We caught up with 21 year old Philip Hanson who has already smashed records and competed in prestigious races such as Le Mans 24 and Rolex 24 Hours alongside two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso. Philip Hanson also loves fitness and spends his free time focusing on it, working out with a trainer five to six times a week.
Philip Hanson is very aware of the physical strain his career choice can put on his body and wisely uses his spare time to ensure he’s in top shape for races. Gaining just 5kg can add seconds to his overall race time, so diet and workout routine one of his top priorities.
How often do you train per week?
Routine is key so I train 5-6 times times per week with a 3:1 rest ratio.
Is there a specific type of training/workout you prefer?
Outdoor resistance is always fun in the summer but the majority is indoor full body strength metcon (metabolic conditioning).
Can you share an example workout with us and why this is good for endurance training?
Endurance racing is in itself different from any other type of endurance sport because it’s essentially a prolonged interval session. Rests on the straights and heart rate spikes as well as physical excursion during braking and cornering.
The other aspect that makes endurance or motorsport different to other endurance sport is the concentration it requires to maintain a constant level of alertness where any physical lapse can result in a catastrophic consequence.
In the gym my routine is centred around strength training specifically designed around injury prevention. Compound movements to build muscle in unison is our primary focus as opposed to relying solely on accessory work when it comes to neck and core.
Tell us about these compound movements and how important they are in racing
Our two biggest compound movements that you’d fine in most weeks training would be:
Power Cleans – working traps deltoids and core, the biggest muscle groups exposed in the car.
Back/front squat – compound core work.
In the car, the seating position is reclined and allows for support along nearly the entire side of the body except the neck which is exposed for the ability to turn and look at the apex of the corner. Everything bellow half way down my thigh is also free from support to facilitate driver changes which takes place in under 20 seconds. The two areas of the body that get the brunt of the impact are the exposed areas from the seat. 3/4 s of your leg, relying on your glutes and core to stabilise and keep your feet on the pedals, and your neck. Therefore, the compound movements that we try and implement in to most weeks of training are targeting the most vulnerable muscles.
On top of this you’ll find one day of interval cardio to keep my metabolic conditioning up to scratch. The intensity of most sessions is always kept high even during the strength work to keep driving home cardio vascular improvements
Are stretching and cardio warmup/cool downs important components to incorporate?
I use a series of dynamic stretches to warm up, and every session is ended with foam rolling and trigger point work probably from the previous days tightened muscles, as mobility is key.
How long does a typical session last and has your routine been modified now that you are doing at-home workouts?
1.5 hours is the most efficient time I work to. Home workouts have been pretty unaffected due to my dad having installed a great home gym with 90% of what I use in my pre quarantine sessions.
When is your next race and do you make any tweaks to your workouts pre, post or during as you get closer to the competition?
With Le Mans being moved to September we will work to peak closer to the new date upping intensity and cv training in an 8 week period before I leave for the race. During the week of Le Mans, testing and media requirements fill my day and I don’t do anything more than some mobility work and light steady state cardio as it would be bad to get an injury just before the biggest race of the year.
For more information on Philip, visit his website: philhanson.racing
All imagery courtesy of Phil Hanson.
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