Munich. Fitness training plays a major role in the everyday life of BMW works drivers, particularly in the off-season and the current situation. As well as training alone at home, they now also have the opportunity to regularly fine-tune their fitness together – online. That is because Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli and his team at Formula Medicine are offering a special group training session via video conference three times a week for the BMW works drivers, a service that is being embraced.
“We had never tested this before but we had the idea due to the current situation and it works very well,” said Dr. Ceccarelli. “Everyone is very professional and they do their exercises, but it’s extra motivation to train live together with the others and to give the very best. It’s fun to train together and to see each other on video, so it’s not only physical training, it’s also great team building.”
The BMW works drivers do not need a lot of equipment for the digital training sessions, which last about one hour. They train using their own body weight – all they need is a mat for the floor. For each session, the people at Formula Medicine develop different training programmes for strength and endurance. The service also includes mental training via video conference.
The group online training is working so well that they could continue in the future. “I always say ‘every problem can bring an opportunity’,” Dr. Ceccarelli explained. “So we are already working in our facility to implement it and to have more options to work with webcam and video conferences to maintain this after Corona. During the season, the drivers are on the road a lot but with one or two training sessions per week on free days we all can keep connected and exchanging. And if a driver for example has a question regarding a specific exercise, we can easily connect via video, no matter where he is.”
The plan is to continue training anyway until the season resumes. Three times a week, the BMW works drivers and BMW Junior Team dial into the meetings from their homes and go at it full-throttle for an hour.
Quotes on the Formula Medicine online training:
Philipp Eng: “It is cool that we have this opportunity and, even in these times, can train both physically and mentally with Dr. Ceccarelli and his team via video conference. It is great that we have this service. Fortunately, today’s technology allows this kind of thing, and I really enjoy taking part.”
Sheldon van der Linde: “It’s a really cool thing that Formula Medicine is offering us. What I found really cool about that is that when you are on video and training with your other team-mates, you always push yourself harder. That is one of the reasons why I love to do this. The other reason is that we have our awesome trainers on board and I’ve been working with them in the off season in January for a few weeks when I was there. I really enjoy working with them, we have a really good relationship and it’s great to meet them online for training now. It’s important for us to be ready when the season starts and I think with Formula Medicine on board we drivers have nothing to worry about. With them we are well on track to be as fit as possible for the season start.”
Bruno Spengler: “I think Dr. Ceccarelli and his team have really come up with a great idea, to come up with a new training programme for us several times a week, and for us then to be able to work through that programme together with the other drivers online. It is great fun, as we are able to see each other, have a chat, and train together. It is fantastic to be able to train together with Dr. Ceccarelli, his team and my fellow BMW drivers – in addition to my other training.”
Martin Tomzcyk: “Exceptional times demand exceptional measures – or, in this case, exceptional training methods. I think the Formula Medicine team and its leader Dr. Ceccarelli have really done a good job in that regard. Via video conference, they give us the opportunity to train at home under their guidance. We are virtually in the training facility in Italy. It is usually circuit training, which is primarily to strengthen your core muscles and improve stamina and speed. It also gives you a boost to see the others and train in a team, although everyone is alone at home. It is a nice change from the training I am currently only able to do by myself at home.”
Jens Klingmann: “I think it is extremely cool that we have the technical opportunities to partake in sport together, even at a distance, although everyone is at home by themself. It is also very important that you don’t need any equipment, just a mat, as this is training using your own body weight. Anyone can get started straight away, although I must say that this training with your own body weight is extremely tiring. However, it is a great motivator because your BMW colleagues are also there and you know that you are being watched, you try even harder. We spur each other on. I find it a mega cool thing, and it would be excellent to continue after coronavirus, because you can do it absolutely anywhere. You can join in from your home, a hotel room, the beach, the paddock, a truck – everywhere. That gives us a huge amount of flexibility, as we strive to stay physically fit and keep improving.”
Max Hesse (BMW Junior Team): “It is mega cool. The guys really go for it and it is really hard work. It is obviously also very motivating to exercise with the trainers and other drivers. That spurs you on a bit more and makes it a little easier to get through the training. We are using the time now to work through our training really well and are also doing mental training to ensure we are also on top form mentally by the time things resume.”
Dan Harper (BMW Junior Team): “The online training sessions with Formula Medicine are great. They are very beneficial for me and I think also for all the other drivers because it’s a good way for us to keep pushing with our training. As I am in the UK at the moment I am not able to be outside for more than one hour for exercise so doing these digital work-outs with Formula Medicine with the other Juniors, Max and Neil, plus the works drivers is really pushing me forward. And it’s also big fun. For sure it’s hard work so it’s really keeping me in shape for when the season starts at the Nürburgring and it’s just a brilliant way to keep in touch with everybody and to keep our training up to where it needs to be.”
Neil Verhagen (BMW Junior Team): “The online training with Formula Medicine are really tough but great. It’s nice to see everybody’s face again and I really enjoy the training. They are helpful and it’s great to interact with everybody again.”