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Speed Pyramids: A Key Motocross Workout

by Robb Beams


Racer Benefit: The ability to maintain fast lap times at the end of a moto.

Robb worked with Kyle Chisholm back when he was on 250's.

photo: Tim Crytser

Workout Overview:
One of the most common mistakes that riders run into as racers is always maintaining one speed while on the track. In the performance world, we refer to this as a speed rut. Your body needs to experience the various levels of speed both at a physical and a mental level. You may have already experienced this as a racer when you feel yourself going through a section faster than you ever have, you come off of the track feeling mentally spent more so than physical. This makes sense because your body is actually using less muscle and less energy because you are completing the element smoother; however, your brain has to process all of the elements at a new speed, hence the fatigued feeling. This workout will address both the physical as well as the mental aspects of increasing your speed as your body begins to face fatigue. One of the strongest elements that you can add to your racing program is "teaching" yourself to go faster as the moto transpires, not slow down.

Notes: do not complete this workout unless you have received a letter of approval from your doctor and have a solid aerobic base! If necessary, to stay safe, cut the sprint duration from 15 minutes down to 10 minutes.

Warm up for 10 minutes by completing one of the following:
Turning track (both directions)
Bike on Stationary Trainer:
Steady for 5-minutes at easy pace followed by 5-minutes of 30-second higher intensity intervals
Concept 2 Rower:
Steady for 5-minutes at easy pace followed by 5-minutes of 30-second higher intensity intervals.

After 10 minutes, stretch from head to toe feeling for any hot spots and paying extra attention to these areas. Top off your glycogen reserves as necessary prior to beginning Block #1. I recommend Hammer Nutrition's HEED isotonic drink for glycogen depletion within the muscles and the liver prior to exercise (especially high intensity).

Additional Stretching Articles
Warm up and Stretching
Stretch to the Top
Race Week Prep and Pre-Race Warmup

Block #1 - 15-minute Sprint Set
Based on 1-minute lap times (adjust accordingly); complete 15-minutes at the fastest pace you can without riding over your head! Look ahead and stay relaxed - you are teaching your head to process things quicker than ever before. You will be surprised how fatigued you get mentally and how it translates to muscular fatigue. Document lap times if possible for comparison purposes for Block #2.

Rest 10-minutes: stretch and re-hydrate as needed; visualize what you are going to be working on to maintain your sprint speed as you go into Block #2.

Block #2 - 15-minute Sprint Set
Hold your pace from Block #1 - hold yourself accountable here! If you were able to have your laps timed, compare the lap times to see how consistent you were from Block #1 to Block #2. Remember, this intensity is intended to push your brain's ability to process faster speeds.

Rest 10-minutes - stretch and re-hydrate as needed; determine what you are going to be working on to maintain your fast tempo speed as you go into Block #3.

Block #3 - 20-minutes: Fast Tempo (You need to be aerobic during these laps)
Back your intensity down slightly from Blocks #1 and #2 and settle into a comfortable pace. Your goal is to teach your body to stay relaxed and smooth! You were holding onto a faster pace for 10-minutes during blocks 1 and 2, this should feel comfortable AND fast.

Block #4 - Turning Drills (15-minutes to the right/15-minutes to the left)
Work your turns both to the right and left; let your emphasis be on your transition from being on the gas to dropping into the seated/turning position - the later the better. Keep a mental emphasis on your outside knee pushing into the turn and the inside knee pushing up against the radiator shroud. Feel for you core muscles keeping the center of gravity low throughout the corner.

Warm down with a 10 minute free ride (nothing structured or intense (less than 40% effort). Gradually decreasing the intensity so that you bring the HR down slowly before dismounting and passively stretching; consume 8 - 10 ounces of a cold isotonic drink while completing your stretching.

Additional Practice Articles
Practice Track Training by Coach Seiji
How to Practice Motocross by Aldon Baker is a premium resource center for motocross, supercross and GNCC riders of all abilities and ages. The website outlines the MotoE Performance Training programs available to racers for 2010 - such as those used with great success by X-Games and 2 time WMA Champion Ashley Fiolek, Mini O's 2009 Champion Ian Trettel & Loretta Lynn National Champion Adam Cianciarulo and numerous off road racers.

Additional resources available include the MotoE Performance Training Facility in Haines City, Florida, eBooks on various human performance elements and online instructional videos. To discuss your current program or have a new one developed for you; feel free to contact Robb Beams at or 407.701.7586 directly.

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
    matthew August 07, 2014 at 3:38 am

    how much time resting between block 3 and 4?

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  3. Gravatar
    Brandon Marley September 15, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    How would approach getting better sprint fitness for Supercross?

  4. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer October 17, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Brandon, I would approach sprint fitness for Supercross the same way as motocross. Supercross is way more technical, so be prepared for some large variations in lap times as compared to motocross. If Supercross is new to you, you can also shorten the time of the sessions until your skill level matches your speed. This will happen when lap times are closer with very little variation. Thanks!

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