Kurt Busch is a powerhouse driver on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit. In a field full of drivers under the age of 30, how does a veteran driver like Kurt Busch stay on top of his game? Diet and exercise might just be the key to success for the 40 year old former series champion.
Q–Where does working out/exercise line up for you priority wise?
Kurt-It’s a big priority. It’s important to have the fitness level when you are sweating, digging and grueling through the 500 laps or 500 miles. You know when you have worked out and put in the effort because it helps you get through mentally the last part of the race and helps you to be your best.
Q–Has working out and exercise always been important to you? If not, when did this change?
Kurt-It has always been important but its ramping up the older I get. In college, I worked out socially with friends. When I started racing, I learned that I needed to run more and have more cardio fitness to be able to withstand the long distance of races. As the years progress, I change up and keep revolving and that’s how you stay on top.
Q– What is your workout regime?
It depends on what is going on-which week. We try to mix it up and do different things whether its lower body-upper body. It’s difficult to do full body in one week just because of muscle tear down and rebuild. You don’t want to be sore for a Friday practice session and so cardio is key. That’s where I start off and then a strength training session and at the end lots of stretching.
Q– Do you workout with a trainer?
Yes, I have a trainer in NC and my wife has a trainer in Florida and between the two we stay on a nice schedule. They keep us in the gym and doing different things each time we go and train. It’s fun to train with my wife because she is an athlete-she plays polo and has to keep her muscles for her to be able to stay on top of the horse.
Q- Are you particular about what you eat?
I’m particular but my wife is even more particular about what she eats. It all comes down to eating food properly before the race- as far as proteins and carbs. Making sure I eat the right foods at the right time to have the energy released in my body on race day.
Q- What does your race day diet look like? What does a race day breakfast and lunch consist of?
For me on race day, all the works been done beforehand. The morning might just be a simple muffin…a banana nut or blueberry muffin, with some yogurt. Around lunch, I always have my lucky turkey sandwich. I think the turkey helps to have a nice full stomach, as well as the proteins that come from it. I also eat things with salt…Fritos, pickles and anything that helps with sodium intake because I know I will be sweating it out during the race.
Q- Do you ever splurge? If so, what is your favorite splurging food?
I would say chicken wings and cold beer and yes, I splurge. It happens every now and then..usually after a race win and that’s the best time to splurge but I have to stay on target. Different splurging happens at different times of the year whether its the off week or the off season.
Q- Does your diet and exercise routine change in the off season?
It does. I would say the first of December I’m a vegetable on the couch hanging out. By January 1st you have never seen anyone more committed to get back in the gym to be on top of things for when the season starts in Daytona. So it does change, but it never really does end.
Q- Do you notice a difference in your approach to racing/race day when physically fit?
Yes, it does make a difference and I do feel mentally fit when I am physically fit. You always have to change it up to continue to evolve and push through to make sure you don’t have any weak areas when you take the green flag.