Interview with Trainer Randy Lawrence - Part 2
By Tim Crytser


In part 2 of our conversation with trainer Randy Lawrence we get a little more personal as he talks about his personal accomplishments as a trainer, how he handles the stress of having two high profile riders, and his view on performance enhancing drug use in professional MX.

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How do you think you think training in MX has evolved over the past decade or so?
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Randy is never very far behind his riders on race day.

Well, it has kind-of gone up and down. When I first came into the sport, guys like Jeff Stanton, Jeff Ward and Rick Johnson trained really hard. And just growing up around the sport you always heard about how hard those guys trained back in the day. Then I think things got a little more inconsistent with some guys training and some others not. Then in the early to mid 90’s, I think there was a real slump, where the guys weren’t training very hard. Jeff Emig was kind of the leader of that era and wasn’t real big on training. He did what he needed to do and won races and was a great rider. When Jeremy came along, I think he trained a little harder then Jeff and ultimately won more titles. Towards the end of Jeremy’s career when I was working with him, he trained pretty hard. He didn’t like the bicycle very much but he did the stationary bike a lot and was at the gym a lot. We won his last three SX titles together and then when I left I think his program changed a little. I don’t really know the details of it but that’s when Ricky came in and when he didn’t win his first few SX titles I don’t think he was very happy about that and that’s when training really turned around. RC hired a trainer to work specifically with him and between his trainer and his mom; I think he has set the bar for the rest of the riders. And that bar is still high today.

Do you see any trends in MX training over the next several years?
Actually what I see happening is with Ricky going to a more part time deal, I think over the next couple of years some guys might get a little lazy since he isn’t out there training like an animal and winning every weekend. I think they will still be training but I just don’t know if it will be as specific and as hard as someone like Ricky has done in the past. I think they might slack off a little. Hopefully, I can keep my guys from slacking off and people will see that training does pay off.

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Randy guided Veteran Nick Wey to his best finish of his career

What are your personal achievements as a trainer so far in your career?
Well, I guess I don’t want the Championship with Ryan to over shadow what Nick accomplished this year. He had the best finish of his career. He had three podium finishes in the SX series, he had seven top fives in the Outdoors, more hole shots than any other rider, and after 4 rounds of the outdoor series, he was third in points. He had some problems after that that we had to work through but I look at that as a highlight because we got through it. I think a lot of that had to do with training since he didn’t really have much guidance with his training before he hired me. And obviously working with Ryan and winning the Championship was a great achievement. And also the way he performed at the de Nations this year. He was actually the only rider for the US that won their class, so that was great.

Training the current 250F Outdoor Champion and a seasoned veteran like Nick Wey certainly must be very stressful at times. How do you cope with the stress and keep everything in perspective?
I definitely thought about it a little during the season, and some right now, but I really don’t feel that much pressure. For some reason when I go to my computer and do their schedules and stuff, and look at their overall programs and really think about what they are doing, I am really comfortable with what I have them doing. I have been around for a long time to see other trainers and riders who worked together when things didn’t work out very well. I have seen enough to know what works and what doesn’t work for certain riders. Putting together programs and schedules for these guys really isn’t that tough for me, so that really takes a lot of the pressure off having the confidence that what I am doing is the right thing for my guys.

What are your goals as a trainer on the MX industry?
My goals are pretty simple and that is to continue to help riders reach their own goals. Some riders, their goals might not be to win championships, but to be the best rider that they can be. My goals are to make sure that if rider is on my program that they are seeing improvements and meeting whatever goals they have, even if that isn’t winning a championship.

What are some of Ryan’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to training?
Ryan’s definite strength is his ability to sprint. When push comes to shove and it's time to lay down a couple of laps, he can really do it. When he has a rider right in front of him that he has to push to get by or when the pace is a little faster, he has the ability to step up and perform. Hopefully with the program that I have set up for him he is in good enough shape to step it up when he needs to. I think that is what lead to his Championship. When it was time to step it up, he was able to do that without getting tired. Some of his weaknesses are, and I said this one time in Racer X, at that time he was 17 and knew everything, and now that he’s 18, he knows even more (laughs). You know I have him on this schedule to do the things that I think will lead to winning races. Sometimes he may complain a
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RV is in good hands with RL....if he'll listen!

little too much about having to do those things, or try to come up with excuses to try and get out of doing things here and there. Sometimes he isn’t as prompt as some of the other riders and not as prepared. So there are a few things he could do to step things up on his side that will only make things better for him in the long run. But I gotta give it up to the kid. Very rarely have I ever met a rider with the talent he has at such a young age. I mean, it took Ricky loosing two SX titles before he finally did the things that were necessary and Ryan isn’t willing to wait to lose to get serious. Maybe he doesn’t want to train all the time, but that is part of what he hired me for is to motivate him and make sure he is doing the right things on and off the track.

Let's shift gears a bit and talk about one of my favorite topics in MX and that is performance enhancing drug (PED) use. What is you view on this and do you think there are any guys using PED’s?
I don’t know, I guess I really don’t have a view on it. In all the time I have been around the sport, I have never been approached with it or been around it so I really don’t know much about it. Any knowledge I have about it is purely hearsay. I mean people talk about it and say things like this guy uses them or that guy, but honestly I don’t even know enough about doping and stuff like that to even know how to use it. Are guys in MX doing it? I wouldn’t doubt it, but I don’t know enough to sit here and point fingers. Let's put it this way, I wouldn’t be shocked if they found out that some guys were.

Do you think the AMA should be doing more to ensure the sanctity of the sport by testing for PED’s?
Yeah, I think they should, but I think there are bigger issues that need to be solved before they get into that. Like I said, I really don’t think it is a problem.

What is one of the biggest things you see guys doing wrong while training for MX?
Well training wise, what I think a lot of guys do wrong is going from not training at all to immediately training too much. They don’t always understand what a good training program consists of and they will see a guy doing something today and then just start going for it. I think that is a good way to wear yourself out.

What three training tips would you pass on to the weekend warrior?
First thing would be to ride as much as possible. That is the best way to get in shape for the weekend warrior. But if riding once or twice a week isn’t possible, then I would recommend running or biking twice a week for cardio. I wouldn’t really recommend weight training too much if they only get to ride every once in a while. I think that will just lead to tightness when they finally do get on the bike. I also think stretching is huge. If they could stretch at least once a day for twenty minutes that is good for when they do fall, they will be less prone to injury by being a little more flexible. So, my three tips would be to ride, run or bike and stretch.

We are getting near the end of the interview, so let's talk a little about what you do at the end of a workout. Do you use advanced recovery techniques like post nutrition and stretching?
We do some stretching, and we should probably do a little bit more. After workouts, we use Cytosport products for recovery. We use Muscle Milk in the morning and Cytomax Recovery at night. We really use that stuff more when we push our bodies harder like now in the off-season. During the season when things are a little bit lighter, we don’t use that stuff quite as much. I don’t think you need supplements when you are really pushing your body. So, we use those supplements and I try to get these guys to stretch every night. I have a schedule for them to stretch every night when they get home.

Well, Randy I can hear the bikes in the background, so I’ll let you go tend to your riders. Thanks again for your time.
Yeah, sure Tim, no problem. 

That's it for now. Until next time, good luck with your training and, as always, VT can be reached anytime at . In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section , your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.
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