Fitness STANDARDS

Fitness STANDARDS

Postby rstraker » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:10 am

Hi, fellow PMTS'ers.

I'm coming back from a heart attack, a few years ago, and some related issues. Doing well, but want to dial in my fitness more than I used to.

So my question is...what does high-level ready-for-black-level fitness look like. Not how to get there, but what "there" looks like. In other words, what standards would tell you that I'm ready.
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby SkiMoose » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:24 am

I'm surprised this hasn't been answered yet. I think that "ready for black" is a fairly loose description, and "ready" depends much more on the exact level that you are skiing at. If your goal was just to be able to get down any black run at most resorts, then you don't need a very high level of fitness at all. You'd just take more mid-run breaks than a skier in better shape. If your goal is to carve SL turns down an icy black pitch, then we're getting into a whole different thing. Core/leg strength and endurance just become more and more important as the forces and speeds get higher.
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby HeluvaSkier » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:36 pm

Never-mind black-level fitness... First, are you cleared to ski by your doctor(s)?
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby Max_501 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:11 am

rstraker wrote:So my question is...what does high-level ready-for-black-level fitness look like. Not how to get there, but what "there" looks like. In other words, what standards would tell you that I'm ready.


I'm sure it varies for each person since we all do different off season activities. When I'm in great shape for performance skiing I have no problem mt bike riding 25+ miles or hiking 10+ miles with 2K+ of elevation gain. My body fat will be in the single digits. Just take a look at HH to see the shape he maintains to ski at a very high level.
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby ErikCO » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:41 pm

I would want a clarification as to what you mean by "ready-for-black". Are we talking about ready for skiing black terrain with good PMTS form and judicious rests, or do you mean ready to qualify for a PMTS black-level instructor test? They are two very different questions. For the first, I'd say decent general fitness is fine (on the order of what Max said, though not necessarily needing body fat in the single digits, more like, can you run a 5k, bike 15 miles, hike 8-10 with 2-3k elevation gain without too much difficulty). For the second, I think I remember HH saying somewhere, and please correct me if I'm wrong on this, that to pass a PMTS black instructor test you needed to be able to ski a double diamond bump run with ~2k vertical with short turns in rhythm without stopping.

I would say, based on video, that I am mostly at the first level, no where near the second.
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby Max_501 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:39 am

What I described is several steps above general good fitness (for me) as noted by the low body fat. The more weight I carry the more effort required to make high performance turns, especially in bumps and crud or carving up groomers with SL turns. Just 10 pounds will make a difference in how hard and long I can hit it.

And I second this post from Heluva...

HeluvaSkier wrote:Never-mind black-level fitness... First, are you cleared to ski by your doctor(s)?
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby jbotti » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:08 pm

Max_501 wrote:Just 10 pounds will make a difference in how hard and long I can hit it.



I was never heavy but had been doing more strength training and less cycling and my weight went to 193-194 lbs (I'm 6 3" so still not heavy). Gave up sugar two years ago and dropped 13 lbs in 8 weeks. I was somewhat worried about skiing because I had lost some real muscle and size especially in the legs. Was shocked to find out that everything was a lot easier 10-13 lbs lighter. Skied my best ever by a wide margin the past two years. As we get older weight is key and less is definitely more!
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby Max_501 » Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:12 pm

It's that time of year where I start thinking about my fitness as we head into the fall/winter. Am I ready to crush the bumps and crud? If I'm honest, probably not. Need more time climbing steeps on my bike or hiking steeps at a fast pace. But I'll get there before they open the lifts! Anyone feel they are ready to ski all day for 4 days straight?
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby tigernbr » Fri Aug 06, 2021 8:13 am

I've lost a lot of weight (which I needed to do) so I'm sitting at 160 now. Beyond that, I need to get my cardio going again. I'll work on my legs too. I'll be skiing for 7 days straight in February so I need to get ready.
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby HeluvaSkier » Sun Aug 08, 2021 7:27 pm

Max_501 wrote:Anyone feel they are ready to ski all day for 4 days straight?


