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Off Season Training/Weight Training


tfriess
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So, here in Wisconsin, the lakes are getting colder, and school has begun. This makes me think of the offseason. I am 15, tall and lengthy and in need of some ways to improve my body during the offseason. I see all of the pros are super ripped. I know the core and arms are some of the main components to a strong skiing body. Are there any exercises/parts of the body I should be focusing on to help me get in shape? I work out 3 days a week. Would it help to go for a jog everyday to improve my endurance? Any ideas, greatly appreciated.
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You want to be both strong and light. A body builder physique is of no help in waterskiing. P90X, Intensity, Crossfit, etc. all will help you build powerful, lean muscle without bulk. You need the entire body fit. Look at Nate, Chris, Regina, and April. Overall in great shape with incredible core strength.

 

As for indoor rowing - excellent choice. However, if you don't have the rower, look at your gym and a low cable station and use that. Moderate weight, high reps (50-100) before failure.

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It will be the off season. It takes a week to get dull and two weeks to be really out of shape. It also takes 6 weeks to get in shape and the off season is November to April. Take a rest. You're also only 15. You're body is going through growth spurts, you will never be so naturally lean and slender. Unless you really really work at it there wont be any pudge to lose before the next season. You'll bounce into shape in 4 weeks.
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Agree 100% with the rowing suggested. I love the TRX suspension system and rip trainer. Lots of core with every exercise. And I love working out with kettlebells, but should be trained on the correct form first. If near Madison, there is a good gym that has all of the above. Also, if you don't have one already, get a drysuit. It will extend the WI season through October and can start early May, maybe even earlier depending on when the ice goes off your lake.
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I love all the talk about using the indoor rower, as a competitive rower and coach I will say this first. Please look up proper technique to using the machine as well as proper resistance I have seen more people than I can count at the gym using the machine in a way that is more detrimental to their body than the workout they are doing is going to help them. I will try and find some videos that are good at explaining what you should be doing/feeling while on the erg. If you have any questions about it just fire away.
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Personally, I would rank broad groups with the following importance:

 

1) Core. Even more true for shortline. Critical for managing what happens on the outbound arc, which is super-important for shortline skiing.

2) Stability. Anything you can do in an unstable position to engage tiny balancing muscles will pay huge dividends. This stuff can seem pretty unmanly, but suck it up!

3) Flexibility. Key both to success and injury prevention.

4) Legs. This is the power for the acceleration phase.

5) Upper Back. (Lower back I lump in with core, but upper back is handy too just to be able to hold on for lots of passes.)

6) Aerobic. Endurance is handy for training, even though not really needed on a single pass. Also, aerobic work can keep weight down, which is a very good thing.

7) Arms. I see a lot of people with ripped arms whose technique really suffers as a result. Pulling on the rope with your biceps is nearly always a bad thing.

 

Although I don't do it personally (at least not yet), stuff like Power Yoga and Pilates really fits the bill for the top 3 above. P90X and Crossfit also seem like great programs. Personally I have a little trouble with the psychology of working with a trainer, so I just make stuff up based on the priorities above. But I bet if I dedicated an entire off-season to serious Crossfit, I would pick up a few buoys.

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Personally I have a little trouble with the psychology of working with a trainer, so I just make stuff up based on the priorities above.

 

@Than. It's all about finding the right trainer. Someone who "gets" you, understands your goals, can communicate with you clearly, and who has the knowledge and ability to work around whatever issues you may have (rebuilt shoulders and bum knees in my case) to find positive ways to strengthen the stuff you need to strengthen to help you make your "issues" better without hurting you or making the issues even worse. I had to work through several to find the one I work with now, been with her almost two years now and wouldn't be in near the overall condition I'm in with out her. My son is a certified personal trainer and a damn good one too. During the winter I do strength workouts with him once a week and he totally kicks my butt every time (Love it!). For the stuff I need to work specifically on for strengthing my surgically rebuilt shoulders and knees, for some reason I'm better with my own trainer than with my son. Not as sympathetic to old Dad's maladies perhaps...

