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Armstrong's Indy 500 Training Plan

Armstrong

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In his rookie season in IndyCar last year, Marcus Armstrong impressed everyone by securing five top 10 finishes out of the 12 races he participated in.

Despite having fewer races than other rookies, this remarkable performance earned him the IndyCar Rookie of the Year title.

Before transitioning to IndyCar, the New Zealander spent three years in Formula 2 as part of Ferrari's Driver Academy, where he won four races and achieved four podium finishes.

His move to the United States and adaptation to IndyCar racing has surpassed his expectations. Currently, Armstrong ranks 11th in the standings and is set for his debut at the 108th Indianapolis 500.

Ahead of this milestone, he shared with Muscle & Fitness insights into his training regimen, the impact of working with physiotherapist Angela Cullen, and his efforts to maintain a healthy diet in the U.S.

Preferring Solo Training

Armstrong prefers to train alone, not because he dislikes company, but because he finds it more productive.

Training partners can sometimes distract him with conversations, shifting his focus away from his routine.

Armstrong’s Workout Playlist

During cardio sessions, Armstrong enjoys listening to Reggaeton, a habit he picked up while in Italy.

To avoid getting overly excited, he refrains from listening to music for the first 20 minutes of his workout, saving his playlist for the final 40 minutes.

On heavy weight, low-intensity days, he opts for Fox Sports Radio for entertainment.

The Best Part of Training

Fitness is a family tradition for Armstrong. His father Rick is a former judo champion in New Zealand and remains dedicated to fitness, while his mother’s partner is a former Tour de France cyclist.

Training is second nature for Armstrong, providing both physical benefits and a mental edge.

“I draw inspiration from being more prepared than everyone else,” Armstrong says. “Arriving at a race, knowing that no one else — well, maybe not, but in my mind — has done more training than I have and that I’m as good as I can be is very important to me.”

The Worst Part of Training

Despite his lifelong dedication to training, Armstrong admits that the time commitment required to maintain peak performance can be daunting.

Offseason Preparation

During the racing season, Armstrong's training time is limited. As soon as the season concludes, he begins preparing for the next one.

While competing in Formula 2 and 3, his goal was to stay as light as possible for performance advantages.

Now, his focus has shifted to building strength to withstand the physical demands of IndyCar racing.

Collaboration with Angela Cullen

Last year, renowned physiotherapist Angela Cullen left her role with Formula 1’s Mercedes team, where she had been a trusted advisor to seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton for over seven years.

Armstrong met Cullen last winter as he prepared for his first full IndyCar season. Since then, she has played a significant role not just in his physical fitness but also in his mental preparation.

“She’s very good with her mental training,” Armstrong says. “Her biggest contribution physically is through yoga, meditation, and the mental aspects that many people overlook. Being consistently at the top of the sport is incredibly hard.

“She certainly knows where I should be directing my attention, and eliminating distractions has been a major focus for her because motorsport comes with countless distractions. Unless it enhances performance, we don’t engage in it.”

Minimizing Distractions

Like any sport, motorsports come with numerous distractions, from media obligations to sponsor meetings and other off-track duties that can divert Armstrong’s focus.

However, he prides himself on his discipline. Even with activities he isn’t particularly fond of, such as evening sauna and ice bath sessions, he recognizes their value in enhancing his performance and training.

“I believe that mindset comes from my family,” Armstrong says. “We are very focused, and if something doesn’t help us achieve our goals, we won’t do it.

I’m very all-or-nothing when it comes to this. I guess you could say I’m a bit boring sometimes, but hopefully, it will pay off very soon.”

Marcus Armstrong's Meal Plan

Morning Routine:

  • Fasting until later in the day.

  • Protein shake post-cardio workout (includes Greek yogurt and frozen berries).


Lunch:

  • Omelette

Dinner:

  • Salmon, green vegetables, quinoa.

  • Possibly another protein shake.

Snacks:

  • Plenty of peanut butter.

  • Fruits

  • Hummus

“I've actually found it challenging to maintain a clean diet here in America compared to my time living in London and Italy,” Armstrong said. “A lot of effort goes into eating clean here in the States. We probably spend too much money on food to achieve that (laughs).”

 

Source: muscleandfitness

The opinions shared in the GymNation blog articles are solely those of the respective authors and may not represent the perspectives of GymNation or any member of the GymNation team.