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  • Coach Robb

    10 Body Indicators That Tell You When to Workout & When to Back Off!

    By Coach Robb

    TIME TO REST - Pay attention to these 10 body indicators to gauge when to work out and when to back off!   If you don’t take time to rest and recovery, your body wont adapt to the stress of training and racing – and as a result you won’t get stronger or faster. If you neglect recovery for too long, you will start to lose strength and speed.   Here are some symptoms to look for: First your sleep patterns will be off (tired and you can’t sleep, restless sleep, etc.). Second your energy levels will be negatively affected. Third, you will begin to get sick more frequently (and take longer to heal from the virus). Fourth, your appetite will become suppressed.

    Remember, over training is not applicable only to elite athletes and professionals, recreational athletes have to balance, personal, professional, bills, children, inadequate sleep, etc. which is what makes recovering from your workouts and racing even more difficult.  
    Symptom Evaluation
    See if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:   Symptom #1-Body Mass
    A 2% drop in weight from day to day indicates a body-fluid fluctuation. More than likely, you didn’t hydrate enough to offset heat, humidity, intensity and duration. Dehydration negatively impacts both physical and mental performance and could compromise the quality of your next workout or race.   Symptom 2-Elevated Resting Heart
    An elevated resting heart rate is a significant indicator of stress within the body. An elevated HR indicates that your nervous system is in that “fight or flight” mode which results in elevated hormone levels to provide more oxygen to the muscles and brain. Your body doesn’t know the difference between and physical and psychological stress. A hard day at work and/or a hard workout or race both require additional recovery protocols.   Symptom 3-Sleep Quality: you wake up and don’t feel fresh.
    Quality sleep: falling asleep quickly, deeply and staying there for a long period of time will allow your body to release the much needed growth hormone (hGH) necessary for rebuilding muscle and burning body fat. Several low quality nights of sleep will decrease your reaction time, immune system, can cognitive functions – not a good scenario when it comes to quality workout or high end performance on race day.   Symptom 4-Hydration: your urine is dark yellow
    Unless you are taking B vitamins, a dark colored urine can be an indicator of dehydration. Your urine is an easy indicator of your water levels throughout your body.   Symptom5-Energy Levels are Low
    Honesty is the key here. You know the difference between being tired and having low energy. Being tired is about recovering from yesterday’s workload. Being low on energy is a at a completely different level. Athletes think they can block out signs of fatigue and push to the next level of fitness, performance just doesn’t develop in this environment.   Symptom 6-Mood State: your moody (and even cranky).
    When your body is overwhelmed by stress (training, racing, work, family, etc.), it produces the stress hormone cortisol that can cause irritability and/or anxiety. Stress also halts chemicals like dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that has a big bummer effect on mood when depleted. Crankiness means not enough recovery.   Symptom7-Sick Frequently
    Any illness or even a woman’s menstrual cycle, will increase your need for energy to refuel your immune system, which is having to work overtime. This translates into fewer resources available for recovery from training.   Symptom 8-Pain: your excessively sore or have a nabbing injury.
    Whether you are sore from over worked muscles or have an injury that continues to linger is an indicator that your body needs more energy to put towards the repair, which extends your total recovery time.   Symptom 9-Performance is sub-par.
    This is a subjective measure of workout quality, not quantity nor intensity. If you perform well on a particular workout, you would rate that workout as “good”. If you have a sub-par performance or feel like you are struggling to complete that same workout, you would rate that workout as “poor”. Trending workout quality – multiple poor workouts in a row – is one of the easiest ways to identify the need for more recovery.   Symptom 10-Oxygen Saturation: low oxygen levels.
    The amount of oxygen in the hemoglobin of the red blood cells can be measured and is thought to be an accurate assessment of recovery because of the association of high oxygen saturation levels and higher energy levels.   Evaluation Time: count how many of the above symptoms you have experienced over the last week and then compare this against the following:
    0-1: Green Light: you are recovering adequately and can maintain your normal volume and intensity
    2-4: Caution: You can complete your hard workouts; however, cut the workout short if you are struggling to complete the first couple of intervals after a long warm up
    5-6: Warning: This is the zone where you are close to tipping the scales and becoming over-worked, sick and injury prone. You need to add a second rest day to your week
    7-10: Danger: You are IN the danger zone and need to take one week completely off (no sport specific training); increase your high quality food intake and take 2 hour naps each day.   If you want me an my staff to review if you should take a break from training and racing, please feel free to contact us at Contact@CoachRobb.com.
    • 2 comments
    • 4,596 views
  • Paul Olesen

    Help! - Bike Only Starts When Pushed

    By Paul Olesen

    Today I want to talk about a situation I hear all too often. Someone’s bike, whether it be a two-stroke or four-stroke, only starts when it is pushed.

    Before I discuss potential causes for this scenario, take a moment to think through the situation yourself. What mechanical factors would result in either a two-stroke or four-stroke only starting when it is bump started?

    In either case, the reason the engine is able to start when it is push started is because it is able to build more compression than it otherwise could when it is kicked or the electric starter is engaged. More compression is achievable because the cranking RPM is higher than what’s possible with the aforementioned starting methods. With a higher cranking RPM for a four-stroke, more air will fill the cylinder on the intake stroke, and for a two-stroke the scavenging process will be improved. With this being the case we must look at reasons why the engine is struggling to build compression in the first place.

    Starting problems specific to four-strokes:
    1. Valve seat recession - When a valve seat wears out and recedes, the valve moves up towards the camshaft. This leads to diminished valve clearances and if left to run its course, the valve and shim will bottom on the camshaft’s base circle. This can prevent the valve from seating and make the engine hard to start. 2. The valve is bent - A valve with a serious bow to it may get jammed up inside the guide and not return all the way back to its seat. Bent valves typically result from an over-revved engine where the valves contact the piston. Valves can also bend to a lesser extent if they were mated to valve seats that were not cut concentrically to the guides, or they were paired with worn seats.

    3. The valve stuck in the guide - This is usually due to the engine overheating. When the engine overheated the clearance between the valve and guide diminished which caused metal to transfer from one part to the other, ultimately ruining the surface finish on one or both parts. Once this happens the valve may be prone to sticking in the guide until the engine warms up. 4. The valves and seats do not seal well - Worn valves and valve seats can compromise the seal between them. Valve and seat wear is a natural part of running an engine but can also be accelerated by ingesting dirty air.

    Starting problems specific to two-strokes: 1. The reed valve is worn - Reed petals that don’t close all the way, are chipped, or bent will not allow sealing of the crankcase and efficient gas flow up from the crankcase into the cylinder.

    2. An engine seal or gasket has failed - A two-stroke engine requires a well sealed crankcase and cylinder in order for it to scavenge gases efficiently. A worn crank seal, leaky base gasket, or problematic power valve seal can all make starting more difficult. Two and four-stroke problems: 1. The piston rings are worn - Worn piston rings will allow compressed gases to escape past them. 2. The head gasket or o-rings are leaking - Usually a leaking cylinder head will be accompanied by white smoke if coolant is being pushed into the combustion chamber, by coolant being blown out the radiator, or both.

    I hope you found this rundown of potential problems useful for diagnosing bikes that like bump starting over a kick or the push of a button. Can you think of any other problems that would lead to lack of compression? If so, leave a comment and share them. If you liked this post and want more technical info, check out my book, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook. In it you will find over 300 pages of technical knowledge to help you get off on the right foot when rebuilding!

    - Paul
      Amazon DIYMotoFix.com  
    • 17 comments
    • 2,425 views
  • scottiedawg

    Turning Stones vol 1

    By scottiedawg

    The official ride video...Make sure to watch in HD The day started by waking up in a lavish hotel room at the Aranwa Resort in Urubamba, Peru. I had a couple of hours to eat breakfast, gear up, and drive across the valley to another fine hotel to meet up with Imad.

    A month prior, I received an email inquiry about running a one day hard enduro tour. I was available for the dates, so I began discussing the options for the tour. What I found out was that Imad, who lives in Dubai, was vacationing with his wife. He had come up with a brilliant plan to offer a full day at the spa for his wife which in turn allowed him to take advantage of another type of "SPA." Brilliant!

    Normally, I begin the tours from our headquarters in Cusco, but in this case, I was able to accommodate by starting at Imad's hotel in Urubamba. This gave me an excuse to bring my entire family to the valley, put them up at a nice hotel complete with all the fixings, and combine it with a one day enduro ride that has kept a smile on my face for days. I hung out with my family when I was at the hotel, then snuck out for a ride with Imad, then returned to spend more time with the family. Perfect!


    A couple of happy fellas I arrived at the Tambo del Inca, one of the finest hotels in Urubamba. I unloaded the bikes, prepped the lunches, warmed everything up, then headed into the lobby to find Imad.
    There he was with his happy wife who was about to be pampered for an entire day at the spa. She couldn't have been more happy. Imad was stoked to be able to enjoy Peru on a dirt bike. A win-win in my book!

    His wife made sure that I was legitimate. She was a bit concerned about me bringing him back in one piece. She mentioned the fact that there are two young kids who have a special relationship with their dad. I also fit that scenario, so I piped in my story to appease his wife that it was indeed my plan to bring Imad back alive and in good condition.

    Within minutes, Imad and I found ourselves mounting up on the two Husqvarna TE 300's. The trail head, just a minute away from the hotel was screaming for us to come try her out.
    The trail started out with a daunting strip of tight rock walled single track that resembles a jungle tunnel. It wasn't raining at the time, but it was extremely wet from the rain the night before. Imad pounded out the section with a bit of wonder about whether or not the rest of the day would be similar. I think it scared him a bit. To his pleasant surprise, I explained that it's not all as difficult, but that we would face countless obstacles in the days ride...But not to worry, it would all be worth it.


    Just a little rocky section to play around on We continued to work our way up the canyon with a goal of reaching the lower lake. I figured it would be a worthy goal to reach the lake, have lunch, then work our way back down the valley.
    Along the way up, we encountered numerous switchbacks, rock gardens, open meadows, creeks, and many a wet alpaca poop pile. The ride was just what Imad had hoped for.
    As a guide, I never know how people will do with the altitude. It can be a butt-kicker for some, and for others, it hardly makes a difference. With Imad, he struggled with it at first, but somehow caught a second wind as we reached the bottom of the last big obstacle before the lake. It was a rocky staircase climb that typically wreaks havoc when its dry, but this time it was soaking wet. We had  our work cut out for us.

    Like two mules, we worked up a good lather climbing up each of the rock steps. I made sure to tell Imad that the view would be worth it. Within a few minutes, he had the opportunity to agree with me. The view was just what Imad needed. In fact, he was so stoked about the view that he told me he wanted to try to reach the upper lake. We had plenty of time, so why not?
    Taking a break! The stakes go up on the route between the lakes. The terrain we saw below the first lake was only a warm up. Imad confirmed that he was indeed ready to give it a shot. Atta boy!
    The coolest part of the section is a waterfall that cascades down the mountain as the trail goes right through it. Check out the video if you want to see what I mean! We worked our way through the water, up a number of tight rocky switchbacks, and finally through a stand of scary red-barked trees where one would expect to find a creepy murderer with an axe. The ride is so fun that you forget the altitude. Just past the forest was the final climb before the upper lake. Imad was feeling his oats at this point. We crested the top to discover a sight to behold; The upper lake.
    It's absolute beauty. It was a perfect place to eat our lunch, take a million pictures and get ready to ride around the side of the lake to an untouched area where a dirt bike has never been. That is always a special treat that I can do for my customers. There are hundreds of places like that which can be explored on my tours.


    The upper lake never disappoints...well worth the effort! A bit of food and drink, then we mounted up and began a fun trials type of terrain complete with granite rock slabs, bright green grass, tons of mud, and views that continued to blow us away. We played around for a good hour until it was time to begin our descent to the bottom of the valley.

    Although it is the same trail, it seems like a different valley and route altogether. The downhill is sketchy. It's fast and rhythmic, but there are so many places to find yourself on your face. We experienced a couple of crashes, but coming down provides such a thrill...in fact, it's that type of thrill that keeps me riding. Pure smiles all the way down.


    A little ride through a waterfall We made it back to the hotel with nothing left in our tanks. No gas, nor energy. Completely smoked, but so satisfied! Another typical ride in the Andes of Peru! Make sure to check out the ride video to see what I am talking about. I can't wait to share another one next time around. Stay tuned and make sure to follow the blog so you can see the next post when it comes out.

    Until the next one,

    Scott Check out more of our hard enduro videos on our Youtube channel at MotoMission Peru Dirtbike Adventures.  
    • 5 comments
    • 1,594 views
  • Paul Olesen

    DIY Piston Ring Compressor

    By Paul Olesen

    Today I want to share a quick tip with those of you who are working on your own engines but just can’t justify buying a set of piston ring compressors. It’s entirely possible to make a perfectly good ring compressor from materials you can get at the hardware store. All you need is some plumber’s pipe hanging tape and a hose clamp that is sized according to your cylinder bore.

    To construct a DIY ring compressor from plumber's pipe hanger tape you will need to determine the length of tape required. This is easily done using the following equation for calculating the circumference of a circle. Length of Tape Required = Piston Diameter x π (Pi) When the tape is wrapped around the piston tightly, the final length may need to be reduced slightly so that the ends don’t butt together. Once the tape has been cut to length, make sure whichever side of the tape will be contacting the rings is smooth and free of little plastic burrs that could catch the rings.

    Simply lube up the tape, tighten down the hose clamp, and you are in business.



    Do you have a tip that makes compressing rings easier or cheaper? If so, leave a comment below! - Paul

    If you enjoyed this tip and want access to more like it, check out my book, The Four Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Building Handbook. On the fence about the book? Check out what other riders are saying: Thumper Talk Review

    Available at: Amazon.com DIYMotoFix.com  
    • 11 comments
    • 2,428 views
  • Paul Olesen

    What Spare Parts Do You Bring To The Track or Trail?

    By Paul Olesen

    With warmer weather and the riding season around the corner for many of us, I wanted to cover a topic that can either make or break an event. Whether you’re competing in a racing series or traveling to the track or trail, let's talk about event preparedness. More specifically, what spare parts should you keep on hand? Plus, what methods do you use to keep your spares organized?

    Honestly, I struggled with organization until I started working on this post. I had no method to my madness. Every time an event came up I’d do the same thing; throw a bunch of stuff in a box or the back of my van and head to the event. The sad part is I now realize this was a weakness of mine for quite some time, but didn’t do anything about it! Maybe you can relate?

    I finally said enough is enough. I don’t throw my tools in a cardboard box when I go to a race, leaving what I bring to the fate of my memory. So why would I do that with the spare parts I bring?

