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How much is REALLY necessary?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
What's up fellow gym-addicts? I have been pondering all this workout nonsense lately, and I'm coming to wonder how much is truly necessary. I do a pretty good 25-or-so-minute ab workout 3 times a week, I hit my chest pretty hard about twice a week, I run stairmaster about 5 times a week, and I kill my legs in the gym the other 2 days a week. For shoulders, quads, and low back I waterski (slalom) really hard usually 3 times a week.

All this sums up to doing about everything but traps, upper back, mid shoulders, and arms. But are these last 4 really necessary for skiing? If I have a strong core and killer legs as well as a good aerobic fitness level, won't I be just gravy skiing my heart out 10 to 15 days a year? If not, how much more should I do, and how often?

Synopsis: Killer quads and abs, decent hips, hammys, calves, deltoids, forearms, and chest. No traps, lats, or biceps. Can I do without the last 3?
post #2 of 6
Finally water-skiing that doesn't hammer the upper body, chest, back, biceps, traps and everything else. Where do I find it? How is it done? How long will it take to learn?


And 25 minutes of abs? That's at least 1000 crunches. I should know we did 1000 crunches 2 to 3X per week when I did martial arts.

Here are my thoughts: 1. 25 minutes of abs is 15 minutes too much unless you are in a sport of activity that actually requires that much. Skiing does not. 2. Water-skiing rips the forearms, biceps, shoulders, upper and mid back. It is like doing low to mid rows for the entire time you are dragging behind the boat, for me about 20 minutes per drag. 3. Is upper body work necessary for skiing - Yes! Good upper body strength will allow you to ski longer without fatigue and enjoy those after ski moments. The worst thing is being kept up all night because your upper back and shoulders are fatigued to the point of spasm.

You might want to do a more whole body workout for 30 minutes 3 to 4 times per week. If you are in good shape that is all that is necessary (as a minimum) to keep in reasonable shape. If you exchange that for your abs work and chest work you should be in better shape all around. Kick it up to an hour 4X per week and you have a formidable workout.

post #3 of 6
for most recreational skiers, since the lift takes you up and gravity brings you down, super fitness is hardly required. less than that if you're balanced over your skis.
but a little extra isn't going to hurt anything. my "surplus" is a mental edge, if anything; when i feel good, i ski more assertively. when i ski more assertively, i ski better.

[ November 10, 2003, 11:00 AM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #4 of 6
No expert opinion here, just wisdom from 40 years of mistakes. You are young, single, obsessive, compulsive and independantly wealthy. You are probably doing too much already. Don't worry about, though. Looking good is important on the weekend prowl.

Take a one week break (reduced load & frequency) every 4 - 6 weeks to allow for growth and recovery (mental & physical). Then after the break, change up the routine. Evaluate your weaknesses and decide where you want improvement and look for exercises that will get you there.

It is not about the routine. It is about getting the most fulfillment out of the activity (water skiing, skiing, one night stands, etc.).

I do a lot of work just to enjoy 10 days of skiing a year. Every time I go, I am glad I did the work.

That is my two cents. Can I get some change back?
post #5 of 6
Sometimes muscle not needed for the actual performance need to be trained as well. As an example pitchers would train their deltoid posterior. This muscle is not needed to throw the ball faster but is needed to decelerate the arm after the pitch and to maintain muscle balance and integrity of the shoulder joint to prevent injury. Keep in mind the specific muscle used in skiing but do not neglect completely those other muscles that can get out of balance and create injury. I believe that muscle strength ratio should be maintained for each joints.

I looked at your post and to answer your question, do the upper back at least. Most upper back will also get your bicep and exercises like the seated row or low pulley row will maintain balance between your pectoral and your back. If you do your leg, dont forget the hamstings as those tend to not follow the quadriceps in their stength level. This is essential to prevent ACL injury. Good training and keep playing hard. It is good to cross train like you do. It keeps it interesting.

[ November 12, 2003, 12:05 AM: Message edited by: Frenchie ]
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys. I think I'll take one day per week to hit a hard upper back workout, just to balance out. But did we conclude that arms are necessary for skiing (biceps and triceps)? I'd appreciate a direct answer to this one...
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