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Colorado in 3 weeks, need advice to whip me into shape!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Like the title says, I need some help. Usually by this time of year, i would have been out skiing 4-5 times and probably another 3 at least before the week of January 22nd. I usually ski an average of once per week. This year we have no snow!

I'm going tonight, to a small hill called Sunburst in Wisconsin with the intention of making my legs sore. It always seems to happen the first time out. Second time out usually hurts a little but i recover much more quickly, and by the third, I'm good to go.

Anyway, I'm 21, I'll be 22 on Jan 8th, and need some of your help. I have been looking all over the net, including here and figured I'd ask you guys seeing as none of you have ever steered me wrong and I really appreciate it.

I'm willing to experience hell for the next 3 weeks, NO JOKE, HELL!!@!!@#@!@!!@ I started skiing 3 years ago and as I've gotten more sure of myself, I have ventured into the trees and bumps, as well as more steep terrain. With this has come the need for more physical strength and stamina, something I need to vastly improve. Last year @ Winterpark, by the end of the third day, my legs were shaking and I was in pretty good shape.

I'm going to Breck and Vail Jan 22nd - Jan 26 b4 second semester starts here in Wisconsin, to both ski, and check out UC-Denver for their MBA program. I'll be out west twice this year and while I'm out there, I want to make the most of it. I fear that this will not be possible given my lack of physical fitness to this point.

Quick background, I was a three season athlete in high school, now 3 years past that, I've managed to stay fairly active, and not put on those extra college lbs. that many see develop, but admittedly have lost my cardiovascular fitness. Couple this with the altitude difference between Wisconsin and Colorado, and the fact that I have not lifted any weights in 9 months, I'm a college kid who looks like they ware in shape when in fact I probably cant bench press more than 115 and squat more than 225 and if i speed walk a half mile I'm out of breath! I'm just under 6' and weight ~ 170lbs, never smoked a cigarette in my life.

So, please help me, I've been working full time over break, and will continue, but am also very dedicated to transforming myself in the next three weeks. I promise, if you help me, ill keep you updated on my progress if you like.

Please just give me some pointers. Be as detailed or as specific as you like, I will start as soon as I get something together, I was thinking Monday. Weight training? Running? Any other cardiovascular or strength exercises that will yield results. Maybe supplements that I could take to recover faster? Ive read some things on CQ-10 to help with altitude issues, does this work? I'm willing to spend some money on this stuff, and again, I will not stray from what I decide, I AM DEDICATED, JUST AS MUCH AS I LOVE TO SKI AND YOUR HELP WILL NOT FALL ON DEAF EARS, IT WILL 100% HELP ME IMPROVE MYSELF.

I understand it will be impossible to reach a level that will ultimately make me happy again, that of which I had in high school where I was running 5 miles a day and lifting 4 times a week 175 bench and squat 385 comfortably. I want to achieve this by March when we go to Utah for spring break.

Anyway, I really appreciate anyones help, in advance, thank you so very much, it means a lot to me. You will be making my trip to Colorado so much more enjoyable. The pain and suffering I intend on placing upon myself in the next 3 weeks will greatly be overshadowed by the EXTRA amount of fun I'll have on the slopes.

THANKS AGAIN, you guys, and gals, are the best.

Nick L.
Oshkosh, WI.
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 
One other thing, if i get something together that is really awesome, I'd be willing to type it up and make a PDF file, that people could download and use, I'm fairly savvy with computer stuff, this way your help would also benefit others.
post #3 of 19
Wow 3 weeks is going to be tough. Rocky had 6 weeks to get in shape before he fought Apollo Creed the first time. Consider the source here, I'm a 51 old fitness hack and have no credentials. The good news is, your body will respond to repetition and your endurance will increase , even within a few weeks. In your zeal to get in shape you'll want to be sure you don't overdo it and get so sore you can't workout. Be sure to stretch before and after.

I jog about 30-35 miles a week Pretty much all year. But after skiing for the first few times each year the inside of my legs are sore. If you have access to a gym and they have the machine where you can work these inside leg muscles I would suggest you include these in your workouts but start light!

Walk a quarter jog a quarter mile and get up to 2 miles in the next 3 weeks. Do sets of leg extensions to build up your quads and thighs but you need to do leg curls with the extensions. I wouldn't worry to much about your upper body right now. Biggest emphasis needs to be building some endurance and getting your legs in as good of shape as you can within the next couple of weeks. So in a nutshell, lower body weight work and cardio. Enjoy your trip.
post #4 of 19
Hi! Although three weeks is a very short time, it's never too late to begin you balance training program. Since balance is the most important aspect of ski fitness, you should spend a significant amount of time focusing on it. Snotrainer has some nice stuff on his site:


I just discovered that the weekly fitness articles I write for The County Cable are not archived, so unfortuantely, there is no link to them.

Here are some other articles:

post #5 of 19
Okay! Found the archive link for my agility article;


It's on page 9
post #6 of 19
Hey Nick, this has nothing to do with fitness, and I know very little about MBA programs, but you should probably also check out the Daniels School at University of Denver, too.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by dp View Post
Hey Nick, this has nothing to do with fitness, and I know very little about MBA programs, but you should probably also check out the Daniels School at University of Denver, too.
okay, thanks for the tip!