    I started solving this problem by compiling a spreadsheet detailing what spare parts I keep on hand for ice racing and hare scrambles. I realize that each discipline will differ and may have niche parts that should be kept. The goal here is not to definitively define what spares one should keep on hand, but to have a conversation and provide a resource that can be used to help people get set up based on their own needs.

    Once I took inventory of everything I felt I wanted to bring to a race, I went to Menards and went hunting for the perfect organized storage bin/toolbox. Here’s what I ended up with:



    Naturally, once I returned with the toolbox, my list grew and I probably need to go back for a bigger one. I intend to store a copy of the spreadsheet in the tote so I can keep tabs on inventory and know exactly what I have available.

    Should I get another bike, this system is easily replicable and my plan is to get another organized toolbox that goes with it.

    This system is how I went from being an unorganized “throw it in the van at the last minute” rider to a more relaxed well prepared rider. I’d love to hear how you handle event readiness, what you bring, and how you keep track of it. My hope is that by sharing our strategies we’ll save someone the misfortune of having a bad day at the track or trail. Perhaps I'll even end up with more things I need to add to my list.

    -Paul

    If enjoyed this post be sure to follow my blog and sign up for my newsletter!
    DIY Moto Fix Newsletter      
    • 16 comments
    • 1,369 views
 

No More Front End Washouts

One of the most important things when cornering is keeping the front end from washing out. Well, you can when you know what’s involved and know how to practice it. Just like all the control aspects in motocross the front end is controlled by 2 technique categories; body movements and controlling the five controls of the m/c and that’s the front and rear brakes, the clutch and throttle and the gear shift. Body movements relate to always maintaining the center of balance. Of course if you loose your center of balance with the m/c you’re going to be out of control or at least making a bobble to correct it. Well in motocross this center of balance is even more complicated. It’s not just your balance with the m/c; it’s the m/c and your balance as one. And this one balance of you and the m/c relates to the track, the forces of the obstacles on the track and gravity. There is no steady plain under you. The track with all it’s bumps, ruts, obstacles and everything else out there cause constant change in the center of balance. Meaning your body position is in constant change, body movement to maintain the center of balance. So body movement is defiantly a big factor in controlling the front end. A typical example is when you are entering a corner while braking. Whether you are standing or sitting your body position should be back. Then when you are letting off the brakes in the middle of the corner and making the transition to the clutch and throttle you’re body position should be in the center of the m/c. Right after that as you begin to exit the corner your body position should be in the front of the m/c. If you had your body position too far forward too soon, before you got to the center of the corner, you would be much more likely to wash out the front end. Besides front to back body movement there is also side to side body movement and everything in between. Think of you’re body movement as a clock horizontal to the ground with 12:00 being all the way forward and 6:00 all the way back. You’re body movement can work to any number around the clock and anywhere in between while sitting or standing. And it has to move through this range quickly, loosely and smoothly with precise timing and grace. This timing and grace has to be so precise that it happens automatically through your automatic reflex reactions. It has to happen from what your nervous system feels, feels what you and the m/c as one are feeling from the forces of the track, obstacles and gravity as it is happening or better yet just a millisecond before it happens. If it happens just a millisecond too late you’ve already made a mistake. What has to happen just as precisely together with all this body movement? The controlled use of all five controls. These 2 categories are where all your control comes from. Can you think of anywhere else any control comes from, me neither? That’s because there is no other place or way to have control. One good example of how the controls; in this case the rear brake, helps control you and the m/c (remember you and the m/c should be operating as one) is when you are about a quarter of the way into a corner and you’re dragging the rear brake a little, in this case dragging the rear brake has a big effect on the front end. Do you know what that effect is? It pulls the front end back. Think about it; if the rear wheel is slowing down and the front wheel is connected by the frame it has to have an effect on the front wheel. It does indeed pull it back and since you are a quarter way into the corner and leaning over it pulls it back and to the inside, keeping it from sliding out. Now the most common mistake here in the situation is to let go of the rear brake before you get onto the clutch and throttle. If you make this mistake and you are at maximum speed you are likely to wash the front end out and take a nice refreshing soil sample with your face. Remember the controls are half of your control, why would anyone in their right mind give up half of their control at the most critical part of a corner. Just like the slowing down controls of the front and rear brakes and gear shift, if you are downshifting and even sometimes the clutch if you’re going to lock up the rear wheel for a really tight corner. The speeding up controls of the clutch, throttle and gearshift, if you are up shifting, also give you and the m/c half of the control over the track and gravity. As you get on the clutch and throttle or just the throttle even this gives stability and holds the front end from sliding out. Now we know and understand how you control the front end, well it’s a lot easier to control it if that front tires hits what you want it to hit and doesn’t hit what you don’t want it to hit. The only way this is going to happen is if you are looking ahead early enough to see what you want it to hit. Don’t be too concerned with looking at what you don’t want it to hit, you can’t see everything at the same time. Obviously if it’s hitting what you want it to hit it won’t be hitting what you don’t want it to hit. Everyone knows that if you hit a railroad track at an angle you’re going to go down. Well there may not be any railroad crossings on the track but there are ruts, ridges, rocks and all sorts of things (some of them little and hard to see) that can cause that front end to go in a different direction than you had planned. This is why it’s so important to look ahead early enough and well enough to see exactly where you want that front wheel to go, especially in a corner where you are going to make the hardest part of your cut, your turn. This is usually where you are going from braking to accelerating in the corner. I coined this place as the Exit Dex or Transition, the most important part of any corner. So now that you have seen exactly where you want the front tire to go how do you make it go there? Well, you know that by now, with body movements (maintaining the center of balance) and mastering the use of all five controls. For better body movement control carry your weight in your legs mostly and allow your upper body (especially arms and shoulders) to be loose and mobile. You and the m/c will both handle better this way because the m/c and your body handle better with a low center of gravity and it will also allow your upper body to move more quickly and with much greater physical ease. You’re inside foot placement while going through a corner is also very important in regards to controlling the front end. You’re inside foot should be out in front of you, off the foot peg. Your hip, knee and ankle should be slightly bent and able to move and dab at the ground in case the front end tries to slide out. A common mistake here is to have a lazy leg and when your foot has to dab it comes back behind the foot peg. This is not good because what if you have to dab a second or third time? You wouldn’t be able to and you’d fall over. So try to keep your foot out there in front of the foot peg. Another common mistake is to slide your foot too hard through the corner. This causes you to tighten up and hold on tighter. When you’re doing this you are trying to muscle the m/c instead of using timing and balance. No matter how strong and how much endurance you have you will knot up and die if you keep doing this through a long moto. The inside foot should stay on the foot peg as long as possible helping to maintain a low center of gravity, then just before the Exit Dex (remember that’s where you go from braking to accelerating) you should put your foot out and then as soon as you’re on the throttle, to start exiting the corner, get that inside foot back on the foot peg, again maintaining a low CG. Remember, you’re control comes from you’re body movements and controlling the five controls of the m/c, not so much from your inside foot. You’re inside foot is out there so you can lean the m/c over further and in case you need to dab to save the front end from washing out and since your leg and boot are pretty heavy while being low in relation to the CG it does complement balance. But don’t be too dependent on it; you have much more control in body movements and controlling the five controls of the m/c. I hope this information helps keep that front wheel under you. Ride smart and have fun, Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

The 3 Most Important Factors About Starts

There are three important aspects of the start. The single most important aspect of the start is the clutch. Excellent clutch control is the key. The other two aspects are throttle control and body movements. Let’s look at each one separately. 1. Clutch control The following are all the techniques that go into clutch control. You have to hold onto the grip and control the clutch independently. This is true for when you’re riding on the track as well, but for the start, clutch control is even more important then when riding on the track. Therefore I teach using your three outside fingers on the clutch while you hold onto the grip with your index finger. This way your three outside fingers will allow you to have good strong clutch control while your index finger can pull your body position forward as you shoot out of the gate. If you don’t use any fingers on the grip you couldn’t pull and hold yourself forward. Or if you only used one finger on the clutch you wouldn’t have good strong clutch control for a perfect start. With your three outside fingers on the clutch, pull the clutch in and select first or second gear. Then let the clutch out until it just starts to engage and then pull it back in just the slightest bit under engagement. This is where you want to hold the clutch. This way it will begin to engage as soon as you start letting it out. With this clutch setting technique you will know that the bike is in gear and your clutch will be set and ready, not to far out and not to far in, but just right for the real deal hole shot. It’s very important to control the clutch all the way out. Don’t just start slipping it out and then let it go. And don’t release the clutch in a jerky motion. When done correctly it’s just one controlled smooth release all the way out. You are pretty much holding the throttle in one position according to traction and feeding the power to the rear wheel with the clutch. You see, when you feed the power to the rear wheel with the clutch the response is instant. If you rely on the throttle the power has to go through the engine and the response at the rear wheel can be delayed and not as actuate. Even after you are pretty far out of the gate, if the front wheel starts to rise slip the clutch a bit to bring it back down. Control the clutch all the way out at all times during the start. Starts are very hard on the clutch because of how much you have to slip the clutch from a dead stop. There should be about 2 mm of play in your clutch lever when the engine is at normal running temperature. If you are doing several starts in a row the clutch will get very hot and have more play in the lever. This is because the extra heat makes the clutch plates expand. You may want to let it cool for a few minutes or you will wear out your clutch plates in a hurry. Make sure your clutch lever is straight and in good shape. A bent lever will hinder your clutch control. 2. Throttle control The following are all the techniques that go into throttle control. You want to hold your throttle at a high idle. Not too low because the bike might bog when you come out of the start and not too high because you might have to hold it there for a long time and you don’t want the engine to be screaming too long. You don’t want to pump the throttle back and forth neither because you just might be turning it back when the gate drops. So hold it at a nice high idle so the engine is ready to launch. While you’re holding the throttle in this position you should have one finger on the front brake. This is not because you’re dragging the clutch. This is in case your bike tries to coast forward because of a slight downhill start. It’s also there in case you start too early and have to stop before you hit the gate. 3. Body movements The following are all the techniques for body positioning and movements for starts and there are a lot of them. Seated position Let’s start in the middle with seating position. For normal conditions you should sit in the front part of the seat. Not too far forward because if you try to sit on the very front of the seat near the gas cap you will slide back when you start and you are more likely to be off balance when seated this far forward. Over grip for starting While seated in the proper position, grab the handlebars with a lot of over grip. This is important so you can keep your upper body open and work from over the handlebars not behind them. This will allow you to get more of your body weight up and over the front of the bike enabling you to keep the front end down more effectively. This open body position will also give you better leverage for moving your body position from side to side across the handlebars, which will give you the control to keep the bike going straight out of the start. This body position will also give you better leverage factors between your body and the motorcycle. If you fail to do this and start with a low grip you will have less control. As you’re sitting in the front part of the seat and holding the handle grips, with high over grip, have one finger on the front brake and your three outside fingers on the throttle. When there's a lot of traction the main concern is to keep the front end down. So lean way forward. Keep all your weight on the seat and move your chest up and forward. This will help you get up over the front instead of leaning your chest down to the handlebars. Make sure you keep holding yourself forward as you go. Keep both feet down with your toes pointing forward in front of the foot pegs and close to the engine so you can feel the foot pegs on the back of your legs. This will help you keep your feet in front of the foot pegs when you go. A common mistake is to let your feet swing back behind the foot pegs when you start. This is bad because you would have too much weight toward the back, you wouldn’t be able to shift and you would have poor balance in this position. So keep your feet in front of the foot pegs and just lift him up off the ground when you go and keep them there until you have to shift. When you have to shift raise your left foot up hard and hit the shifter with the toung of your boot on the way up, shifting into the next gear as you place your feet back on the foot pegs. This technique will give you the best balance and allow you to shift exactly when you need to. But you have to raise your foot up fast and hard, keeping your foot straight forward and you may even need to fold the foot peg a little with the heel of your boot as you make the shift. I know it seems a little crude but it works and you only have to do it once per race. Another common mistake here is to put your feet back on the foot pegs as soon as you start to go. This is a mistake that will take your balance away. So keep those feet down until you have to shift. After you make that first shift stay on the foot pegs and keep hitting your shifting points from there. Getting the holeshot makes the rest of the race a lot easier. Practice these 3 main starting techniques and you will become a better starter.  Get all the secrets of Winning Starts in my How To Win Starts DVD.    Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you're serious about improving your motocross skills, checkout my website for additional tips and training resources.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

