Motocross Strength Training for Beginners

Never been to the gym? If you do go, do you wonder aimlessly around the gym, randomly using machines? Do you just want a place to start?

This feature for provides a basic, full body strength training program for a true beginner in the weight room. This program is for motocross athletes who have zero or very little experience in the weight room and are looking for a general strength training program. This program can provide a strong base from which to expand your program or specialize it in the future. Only the most basic of equipment is required.

This program was designed with a few assumptions:

  • You are currently injury free and none of your prior injuries will be negatively affected by strength training.
  • You have reached a degree of physical maturity that allows strength training utilizing loads that are possibly greater than body weight.
  • The strength training equipment you will use is properly maintained and safe.
  • Your doctor has deemed you healthy enough to begin a regimented and strenuous resistance training program.

When performing the exercises within this program, you should practice the following:

  • Warm up adequately before strength training by doing the prescribed cardio; cool down afterwards by performing the prescribed stretches.
  • Use perfect form! A repetition does not count unless it is done with proper form. To gain the most from each set, perform each to failure, with failure being described as the inability to perform another repetition with correct from. If you are unsure of the proper form even with the included descriptions, ask a qualified professional! Doing exercises, incorrectly an cause injuries that are not immediately apparent. Get the maximum gain with minimum risk by utilizing correct form.
  • Use a safe and logical progression; what this means is start with the prescribed 20 repetitions for two sets (and thus a lighter load) for a week; then add another set for a few weeks. Then advance to 2 sets of less repetitions (12-15 for example) but heavier loads for a week then add a 3rd set. Continue to a safe load level for your physical maturity/athletic experience and to match your strength training goals.
  • Be smart with how often you lift. Strength training is supplemental exercise: it is done to help your performance on the bike and prevent injury. Avoid getting your priorities confused: don't lift so often that it detracts from your performance goals on the bike.
  • Allow for recovery! Recovery is half the equation. Strength training tears down your muscles; you get stronger if you allow them to recover and adapt. Recovery is what makes you stronger! Lifting actually makes you weaker because of tissue damage and fatigue. This is an important concept to grasp not only for strength training but for training in general.
  • Eat properly! All your hard work will go to waste if you don't give your body what it needs to recover from training. Eat wholesome foods that provide enough energy in the forms of fat and carbohydrate. Provide the building blocks to build new tissue in the form of protein. Stay well hydrated! Research diet so that you can meet your strength training goals and remain healthy and injury free.
  • Make it as enjoyable as possible. Train with friends, be relaxed between sets, treat it as "me time." Switch it up; research strength training yourself or hire a professional to change your program as your body changes. In a properly developed and changed program your weaknesses become strengths and vice versa. Keep challenging yourself by addressing your ever changing weaknesses. Nothing beats riding your dirt bike but making gym training as interesting and enjoyable as possible goes a long way in meeting long term strength training goals.

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Seiji Ishii is the head coach of provides online coaching and personal training services to motorsports athletes. Coach Seiji has worked with both pros and elite amateurs including: Heath Voss, Ryan Clark, Matt Lemoine, Hunter Hewitt, Austin Stroupe, PJ Larsen, Drew Yenerich, Andrew Short and Rusty Potter.