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Snowboard Conditioning in a Hurry

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My wife and I have decided to go snowboarding from Nov. 30th thru Dec. 4th. We just made this decision, and I am not in the kind of shape I should be.

Having said that, I know I won't be able to be in great shape by then but my plan is to drop ten pounds and get the legs into better shape.

Here is my plan in a nut shell:
Jog/walk 3 miles, 45 minutes lifting, 5 mile bike ride.

I plan to do all of this 5 days a week. I will jog during my lunch hour, stop at the gym on the way home from work, and ride the bike after dinner.

Is this enough to at least make a difference?
post #2 of 6
There's lots you can search here on ski conditioning, snowboarding is basically the same. I'd say you don't need the time commitment you're proposing, in fact 5 days/week of jog/lift/run at first may be counterproductive. Maybe drop the jogging, and on the bike look to spin 3-5 days/week at 85/90 rpm at 110 bpm or so (below level @which talking becomes difficult) for at least 30-45min. Throw in some sprints 2-3 days/week for anaerobic endurance, say1- 2 minutes repeated 4 times over the course of a ride. Also find an uncrowded area if you're able to bike outside (as opposed to exercise bike) where cars, pedestrians & other bikers are not a concern and work on cornering in both directions -- this will help both "core" conditioning and getting used to a similar "edging" movement.

For the gym, search "core" work on here, in general I'm agnostic on this but since you sound as if you're starting the exercise program now some general fitness work here will help get you prepped. Don't worry about benching, etc. I'd suggest bodyweight squats as a good starting point for lower body, no more than once a week, you'll already be getting lots of lower body stimulation from the bike. Also think 2-3 days, not 5, for the gym overall.

Can you touch your toes? Try to do some general stretching in the evenings before turning in.

Don't try to lose more than a pound a week.

Regardless of the conditioning beforehand, also remember you'll need a rest day the 3 day out in all likelihood. Take it and enjoy the sauna/pool etc. Have a great trip!
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
thanks for the tips.

I will give that a try.
post #4 of 6
Matt, you might want to consider doing some plyometric exercises as well. Since I'm not a fitness instructor, I recommend taking almost none of my advice, other than to possibly PM LisaMarie, who is a ski-specific fitness instructor.
post #5 of 6

One of our members, Chopin, I believe, posted this link http://www.tierneyrides.com/ which is wicked awesome! Balance boards, bosu and wobble boards are also great.
post #6 of 6

Have you snowboarded or skied before? Beginners tend to get worn out in ways that getting in shape won't prevent. Skiers learning to ride esepcially tend to get worn out from unconsciously fighting the board to make it work like skis do. Otherwise, except for the falling and getting up part, beginner riding is not especially physically demanding. If you are significantly overweight, the initial learning exercises (where walking uphill is involved) can tire you out quickly, but you typically won't spend more than an hour doing this. Most beginners simply adjust their pace to match their level of fitness.

It's amazing how much physical fitness improvement can be done in a 6-12 week program (e.g. military boot camp). But it's very easy to overtrain with a program like you've mentioned. You actually get less results than what you'd get with a less intense program. If you do want to go with an aggressive schedule (I did something similar to recover from back problems once), you should alternate your weight training so that body parts get at least 48 hours of recovery between workouts (72 if you train to failure). Because dieting tends to make muscle building difficult, most people find it easier to focus on strength training first to build muscle mass first, then focus on aerobic training so that the added muscle mass can help burn more calories.

A couple of other specific comments:
Consider getting specific advice from a certified trainer (LM - where's that thread on certifed horror stories?) before you get started. A good trainer can custom tailor a workout regimen for you and make sure you learn the proper form for your exercises. It's good insurance against screwing yourself up.

Don't try to go from zero to sixty right off, ramp up your regimen from walking first to jogging and going from shorter distances to longer ones and starting with very light weights in your initial workouts. You want your body to get used to the idea of punishment (er. exercise) vs instant results. You need to increase the intensity of exercise over time or else your body will simply get used to the routine instead of continuing to improve.

In addition to hamstrings and quads, work on the ankles with toes raises/ squats/step ups/court sports. Personally, I'd pay more attention to abdominals and lower back muscles. You'll be using these a lot more than you'd expect and they will help improve your balance too.

Balance is the #1 fitness item that will have the most impact on the success of your riding. Work as many Bosu ball/bongo boards/balance board exercises into your routine as you can.
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