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Strength & Athleticism & Skiing - Page 2

post #31 of 79
IMHO, Skiing is a whole lot more fun when I'm fit, especially now that i'm of a "certain age." Aerobic capacity helps me get down a longer bump run without stopping. It especially helps in those dang places where i have to skate (uphill even) for any distance. It and strength help a whole lot when i hike for my turns (ski taos alot, hike alot). Sure technique will help you more than brute force if you're making forced turns, but take two people skiing at the same level, one strong and fit and the other a couch potato, you will find the strong one happier and more ready to improve with the wonderful techinique your lessons will provide. I've spent summers both ways (lollygagging on the beach or running and working out) and I improve faster when I've worked at it in the hot months. It's a mental thing too (maybe more so for women, I don't know). When I feel strong, I am more likely to feel confident and that helps anyone's skiing.
post #32 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Meanwhile, we've only heard one voice (so far) in support of fitness being a REQUIREMENT for expert skiing (in the original thread).
Okay, I will say it too. I think fitness as defined by functional mobility and stability are required for expert level skiing. I don't mean this requires a gym but I do think that power without technique is no worse that technique without the functional mobility, stability, and strength to use it effectively.

I like Grey Cook's three layered "Performance Pyramid". A broad base of functional mobility and core stability, or functional movement. A smaller layer strength, or functional performance, with technique and skill, a small top level, or functioanl skill.

As an instructor, I see too many examples of skiers who need their base layer improved. I also see the experts that have the whole package.

I agree with you too TR, that pumping the weights is not the key to skiing success. But then, I don't equate working out to only pumping Iron.

From a personal perspective, I could only utilize the technique I was learning when I developed the functioanl fitness that made it possible. As I refocused my training towards my base level fitness, overall strength became less of an issue and technique became more avallable. My movements improved. What I came to realize, was that technique and strength were no substitute for functional fitness, and that there was work to do. So my advice is to train off the snow so your technique can used more effectively, but keep the pyramid shape in mind when you are working out.

As Cook says, train the movements and not the muscles. My experience has shown me that most of my students and fellow instructors that struggle to learn higher level technique and skills, have base level fitness issues holding them back. Later, RicB.
post #33 of 79
RicB, "functional fitness" is the key phrase, I think. Much of what passes for fitness these days isn't functional (including many of the results from pumping iron).
post #34 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
RicB, "functional fitness" is the key phrase, I think. Much of what passes for fitness these days isn't functional (including many of the results from pumping iron).
expert ability to operate a remote control, or a video game controller, you mean?

post #35 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
expert ability to operate a remote control, or a video game controller, you mean?

...or a keyboard, mouse, and web browser?
post #36 of 79
... or the ability to open the fridge door, reach in, and grab a cold beer all by yourself.
post #37 of 79
BigE, you gotta train the dog better, sheesh. That's a dog's job.

(NB: lapdogs bought at the insistence of wife/girlfriend/mistress do not count as dogs)
post #38 of 79
Quote:
I'm a 53 year old woman and a pretty good skier. I've been skiing since the winter of 1971-72.
Quote:
In spite of this, it's been close to 20 years since I had any "morning after" muscle issues after the first day of skiing. I can usually do 20,000 vertical feet the first day out, and closer to 35,000 or 40,000 later in the season.
I think I have a new hero. I also think you could probably ski my east coast/sea level self into the ground.

When I went out west for the first time this season I was very concious of the need to pace myself. I didn't need to work to create angles, I let the terrain do that for me.

It is not just technique that has an impact on endurance, but how that technique is applied.
post #39 of 79
Just to go against the grain, I began massive leg training before last year and think that is the main factor in to me breaking into running double blacks all day a few times last year. For me, having strength gave me the leg endurance and abosorbtion to do a lot of hard runs back-to-back, giving me time practice on them.
However, all the leg strength in the world will get someone to the end of the day if they're snowplowing and doing it badly.
I think with strength, there is a base requisite strength needed to perform on skis. Luckily with good technique, that isnt much.
post #40 of 79
"Technique will get you through times of no strength better than strength will get you through times of no technique"

(A little take off from the Fabulous furry Freak Brothers)

This summer I have been playing soccer three or more evenings per week.
Play till ya puke!

