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Weight loss and affect on skiing

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
So I will go back a year to lead in on this one. Last year at this same time I was swallowing the bitter pill that was a broken collarbone from playing Ultimate Frisbee just as our team was going to play regionals. I was angry for many reasons but my short term goal was to have an ok ski season. It worked out, I skied well and despite our horrible northeast winter skied quite a bit of powder. I gained a bit of weight though because of the injury and my normal 10 pounds overweight weight went up to around 180. I never skied tight trees better than last year but I guess you keep doing something and you will get better at it.

Our ski season comes to an early end and I focus on my fitness level and the impending ultimate season. I was bitter about losing the previous season at it's peak and focused on fitness in a big way. I trained for a half-marathon with a vengeance and had the best race I have ever run. Since then I have been playing ultimate nonstop. My weight has almost dropped to 160. I am quicker and playing better than I ever have going into regionals in 2 weeks. I have recently added tons of hiking to my training which seems to help as well(I am about to post a trip report of a hike shameless plug I know).

So now ski season is almost upon us, I do not intend to gain this weight back, at least not quickly. I am curious if it will have as big an affect on my skiing as it has on ultimate. Obviously with a fast twitch sport acceleration and jumping ability will increase with weight loss. But skiing is a different animal and uses all kinds of different muscles. So what can I expect?

post #2 of 21
I think your weight will have very little impact on your skiing, unless the weight is significant and mostly due to fat. You may notice that you don't get as tired. More a function of your fitness level than your weight. You may find that you are a bit quicker edge to edge in the moguls and maybe that you float just a bit better in the powder. My weight fluctuates about 10 lbs from summer to winter. I cycle and notice the 10lbs on the hills, the going up part. But I usually put that weight back on during the winter. Let us know how you feel on the mountain. My guess is you'll feel great because you are skiing and not because you're 20 lbs lighter.
post #3 of 21
Alfonse, I have had a couple of 20 pound swings in weight do to sports injuries. My experience tells me I am a much quicker and more confident skier at 215 than at 235.

However, I believe it all depends on how the weight is carried. If you are playing ultimate at a high level your fast twitch muscles and reflexes should be in great shape. You should be that much quicker on skis without the extra weight. Unless of course you have lost a good amount of strength with the loss of 20 pounds.

I used to do a lot of lifting and was a pretty solid strong 215. When I had to take 3 months off of working out and gained 20 pounds I was a weaker, heavier, slower, less coordinated 235. Let me say my short turns suffered quite a bit and the trees felt tighter due to girth.

When I lost the 20 I felt like a totally different skier. Quicker, more coordinated, and a lot more confident.

Your strength in your legs and core should not have suffered from your weight loss due to your activity level. Your legs will love the reduction in weight and you will likely ski better than last year.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
I wonder what the physics of lost inertia are for 20lbs of 180 which is .1111. Perhaps I will better be able to control my speed on steeps and in trees as a result. Or is the energy loss so small that I will not notice. I have not lost muscle btw just fat and yes I am a fast twitch guy. Running a half marathon is a challenge, I always want to run as fast as I can but if you go out to fast you pay the price. Here is our ultimate team if anyone cares no pictures just results


post #5 of 21
Your turns will be a bit different- at first. There are 20 less pounds per turn carving your ski. Also, it would depend where you lose the weight from (probably in the middle) as the body will work as a sort of lever. When I went to college, we had to lift 4 times a week for baseball and I ate so much I gained 25 pounds in a few months. (It wasnt all the beer) and I found that my turns came about much more smpoothly, I really just slid right through anything, though it was tiring making each turn. Youre going the opposite way- losing weight, and I know you say you arent losing any muscle, but just the mass decreasing means youll need to do more work on each turn. Buuut youre probably in a bit better shape so youll be fine. I suppose you could look at some new skis for your new body...I mean...if youre into looking for reasons to buy skis.
post #6 of 21
I lost ~25 pounds six years ago dropping to a BMI of ~24 and kept it off.

The weight loss for me resulted in the following changes to my skiing that I noticed:

I had to wear more clothing as I was a little colder.

Better float in powder.

Less lower back and knee pain after skiing bumps (which as I age is a good thing).
post #7 of 21
I don't see how losing weight could be anything but good for your skiing (unless it was from chemo). I think it should be great for your bump skiing.
post #8 of 21

I agree that losing the weight is only good. But, from my experience, you will notice the following: Boots (mostly forward flex) and skis, will feel a little bit stiffer. It will take more to flex your boots and decamber your skis. You may want to go to a size down in your ski length.

But, conversely, you will be less fatigued as you are suspending less weight on the legs (unless you already have a very effcient skeletal techique anyway).
Also, the fat loss from around your midsection will be very positively noticed in the bumps especially.

post #9 of 21
Originally Posted by epic View Post
I don't see how losing weight could be anything but good for your skiing (unless it was from chemo).

