Pablo Toribio Training Pro Motocross Rider James Stewart
James Stewart is 23-year-old with a record-breaking 11 American Motorcyclist Association Amateur National titles while riding for Kawasaki Team Green. James was named 2002 Rookie of the Year in his debut pro season. In 2004, he won both the AMA 125 East Supercross Championship and the AMA 125 Motocross National Championship, and four years later, in 2008, he became the second rider in history after Ricky Carmichael to complete a perfect motocross season—24 wins in 24 races—after coming back from knee surgery, no less. He capped off his perfect season with the 2008 AMA Speed Athlete of the Year award.
Now riding for Yoshimura Suzuki, James is training with Pablo to ensure he maintains his status as the fastest rider our on the track! To read more about the races follow us on Twitter @PabloFitnessNY
Read a recent Between the Motos of Pablo in RacerX or Pablo Toribio’s Way: Training James Stewart in TransWorldMotocross
Read a recent Between the Motos of Pablo in RacerX
or Pablo Toribio’s Way: Training James Stewart in TransWorldMotocross
by Jason Weigandt
Between the Motos: Pablo Toribio
Most trainers are known as positive people who know how to pick up an athlete when he’s down, but few are more positive, and seem to have more fun, than Pablo Toribio, James Stewart’s guy. We never, ever see this guy without a smile on his face. Of course, we’re not the ones he’s forcing to do another rep, either….
The cool thing about Pablo is that he runs his own gym during the week in a unique place for a motocross guy—New York City. You’ll see him on Twitter posting about 5:30 a.m. spin classes for business types in Manhattan. But he was, is, and always will be a motocross guy. A positive one at that!
Racer X: I don’t know if people realize how cool this is. You’ve got a background in the sport. You’ve worked with other riders. You’re James’ trainer now. But you’ve got a weird deal during the week. You almost couldn’t be further removed from what goes on in motocross.
Pablo Toribio: Exactly. I have my gym in the city, but I talk to James every day. We have a great relationship on the phone, and just work out by the phone and everything works perfect. During the season I go to all the races on the weekends, and in the off-season, we spend a lot days together at the track and in the gym.
What is your motocross connection? To be a guy from Manhattan doing spin classes there but still be a moto guy, how did that all come about?
I used to race professional motocross in the Dominican Republic. I was the Dominican Republic champ for a little while. Then I moved to the US and kept learning. I raced pro here; I made one national at Budds Creek. I was on the Dominican Republic Motocross of Nations team at Budds Creek in 2007—that was it for me, that was a great experience. I started learning more and more about the training side of the sport. I decided to be a personal trainer because I wanted to know better about my body for racing. I learned all that stuff, I studied everything, and then there we go!
James and Pablo celebrate James' win in Detroit. Photo: Simon Cudby
How did the gym thing come about?
[Laughs] Well it’s funny, I was working out at a gym all the time in the city—I was really working hard there every morning. The owner of the gym asks me “What do you do?” and I told him I race motorcycles. He says, “Why do you have to be in shape to ride motorcycles? Doesn’t it do all the work?” I was learning more and more and eventually I opened up my own gym.
How did you end up making the connection with the guys that race here?
I used to train Justin Barcia. That’s a New York thing. Me and Justin were really good friends when he was a little kid. From there I brought him all the way to where he is in the 250s.
Even when he was down at Millsaps Training Facility and all that you were still involved?
Yes. I was the one who brought him to Colleen’s and Davi Millsaps and their facility.
Were there times where you weren’t coming to all these races? Or were you always pretty much around?
Always was around. This is what I love to do!
So you were with Justin pretty much his whole 250 time?
Yes, and then Davi and then James.
Ah yes, you had the Davi connection. So, in 2012, you were the “Davi lost 40 pounds” trainer?
[Laughs] Yes, that was me. In one month!
Pablo has also worked with Justin Barcia and Davi Millsaps. Photo: Chase Stallo
[Laughs] We made it happen.
C’mon Pablo, that’s not good! Forty pounds in one month, that can’t be healthy!
No, no, it was good! He did it. It was healthy. It was fun!
But he had a good year that year. He turned his career around.
Hey man, that’s how it is!
That had to be a big challenge then because I know Davi was coming back from some huge injuries, kidney problems from a big crash and such. The first year back from that was not a good year, 2011. What a rebuild that was.
It was a lot of hard work with Davi, but I’m glad we did it. We put our heads together, heads down and we worked hard. It was good.
