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Thread: Training for dirt bike racing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

    Default Training for dirt bike racing

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    Hi all. I've read and used SS before (4 or 5 years ago) with great success in getting stronger. I'm currently 6' tall and 175lbs. Last time I ran the program I got up to 210lbs, which is significant as I'm the type who struggles to eat enough. I was running the GOMAD diet at the time but it seems like nobody here is doing that anymore.

    To get to the point, I need to get stronger but don't want to get much heavier because it is a huge detriment to my dirt bike racing. Is there any point in running SS again? I'm inclined to run it with microloading for slower progression without spiking my body fat and weight, and keep eating my normal diet. If SS isn't the answer, do you have any other programming suggestions?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    New York, NY


    Since you haven't done SS for years, you will be detrained. Part of that loss of strength will be neuromuscular detraining and you can get this back without adding bulk. So, yes, you should start up SS again with a basic NLP. No need to micro load from the start. If you aren't eating well and doing other activity (biking) that will bring the progress to a slow on its own. Given this, I would run the program out as much as you can and just monitor your weight and performance.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnySarge View Post

    ...To get to the point, I need to get stronger but don't want to get much heavier because it is a huge detriment to my dirt bike racing.
    What size bike are you racing? I can’t imagine a strong 200 lb rider being at any sort of disadvantage compared to a 170lb rider on a 450 or even a 250. If you are racing a 125 maybe the weight puts you at a disadvantage, maybe.

    To put it another way, if two riders are equally “fast” and the bikes are equal, in anything longer than a five minute race, the stronger and consequently heavier guy wins.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2020


    I race dirt bikes and I also do the Starting Strength program. I started SSLP last fall directly after knee surgery (partial menisectomy). I was 168 lbs. at 6'00" tall and was also worried about gaining too much weight affecting my racing.
    I decided to forget everything else I was doing for training (running, cycling, crossfit style workouts) and do exactly what Rippetoe says about getting strong by doing the lifts and getting conditioning by practicing my sport.
    I performed the novice program through the winter months and started riding practice twice a week as the weather warmed. When I got on the bike in Feb. after not riding for 4 months I was 190 lbs. I was faster and I was able to go faster longer than before. As race season started I had to go to a intermediate program as three heavy days per week did not allow enough recovery for a 2 hour race on Sunday. Lifting on Monday had to be reduced to allow for some recovery from the race on Sunday.
    Now I basically try to get one heavy day in the middle of the week and lighter days on Monday and Friday. I try to ride two, 2 hour practice sessions a week also. At this point I am no longer doing the program but I am maintaining the strength that was gained during the off season. At the end of race season I will start over on the Novice LP.
    Starting Strength has worked for me better than anything else I have tried.
    By the way I race harescrambles on a 125 and am still competitive in the B class 30-40 year old group. Not fast but not slow either.


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