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Standardized Fitness Test - Motocross Specific

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 out there. 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 to ride a bike around a little track. 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.

The test is pretty simple and consists of 4 common exercises that any one 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. For you Crossfitters out there, I know this flies in the face of what you normally do, but please humor me and follow the testing protocol as described. think of it as your WOD. WOD = Work Out of the Day for those of you unfamiliar with Crossfit.

Testing Protocol

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

  1. Do as many wide grip hanging pull-ups as you can in 2-minutes. No kipping (sorry cross-fitters) 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. Do as many 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, stand up, or do whatever if you need a break but record the max number of push-ups in 2-minutes.
  3. 1000 meter row on Concept2. Record average watts obtained over 1000 meters. Divide avg. watts by your weight (in kilograms) to calculate your score. Alternate Exercise: Record your fastest time for a 1 mile run.
  4. 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 5-minute breaks in between exercises. Okay.....let's do this!

My Numbers from 1/30/12

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 3.5 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!

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

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.....just shut up and do the test!

NameAgeSexHeightWeight (lbs)Pull-upsPush-upsRow (watts/kg)sit-ups1 mile run
Kelly Winters 31 f 5'2" 105 4 57 2.94 60 -
(Husband) Winters 28 m 5'8" 145 14 40 3.62 36 -
Cody Vanbuskirk 17 m 10 50 - 42 6:08
Chris Brunholzl 41 m 5'9" 160 12 40 2.97 45 -
Matt m 54 116 - 72 -
Brett 29 m 6' 220 12 60 - 65 -
DJ 34 m 5'10" 162 29 80 1.89 66 -
Jason 34 m 5'10" 157 20 75 1:51 avg pace/1000m 72 -
John Helmsley 38 m 6' 190 8 58 3.57 46
Brandon 22 m 5'6" 135 16 71 48

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
    Sean January 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    What kind of numbers are we looking for?

  2. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer January 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    We are looking for your best! I'll go out on a limb and say that this will set the bar...
    25 pullups
    100 push ups
    1:30 avg. pace on rower (not sure what wattage that is)
    75 situps

    But that is purely a guess.

  3. Gravatar
    Dave February 01, 2012 at 3:33 am

    So obviously the row is to be done flat out as hard as you can?

  4. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer February 01, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Dave - Only if you want to post your best time :)

  5. Gravatar
    Brandon February 01, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Age 22, Height 5'6'', Weight 135 lb
    16 Pullups
    71 Pushups
    (Wish I had a rower)
    48 situps

  6. Gravatar
    Toneconsultant February 02, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I can match any numbers Steve Matthes can produce. Since Aldon Baker is his trainer and RV is his training partner, I think I'm good.

  7. Gravatar
    John Helmsley February 02, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Age - 38, Height - 6' 0", Weight 190 lbs
    pull ups - 8
    push ups - 58
    rower - 308 watts (@3:31)
    sit ups - 46

  8. Gravatar
    Jason February 02, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Age - 34, Height - 5' 10" Weight 157lbs
    pull ups - 20
    push ups - 75
    rower - 1:51 avg pace/1000m
    sit ups - 72

  9. Gravatar
    Jeff B February 02, 2012 at 6:23 pm


    As a Crossfiter (I compete as well), and a moto rider...If you can row a 1,000m at a 1:30 are an absolute beast. That is tough to do even for top tier Crossfiters....A 3min 1k row is impressive.

  10. Gravatar
    Pelotrain February 03, 2012 at 8:17 am


    I agree with Jeff, 1:30 for 1000m on a rower? Sounds pretty impossible if I look at the numbers guys I work with push out and they push some solid numbers.

    Im gonna need another $20 bet for that time!


  11. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer February 03, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I agree a 1:30 for 1000 meters is a great piece. That's why it will be the standard if anyone does it. I'll bet Greg Direnzo or Clint Friesen at MTF can do it.

    And I'm surprised you guys glossed over the 25 pulls and 100 pushes! The dude (or beast) who puts this all together will be my friend for sure!

  12. Gravatar
    tnat1 February 03, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    So is there chart to gauge where you stand for your age? How do you get a baseline where yous stand?