How to Master Bermed Corners

Rutted corners are a pros friend but they can be a beginner’s nightmare. The pros like them because they offer excellent traction. The beginners usually have a difficult time with them because they can’t stay in the rut. One of the most important factors about going fast on a motocross track is traction, especially in the corners. If the ground is pretty hard it’s going to be on the slippery side and not very good for building berms. But even then the good rides will have some small berms in the corners that they will rail through for improved traction which translates directly to more speed. Sometimes these hard berms can be so small that a beginner rider won’t even notice them. If you’re not noticing them and trying to turn across them you’re really going to be missing out on some available traction. In this case it would be something like going over a railroad track at a 90 degree angle. When the ground is softer and the berms are more noticeable (I mean if you can’t notice them you shouldn’t be on the track) the traction is 10 times better than not taking the berm. This usually makes a lot of berms in the corners with no other choice than to take one. How can one expect to be a competitive motocross racer if they can’t rail the berms. Like many things in motocross to do it really well it becomes an art. Let’s get the terminology right so we’re all on the same track. Just what is a rutted corner? Well of course it’s a corner with a rut in it. Instead of a straight rut it’s an arched rut. Most pros call these type corners bermed corners. But some beginners get bermed corners confused with banked corners. So when you think of a bermed corner think of a rutted corner. There are different types of bermed corners. Some have a hard berm, some a bumpy hard berm and then there are the beautiful cushion berms. That’s the nice soft topsoil that gets built up as a sponge type soft cushiony berm. When entering a bermed corner verses a flat corner the biggest difference is making sure both the front and rear wheels check into the beginning of the berm. When entering a flat corner you want to drift slide the bike into the corner. If you do this too much as you enter the berm the rear wheel may miss the berm and slide out. One thing that will work in your favor here is that when there are bermed corners the ground is going to be on the softer side so you’ll be less likely to be drift sliding as much into the corner anyway. Soft ground also means bigger braking bumps so make sure you get your butt off the seat and stand up. As we’ve been learning so far your control comes from two categories; maintaining the center of balance with your body movements and using a combination of all five controls (front and rear brakes, clutch and throttle and the gear shift). In order to pull off smooth, fast bermed corners it takes a combination of these two main categories and the individual techniques that go into them. Here’s the list of techniques for bermed corners. Then we’ll take a closer look. Look ahead and see the beginning of the berm as soon as you can. As you approach the berm stand on the pegs with your body position working from the rear of the M/C, downshift into the gear you’re going to use through the corner and slow down with the front and rear brakes. Now that you’re in the beginning of the berm look out and over the arch of the berm so you see where it’s going. Don’t just look in front of your fender. Look out around the berm a little ways. Once your rear wheel is in the berm you can pull the clutch in and lock up the rear wheel if you want maximum braking in the berm, even if you're still going straight, in the case of a long berm. At the "Transition" (where you go from braking to accelerating) come off the brakes as you begin to accelerate with the clutch and throttle. Continue to look ahead and stay on the line you want out of the corner. Now for a more in depth understanding. As you’re approaching the corner, as early as you can, spot the beginning of the berm and aim about six inches to the inside of it. This way you can check into it as you get there and you won’t overshoot it. Spotting the berm early not only lets you set up for it better but also gives your depth perception longer to work so you can come into the berm at maximum speed. One thing you have to get really good at is controlling your speed and momentum all the way through the berm. This is done by first controlling the front and/or rear brakes and then by controlling the clutch and throttle. Remember, this is where more than half of your control comes from (60%). The other 40% comes from maintaining the center of balance with your body movements. Make sure to keep the bike leaned over the correct amount for the speed you’re carrying. While your front wheel is in the berm you can use the front brake as much as you need to. It won’t slide out because it has traction down in the berm, like a slot car. But don’t use the front brake if the front wheel starts to come out of the berm because that would make the front fold or slide out real quick. As soon as you are able let go of the brakes and begin to exit the berm with the controlled use of the clutch and throttle. Let your finger slip off the front brake as you open the throttle. Don’t let go of the front brake before that time. This doesn’t mean that you have to drag the front brake or even use it all this time but you should at least keep your finger on it in case you do need to slow down a little more. Remember, that slowing down in this situation with the front brake not only slows the M/C down, it will also shorten the rake and trail making it turn sharper. Man, do the controls of the M/C give you more control or what? It's almost like magic. If you have the bike leaning over too far for the speed you’re carrying you will have to step with your inside leg in order to keep the bike up. If this situation is really bad you may get one or two step attempts in before you fall over to the inside. If the bike is not leaning over far enough for the speed you’re carrying through the berm the front wheel will come out of it (to the outside). This is why you have to lean over the right amount and continue to control your speed and momentum. The two mistakes mentioned earlier of not leaning the bike over far enough or leaning it over too far are the most common mistakes for amateurs along with not using the controls properly. Most beginners will use the brakes to slow down for the bermed corner and then just as they get their front wheel in the berm they will let go of the brakes. They are not accelerating yet with the clutch and throttle so they end up coasting at the most important part of the corner, the "Transition". The only control they have at this point is their body movements that have just turned into a statue since they just have given up the other 60% of their control, the front and/or rear brakes and the clutch and throttle. Another thing to be aware of as you pass through the "Transition" and begin to use the clutch and throttle is that you are going to be picking up speed which means you’ll have to lean the bike over even more. Make sure your inside leg is in a position that allows you to do that. In some berms the bike will lean over so far that the clutch lever will drag in the dirt. If you have your inside leg in the way it will limit how far you can lean the bike over. Make sure you either have your knee behind the handlebars so your knee can come up behind the handlebars or you have your leg up very high and straight so it can still fit between the ground and the handlebar. Like any of the aspects in motocross (jumps, whoops, starts or corners) riding bermed corners really well takes a lot of practice time. So don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come to you as soon as you expected. Understanding the proper techniques is the first step, being able to do it correctly at a slower than maximum speed is the second step and doing it repeatedly day by day, week by week, month by month is the final step that will allow you to do it really well. Competitive motocross takes MIND, HEART AND BALLS! For an in depth look at how to master Berm Corners go to my 2011 Volume 3 DVD #5. See a free DVD.  All the best! Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you're serious about improving your motocross skills, checkout my website for additional tips and training resources.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Jumping a big gap for the first time

I have found through my years of teaching that one of the most common questions is how do I jump that big jump (double, triple, tabletop, step up, step down or even far into a whoop section) the first time? How do I know how fast and hard to hit it? It’s not just doubles and triples or other type jumps with gaps in them that can be intimidating, although tabletops are generally safer I’ve seen plenty of them that are also dangerous with sharp, steep landings. Many riders and their parents say they or their young one can jump a regular table top easy enough but when there’s a double or triple the same distance they are afraid to jump. Well, this is a good subject because when jumping a big gap for the first time or anytime for that matter you better know exactly what you’re doing or your season could be over real quick with a serious injury. Coming up short or even going too long is caused by misinterpreting the distance. It’s such an awful feeling being up there in the air and having all that time to think about how bad this is going to hurt as you see you are coming up too short or going too long. At this point all you can do is take the impact the best you can and hope for the best. In order to take a hard impact make sure to take a breath and leave the amount of air in your lungs so you have the most strength. Like when you’re lifting weights and you’re going to do a heavy squat, you know how you will breath and hold that breath while you begin your squat. This same technique will give you a better change of coming away uninjured from a hard landing. The quick answer to the previous question about how to know how to jump that big gap the first time is that it takes a lot of practice, experience and confidence. When I was training Kevin Windham’s at his house back in 1998 I asked him how he knows how to jump a big jump like that the first time. I asked him this because after he had ridden his very difficult and demanding $30,000.00 Supercross track in his back yard he would jump jumps from one section of the track over to another section of the track. You may have seen him doing this recently on TV during the Supercross night shows. He would be hitting these huge jumps at an angle and jumping 780 and 90 foot gaps from one straight away to another straight away. Some of the landings were pretty peeked and he was clearing them perfectly by a foot or two every time. Well, guess what his answer to the question was? He said he just knew. He said he had been doing it so long that he could land within a foot the first time. Let’s take a look at how Kevin and anyone who has become really good at jumping big gaps has managed to do it time and time again. Clearing a big jump for the first time is all about calculation. You have to calculate how fast and hard you need to hit the take off in order to hit your landing target. But before you start throwing caution to the wind and launching yourself skyward you have to be an excellent jumper. You have to have total control and confidence when hitting the takeoff jump that you can fly your machine with perfect balance, timing and control. You have to be able to control the angle of the bike (how high or low the front end is). The entire time you are jumping (on the takeoff, while in flight and on the landing) you have to automatically maintain the center of balance with your body movements. Of course you should start out with smaller safe jumps and as you gain control, experience and confidence you can move up to bigger and bigger jumps. In order to hit your target landing target exactly your approach speed has to be somewhat in the ballpark. A good way to know your approach speed is by what gear you’re in. There are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th gear jumps. Beside the gear you have to know and feel how far into the power you are; like how fast the engine is revving for that gear. The other big factor in controlling your distance is what you do with the power (clutch and throttle). This relates to whether you give it more power or back off on the power through the compression and rebound part of the jump. And lastly there are your body movements upon compressing into the jump and rebounding out of the takeoff part of the jump. All these things combined will determine your height and distance. Quick jumping reference regarding clutch and/or throttle for correct distance; Have the correct approach speed, be in the right gear. Be at the right RPMs in that gear. Control the clutch and/or throttle through the compression and rebound part of the jump. Control your body movements through the compression and rebound part of the jump. The gear you’re in and the amount your engine is revving should be in a place that the engine can make more power. You don’t want to be completely tapped out in a gear. Nether do you want to be so low in the RPMs that the engine doesn’t have any throttle response. I mean what the heck; at this point throttle response is half of your control, why would you want to eliminate it? Most all the time on a short approach the clutch and throttle are used together in order to deliver the exact amount of power to the rear wheel upon compression and rebound. That’s how important this part of the control is in keeping you alive. Of course less throttle gives you less height and distance and more throttle gives you more height and distance. This effect is multiplied because giving more power to the rear wheel as it is compressing into the jump will greatly cause the rear suspension to compress more and therefore rebound more. This will give you a catapulting effect for more air time. This means that if you’re coming into a jump too slow you can use this technique to get more distance. Of course, on the other hand if you’re coming into a jump too fast letting off the throttle will give you less distance. Remember, the clutch and/or throttle and your body movements is what gives you control off a jump. They always work together and affect one another. This means if you let off the throttle as you hit the jump you’re going to have to move your body back more as you rebound. If you power through the take off part of the jump you can stay more in a forward position. This is because the power will help keep the front end up as you leave the jump. Besides keeping the front end high or low there is another important technique regarding the body movement part of your control that will bring you down to earth right on target. And that technique is whether you help the compression and rebound with your body or absorb the compression and rebound with your body. When you want more distance you need to help the compression and rebound with your body weight. Remember, how powering through the compression and rebound will give you more height and distance because it compresses the rear suspension more and therefore causes it to rebound harder, giving you a catapulting effect. Well, when you add jumping into the footpegs with your body weight to that horse power you will greatly multiply this effect for more airtime. Just make sure you do it from the footpegs, not the handlebars. You want to maintain a low center of gravity in the center of the bike. Do not push down or pull up on the handlebars. Do it all from your legs through the footpegs. You may have to pull back on the handlebars as you leave the jump in order to keep the front end from dropping but do not push down or pull up on them. The compression and rebound from the footpegs will take care of that. The opposite of this effect is to absorb the compression and rebound with your body travel. Jeremy McGrath himself taught me exactly how to do this back in 1996 when he was waxing up the 250 Supercross Series. This technique will decrease your jumping height and distance. When your approach speed is too high, stand up tall on the footpegs and take the compression part of the jump as you remain standing fairly tall. Then as the bike begins to rebound flex in your knees and elbow letting the bike come up under you. This will greatly reduce the rebound effect and give you less height and distance. This happens fast so your timing has to be quick. You kind of go limp in a split second there on rebound. Quick jumping reference regarding body movement for correct distance; You either want to help the compression and rebound with your body movement (weight) or absorb the compression and rebound with your body travel. Hitting your landing target would be easy if all jumps had the same surface and angle but there are about as many different kinds of jumps in motocross and supercross as there are riders on the planet. Following is a list of some of the different types of jumps; long faced hard packed smooth jumps, short steep jumps, soft rutted jumps, jumps with lips at the top, bumpy jumps, rounded jumps with takeoffs in the middle, jumps with about a 45 degree angle at the bottom (like it goes from flat to the jump angle, there’s no progression to it). Then there are all the different kinds of landings and different kinds of approaches into the jumps. This is why even after you become a good jumper it still takes a lot of experience, riding on different tracks in different conditions, so you’re ready when you come up to a new big jump. Just like anything in motocross it takes a lot of quality practice over a long period of time to get really good at safely jumping big jumps. You have to practice it enough for the clutch and/or throttle control and body movement to become an automatic reflex reaction. You have to feel what is happening so well that you can feel it in the same millisecond that it’s happening and react to it just as fast. In short; you gotta love it. For more Free Riding Tips, MX Technique DVD previews, DVD Streaming and to order online visit; www.gsmxs.com Desire - "Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It's a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment". (Napoleon Hill) Keeping an attitude of gratitude, Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Pee Wee To Motocross Stardom

Does Your Pee Wee Rider Have A Million Dollar Future? Advice for Parents With top riders in motocross now earning four, five, and six million dollar salaries riding for motorcycle manufacturers and a lot of outside the industry sponsors, it’s easy for parents to start thinking their son could be the next motocross sensation. Most motocross kids will not grow up and achieve the stellar success of a Ricky Carmichaels or Bubba Stewart. But some young riders, although not quite destined for superstar status, may have the potential to make a very respectable living racing motocross and supercross. How can a parent determine if a child has what it takes to do well in the sport of professional motocross/supercross? And what steps should parents take if their child seems to have the necessary talent and determination to make it into the pro ranks? The first way to judge whether a child has pro potential is if he or she can’t get enough of it, they just absolutely love to be on the bike. If the child wants to ride all the time and go to every race, that’s a key indicator. On the other hand, if he frequently tells you he doesn’t feel like riding and wants to skip races, then you know he’s missing an important ingredient for success in the sport. The second sign to watch for is competitiveness. A child happy just to joy ride will probably not develop professional level skills. He’s got to have the desire to race and test his ability and challenge other riders. You’re not going to know for sure whether your child really has pro potential until just before adolescence, around 10 to 12 years of age. Up until then, they might not seem very good. But by 12, their talent, if present, should be plainly visible. A young rider destined for the pros will be constantly progressing in his skills. You’ll see a steady improvement in his riding and racing throughout the season. But if he stays at the same level for a whole season, unless there’s a problem with the bike or track time, it could be a sign that he’d make a better doctor than a professional rider. Parents who spot potential in their child should arrange to let him have lots of track time. He should be riding at least three days a week and racing on the weekends, almost every weekend. Three practices a week where he’s getting at least an hour and a half of actual seat time. That’s the minimum to be able to progress and make improvement. Parents spotting talent in their child should bring in a professional instructor as soon as possible. After the child has been riding for at least four or five months and has the basics down then he should start getting some instruction before he develops bad habits. It’s important that the instructor be properly qualified so the rider isn’t getting the wrong information. Even though getting an early start is an advantage, parents and riders shouldn’t give up professional aspirations if the child is introduced to the sport at a very young age. Ideally, the rider will have started by at least age 11 or 12. But Jeremy McGrath didn’t start riding and racing until he was fourteen, although Jeremy was competitive in BMX before that time. And John Dowd really didn’t get into steady racing until he was 20 or 21. Although these are two exceptions to the norm, it does prove it’s still possible to reach the top without a very early start. So it basically comes down to this: If a rider’s going to be good, he’s going to be good. If he’s not, he’s not. He either has the potential or he doesn’t. If he does have the potential he has to consistently hone and polish that potential. If he doesn’t have that God gifted talent, well there’s nothing you, he or anyone else can do about it. Sure he or she can still be competitive and have some success and fun racing but in order to make it to the top that miracle of talent will have to be in their arsenal. My advice to parents who think their kids might have what it takes to go pro is to provide the child with plenty of opportunity to ride and learn – but don’t force him. This is where many parents make a mistake. They get more interested in riding and racing than their child, and force him onto the track to be competitive when the kid himself isn’t really into it. If the child himself doesn’t want to get out there three or four times a week, then that’s an indication he doesn’t have the necessary interest in the sport to do well. You want to see how much the rider himself is driven to ride and just go from there. I hope this helps. Keeping an attitude of gratitude, Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you'd like to know more about giving your youngster the best advice to ride better, safer and have the best chance to succeed get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate his riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Understanding Control

At the top pro level the rider's style and even their techniques are programmed into their nervous system's automatic reflex reactions so deeply from the many hours of repeated practice that they fire off naturally. In order for them to change a technique they would have to overwrite the old habit by replacing it with a new one. The only way to do this is to run the new program through repetition long enough to replace the old. At first this reprogramming slows you down and practicing a new technique can take weeks in order to make it happen naturally under race conditions. It's not something to do during race season. However, if you haven't already programmed all the proper riding techniques into your automatic reflex reactions you haven't started out with a good solid foundation. I have identified 55 absolute motocross techniques in my popular Motocross Practice Manual. Mastering all the proper techniques is the most important thing to do first. Breaking bad habits is a waste of time and not having the proper techniques is going to hold you back big time. There are two categories of techniques where control comes from. One is your body movements, always moving in order to maintain the center of balance. The other is the five controls of the M/C, clutch, throttle, front and rear bakes and the gear shift. Beginner riders don't understand how important, how much of your control comes from the 5 controls. On the way into a corner I'd say about 60% of your control comes from the front and rear brakes and the other 40% from your body movements. At the transition, 60% control can come from a combination of the front and/or rear brake and the clutch and throttle at the same time. Sometimes braking and accelerating will overlap, meaning you're doing a little of both at the same time. They should always at least connect, meaning you go from braking straight to accelerating, never coasting. You wouldn't want to give up 60% of your control, would you? Once through the transition and exiting the corner 60% of your control comes from the clutch and throttle and the other 40% from your body movements. Even on 4 strokes these guys usually use the clutch and throttle together at the transition. At these points it only takes a quick nip of the clutch to get it done. Once through the transition the finger stays on the clutch in case they want to cut the power to the rear wheel. Like if the bike starts to stand up and/or climb out of a berm. Cutting the power with the clutch instead of the throttle works much quicker and more precise. This is done with one or more quick little nips of the clutch, not disengaging it for much time at all but it is just enough to keep the bike down in the corner without loosing much time. The right combo of the controls with the proper timing and finesse make the bike handle a certain way. To the top pros the precise timing and finesse of these 5 controls are as natural and automatic as working their hands and feet. They are a part of their body and nervous system. In milliseconds they feel what is needed as it is needed. That's how they make something that is so difficult look so easy. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Commitment

There is definitely a balance in being a great motocross competitor. It takes a quality of great stillness, calmness and clarity on the inside while being at battle on the outside. Calmness on the inside (your inner feelings) while in the race (chaos on the outside). There are also great expectations and pressures on the outside while there must be peace, focus and confidence on the inside, that along with a good dose of talent and desire are the bottom lines. Although talent is somewhat of a God given gift, it's only one part of the entire combination it takes to be successful. Most of the time the potential is there but the rest is learned and earned. What many riders are capable of doing is extraordinary, what they are willing to do is a different story. You don’t just win the race on raceday; you win or lose it the other six days of the week, week in and week out, not just by what you do and don't do but also by what you think. Before something manifest (becomes real in the material world) it is first a thought. The proper preparation, dedication, determination, persistence, desire, commitment, scarifies and willingness to do whatever it takes and the will to win give you the potential to win. Even with all this in place there are still no guarantees. However, if these things are not in place there is no chance to attaining access to the top level of the sport. Many riders have great potential but its how they use, hone and polish that potential over a long time span that makes the different between mediocre and greatness. Of course, the throttle is in their hand on the track but also in everyday life as well. Just like on the track you have to know when to back off and use good common sense and moderation. You wouldn’t keep the throttle wide open in the air or on super slippery ground. You also shouldn’t always keep it wide open in your day to day life. By the same token when hitting a big triple you better be into the throttle; likewise there are times in day to day life when you better be on it as well, balance on the track, balance in life. And you know what else, through all this good, bad and ugly you have to LOVE IT, a rare character in deed, a one in a million. For without loving it you couldn't consistently do all the hard work and make all the sacrifices in order to become great. Check out the before and after photos of Austin Harvey. This change took just 5 months. After this getting tired in a race was not an issue for Austin. Becoming a top star in the motocross world was not what Austin wanted to keep pursuing. However, what he learned and the confidence he developed in himself enabled him to build a successful Car and truck detailing business at a very young age (19). Know what you really want to do in life and commit to it 100%. Why not, what's the alternatives, it's only life, it does have an expiration date, you know? Concentration - "The jack of all trades seldom is good at any. Concentrate all of your efforts on one definite chief aim". (Napoleon Hill) Before After Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Motocross Practice Strategies

I've said many times the foundation of becoming a really good rider is to learn, practice and develop all the absolute techniques of motocross into your automatic, natural riding style (55 absolute techniques). After that there are many other factors that come into play and one of the, if not THE most important, is what goes on between your ears, yes your mind. I've also said many times, it's mind over matter. If you don't mind it don't matter, ha, ha. No but really, once you get to a high skill level the rest is all in your head. Your attitude will determine your altitude. But that's another subject for another day. Why do I mention it now? Well, a rider would not be able to follow the practice strategies below if they're head wasn't into it. I will mention one more thing about mind for now. Developing the right mind is similar to developing your riding skills. You don' just suddenly, one day go, wow, I've got it. You have to practice, start off small and practice often. More on mental practice another day but for now, bike practice. You have to have a plan, a tentative schedule, do what you're suppose to do, when you're suppose to do it whether you feel like it or not. Getting started is the hardest step. And this is where most people fall short. So if you really want to become a better rider follow through with the practice strategies whether you feel like it or not. If you're already at the pro level and have all the absolute techniques of motocross (The Gary Semics Motocross Practice Manual) programmed into your automatic riding style you're pass the info below. But if you're like most and not to this level, read on. The most important training for a motocross rider is practice on the bike, especially before top pro level. So you need to get in as much quality practice time as possible. When you are too tired to ride you need to recover so you can ride again. This means that supplement training should be very little and very light, more of a recovery training. The four types of practice you should do are: 1. Practice certain techniques that you need to improve on, slowly at first and add speed as you progress. 2. Motos as long or a little longer as your races. 3. Sprint laps, as fast as possible until you begin to tire or slow. 4. Repetition practice of certain parts of the track. Do it fast and perfectly over and over again. Ride as many different tracks as possible with fast riders when possible. This is very, very important. Be smart when practicing and always have strategies in mind, some things that you are working on for that day like; looking further ahead, keep upper body loose for quick reflexes and body movements, riding on the balls of your feet, good over-grip for accelerating or whatever you think you need to improve on the most. Of course race on the weekends when there is a good place to race. Remember to keep your enthusiasm high. What's the ideal amount of practice per week? This may change a little week to week because of circumstances beyond your control but on average I say the best schedule before top pro level is 4 days practice and one day race. If the races are more than one day you can delete one practice day. For top pros I believe it's 2 or 3 practice days per week. Two reasons are; 1 they already have all the proper techniques programmed into there nervous system and 2 they're race day practice and motos are longer. Remember to be coachable and take older people’s advice who know what they are talking about and are trying to help you. Don’t take people’s advice who are trying to tell you how to race when they haven’t been there and done that, they usually don’t know what they are taking about and they may mislead you. Oh yea, and don’t make excuses even if they are real good ones, no body including potential sponsors and other riders want to hear excuses. I hope this helps. Ride smart, have fun, keep an attitude of gratitude and you can't go wrong. If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer  

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

How to Master Whoops

t’s already January 2012? Wow, how time flies! It seems that not so long ago, the Supercross Series was just ending and now it’s getting ready to start again. With all the Supercross excitement in the air, listening to the action on a webcast or watching the action on TV that we’ll soon be feasting on some highly competitive, motivated racers, showing how the world’s best master the art of Supercross. I thought that this would be a good time to explain the important techniques of Supercross so that you can better understand and practice the very same things these top riders are doing. How do they make such a difficult thing look so easy? There are many techniques used in order to race these highly technical Supercross tracks. Motocross in general has 55 techniques as many of you already know if you have my New Motocross Practice Manual (2nd edition) which lists The 55 Absolute Techniques of Motocross. Supercross uses these very same techniques with a few of its own, and even more, should we say preciseness for some of the 55. I mean, let’s face it, when you’re launching off a tall, steep, blind 75 foot triple in traffic you better be very precise with not only your technique but also your judgment and confidence. But we’re not going to be hitting any triples in this riding tip. This riding tip is going to focus on those big man made whoops that are an important factor in all Supercross tracks; now-a-days many motocross tracks also have a whoop section. I know most of you have seen the Supercross Tracks on TV but have you actually walked any of the tracks? If so you would know that those whoops are much bigger than they appear to be on the TV, they are steep and deep. On average they are about 8 to 10 feet apart from peak to peak. They are about 2 feet deep and like I just mentioned the faces are steep. The 10 or 12 whoops in these whoop sections are not always exactly the same either. Some are a little further apart, bigger or steeper. This means the rider has to adjust for these differences as he goes across them. Then there are the changing conditions of the soil. If the soil is really hard their form won’t change much but they will become slippery if they get a little too wet or dry. Of course when the dirt is on the soft side the form of the whoops will change as they become rutted and cupped out. What is cupped out? Cupped out is when they get a big bump right in the face of the whoop. It’s like a flat, dished out shape caused by the rear wheel hitting so hard into the whoop face. These cupped out rutted whoops develop a sharp lip at the tops. A good supercross racer has to know and feel how to adjust his technique in order to stay fast, smooth and in control over these difficult sections lap after lap. One of the goals in motocross and supercross is to ride as fast as possible while using the least amount of physical energy possible. This is also the case with whoops but it’s really magic when a racer can do this and still be fast through the whoops. Therefore, many times a rider will have to sacrifice some physical energy and be strong through the whoops. The whoops are the most physically demanding parts of motocross and supercross. Supercross suspension is much different than outdoor motocross suspension. In general SX suspension is much stiffer with much slower compression and rebound dampening. This is necessary for all the big jumps but mostly for the whoops. There is no way even the best supercross racers could go through these gnarly whoop sections as fast as they do with outdoor suspension. This special SX suspension plays a big part in allowing them to hop, skip, jump and blitz their way across the whoops. Don’t get me wrong though, even with the special SX suspension it’s still very difficult but at least possible. You see, the whoops work the suspension very hard so normal motocross suspension would bottom and rebound so violently that it would work like a pogo stick. This would eject your feet from the footpegs and you from the motorcycle. But don’t worry you don’t have to go out and purchase supercross suspension, just practice on some smaller whoops until you advance to the monster supercross whoops of the Supercross Races. The techniques that I’m going to explain here are the same for both. You’d just have to be more precise with the bigger whoops and have the high dollar SX suspension. The good news is that there are only 3 techniques for doing whoops. The bad news is these 3 techniques are difficult to master and take some time. The 3 techniques are: 1. Jumping through the whoops. 2. Front wheel placement. 3. Skimming the whoops. In many whoop sections you can use just one of the techniques all the way through but some sections will best be handled with a combination of two or all three techniques. For instance, you may start jumping into the whoops than skimming out of them or you may start skimming into them then do a few front wheel placements and then jump your way out of them. 1. In order to jump through the whoops you would just take the first one like a normal little jump but your landing has to be precise because as soon as you land you’re going to jump again. There is the compression from landing and a millisecond later the rebound for jumping again. The bike has to land with the front wheel first so both wheels can flow smoothly all the way through the throft of the whoop; both wheels down the back side of the whoop you’re jumping over, all the way down through the bottom and up the face of the next one. If you jump with the front wheel too high the rear wheel with hit into the face of the whoop you’re jumping and stop your momentum. They you won’t be able to clear the next whoop or whoops you’re jumping over. Use your legs and feel your weight on the footpegs. It you need more height and distance in order to clear the whoop or whoops in front of you you’ll need to help the compression and rebound by jumping your body weight into the footpegs on the compression part of the whoop and then jumping your body weight out of the footpegs on the rebound part of the whoop. At the same time deliver the exact amount of power to the rear wheel in order to get the job done with the clutch and throttle. This combined with your body movement to maintain the center of balance will keep you jumping through the whoops with control. 2. Front wheel placement is a very useful whoop technique that usually comes into play when you can’t quit triple a set of whoops. This may be because the whoop you’re jumping from is too small and/or the two whoops you’re jumping over are too big and/or far apart. So instead of trying to triple it the normal way you use front wheel placement. It’s really very similar to the jumping technique but instead of jumping with the front wheel landing first you jump with the front wheel high. This will cause the rear wheel to touch off the top of the second whoop (this is known as a wheel tap) giving you that extra little bit of distance needed to clear the third whoop. If you are indeed going to clear the third whoop with both wheels you will have to wheel tap off the second whoop in a way that changes the angle of the bike and causes it to land on the front wheel first. This is so the rear wheel can also clear the third whoop like explained earlier in Jumping Through the Whoops. If the whoops are small enough to straddle with the front and rear wheel you can continue with the front wheel high and straddle the third whoop, clearing it with the front wheel and letting the rear wheel just clear the 2nd whoop. Of course you won’t be able to straddle the whoops if they are too big because the center frame would hit the top of the whoop and stop your momentum. This technique still takes good clutch and throttle control and good body movements working from the footpegs. You’ll also have to jerk back on the handlebars in order to get the front wheel high enough when you jump off the first whoop and keep control of it when your rear wheel taps off the second one. When learning this technique many beginner riders get it confused with trying to wheelie through the whoops. This is not a wheelie it is a jumping technique with the front end high. Another strategy that will help you here and also with jumping through the whoops is to look ahead early. Like when you’re just about to hit the first whoop you should be looking for your landing area and just before you land there you should be looking for your next landing area and so on. This will give you the time and depth perception to know and feel how to make your current jump in order to keep it all going. If you don’t look ahead to what’s coming up next you won’t be able to keep the exact landings on target. 3. Skimming the whoops is pretty easy when everything flows together and comes off correctly but when it doesn’t it can get very physically hard, quickly using up that precious physical energy and making you tight. This technique of skimming the whoops (also referred to as hammering or blitzing) is much different than jumping or front wheel placement. You see, when you jump or use front wheel placement there is a compression and rebounding effect that you are using and many times amplifying in order to land where you want and use that compression and rebound energy to jump and land where you want again. But when skimming the whoops you don’t want to compress and rebound, as a matter of fact you want to do quit the opposite, you want to absorb the compression and rebound not only with the suspension but also with your body movement. This will enable you to float the bike across the tops of the whoops and not go down into the bottoms. If you make the mistake of going down into the bottoms of the whoops you are going to have compression and rebound which will stop the skimming process. Therefore the object is to keep the bike level (in relation to the front and rear wheels) this means you don’t want the front wheel higher than the rear wheel and vise versa. Make the front wheel just touch off the tops of the whoops. If it happens to miss one make sure it touches the top of the next whoop without pulling it up higher in order to make it. As the bike stays level and the front wheel touches off the tops of the whoops the rear wheel will be following along and doing the same but it can’t touch as high to the top of the whoop as the front wheel can. Some riders make the mistake of not letting the front wheel touch the top of the whoops hard enough. They end up trying to do a power wheelie through the whoops with the front wheel hardly touching at all. Although this is possible to do on some shorter whoop sections it will not work in most cases. In this case the rider concentrates so much on carrying the front wheel across the whoops he forgets about the rear wheel. The rear wheel ends up getting driven harder and harder down into the whoops, it eventually packs in and hits one so hard that it kicks up violently, causing the rider to hang on for Mr. Tode’s Wild Ride. The bike has to stay level, the front has to share some of the impact, the rear cannot take it all. To a certain degree the more speed you carry through the whoops the higher the rear wheel can also touch but it’s usually going to hit the whoop a little lower and harder than the front wheel. The important thing is that when the rear wheel hits the whoop you are pulling back on the handlebars with the exact force needed at that instant and be on the power. This will neutralize the rear wheel kick up, drive you forward and keep the bike level. If you didn’t pull back on the handlebars correctly and were not on the power the rear wheel would kick up in the air, slow down your forward momentum, drive the front end down and get you all out of control. You also want to be in a high enough gear (like 3rd or 4th) so the engine can continue to accelerate across the whoops without topping out and over revving. You see, there is a lot of air time for the rear wheel to travel from whoop to whoop before it gets a bit of traction again. With all this air time it’s very easy for the engine to go into the red line unless you’re in a high enough gear. Just about all of the Supercross Racers use 4th gear through the whoops. But don’t try this until you are ready for it. It’s true you have to carry a lot of speed into big whoops in order to get on top of them and skim but at the same time you can do a big crash if you make a mistake. You know how that works, it’s usually the more speed the harder the crash. Foot placement on the footpegs is always an important factor in motocross and supercross and this is especially true when skimming the whoops. The common rule in motocross and supercross is that if you’re not using the shifter or rear brake you should be on the balls of your feet. This is between the arch and the toe. The exception to this rule is if you’re landing very hard from a jump you should be on the arches of your feet so you don’t sprain your ankles. There are three benefits to riding on the balls of your feet that you probity already know by now because it is explained in my Motocross Practice Manual, some of my DVDs and some of my other articles. If you paid close attention you’ll see that all the pro riders use the balls of their feet through the whoops. This is easy to do because the shifter or brake is hardly even used through the whoops. The reasons this technique works so well through the whoops is because it gives you more body suspension by bringing in your ankle movement which accounts for about 5 inches of travel, it allows you to move further back on the bike, you won’t hit the shifter or brake by accident and your toes won’t hit the ground and get ripped off the pegs in case there are ruts in the whoops. It’s also important to set your body so you are strong moving forward and back. If you make the front wheel just touch off the tops of the whoops you won’t need a lot of strength moving forward but if you hit a whoop hard further down in the whoop instead of near the top of the whoop you will need a lot of strength in order to not collapse on the handlebars or get thrown over the bars. If the rear wheel hits a whoop really hard you will need a lot of strength in the rear body movement in order to be able to pull back on the bars hard enough to keep the rear wheel down and keep the bike level. Again, if you do it all correctly, with a smooth rhythm you won’t need a lot of strength but if you get it wrong you better be strong. Whoops are like anything else in motocross or supercross or in life for that matter; to get good at it you have to practice it a lot over a long period of time. To become one of the world’s best at it, the whoops, the motorcycle and you have to become one. I know that's a lot of information to comprehend and remember how to practice each one. To make this daunting task possible I have produced 23 Motocross Technique DVDs. There is over 30 years of motocross experience put into these DVDs. The same techniques that the top racers use that I've trained from McGrath to Villopoto. The same techniques that have helped riders win 24 AMA Pro Titles. Now these techniques are shown and explained so you can learn, practice and make them become natural. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

