Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Guest Article for Daybreak Carve

Recently I was asked to write similar articles for a few different media outlets describing my top 3 (or 5) pre-season training exercise choices.  The idea was to give a tip that if the reader applied it to their training, would ensure they’d be appropriately prepared for the upcoming winter season.  I gave the premise some real thought and consideration, but came up with a little different answer from what was originally requested.  Coincidentally, Ale from DaybreakCarve.com liked the theme and asked if I'd write more about the topic.
Is This the "Magic" Exercise?
Year after year, especially in the Fall/Early-Winter, you see these articles in all the major snow publications.   There are a few exercise example descriptions, often with an Olympic/Pro Athlete as a model, and a claim that these are the exercises they use to train for competition, or to get them into snow shape, etc.  While this kind of presentation helps foster a certain level of credibility with the readers, the truth is there aren’t 3 (or 5) exercises that you can do that will ensure that you’re in peak condition for skiing and snowboarding.

That’s right, just adding those exercises to your routine (if you have a routine) won’t get the job done.  They usually are good exercises, and by ‘good’ I mean relatively sports specific and functional.  But I can guarantee that in their effort to be in peak condition for their competition season the Pro/Olympic athlete shown in the article uses a much greater training volume, with a wider variety of exercises, all year long.

So my real answer to the “what are your 3 (or 5) top pre-season exercises” question is:

            -        The only way to be in snow-shape is to participate in a comprehensive off-season training program designed and administered by an experienced Professional Coach/Personal Trainer

Yep, you guessed it, there’s work and commitment involved.  No magic pill or quick fix. 

Honestly think about the physical and mental challenges you’re exposed to every time you take a run out on the slopes (for more amplification on what elements a Mountain Athlete must posses to be at the top of their game read this).  I’m also assuming you do more on the mountain than just meander down green runs for ½ the day.

Do you really believe that doing 3 or 5 exercises a month prior to ski/board season will adequately prepare you for the rigors of an entire winter of riding?  Even if you were an elite Mountain Athlete who’s been training all off-season that plan still won’t work. 
Not Bad for Early Season
Consider that near the beginning of October, my athletes start their pre-season conditioning phases with a focus on strength, power, speed, conditioning/endurance (physical and mental) and balance/agility.  They then continue to use consistent gym training during their competition season to get better throughout the winter.  And this is already after putting in some serious gym time from late-Spring to early Fall.

Not quite the answer the editors were looking for.  And as you’ve probably guessed I didn’t end up writing any articles.   There most likely wasn’t enough ‘sizzle factor’ to my topic.

Looking back on it I have to chuckle at myself a bit as I was seriously going through a checklist of all the exercises I use in programming pre-season training and trying to determine which ones were the key examples that made it all work.  Was it Squats, or Deadlifts, or maybe Turkish Get-Up’s, or that certain Conditioning Challenge, etc. that was the magic piece of the puzzle?  Like I said, I did give the original premise some real thought.  That’s when I laughed as I started to realize the coveted 3 (or5) mystical exercises didn’t exist.  

  -    It’s the cumulative effect of all the exercises used throughout the entire off-season programs I create for my athletes that allows them to be in the best condition to start their winter sports efforts.

If you’re ready to work toward being in the best condition of your mountain sports career contact me to get started training today!

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