I'm ready.
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby jbotti » Tue Aug 10, 2021 12:05 pm

Over the past several years my off-season workout regimen hasn't been all that different from what I do for the two months leading up to ski season. No matter what I have done in those 2 months, nothing can duplicate/replace skiing, to get ski legs (although interval work on the bike comes the closest). The one thing I have added since ski season ended which is different than in the past is a much greater focus on hamstring strength and conditioning. Pull back seems to be the first thing to fail when the legs get real tired and without it, things can get sloppy quick. I had some good success with increased hamstring conditioning during last season and I think it will pay off nicely this season with the increased work and focus all through the off season.

Since I mentioned bike interval work, I will put in a plug for doing OOs. Did these for years when I was racing on the bike. Pretty simple 5 minute interval work. 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off (OO stands for on/off). the on interval should be above race pace but if you go all out on the first one or two you won't make it through the 5 minutes. The off should be a casual pace but not super slow. These are best done on hills. Work up til you can do 3, 5 minutes sets. with 5 mins at a casual pace between sets. It can be expanded to 1 min ons and offs. Thee are ten minute sets and are harder and if you want to really hammer the On, best to take 2 mins on the off interval. Both variations are excellent. I usually work these in starting in early October and by Thanksgiving I am doing 2 10 minute sets. I find these best in the midst of a nice climbing ride, but they also can be done indoors on a trainer. I hate trainer work indoors but I have done a ton of it and when its raining out, thats where I do these.

I think they are great for revving the legs for ski season and bike interval work has proven to be the exercise closest to actual skiing.
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby skijim13 » Wed Aug 11, 2021 8:18 am

I agree with all the posts on fitness, I also do upper and lower body weight training five days a week, core training, yoga, and rollerblading. However, the most important part of fitness starts with healthy eating and getting the correct amount of sleep.
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby HeluvaSkier » Wed Aug 11, 2021 5:39 pm

Major step-changes in my skiing performance occurred when I started lifting in the fall to prep for ski season; then another step change happened when I continued to lift through ski season; and the most recent step change in performance was when I put a gym in my house so that I never had to stop lifting (allowing me to continue to lift through cycling season). By 'lifting' I mean 1.8x-2.0x body weight squat and 2.3x-2.5x body weight dead lift or higher, if-possible. Of course any time in a gym helps, but I don't consider myself in shape to ski at a high level until I'm at least 85% of those strength levels and have the rest of my strength performance (e.g. supporting lifts and core) aligned with that level. Currently, I'm sitting just above the 85% threshold and have logged close to 2,000 miles on my road bikes simultaneously... so, I could ski tomorrow, assuming I find time to tune my skis.
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby jbotti » Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:46 am

HeluvaSkier wrote: 1.8x-2.0x body weight squat and 2.3x-2.5x body weight dead lift or higher, if-possible.


Those numbers are almost comical to me at my age (61) and my body type. Admittedly I was never going to be a WC ski racer and 30 years + of endurance athletics just lessens ones fast twitch. And again at my age I would never go near trying to do anything with weights anything close to what you are suggesting (that would be squats at 360 lbs and deadlifts at 450 lbs for me). My back would go out and possibly do serious ligament damage even if I worked up to it over many months (and I would never get there anyway).

But, you can ski at a high level without coming anywhere near these types of weights. HH doesn't lift anywhere near this level (now, maybe never) and still slays it. Again, I'm not talking about racing at a high level, but rather black level recreational, all mountain and bump skiing.

As has been mentioned before in this thread, as one gets older, less is more. Weight is not your friend, and lifting big weight tends to add weight especially as we age.
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Re: Fitness STANDARDS

Postby Daren » Tue Aug 17, 2021 11:03 pm

jbotti wrote:
HeluvaSkier wrote: 1.8x-2.0x body weight squat and 2.3x-2.5x body weight dead lift or higher, if-possible.




As has been mentioned before in this thread, as one gets older, less is more. Weight is not your friend, and lifting big weight tends to add weight especially as we age.


As muscles get stronger they get bigger. As the muscle get bigger they get further away from the bone. The muscle fiber that is furthest away from the bone is not as efficient as the muscle closest to the bone do to the angle of pull.

If your inner thigh muscles get to big they will get in the way of keeping your feet together.
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