Athletic Training for Race Car Drivers
Many people may not consider race car drivers real athletes, but the fitness training they do and stress their bodies endure tells a much different story.
Jim Leo, founder and president of PitFit Training, says drivers do a lot of fitness training. That training may include everything from cardiovascular and weight training to boxing and MMA fighting to non-conventional methods like tire-flipping and rock climbing.
Leo says the type of training depends on a driver's needs and preferences, but it all can enhance their performance and their response to impact and injury. Certain kinds of training can help a driver's reflexes to prevent a crash or better maneuver a course. Leo says that when toned and conditioned, the muscles in the body can act as armor and lessen the severity of an injury sustained in a crash.
Leo gave the example of Will Power, who was injured in a practice accident in California in 2009, but was able to heal and start the 2010 season where he won the first two races. Once upon a time, his injury would have ended his career.
Leo says it's only been in the last 10- 15 years that fitness training has become the norm among race car drivers, but the results have proved the benefits.