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Last sync:2023-11-03 01:45
While Chris is away in California, John trains like an IndyCar driver and loves every minute of it. Then he goes bowling, an activity that helped him get through a breakup in college.

Huge thanks to IndyCar, St. Vincent Sports Performance, and Pitfit Training for their expertise and footage. And Stan, Rosianna, and Emily for being excellent bowling buddies.

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Follow along:

 Intro (0:00)

Jeff: With your hamstrings being as tight as they are, this might feel just as much like a, uh, actual - 

J: Oh this is always the worst part.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah, this is the worst part right?

J: This is the most painful part by far. 

Jeff: Yeah, I wanted to say here's the dessert at the end but this is in no way dessert.

J: No. Right, its awful.

Jeff: This is veggies, this is like - 

J: Oh it's awful.

Jeff: Oh this is broccoli right here. Reaching forward, hold those toes

J: Ah. F*ck!

Jeff: Reach forward.

J: Oh god.

Jeff: Hold that position.

J: Still don't enjoy this much.

[100 Days Intro]

John: [voice over] Welcome back to 100 Days. So sadly, Chris had to miss our Day 95 workout because he was at a conference in California. He told us he exercised there, but there is no picture or video proof. 

C: I would do 20 minutes on the elliptical, and then I would get on the floor and do push ups, curls, kinda like interval training. And actually I had a really good hour workout, um. Why didn't I? Because I didn't send pictures when I was here, so why would I send them from California?

John: [voice over] Meanwhile I met up with Jeff who trains Indie car drivers, and as a huge India car and Indie 500 fan I was very excited to try some of the workouts that the drivers do.

Jeff: Well I hope that's what this is today - more than anything not only are we hoping to, you know, show you a little bit about what some of our drivers go through, but I hope to really educate you and show you, you know, maybe some things about training that you didn't already know.

J: I'm excited! I'm sure I'm about to get my *ss kicked. 

Jeff: [laughs]

John: [voice over] We started by testing my grip strength which is very important to drivers because gripping a wheel is a big part of their job and Indie cars have no power steering.

J: What's an Indie car driver's grip strength like usually?

Jeff: That's a great question. So, Ed Carpenter, he gets up towards the 70s - 

J: M'kay.

Jeff: And he does a really good job with his grip strength, really strong.

J: So I'm going for 70. 

Jeff: Left hand first.

J: Left hand first.

John: [voice over] We tested each side twice. On my left hand I had 39.5 and then 37.2 kilos of grip strength force. And on my right hand I had 49.9 and then 46.6 kilos. Jeff also showed me some foam rolling techniques because a really open spine benefits drivers.

Jeff: This is a great way to get everything loosened up in your back, any knots or trigger points that you might have are hopefully being worked through.

John: [voice over] Then we did a quick warm up, and then what Jeff called a power drill in which I tried to elicit central nervous system activation by doing squats and medicine ball passes. We followed that up with the hand-eye coordination drill - another thing that's obviously very important for a professional driver. In this first one I caught the ball 4 out of 5 times. In the second drill with these lacrosse balls I got 4 out of 10. 

J: Ohh hohoho.

Jeff: Oh, almost had it, almost had it.

J: It's extremely hard.

John: [voice over] Then it was time for our set of strength exercises. We did 4 different movements: a bench press, a row, an anti-rotation press, and a ropes row. We did that set three times. 

Jeff: There's nothing that we can do in here that's gonna truly reflect the G-force that a driver's gonna handle, but it's drills like that that allow us to train the physical capacity that they need for those specific driver related skills. You know, if we're talking about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we've got 200 laps, right? Four turns per lap, 500 miles, so we're talking about how many times that they're resisting that G-force going into a turn. Right? That's 800. 

J: Crazy.

Jeff: So 800 times they're resisting the G-forces. A lot of people don't see drivers as athletes, and I think they're crazy right?

J: Oh, yeah.

John: [voice over] Afterwards I got on the rower. Jeff explained that we were trying to work slightly above my lactate threshold, so that's about 163 beats per minute for me. When I was right in the midst of metabolic fatigue, I would then treat these bands as if they were a steering wheel and then I had to hold this weight straight out and twist it slightly. Again, just like a wheel. 