 

A good trainer pushes you in ways you'll never push yourself, will make you work the things you unconsiously avoid (i.e. due to previous injury, it's uncomfortable to you, stuff you don't know/realize, etc) that you really NEED to be working, and will push you out of your comfort zone and your same-old-same-old routines. Maybe you personally don't need that, but the vast majority of us do need someone to take us where we won't go ourselves. It's paid huge dividends for me, I likely wouldn't still be skiing without the knowledge and nudging of a good trainer helping me to keep myself motivated and fit. Yeah it's a bit of an investment, but as the saying goes "Exersize is Medicine". I can pay to get fit or I can pay (more) for medications and health care because I've allowed myself to become unfit. I'll take the former.

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All good. I agree that core is critical, and like Ed I've had a few surgeries (four shoulders, two knees, ruptured biceps tendon, neck). What that means is that I have to pay attention to joint stability which means balance exercises and slow, controlled full range of movement exercises. Because I have a great physical therapist and have been through multiple rehabs, I know what I need to do to help prevent injury and be strong behind the boat.

 

What I can tell you is that the "fun" weightlifting stuff isn't what makes you a strong skier. I love fun weightlifting like benchpress, bicep curls, etc. However, having a big chest and arms will not help your skiing (trust me, I know). You want lean power, which comes from maximizing muscle density, not size. Slow controlled movements in the 10-12 rep range are very good for that. Think a 2 count on the contraction phase, 4 count on the extension phase. For example, if you are bench pressing, press up to a 2 count, and bring it down to a 4 count.

 

Also, anything you can do standing on one foot or on a bosu ball is great. Combine that with exercises like stand on one foot and do a set of curls one arm at a time with a single dumbell. Do the same with lat raises, overhead press, etc. Do these with a slight knee bend, not a locked knee. You want to engage the ankle, knee, hip and core. The more free-standing exercises you can do vs. being on a machine the better.

 

My focus this offseason will be entirely on lean power. Whereas I normally gain 10 lbs of muscle every winter in the gym, I plan to drop about 7lbs while working on increasing my core strength and joint stability.

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@tfriess

 

at 15 and tall and lengthy you probably need to work on balance, indo board and Yoga

 

stick to the basics for weights, squats, bench press and deadlifts, these three will do more for your "core" than the 1000's of dumb exercises created for this trending phrase. For the winter stay in a 3-5 set 6-8 rep range, strength is something to build on in winter, and your not going to get bulky in that rep range, other exercises in the 3 set/15-20 rep range can be added to make a solid 3 day a week workout...

 

Cardio, you probably don't need it too much for actual weight loss but running is the ticket, makes you tough, there is no better cardio workout...for you, do H.I.I.T. with your running, more representative for skiing applications...

 

AND EAT CLEAN...all the working out in the world isn't going to do squat if you do not fuel properly...

 

Can be more informative and detailed if you need in regards to workout and diet, just send me a PM if interested...

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I picked up more than a full pass the summer after an offseason of crossfit. Lean power with balance and speed is exactly what you want. Crossfit is great at this because they don't do isolation movements only functional movements. I love the olympic lifts (which are a big part of crossfit) because they require speed, balance, and power through a dynamic range of motion using a lot of pulling muscles. Almost sounds like waterskiing.
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@MattP please post any rowing technique stuff here. The only rowing technique I've got is from what I've gleaned from a few videos on journal.crossfit.com. It sounds like they know what they are talking about but I wouldn't know the difference. By the way I agree with all the stuff about rowing. I wish I could drop the dough to get one in my house.
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OB hit the nail on the head. As a personal trainer I can pretty much assure you that it is impossible to get maximum results working out on your own. Your brain will tell you to stop long before your muscles are fatiqued. Even using programs such as P90X will not get you the the last three reps that are required for muscle development. Unless you are working to exhaustion you will not get the results you are looking for. In addition, having a set appointment with a trainer will help keep you from finding an excuse not to work out. Even doing cardio without a plan is a waste of time. Your body adapts quickly to the loads you place on it and you need to vary time, intensity and muscle group involvement to keep improving. Find a trainer the is a skier and you will pick up bouys. My 2 cents
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I have been working with Jenny Labaw since February and it has worked out great for me. Having to be accountable is great and the variety of workouts is excellent. I definitely work harder based on my programs from Jenny than I ever did on my own. I have lost 30 pounds, gained strength and got through our ski season healthy after coming off a ruptured disk last summer. Mt ranking average is up 5 buoys off my last full season.

 

I am excited to see what kind of shape I can get in with a full off season and a better fitness baseline then translate that into skiing performance.

 

Jenny's website is www.jennylabaw.com.

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+1 on Jenny.

 

I started working with Jenny a little before @Chef23 and recommended he start with her. I thought I was in pretty good shape and just trying to shake it up. I got a whole lot more than I bargained for. For me, my weight is the same, but I have dropped 2 inches around my waist and untold % of body fat.

 

Because Jenny is closely involved in what it takes to water ski at the highest level, she can tailor your workouts to the sport and your individual needs.

 

I was just talking about this today, and one of the things I like most is: you get a sheet of daily workouts detailed for 2 weeks at a time and you just go in and do it, no thinking about what you should do, how many, how to do it.

 

There is an expectation about reporting back and in some weird way I feel totally accountable to Jenny for workout performance, like I do not want to let her down. She somehow provides motivation through the ether. Would it be better to workout with her 6 days a week, I am sure it would(it would be cool just to hang out with her and Marcus), but this is definitely the next best thing to that.

 

 

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You are 15 and have lots of options. BBall, Hockey an all kinds of team sports that you can get into. If you go to the weight room, you will need to do everything and not just zone in on a few lifts like bench or curls. Get into something that develops the whole body and leaves nothing behind. Biking is great, look at Ski Dawg, JB and Mapple. Mix it up and do it all. Ski, Climb, bike and hike all work on the core balance.
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@Garn - I think the safety of crossfit depends completely on the trainer at your local crossfit box. I've been to some that are great, they won't let you get away with crappy form and help you know your limits when you are working with an injury. I've seen others that just want to see you lift as much weight as fast as you can regardless of form and that is not the answer. I would check out several gyms close to you and see which one fits you the best. That being said as a Chiropractor I think Squats and Deadlifts, when done properly, are very beneficial for the low back and can help you not only recover from a low back problem but can prevent future low back problems. (If I could get all my patients to squat and deadlift some moderate weight they would be a lot healthier.)
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@Garn I had back surgery almost a year ago (ruptured disk L5/S1) and starting in February I have been working with a trainer that is very crossfit centric and I do squats and deadlifts. I started out very light working on technique and slowly ramped the weight up. Squats and deadlifts build tremendous back strength and the stronger my back gets the better it feels. I am not a doctor but I think if done properly squats and deadlifts are ultimately good for your back.
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12 oz curls will get you in pear shape. Mix in texting and tweeting on those electronic doodads and you can waste oodles of time while developing pinkie power to hold onto that handle . Just kidding! Seriously though, for me the best core exercise ever was wrestling. A match is six minutes of full body hell to survive. Or pick something fun. Stay active. Mix it up.
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Train like a sprinter would light and strong, focus on rear posterior chain, core strength, and flexibility. Afterall skiing the course is kinda like a sprint. Almost more important is diet, make sure you are eating the correct foods to allow your muscles to recover or else working out is wasting your effort. Lastly sleep is important for recovery as well in other words don't stay up til 2 a.m. playing video games. My advice start participating in track and field, any other sport cant hurt either.
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At 15 years of age I wouldn't even sweat gaining muscle or strength, just worry about staying in shape.

 

I was a scrawny kid all through school (OK still a small guy) but there is no way my body was ready for hitting weights or anything hard at 15. If you are gonna hit the weight room I'd just do easy enough weights and focus on endurance as said above.

 

For what it is worth I graduated high school at 115. 2 years later I started hitting a gym hard. Went to 145 and it was lots of work to get there.

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