Put Down The Kettlebell, Pick Up A Dirt Bike

The list of high-intensity activities that some men subjugate themselves to in order to burn off calories reads like a list from the Spanish Inquisition. Spinning, rowing, and Pilates all may help you to lose weight, but if you’re going to these gym sessions after eating raw kale and beet juice, you may be wondering if there’s a way to get in shape that’s actually fun. As it turns out, approaching exercise by the “Fun Theory” is one of the best ways to do it. And what could possibly be more fun than riding a dirt bike?

High Intensity, Low Duration

You can talk with a thousand different exercise physiologists and get a thousand different suggestions about the best ways to lose weight. What many agree on, however, is that high intensity, short-duration exercise is beneficial. Burst training engages the super-fast muscle fibers that kick in on a second’s notice, like when you drop a coffee cup and pick it up before it hits the floor, or when you need to balance the instant after you hit the ground from a ramp jump on your dirt bike. Since you get burst-intensity workouts simply by steering and controlling the bike, you burn more calories than if you engaged in moderate exercise (like jogging) for a longer period of time.

Weight And Time

When you want to get the huge muscles of action movie stars and NFL linebackers, the solution is to hit the gym and bench press 200 pounds at a time, right? Wrong. Your body produces muscle in the face of any resistance, even bending over to pick up a pencil. But it can do so at a more efficient rate if done to exhaustion rather than in specific sets. That’s good news for anyone who has ever put on 40-odd pounds of motocross gear, including padded clothing and a helmet. The more you ride your bike in full gear, the sooner your body reaches that all-important exhaustion pace, without ever needing to do dead lifts or squats that can rip your spine out of your back. It leaves your equipment smelling a tad ripe after a long day sweating it out under the pads, but provides results once the day is done.

Mental Concentration And Calories Burned

Pay attention, your teachers told you back in high school, and your brain will appreciate the end result. Your brain not only gets an advantage from cognitive processes, your waistline may as well. There’s no hard count for how many calories it takes to power your mind’s actions (some scientists say as much as 25 percent of your diet) but it is clear that thinking more requires more energy, to the point where a day of hard cognition may burn as many as 200 more calories than a day loafing in front of the TV. That’s the cherry on top of dirt bike exercise, since no other sport demands higher concentration. Dirt bike riders need to constantly pay attention to their own stability, the environment, the bike’s performance, and other riders on the trail. This constant vigilance requires a lot of energy for fuel, meaning that dirt biking can make you smarter as well as trimmer.

Whatcha think?