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MALI-MONSTER

Off Season Conditioning

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MALI-MONSTER

It’s been a couple of months now since I have been out on my ski, and I am starting to think about next year’s season (too bad I still have a good 5 months before we will be back out in MI). In the off season, I want to focus on conditioning so I can hit the water ready to improve.

A little about me … I am a beginner to intermediate slalom skier with aspirations of being able to lay out some smooth, rhythmic cuts and maybe even end up in the course someday. I am 6’2”, 190 and ski a 69” Radar Theory behind my Echelon at 15 off and about 30 mph. At my current ability level I am crossing the wakes with decent form and speed and making good on side turns. I still struggle with off side turns and seem to get winded after about 4 passes on our lake. Our lake is pretty small and a “pass” consist of about 6 turns. To me this feels like a pathetically short time to be behind the boat before I am tired (especially for me on a 69” Theory). Last year I only skied about once every two weeks, but next year I am going to try to get out twice a week.

So here is what I want to do … I want to improve my strength and endurance so that I can stay out there a little longer and not feel it too bad the next day. I am no stranger to working out, but I am looking for some suggestions of things that people have done to specifically improve their slalom skiing. Currently, I am doing the Spartacus workout twice a week and doing a basic kettle bell routine two days a week. Each workout starts with a one mile jog. I know that there probably is no perfect workout that will replace the stamina and strength achieved from being out on the water, but what have you all done in the off season to improve your next year’s skiing?

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Woodski

I would look at programs targeting core strength and endurance. You will need the endurance to practice what you want to improve, so that is important. I think some serious biking would be helpful.

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Murphy8166

I am looking at getting into kettle bell training. I need something that is quick and to the point and this seems to fit the bill. Picked up a couple of books over the weekend. I also looked at doing cross fit - expensive

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MALI-MONSTER

I am looking at getting into kettle bell training. I need something that is quick and to the point and this seems to fit the bill. Picked up a couple of books over the weekend. I also looked at doing cross fit - expensive

For kettle bell training check out Pavel Tsatsouline's "Enter the Kettlebell". I have the PDFs. PM me if you want them. I have about a month in with kettlebells and have seen great improvements in the strength of my shoulders. Just be sure that you have a safe area to use them, because when a 40 pounder gets dropped it tends to be quite impressive.

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Sixball

I picked up a Concept II and like it. (Rowing Machine.) Just a good overall work out.

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barefootpaul

What gets tired and sore? I know for me it is my back. My legs and arms do fine but I know people who's limiting factor is their grip strength.

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REW

What gets tired and sore? I know for me it is my back. My legs and arms do fine but I know people who's limiting factor is their grip strength.

Work a little extra on what burns the most, as others have said, core strength and endournace.

Good luck

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MALI-MONSTER

What gets tired and sore? I know for me it is my back. My legs and arms do fine but I know people who's limiting factor is their grip strength.

It seems like back and arms hurting are what makes me want to stop first. Sometimes when pulling up on the swim platform to re-board the boat I feel like my arms are noodles. The next day I always feel it most in the backside of my upper right leg (I am right foot forward).

Sounds like I need to work hard on everything!

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MALI-MONSTER

Anybody done the "Essential Slalom Workout" from 2008 from waterskimag.com?

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onamission

Its all about core strength. Biking and yoga.

I've been doing yoga for about a year, the breathing techniques and improved balance has add buoys and number of passes. Normal ski week would be getting out 3 to 4 times a week and running 6 to 8 pass at 34 and running 22 to 32 off. Only time the boat stops is if you fall or shorten the rope, no breaks.

Best thing is don't stop. I don't live that far from you are at and we have been able to get out at least once a week Oct. - Nov. Find a couple friends that have the same addiction that we have to running the course and invest in a good wet suit and/or dry suit and put a heater in the boat.

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bbrandau

I had great luck with P90X this year ... it is time consuming, tough, and you need to be disciplined with your workout ... but if you are serious about transforming your body, p90x will do it.

Keeping your weight down helps a ton in the course too ... no need to carry around any extra fat. If you think about F = M * A, or A = F / M, if you can increase your force and decrease your mass, your acceleration will increase exponentially!!

I have dropped 60 pounds this year ... most of my weight loss was from diet though... p90x really just helped me burn more calories so that my daily calorie defict was larger. P90X has also made me a lot more durable ... For the first time in many seasons, I had no aches or pains anywhere.

All of this (plus a little professional coaching) took me from inconsistently running 22' off 36mph to consistently running 28'off and actually getting into 35'off this year ...

I feel like I should be on one of their infomercials!!

BTW, P90X 2 is coming out 3 days!!

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davemac

Mali-Monster....I think you left out one piece of the puzzle....although its"just a number" how old are you??

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MALI-MONSTER

Mali-Monster....I think you left out one piece of the puzzle....although its"just a number" how old are you??

31

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barefootpaul

It seems like back and arms hurting are what makes me want to stop first. Sometimes when pulling up on the swim platform to re-board the boat I feel like my arms are noodles. The next day I always feel it most in the backside of my upper right leg (I am right foot forward).

