comfort zone. However, as a result riding hills can increase your fitness far beyond the normal riding. Try to find a loop around your home with a number of long, steep hills in quick recession to really test and improve your fitness.
  • Workout with someone stronger: When your workout by yourself, you naturally get into a comfort level and it is very hard to push yourself past this. However, working out with a friend who is stronger and more fit than you can have great effects on your training intensity. Working out as a pair can help motivated you and help push yourself when you are struggling. As motocross racers, we are all incredibly competitive and mentally we have a hard time letting someone beat us up a hill or through a flat. There is almost no more affective way to push your training to a new level then training with someone who is stronger than you.

Strength Training (Lifting):

  • More weight: Obviously the more weight you lift, the stronger you get and the more you can push your body. However, you must be careful with this technique. It is easy to lift too much and severely hurt your muscles. So, if you choose to increase your weight in your weight training, please be sure not to push yourself too far or you could find yourself unable to ride motocross for weeks or even months.
  • More Reps: An extremely effective way to increase your fitness using weight training is to increase the number of reps you do with the same amount of weight. This is a very safe way to increase your fitness and can build strong, lean, and efficient muscles which can be very beneficial to your motocross riding.

Variety in Your Routine

It is both physically and mentally draining to do the same type of workouts day in and day out. It is hard to get motivated for a road bike ride when you know you’ll just have to climb the same hills, tuck in the same descents and deal with the same stoplights. It is much easier to get excited to workout for a new ride or run with new features to test your body in different ways. This is why it is almost crucial to build variety into your workout routine. Variety helps keeps you mentally and physically fresh and prevents you from burning out and abandoning your intense training schedule all together.

Here are a few ways to build variety into your workout schedule:

  • Different exercises: Mix it up. Lift one day, cycle the next and run on the others. Depending on what you enjoy doing, favor your schedule to that activity, but always be sure to do a little bit of what you don’t enjoy as much. Not only will it make your favored activity even better but it will help to build different muscles which otherwise would go ignored.
  • Different routes: Map out a number of routes on Google Maps and print them out. Cycle them throughout your training schedule to keep it fresh and exciting.
  • Different time of day: Depending on your schedule, this method may or may not be possible, however, riding/running/lifting at different times of day can add a ton of variety to your training. Cycling/running in the morning is a totally different experience than in the evening and can make your training unique even if the route and intensity are exactly the same.
  • Recover: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again, because it is incredibly important. Recovery is crucial in your training routine and your hard work is wasted if you don’t give your muscles time to re-grow, get stronger and prepare themselves for the next days workout. Make sure to include one or two days a week for recovery so that you are not constantly beating your body into the ground.

Training for motocross can be monotonous, painful, and sometimes ineffective if done incorrectly. However, there are a number of tips to help make your motocross training not only more effective, but more importantly more enjoyable which will help motivate you to train more, preventing burnout and maximizing your results to have the largest effect on the motocross track.

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About

Mike Martin is a high school student, motocross racer, recreational cyclist, blogger, mac user blackberry addict. I blog about the motocross and cycling industries. more...

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