Jeff: And now since this is the last thing we got today, we're gonna have a little fun with the core here. And by fun I mean it's gonna be pretty torturous, right? Lean back, lean back, three, two, one. And relax.

J: Wooh. Huh.

John: [voice over] And then we repeated the grip strength test. The hope is to get the same numbers before and after exercising because, you know, you want to be consistent throughout a race that could last hours. But, I mean, I would not be a good Indie car driver. On my left hand I was down to 32.0 and 32.5, and on my right hand 41.9 and 44.0. 

I mean another reason I'm probably never gonna be an Indie car driver is that I'm afraid of crashing, and I'm, I'm not much, I don't really speed. I find speeding very stressful. Anyway, then we finished with the hand-eye coordination test for the same reason - it's all about consistency. 

It was so much harder for me to pay attention when the ball was dropping this time. I just felt like my body wasn't moving as quickly as it had an hour earlier. 

J: Ah!

Jeff: Nice! Nice job.

J: God, that is so much harder.

Jeff: Hey, when you're under a little bit more metabolic stress it makes a difference.

J: Yeah.

John: [voice over] Overall I loved this workout, I even loved seeing the changes in my body and brain that one hour of exercise could make. Jeff was incredibly knowledgeable about the human body, and it was really interesting to talk to someone who trains elite athletes because they just have a different way of doing things.

I mean they're looking to go from almost perfect levels of fitness to slightly closer to perfect levels of fitness, whereas I'm mostly looking to go from, ya know, couch to 10k.

In food news, Chris gave us no pictures from Day 95, but I have some! 

 Day 96 (4:56)

John: [voice over] On Day 96 Chris was still away and it was a self directed exercise day so I went bowling with my friends Stan, Rosianna, and Emily. I do have a history with bowling - when my college girlfriend and I broke up I was devastated, and didn't deal with it well. But I found bowling to be this weirdly positive coping mechanism. So for about 8 months I bowled every day, often for 2 or 3 hours at a time. I had my own shoes, I even had my own ball named after the boxer Sunny Liston's nickname: the Night Train. And I did belong to a league, but mostly I just bowled to myself and I found it really meditation. 

But it's been a while since I bowled seriously. Like, I sold Night Train at a garage sale about 15 years ago so I didn't have super high expectations. Nonetheless I ended up winning the first game with a score of 132, then I got a 99 and an 87 in the following two games. 

I wasn't wearing a heart rate monitor, so I'm not totally convinced this was technically exercise, but we tried to keep it going pretty quickly to make it more aerobic and we had a great time. And also, sometimes you need a rest day.

J: So Stan stood in for you.

C: We're about the same size.

J: Right. In terms of like, ya know, wanting to have moderate intensity exercise there's definitely more emphasis on the moderate when you're bowling. Like it was not particularly taxing. Uh, but ya know I got over a hundred, which is always my goal.

C: Great shot, there, John. 

J: Is that your Stan impression?

C: That's my Stan impression.

J: That's pretty good!

John: [voice over] As for food it wasn't my best meal picture day, but this one is better than Chris' none. I did eat well that day however.

 Day 97 (6:21)

John: [voice over] Day 97 was also a self directed exercise day. I ran for over 5 miles on the treadmill. 

J: Sun came up while I was running, felt good. A little tired, but uh, man, I just like this. 

John: [voice over] Here are some of my meals pictures and my Day 98 food - not my best meal tracking day. Chris' life is just entirely a mystery to us at this point. But, he's coming back from California for the big finale in Indianapolis. Thank you for watching, I'll see you on Day 99.

[credits screen]

J: Have we ever bowled together?

C: Have we ever bowled together...

J: Oh, sorry is that hurtful?

C: How do you, what do you mean we've never bowled together? Marina?

J: Marina have we ever gone bowling together?

Marina: Yes.

J: When?

C: Numerous times.

J: No, not numerous times. 

Marina: [inaudible]

J: I don't think Chris and I have ever bowled together. But this is obviously a source of some disagreement.

C: I mean, I value our friendship and I have memories of it. I don't just...

J: I have a ton of memories, just none of them involve bowling!