Sounds like I need to work hard on everything!

If you want to Pump some Iron I think Bent Over Rows and dead lifts help with the hard pull of slalom. Especially for those of us who are professional desk sitters...

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MALI-MONSTER

I picked up a Concept II and like it. (Rowing Machine.) Just a good overall work out.

Rowing would be a good alternative to my pre-workout one mile jog. Good thinking! I am going to try that tomorrow.

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MALI-MONSTER

Its all about core strength. Biking and yoga.

I've been doing yoga for about a year, the breathing techniques and improved balance has add buoys and number of passes. Normal ski week would be getting out 3 to 4 times a week and running 6 to 8 pass at 34 and running 22 to 32 off. Only time the boat stops is if you fall or shorten the rope, no breaks.

Best thing is don't stop. I don't live that far from you are at and we have been able to get out at least once a week Oct. - Nov. Find a couple friends that have the same addiction that we have to running the course and invest in a good wet suit and/or dry suit and put a heater in the boat.

You are right! I winterized way too early. It was my first year with the boat and got nervous because I had to leave town for the first week in Oct. I missed a lot of great skiing in Oct and early Nov. I won't make that mistake again next year. The wife would love a heater in the boat too!

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Malibudude

While not a "winter" workout for you during the winter I'll just ride behind the boat and let my arms extend then pull myself to the handle. I do this ten times with hands in different potions ie. on top, over-under each hand and both under. After that your arms will feel like noodles. But it's one other best workout and conditioning I've ever been exposed to.

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onamission

You are right! I winterized way too early. It was my first year with the boat and got nervous because I had to leave town for the first week in Oct. I missed a lot of great skiing in Oct and early Nov. I won't make that mistake again next year. The wife would love a heater in the boat too!

Anything that makes the wife happy to be in the boat, especially when the weather cold is worth the cost. I put in a separate heater just for her.

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obski

I just keep on swimming. I swim 2000 yds 4 to 5 times per week and have been doing that for the past 24 years. I haven't gone more than 3wks at a time without getting in the pool (it was kind of hard in Niger last year). I like to swim. It is my 'quiet time'. I think and pray. Half the time I swim with my eyes closed. I used to be in a masters swim group years ago which really helped to push it harder, but the 2K workout helps me maintain.

I guess what I would say is that you need to find what you like to do. If you have to push yourself to do the workout then you aren't likely to continue. It really does help to workout with either another person or a group. Accountability does make a difference.

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dtm8119

I had great luck with P90X this year ... it is time consuming, tough, and you need to be disciplined with your workout ... but if you are serious about transforming your body, p90x will do it.

Keeping your weight down helps a ton in the course too ... no need to carry around any extra fat. If you think about F = M * A, or A = F / M, if you can increase your force and decrease your mass, your acceleration will increase exponentially!!

I have dropped 60 pounds this year ... most of my weight loss was from diet though... p90x really just helped me burn more calories so that my daily calorie defict was larger. P90X has also made me a lot more durable ... For the first time in many seasons, I had no aches or pains anywhere.

All of this (plus a little professional coaching) took me from inconsistently running 22' off 36mph to consistently running 28'off and actually getting into 35'off this year ...

I feel like I should be on one of their infomercials!!

BTW, P90X 2 is coming out 3 days!!

I'll second this...P90X is tough but worth it if you stick to it. Also, the Insanity DVD workouts will kick you butt. They are more cardio based. Been doing them for months at the gym and my endurance has increased tremendously.

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davemac

I think there are two ways to approach your question...fitness and ski technique

Slalom skiing is a fantastic, intense workout. Unfortunately, there is no way to exactly replicate the muscle demands off the water. Good advice so far on here. Lighter is always better, but at 6-2, 190 you're weight isn't out of whack. The key is "strength to weight". I'm 41 and a "thick" 5-9. I dropped from 196 to 182 and it made a huge difference. My primary ski partner is 52, 6-3 and dropped from 245 to 220 and now has no idea how he was ever able to ski at the higher weight.

P90x is a great offseason workout....if you are able to commit to the 60-90 min/ day routine. I did it winter/spring 2010...currently trying to decide whether to commit to P90x2 this winter. It absolutely works as advertised, but kicks your butt in the process. You can get hurt doing it. Be mindful that it is of a generic design. Listen to your body... If a specific exercise doesn't feel right to you, skip, modify, or substitute it. As you get older, be especially careful of your shoulders with any overhead lifting.

Currently, I'm just mixing up my exercise including some 3-5 mile runs 3x/ week...while the weather lasts and situps/pushups/core stuff. Same as Sixball, I picked up a Concept2 rower last winter, after reading that it targets similar muscles to skiing (shoulders, back, etc), and is very popular with serious skiers. It certainly helped, but by no means eliminated spring soreness (I am always sore after skiing...think I have a problem w/ excess lactic acid buildup). I also put my road bike on a trainer in the basement for winter months, and put a hockey game on tv and try to ride 20 miles during a period.

