Why Motocross Riders need a Strong Aerobic Base

Many athletes do not understand the importance of having a well conditioned aerobic system. I am amazed at how many times I have heard “Why do I need to train aerobically when my sport is mostly anaerobic?”

My response to these athletes is simple. Aerobic training is the foundation for all other types of training to follow: power; strength; anaerobic training. Think of aerobic training as your base which you build upon. The larger the base, the greater you will be able to build. You will be able to train and compete harder and longer without fatiguing and feeling like your legs are on fire. Why? Because you have increased your anaerobic threshold level.

What is “anaerobic threshold?”
Your Anaerobic Threshold (AT level) or Lactate Threshold is the point where lactate (lactic acid) begins to accumulate in the blood stream. This is when you start to feel the burning and heaviness in the muscle and exercise soon stops. At low exercise intensities (aerobic training), the body produces lactate but it doesn’t build up because your body is able to remove the lactate at the same rate it is being produced.

How does training aerobically help during a moto?
With proper aerobic training your body will become very efficient at using and distributing oxygen to the working muscles and your AT level will continue to increase. This means you will be able to work your body at higher intensities (i.e. higher heart rate) for longer periods of time before you start to feel fatigue and burning in your muscles.

How does training aerobically help in between motos?
Another benefit of a solid aerobic base is quicker recovery times. There are two types of recovery, the fast component and the slow component. During light activity (aerobic workouts) the body only uses the fast component of recovery where oxygen consumption is replaced within a few minutes and the body is back to its steady state. During strenuous exercise or after a race where you have produced lactate and your body temperature has increased exponentially, the fast recovery phase occurs and a second phase of recovery exists termed slow component. Depending on the duration and intensity of the exercise the slow component may take up to 24 hours to reach pre exercise oxygen consumption in the muscles. Aerobic training accelerates the rate of recovery, allowing well conditioned athletes to perform multiple motos in a day or a weekend and still excel.

During the pre-season and on-season, most riders want to spend their time on the track making long sessions in the gym are unrealistic. When training in the gym during these phases, you should be moving from one exercise to the next with little recovery in between each exercise. If you have not built your aerobic base properly during the off-season you will will not be able to perform your workouts at the intensity required to be effective.


Need a motocross training program that includes both strength and aerobic conditioning?
Check out the thinkMX Motocross Strength & Conditioning Training Program

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

ERROR: si-captcha.php plugin says GD image support not detected in PHP!

Contact your web host and ask them why GD image support is not enabled for PHP.

ERROR: si-captcha.php plugin says imagepng function not detected in PHP!

Contact your web host and ask them why imagepng function is not enabled for PHP.