So you think you've got what it takes to be a racing driver? Perhaps you've completed the latest edition of Gran Turismo, including all the 24-hour races. Maybe you're hot stuff in online races as well. But racing isn't simply about skill. There's a big difference between driving a virtual car and a real car. And an even bigger difference between driving said real car on the street and driving it in full-attack mode on the racetrack.
Half an hour on track in a stripped-down racer is more physically demanding than half a day on the Tanayburgring in a street car. One will leave you buzzed and exhilarated; the other will leave you sore in places you have no business being sore in.
So we went out to 360PRO for a workout session with Joyce Pring--DJ, Traffic Stopper and rookie Vios Cup driver. We hoped to find out what it really took to be a racing driver. And she showed us the ropes, literally. If, dear viewers, you could skip over the portion of the video where she kicks my ass thoroughly during the heavy cardio section, I will be eternally grateful.
Beyond cardio, racing fitness is quite different from your regular iron-pumping workout. Instead of focusing on physical strength, it focuses on corrective exercise and core body strength. Most exercise regimens rarely target the positional muscles in our arms, legs and torso, yet on track we rely on them to brace us against high g levels. From bitter experience, hanging from the straps while braking at a force of one gravity, lap after lap after lap, guarantees bruised ribs the morning after.
Not that the regimen which fitness coach Mia Besa designed for Joyce is a walk in the park, either. I can deal with dumbbell presses and squats to strengthen arms and legs. The cardio? Winded, not wounded. The core-muscle exercises? Sheer torture. The training program wasn't quite as bad as an eight-hour stint on track. But I'm sore in similar places the next day. I guess that validates Mia's choice of exercises!
Joyce takes it all in stride. Where she used to feel beat after a dozen laps, she's now able to drive more consistently at speed. Her competitive spirit and newfound fitness have even led her to quit smoking!
If she drives as well as she does jumping jacks, she should do well around the SM Mall of Asia track this weekend. Given that she placed third in the Celebrity Class in the season-opener, I wouldn't bet against her. For those of us who aren't Vios Cup racers, the exercises below will still help build endurance and fitness so we can survive the occasional three-hour grind in EDSA traffic.
Watch Joyce's video below and refer to this list of exercises recommended by Besa.
RACE DRIVER'S HAM AND EGGS BREAKFAST
1 set of dumbbells (pick a weight that forces you to push, not one that forces you to strain)
1 exercise mat
1 barbell bar
1 plate weight
2 heavy ropes
* Squat to stand (8 repetitions) - Touch toes, squat, raise arms up and stand up.
* Plank (30 seconds)
* Pillar bridge (30 seconds) - Support your body on your elbows while planking. Back and knees straight, soldier.
* Hip lift (15 seconds per side) - Lying on your back, lift your hips, knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Easy, right? Now lift one leg and keep it up for 15 seconds. Ouch.
* Dumbbell push-press (6 repetitions per side) - In standing position, raise dumbbell straight up from shoulder. Grunt "Do you even lift, bro?" for extra effect.
* Dumbbell split-squat (8 repetitions per side) - Carrying two dumbbells, get on your knee to propose. Pump up to "runaway bride" pose. Repeat. You may also use kettlebells.
* Dumbbell chest press (6 repetitions per side) - Basically a one-arm bench press. Angle the press toward the center and try not to fall sideways off the bench.
Front plank with plate (30 seconds) - It's a plank. With a pig, er, a plate on your back. Let simmer for 30 seconds or until limp. Limp usually comes first.
Landmine (6 repetitions per side) - Pretend you're churning butter. With a barbell. From 6ft away. Argh.
Count down 10-1 - Do 10 double rope slams with, ugh, big ropes, then do 10 jumping jacks. Do the double rope slams nine times and the jumping jacks nine times. Then eight, seven and so on. Try not to race Joyce while doing this. It isn't pretty. You should be well done by the end of this, but hopefully not overcooked. Don't forget to hydrate afterward!
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