Looking at your fatigue issue from a skiing perspective... do ski your 4 sets consecutively spinning at either end of the lake? That would tire most people. Try dropping and resting a bit....this is what the pros do in a course. Maybe shorten the rope to mix it up, experiment a bit. Just don't let the driver power turn and send rollers down the lake (real friends don't let friends power turn). You might find that shortening the rope (-22 or -28 off) allows the boat to do more of the work, and gets you in a better rhythm.

Have someone evaluate your technique (many pros/coaches will view your videos and provide their services...for a fee). Else there is great value in videoing yourself. If you have "old school tendencies"...you will get sore. There is nothing more futile than trying to outmuscle a 300 hp inboard. I don't have the ability to ski as often as I like. As a result I get "over-amped" and ski too "hard" which puts me too much on the tail of ski, skiing impatiently and rearing back. Skiing hard is not the answer....skiing "fast and efficiently" is. Illustrated in buzz phrases....(Seth Stisher tells me) "you paid for the whole ski, you might as well use it". Other thoughts "be light on the line", "ride the water", "embrace the speed", "keep the tension on the line constant".

As a fellow recreational skier,in our quest to improve I think we tend to put too much emphasis on the turn. Rather than this, I have had great success in focusing on proper body position between the wakes, in the "work zone". Coming through the wakes properly with hips up, elbows tight to vest and handle low gives speed necessary to change edge after the second wake and ride the inside edge out allowing the ski to cast out underneath you to apex....I believe this is the rhythmic turns you are looking for. Good position behind the boat sets up the turn. Here is a link to a great Chris Rossi article ... the Power Triangle . It is pure gospel. (Click on the little .pdf link under the picture of Chris, and the article will provide more illustrations of the proper position he preaches).This winter, you might try attaching a ski handle to a wall or post in your house and work on proper body position behind the boat. Proper position and skiing through your CORE with that low handle will greatly reduce the upper body soreness you are experiencing (especially if currently skiing though your arms, shoulders and back).

It sounds like the Radar Theory is a good ski for you at present, although you are on the lighter end of the weight scale for the 69. That is a big ski with lots of surface area. If opportunity arises, you might want to borrow or demo something a little smaller to see if it might reduce strain on your body. I have a 67 Theory that I got to ski slower on and focus on technique. I dont use it often, but it does seem to have drag. It does force you to be on edge through the wakes, else the extra width launches you airborne.

Good Luck. Sorry for the diatribe. Hopefully at least one tidbit here provides some help to you.

DISCLAIMER....This is all my $ .02, and I'll never earn a penny with my skiing. Just share the same quest as you..looking to improve. Most of what I've shared here is stuff that I'm working on as well.

Edited by davemac

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jjackkrash

Your stats indicate very little extra fat, so I would focus on strength and sprint-type conditioning. (Skiing is a 16-18 second all-out muscle blast).

My two recommendations would involve balanced strength training and conditioning.

Strength Training / Free weights -- something like 5 reps/5 sets each either (1) full body or (2) split between upper or lower or (3) split between pushing and pulling, but getting progressively heavier each week (2-3 x per week)

Vertical Push/Pull (Overheard Press / Chin-up or Pull-up Variation)

Horizontal Push/Pull (Bench-Press / Rows or Rowing variation)

Lower Push/Pull (Barbell (full) Squats / Deadlifts) *** these are the most important and will help with "core" and lower back strength. Slalom position is mostly a deadlift.

Conditioning:

Push or pull sled or "Prowler" / hill sprints / or interval training. 20 second burst/ 1 min. active rest / 20 second burst / ten or more sets after weight training.

***

You can do some other cardio if you think it will help with your heart health, but it won't do much for slalom, which is mostly an explosive/sprint type activity.

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msuwaterski

P90x brother! I have been doing it on and off for about 3 years now. I do it every spring before I put the boat in and I never have trouble with noodle arms or legs (33 yrs old). The program does tons of core, back strengthening, and yoga. You really cant go wrong. Like others have said though, you have to be 100% committed.

FYI, for a change of pace this off season I just ordered Insanity.

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gorilla

It all comes down to sticking it out. I only lift weights and do cardio (multiple machines) to stay in great shape. I dislocated both shoulders @ 18yrs old (too many years of competitive swimming and high school volleyball) and have been in the gym ever since. I'm 6'2" and 220lbs with @ 7-8% body fat. Anyone on here who has met me understands the screen name Gorilla (I hold onto the rope/handle too long). Specific workout routines will work better for some people and crappy for others. Try a bunch of different "styles" and see which one you are willing to do for pretty much the rest of your life. Change your diet slowly so you don't start to hate it, same goes with working out. Most of all, HAVE FUN and enjoy your workouts. It should never become a hassle.

just my 2 cents. :biggrin:

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Ozfabs

:plus1: for swimming. If I cant be in the water foiling or skiing at least I can still get some exercise in the pool.

I consider myself pretty fit, but in last 3 weeks I have dropped 4 kg just from doing laps & I feel my breathing/lung capacity & overall fitness is much better.

There is also no heavy strain put on my knees or back.

Whatever you chose, make it fun to do.

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