PitFit Training puts Team USA youngster through paces For more than a decade, renowned fitness trainer Jim Leo has helped race car drivers and other athletes extract their maximum potential by improving their physical and mental capabilities. Last month, as part of his burgeoning commitment to talented young drivers, Leo and his staff at the PitFit Training headquarters in Indianapolis put 2007 Team USA Scholarship winner Patrick Barrett through his paces.
It was an experience the gifted 18-old-year high school senior from Los Osos, Calif., will not soon forget.
"I spent five days straight – boxing, swimming and rock climbing – and worked on improving my weight and cardiovascular training," recounts Barrett. "Each day I would participate in a different activity, working on different muscles and improving my endurance and strength. Ryan Von Rueden taught and trained me throughout the week, helping me push through as many activities as possible. Each workout was rigorous, as expected, but gave me a good perspective on areas that I can continue to work on throughout the year.
"One of my favorite activities was the boxing class, taught by Kristy Follmar. She is a former professional boxer who was the Indiana Golden Gloves champion in 1999 and 2000, and NABC Featherweight champion in 2002 and 2003. She retired in 2005 and currently hosts boxing classes with PitFit clients. It was the most intense class/workout I’d participated in, but the techniques involved with boxing made it an enjoyable class. You’re constantly moving, conserving your energy until you need it the most, and keeping focused on the target. Of course, you don’t box another opponent in this class, which is what my dad thought. ‘Oh yeah! I knocked out that guy I raced against last week!’ No, we used punching bags… Man, those things are relentless!
"To cap off an exciting and painful week, myself, Ryan and a fellow driver went indoor rock climbing. It had been six or seven years since I had last attempted rock climbing but I was excited about trying a new sport. It was an awesome feeling climbing all over the place, but toward the end of the day, we started getting a little serious and began challenging each other to climb up certain walls. It was all fun and games, but we kept each other busy one-upping each other.
"Overall, it was an enjoyable experience from day one. I learned a lot of new workout activities that I can use at home, and even met up with some drivers in Champ Car Atlantic and Indy Pro. I made a few new friends through PitFit and hope to get more involved with one of the programs they have to offer soon.
"I want to thank Jim Leo for allowing me the opportunity to experience what PitFit has to offer, and Ryan Von Rueden for pushing me and keeping me up and running throughout the routines."
Other Team USA Scholarship supporters include Doug Mockett & Company, Champ Car World Series, American Honda, Snap-on Stars of Karting, Silicon Salvage, Dyson Racing, Integrated Performance Technology, Pacific Coast Motorsports, Andersen Racing Team, PitFit Training, iRacing.com, AutoRacing1.com, Metalore, Sparco USA, Cooper Tire, Cosworth USA, Champ Car Atlantic, Star Mazda, Buttonwillow Raceway, RACER magazine, FormulaCar Magazine, Pfanner Communications, Speedstar Management, Manifest Group, The Print Network and an array of past Scholarship winners.