Strength and fitness are getting good with agility too.

I AM REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO SKIING THIS WINTER>


CalG
post #41 of 79

You've got to be kidding me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Jim Slade
Just to go against the grain, I began massive leg training before last year and think that is the main factor in to me breaking into running double blacks all day a few times last year. For me, having strength gave me the leg endurance and abosorbtion to do a lot of hard runs back-to-back, giving me time practice on them.
However, all the leg strength in the world will get someone to the end of the day if they're snowplowing and doing it badly.
I think with strength, there is a base requisite strength needed to perform on skis. Luckily with good technique, that isnt much.
Maybe the grain is going the wrong way.

First off, Fitness and strength are two different things. Fitness being a total body ability to do an athletic movement with emphasis on repetition and aerobic ability. Strength is the ability to apply or resist force. It does not have a time component like power does, so if you are interested in slow feet then you need to train power,agility and not strength. (although strength is important here too because power=strength /time

I'm not sure about everyone else on here, but I ski to challenge myself.
a key word that many people have been using is "recreational" skier. Which in my mind implies "occasional", which leads to skiers who are less serious then most on here. Recreational skier: skier as Jogger: Runner. A runner doesn't have to be competitive, but they are out there pushing themselves, they are serious about the sport and they love what they do.

If you are a skier and you are interested in more then nice easy linked turns down a groomed carpet, then strength is incredibly important. I can just picture some of the advocates of technique only making pretty, graceful, perfectly carved turns (maybe even back uphill to control your speed!) YES, you can get away with little strength here. You're letting the skis do all the work and you're a marvel of efficiency. Boring.

When it comes to higher speeds, ungroomed terrain, etc. (the things that we use to define ourselves as advanced skiers):

what do you think resists the G-forces?
Strength.
What enables angulation, the seperation of upper body and lower body?
Strength of gluteus medius etc.
How can you resist compression when in a tuck?
Quad strength
Why does every ski races train heavily in the weight room?
Because strength matters.
Kicking steps on a steep boot pack with skis and a pack on your back?
I hope you have some strength
Carving in Tight places? Trees, chutes, rocks?Avoiding skiers who cut you off?
Something needs to bend those skis.
post #42 of 79
A little more than a a little more thought on this topic has passed through my thoughts.

When we tire after a long day, Our technique often get's sloppy. Most of us recognise this and call it a day before we get hurt. Technique, Strength, or endurance?

When we rip the bumps, and find everything "clicking" we don't tire as quickly. Sometimes we can top to bottom the entire run and even "repeat as needed" . Enter the bump run with fatigue, the event often goes poorly and we tire even more quickly. Bad begets ugly!

If we drop ten feet and collapse onto our heels, is it just that we don't have springs enough? Was the landing too flat? Or did we fail to reach for the landing, extending to allow what strength we have to absorb?

When "the shaped skis" were introduced, my ski buddies raved that they made skiing so easy they could ski all day and not be tired. I thought to myself and resolved "wouldn't I just ski harder longer, until I was just as tired as with straight skis?" Now I find that if I click into the old equipment I don't generate the G forces that I do with the new stuff. The new equipment allows a higher work rate. I get equally (or more) tired.

Deep snow and broken snow (crud) takes a certain authority. Strength may be a good word, but I like the word Power better. Like the wry matial artist that needs not be big to better his adversary.

Several years ago I shared a lift at Stratton with a man a bit older than I was (now 53). I was then a "returning skier". He was very aware of his physical condition and looked the part, confessing to have been somewhat of a body builder in his day. I'm not sure how the conversation between us led, But at one point he looked at me and said that he wished that he had given more attention to his legs. instead of the appearance of his upper body. He said "the legs have to carry the load for the entire life.

The bottom line is that when there is little tiredness, I have more fun, 'cause "let's go for it" draws me in. When tired, there is always some trepidation.

The chicken, the egg, and the road
no sense to put all the eggs in one basket.

Well, that's enough.



CalG
post #43 of 79
Strength vs. Technique/ athleticism is a tough call. One can make up for weaknesses in the other and visa versa. Given two skiers with equal skills and technique, the stronger is more likely to be the more successful athlete. Of course that's all hypothetical.

