At the 2012, Toyota/Save Mart 365 NASCAR race in Sonoma, CA, Clint Bowyer roared his No. 15 5-hour Energy car past the chequered flag and ripped a ceremonial victory burnout. Just two days before Bowyer won his first race of the season, members of his Michael Waltrip Racing pit crew team stopped off at TRX HQ in San Francisco to get some hands-on training with Dan McDonogh, Sr. Manager of TRX Group Training & Development.
“We just started using TRX with Michael Waltrip Racing a year ago,” said Greg Miller, head pit crew coach. “Once we saw all the applications to the pit crew side of it, we were sold.”
When a car pulls into pit row, the crew has a matter of seconds to refuel from 90-pound gas cans, change 80-pound tires, and tend to any number of car problems. Total-body strength and conditioning can make the difference between winning and losing, which is often no longer than two-tenths of a second.
“You have to be quick on your feet, you have to have a certain level of strength to get the 3,400-pound racecar up in the air in one pump of the jack. You have one shot to get it done, and it has to be done in under a second,” said Sean Peet, the No. 15 car’s jack man, who is responsible for introducing his team to TRX Training.
The crew is assembled from high-level athletes–like Peet, a former professional hockey player–and abides by a rigorous, year-round training routine that is not unlike that of other professional sports teams. They get just two weeks off a year, train seven days a week and are on the road every weekend from Valentine’s Day to Thanksgiving.
Peet says that the portability of the TRX Suspension Trainer greatly complements the crew’s travel schedule, which took them from the Pocono Mountains to Michigan to Sonoma all in just three weeks time.
“We stay in hotels, and oftentimes we’ll bring a TRX with us, hook it up to a tree in the parking lot, and there will be three or four guys running around the hotel, just doing all their exercises on the TRX,” said Peet. “For our lifestyle, you couldn’t come up with a better piece of fitness equipment.”
With just one backup crew member for all three of Michael Waltrip Racing’s cars, injuries cannot be afforded, however; the demands of the job make wrist, elbow, shoulder, and back injuries commonplace. Strength and conditioning coach Pam Brown says that TRX has especially helped the crew with rehabilitation, and also further prevention of injuries. “What’s great about TRX is even if you have an injury, you can modify it and still do a whole workout. So, it’s not where you have to be injury-free to use TRX. We have no excuses in our weight room,” said Brown.
Bowyer’s day in the winner’s circle moved him and his team up two spots to seventh place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings, and puts him in a comfortable position for a run in the chase, provided his pit crew continues to keep its training up to speed.
To build total-body power and strength that would make the cut on pit row, download the TRX Power Workout now.