The feet can get smaller, changing boot fit.
post #10 of 21
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
The feet can get smaller, changing boot fit.
That's where I notice it the most! Alfonse, I think that you will see a big difference in performance. Skiing is all about gravity and you will be lighter an more nimble. The fact that you have been conditioning and still have strength will make things even better.

Carrying extra weight for me has a huge effect on my skiing. I am off my weight right now by 10+ lbs and need to get to work on it. Weight Watchers for me.
post #11 of 21
I lost 10 pounds from cycling for ski season last year. I don't know if the weight loss made that much of a difference, but the high level of fitness was so worth it. I never got tired on runs, my legs could go forever, and I felt a lot of spring and energy in my legs. But as in anything, weight loss can never hurt.
post #12 of 21
Congrats on the fitness effort. If you gear was a bit oversized at 180 Lbs it will more oversize at 160. What gear do you have?

post #13 of 21
Yeah, I think those PRs are going to be a little much for you now. Maybe you can borrow your daughter's Sugar Daddies.
post #14 of 21
I would assume that nothing bad can come from losing a little weight and getting into shape for skiing. A few months will tell. I wish I had as much determination to lose a little weight. I lost some during summer, but I can feel it coming back. Well, I'm off to have some ice cream.
post #15 of 21
I've been on RX8's at 165, seemed a bit short. I weighed about 200lbs last year.

This year I'll be about 25 lbs. lighter and I bet the skis are suddenly the right length.

I am concerned/interested by the smaller feet comment, having just had my boots re-aligned by Greg Hoffman.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by moguljunkie View Post
Yeah, I think those PRs are going to be a little much for you now. Maybe you can borrow your daughter's Sugar Daddies.
Cute, maybe I can keep up with you in the bumps now eh We actually had a discussion along those lines. I showed her some scratch BC's I was looking at and she goes my skies are better. I said, you know I think they are, but of course I cannot ski on 153's. I occasionally overpowered the PR's before, now they will be perfect. What about you? You find any boards yet? You can have my daughters old Rossi B1 Juniors, they are 128's.
post #17 of 21
Less weight = more float. A goal I am working on.
post #18 of 21
Mock me now, but I am training like crazy this off-season. I am going to be a lean, mean, bump skiing machine this year.

I've lost ten pounds myself, and I have to say, I feel great. I fly on my road bike, and I'm ten times quicker on the basketball court. I can't wait to see how it translates to the slopes.

As for new skis, nothing yet. Still coveting PRs/Guns. You have stated your case well for the Salomons as the perfect East Coast tree ski that can handle bumps well, both here in these forums and in action on the slopes. And, so far, I've yet to be persuaded that any other ski matches up as well.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
My Pocket Rockets in deep powder float nice, but at 92 underfoot in maybe a foot of pow with 175's and me being 180 I did not get much float. I wonder if 20 pounds will make a big difference.
post #20 of 21
Here's My Story:

About 3 years ago I was heavy-210 lbs-in a four month period I lost 60 lbs (with that magical silver bullet diet plan that I call the "Eat Less and excercise More" diet)- My Biking took off as never before-awesome-everything felt way better-winter rolls around and I discover something brand new--I'm actually getting COLD (I have skied in s vest on sub zero days laughing at the bundled folks around me)--yep-but I hate wearing tons of clothes while skiing

so since then I've decided to make like the rest of the mammal- and the last two seasons I intentionally gain around ten pounds of insulator; some of it muscle from heavy mass liffting but a good percentage of old fashioned fat-which I drop in a matter of weeks come spring and cycling season (and a little diet fine tuning--pretty easy to do once you are very active year-long).

Hey-let's face it, most mammals try to double (and some triple) their weight heading into the winter--I'm back with nature --though-in relative terms-I never get close to 'fat' anymore-just enouggh to let my nnatural insulating ability stave off the frostiest of conditions with minimal layering!

post #21 of 21
My only comment is that the lost weight will be good for your knees. I've had a doctor say that every lost pound is 4-5lbs of pressure off each knee. So lose 20lbs and you're taking nearly 100lbs of pressure off your knees. That can be nothing but good, since you need your knees for everything and once you damage them it's hard to repair.

I can say that I dropped nearly 20lbs last summer and I found some noticeable differences in my skiing. For one I did not get my calf and thigh muscles tired as quickly - although this was probably helped by part of my trainign/weight loss being use of skiers edge. Also and this was a slight negative, I noticed that my softer skis chattered a LOT more on ice and rough stuff. The good side was this gave me a good excuse to upgrade my skis

With 20-25lbs more than I weigh now (and last winter) I was not obese by any means, however it made a big difference.
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