  13. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer February 03, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    tnat1 - We will create a chart with enough user input. Your baseline is YOUR result!

  14. Gravatar
    DJ February 03, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Age 34, Height-5'10", Weight-162
    pull ups-29
    push ups-80
    rower-avg watts 139 for a score of 1.89 level 8 on rower (at altitude +5800 ft)

  15. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer February 03, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Wow DJ...29 pullups is studly! Must be the light air :)

  16. Gravatar
    Brett February 03, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    6', 220 lbs 29 years old.
    Pulls ups , 12
    sit ups, 65
    push ups, 60.

    I'm working pushups a lot these days though. Shooting for 100.

  17. Gravatar
    Matt February 04, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Pull-Ups- 54
    Push-Ups- 116 in a minute
    Sit-Ups- 72 in a minute

    I perform these tests regularly for my job. I also competitively race XC MTB and ride moto for the mental processing speed for the technical sections. These strength numbers will drop off as soon as I complete the base period for training and develop my endurance and lactate threshold.

    I find these strength exercises make a big difference with bike handling skills, but the endurance side is still the primary focus of training. It really just depends on what stage of your training you are in. This is why you must have a regimented schedule as I am sure many of the riders contract with trainers to hold them to it.

  18. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer February 04, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Matt - Not calling you out or anything, but man I would love to see those numbers on video! 54 pullups??? That is ReDonkulous!

  19. Gravatar
    Kris February 04, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I think squats should have been included in this wod.

  20. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer February 06, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Air Squats for sure but we decided to just go with what we had.

  21. Gravatar
    Chris Brunholzl February 08, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    pull-ups: 12
    push-ups: 40
    1000 meters: 3:58 (215.3 total watts)
    sit-ups: 45

    I'm 41 years old, 5'9" and 160 lbs.

    I haven't been exercising much since probably August 2010, but it's time to get back to it! Thanks for the motivation!

  22. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer February 09, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Awesome Chris. Welcome back on the road to being fit.

    Received these numbers from our friend Drew Whitehead -
    Cody Vanbuskirk - Age 17
    B Rider - Best moto 8th @ LL in 2011 250B

    Coming off shoulder surgery in oct. 11. He's been back on the program in the gym for 6 weeks. Working on strength currently.

    Pull ups 10
    Push ups 50
    mile 6:08
    butterflys 42

  23. Gravatar
    Zak February 09, 2012 at 6:49 am

    I think you should see if you can get some of the top guys to do it, RV, Dunge, Stewie and Reed. Would be cool to see how they stack up!

  24. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer February 09, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Requests have already been sent!

  25. Gravatar
    Kelly Winters February 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Just got done! My husband and I did it together so I'll post both our info. My husband never works out "formally" but he does enjoy a lot of outdoor sports like motocross and mountain biking. I workout 5 times a week as well as do atv motocross and mountain bike.

    Me: Age: 31 Height: 5'2" Weight: 105lbs Female
    Pullups: 4
    Pushups: 57
    Row: 2.94 watts/kg
    Situps: 60

    Husband: Age: 28 Height: 5'8" Weight: 145

    Pullups: 14
    Pushups: 40
    Row: 3.62 watts/kg
    Situps: 36

  26. Gravatar
    Chris Lauro March 02, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I'm an amateur motocross racer from Rhode Island and have been training hard for the past few months,just coming off an ACL injury/surgery and heres what I got!

    Age: 15 Height 5'10" Weight 180 Male

    Pullups: 10
    Push ups: 70
    Row: 3.18 watts/kg
    Sittups: 65

  27. Gravatar
    Chris Lauro March 02, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Oops! hit the wrong # key for pushups. I did 60, not 70!

  28. Gravatar
    Jeff December 26, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Is it close grip or wide grip on the chin ups

  29. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer December 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Jeff, in this test use a wider grip. Normally pullups are wide grip and chin ups are close grip.

