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Motocross Fitness Test

by Racer X Virtual Trainer


Guys (and girls) who race motocross from the D class to the pros know one thing for certain; racing motocross is as physically demanding as any sport. Training in the sport of motocross has come a long way in the past 5 - 10 years as what the top guys do off the bike has become just as interesting as the racing itself. Back in the day, running was the standard protocol for those who cared to train. As more trainers got involved in the sport and websites like Virtual Trainer bring training to the forefront, other forms of training gained traction and soon running shoes were replaced with road bikes, mountain bikes, rowers, and even the sport of CrossFit. But no matter how popular training for motocross has become in the racer's mind, main stream stick and ball types still don't think it takes much athleticism or effort to ride a bike around a little track. After all the bike does all the work, right? To level the playing field, so to speak, Virtual Trainer in conjunction with Coach Seiji created the following Standardized Fitness Test as a benchmark for the Motocross athlete.

Since neither maximum strength nor pure endurance is required for motocross, this test is set up with the idea of measuring mid-range muscular endurance.

The test is pretty simple and consists of 4 common exercises that any athlete can do. Since neither maximum strength nor pure endurance (think marathons) is required for motocross, this test is set up with the idea of measuring mid-range muscular endurance. With that in mind, the test is aimed at measuring maximum output for each exercise as opposed to the cumulative effect of stringing all the exercises together. With that said, it is important that complete recovery is obtained after each exercise. 10-minutes is typically enough time to recover. Take longer if needed.

Ryan Dungey, Marvin Musquin, and new to the Baker's Factory team, Gautier Paulin training at a gym somewhere in Florida....

Photo: Aldon Baker

Testing Protocol

10-minute warm up (do what ever you want to warm, skip rope, row, stationary bike, etc.)

  1. After a thorough warm up, do as many wide grip hanging pull-ups as you can in 2-minutes. No kipping (sorry CrossFitters) and you cannot let go of the bar. You can rest all you want by hanging but once you let go of the bar you are done. A rep only counts if your chin clears the bar on top and your arms are fully extended on the bottom.
  2. After a complete recovery period, do as many hands-off push-ups as you can in 2-minutes. For a push-up to count, you must touch your chest to the floor while lifting your hands off the ground. The only way to lift your hands is if your chest is on the floor! You can rest, stretch or stand up if you need a break but record the max number of push-ups in 2-minutes.
  3. After a complete recovery period, row 1000 meters on the Concept2 rower. Record the average watts obtained over 1000 meters. Divide average watts by your weight (in kilograms) to calculate your score. Alternate Exercise: Record your fastest time for a 1 mile run.
  4. After a complete recovery period, do as many Butterfly sit ups as you can in 2-minutes. You must touch the floor in front of you when you come up and touch the floor behind/above your head when you go back down.
Take 10-minute breaks in between exercises. Okay.....let's do this!

1000 meters on a Concept2 rower may not sound like much but do it to exhaustion and you will understand why we added it to the test. The Concept2 Ski Erg looms in the background.

Photo: Aldon Baker

Take the Test and put your numbers in the comments below!

Remove the Guesswork

At Virtual Trainer, we believe there is a right way to train for motocross. It starts with having a clear goal, finding expert instruction (on and off the bike), performing structured training and receiving immediate feedback throughout the process. Coach Seiji (Andrew Short's longtime trainer) has teamed up with Virtual Trainer to offer our audience an exclusive motocross community geared towards improving your performance on and off the track. The community offers motocross specific training plans designed by one of the best – to help you achieve your best performance. This is literally a one-of-a-kind training and conditioning experience for you, the motocross athlete.

Disclaimer: I am fully aware of the fact that this test has nothing to do with how fast you actually are on the track or a predictor of performance. It's just for fun and a way to create a little competition. I am also 100% aware that to truly test an MX athlete, flexibility, reaction speed, hand-eye coordination, etc. etc. would need to be measured. So.....shut up and do the test!

My Numbers from 1/30/12 and 12/31/15

Age 44, Height 6', Weight 190 lbs
Pull ups 10 Fell off after 55 seconds
Push ups 53 Took to complete failure - Could not do any more
Row 3.48 watts/kg.
300 avg./watts divided by 86.18 kg
Sit ups 46 Took to complete failure - Could not do any more
100 meter Ski Erg 19 sec. Man test for bonus!
Age 48, Height 6', Weight 188 lbs
Pull ups
Fell off after a minute and 5 seconds
Push ups
Took to complete failure - Could not do any more
Row 3.64 watts/kg.
310 avg./watts divided by 85.28 kg
100 meter Ski Erg 16 sec.

