Advice needed First time I've worked on pre-season fitness

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,424
16,445
1,063
Penticton, BC
I've been skiing for 35 years but never done any kind of pre-season fitness program. As a young adult I was working in the industry full time; it only took a few days and I was up to speed for 90-100 day season. Then I went into the building industry; hard work kept me pretty fit and a strong skill set enabled me to be efficient in my movements. But the years have passed along and I'm not as active at work as I was. I gradually exchanged hammer and shovel for plans and computer. The body kept ageing and I put on a couple of kilos each year to make matters worse. In short, my skiing sucked the last couple of years. I've been asking my legs to hold back far too much weight in each turn so my early season 'get the legs into shape' days have stretched to weeks. Last year I never really did get into good enough condition to ski more than 3-4 top to bottom runs in one shot.

Decided to make a change a while back. I've been on the keto diet since June 1 and have shed half of my weight loss goal of 22 kg. I've deliberately kept my activity level the same thus far because it's not a good idea to change everything at once. Sept 1 is time to start exercising, a three month buildup to bring me back to something approximating ski fit for a 56 year old male that used to have expert level ability. I'm comfortable with keto now and will stay on that regime for at least another six months; I'm hoping my body is sufficiently fat adapted by now to be able to handle a workout program without any problems.

So folks, any suggestions or advice on how to get this large mammal skiing properly again? I've started sniffing around for a trainer but haven't found one yet with much of a handle on ski-specific knowledge, even though that will probably only be needed later on once general muscle tone and cardio start to improve.
 

Adricat

One of Us
Aug 10, 2011
1,050
197
213
ACT
Nothing wrong with starting with group fitness classes at your local club lime or similar - build form and confidence as well as learning ones way around the gym. Otherwise start a full body weightlifting program 3 days a week with HITT on 1/2 other days.
 
  • Like
Reactions: qwill

Beerman

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jan 15, 2015
3,662
4,477
363
Brisvegas
Wifey has been going to a PT most of the year (first time in her life) for general strength and fitness, this hands on approach has shown her how to, and how not to do, particular exercises. This is important in avoiding strains/injury. With that said, you can then look up ski specific training drills on the Interwebs. I found one this https://www.backcountry.com/explore/train-eccentric-leg-strength-for-alpine-skiing very helpful and can be done at home with no equipment.

You won't get through the 4 sets the first few times, it's tough............................:eek:
 

Roymond

One of Us
Ski Pass
Aug 1, 2018
1,325
5,284
363
Skiing is fairly unique in that it requires the leg strength from squats as above but as your torso is angled from the legs in flexion, your abs/transversus/"core" are heavily involved as well.
Gym and general toning are perfect but its money well spent IMO to buy a "TRX" suspension trainer and focus on single leg stuff- angled pistol squats and the like- there's excellent online resurces that comes as part of the kit.
This forces you to use your abs for stability at the same time as flexing the knee/hips.
Lots of NRL/AFL teams are moving to these more functional type exercises to complement the gym work.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dr80 and Jacko4650

southpaw

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 28, 2018
1,281
2,833
363
Canberra
Mtb. Awesome for weight reduction, knee and leg strength. Balance, feel, precision.

Really helps to ride right up to winter.
Or just cycling in general. I found commuting to work on a bike each day was sustainable exercise, which I find to be the biggest challenge, and it gave me significant improvements in leg strength as well as stamina, which in turn really helped my skiing. It even had some core strength benefits. As I got older I found gym work and classes to be hard going.
 

MarzNC

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jun 8, 2017
2,496
4,093
363
Raleigh, NC, USA
over50skifitness.blogspot.com
After I started working with a personal trainer as part of knee rehab, I was introduced to the TRX. Took a few months before the TRX exercises made sense but eventually I bought one for home use. I was mid-50s then. Great for core strength while working on other stuff, like deeper squats than I was willing to do without support at the time. I also like using TRX for whole body stretching.

