CrossFit Made Ricky Stenhouse a Fitter Nascar Driver

March 7, 2022

It wasn’t way back that the considered a NASCAR driver running the stairs of the Los Angeles Coliseum for exercise would have been thought of insane. For Ricky Stenhouse Jr., it’s develop into one other solution to get a great sweat in.

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

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

“I preferred the extreme, beat-the-clock form of exercises,” stated Stenhouse. “I realized a whole lot of actions that I by no means had included 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 stage he may attain and that’s precisely why he reached out to coach and founding father of Second 2 None Fitness Ryan Von Rueden.

Ricky Stenhouse racing his Nascar car
James Gilbert/Getty Pictures

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 stated that Stenhouse had supplied his very important stats from the race and the center charge numbers have been so excessive that it was a shock he was in a position to get out of the automotive.

“Should you take a look at a top-end marathon runner, they’re not hitting that top of a quantity and their averages are a lot decrease, stated Von Rueden. “He wished to determine a solution to make that totally different as a result of it doesn’t really feel good when your coronary heart charge is that top. “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’d do brief one-minute intervals to assist construct Stenhouse’s anaerobic endurance to assist improve his work capability beneath that coronary heart charge 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 charge 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 collection 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 essential element 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 reduce. Often, Cup collection 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 mild operating, bike using and body weight workouts, lessening a 90-minute session to 40 and solely about 60 % of what a standard workload could be.

Ricky Stenhouse, who was main this yr’s Daytona with eight laps left earlier than a multi-car crash knocked him out of competition, 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 positively extra of an all-around athlete now,” Stenhouse stated. “I’d really feel snug moving into and doing any kind of exercise with anybody. I didn’t like operating in any respect earlier than and now it’s no massive deal if we wish to go and run 9 or 10 miles. He’s actually gotten it instilled in me the truth that operating is without doubt one of the finest methods to get your coronary heart charge up and get a extremely good exercise.

“I’ve gotten lots stronger with out gaining a whole lot of weight. Often, while you construct muscle, you achieve weight and that’s one thing you don’t actually wish to do in racing. You wish to preserve issues on the lighter facet. The deal with coronary heart charge and getting my coronary heart charge down within the race automotive. We’ve positively 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
  • Cling 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 power with minimal relaxation durations, then run the second mile. Change the prescribed weight to accommodate every particular person’s capabilities.

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