1 mile run
Completed on an outdoor high school track

As you can see from my numbers above, I have maintained my fitness quite well over the past four years. The two biggest factors accounting for my fitness are dropping two pounds and consistency in training. Two pounds my not sound like a lot but when you consider the fact that the amount of fat I've lost has been replaced by lean muscle, the results are significant. I've also battled through a major back injury (not racing related) and my 14 year old daughter (who I train) is a very good track and cross country athlete which keeps my training consistent. I may be uglier than 4 years ago but I'm certainly fitter. I'll take that all day and twice on Sunday!

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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  1. Gravatar
    Kyle December 31, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Weight: 160 lbs Height 5'6"
    Pull ups 22
    Push ups 63
    Row 3.71watts/kg 270 avg.
    Sit ups 69

    Stopped racing year and a half ago so I'm starting to try and put more muscle on the last 6 months so my endurance isn't very good at this time. Since I started doing crossfit style workouts after my time away from the sport, I have increased my maxes all around, especially in my legs.
    Thanks for the test challenge! That's what I really love about crossfit, the competitive aspect of posting everyone's score and seeing where you stack up. Ultimately, it's you, against yourself but having people to push you and strive against makes it fun. Let's see the Baker's boys' numbers!

  2. Gravatar
    Geoff December 31, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Good little workout test!
    17 pull ups
    40 push-ups
    52 sit ups
    And I'm dead...

  3. Gravatar
  4. Gravatar
    DJ January 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    38 years old
    5'10", 155 lbs

    29 pull ups
    55 push ups
    2.20 watts (at a mile high, I live in Denver. This was the hardest part for me. I started strong and slowed down at 500m. What level do you set the rower? I was on level 10 and I feel my average is lower than it should be?)
    69 sit ups

  5. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer January 22, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Great job DJ. I'd love to see those pull kipping right? That is a very impressive number.

    As for the rower setting, do not think of the resistance setting like you would true resistance. Think of the resistance setting the same as you would a gear on a bicycle. The "resistance" on the rower goes away as you come up to speed. This is exactly the same as a bike. As you go faster and your legs spin out of control you pick a higher gear to raise the "resistance". But as your speed picks up, the resistance goes away. True resistance does not go away. Make sense?? So the "resistance" you choose on the rower has nothing to do with how much power you can produce compared to another person. The only thing that matters is how fast you can row a certain distance. Just like cycling.

    Great job on the test!

  6. Gravatar
    Jack stanford January 24, 2016 at 2:48 am

    I am 12 years old and I was woundering If I should do this test everyday to get fit for racing do u think it would be fine?

  7. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer January 25, 2016 at 10:48 am

    No, do not do this test everyday. You cannot get fit for motocross by going as hard as you can everyday. If you are serious about motocross, check with your mom and dad and see if they will buy you a subscription to the Virtual Training premium training. Have them contact me directly if they have any questions.

  8. Gravatar
    Zaiden Lawrence January 25, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Was just wondering I am 12 yrs old and i ride a yamaha 80(my first year riding it on the circuit) which is the best workout program for me?

  9. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer January 28, 2016 at 8:45 am

    The best thing you can do is ride as much as possible. Get a gym membership and hire a personal trainer to teach you how to do basic exercises. Once you have learned proper form, I highly suggest you ask your parents to buy the premium training plan on the site. Thanks and good luck!

  10. Gravatar
    DJ February 04, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    No kipping, I promise. I do a lot of pull ups in my regular workouts. Weighted, non-weighted, chin-ups, etc. so pull ups are one of my strengths.

  11. Gravatar
    Michael March 06, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I would like to do this test but don't have a rowing machine, is there an exercise that can replace this?

  12. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer March 07, 2016 at 6:29 am

    Michael - Like the article says, "Alternate Exercise: Record your fastest time for a 1 mile run." Good luck :)

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    Keith Weidner December 24, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    At age 49, I'm having a hard time finding the energy & time to train. I had a knee surgery in June(tibia plateau fracture (6 screws and a plate). After the injury just mustering the energy to work has been difficult. Seems loosing the muscle mass in my upper leg has mentally and physically drained me. Until then I felt my racing performance was the best in 5 years. Now I can't run or jump yet. Can you help?

  14. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer December 29, 2016 at 3:45 am

    Our online training plans may be exactly what you are looking for. They are very inexpensive and the first month is always free. The good thing about an online training plan is that you receive an email each day telling you exactly what to do. Receiving direction each day can help motivate you to train. Good luck and thanks for reading!

  15. Gravatar
    Sidney April 19, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    So in addition to your numbers and those provided by comments, what are the chances of seeing some numbers set by a main event level pro?

    Just kinda to see where the weekend warrior such as myself stands.


  16. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer April 27, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I've asked for years to get these guys to do the fitness test. So far no takers. I think they are scared LOL.

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