I have an alignment problem (left leg) that I've always used strength to overcome when required. Smart thing would have been to see a good tech... I know... but I ski for pleasure. Last season, however, was the first ever that I recall not building a stronger platform as the season progressed. Age (47) is obviously catching up. The time has come and I guess I'm going to address the problem differently. Left footed edge engage and release was more than a little frustrating last season.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RJP
... a key word that many people have been using is "recreational" skier. Which in my mind implies "occasional"...
For me, the distinction between "recreational" and "competitive" does not relate to frequency, but rather intensity. I am a recreational skier- 50 to 60 days per season. I ski to enjoy challenging myself against the mountain, improving my skills, and spending time with family and friends.

For me to call myself a competitive skier, my goal would not be personal satisfaction, but rather to regularly best every other skier on the mountain in some type of competition. Those times I've been competitive in my life - track, soccer, tennis, midget racing - the majority of my time was spent focused on winning. Competitors may come in 2nd, but don't rest until they're finished trying to be number one. Recreational athletes accept 2nd (or less) with satisfaction. I can accept not being the best on the mountain... therefore, I define my skiing as recreational.
post #44 of 79
Med-
Perhaps I ought to have edited my post as I made the assumption that occasional skiers would ski with less intensity and seriousness about the sport. In my mind it as an intensity/challenge level as well.
On a side note... USAC midgets or other? My dad and grandfather owned and raced vintage midgets until 8-9 years ago and I grew up in the pits at USAC (and APBA) races.
post #45 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJP
Med-
Perhaps I ought to have edited my post as I made the assumption that occasional skiers would ski with less intensity and seriousness about the sport. In my mind it as an intensity/challenge level as well.
On a side note... USAC midgets or other? My dad and grandfather owned and raced vintage midgets until 8-9 years ago and I grew up in the pits at USAC (and APBA) races.
I don't get to ski as much as I'd like to, so I ski like my pants are on fire for the few weekends and trips that I fight for every year.
post #46 of 79

Keep em active!

I will throw my two cents at the topic by redefining “strength” and make the term more general to include general “fitness”.

Most coaches will take a fit athlete with little technical training over a technical skilled athlete that is not physically fit. The reason is that a fit individual can work longer and harder, learning more quickly, than an individual that is not in shape.

Fitness should not be underestimated, especially for the weekend skier who can’t become fit from continuous on-slope activity. The fit individual will learn and adjust to the demand of skiing. If an instructor is involved, the fit person will improve by quantum leaps. If the “player” just likes to ski and ignores instruction, the individual will not progress quickly or correctly, but will progress anyway.

If the skier is not fit, the day will be short, the experience restricted, and little technical improvement will be made.

Cross training is the best conditioning for skiing, and any thing that improves or maintains a high level of physical conditioning should be encouraged.

I need to put on my rollerblades!

Barrettscv
post #47 of 79

Just depends what is holding you back

I'm a 50 year old that just started skiing when I was 48. I've got over 100 days in and can share my own experience of what was limiting me - fitness or technique in that first 2 years of skiing. When I first started skiing in March of 2003 I was 19 pounds heavier than I am now. I really did no other fitness activities other than skiing in my 1st two years and while not focusing on fitness per-se, the skiing itself has made me much more fit than I was.

I would summarize and say that for the beginner and intermediate skier technique is much more the limiting factor than fitness. But as you get to advanced terrain or desire to make faster turns with lean angles appropriate for racing then at some point fitness level limits how long you can be comfortable skiing at that level.

Traveling from the altitude that I live at of 600 feet above sea level to a typical high altitude western resort just makes things harder for me. I can ski blue terrain all day, but if I'm running gates or doing blacks my aerobic fitness level limits how long I can do this at altitude. Interestingly, if I'm skiing east with their typcial 7000 feet or more lower atltitude I have no problem with any terrain. Thus the fitness I'm interested in improving is my o2 uptake level and dropping more weight rather than working on things like leg strength.

Towards that goal I've been working much more on bike rides to get that good aerobic base in place for next season.