  30. Gravatar
    Tommy Gunn July 14, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Fitness has not changed in the last 30 years, in that Nike said it the best, you just got to do it. It's very simple, most people think they have the next fitness secret, or they are the next fitness guru, I turned down training Buba Stewart 10 years ago. I worked with Arthur Jones the inventor of Nautilus Fitness Equipment, and we produced the very first collection of training. I still have the original training book from 1970 all of it still being used today. I know that most of the trainers have no clue on what they are doing, as they just regurgitate what they read, or what they have been told. Most of the info on Virtual Trainer is good. One day when you get about 30 years experience you will realize that no one really knows what they are talking about. You just have to do what makes sense to you for your particular situation, and Racer X is the best source for valid fitness information. Great job guys keep up the good work !

  31. Gravatar
    STEVE CARNEGIE July 14, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Age: 46 Height: 5'11" Weight: 240 lbs Male
    Pullups: 19
    Pushups: 34
    Situps: 48
    ONE MILE RUN: 6:13
    My Fat A*@ need to lose weight!!!!

  32. Gravatar
    Matt Z July 14, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Who the fuk is Matt? 54 pull ups? lol Dude is a beast!

  33. Gravatar
    reality July 15, 2013 at 4:08 am

    i was in the marines and the thing that always make me shake my head is when i see guys in moto just cranking out like 20 to forty fifty pull ups. for our fitness test 20 was considered perfect and really ive never seen anyone do way more than that. as far as the other exercises not really anything standing way out for me but man to crank out way over twenty pullups is quite a feat i mean if your very light i can def see it happening but man i used to get anywhere from 15 to 20 but i am a broader individual and not skinny , but still moto guys are def the best fit athletes in my opinion for sure

  34. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer July 15, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I agree on the pullups. Anything over 12 is pretty darn good. Over 25 and you are def in a league of your own.

  35. Gravatar
    Chris B. July 15, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Chris B.
    Age: 30
    Height: 5'11"
    Weight: 172 lbs
    Pullups: 12
    Pushups: 51
    Situps: 62
    One Mile run: 6:25

  36. Gravatar
    Motoxdoc July 15, 2013 at 11:52 am

    I see a lot of liars here! 116 push ups in 60 secs? A 1000 meter row in 90 secs.? Common people, shouldn't you be calling the guiness book of world records? Lmao

  37. Gravatar
    Lewis517 July 15, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Has this "standardized test" been validated? Does it show similar physiological responses to an actual moto? Why a 5 minute break for a standardized test that is suppose to give some meassure of fitness related to racing I'm assuming (this test and its relevance to a particular aspect of motocross was not defined)? 2-3 minutes is all that is truly needed to recover from what is a series of truly anaerobic tests, spaced out in a manner that doesn't tax the anaerobic-lactic system near the extent that it is actually used in the sport or the aerobic system that is fundamentally required to flush the body of lactic build up during exercise and also supply a great deal of energy for each moto, considering it is in all honestly an intermittent high-intensity sport (no rider maintains 100% output all moto long; they rise and fall over 30 minute moto).

  38. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer July 16, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Lewis - No this test has not been "validated". The underlying purpose is to get guys to do some form of testing so they can measure the results of their training and compare how they stack up against other riders. Nothing more....nothing less.

    And as the article states: 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.

  39. Gravatar
    Ryan S July 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Wow what a bunch of crap there is no way you guys are doing 50 pull ups, what a joke. It's pretty easy to put up some big numbers when no one is counting.

  40. Gravatar
    Ryan S July 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Oh and a 1k row at 1:30 is impossible for anyone. The world record for 500m row is something like 1:16. I'm surprised you didn't say you ran the mile in under 3 min as well.

  41. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer July 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Ryan - You misunderstood what I meant when I said "1:30 avg. pace". I didn't say 1:30 total pace. I said AVERAGE PACE. Way different.

    And 50 pullups while rare, is not impossible. Someone post a video so we can see how its done!

  42. Gravatar
    Ryan S July 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Even at 1:30 average which is 500m split time I assume you are referring to so 1:30 average gives you a 3 minute 1000 which is dang close to the world record. I'm still calling BS.

  43. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer July 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Not sure where you see someone claimed to row a 1:30 pace. Maybe I missed it. I referred to 1:30 as the time that would set the bar.

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