How to have fun practicing

t's common knowledge now a days that it takes a lot of seat time in order to get good and really enjoy riding motocross. Most riders don't get to practice as often as they would like. Unless you have a practice track at your house and don't have to work a regular job this is the case, right? Okay, so let's say this is your case. When you do get a chance to ride you're all gung ho on going out onto the track and having fun, right and that is normal. But, here's the thing, you expect to much from yourself. Most riders expect that they should be able to go out there and go fast, do most all the jumps and not make a ton of mistakes. This is impossible unless you have already logged many, many hours of practice. Through my 42 years of racing, practicing and coaching motocross it is becoming more and more clear to me that riders of all skill levels can have a great time practicing motocross. The primary key is to know how to practice for your current skill level. I mean think about how many riders enter races before they have at least one year of quality practice? Talk about expecting too much out of one's self? Not to mention that they are more likely to be injured. A good analogy is with golf and tennis. If a person is taking up golf they don't entry a contest after a few months of swinging the clubs. Or entry a tennis competition after a few months of practicing tennis. That wouldn't be much fun. In fact it would be more frustrating than fun. But at least there's not much chance of becoming seriously injured. Would you think a newbie golf or tennis player would be practical in thinking they should be able to go out there and start killing it? Well, why are most beginner motocross riders getting frustrated and not having a blast riding their bike? Could they be expecting too much? I have found that most riders do. I want to help you to enjoy the sport more by taking a different approach. By changing the way you look at riding. By understanding your skill level and practicing the most effective, fun way in order to, not only avoid injury but to make the most improvements as well. As I mentioned it's in the way you look at it. One of the best things about riding motocross is getting your mind off everything else and just into the present moment of riding. But instead of getting into that addicting zone most beginners are scattering their thoughts on other things, like judging themselves, analyzing themselves compared to other riders on the practice track, thinking about trying not to crash and sometimes even thinking about how bad they suck. Talk about distractions, how can one get into the zone when their present moment thoughts are scattered? That's not having fun doing what you are suppose to love doing. The world's best coaches in any sport have mastered the secret of improving the athlete's skills by supplying them with split second information on exactly how to attain new skills just out of their current ability's reach. In motocross for example, one scenario could be a rider is close to being able to double through the whoops but can't quite get it down. A coach's job would be to explain exacting what he needs to do differently in order to double through. That is currently a stretch but doable. What would be too far of a stretch is tripling, wheel tapping or pinning them. Since you can't always have a good riding coach with you at all times you have to become your own coach. You have to recognize your skill level and dangle the carrot in front of you on what is reachable and out of reach. So the next time you go to the practice track try staying at your skill level, find what you can improve on and keep your concentration on what you're doing and nothing else. Get into the zone and feel what is happening in each present second as it happens. Train your automatic reflex reactions to feel and react in a way that maintains total control, that's the magic, that's the addiction and that's when you will love it. Ride to live and live to ride! Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Get the most out of morning practice

At most races there’s not much time to practice and get to know the track before you’re going to be on the starting line. The following tips will help you get the most out of your practice time. Get there early enough so you’re not rushed and make sure you have your goggle, gear, bike, and everything else ready for practice. This way you can take your time and sign up and walk the track before your first practice. When walking the track think about what lines you’ll be trying and what obstacles you probably can and can’t jump. When it’s time for your practice and it’s the typical short practice time, try to gradually work up to a comfortable but fast speed. Make it a point to jump any obstacles that you’re going to be jumping in the race early so you can get comfortable and confident on the bike and with the track. Once you figure out the fastest lines try some other lines so you have some options. This is probably about all the practice time you’ll have. If there’s another practice, like a late practice, take advantage of it and get back out there. After the break from your first practice this will help you get more familiar with the track and up to speed. After practice and before your first moto find a place where you can relax and not be disturbed. Close your eyes and visualize going around the entire track in your head. Make it as real as possible and keep your speed fast but realistic. Make at least two full laps. If possible go out and watch some starts and races before yours. Knowing that track as well as possible before your race will defiantly improve your chances for a good result. On all but walking the whole track, repeat the process before your next moto. It also helps to warm your body up with some light calisthenics and stretching before practice and your motos. When you’re on the starting line clear your mind of everything, be ready for anything and distracted by nothing. Take some long slow deep breaths and relax your body and mind. View the race as an opportunity to challenge yourself, ride to the best of your ability and have fun in the process. Don’t think about what place you might get or who’s there or anything accept trying as hard as you possibly can to ride the best race you’re capable of riding from when the gate drops until you get the checked flag. If you do this and enjoy the process the result will take care of itself. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Mental Power, Part V

To ever get to the point of winning you have to feel gratitude and love for what you are doing. Jeremy McGrath loved to ride and race Supercross. He came from a family that taught him to be grateful. They didn't have a lot of money. I first met Jeremy when he was 16. They were living in Sun Valley CA, a desert community inland from San Diego. The only heat they had in the house was a fire place and it gets cold there in the winter. But this upbringing of being grateful and not having all the common luxuries helped Jeremy become the best Supercross Racer of all time. Jeremy didn't have many distractions. He loved to ride. He could ride from his house and he rode everyday. I've seen him come home from a local race and ride his Supercross track that same afternoon. Why? Because he loved to ride. When Ryan VIllopoto was 14 Team Green Kawasaki gave him 16 bikes for one year. Ryan would ride 31 days straight, race on the weekend and start practicing again the very next day. Ryan would practice all the way thorough the week including the day before the race. After a month he would take 3 days off, do something fun with his family and repeat the process. How could Ryan ride this much and ride hard unless he loved it? The same goes for Reed, Stewart, Dungey and Canard or any other great rider, they all were grateful for what they had and they loved it. The more grateful you can be and the more you can love what you're doing the happier and more successful you will become. But don't just let this happen by chance. When you learn and practice gratitude and love you can have more then you ever thought possible. Try it, what do you have to loose by at least trying it? I would love to know what you think and what you discover. Well, I guess it's true, racing is all in your head. Keeping an attitude of gratitude, Spreading the love, Living the dream... Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Mental Power, Part IV

The first exercise is to notice your thoughts. Until you master this exercise you will tend to look at the world and yourself from your thoughts instead of looking at your thoughts. In other words you will tend to identify yourself with your thoughts instead of being a third party and looking at your thoughts. We are not our thoughts but most people follow their thoughts. Good or bad they are taken for a ride tied to their thoughts. It's like standing by a road, a car goes by and you attach yourself to the bumper being dragged along by the car. Instead you could remain on the side of the road and watch the car go by just as you could watch your thoughts come and go. So the first step is to watch your thoughts as a third party. Notice what you are thinking and feeling. Just observe your thoughts and don't judge, compare, analyze, try to change or decide if the thoughts are true or false, just observe them. If you're like I was you will be very surprised at what you experience and how different you will see yourself and the world. You will learn a control of yourself you never thought possible. But this control will only come with continued practice. For example, if something or someone makes you angry, if you're like I was you would follow those angry thoughts and become more angry. You might say or do something you later will regret. But if you stay detached from your thoughts you won't get sucked in deeper. You can just remove yourself from the situation. This relates to what I talked about earlier. To focus and be aware of things you can be grateful for and love or at least like. How can you do that if you're constantly being dragged along by whatever thoughts happen to come into your mind? You always have a choice to follow the thoughts you want. It all works together. Your thoughts lead to how you feel, your feelings not only lead to what you do and don't do but the frequency you're on (like a radio frequency whether positive or negative) will attract more of the same into your life, which leads to the reality that manifests into your life. Legendary Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard said; You have to think you're going to win, you have to know you're going to win and you have to feel you're going to win. I believe the same goes for motocross. That's why racing legends like; McGrath, Carmichael, Reed, Stewart, Dungey, Canard and Villopoto have done so well. Once they win they believe and feel they can win and continue to do so. Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi said Winning is a habit, unfortunately so is loosing. Belief - "He can who thinks he can and he who thinks he can't, can’t. This is an inexorable, indisputable law". (Orison Swett Marden) Belief - "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right". (Henry Ford) Belief - "The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today". Belief - "The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you belief 100%". (Arnold Schwarzenegger) Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Mental Power, Part III

There are many beliefs that your thousands of daily thoughts group together into ending beliefs of your situations and things in your life. Let's look at one example. Your bike is over a year old and getting a little loose. You choose to focus on your bike being old, you think you can't afford a new bike. You continue to think about the short comings of your bike. You don't think it's fast enough, doesn't look good and so on. These types of thoughts, cause the same type of feelings which attract more of the same. You have your mind (your internal radio frequency) on a negative channel. These things about your bike maybe true but that doesn't mean you have to think and feel negative about your bike. You can choose thoughts of gratitude and love about your bike. Things like being grateful that you have a bike, be grateful that it starts easy, the power is smooth, the clutch works good, you're used to it as it fits you like a glove and any other things you can be grateful for and love about your bike. By focusing on these things you are on a positive frequency that will bring more of the same situations, people, money, conditions, results and luck to you. I know it's hard to believe and it sounds naive, too simple, but it is true and it is simple. All you have to do is believe and try and you will soon see that it is indeed true. But you're trying has to be real and sincere for it to work. You can't have the negative thoughts and feelings like okay I'll try it but I know it's not going to work. You can't fool a natural law just as you can't fool gravity. You have to commit, be sincere and try your best for the best to come out of you. You can take this practice into all parts of your life. Always being aware of what you can be grateful for at your home, driving in your truck, going to the super market. At your home you can be thankful for the couch and TV as you sit down and relax after a long day. Just take a few seconds to be aware and feel thankful for them. The same goes for when you eat, brush your teeth or take a shower. Be aware and thankful for your truck or car when you go somewhere. Notice how fortunate you are when you go shopping for groceries at the super market. Be thankful for all the food that's available to you. These are things we do everyday but take them for granted. Instead of being totally present in each moment and feeling how fortunate we already are we spend most of our time being up in our heads thinking about what we want to do next and all the other thoughts that take us out of the present moment. Each present moment is where life really is. Most people are looking for something extra, something more to feel fulfilled, happy, more and then they'll be satisfied. But the problem with always wanting more is that as soon as we get it we are looking for more again, enough never arrives. The more we get the more we want. When all along what we should do is realize that what we already have is great and by realizing that and being thankful for what we already have we can feel amazing now. At first this new awareness may seem like a lot to do but I promise you it will very soon become easy as you feel the benefits. The way you will start to feel will be amazing. I promise you. People get caught up in trying to get ahead, trying to make more money, have more fun, do more things, we try to keep from getting bored. I was probably one of the worst in this scenario. I was always stressed out and I didn't even know it. I thought it was normal. Sadly that is normal for much of our population. To understand better where I'm coming from if you have Net Flix watch The Secret in the documentaries category. Then go to www.thesecret.tv or Amazon and order The Power by Rhonda Byrne (book if you like to read or the audio book on CDs). I like the audio book. The music and sound effects are excellent. Rhonda has done an extraordinary job putting these century old teachings from many famous legendary people into easy to understand and follow ways to improve not only ourselves but human existence. If you have been watching the news lately it's obvious mankind needs some serious help and soon. If you were going to try a new skill whether physical or mental you wouldn't expect to be great at it right away, not even in a week or two. It's the same with changing the way you think and feel. You start off with baby steps and work up from there. A good exercise to start with is to notice your thoughts. (from the book Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life by Steven C. Hayes, PH.D). Your mind is thinking thousands of thoughts a day. Research has found an average of 60,000 thoughts per day. Though the need for humans to protect themselves and evolve thoughts have become automatic. We are always thinking. Thoughts are so much on auto pilot that most of the time we aren't even aware we're doing it, much like breathing. Until now were you aware of your breathing? More info at http://www.thesecret.tv Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you're serious about improving your motocross skills, checkout my website for additional tips and training resources.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Mental Power, Part II