This is going to be a very fun year!
post #48 of 79
Skiing does not make a person fit. If you think you are going to ski your way to fitness, you are wrong. With that attitude, you are asking for injury. Aerobic conditioning plus core strength and balance improvement goes hand in hand with technique.
post #49 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy
When "the shaped skis" were introduced, my ski buddies raved that they made skiing so easy they could ski all day and not be tired. I thought to myself and resolved "wouldn't I just ski harder longer, until I was just as tired as with straight skis?" Now I find that if I click into the old equipment I don't generate the G forces that I do with the new stuff. The new equipment allows a higher work rate. I get equally (or more) tired.
I'd say the modern big sidecut skis are more eager to create more pressure underfoot, which must be resisted by your muscles and your skeleton. if you like to ski swiftly, IMO the modern skis cause you to do more work, especially the little slalom racers (like my old Fischer WC SC) because they're switching turns so quickly when you ride 'em edge-to-edge with seamless trannys!

good posture ("stacked bones") can reduce some of the work your muscles must do to resist the ski's pressure back against you, but the faster you go and the harder you bend your ski, the more it pushes back against you, and stacked bones take you only so far!

more precise technique reduces the "fight" against the ski and takes the ski's energy (which is what makes it push back against you) and uses it.

the better you get, the less OVERwork you do, but you still have to do some work.

and Cal, I'll be danged shocked if your soccer playing isn't going to help your skiing stamina.
post #50 of 79

yes that

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31
Skiing does not make a person fit. If you think you are going to ski your way to fitness, you are wrong. With that attitude, you are asking for injury. Aerobic conditioning plus core strength and balance improvement goes hand in hand with technique.
In my case since I skied a lot, it increased my fitness and I lost 19 pounds, but that doesn't equal fitness.

The core strength routine and bike riding and racquetball are getting me fit(er) for the upcoming season. Where can you stop and what is enough to be labeled "fit" seems to me to be a subjective term.

My son teaches cheerleading and gymnastics and has developed upper body strength levels that from a pure skier point of view adds about 20 to 30 pounds of body weight without out a lot of "add" for skiing. On the bowflex he and I both do the same weight on the leg stuff (for instance all the rods on quads), but on upper body he is 2 to 3 times my strength.

That type of almost body builder upper body strength that he has while nice doesn't seem to be that useful for skiing. A lance armstrong build would be fine with me.
post #51 of 79

Yes - technique will eliminate overwork but the work remains

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
the better you get, the less OVERwork you do, but you still have to do some work.
I like that term overwork - or needless work.

Yes - and this is where the fitness levels really start coming into play. I've been to 3 race camps the last 3 summers and as I have gotten better with more angles, the extra weight I'm carrying and the fitness levels really hold me back. Good technique can eliminate the "OVERwork" but it's still work. G-forces have to be dealt with.

In the last race camp I was at the transitions were happening so fast that for the first time in my skiing just relaxing the downhill leg and letting it colapse needed to be replaced with pull it up so it would actually get out of the way quick enough (and even with that it never left the snow surface) so that was all new to me. The angles we were getting and the g-forces were all new to me too.

Thus, my drive for much more fitness come next season.
post #52 of 79
Hi John,

I am also in your age group and many of the observations you make also hold true for me. I am weight lifting at the YMCA and cross training with other activities.

I plan on skiing the Italian Alps and Utah this year. I live in Chicago and need to be in top condition or I will be limited in my alpine activities. I am combining weight training with other activities since weight training is the most efficient way to rebuild muscle mass. The book “The Ultimate Guide for Weight Training for Skiing” by Robert G. Price at Sportsworkout.com is an excellent guide to weight training.

Also check out the following article by LisaMarie, an Epicski supporter for more information;

http://fitness.articleinsider.com/24..._training.html

But muscle strength alone cannot prepare anyone for any other activity, consider The “Functionally Fit Athlete” again by LisaMarie;

http://www.finetuning.com/articles/p...t-athlete.html

Also consider the importance of exercise and cardiovascular health as related to aging described in this article;

http://www.hmpcommunications.com/cg/...ID=article4014

Finally, the importance of cross training to improve strength, balance, agility, aerobic capacity (VO2max) are all important to skiing, or any other demanding activity. I consider any activity from walking the dog to circuit training to be a positive contribution to physical fitness. The important consideration is variety (cross training) frequency and consistency of the effort.

Best regards

Barrettscv
post #53 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason
I like that term overwork - or needless work.
jeez, thanks, Mason...

I don't often get any positive remarks from the Harbies!
post #54 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31
Skiing does not make a person fit.
If people can get fit in aerobics classes, they can get fit by skiing. Then again, your definition of fitness might vary from my definition of fatness (sic).

We have a saying in racquetball: "You can play racquetball to get fit OR you can get fit to play racquetball." The game can only help you get fit up to a certain skill level. After that you need to work out outside of the sport in order to make significant skill level and fitness level improvements.

Because skiing is not necessarily competitive, there are ways to participate in the sport at advanced skill levels without high fitness levels. Very few people do this because as your skill level advances, your tolerance for slow speed skiing drops proportiontely. And, as many people have already noted, your level of fitness can greatly impact the rate at which you can grow your skill level.
post #55 of 79
I do not think skiing develops aerobic fitness similar to an aerobics class.
I guess skiing may do more for a person's fitness than sitting on the couch but
I think if you want to be efficient, be able to ski all day and minimize the chance of being injured, you must do other things to develope aerobic fitness as well as strengthening and stretching exercises.

I guess in John's Masons fatness case, he was able to lose 19 pounds from skiing because he went from doing nothing to something. However, just the fact that he lost 19 pounds does not mean he was fitter, he just lost weight.
post #56 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJP
Med-
On a side note... USAC midgets or other? My dad and grandfather owned and raced vintage midgets until 8-9 years ago and I grew up in the pits at USAC (and APBA) races.
I should have qualified... unfortunately RJP, my "midgets career" ended with quarter midgets (Rocky Mountain Quarter Midgets Assoc.) at 11 years old. After 4 years racing and 2 division championships, my parents split up. I moved to the South with my mother, and my team owner and pit crew (father) sold the cars. Lots of friends from QMA ended up in USAC and Sprints though. A couple to Indy cars. Would have been fun.... open wheel is the best.

You didn't carry on the tradition??
post #57 of 79
Well, skiing must do something for you, otherwise how come I can ski longer days as the season goes on? Aside from just improving my comfort level, how come I will try tougher trails as the season goes on? I never start the season on the ungroomed blacks, I give it a few weeks. Is this all in my head or a recognition that my body is not ready yet? I think it's because I know that the ski muscles have been asleep for a few months. I don't think it's just a mental thing. I am sure I develop physically the more ski days go by.
post #58 of 79
Hi,
My first time here in a while. It is not a great idea to ski your self in shape (too many sore muscles). My fitness level does improve for the ski specific muscle groupes as the season progresses. Dynamic weight training (carrying a weight over uneven ground) is more usefull that static weight training. The core is streighend , small muscle groupes are are developed for balancing and agility and finesse is also required. Our quads hold the load, but the smaller muscle groupes in out feet and ankles give us the ability to balance and manuver. Wourld cup skiers need strong quads to resist the g-forces, but also need the overall core streignth and fitness to fully utilize the muscle groupes needed for balancing. None of this would work if the technique wasn't there. To get back to nolo's post, i feel better technique will serve me better than bigger quads, but I need the streignth in the small muscle groupes to utilize the technique to the fullest. The best skiiers I know are women that are not musclebound body builder types, but are fit and have great technique.
post #59 of 79
John Mason:

HTML Code:
"the extra weight I'm carrying and the fitness levels really hold me back"
For me this has really made a difference. I go to the gym and train hard and I believe smart. My conditioning remains limited and it is something people can see when they ski with me. I have dropped from 220 lb to 190 lb and this has helped me alot. I train better, and like to do things more. I'm less of a "load" at least from the stand point of weight!

I use Weight Watchers and have found it to be a great program for me. One reason is that I train seriously which is part of the WW program. The other reason is that it is a well defined program which makes it easier to follow and to implement.
post #60 of 79
It's a chicken-and-egg thing. Without some strength you can't do the technique, and without good technique, more strength is only a hindrance. Once you have really good technique you can apply more strength, so it's worth developing. Endurance is another thing worth developing if you have the technique down; you can apply your strength more times without leaving yourself in pain (said remembering several hours of carving 6-meter turns in piles of slush with the antique straight 190cm RC4 vacuum technique slaloms, and several more hours of being barely able to walk).
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