IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden trains his body and mind simultaneously.
So for elite drivers like IndyCar’s Josef Newgarden, who has to put both his body and mind under constant stress—hauling a vehicle around a track without power steering while making literally hundreds of race-defining decisions—it’s all about training holistically.
For Newgarden, that means combining mental and physical training in order to prepare his body and mind to operate at their highest level, in tandem.
Enter Jim Leo, president of PitFit Training. Together, Leo and Newgarden routinely work through a set of drills designed specifically to get high-performance drivers like Newgarden race ready, not just physically but mentally, too.
Watch the video above to see the duo demonstrate one of the drills that Leo devised to recreate a race-like scenario in which both Newgarden’s brain and body are taxed at the same time.
In the drill shown above, Newgarden jumps rope while matching IndyCar drivers’ names, called out by Leo, with their car numbers, forcing him to maintain mental clarity while sustaining a high heart rate.
It’s a drill that you can use in your own workouts to similar effect.
“It's a great exercise that we incorporate into my training to get ready for the race cars, but you guys can use this in any sort of regular exercise routine,” Newgarden says.
“It's going make you better, make you stronger, make your mental acuity a lot higher.”
The next time you’re training with a friend or workout partner, have them call out basic math problems, or even trivia, while you jump rope or perform any kind of activity that requires more coordination that simply running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike.