Posted by: 4pack | November 5, 2009

“Ideal Shape” Profile: Mark Martin, 50, Is A NASCAR Racing Champion Who Credits Diet And Fitness For Continued Success


Martin is a 50-year-old Sprint Cup driver/fitness fanatic whose four-times-a-week workout routine would bring tears and a whimper to men half his age.


(From a Star-Telegram article)  The person least obsessed by Mark Martin’s age is Mark Martin.

So, please, dispense with the antique jokes, the AARP barbs and the Methuselah references. This senior citizen of NASCAR is far too busy defying logic in the fast lane to keep up with geezer humor.

He wears a brush cut and sports six-pack abs. He needs reading glasses, but he also needs his iPod to listen to his favorite rap music.

He guzzles thick protein shakes with low-fat peanut butter and banana. He lives in Daytona Beach, Fla., rather than the Charlotte, N.C., area, where most NASCAR folks call home.

And, oh, one more thing: He’s not afraid of Jimmie Johnson.

“I think Jimmie Johnson is Superman, but that doesn’t mean he’s unbeatable,” Martin recently wrote in his “Chase Diary” on Yahoo Sports. “I think the more times someone wins the championship, the less likely you are to win it the next year.”

This mind-set makes the 5-foot-6, 135-pound Martin a monster in the cockpit of a race car.

Johnson — Martin’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate — is the Chase for the Sprint Cup leader with three races to go, starting next with Sunday’s Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Johnson is the three-time defending champion. By Martin’s way of thinking, he’s really due to lose some year.

Staying fit at 50

Martin, who led the Chase through the first three weeks, is now in second place, trailing Johnson by 184 points.

Time perhaps has run out on his attempt to become the oldest Cup champ in NASCAR history.

He has been runner-up four times — finishing second to Tony Stewart (2002), Jeff Gordon (’98) and twice to Dale Earnhardt (’94 and ’90). He also has had three career third-place finishes.

Martin tried to “semi-retire” three years ago, he really did, but his competitive drive wouldn’t let him. You see, his secret to life is to keep moving.

He pilots his own airplane. And while he’s not an easy man to sum up in a paragraph or two, what he is not is a novelty act. His 90-minute workout regimen four days a week is serious business.

“I never miss a workout,” Martin blogged. “I’ve been lifting for nearly 22 years now. I could be a personal trainer.”

Actually, he’s his own personal trainer. He works out alone.

A few pro athletes who have been able to achieve greatness late in their careers, and many of those have shown a penchant for fitness. Brett Favre is a good example, although he’s 10 years younger than the driver of the No. 5 Chevrolet.

Martin grew up during the ’60s in Batesville, Ark. He applies Bible verse to his everyday life. He has been married to the same woman (Arlene) for 25 years, so he’s pretty much in for the long haul in whatever he does.

But he doesn’t always act his age.


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