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Training on a Budget

by Joel Younkins


It is no secret that the world of offroad racing is a lot less glamorous than its counterpart supercross/motocross. Racer's do not fly to races on private jet's and have their own reality shows. When attending a GNCC event, and looking at the hundreds of riders that head to the starting line, you need to realize that almost every rider has a full time job when they return home. Very few will ever have the opportunity to race offroad as a career.

So with that, I understand that most racer's may not have the chance to work with a personal trainer who understands racing and the demands of the sport, or even have a gym available to him or her. And when shopping for your own equipment to train at home, it may become a little discouraging to see some of the prices of exercise equipment. The purpose of this article is to show some of the best ways to save some money while providing yourself with equipment that can help you reach full potential.

TRX - This will be the most expensive piece of equipment on this list. But it will be for good reasons. I have never used the other suspension training systems like the Jungle Gym or Blast Straps that are sold at lower cost than the TRX. But with the TRX system, it is a great tool to have as a dirt bike racer. First and foremost it focuses on relative strength using gravity and body weight to determine the intensity which is an essential aspect to work on for racing dirt bikes. Other benefits from the TRX are, core strength, joint stability, flexibility, and the TRX is easy to travel as it slips into a small bag. This may be the best $189 you may ever spend!

Foam Roller - This is the poor man's massage. This is a great tool to help lengthen muscles and your fascia system which will help improve flexibility and will also help reduce injuries. You should not have to spend anymore than $50 on a foam roller.

Resistance Bands - There are many different types of resistance bands on the market, but the type I am talking about are not the cords (which are great) but are shaped like a giant rubber band. With these, anyone can perform many different kinds strength exercises. But that's not it, stretching, running, prehab, and rehab can all be performed with resistance bands. The key is learning how to properly use them. You can find them in all different sizes but usually a couple of mini bands and a regular size band will get the job done for most athletes.

Medicine & Stability Balls - Great tools for core strength and stability. But core development isn't just it, lower and upper body workout can be incorporated with both of these. With both being sold for reasonable prices, it is hard to go wrong with these two as they can create many different uses and workouts.

Tires and Sledge Hammers -  To help develop core strength, explosive strength, and work capacity, tires and sledge hammers can be another dynamic duo to help save the wallet and get multiple uses. The cool thing is you can usually find used tires from earth moving equipment for free! You just need to contact a tire yard and they will give their used tire's away usually at no cost. I just suggest you pick a tire out that will be the right size and still in somewhat decent condition. All you will need to spend is money on a sledge hammer if you don't have one already.

Tape -  Yes tape! Duct tape, athletic tape, anything to your preference. Tape is great to use for setting up agility drills and can even be used for testing and measuring different movements.

Jump Rope - Taking it back old school here. For under $10, jump ropes are great tools for a simple warm up, circuit style training, or a cardiovascular workout. Jump ropes are another tool that is great for traveling. Whether you use it in a hotel room or before you head to the starting line to help warm up, it is a great tool!

Body Weight - Last but not least, the cheapest piece of equipment that you can take anywhere is your body weight! It is free and just think off the top of your head of how many different body weight exercises that can be performed. Pushups, squats, lunges, burpees,  planks, jumping jacks, and the list goes on and on!

From the whole list of tools that I have shown you, which is more than enough, you should be able to keep the price of this list under $400. With all of this, that is still hundreds of dollars cheaper than any cardio or weight machine. Now that we see there are ways of saving money on workout equipment that can be helpful and even very convenient, take these ideas and try to utilize them into which you may find helpful. Hope this helps for the people who are looking to train on their own or people who like to train on the own already. is a great place to learn how to use these pieces of equipment and program your own workouts!

About the Author: Joel Younkins Training is dedicated to training and improving not only motocross racers but all athletes and general public as well. After ending his college football career early with a back injury, Joel returned back to the sport of racing in which his father Gary Younkins (Multiple 6 Days Gold Winner) created Joel's passion for the sport. Joel is now involved in training racer's to help improve performance. He works with GNCC racer's Jason Thomas (XC2  Pro Lites) and quad rider Mark Notman (XC1 Pro) as well as training Mike Boggia (Pro Vet Motocross Racer). Follow on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.

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
    Kevin August 11, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Good advise, I pretty much have all of those at my house and incorporate them into my workouts from home!

    Another good piece of equipment is Power Blocks, which are a good alternative for dumbells. They aren't too hard on the bank account, plus they can be stored much easier than a full set of dumbells can.

  2. Gravatar
    Racer X Virtual Trainer August 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Love the Powerblock but I didn't realize they had a kettlebell attachment. Thats awesome!

  3. Gravatar
    Brad Willis August 16, 2011 at 5:41 am

    why is there no mention of P90X or Insanity? Both are fantastic MX programs that are easy to follow and provide awesome results!!

  4. Gravatar
    Joel Younkins August 16, 2011 at 8:15 am

    @Brad- I'm not even sure where to begin with this...The makers of these programs are designed to take out of shape people and put them on an intense training routine to help someone gain a "beach body." Now when training for motocross or any other sports, will a beach body help you win or will a sport specific program help you win? Just because a workout program can be difficult and it may work (and let alone be safe) for some people who stick to it, does not mean it will carry over to athletics. If you yourself or other people find these workouts helpful for riding, well it is most likely due to the effect of needing to be on a general training program to start. Now I cannot go on too much about the P90X or Insanity because I never done either, but jobs of trainers are not meant to put people on other people's programs either. We like to create our own through science and can even consider it an art form to some extend through everyone's training style.

  5. Gravatar
    Joel Younkins August 16, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Brad I was thinking, if you enjoy doing the P90X or Insanity workouts and want to try to tailor it more towards motocross in the future when you are looking to progress your training, research some other trainers and articles. You might find that the same high intensity training can be used to train more specifically for your sport. All in all it's great to see people taking accountability for their health and fitness! Hope this can help answer some questions and understanding of both types of workouts :-)

  6. Gravatar
    Van May September 20, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Hey Joel, I'm glad you mentioned "Body Weight", I travel alot and don't have access to a gym or excersise equipment so using my body weight is one of the best ways for me to stay in shap. I'm also going to pick up a large tire to beat up on!

    Thanks for the info!

  7. Gravatar
    Cole Montgomery March 02, 2012 at 9:29 am

    This is great info but i was wondering if the same style of workouts can be transferred to the atv rider. Im just getting into gncc/harescramble racing and i've been hoing to the gym for 3 months now but i'm having trouble picking excersizes other than the same old ones from highschool. Any advice?

  8. Gravatar
    Alex Jaroshevich January 13, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Paleo diet is the best

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