The interesting thing about a device like this is that it is almost exclusively used by F1 drivers. Why? It aims to strengthen the neck muscles for the incredible G-Force they face when reaching speeds over 200 km / h on the track. (For comparison, the average roller coaster can put you at 3g of force, and most untrained humans faint between 4 and 6g).
Fellow driver Carlos Sainz explained the sentiment well in an interview, revealing the acute difficulties and neck and limb dilemma they face in regular races. “It affects you a lot, especially the neck,” he said. “No matter how hard you train at home, it’s impossible to generate the g-forces you’re going to get in an F1.”
He continued, “The circuit they choose for the first race is going to have a big influence on how the drivers struggle after all these months without driving or training their necks. It will be a very difficult challenge.
“People cannot imagine the stress the body goes through at a grand prize. The only way to get fit to drive F1 is to drive F1, ”he said.
While the Belgian-Dutch racing driver agrees with Sainz, he explained to Men’s health that although this is the most difficult, it is only a small part of his overall workout routine.
“For me the hardest part of the race physically is the strain on my neck, lower back and the forces you feel when you break the car. Neck strength is very important. As drivers we have to be strong, however, we can ‘wouldn’t be too muscular or we would be too heavy for the car, “says Max.” I use a combination of wattbike, ski erg, free weights and balance exercises . I try to mix things up so that it’s not always the same session, and I have a great team guiding me. “
Verstappen does a less intense neck exercise at his home in Monaco.
“In season, the training depends on whether we run or not. Let’s say if we have a week off, I have Monday as my rest day. Then from Tuesday to Thursday I will do 1 to 2 training sessions per day, depending on how busy we’ve been in the previous weeks, and I was taking Saturdays and Sundays off to recuperate. We have a lot of travel and spend a lot of time in the simulator, so I like to take at least three training sessions. ‘training per week during the season. “
And this preparation goes until he sets foot in the race car. “Before I jump in the car, I warm up my neck, back, and leg muscles. I do a few jumps, squats, and calf raises – and use my Theragun in between.”
His Theragun, who Verstappen explains is an ambassador for a partnership with Red Bull, is part of a recovery routine that takes a heavy toll on treating the neck area after sitting in the same position for time.
“We put our body to the test in F1. We run at 200 mph, we experience high levels of G-force and we sit in the same position for hours. That makes recovery extremely important,” he tells us. “I use Theragun to speed up my recovery and reduce pain after getting out of the car. After getting off the track, I sometimes do a cycle or two in my RecoveryAir boots, which I like to use because I can just relax for a while. recovery.”
Along with a fairly regulated workout routine during racing season, Verstappen also makes sure to deliver a nutrient-dense diet. “My diet is also carefully managed as body weight is very important when running, so I always make sure I eat a lot – because it’s a very physically demanding sport – but being careful what I eat,” said he declared. Explain. “My diet also changes depending on where I’m running and the weather conditions. For example, in wet weather I burn so many calories when I’m on the track.”
That, along with the focus on his sanity, is something that – we can all agree – has propelled Verstappen to such an incredible position this season.
“I’ve been running my whole life. In the end, it’s the same thing: the lights go on, the lights go off, you take off, you try to win the race. It’s been like that ever since I started. I’m seven. I think the more you do it, the easier you are with yourself. I don’t think too much about the pressure. I know that once I’m in the car, I have to deliver and I have to I do my best but I also tell myself that I can’t do more than my best. So I think that takes a lot of the pressure off. “
“There are a lot of races left in the season so we’re not looking too far ahead. My goal in every race is to do my best.”