Thanks for all the great info, I'm building something, hopefully this all goes well!
post #8 of 19


when i had to go hiking in the himalaya, i had no time to really get in shape. a friend prescribed 2 exercises. 1) jump. start with jumping off the floor. pick a number that seems ok for you. lets say 30. if you are sore the next day, rest. if not, double it. 2) step-ups. like on to a chair. same progression. at your age, you can do a lot in 3 weeks.
post #9 of 19
I'm willing to experience hell for the next 3 weeks, NO JOKE, HELL!!@!!@#@!@!!@
Ok suffer you will.
go to crossfit.com
do the WOD 'work out of the day' each day for the next 3 weeks.
Do "Tabata Squats" or try
  • 5 Pull-ups
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 15 Squats
As many rounds as possible in 20 min

or try some there other workouts like
"fight gone bad"or "fran" or "murph"
3 weeks thats 5 cycles of 3 days on and 1 day off.
Go for it.
post #10 of 19

You get 3 weeks, I only get 1!

At least you get three weeks to get into shape. I thought I had until April; however, since I slammed together a snow emergency ski trip, I only get a week. I don't think my yoga for golfers class Tuesday night is going to cut it. Just how am I going to lose 30lbs in a week.:

All that aside, at least I have been on the hill 4 or 5 times this year, mostly in really crappy conditions and I did get out and play 9 holes of golf this afternoon. (Yes, I walked. Thank you.) I should be able to get on the mag trainer and spin 20 minutes a couple of times between now and then.

I'm not making excuses, but I had a plan to get in shape this summer. Unfortunately, I had nagging injuries that started in the spring and stayed with me all year. First I had sciatic nerve problems aggravated by playing golf (No - I didn't quit long enough to heal. Why would I do that?) Then I got plantar fasciitis, which make it just about impossible to walk. But I kept playing golf, riding instead of walking. (I'm a 1-2 handicap, not playing golf is out of the question.) I guess I could have gone on a diet - too late for that now.: (Not that it's too late to start.)

Between now and Friday I'll do what I can. Between now and April, I'll do a lot more.

Have fun and enjoy your ski trip!
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
What do you guys think of taking some supplements?


Coenzyme Q10

DMG-B15 Plus

and maybe something to promote weight loss w/o lean muscle loss maybe this?

I take a multi vitamin as well.
post #12 of 19
I recommend building up your endurance not through running but cycling, probably on an exercise bike this time of year. Much more emphasis on quads than running.

To strengthen your legs, I'd add squats with fairly low weights and higher reps and/or multiple tucks/wall-sits for up to a minute or two.

For balance, stand on one leg, with eyes closed if you can, for a minute or, for a harder exercise, try to balance on knees on exercise ball.

For agility, I'll bet Lisamarie's workout that she linked to will fit the bill. Also, Snowtrainer's workout that Lisamarie linked to is really great, developing agility, flexibility, and balance all at once.

I don't know how much stock I'd put into supplements. There's no substitute for hard work. But take it slow. Even though you don't have much time, if you get so sore the first day that it takes you four days to recover, you're not going to get as much benefit as four easier days of workouts. Listen to your body.

Good luck!
post #13 of 19
If you are coming from low altitude to ski in Colorado, particularly Breckenridge, BE SMART and don't ski the day you get there. The first day of skiing, ski easy. Give yourself time to adapt to the lack of O2.
I have heard from those who do it that taking GIngko for 10 days prior and during your ski trip can help with the adaptation to altitude. I will try it the next time out west.
Lots of fluid!! DRink, drink, drink the day prior and during your flight. (water) Camelbacks while you ski might help as well.
Have a great time.
post #14 of 19
You might try this routine in the News and Observer:

I think you have to sign up for an online subscription but it is Free. Best of Luck!

Stay Fit Skiing!
post #15 of 19
Here are a few more exercises:


Be sure to print this out, because the page changes every week. BTW: The editor totally messed up the format of the article, so don't expect any continuity when you read it. However, the exercise descriptions are correct. Next week, my article will feature ski specific foot and ankle exercises.
post #16 of 19
What I'd do

This is to build your capacity for altitude

2 days/week 35 mins (or what you can stand based on fitness level) of intervals including plyometrics on Bosu. Also


For trunk strengthening

3 days in between and 1 on each end low level long (30 mins+ 60% effort) cardio

It's a little late for a big weight training push

Good luck!
post #17 of 19
Nick- also take a look at my primer on altitude adaption here: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=34470
post #18 of 19
Add stretching to any program you develop. Don't try to do too much in 3 weeks. Stretch, do balance drills, and tone up the muscles you have now. Bicycling uphill standing on the pedals is good for balance as well as legs and cardio.

post #19 of 19
1) Stay very hydrated.

2) Find a 10 story office building. Take the stairs up to/down from the 10th floor everything morning and at lunch. You will be well on your way to skiing the Rockies in three weeks.

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