This guy here, James, it’s kind of the same thing. When he rides like he did tonight, we all know he can do it. But there have been other times where I’m sure you guys are like, “C’mon on, what is going on here?” It’s been very up and down the last few years.
Exactly, but with James it’s a little easier. James is really, really determined. And I love him because I understand we’re both determined to make it happen. He’s just … he has unbelievable goals and determination.
I think that almost gets forgotten because we know how much talent James has, but usually when people are saying someone has talent then they’re dismissing the hard work part. But he is as into motocross and likes riding and studying it as anyone. It’s not just talent.
It’s not just talent. His talent is a gift and it helps a little bit, but another point is, and the point that I bring is that we work out and we work out every single day. Sometimes he says with his photos, “I’m on the couch.” No, no, don’t believe that because that’s not right! He’s having fun with that. We work. James works really hard.
When he throws a picture out there that makes it look like he’s chilling, there’s been hard work going on?
So this season, how good do you guys have to feel? You’ve really been chasing it for a year or two now, getting close, almost there … now it’s really starting to come together.
Yeah, it’s really good. I’m really happy. I’m really proud of him. The whole thing we wanted to change was ... I said to him at the beginning of the season, the best time you raced was when you were racing the 125s. I said, “I want to see your body the same way.” So you see he’s a lean, mean machine right now. He’s really lean, focused, and everything. He’s really fit. I’m so happy about that.
Will the Racer X Staff survive Pablo's spin class? Photo: Pablo Toribio
Nights like tonight it’s got to feel good, when you come from that far back.
Yeah, 14th in the start and come back and kill it. That was awesome.
During the week do people even know that you do this, your clients during the week?
Yeah, most of my clients know that.
Do they know anything about motocross?
Some of them, they start learning. They’re looking forward to seeing when they’re coming to New York. It’s going to be awesome.
So they’re going to get to check it out?
You should come to my facility and take a look and check it out. I can invite everybody to the spin class!
Yeah, right, kill our entire staff….
[Laughs] No man, it will be good!
By Michael Antonovich
Tue, Oct 22 2013
Although he is not in the forefront of the Stewart camp, Pablo Toribio is critical to the Yoshimura Suzuki racer’s success. A former professional motocross racer and cyclist, Toribio his able to relate to what his athlete faces both on the track and mentally, and the pairing has had great success. Toribio is based in New York City, where he owns and manages Pablo Fitness, a spin and yoga studio locaterd in Manhattan. Keeping a racer at their prime can be a challenge, but the determination of his athlete and a program focused on balance and strength has brought the pair plenty of success.
“I am a personal trainer that has seven certifications and four national certifications. The thing with me is I raced professional motocross for a little while and I raced professional bicycles. Not a lot of people know that I rode the Tour de France, and that was a lot of fun. I finished in 2005 and was a replacement rider for one of my friends from the Dominican Republic.”
“I believe in balance more than anything else. A lot of people say that if you focus and have your right balance, you can do anything. Riding a dirt bike, you have to be very strong and for James I focus on three things: power, control, speed. When you have your power and you have control, you have incredible speed. That is our focus. James is really strong and is really determined. If you see him crash, you see him get back to the bike and that is something that we work the hardest. Another aspect is the mental part. Most people quit, but James is a fighter and he never quits. 75-percent of the training is mental, and his ability to ride the bike is talent.”
Toribio’s main focus is working with James Stewart. Although the two live thousands of miles apart (Stewart in Florida and California, Toribio in New York City), Stewart is able to remotely join spin classes at Pablo Fitness and have his trainer track the progress.
“James is really strong and easy to recover. I am really lucky with him that he doesn’t need a lot of work. A lot of riders that I worked with before him needed a lot of work, and James is really determined. When he had his injuries last year, he was so easy to comeback with a couple of exercises and a couple of stretches. And we are back out here.”
“The training we do is to make him a lean, mean machine. He is lean muscle and really strong. He can crash and walk away immediately.”
Toribio is one of the many components in the Stewart camp, and the team’s most recent success came at the 2013 Monster Energy Cup. In addition to training, Toribio’s experience as a motocross racer allows him to discuss on-track technique.
“James eats like a normal person and he is very good with his food. Hydration is very important and I come in and help him when he needs to drink. We drink the whole day and watch what time he drinks. Say you drink more sugar and salt, your body can be lacking it by the end of the day. We watch the sugar level and balance.”
“What happens during boot camp is a secret! But he is riding and conditioning on and off the bike. One day I will tell you what we do!”