Science is beginning to understand that there is more space and energy (electrical energy) in our bodies that we ever imagined. The heart and brain has more energy than any other part of our body. Since radio waves can travel from Mars to Earth with massive amounts of data and here on Earth all you have to do is tune in your radio to hear music. Would it be too difficult to believe that your brain, through it's electrical current, also has a frequency. It too transmits signals. These signals work with the law of attraction. What you think and feel you will receive more of the same. Rhonda Byrne producer of The Secret (DVD) and Author of The Power (Book and audio book) (www.thesecret.tv) says that through our thoughts and feelings we attract the same into our lives. If you have more negative thoughts and feelings you will attract more negative things into your life. If you have more positive thoughts and feelings you attract more positive people, situations, money, health and other positive things into your life. The best way to get and stay there is with gratitude and love. So wouldn't it be safe to say that the way you think and feel about motocross will effect the outcome of your motocross experiences, your life for that matter? I'm sure of it. You have a lot of power to exceed and succeed when you find and focus on things you can be grateful about and things you can love about being a motocross racer, not only the racing itself but the practice, training, knowing the other riders, the fans and everything relating to you being a motocross racer. By always finding these things that you can be grateful for and love you are putting out the frequency to attract more good things to happen to you. Everything has a frequency and though the law of attraction you will attract the same situations and things that are on the frequency you are putting out through your thoughts and feelings. The more gratitude and love you put out about motocross the more power you will continue to acquire. Through this gratitude and love you will attract more and more of what you need to become better and better. The more you don't like about being a motocross racer and worst yet if you hate certain things about it and you think, focus and feel those things, you are putting out that frequency and you will attract things that are on that frequency into your life, into your reality. Again, this is known as the law of attraction and it is as real as gravity. You always have a choice. You can either focus on negative situations and details or you can chose to focus on positive situations and details. This starts with your thoughts, then feelings and then the situations and details in your life will manifest into negative or positive realities. Now we're getting into the really good stuff. Check back soon for part 3.  Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Mental Power, Part I

You've heard the saying racing is all in your head. It's even deeper than that, life is all in your head. You've heard the glass half empty, the glass half full, think positive, look at the bright side, have a positive attitude and so on. In order to be happy and successful in anything I believe all these things and even more are true. It's not just the way you think but the way you feel that is most important. Just your thoughts alone are very important because they are the first step in creating what will manifest in your life. But just thoughts alone are like an empty slate. The title is there but there's no substance, no body to the thought without feeling. First comes thought, then feeling and then manifestation in reality. All these positive thoughts and positive feelings may still be weak without the most powerful thing of all, the power of gratitude and love. When you are grateful and love something, anything, you are tuning into the most powerful thing in existence, even beyond existence. Think about it. Is there a better, stronger emotion you can have other then gratitude and love? The more you think and focus on things you love the happier and more successful you will become. Gratitude and love go hand in hand. You can't have and keep one without having and keeping the other. We all know there are laws in the universe. The law of gravity, the law of oxygen. If you jump off a cliff you're going to drop. If you stop breathing you will die. There's the law of material objects. If you step in front of a high speed train you won't be here anymore. There's laws of water, light, gases, the sun, speed and on and on. Of course these are things that Mr. Obvious would tell you. Then there are laws that are not so obvious that we use everyday and take for granted. Laws like electricity, radio waves and wireless communication. Science still doesn't understand how electricity or radio waves really exist and work but they can receive data and photos from space, even space probes on Mars. There are far more laws of the universe that modern science is just beginning to uncover. And science is saying the number of these laws are way more then what we know now. Yes, racing is all in your head. Check back next month as these 5 part Mental Power articles start to relate to motocross in a big way. This photo is of me and my 2nd bike. I've had a love for motorcycles since age 5. Suggesting Reading: http://www.thesecret.tv/ Gary Semics Motocross Training Professional If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Talent Characteristics

A. TEMPERAMENT: Characteristic or habitual inclination or mode of emotional response. Having a good temperament is a quality that will enable you to stay calm under pressure. B. ATTITUDE: A mental position or feeling with regard to a state or fact. How you view and interpret things. It’s not just what happens or doesn’t happen that’s important; it’s HOW what happens or doesn’t happen affects you. C. DESIRE: A strong wish, longing, craving. How bad do you want to do well? Are you willing to do whatever it takes all the time, not just sometimes, but all the time? D. MOTIVATION: Something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act. E. DETERMINATION: Firm or fixed purpose. F. INTELLIGENCE: The ability to learn, understand and deal with different situations. G. CONFIDENCE: Trust, reliance, self assurance. H. COORDINATION: For all your movements to work, act and be timed together harmoniously. I. BALANCE: A state of equilibrium. There is an ideal balance to everything in life. You have to strike a balance in all aspects of your game. J. STRENGTH: The ability to do or endure, to have power. K. ENDURANCE: The ability to physically work hard for long periods of time. L. NERVES: Not easily excited or annoyed. M. GUTS: Aggressively tough, courageous, not afraid. The right amounts of each of these talent characteristics is what it takes to become a really good racer. Then the guys that have what it takes and want to get to the top are going to dedicate themselves and use all their talents to succeed. And even than it's a learning process, some trail and error. Everyone is different and has to find out what works best for them. Of course, there are certain guide lines that apply to everyone. But, everyone should learn what works best for them to make them the best they can be. The more natural talent you have, the better you will be able to become. There's only so much practice and training you can do. If you do too much and over train, your going to burn out. If you have an abundance of natural technical talent, but your motivation is lagging, it's no good either. These winning riders get into a cycle and rhythm of winning or at least placing very high. The more they do it the more power they get to continue doing it. Until something or someone comes along and continually brakes the cycle. It takes a combination of many things working together to get the desired results. PRICE- "Everything has a price. Whatever we want in life, we must give up something to get it. The greater the value, the greater the sacrifice required. There is a high price to pay for success. But we must realize that the rewards of true success are well worth the effort. The highway to success is a toll road". Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

How to Whip

This flashy maneuver has several names; getting sideways, the clicker, cross ups, tail whips and pancaking it. Not only is it a flashy kind of show off move but it does have some benefits in motocross and any pro rider should be at least somewhat good at the whip. There are three main reasons for this; 1. When you have a turn at the landing of a jump you can set up for the turn by whipping it sideways in the air. 2. If you happen to get sideways in the air by accident you will know how to react to it. 3. A form of this technique of whipping it can actually cause you to stay lower over a jump and makeup time. How is the basic whip executed? Before you begin to practice doing the whip find a smooth faced jump with no ruts on the face. The whip can be performed even when there are some small ruts in the face of the jump but it is much easier to do without ruts. Make sure it’s a safe jump (like a tabletop) but has enough hang time to get it sideways and pull it back straight for the landing. Approach the jump at an angle so you can turn the bike off the jump and still hit your intended landing target. As your coming into the jump lean your body (mostly your hips) off the inside of the bike a little. This would be to the side that you are leaning. Just as the bike begins to rebound continue leaning it over and as it starts to rebound let the back end come out to the side. As it leaves the jump you can pull it over more by the handlebars and by leaning more off to the inside or you can straighten it up or let it stay the same. Right after that instant make sure you find the center of balance with your body movement. Then at the top arch of your jump start to reverse the movement that you executed upon takeoff. This will give you enough time to straighten it up for the landing. There is also a gyro effect that helps give you control. The spinning force of all the moving parts on the bike cause this helpful effect; the wheels, crank, clutch and even the piston and rod. The faster these objects are spinning the more gyro effect you have. This gyro effect is more noticeable on bigger bikes like; 250s and 450s because the moving parts are bigger and heaver than 65s, 85s and 125s. That’s why the difference in pounds between say a 250 and 450 may not be very much but the 450 feels a lot heaver when you ride it because of its gyro effect. When you take off a jump doing a whip make sure you find the center of balance as soon as possible because if you don’t you will be out of control and may come in for a crash landing. When you have a jump in a corner and/or you have to turn right after the landing of the jump you should set up for the landing as you take off the jump. This way as you land you have already started your turn. The same technique is used that was just explained, you’re doing the basic whip to the direction you want to turn. Therefore your approach, flight and landing are much faster. A form of this whip technique has become very popular since James Bubba Stewart has shown such jaw dropping style with it, so much so that fans are calling it The Bubba Scrub. The Bubba Scrub saves time on certain jumps by getting you back on the ground faster. Depending on the jump this technique can be very close to the whip or quite a bit different. Where it is quite a bit different is when the take off part of the jump is more rounded and you have to slow down as you go off it. What you are doing here is actually sliding the front and rear tires off the jump. When you want to slow down a lot you can also drag the rear brake off the jump. This will not only slow you down even more it will also help the rear wheel to slide off the jump. These techniques allow you to carry more speed throughout the jump; on the approach, the take off, the air time and the landing. Of course, it also keeps your flight path lower. Put all that together and you just saved some serious milliseconds over a jump. It also looks pretty cool and if you can do it well enough who knows; you just might create a new name of your own. Let’s take a look at the laws of physics as they apply to these techniques. When the bike goes off a jump in the normal upright position the compression is greater then if it went off the jump leaned over and then the rebound is especially greater as the bike rebounds and pushes the bike straight up into the air. This effect is so strong that it can be helped by the rider’s weight and timing as he bounces into the footpegs with his body weight as the bike compresses and then jumps out of the footpegs as the bike rebounds, therefore giving him more height the distance. But of course you don’t want this effect when trying to stay low. So when you do a whip or better yet a Bubba Scrub off a jump the rebound force is dissipated out to the side instead of straight up through the bike. Here’s a word of caution to consider. Start out with slight wipes and increase gradually over a period of weeks, even months as you gain control, experience and confidence. Why, one good example was with the young enthusiastic Stephen Elvin when the now owner of Motocross Heaven in Parris California first came to the US from Sweden. It was in 1991 and we were all staying at Jeremy McGrath’s parent’s house in Suncity California. Jeremy had been teaching Stephen how to do a whip for about the past week and all of a sudden Stephen got it one morning. He wanted me and just about everyone to watch him perform his new found skill on Jeremy’s Supercross track. He was so pumped he went to the big hill jumps in Temecula that evening with Eric Carter (one of Jeremy’s friends) to try his whips out with some big air time. Well about an hour after dark that evening Eric brought Stephen back to Jeremy’s parent’s house. Stephan was just about incoherent so we rushed him off to the nearest hospital. He had a broken shoulder, three broken ribs, a punched lung and a bunch of over injuries that I can’t quit remember. The doctor still talks about Stephen to this day because he says it was a miracle that he lived. The doctor said that if he would have arrived 10 minutes later he wouldn’t have made it. No one saw how Stephen crashed. Eric and he were the only two riders riding there in the Temecula hills that evening and they were not riding together. After about an hour of searching Eric finally found Stephan all waded up after a huge jump in the bottom of a big G-out. I’m pretty sure Stephan was practicing his new found whip through some big air when his low experience technique came up and bit him almost claiming his life. Stephan still has aches and pains from those injuries. I’m not telling you this to scare you but to make you aware that you always have to respect that bike and gain control, experience and confidence at a slow consistent rate and not get in a rush. It takes a lot of dedication over a long period of time to really get good at this sport and that includes at doing whips. Work hard and ride smart, Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you liked this tip and you're serious about improving your motocross jumping skills, you may be interested in my Absorbing, Scrubbing and Whipping Techniques DVD.  Or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Motocross Racing in the Mud

