Thoughts on Ski Fitness

Thoughts on Ski Fitness

Postby Kiwi » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:49 am

Here are some pictures that are a snap shot of the training I do. I have left out the more traditional exercises like leg press, bench press etc. ... 7d44b0f71c

I started my training after attending a PMTS camp in Solvista 4yrs ago. At Solvista I set some serious goals. I knew I’d have to get very fit again to achieve those goals. I’m still not there yet but the improvements have made a massive impact on my skiing and speed of learning.

Although I was a competitive athlete in my teens, 20s and early 30, before I embarked on training in my late 40s I had a specialist cardio check up, and an old knee injury examined. I have no ACL in my right knee. Not to mention the left elbow.....

I advise a medical check regularly and the use of a personal trainer when you start, then as often as needed.

I aim for functional strength and stability, which for skiing I believe requires large amounts of balance and flexibility, coupled with a strong core, integrated with the whole body. I do lots of stretching and am getting better all the time. I have not reached my % fat goal yet, which to me is more important than weight, but I will.

The first three months after I started, four years ago, was spent just cycling, I still do cycling more than any other single exercise.

If you are not into year round training and only want a pre-skiing program look to start with the PMTS fitness program, get Harald’s Ski Flex read JBotti’s VMO exercises on the forum, I use them all. Like John Botti I think pull-ups are great but a lot of people cannot do them. However, you can train with an assisted pull-up machine or rubber band as shown here. I cannot over emphasis that if this type of training is new to you make use of a trainer.

I am not interested in muscle bulk per se so as a general rule I do 12-15-20 reps per set. In two or three set combinations. I try not to sacrifice form for maximal effort.

If I can I challenge myself with my S/B training by incorporating a balance element. This is not so easy with standard weight training so I create functional variations on basic exercises, which is great fun. See the pictures for ideas.

I train 4-5 days a week at the Gym, and have a trainer 2-3 times a week, when not skiing or away. When I can I also do 4 hrs a week at an indoor snow centre. However, it is very important to not over train, easier said than done.

You need a plan in order to achieve your fitness goals, to build up your aerobic and anaerobic capacity and functional strength to the level you want. However, you must have built a base fitness in order to do the anaerobic activities you need in order to peak at the right time i.e. winter. I build everything I do around the cardio exercise I need, e.g. bike, row, hike and swim etc. I now avoid running unless on grass to protect my joints.

I have two basic programs; strength/balance and cardio (aerobic/ anaerobic). The S/B changes in emphasis i.e. the ratio of strength to balance exercises, about every 2 months, at the same time so does the amount and intensity of the cardio. Within each week there are micro cycles easier days harder days

In my cardio program I do work to maximal, anaerobic and VO2 max levels. Basically my cardio training incorporate LSD training with tempo and interval training.

I use a range of exercises in a year, including using a TRX, Kettles, step running, four minute tabatas, rowing and bike sprints etc. Keeps it interesting and more functional as opposed to linear. I also do negative weight training, with rubber bands, to work on fast twitch fibres. Skipping is good.

I place a lot of importance on diet and hydration. A 1% drop in hydration equals a 9.8 % drop in performance. Remember when you feel thirsty you are dehydrated! I use electrolytes eg Elite no sugar etc, with all exercise.

Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:17 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Thoughts on Ski Fitness

Postby BobD » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:46 am

Thanks Kiwi for sharing your training experiences. I’m always on the lookout for ways to enhance my own training regimen.

I started skiing as an adult and I only have the opportunity to ski while on vacation trips. For my first several seasons, this was one week per year and I would typically be enrolled in a week-long ski camp during that week. I live at low altitude and found that in order to give my instructors a fair shot at teaching me anything, I had to show up in good enough shape to persevere while enduring hard falls at high altitude. (Skiing didn’t come naturally to me!) Regarding my time spent at the gym, I went from zero visits per week to five visits per week, all so that I could better handle learning new movements at ski camp.

As the frequency of my ski trips has increased, my fitness training has continued to pay dividends, even though my training regimen is not as intense as yours.
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:40 am
Location: Flatlands of suburban Chicago

Re: Thoughts on Ski Fitness

Postby Kiwi » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:03 pm


Sounds like you have an excellent program in place. Your motivation is like my own; to improve learning time and maximise results on the snow.

I don't think you need to have high intensity program to get very fit for skiing. Consistency and perseverance toward targeted goals are what pay dividends not the size of the weights. In those photos I am not using heavy weights but trying to make the exercises more difficult by doing them on one leg, bosu, swiss ball etc as I think developing a high level of proprioception for balance is central in skiing and developing drills. The training must be fun and this works for me.

I can often spend 30 min stretching before training and a little less after, which I consider a critical part of my approach.

Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:17 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Thoughts on Ski Fitness

Postby bowlhiker » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:54 am

Last August I read a story about Clinton, how he had another heart attack and what he did. It led me here:

Got my blood work done in September. Numbers were OK, but not where I want. I was exercising regularly, riding my bike hard 5 or 6 days, but not losing any weight.

Another "rats" moment was when I checked my BMI index here:

According to them, I was overweight. WTF???

I know a little about data mining. The BMI Index is being used along with credit scores now, to make decisions about people. But more important, the BMI Index is real -- it's not hypothetical. As Americans, we're just used to everyone being overweight. Clothing companies have changed their sizing to make us feel better about being the weight we are. It's all a scam. So that was a real wake up call for me.

Hey man. Life is good. I'm having a ball. I want to live the way I do as long as possible.

We've always ate well; lots of organic, brown rice all the time, legumes, etc.
I had a severe sweet tooth.
I stopped at the burger joint here in town too much.
Pizza. Coke. Junk.

Since we were already 90% of the way there, we switched entirely to a plant based diet.
Since September...
No dairy
No meat
No oil (even Olive)
No junk or processed food

Never felt better. My wife makes all our food. Whenever possible we buy organic. We use Door To Door Organics,

I was 210 when I started, I'm 188 today. I'm going to have my blood done again in January. I bet there's a huge improvement.

I have more strength, I feel like I'm in the best shape I've been in since my early 20's.

I've also upped the ante on exercise. In the winter I ski a lot, which isn't exercise. Since I ski so much, I don't get to the gym. When I get back on my bike after a year of skiing, well, this summer it took me all summer to feel it again.

So I bought some AT gear, I've taken up skinning up the hill at night. I live in the mountains, so I can go out all the time. It's great exercise! If you have a hill nearby, try investing in some AT Gear. I'm really happy I did. Hiking for corduroy is fun, really great exercise. And, nothing like being out there on a full moon. And, you don't have to worry about being run over by a skier, or riding up the lift with some jerk who wants to tell you how it is.

I also compliment this with a couple of days a week of weights and stretching.

The skinning has also made my legs much stronger, which I feel is cheap insurance against a knee injury.

I've come to find out that the reason why I wasn't losing any weight was because of what I was eating. Yes, I'd have a bowl or brown rice and my legumes. But then I'd have ice-cream. Now, I eat more than I ever have and I'm enjoying eating more than ever. I also like the feel good of not eating food made by the man, giant corporations who are basically trying to kill us. I'm into saving the planet. We have solar, we compost, I buy Patagonia (because they're heavy into recycling), I use a battery powered mower. So this is just one more thing we do that we feel great about. So it's positive for the brain.

Here's two great links:

The idea of eating this way is not new, Pritiken talked about it in the 70's. But back then, there weren't the resources there are now and it was hard to find out about recipes. Now it's much easier to do this. The two doctors behind this are not into it for the fad or the glory. They're honestly trying to make people healthier and that's a really good thing. If people were healthy, insurance costs would go way down.

Here's a couple more links that if you're not already aware, will be an eye opener. Basically we get cancer from the food we eat, because there's so many toxins and that it's engineered. Monsanto is ruining our food supply. The best thing you can do, is not buy their bs. Avoid them like the plague, make what you eat. Don't eat engineered or processed food. Don't' use pesticides.

Good stuff.

It's working for me.
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:42 pm

Re: Thoughts on Ski Fitness

Postby krazzy legs » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:57 pm

adaptive response to imposed demands, exercise is a form of stress, just like a sun tanner develops a tan to protect the body from the stress of the sun an exerciser adapts to protect from the stress of exercise. Just like a sun tanner who spends to much time in the sun will start to burn then skin start to decompose & if taken far enough to much time in high intensity sun light death would occure. The same is true with exercise to much exercise & the body can not handle all the stress. The body has x amount of recovery ability which is not the same amount for everyone. Just like dark skin people can handle a lot of high intensity sun light compared to albinos same is true with exercise not everyone can handle the same amount of stress from exercise.

From keeping my own records I have found strength training one set to failure once every lunar cycle for my self is all that is needed. It seams to be the same for sun tanning. The body protects it self by keeping a reserve by taking a set to failure threatens the boddies reserve capacity so the body adapts by building a bigger reserve i.e., bigger muscles. Since gravity can not be screaned by the body future gravity becomes present becomes past. Perhaps it is the accumulation of gravity by the body that is effected by the moon determines the biological clock of when the body starts to lose muscle from a strength training workout.

It is easy to tell if you are over training. If you start to become weaker by adding more aerobic training when doing strength workouts because your do not have enough of the limited supply of recovery ability to both. Of course a person can only become so strong & the body will only let the muscles get so big or else bones will start breaking. The bigger muscles get the less efficient pound for pound they become due to the angle of pull i.e., the further away from the bone the greater the angle.
krazzy legs
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:58 pm

Return to Fitness

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest