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Not much fitness talk...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I had a nice little chat this morning with one of our fitness professionals who posts here. We found it interesting how most of the discussion on this sub-forum revolves around "injury" much more so than "fitness" or "health" or "wellness."

Granted, fitness and injury (and their causes and effects) don't necessarily go hand-in-hand. But there is an obvious relationship between the two, and it seems that "fitness talk" is being left out in the cold here. In fact, if it wasn't for Lisamarie and Alex (SNOtrainer), I suspect that the only conversation here would be injury and recovery.

Anybody have any idea why that is?


Here's what I think:

As a healthcare professional who deals with health enhancement and maintenance, I find that good vibrant vigorous health, wellness, and fitness are all pretty boring to the general public. Let's face it... they don't make any primetime TV shows about it.

The human body isn't wired to "feel" or be constantly aware of good proper function. A fit and healthy body is quiet... perceptually uneventful... boring.


But injury or pathology... any drastic situation of "anatomy gone wrong"... now that's exciting. It's symptomatic and dramatic. And the doctor or therapist who rescues the person from the suffering and discomfort (whether the actual problem/dysfunction is corrected or not) is considered a hero.


Yes, it's noble to help a sick, suffering human being who is at the end of their rope to pull up a few notches to just above suffering level. And those few notches down at the end are sooooo flashy and dramatic. I call that help they get in order to go from suffering to non-suffering a "noisy miracle." I see it happen all the time in my practice, and receive much praise (misguided as it may be) from appreciative patients.

But do you realize that the flashy drama that exists down at the very end points of sickness, that separates suffering from non-suffering... that noisy miracle phenomenon all the way down there... is really just a faint echo when you compare it to an entire lifetime of vibrant health and strength?


But we don't talk much about people (and many of ourselves, perhaps) who live lives of outrageous health and function. For most people, their health and vitality are just too easy to take for granted.

So perhaps this is why the talk on this sub-forum seems to be more focused on the bad things (i.e, suffering) happening to good people -- rather than on the rewards, blessings, and gratitude that exist at the other end of the spectrum: optimal function, fitness, and health.


Anybody have any thoughts on this?
post #2 of 23
I disagree. I think the subjects of the threads depend on the time of the year. At this point, a lot of skiers are dealing with injuries. If you glance back to October, you'll see a lot of threads on fitness.
post #3 of 23

We're cocky when we're fit but needy when we're hurt, or injury: the great leveler?

Everyone thinks they're level 9 in actual fitness and fitness knowledge, but wants to be level 1 in injury, so as not to miss out on empathy, sympathy, consideration, commiseration, compassion, codependence (i'm out of copathy words here)?


It's pretty hard to talk about one's own fitness without sounding like one's making excuses for being a saggy wheezer or a pompous braggart, or starting a deluge of clinical detail. It's hard to wade through a morass of others' clinical details?


Quote:
As a healthcare professional who deals with health enhancement and maintenance, I find that good vibrant vigorous health, wellness, and fitness are all pretty boring to the general public. Let's face it... they don't make any primetime TV shows about it.
I disagree here. They do make those shows, its just that they are task directed to basketball, football, hockey, figure skating, tennis, Olympics (~~golf ) The essential concept is fitness with a task goal.
post #4 of 23
I am going in for an Interview tomorrow at the HIT Center here in Morgantown... High Intensity Training... I am an Exercise Physiology major and I will be getting my degree in August....

That's fitness related, so I thought I'd throw it in.
post #5 of 23
I agree, though....

Fitness is a dead topic... Injury means something went wrong, sometimes with fitness.... Fitness, for most people, is either a lifestyle or never considered. Injury is a change in someone's life. It's an Event. People like talking about Events. Fitness, on the other hand, is not an event...
post #6 of 23
I don't know- for me, my injury (shoulder dislocation) was something new. Been skiing 35+ years and had not encountered significant injury that the skiing public has not beat to death (knees). What caused my particular injury was a combination of things, none of which can conclusively be linked to fitness or lack of from what I have been told.
Now with that said-
Could I have spent more time in the gym and been stronger? Yes.
Could I have not skied as aggressively (racing, booted out)
and avoided injury? Yes.
Could I have put myself in a better postion while falling? Yes (I guess)

But getting the experiences of others, asking questions and comparing notes was extremely valuable to me. I don't get the same feeling from 90% of the fitness discussions. Now that does not mean I am as fit as I could be, or "know it all" about fitness- but being fit is a lifestyle for me and I choose to participate at the level I am at. Cycling, skiing, gym, etc are all part of my routiene, so needing to discuss it isn't as important I guess.
post #7 of 23
Also, for a recreational level of skiing... even Recreational racing, you don't need a lot of strength, a high aerobic capacity, etc... Skiing focuses more on the lesser known aspects of fitness, such as balance, flexibility, etc...

When you get on a set of Race skis and are trying to really compete, that's when strength and aerobic capacity become more important. And at that point, you generally already have good flexibility and balance.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
In fact, if it wasn't for Lisamarie and Alex (SNOtrainer), I suspect that the only conversation here would be injury and recovery.
Interesting topic. I was absolutely thrilled when Alec came on board, because we now had another knowledgeable, top quality trainer whose philosophies are in accordance with my own. I thought that now that we have a guy saying the same things I have been saying all along, maybe more people will listen.

However: When either Snotrainer or I post a fitness topic that would actually help people prevent injuries, there are perhaps 15 responses, if that. In contrast, post injury topics go on forever. It's also interesting to note that the topics about traditional weight training, which is great for staying in shape but will do very little to prevent injury, are also pretty popular.

IMHO, if there were more questions about where to find a good ski fitness trainer, we would see less questions about where to find a good orthopedic surgeon!
post #9 of 23
Hi Lisamarie!

Interesting post. I'de like to add a question to keep it going.

If you could pick just one exercise or workout for what you think is key to getting in shape and staying in shape for skiing, what would it be? I run and weight train, but also do a lot of lap swimming. As far as ski fitness goes, I believe that the swimming has had the most impact on really improving my balance on skis because it's such a great core exercise.

~Snowmiser~
post #10 of 23
I'm not Lisa, but....

Plyometrics... Plyometrics work strength, balance, flexibility, and aerobic capacity.... It will give you a good mix of all four as opposed to only focusing on one, which most other exercises do.

Plyometrics, if done properly, can also increase tensile strength of tendons and ligaments... the main focus of most injuries. Flexibility and Tensile strength of bone and connective tissue will not prevent all sprains and strains, but your complete ACL/MCL/PCL/LCL/UCL/Achilles/etc... tears may have only been a Grade 2 tear instead, which are MUCH easier to handle with a MUCH shorter recovery time. And your Grade 1 sprains and strains may be avoided all together.

I'm not saying you'll never experience a Grade 1. What i'm trying to say is that if you do get a Grade 1 and you have superb "skiing fitness", without that level of skiing fitness, it could have been a Grade 2 or 3.

The rest are broken bones, which can be helped with High Intensity weight training and a proper diet which, together, can improve bone mineral density.
post #11 of 23
Good thread started here. I'll add my $.02 I was late re-discovering skiing (age 62). But I have such a passion for it that skiing has become my main motivation for staying in shape. After much experimentation (and a lot of expense) here is what has worked for me. I think that everyone has to design their own custom fitness program around their age and what they want to accomplish. After much reading, I think the main components of ski-specific fitness (and maybe fitness in general) revolve around 6 components: Balance, Core Strength, Cardio, Plyometrics, Functional (body weight) Strength Training, and Flexibility.
I have found the following authors/programs especially useful:
Core Performance: Mark Verstegen
The Egoscue Method: Pete Egoscue
Ski Flex:Paul Frediani & Harald Harb
Open Your Heart With Winter Fitness:Lisa Marie Mercer
Black Diamond Ski Exercise Program: www.trainforskivacation.com
Fitmoves (Circuit training):DVD by Juan Carlos Santana www.ihpfit.com
TRX Suspension System:Developed by an ex Navy Seal www.fitnessanywhere.com
Marine Corps Daily 16: Do a Google search
Rather than a lot of time spent with weights-I am a great believer in Functional Strength training using mostly body weight, medicine ball, physioball (swiss ball), exercise bands, steps., and a balance board. Using a combination of the above-I developed a program that takes me about 45-50 minutes to complete. I do it 3X a week- and either bike, or walk hills another two days.
Works for me
post #12 of 23
Missed another one. If you do a Google search for: You On A Diet (I can't remember the author) it will take you to their main web-site. Associated with this, is a very good exercise program-which you can download for free. Now, I'll be quiet for awhile!
post #13 of 23
*Agrees*

Age is a very important factor. If you stay fit your whole life, it's not as big of a deal, but if you are trying to get into an athletic sport at al older age, and have not been active throughout life, there is a chance that Sarcopenia is starting to have an affect. Sarcopenia is muscle wasting due to non-use (A very general definition). Also, you will likely have issues in all other areas as well... balance, flexibility, etc...

In the modern world, I think the strongest muscles a lot of people have are their fingers.... from changing channels on the remote, pushing buttons on a keyboard, and grasping those delectible (sp?) Cheetos. There is some sarcasm and exageration here, but I'm sure you all know what I mean.

*Claps* Finally a thread I feel at home in! Exercise prescriptions are a huge part of what Exercise Physiologists do....

My interview is in just a couple hours.... *Crosses fingers* (Hey, won't that build up the finger muscles, also? )
post #14 of 23
Hydrogen WV, I was wondering if you have any good websites or books that you could recommend that can give me more information on plyometrics. Sounds like something that I'de like to explore further. P.S. Sorry I called you Lisa, I thought she had started the thread, but it was Baja, and I couldn't go back to edit my reply.

~Snowmiser~
post #15 of 23

Good stuff Baja and Lisa!

Thanks for the kind words guys. As a part of these forums I have felt very welcome and have met some great and smart individuals. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and experiences as well as learning from others...as I am a student for life!

That said, I think there is a profound difference when we use certain words. For example "fitness" may be more towards an aesthetic goal (fat loss/muscle gain). While exercise will result in both of the above mentioned outcomes...the word "fitness" might not be an accurate description of what everyone is looking for when it comes to ski performance and injury prevention.

The type of training you do will determine your outcome...hence, you get what you put into your training. Going on a treadmill vs going for a hike vs doing a high level metabolic circuit vs doing a strenght circuit all have a different effect on the body...each for a different goal.

The bottom line, is to have a clear cut goal and a clearcut "map" of how you are going to get there. There are many individuals around (in here especially) that may help anyone with this thread topic.

All in all, great thread and great responses!

Train Hard and Ski Harder!
AC
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowmiser View Post
Hydrogen WV, I was wondering if you have any good websites or books that you could recommend that can give me more information on plyometrics. Sounds like something that I'de like to explore further. P.S. Sorry I called you Lisa, I thought she had started the thread, but it was Baja, and I couldn't go back to edit my reply.

~Snowmiser~
Donald Chu is one of the great authorities on Plyometrics: Here is his site, with info on his book:

http://www.donchu.com/home_page/

Quote:
That said, I think there is a profound difference when we use certain words. For example "fitness" may be more towards an aesthetic goal (fat loss/muscle gain). While exercise will result in both of the above mentioned outcomes...the word "fitness" might not be an accurate description of what everyone is looking for when it comes to ski performance and injury prevention.
Words of wisdom! The first article I ever wrote was on that topic:
http://lisafitness.com/articles/func_sports_cond.html

Also, check out the fitness articles on this site:
http://www.qwickly.com/author/lisamercer/

I will be updating them on a weekly basis. Be sure to click on Snotrainers link and subscribe to his newsletter!
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Great post, Lisamarie!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie View Post
IMHO, if there were more questions about where to find a good ski fitness trainer, we would see less questions about where to find a good orthopedic surgeon!

Absolutely.

It's one thing to recognize that fitness training will reduce the likelihood and severity of injury from an adverse skiing event... but let's remember that fitness and athleticism --- whether you be a racer, instructor, competitor, or a weekend warrior -- will increase your ability to avoid mishaps, avoid fatigue, improve speed and reflexes, and maintain mental/physical alertness!

I kind of disagree that recreational skiing doesn't require the same fitness as high level skiing. It should. Skiing, like any other sport, relies on human performance. The entire sport of skiing involves athletic skill and physical coordination, so you want to come to the sport in shape, not use the sport to get in shape. In that regard, it's great to see that the joy of skiing motivates folks like patprof66 to improve their fitness values and knowledge, and hence do good things for their bodies.


My point about health and fitness being "boring," and having no primetime TV shows about it, is that people are enticed and entertained by shock and drama. ER, House, Grey's Anatomy, successful shows like these exploit the grotesqueries of human suffering.

But TV shows on health and fitness? Shows like "Celebrity Fit Club," "The Biggest Loser" (which aren't really health and fitness shows) or "Work Out" and the like focus more on the emotional suffering and drama of life outside the actual fitness and health aspects of the show.


In the end, I think fitness enthusiasm is stuck in the same "10% of the population" phenomenon that we see in other human improvement and performance measures, whether it be expert level skiing, daily flossing, regular Chiropractic adjustments, healthy diets, effective public speaking, charitable giving and contributions, club and organization participation, etc.


Quote:
I thought that now that we have a guy saying the same things I have been saying all along, maybe more people will listen.
Are you saying it's a man's world, Lisa?

I know Alex personally, and love his concepts of human movement and performance. It's great to know that you and he are on the same page.

Sadly, your observation above probably rings more truth than humor, and it's quite ironic.

It's no secret that female clientele dominate the health/fitness/wellness industry. Even in the healthcare professions... my alma mater has a significantly higher number of female valedictorians and scholarship winners than male. In my personal experience, women generally tend to be much better Chiropractors than men... better adjusting skills, better communication techniques with patients, etc.

In fact, Lisa, I was having this particular argument with a Chiropractor in Florida... he believes that women are the "weaker sex," that they should be home with the kids while the man "toils" for the household income, and that he treats his wife like a queen, but when a decision needs to be made, she defers to HIM. :


Shall I go ahead and refer him to your website?
post #18 of 23
Quote:
But TV shows on health and fitness? Shows like "Celebrity Fit Club," "The Biggest Loser" (which aren't really health and fitness shows) or "Work Out" and the like focus more on the emotional suffering and drama of life outside the actual fitness and health aspects of the show.
Workout is a nightmare! Call me sour grapes, but it kills me that a horrible woman like that is so successful. Sasing your business on negative feedback and making people feel bad about themselves-UGH!!!

Quote:
Are you saying it's a man's world, Lisa?

I know Alex personally, and love his concepts of human movement and performance. It's great to know that you and he are on the same page.

Sadly, your observation above probably rings more truth than humor, and it's quite ironic.
Things have changed a good deal around here. However, about six years ago, when I made my first post about balance training, you should have read some of the comments. We still occasionally get posts about how squats with the heaviest weight possible, as well as 12 sets on the leg extension machine are the best forms of ski fitness, but not as many. Also, there is still a tendency for some guys to think of stability ball work, Pilates, etc. as "girls stuff." That was why I was thrilled when Snotrainer came on board.

I met Alex and his lovely wife Jen when they came to Colorado, and I have to say, if anyone here lives in Jersey and does not take sessions with Alex:

WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU?????
post #19 of 23
Thanks for the great links regarding plyometrics LisaMarie! They're very informative. It's always good to have something new to try to break things up a bit.

~Snowmiser~
post #20 of 23
Lisamarie,
I'm really interested in your ideas and suggestions to prevent another shoulder dislocation. I have been in progressive PT (meaning my PT understands that not skiing, or skiing slowly is NOT an option). He has been concentrating on core strength overall in addition to the smaller muscle groups in the shoulder and upper back which apparently support the connective tissues which keep the shoulder in place. (Sorry, my weak interpretation of his thoughts). Addtionally alot of balance (or off balance) related upper body motion on the Swiss ball, wobble boards and Dynadisks.
Thanks in advance,
SJB
post #21 of 23
Lisamarie - Thanks for the PM! My interview went well, as far as I can tell... The issue though is the pay. They don't hire trainers as 'full time positions', It's all part-time, butyou can work 40+ hours a week. That means no benefits. Also, They can only pay $8 an hour. Ick, I say...

They'd pay more if they could, but the center is a relatively new addition to the franchise, and they just broke even, so pay could be increasing within the next year or so... I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for other opportunities, but I will probably take this job at least until I do...

I've been scouring and have found some other jobs that I could easily get that pa a bit more, but they are not in my field... Fitness professionals just don't have much opportunity in WV... Funny, because we need it most.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja View Post
It's one thing to recognize that fitness training will reduce the likelihood and severity of injury from an adverse skiing event... but let's remember that fitness and athleticism --- whether you be a racer, instructor, competitor, or a weekend warrior -- will increase your ability to avoid mishaps, avoid fatigue, improve speed and reflexes, and maintain mental/physical alertness!

I kind of disagree that recreational skiing doesn't require the same fitness as high level skiing. It should. Skiing, like any other sport, relies on human performance. The entire sport of skiing involves athletic skill and physical coordination, so you want to come to the sport in shape, not use the sport to get in shape.

IMO, this is perfectly valid IF the qualification is made that limited total time will be spent on the sport, 3, 4, 10, 25 days per year so that improvement of skills will proceed faster with a developed fitness base.

Otherwise it falls apart, IMO. You don't see anyone arguing that unfit couch tater tots should go out and do plyometric drills or dynadisc squats prior to starting cycling, because the presumption is that there -will be enough time-
in the sport for fitness to develop. Time on the scale of 90, 100, 250 day seasons.

If everyone here spent 90 or more days on snow we would not be having this conversation, but rather one about cross-training -during- the ski season.

(I'd like to see something like that anyway, presuming, say 2-3 ski nights and 2 ski days per week)

I also think that the seasonaires, instructors, coaches who spend 75+ days on snow wind up with task-specific muscular fitness far greater than anything achievable by pure cross-training. (and maybe sometimes some of them forget that ? ) In effect everyone else is playing catch-up in second rate but warm conditions.
post #23 of 23
Comprex,
Good points. I regularly spend 70+ days a year on snow and suffered my injury none the less. In the words of my PT- if you continually play with fire you will get burned. This season was a late start, and less than ideal snow conditions yet I was just over 50 days including time out during my initial recovery.
With that said, I continually work at increasing and maintianing my overall fitness year over year. Cycling, gym, etc year round in addition to the snow time. Ski specific muscle groups are rock solid by year end, but that goes away fairly quick. I'm intrigued by the discussion and often have to correct my thought process for the "average" skier who may only spend a dozen or so days on snow annually. (BTW-That's not a knock on anyone's abilities) I think back to a couple years ago when I was not doing much in the off season for conditioning- now that I am quickly approaching 40 that has changed. I think that in a nutshell being fit can't hurt your skiing, if you have the stamina and strength it can only help.
SJB
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