Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.
Staying in Shape for Racing

Staying in Shape for Racing

Posted by Marissa Fajbik on Aug 23rd 2023

Racing a dirt bike is a very physical sport. Many people don't consider how important it is to stay in shape as a racer. While the bike does a lot of the work, you also need to be able to control it and have the endurance to keep up during the race. Whether you're experienced but wish to improve, or you're just getting started- keep reading for tips on taking care of your body in order to get the win!

Keeping up with exercising and taking care of your body is a crucial part of having a successful racing career. Include the following into your lifestyle:

  • Endurance
    • Endurance is a huge part of racing. Activities like bicycle riding, running or swimming can help build endurance that will be beneficial when racing. Bicycling is especially great because it also helps improve balance, another crucial part of being a successful dirt bike racer. These exercises will help keep your heart and lungs strong. Even things like everyday yard work can be great for accomplishing this. Check out this article for more suggestions on exercises to build endurance.
  • Stretching
    • Stretching is another important part of preparing your body. You'll notice racers stretching on the line before dirt bike races to be prepared. Keeping your body loose helps avoid pulled muscles that could prevent you from doing your best. You could stretch on your own every day to keep up or join a class such as yoga. Some people find it more motivating to participate in a group. No matter which you choose, being consistent is key.
  • Weights
    • It's important to be able to lift heavy things when being a dirt bike racer. A lot of adult dirt bikes weigh 200-250 pounds, so you need to be able to maneuver it. For example, if it tipped over you would need to have the strength to pick it back up quickly. For riding, it's most important to have strong core and leg muscles to be able to stand and control your bike. Don't skip your arms though- you want to avoid arm pump as much as possible. Keeping up with this helps avoid exhaustion and keep your eyes on the prize when racing.
  • Rest 
    • On the other hand, resting is another important element of prepping your body for racing. Make sure to take a day or 2 off from intense exercising per week to let your body rest and recover. Check out this article from Nike about resting during weeks of exercise.
  • Eating Habits
    • What you are consuming also plays a big role in racing success. You will be able to keep up better if your body is getting the nutrients it needs. Dirt bike riders should focus on healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and proteins. Fruits and veggies should take up a large portion of what you eat. Many riders like to eat carbs right before a race also. Protein comes in because it's helpful with developing strong muscles.
    • It is important to avoid fast food, alcohol and anything with lots of sugars.

Now that you know how to stay in shape for racing- where do you start? A great way to get started is by joining a gym. Some examples near us are Planet Fitness or Anytime Fitness. Many gyms have classes you can take to learn more about exercise and how to do it correctly. Taking a class with others can also help with motivation. 

Another option would be to hire a personal trainer. Working one on one with a trainer can help you stay focused and get a more personalized experience. One thing to keep in mind when deciding between a gym and a personal trainer is your availability. Many gyms are open all night long, but trainers might only be willing to work during certain times of the day. If you're a busy person, a 24-hour gym might be a better option.

Lastly, the third option would be to do everything on your own. This is another great option for someone who is busy. You could purchase exercise equipment to keep at home and work out whenever you have time. Following along with YouTube videos is an at-home alternative to taking classes at the gym. They can help you stay motivated and learn new exercises or stretches without having to leave your house.

No matter which route you decide, keeping your body healthy is important. Follow these tips to take care of your body and have a successful dirt bike racing career!