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NASCAR drivers relying more on personal trainers

Drivers have made massive personal changes throughout the history of NASCAR. No longer do some of the biggest names smoke before or even during races. Instead, they study WHOOP data and hit the gym with trainers such as Coach Caitlin Quinn of the Toyota Performance Center and Ryan Von Rueden of Second 2 None Fitness in order to gain the slightest edge on the track.

Coach Quinn trains several drivers, a list headlined by some of the biggest names in the Camping World Truck Series. Two of her clients are regular-season champion John Hunter Nemechek and Rookie of the Year Chandler Smith. She used to work out of a storage unit called J-44 but now coaches at a state-of-the-art facility in North Carolina that also offers time with dieticians, staff from OrthoCarolina, and mental health experts.

Coach Von Rueden first moved to North Carolina in 2009 to work exclusively as Kasey Kahne’s trainer after starting his motorsports training career in Indianapolis. He helped the 18-time Cup Series winner try to bulk up and achieve a new level of personal fitness. Now Coach Von Rueden has a large stable of clients that includes Cup Series driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Xfinity Series driver Riley Herbst, Truck Series driver Todd Gilliland, and multi-series driver Blaine Perkins among others.

Both coaches take different approaches in terms of intensity levels at certain times of the year. Coach Quinn ramps up the intensity during the offseason while Coach Von Rueden mixes in special competition days with his drivers during the weeks leading up to each race to fuel that competitive fire. His goal is to make the race the least stressful and least difficult part of their week.

“A driver’s lifting day has now morphed into something a little bit different,” Coach Von Rueden told Heavy in an exclusive interview. “We’ll do a half-mile or a quarter-mile sprint, and come back and do strength. So we typically get anywhere between two to three miles or the equivalent of that with something else — whether it’s a rower or a SkiErg or an assault bike — mixed in with our strength. So you’re never just sitting there lifting weights. And the reason for that is we only have so many days.”

See much more at Heavy.com