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CrossFit Made Ricky Stenhouse a Fitter Nascar Driver

It wasn’t way back that the considered a NASCAR driver working the steps of the Los Angeles Coliseum for train would have been thought of insane. For Ricky Stenhouse Jr., it’s change into one other approach to get an excellent sweat in.

Only a few years in the past, a exercise of this nature would’ve been a tough no for Stenhouse. The motive force of the No. 47 Chevrolet for JTG Daugherty Racing had at all times completed his personal exercises right here and there, even doing a little coaching with the pit crew when he was at Roush Fenway Racing to assist construct crew camaraderie.

In 2014, he began accompanying his buddies to CrossFit exercises and instantly fell in love with the aggressive facet. He even met CrossFit legend Wealthy Froning and the 2 grew to become buddies. Froning started sending him some exercises and even hooked him up with Rogue Health, which outfitted the CrossFit gymnasium Stenhouse had constructed on his property in North Carolina.

“I appreciated the extraordinary, beat-the-clock form of exercises,” mentioned Stenhouse. “I discovered quite a lot of actions that I by no means had integrated in my exercises earlier than.”

Whereas Ricky Stenhouse was bodily in a position to deal with the bodily and psychological rigors that include being a driver, he knew there was one other degree he might attain and that’s precisely why he reached out to coach and founding father of Second 2 None Health Ryan Von Rueden.

James Gilbert/Getty Photographs

Von Rueden had beforehand labored because the director of health and way of life for Kasey Kahne for 9 years. The decision from Stenhouse got here in 2018 a day after the Coke 600, NASCAR’s longest occasion at 400 miles. Von Rueden mentioned that Stenhouse had offered his very important stats from the race and the center price numbers have been so excessive that it was a shock he was in a position to get out of the automotive.

“In case you take a have a look at a top-end marathon runner, they’re not hitting that prime of a quantity and their averages are a lot decrease, mentioned Von Rueden. “He wished to determine a approach to make that totally different as a result of it doesn’t really feel good when your coronary heart price is that prime. “The general idea was simply to be in higher form.”

How they attacked this was three-fold. They began with steady-state cardio for an cardio base. From there, they might do brief one-minute intervals to assist construct Stenhouse’s anaerobic endurance to assist enhance his work capability beneath that coronary heart price whereas additionally serving to higher at buffering out the lactic acid. From there, they stretched these intervals to 5 to 10 minutes. Stenhouse’s coronary heart price now are inside averages of what each really feel snug with.

Nascar racer Ricky Stenhouse performing a jerk and clean with a barbell in his home gym
Jared Allen

Von Rueden additionally applied CrossFit-style exercises into the programming, permitting Stenhouse and the Tenting World Truck and Xfinity sequence drivers the chance to compete with each other to gauge the place every is at, and to maintain coaching enjoyable as they push one another all through every of the person seasons.

One other vital part of Von Rueden’s programming has been the information from WHOOP that he makes use of as a checks and balancing system on when he can push a driver or cut back. Normally, Cup sequence guys like Stenhouse will probably be drained on Monday’s, coming off yesterday’s race. Von Rueden will make it a motion day that features some gentle working, bike driving and body weight workouts, lessening a 90-minute session to 40 and solely about 60 % of what a standard workload can be.

Ricky Stenhouse, who was main this 12 months’s Daytona with eight laps left earlier than a multi-car crash knocked him out of rivalry, feels he’s in a significantly better place bodily since that fateful name to Von Rueden and is wanting ahead to creating a playoff push.

“I’m undoubtedly extra of an all-around athlete now,” Stenhouse mentioned. “I’d really feel snug entering into and doing any kind of exercise with anybody. I didn’t like working in any respect earlier than and now it’s no huge deal if we wish to go and run 9 or 10 miles. He’s actually gotten it instilled in me the truth that working is likely one of the greatest methods to get your coronary heart price up and get a extremely good exercise.

“I’ve gotten so much stronger with out gaining quite a lot of weight. Normally, once you construct muscle, you achieve weight and that’s one thing you don’t actually wish to do in racing. You wish to hold issues on the lighter aspect. The give attention to coronary heart price and getting my coronary heart price down within the race automotive. We’ve undoubtedly seen a dramatic drop in that space.”

Nascar driver Ricky Stenhouse performing a barbell exercise in his gym
Jared Allen

Ricky Stenhouse Crossfit Exercise


  • Foam Roll: 5 min.
  • Cardio: 5 min.
  • Shoulder and Hip Mobility: 5-10 min


  • Run: 1 mile
  • RDL:  70% physique weight x 10
  • Dangle Clear: 70% physique weight x 10
  • Entrance Squat: 70% physique weight x 10
  • Push Press: 70% physique weight x 10
  • Pullup: x 10
  • Flat Bench: 90% physique weight x 10
  • Upright Dip: x 10
  • Toes to Bar: x 10
  • Run: 1 mile

Instructions: Run 1 mile, then full 6-8 units of the energy with minimal relaxation intervals, then run the second mile. Change the prescribed weight to accommodate every particular person’s capabilities.

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