We have teamed up with race fitness expert Bob Wood to produce the Junior Torque Physical. There are four simple tests that we want you to have a go at, and then e-mail your results to us. We will analyse the results and see where you fit on our fitness virtual podium. Which one of you out there will take the top step? We will publish the podium on the website and you will be able to retake and resend your test results and track your progress to the top step as your fitness improves.
There are four simple tests, each challenging a specific essential component of driver fitness: Upper Body Strength, Trunk Stability, Endurance and Reaction Speed. High performance in all 4 of these areas means high performance on track and the tests will help to highlight your strengths and weaknesses. Junior Torque aims to be a leader in driver development and support, and instigating a project and collecting data such as this has a valuable role to play in understanding elite driver preparation.
Lets start with a simple one you can do right now. Drivers need quick reactions and the right reactions.
We want you to follow this strict procedure. Follow the link provided. Practice the test a few times, then take a break and find a pen. Give yourself only three goes at the full test and record your fastest average time out of the three. Don’t cheat and do it all day. Remember on track you can’t just keep lapping till you post a quick time, this has to be realistic so only three attempts then your fastest will be the one we want you to send us. Click here to do the reaction test
Upper Body Strength
The car must never dominate you, you can be gentle with it, and sometimes you have to fight with it and to do this you need a foundation of upper body strength. How strong are you? Never under-estimate the one minute press-up test. You can have your multi-thousand pound iso-kinetic installations and computer analysed force platforms but you can’t carry them around with you. The press-up is a fundamental expression of dominating your own body weight – exactly what functional strength is all about. We want you to follow this procedure.
Set yourself up a pile of books or magazines exactly the same height as your fist. Place your hands either sides of the pile, brace your abdominals/core, squeeze down onto your calves via your toes, hold a strong straight posture with legs, hips and spine in line. Now lower to touch your chest down onto the book pile and return, fully extending your elbows. Work on holding that spinal posture, however fatigued you get.
The test is simple. How many can you do in 60 seconds? Pace yourself, dig in and push out as many as you can, then send us that figure. You get one go.
Great drivers are both “core” strong and “core” smart. Their body resists the “rag doll” effect that the forces and energy of high speed driving creates and they also use their trunk displacement skills to sense the momentum, G and attitude changes that their vehicle produces. Think of those development years in karts with the karter reacting to, and using, their body to influence their driving.
How trunk stable are you? This is a great test that cross-references your ability to hold a strong shoulder girdle and “core” posture whilst moving other body areas at speed.
Take up a plank position supported on your elbows and facing a wall just far enough away so that you can reach forwards to touch the wall with a straight arm. Your feet should be slightly apart. You’ll need a ball and start by holding this in one hand. Reach forward, touch the ball to the wall, then return back to your elbow support and swap the ball to the other hand and reach and touch again. Repeat this as a continuous cycle, constantly swapping the ball being a way to make sure you each rep is completed to its full range. By all means practice your technique for a short while, don’t worry if you get a bit of trunk rotation, or roll, but make sure your hips do not sag down or jack-knife up as this is a sign of losing stability, be strong!
Got the technique, now turn up the speed. Count how many touches you can do in 60 seconds, and don’t sag those hips down. You get one go.
Step tests and bleep tests are ok for hamsters but here is a test that gets you out there and challenges your stamina and will power. With the help of everyone’s friends at Google we are going to find out how far you can run in 10 minutes. For the test you are going to need to download a copy of Google Earth, which is free.
The test is simple. You are going to select a point A that shows up well local to you on Google Earth (frankly it could be your house). Warm up well and then make your way to this point. Set your watch and then run as far and as hard as you can in exactly 10 minutes. Stop, this is point B, memorise exactly where you are. Perhaps take in a tree, building, corner, junction, because back home you are going to measure your A to B distance on Google earth using the inbuilt ruler on the top tool bar. We will need the distance in Kilometres to 2 decimal points as quoted by the Google ruler sent to us.
Use the “path” tool seen above. This is a tough test, we want you to really go at it but don’t go sprinting off and blow up in the first 2 minutes. Pick a good route, run hard and try and sustain it for 10 minutes. If you have never done something like this before by all means have a practice.
You’ll need to e-mail us your 4 results and the name/nick-name that you want us to use in our virtual podium (best not use your real name for obvious reasons!). Remember, in the future when you e-mail us your revised and hopefully improved results, please clearly notify us in the e-mail that this is a repeat test set.
Author: Clerk of the Course
The Clerk of Junior Torque. Administrator, Editor and Dictator!