About this time of year (March) most of the Northern Hemisphere is beginning to thaw from winter’s frozen grip. When two feet down in the ground all that frozen moisture begins to thaw it spells MUD, mud. Of course, even at other times of year mud can be a big factory. You just never know when Mother Nature is going to through a mud race in the mix. Anyone would prefer no dust, no mud ideal conditions but there are some riders who always manage to shine in the muddiest conditions. Like Josh Woods who got 2nd in the main in the muddy conditions at A1 in 2005 and didn’t even qualify for the main in the next 3 rounds. Why is this the case, well let’s brake it down and see why. Nine times out of ten these riders come from a muddy back ground. In other words then grew up in an area that had a lot of muddy riding seasons and they just got used to riding in the mud, it’s no big deal to them and they learned at an early age how to best deal with it. One of the best ways to deal with it is to leave your bike in the garage and go to the gym. Just kidding, that’s maybe if you’re an amateur and you live in So Cal or Florida because you know it’s going to stop raining soon and you’ll have good conditions again but what if you live where it doesn’t dry out for weeks, even months. That’s the way it is in Ohio and back when young racers were still in school if we wanted to ride we had to ride in whatever conditions were out there. I remember many days during the week practicing in the snow. There was a 4 acre lake that Frank Gallo and I would flat track around. It was more like straight up track around. We just had regular knobby tires so we had to keep the bike straight up, get our momentum going in forth gear (400 Husqvarna 4 speed) and we could slid around the entire lake while counter steering to the steering lock. Of course, it really helped that the bikes were so low we could stand over them flat footed on the ice. Throughout the winter and early spring when there were no motocross races going on here were Hare Scramble Races just about every Sunday that were like a cross between and enduro and a motocross. My point is we rode, made the best of what was available and had fun doing it. That’s why to this day riders from these type parts of the country are better mud riders than the golden boys from So Cal and the likes. Some riders get bummed out and loose their focus when faced with muddy conditions. But the good mud riders stay focused and concentrate on the race instead of being distracted with negative thoughts about it. The attitude has to remain positive. The positive mind sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible. The dictionary’s definition of attitude is; a mental position or feeling with regard to a state or fact. In other words it’s your perception about the situation. It’s the way you think and feel about the mud race. So one of the main factors about mud riding is to have a good outlook about it, stay focused on the task at hand and enjoy the process. Have a good attitude about these less than favorable conditions. Of course there’s a lot more to it than just having a good attitude and not minding getting yourself, all your equipment and your motorcycle dirty. There’s some smart ways to better prepare yourself and your machine. Such as the following; 1. Look at the track: Study as much of the track as possible before your race. See where the best lines are, but especially see if there are some sections that you want to avoid. Like deep water or a place where you could get stuck. If you have a teammate or friend who just finished their moto talk to them and many times he can update you on important track changes. Many times when it’s this muddy you won’t get a parade lap, so take advantage of any other ways to know the track the best you can before you go out there. 2. Prepare your vision: Roll offs are probity still the best way to go for the wet conditions but now some of the leading goggle manufactures (like Scott) are make special tear off so thin that you can stack about 30 on there and still have good vision. The only problem is it’s difficult to just pull one at a time off and you may pull five or six at a time. Always make sure you have no fog on the inside of the lens. Keeping the out side clean isn’t going to help if you can’t see through from the inside. If you are using roll-offs fix one or two tear offs to the goggles. Put some duct tape to the tear off flap so it’s easy to find and pull off. These first one (or two if it’s really muddy) will work good at saving your goggles for the start when you may really get blasted with a nice refreshing mud bath. To keep the mud off the top of the helmet and visor many riders tape a course form on there. If you don’t have this type of foam tape some tear offs to your visor and the top of your helmet. When the heavy mud builds up on there you can peal it off with the tear offs. 3. Traction connection to the bike: When that bike gets wet and muddy, it’s not only going to gain some serious weight, but it’s also going to become difficult to stay connected to. A non-slip seat cover, full waffle grips, cotton mechanic gloves, and plastic grip protectors are some other helpful items. 4. The extra weight of the bike: If it’s a sticky type of mud you should have your shock spring pre-load tighten up a bit, and your front forks dropped about two or three mm to compensate for the extra weight. This will help keep the bike at it’s normal ride height even after it gains 20 or 30 pounds of mud. It will also keep the mud from accumulating as bad if you spray WD 40 under the fenders and anywhere else but the rider’s contact points and the disc brakes and rotors. 5. The Chain: Leave the chain extra loose because the mud packing in the chain and sprocket is going to make it much tighter. While the chain is still clean put an extra lot of chain oil and even grease on it. This will help to seal it up from getting as much mud inside the rollers. 6. Tires: You defiantly want a good shape mud tire on both front and rear. Mud tires are made from a harder rubber compound with deeper wider spaced knobs. They will clean themselves out better and give you a whole lot more grip. Dunlop has an excellent choice with its 990 model. 7. Attitude: And remember don’t let this part go unchecked. It’s still a motocross race and a good motocross racer is good in all types of conditions. Keep a positive outlook and have fun. “ The loser sees the difficulty in every opportunity, the winner sees the opportunity in every difficulty”. Following are some riding techniques that will also help you through the quagmire. Riding in the sand is similar to riding in the mud so if you’re already a good sand rider the adjustment to mud should come very quickly. Keep the front wheel light by keeping your body position and weight further back at all times than when riding in regular conditions. You still use your full range of movement but you’re a little further back in all those positions. Like; when you would normally be in the front of the bike you would still be toward the front of the bike but not quit as far forward. When you would normally be in the center on the bike you would still be toward the center but just little further back and the same goes for when your body position would normally be toward the rear of the bike, you’d still be in the rear body position but even further back. All this would keep the front end a little lighter than normal so it won’t steer with it as much and slide out or have it catch and plow into the muck and stop or throw your body over the handlebars. You also want to keep the throttle on more when riding in the mud. Of course, this is going to be obvious since you’ll need more power to get the extra weight through the soft ground but it’s also necessary in order to keep the front end doing what it’s suppose to do and not do what was just mentioned earlier. This means you don’t want to shut the throttle off any longer than you have to. As soon as possible get back on the power even if it’s just a little bit of power (acceleration) get on it earlier than you normally would in normal conditions. Keep the bike up straighter and steer more with the rear wheel. When it’s muddy it’s usually more slippery as well. This means you can’t lean the bike over as far because it will slide out from under you. The way to get around this fact is to steer more with the rear wheel than the front. This way you can still go fast around the corners by pivoting the bike on an arch through the turns. On some tight turns you can pivot it in one place but on fast more open corners you’ll have to pivot it through the turn on an arch. Of course this is only when the surface is slippery with no ruts. Set up the pivot or pivot/arch with the rear brake and continue it by slipping off the rear brake and onto the clutch and throttle. You go from the set up brake slid to a power slid in one fluid motion. If there are ruts check into a rut and get on the power early. Don’t try to brake slide into a rut, just steer into the rut with the front wheel and get on the power as early as possible. Mud like sand does not require as much braking power especially with the front brake. This is because the soft mud is going to really slow you down just by letting off the throttle. You have to be very careful as to how you use the front brake and many times you won’t need it at all. Remember you want to keep you weight back more but when you use the front brake it transfers weight to the front. This can cause many of the problems explained earlier. So use more rear brake and only use the front when you really need it and then use it lighter than normal. And remember to accelerate just before getting into the rut. Most of the time on these muddy tracks there will be really bad spots. Like; deep soft ruts or holes. In this case you want to slow down just enough right before the beginning of the rut or hole so you can accelerate into and through it. Many times you can carry the front wheel over a short soft rut or hole. If you come into this type area too fast and try to slow down as you get into the soft rut or hole it will be much more difficult to maintain control and it will end up slowing you down more than the correct way just mentioned. Quick reference mud riding techniques; A. Keep the front end light. B. Keep the bike more straight up and get on the power earlier. C. Not as much front brake. D. Accelerate just before getting into a rut. E. Carry the front wheel over the bad areas. If you want to be a competitive motocross racer you defiantly have to be a good mud rider. You may find, like I did, that many of my best races turned out to be muddy ones. A few days later when everything is all clean and shiny again it’s all good anyway. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Winter Motocross Training

For most of the riders in the Northern Hemisphere, there’s very little if any riding in January. But, that shouldn’t stop you from staying in shape. As a matter of fact, that should give you the opportunity to get in even better shape. Sure, in the spring and summer you can get a lot of riding and racing in and of course this is a great way to stay in shape but it also can be hard on your body especially if you are taking frequent soil samples and you know what they say, if you’re not crashing once in a while you’re not going fast enough. Winter training is a great time to heal up any nagging injuries that you have been aggravating with continued riding abuse. It’s also a great time to bring all your muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints (your entire skeletal structure back into balance, this way in stead of being out of shape and more injury prone when you start riding again in the spring you will actually be stronger than you were last fall. So many people are missing the boat when it comes to the rewards of a good exercise routine. There is just no substitute for a good training routine. I was raised on a farm and ever since I was old enough (about 10) I had chores and a lot of farm type work to do. My Dad had an old school farm, no modern push button operations. There was a lot of carrying stuff, digging, putting up hay bales, straw bales, fixing fence, riding wild horses, yea, wild horses. I’m not kidding, the first thing they would try to do when I got on them was buck me off. Most of the time I could stay on so when that didn’t work they would just starting running as fast as they could no matter how hard I tried to stop them. If I was still on by the time they got tried then the training could begin. I fell off a horse plenty of times while it was running at top speed. Some horses knew how to get me off; they would jerk to the side really fast and hard. I always rode bareback so this would cause me to slide half way off and most of the time couldn’t get back on. At the same time I was doing this farmer, cowboy stuff I was also practicing and racing motocross. To make a long story short it was a lot of physical work. This all kept me in pretty good shape but it was no where near the shape I reached later when I learned how to train with weights and cardio programs. The biggest difference between physical work (such as farming) and an exercise routine is that physical work may overwork certain structures of the body and not work others enough. And there is seldom a long steady period of aerobic activity that benefits the cardio system to any extent. The frequency and consistency is usually not there either. Sometimes the laborer is working the same structures too much and other times not enough. With a well balanced workout routine you can manage the frequencies, durations and intensities in a well balanced consistent routine. This allows you to grow to higher and higher levels of fitness and overall health and strength. What about all the thousands for people who don’t have a physical job? What about all those people who have a desk, office or transportation job. Well, for these people a well planned exercise routine is a must, not only so they can race motocross but so your heart can keep beating. The proper diet and a good exercise program is the best thing you can do for your mind and body. When this is missing in one’s life they will look for fulfillment from other sources like; over eating, legal (caffeine and alcohol) and illegal drugs and other bad habits that end up taking them further away from what they are really looking for, to feel good. Sure they may feel better right after using their crutch but soon after that they are feeling even worst than before because of the side effects and withdrawals, so they use their crutch again and begin to spiral down the tubes to an ever declining feeling of well-being, a kind of roller coaster ride on rusty, bumping tracks. The human body has evolved over thousands of years and physical activity has always been a big part of that evolution. We are designed to physically work. If you don’t use it you loose it. The uneducated think exercise is just for the muscles but this is far from the truth. There are many systems in the body that benefit from exercise. Of course the obvious is the muscles and there is the entire muscle skeletal system, the respiratory system, lymphatic system and endocrine system. There are certain drug like hormones that are released during exercise that make you feel good and are really, really good for you not only at that moment but for hours afterwards. When one acquires the discipline to workout consistently they become content and don’t have the desire to look for this feeling from other negative sources. It all boils down to a matter of attitude, how you view the situation. One thing I can tell you for sure is that if you wait until you feel like exercising you seldom will. That’s why there is a warm up stage to working out. After an 8 to 10 minute warm up you are going to feel completely different. So don’t even pay attention to how you feel before you begin, pay attention to how good you’re going to feel about 10 minutes into the program and when you’re finished. The only problem with us older guys is that we warm up and wear out at the same time. I call it the microwave program; it makes for a shorter workout. Just kidding, it may take a little longer for us older people to warm up but once we get going we forget how old we really are and want to go for it. The biggest hurtle to overcome and make winter training really payoff is to make the commitment and follow through. There are four main factors that make up the program. 1. Weight Training ( which is anaerobic) 2. Cardio (which is aerobic) 3. Stretching 4. Diet Let’s take a look at some explanations and samples of all four. 1. Weight Training Anaerobic means the circulatory system (blood and oxygen) cannot keep up with the work load, the muscle will fail. Regarding weight training for motocross I have found that circuit training works best. This is where you go from one exercise straight to another with no rest between. With circuit training super setting is a common method. Super Setting means to go back and forth between two or more different exercises. For example say you’re super setting two sets of bench press and lat pull downs. You would start with one set of bench then do one set of lat pull downs, another set of bench and another set of lat pull downs, all this with no rest between. Always warm up and warm down with cardio exercise before and after lifting. These periods should be at least 6 minutes each, 12 minutes is even better. 2. Cardio Aerobic means the circulatory system (blood and oxygen) can keep up with the work load, the muscles can keep working. Studies have shown that it takes at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise with your heart rate at 70% of your max for you to get any aerobic benefit. Find your age at the right of the chart below. Fine the 70% vertical column, multiply the corresponding number by 6 and that’s about where your heart rate should be for 20 minutes or more. These studies also showed this would have to be done at least 3 times per week just to maintain what you already have. So if you want to improve your aerobic conditioning you should do more than 20 minute more than 3 times a week. It depends on how much other type of training you’re doing. For the average amount of other type training I recommend doing 30 minutes of cardio 3 or 4 days a week. I also recommend getting your heart rate up higher than 70% at a few different times through the workout. 3. Stretching Stretching is one of the most overlooked disciplines with motocross racers. I guess it’s just too boring for them. I have to admit it is a little different than racing or jumping triples but so is sleeping and everyone does that. Again it’s all boils down to attitude, your view of the situation. Pacifying myself in front of the TV is boring to me, but many riders can do this instead of stretching. Which one is going to help your conditioning? Again, stretching is not just for the muscles, stretching has many benefits including the entire muscle skeletal system, lymphatic flow, even benefits for the mind; it relieves stress and allows you to relax better. I’ve found it best to do a 15 to 20 minute stretching routine late in the evening before bed. If you haven’t stretched much before it’s going to be tuff at first but stick with it for at least a week before you pass judgment on this discipline. You will be surprise at the progress you can make in a week. That feeling should give you the motivation to continue. 4. Diet Diet, wow do most riders miss the entire rim on this one, or what? That’s because most modern day people are accustom to the quick fix and diet just doesn’t compute that way. For example let’s take the average American rider who eats, well you know, the average American diet. Say we put this guy on a high performance no nonsense high octane race diet. Okay, the first day the body goes oh yes, finally some real food. I wonder how this got past those selfish taste buds. The first thing the body does is go into clean up mode. It starts flushing all the toxins and garbage out of the large and small intestines and basically all the cells in the body. It’s like going into an old dusty attic with a broom and starting to clean up. At first there’s a lot more dust flying around. When all these toxins are released into the blood stream for clean out detail you are actually going to feel worst before you start feeling better. You see, the body will use what it can for its best resources. It may use energy and work eternally before it will express more external energy. It usually takes about 2 weeks for the average guy to begin to notice positive benefits from going on a high performance diet. This is another reason why this entire conditioning thing is more of a life style change. The body is a truly amazing organism. For instance, did you know the large and small intestines have waves in them? They are not just a tube like a pipe. The inter walls are made in a wave like fashion, folds. Inside the round intestine there are these waves that are folded upon one another. This allows a much larger surface area for food to be filtered, absorbed and eliminated through these deep layered wall like pockets. If you took the average person’s intestines out and flattened all the folds exposing the entire surface area of the walls they would cover a tennis court. When you consistently improve your diet, sleep, training, take vitamin and mineral supplements and reduce your negative stress levels you will not only feel better you will have the potential to race faster, harder and longer and the thing about it is you’ll like it. Don’t cut yourself short; you get out what you put in. As always ride smart and have fun, Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you're serious about improving your motocross fitness you may be interested in my MX Conditioning DVDs or one of our three Instant Assess Video On Demand subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Big Factors In Your Diet

