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Tim and Dave's Excellent So-Cal Adventure

by Racer X Virtual Trainer


Charles keeps a watchful eye over Izzi and Tickle at all times. Here Nico busts out some TransformX push-ups.

photo: Virtual Trainer

10:07 PM - Tim arrives in Baltimore at Dave's house. It is the night before an early morning flight from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Los Angeles. Tim and I are heading west to pursue an agenda that includes interviews, filming, and observing pro motocross riders train in the gym and on the track. We are also lined up to meet with some big guns in the industry. All the while and maybe above all, it never sucks to visit Southern California in November, just as the weather starts to go down hill here in the East.

7:36 AM
- We arrive at the airport where there is a huge crowd for a Sunday morning. Somehow though, before we know it, we are at the front of the line. Lucky, lucky I am thinking. We check in and I am thinking, how the heck did we get through that huge crowd so fast?

On a packed flight, Tim and I discuss business. Our conversation turns to our favorite subject: the general state of fitness training in the world of motocross. Both of us agree that so much more understanding and implementation could be realized in this industry. That is our mission. After an uneventful, direct flight, we finally arrive. California baby!

12:34 PM - Ah, warm sunny California! We are on west coast time and we are feeling an energy that is usually reserved for springtime where we come from. Life is good. Uh-oh, baggage claim is not so fun. Turns out our quick check-in back in Baltimore was in fact too good to be true. Tim's luggage has gone to Miami and we are in LA. Not too good and Tim is bummed and starts to think of his next purchase, probably underwear. First order of business once we find the bus that takes you to the rental cars: find a Walmart.

1:26 PM - Things can turn around in a hurry, as was our experience at the rental car agency. We must have looked like big tippers from out of town (or two poor schmucks) because the rental car guy in the lot was all to eager to upgrade us to a nice red convertible Mustang. Who says LA is expensive. 5-bucks gets you a rental car upgrade....sucker! Next thing you know we are rolling down the highway with the top down. Soon we were on The15 headed towards Murrieta/Temecula. Arguably, this is ground zero for motocross.

7 PM - We meet with Charles Dao for dinner. Charles is a trainer who owns Icon Sports Performance and Wellness Alliance. Charles has been a trainer in the industry for years and besides being a regular contributor to Racer X Virtual Trainer he currently trains Izzi , Tickle, and Reardon in MX, Faisst and Twitch is FMX, several local amateurs, and last year helped Justin Brayton to his best year ever before moving on to Joe Gibbs Racing. Charles is also a standout MMA fighter and trainer and is going to be the man showing us around town for the week.

With three trainers at the table, it was a health food feast of fresh salad with sushi grade tuna. Not very exciting but Tim and I wanted to make sure we were ready for tomorrows workouts. Charles gets a phone call from Broc Tickle confirming that he will be working out with Nico the next day. Looks like it's on!

8:47 AM
- Breakfast at the hotel and Tim is wearing the same clothes. Yeow! The airline called and Tim is told that his bag will arrive that day. Ha, so they say!

11 AM - We arrive at Icon Sports Performance (which just happens to be right next door to KTM North America!) and Charles is training a private client. Soon Nico and Broc show up and are ready to go to work. Charles has a nice circuit laid out for them. They begin with coordination drills on the ground ladder for a warm-up and then commence to a high intensity interval workout. Tim and I pleased to see them hitting it hard. With short rest between exercise stations, it is good to see these guys put out the effort and witness their athleticism. Tim is behind the camera shooting video that we will later put together to show the world how hard these guys train in the off-season. To top off the workout, Tim presents Nico with the TRX 40/40 Upper Body challenge. Nico tears it up with a 40 and 50!

1 PM - Lunch with Tim and Charles. Charles takes us to one of his favorite Mexican restaurants for some fish tacos, beans and rice with lots of salsa. Note to self: do not eat a big lunch before training with Charles. The beans would get the best of me later!

2 PM - Back to the gym for Cole Seely's workout. Cole has just signed on with TLD Honda for the SX season and his boss David Pingree has sent Cole up the hill to Charles' gym for some initial workouts. Charles has Cole doing a strength workout with weights and not so much circuit like Broc and Nico had performed.

2:27 PM - Tim convinces me to do the 500-meter challenge on the Concept 2 Rower. This was the first nail in my coffin.

2:29 PM - I  knocked out the Concept2 challenge in 1 minute 35 seconds: not too bad.

2:35 PM - Then Charles volunteers me to join Cole in his sprints that will top off his workout. Let's just say that after the first one it wasn't so pretty for me. Cole has youth on his side and the 19-year old Supercross racer takes the last 4 sprints..... second nail in my coffin.

