Carl Edwards' Tough Training Regimen Makes Him a Winner

NASCAR driver Carl Edwards makes physical fitness a critical part of his preparation for big races. Find out how Edwards stays fit.

Carl Edwards

Throughout his NASCAR career, Carl Edwards has been famous for his physical fitness. The Missourian's physique has been discussed countless times in newspapers, magazines and television broadcasts.

Tomorrow, Edwards will race in the Coca Cola 600, the longest NASCAR race of the year. To get ready for the physically demanding course, he's been putting a lot of extra time and effort into his conditioning.

Why does Edwards spend so much time on his body in a sport that requires sitting for hours at a time? He learned the value of focus and conditioning by watching his idol and eventual Roush Fenway Racing teammate Mark Martin. The 54-year old is still in great shape. Check out his workout.

Edwards admits that racing is 90 percent mental, but he knows that the 10 percent that's physical can make all the difference during grueling four-hour races in temperatures well above 100 degrees.

As far as diet is concerned, Edwards doesn't eat Subway sandwiches every day (although it certainly seems that way with Subway's ever-expanding sponsorship of his #99 Ford). Edwards eats what he likes in small portions and makes sure half his diet comes from fruits and vegetables. The driver stays away from white bread, soups and frozen meals, and he chooses fat-free or 1% milk.

Carl Edwards

Carl Edwards

Edwards' workout consists of primarily cardio for about an hour a day, but he also does weight training with multiple sets of lat pulldowns and tricep curls. His routine involves lifting weights four times a week for up to an hour, plus running and stair climbing. When he's not in the gym, Edwards is often on the road cycling. It's not unusual for him to cycle 200 miles (not surprising when you consider that Dean Golich, USA Cycling Coach of the Year, is his personal trainer.

Edwards' secret for building world-class coordination? Raquetball. He says, "Racquetball mimics racing by requiring you to focus on sustaining your hand-eye coordination under intense physical demands."

Other NASCAR drivers like Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick and Martin are also known for their fitness. So why should you listen to Edwards' advice? Well, a few years ago, Edwards was appointed to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. And ESPN's Sport Science lab put him through a series of tests to prove that race car drivers are equal to any world-class athlete.

Currently, Carl sits second in points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup. He's been runner-up in the Cup championship three times and has a Nationwide title plus four more runner-up spots. The 33-year-old is focused and in such good condition physically that he could contend competitively for many years—which is a credit to the great workout ethic that got him to this stage and made him a winner.

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