I remember one time when Jeremy McGrath and I were coming back from a long hard workout at the gym, we were driving pass a common fast food burger stand and Jeremy said we could go in there and ruin everything we just did. By now Jeremy knew that not only the training but also the diet was a necessary discipline for performance. You see, the bottom line of what training actually does is put a stress on your body which triggers an adaptation response. This adaptation response forces your body to adapt to the stress and get stronger. In order to adapt and get stronger it needs all the right building blocks at the right times and in the right combinations, quantities and qualities. This comes from your diet and supplements. If you put a lot of demand on your body by training hard and you don’t have the proper proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fluids for the rebuild you are wasting much of that hard workout. If you didn’t have the proper diet before, during and after a hard workout the benefit and gain may have only been 60% or even less instead of the potential 100%. If you do this over a long period of time you will quickly plateau, go backwards, develop overuse injures and/or get sick. What if you don’t train hard and have a poor diet, well then you better not get on a motocross track. I guess it’s safe to say that now a days most people know that a good diet has many benefits. I mean what the heck with all the scientific evidence how can one argue. So if not knowing isn’t the problem what is? For most people its probable many things like; procrastination, they’ll start a better diet next week but next week it gets put off to the next week and so on. For other people they don’t want to give up the tasty diet that they’ve gotten use to, these people think it will be too difficult to make a lasting change. Some kid themselves into believing that it doesn’t make that much difference anyway. Still for others it’s a lack of will power and the excuses go on and on. All these people are fooling themselves. They have themselves believing that to change to a high performance diet it would be painful and difficult when in reality their poor diet is causing them more pain and difficulty. Let me explain further. Our bodies are a complex organism. In reality our body is an ever changing field of energy. It is constantly regenerating itself according to its genetic code. For example every 5 days we have a new stomach lining and every six weeks we have a new liver. This goes on and on down to the last atom in one year. That’s right, science has discovered that through our cells dieing and regenerating new ones we have a brand new body every year. The food we eat not only gives us energy for moving and thinking it also gives us the building blocks that enable our ever changing field of energy to continue to reinvent itself. Sure we can survive without the optimum diet but we cannot strive without it. Without it our bodies and therefore our lives are compromised. We have less energy for mental and physical work and play, we have a compromised immune system and get sick more often; in short we age faster and end up living with chronic health problems. Then most people will fall into the pharmaceutical and medical industry loop seeking their medicated cocktails that can keep people alive longer but cause many side effects and people end up living longer but with a lower quality of life. Its high time people take their health as a personal responsibility and start eating for health and energy and not just for taste bud satisfaction. And you know what, taste bud satisfaction is a learned response and therefore it can be relearned and changed. For example up to the age of about 15 I really liked sweats but after I learned they were bad for my conditioning I stopped eating them, overall I started eating what I thought was healthy. After a few months every once in a while I would try a sweat drink or snack and didn’t even like the taste of it anymore. If you’re not already on a high performance diet you just need to get on one for a few weeks or so and change your eating habits. Once you do this and pass the test of time it will be easy. You’ve heard of certain aftermarket motorcycle products being referred to as a ‘must have’, well if you want to be a competitive motocross racer a high octane diet is a “must do”. Referring to the title of this month’s tip “The Big Factor in Your Diet” this paragraph hits that nail right on the head. Intake timing is another important factor regarding nutrition. Most people have it backwards, by eating a light or worse yet no breakfast, a light lunch and then a heavy dinner. By doing this not only is one not getting the fuel they need throughout the day, but they are also making their metabolism slow down and convert carbohydrates into fat for storage. In order to get the full benefits of sleep you should go to bed with an empty stomach. I’m not saying you should go to bed feeling really, really hungry but you should have already eaten enough earlier so you’re food is already digested and left the stomach. The ideal timing intake is a heavy breakfast, a hearty lunch and a moderate early dinner. You can have a nutrious snack between breakfast and lunch and/or between lunch and dinner but don’t snack after dinner. And you should eat dinner 3 to 4 hours before going to sleep. This will give you the fuel when you really need it and allow your body to shut down for a deep sleep at night. You don’t want your body to be digesting a heavy late dinner when it’s trying to shut down for a good hibernation type sleep. Do you know where the word breakfast came from? It means break fast; to break the night’s fasting state. If you’re not used to this type of intake timing it could be difficult at first but you can do it if you’re persistent and make the adjustment gradually. Once you’re body gets used to it you’ll be running on auto pilot. The majority’s habits are not always best; just look around you at the average person’s physic and health. If you want to sore with the eagles you can’t flock with the sparrows. Following are some meal samples and day and night race diet guidelines. Some of you may have seen the meal samples chart in my Training and Diet Manual that comes with my MX Conditioning Video or DVD, that is a good one too. MEAL SAMPLES Breakfast Try not to drink a lot of liquids with meals, unless you’re very dehydrated, especially coffee or tea. They dilute digestive juices. Go easy on margarine, butter, maple syrup, ect. You should have a good portion of fresh fruit with your breakfast. It’s good to add a ¼ cup of milled flax seed to a glass of juice. Add this to one of the following examples. Note; when eating eggs don’t eat more than two yokes a day, separate the yolks from the white on the other eggs. 1. Oat meal and toast or a good grain cereal and 4 eggs. 2. French toast or pancakes and 4 eggs. 3. Rice and 4 eggs or potatoes and 4 eggs and toast. Lunch Add a salad made from good green lettuce or spinach and some raw vegetables. 1. Salad - Steamed Veggys - Soft Boiled Eggs. 2. Salad - Steamed Veggys - Soft Boiled Eggs - Pasta - bread. 3. Salad - Steamed Veggys – Grilled or broiled Fish 5. Salad - Beans - Rice. 6. Tuna Salad - Soft boiled Eggs - Bread. 7. Salad - Potatoes - Corn or peas with chicken or steak. 8. Salad – Pasta – Bread. I know it’s difficult to get steamed vegetables so if you can’t get them eat a bigger salad and/or some brown rice or baked potato. I know many times you just have to get fast food or a sandwich, if so make the best nutritional choices available. Dinner Dinner is similar to lunch. If you ate a heavy breakfast and lunch and had a nutritious snack between lunch and dinner you won’t have to eat a huge dinner just a normal one and that’s what you want. You want a relatively empty stomach by the time you go to bed. You’ll notice that I emphasized salad, steamed veggys, soft boiled eggs, and fish in the lunch and dinner selections. You can have chicken or steak once in a while, but grilled or baked fish is better. It’s difficult to put all the foods of this list, of course there are many other meal combos and foods you can eat. Just try to get your proteins, carbos and fats from good natural, fresh sources. As mentioned earlier it’s important to have 4 or 5 small meals a day. The best way to do it is to have three meals a day from the above selections and have one or two smaller meals throughout the day derived from any combination of the above. Fruit and some raw almonds is also a good way to go for your between meal snacks. If you really do the diet thing right it will still take about two weeks before you can expect to see noticeable benefits. It’s not going to happen in just a few days. So stick to the plan. HOW TO FUEL UP ON RACE DAY DAY RACE Eat a good breakfast from the breakfast examples. Now, for the rest of the day, you want to time your food intake in the longest breaks between practice and each of your motos. Your next meal or snack could be something like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or some fruit with almonds or a turkey sandwich or some sports nutritional products that you like. Then for the remainder of the day, choose from one of the above as needed. Remember to stay well hydrated by drinking a lot of water and/or sports drinks. Don't mix sports nutritional products with other food. These products are designed and work best when taken on an empty stomach. With most of the sports nutritional products, wait at least 40 minutes before or after you eat. With most of the sports energy drinks, wait at least 20 minutes before or after you eat. These guidelines will keep you fueled up so you have plenty of energy throughout race day and at the same time you'll feel lite and ready for action. NIGHT RACE The best food intake for night races is very similar to day races. Now you have time to eat a good breakfast and lunch. Than instead of eating dinner you would eat the same as the day meal plan starting after lunch. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you're serious about improving your motocross fitness you may be interested in my MX Conditioning DVDs which include a lot of info about nutrition.  Feed you body nutrient dense race fuel!  Or you may prefer one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

Fear and Motocross Racing

Is fear a good or bad feeling to have while racing? The answer is yes... and no. You should have just a little bit of fear but not too much. There’s that balance thing again, for everything in life and especially racing. When you do something like race motocross/supercross/off-road, etc, where a little fear is involved, all your senses are heightened. That little bit of fear turns on all your primordial energies. Your adrenal glands are activated, you have better concentration more blood is pumped into the muscles, your pupils dilate for better vision, and in short, your strength, endurance and reaction time are increased. You are ready for action. On the other hand, if you have too much fear you tighten up, your mind begins to race and you loose concentration. Think about this simple test for a moment. If we have two people, Harry and Chester, Harry is normal regarding heights but Chester is afraid of heights. We have a strong board that is twelve feet long and eight inches wide. We extend this board 3 feet off the ground and have Harry and Chester walk across it for $10.00. No problem, one at a time they both stand at the end of the board with relaxed muscles, steady concentration, looking out in front of them at the board and walk across it easily for the $10.00. Then we extend the board 50 feet in the air between two buildings and ask Harry and Chester to walk across it for $100.00. Harry is first; he stands at the edge of the board ready to walk across it. Harry has just enough fear to turn on all his senses, and he is 100% concentrating on his goal, walking across that board. He makes it no problem and collects an easy $100.00. Chester is next as he stands at the end of the board. His breathing is short and shallow, his muscles begin to tighten, the palms of his hands become wet and clammy, he feels a lump in his throat and Chester’s concentration is interrupted with thoughts of falling to his death or serious injury. Chester’s fear makes his goal of walking across the board much more difficult. Objects are those frightful things you see when you take your mind off your goals. It’s the same kind of thing when it comes to racing; too much fear makes you perform much worst. If anyone tells you that they don’t have any fear when they race, they are not being honest with themselves or you. Everyone has at least just a little bit of fear when they race. And besides, if they didn’t have any fear at all, they wouldn’t be able to perform as well. Remember, just a little bit of fear is enough to make it important enough to kick in the primordial juices without getting too much fear to tighten you up. So how does one produce just the right amount of fear without red lining the fear factor? Well, I don’t think anyone has a problem with not having enough fear. The question is how does one not have too much fear while racing? In short, the answer is confidence. The dictionary definition of confidence is: trust, reliance, self-assurance. If you have too much fear while racing or even riding a motorcycle, then you don’t have enough confidence in your abilities to do the job and the fear should be there. It’s there for a good reason; to keep you from getting hurt. The only way to get over the too much fear problem and to acquire the confidence is to earn it by being prepared and knowing your limits, not riding beyond your abilities. The following list breaks down the preparation and how to recognize your limits factors for an easier understanding. Preparation: Being in good physical shape If you’re out there racing or even riding and you’re not strong and in good shape, you’re just asking for an injury. And besides, you can’t ride well if you’re tired anyway. This is a big factor in earning that confidence, you have to put in the consistent hard training in order to get and stay in good shape. It’s important to be at your ideal weight and not be over weight so a good common sense diet is also necessary. If you don’t feel strong the fear factor is going to go way up. To get the most effective diet and training methods for motocross, check out my Motocross Conditioning Video or DVD from my website. Getting enough seat time There’s no way to feel really comfortable on the bike and not have too much fear unless you have ridden and still ride a lot. There’s no substitute for having the feel of the wheel so to speak. When you have a lot of riding time under your belt, the bike becomes an extension of your body and you know what it’s going to do before it does it. This way you can stay ahead of what is happening instead of not being sure and trying to catch up with it. How can you not be very afraid if you don’t know what that bike is going to do? If you’re going to ride really well, you have to put in the seat time. Having a well-prepared motorcycle If you’re riding a worn out bike, it’s only a matter of time before it breaks and you sure don’t want it to break on the face of a big jump. A serious racer has to have well maintained equipment. You or a mechanic has to go over the bike every time between rides. Every time before you get on it, you should have a checklist to go through. Things like: is there enough gas? is the chain adjusted correctly and oiled? Is the tire pressure right? Are the spokes tight? Are the linkage bolts tight? Are the controls working properly, especially the throttle? When you know your bike is going to do its job, it takes away a lot of fear and doubt. Don’t take unnecessary changes Whether you’re racing as a professional or an amateur, just go out there and have fun and do what’s necessary in order to reach your goals. If there’s a big double or triple that’s beyond your current abilities and no one in your class is going to be jumping it anyway, don’t be thinking you should try to jump it. If your thinking you should be pulling off some free style moves forget about it. Do you want to be a racer or a free stylist? If you’re finishing practicing for the day and your friend says, "Come on, you gotta try this jump I just found!", forget about it. Tell him you’ll check it out next time. Do what you feel is necessary and enough and leave it at that. Recognize your limits Every man or women has to know their own limits and you always have to stay within those limits while racing or riding. Racing is all about being on the edge, but you better know exactly where that edge is and don’t go over it. It’s better to slow down a little, get some points and race again next week than to crash and burn. Once you acquire a good portion of experience, it's really pretty easy to know where your limits are (you can feel them). When you’re flowing with the track and riding smooth, you’re within your limits. When you start to make mistakes like missing a line, making a bobble here and there, when your arms are pumping up and/or you’re getting really tired, when things begin to happen faster than you are anticipating them to be happening, these are signs of going over the edge. With the correct types of preparation and practice over each week and month, you should be able to increase your limits, but you have to be consistent and it takes time. Don’t try to rush it by riding over your head or it will end up taking you more time to improve. Remember to feel your limits and don’t go pass them. When you have these five previous categories covered, you will see the strangle hold of fear dissipate. Of course, as I explained earlier, there is always going to be some fear but it’s a good fear, one that will make you pay attention and heighten you abilities. Don’t ever take anything about racing or riding for granted. Just about the time you do is the time it will jump up and bite you. Always have that special kind of respect for it and make sure that you are always prepared and using your head every time you throw a leg over your iron horse. Over the years I’ve had a lot of riders, both young and older, tell me that they are having trouble jumping doubles. They say they can jump the same distance on a tabletop jump but they are afraid to jump that distance over a double. They are asking me how they can overcome their fear and do these doubles. Sometimes these riders are at my motocross school and are asking me this at the beginning of the school. I say, well I’ll watch your jumping techniques when we cover jumps and we’ll see what we can do about it. When I’m asked this question, I pretty much know what to expect and most of the time I’m right on the money. Their jumping abilities are in need of some serious improvements before they throw themselves at the mercy of the doubles. They say that they can jump the same distance on the tabletops but they don’t land on the down side every time. If that were a double, they would be doing some serious case landings and getting rebounded over the bars. They also have trouble controlling the angle of the bike in the air. Sometimes the front end is too high and sometimes it is too low. These are riders that are missing one or more of the five qualities listed above. I always tell them the same thing, that they should not be jumping doubles yet and that there’s a good reason for their fear. If and when they develop the control to jump and land just how they want to every time over safer jumps, then they will not have that terrible fear and they will possess the confidence to do the big doubles, big doubles no troubles. How does one acquire that confidence? Well, when we’re talking about big doubles, you first have to practice the proper jumping techniques over and over again on safe, forgiving type jumps, such as tabletops and/or step-ups. Once you have mastered the proper jumping techniques and you can feel the compression and rebound part of the jump so well that you can automatically react to it through your nervous system’s automatic reflex reactions, then and only then will you conquer the big no forgiveness doubles. Achieve the five steps above and you will conquer all but that little bit of fear that is suppose to be there. Mother nature cannot be tricked or cheated; she will give up to you the object of your desires only after you have paid her price. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

 

The Art of the Wheelie - Wheelieing off Jumps

This technique is similar to the previous technique of carrying the front wheel over an obstacle. When you hit a jump with both wheels, you are going to go higher and further than if you had wheelied over it. Of course, this technique can only be used in certain situations and on certain kinds of jumps (usually from slower speeds and more rounded jumps). You can’t do it on higher speed, steep jumps or you’ll endo quicker than you could leave chili in your shorts. You may find yourself in the middle of next week before you knew what happened. But in the correct situation, this technique is a big time saver. The art of wheelieing is more than just cool. It’s also faster and if that front end gets up there too high by mistake, you’ll know how to handle it (assuming you’ve read my previous nine tips of this series. Gary Semics Professional Motocross Trainer If you like this riding tip, it's just the tip of the iceberg.  Get all the riding techniques and practice methods that will elevate your riding skills For REAL from our Motocross Techniques/Training DVDs or one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand Subscriptions.

Gary Semics

Gary Semics

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