Skip to content

Pro Racer Leah Pruett In Driving Gear Says "Happy Hemi Day"

Here are her training tips.

Professional drag racer Leah Pruett is celebrating an important day in the automotive world—Hemi Day, in honor of when the 426-cubic-inch HEMI V8 engine was launched in 1964. Pruett, 35, shared a picture of herself wearing a black tank top that perfectly accentuated her ripped shoulders and arms, walking with her driving suit on. "Wishing you all a Happy #HEMI Day! 🎉 #HappyHemiDay #HEMIDay #426," she captioned the post. Here's what Pruett's intense strength and health regimen looks like.


Endurance Training

For Pruett and other professional racers, racing is very much about endurance, so she mixes up cardio with strength training. "Race weekends often mean sixteen hour days," she told Inc. "Running from event to event, meeting sponsors, packing parachutes, mixing fuel, doing media… race days are extremely high-paced and intense. I can't operate at that level if I don't condition for that level." "The number one premise behind my fitness and conditioning is reaction time," she says. "Your leg can't be shaking from holding the clutch in for a long time, you can't be tired, you can't be lethargic…"


Careful About Diet


Pruett is careful about her diet as any fluctuations could impact her driving. "In the off-season the team may spend weeks shaving 5 pounds off a particular spot on the car," she told Inc. "But if I'm capable of shaving 5 pounds off of me (laughs) just through my time and my work ethic… why wouldn't I? When I eat a normal meal, within 30 minutes I feel myself start to get lethargic. So I maintain a protein and leafy diet: For example, grilled chicken with as much hot sauce as I can to put some flavor in (laughs) and broccoli."


Plank Variations


Pruett does her own "knee to opposite elbow" variation of a plank. "The pure adrenaline of driving produces the ultimate thrill," she told SELF. "I love not only the speed, but the competition and intensity of getting everything right on every pass. Every move inside the car counts… I like this move because it works all the muscles in your core, including the abdominal, back and pelvic muscles. When these muscles are strong, you feel better, look better and have more energy."


Wakesurfing For Fun

Pruett wakesurfs in her free time, finding it a perfect complement to her racing. "I started wakesurfing two years ago," she told Inc. "Every time I'm on the board I'm pushing for my mind to understand what my feet are doing and to develop better foot control. When you're balancing on a board, balance is something you don't think about. You just do it. But to do tricks I literally have to 'tell' my feet try this, try this a little more. In the car when my mind says go my feet have to say go… and wakesurfing helps me build that connection between my brain and my feet."


Diversity In Racing

Pruett is proud to be a role model to up and coming female drivers, and has plenty to prove. "From a driver's standpoint in the space, I feel like I've always had to prove myself more as a female," she told Engine Builder. "One, my dad told me I would never be as good as the boys, so I focused on being better than the boys. To further prove my worth, I said I would never want to be a helmet back driver, much less a female helmet back driver. That has pushed me to work on the cars, build them from a chassis standpoint with the Funny Car crew, perform clutch work, etc."

Filed Under