2:50 PM - While I am still breathing from the sprints, Tim informs me that its time for my TRX 40/40 Challenge. I am definitely feeling lunch, which was only about 45 minutes ago. In spite of it, I knock out a respectable 35/31 in the challenge....however this was the third, and final nail in the coffin.

It's now Coles turn on the 40/40 but I can't even report on it because the intensity has overtaken me and I am down for the count. Somehow, Tim is getting a big kick out of my down-and-outness.

A good hour later and I have finally recovered. The red convertible 'Stang is fired up and we hit the road back to the hotel. Note: The top is down and Tim's luggage still has not made it to California.

6:30 AM
- I am up first and eat breakfast at the hotel. Tim is still asleep. I get to wake him up with good news. His bag has finally made it and its at the front desk. Yeah, Tim gets to put on clean clothes! Thank goodness, can you say ripe?

8:00 AM - We head to the gym and this time it is a workout with Travis Baker and Bryce Vallee. Ladders, tire flips, boxing, pull-ups with push ups, 65-lb Swiss ball cleans. These guys have great intensity. Being on the brink of a pro contract looks like it can really make a rider hungry!

11:45 AM - We are now ready to tackle lunch, which is Vietnamese PhoTai soup. Turns out tim had never had Pho and is now his new favorite lunch - Good and healthy.

2 PM - Now Charles will put us trainers through a workout. It's a kickboxing workout. We throw punching combos and body kicks and soon we are dripping sweat. We will also soon realize a new definition of soreness down to the core. Class is over and we are smoked. But I am still inspired by the efforts of the racers in their respective workouts and I convince Tim that we should head out on a 45-minute aerobic run. Hey, the weather is perfect so what more can you ask for. Don't have to twist his arm.

5:30 PM - The rest of the day is pretty uneventful as we hang at the gym for a bit and shoot the shit with Charles. Later, we find a nice place to eat dinner and talk to Charles about heading to the Yamaha Supercross track the next day to watch Nico and Broc ride. Turns out, all of the factories have test tracks on the same piece of property. Charles also arranges for us to stop by and see his good friend David Pingree at the KTM test track where Ping will be evaluating a local amateur.

6:30 AM
- Breakfast at the hotel and then we are soon in the red racer Mustang, top down of course, heading up The 15. We are headed to the KTM test track to meet Pingree who manages the Troy Lee Design Honda program. Ping greets us and shows us the layout. Honda puts in time on the KTM track. It's pretty interesting and I am kind of surprised. All the big manufacturers have their test tracks literally right next to each other. It's fair to say that the tracks are right in the middle of everything and nothing. While there, Ping shows us where Christian Craig crashed a few weeks prior and gives us the horrifying details. Thank Goodness Christian is going to be fine.

11 AM - Our next destination is the Yamaha test track. The commute is about 4 and half minutes. Like I said, these tracks are literally right on top of each other - amazing. As we pull up we see Nico, Broc, and Grant Langston. Grant is on one of his first rides in a good while on an SX track. He looks good and he is looking better and better throughout the day. I had the opportunity to speak to him and find that he can like-ably be described as a really down to earth guy. The same goes for his wife Chelsea. They are nice people and are really nice to talk to.

Meanwhile Nico and Broc are doing some testing with jetting and suspension.

The buzz at the track is that J-Law's team may be in the midst of being acquired by a friend of Tim's, Gene Houston. Grant is riding J-law's bike since, well, Jason can't ride from jail. Gene is there negotiating the deal and soon heads out to meet with J-law's manager, Scott Sepkovic.

12:30 PM - PhoTai again for lunch; Tim can't get enough of his new favorite soup.

1:30 pm - It's time to head back to the gym. Cole Seely is back in for his workout and this time Charles will have him do some circuits. He is toast by the end of it. I know how he feels!

3:15 PM - Broc and Nico show up a little later than expected for their appointment with Charles. They are feeling spent after a day of testing at the track. Charles smartly adjusts their workout to suit their energy. The guys finish and all of us walk outside. Although they are beat, we notice that they are kind of digging our red convertible 'Stang! I'm joking of course: the car Nico gets in makes our Mustang look like Escort.

6:00 PM - Our trip has flown by but luckily, we have another opportunity to get in a workout. It is a Pi-Yo (palates and yoga) workout that evening with Rebecca, one of Charles' trainers. Class involves stretching and strength moves all done in slow and smooth manner. Pi-Yo is definitely a workout that MX riders could benefit from.

The Next Morning - Before we know it we are boarded on the plane and headed back east. Goodbye to the daily sunshine and prime riding areas that are filled with talent and the teams of the big manufacturers. Already the trip seems a bit surreal to me. I cant help but envy the lifestyle out west. There is really nothing to get in a riders way if they are serious about seeking out training on the bike and in they gym as well as being in eyeshot of the people who can pluck a rider from the amateur ranks and toss them into the big time.

That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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