8 Strength & Endurance Principles for Enduro and Motocross
I think we can all agree that enduro, cross county and motocross is a brutally demanding sport and that your body plays a crucial role in how well you ride. That’s why it’s imperative that you make strength and endurance training a priority, second only to riding time. Because it’s through strength and endurance that you can maintain your balance, overcome arm pump, fight fatigue, and keep a rock-steady posture.
However, one obstacle that usually stands in the way of aspiring motocross and enduro pros getting started with weight training is a lack of knowledge of what they should be doing in the first place. There’s such a wide variety of information available on the internet about working out, but most of it doesn’t relate to dirt bike riders.
That’s why I’ve decided to list what I think are the eight most crucial strength and endurance training principles every motocross and enduro rider should follow to achieve significant results with their workouts.
I don’t claim that these principles are the be-all-end-all of training for riding dirt bikes, but they should serve as a solid foundation for achieving your goals. In other words, if you’re at a loss of where to start with weight training, this article will point you in the right direction.
Principle #1: Understand the difference between strength and endurance fitness training and bodybuilding.
What’s essential to bodybuilders is how good they look in a V-neck. What’s vital to motocross and endure riders is how well they can maintain their balance and posture towards the end of a long race. Never forget that.
One of the leading reasons why some Moto riders claim that weight training is a bad idea is because they associate it with bodybuilding. Both consist of entirely different training methods.
Bodybuilding is not about getting stronger; it’s about sculpting the body to make it as visually appealing as possible.
Strength training is about getting stronger, period. And the stronger you become, the more control you can maintain over your bike.
Principle #2: Focus on achieving positive results in the least amount of time.
Before anything else, you are a rider. Which means you don’t have the time to spend two hours in a gym, six days a week. Focus on getting the workout completed as soon as possible, and then turn your attention to more pressing matters, such as putting in more riding time.
Principle #3: Focus on total body and multi-joint workouts.
Bodybuilders isolate. Motocross and enduro riders incorporate.
What I mean by that is that bodybuilders focus a lot on isolated exercises (dumbbell curls, triceps extensions, leg curls, etc.).
Enduro and motocross riders should focus on exercises that include multi-joint movements and workout multiple parts of the body. These workouts should also follow a natural range of motion (deadlifts, burpees, high barbell pulls, etc.)
First, ask yourself this question. Have you ever performed anything in everyday life that mimics the movement of a bicep curl?
Now, ask yourself this question. How often do you use the deadlift movement when you lift something heavy off of the floor?
See? Natural movements are key.
Principle #4: Combine circuit training with strength training in your rider fitness routine.
Endurance is just as important as strength. However, running five miles in a day is time-consuming and not the best use of a dirt bike rider’s time.
Instead, work endurance training into your strength training routines by incorporating circuits into your routines. Circuit training is a high-intensity interval training system where you perform a complete circuit of exercises with no rest in between.
For example, let’s say your workout consisted of pushups, pull-ups, burpees, and side planks. So, instead of doing one exercise and rest, one exercise and rest, and so on, you instead do all four activities as quickly as possible with no rest in between exercises.
Once you complete all four exercises, that ends the first circuit. Take a quick 1-2 minute break and then perform the next circuit. Repeat until you have no less than four circuits completed.
Principle #5: Always stretch before and after your workout.
Stretching will provide a variety of benefits at different times during the workout:
Stretch before you exercise to loosen up your muscles and help prevent injuries during your workout.
Stretching the muscles you used in an exercise after you perform the activity is an excellent way to keep them loose while also increasing your range of motion.
After the workout, stretching helps decrease soreness and stiffness in your muscles.
Principle #6: Make your core a focal point of your workout.
Posture is key to improving your riding. And if there’s one area of your body that helps most with maintaining your position, it’s your core muscles.
That’s right; your core isn’t just about getting six-pack abs. It’s about maintaining good posture and balance on your bike, and thus should be a significant focal point of your workout.
Some of the more proficient core exercises include ab wheel rollouts, bicycle kicks, planks, and medicine ball crunches.
Principle #7: Maintain the proper form with each exercise.
Poor posture in the gym is the equivalent of trying to convince your wife to watch an American Chopper marathon with you. You can do it all you want, but you’re ultimately just wasting your time.
If you have poor posture with your exercises, then you’re not working the muscles as you should. You’re only giving a half performance. Not just that, but you’re sacrificing your safety as well. Most accidents in the gym happen as a result of poor form.
Principle #8: Make time for your workouts.
You’ve more than likely sacrificed this one before, I know I have. It’s tough to make time to workout, primarily when you’re not motivated to do it. But always keep in mind that the stronger you get and the more endurance you have, the better rider you will become.
You can always make the time. And don’t think it has to be 30-minute workouts every day. If you put in 10 minutes every other day into your rider fitness routine, you’re still doing something. And that’s the key, doing something. Use improving your strength and endurance as motivation and go out there and make it happen!
If you have any questions or anything to add, please leave them in the comments or on our FaceBook page!