I gathered together stuff that I found online in recent years into a personal blog if you want some ideas. I'm not a fitness professional, just an over 50 ski nut. You are in the correct age bracket. :)

https://over50skifitness.blogspot.com/search/label/ski conditioning
https://over50skifitness.blogspot.com/search/label/TRX
 

qwill

not in the bunker
Ski Pass
Jun 18, 2010
18,004
9,883
813
queensland
After I started working with a personal trainer as part of knee rehab, I was introduced to the TRX. Took a few months before the TRX exercises made sense but eventually I bought one for home use. I was mid-50s then. Great for core strength while working on other stuff, like deeper squats than I was willing to do without support at the time. I also like using TRX for whole body stretching.

I gathered together stuff that I found online in recent years into a personal blog if you want some ideas. I'm not a fitness professional, just an over 50 ski nut. You are in the correct age bracket. :)

https://over50skifitness.blogspot.com/search/label/ski conditioning
https://over50skifitness.blogspot.com/search/label/TRX
I have a rip60, gym in a bag.
 

Sbooker

One of Us
Sep 28, 2015
2,616
3,958
363
Squats and cycling can be complimented nicely by road or trail running. The impact of running promotes a different endurance style strength in my view (provided knees are in pretty good shape of course). Also running is unrivaled by any other sport (aside from boxing) for weight control.
 

chrisj

A Local
Ski Pass
Jul 30, 2018
8,589
20,234
563
73
Terrigal, Darkinjung country
I've been skiing for 35 years but never done any kind of pre-season fitness program. As a young adult I was working in the industry full time; it only took a few days and I was up to speed for 90-100 day season. Then I went into the building industry; hard work kept me pretty fit and a strong skill set enabled me to be efficient in my movements. But the years have passed along and I'm not as active at work as I was. I gradually exchanged hammer and shovel for plans and computer. The body kept ageing and I put on a couple of kilos each year to make matters worse. In short, my skiing sucked the last couple of years. I've been asking my legs to hold back far too much weight in each turn so my early season 'get the legs into shape' days have stretched to weeks. Last year I never really did get into good enough condition to ski more than 3-4 top to bottom runs in one shot.

Decided to make a change a while back. I've been on the keto diet since June 1 and have shed half of my weight loss goal of 22 kg. I've deliberately kept my activity level the same thus far because it's not a good idea to change everything at once. Sept 1 is time to start exercising, a three month buildup to bring me back to something approximating ski fit for a 56 year old male that used to have expert level ability. I'm comfortable with keto now and will stay on that regime for at least another six months; I'm hoping my body is sufficiently fat adapted by now to be able to handle a workout program without any problems.

So folks, any suggestions or advice on how to get this large mammal skiing properly again? I've started sniffing around for a trainer but haven't found one yet with much of a handle on ski-specific knowledge, even though that will probably only be needed later on once general muscle tone and cardio start to improve.
This isn't just about skiing - it's about your life! If you maintain your weight and fitness at healthy levels year round, you will likely live longer and hence get to do more skiing.
 

southpaw

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 28, 2018
1,281
2,833
363
Canberra
The impact of running promotes a different endurance style strength
Have to say I agree, I also run about three days a week and it does really complement the cycling. Once I discovered doing activities outside I was able to let the gym membership go.
 

blowfin

One of Us
Ski Pass
Nov 3, 2012
2,817
2,055
363
42
Perth
Another vote for cycling. I made probably the biggest effort I ever have for Japan this year and it made a noticeable difference to my ability to ride all day. All it really entailed was putting in 15-20km on the bike as often as I could for a couple of months before the trip. I also regularly swim at the beach in the summer, that might be a harder one to accomplish in Penticton.

I love hiking when I can get out too, it's great for the fitness. Particularly if you can throw in some decent vertical. I can't really do that for Japan trips because the fire danger is outrageous here at that time of year.

If I was going to push things further I'd look at strength training, with some professional guidance to start.
 
  • Like
Reactions: crackson

DPS Driver

A Local
Jul 18, 2014
5,622
6,618
563
I've been on the Beechoc diet for a couple of weeks and put on about 10 kgs.

I've ceased all physical activity to get a good read on the efficacy of the diet.

Conclusions: When your 11 y/o kid comes home from Tae Kwon Do with 2 boxes of fund raiser chocolates, don't eat most of them and wash them down with beer. Well actually do, do that, because it's great but just don't expect to lose any weight.
 

gareth_oau

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Dec 27, 2008
52,809
24,092
1,563
57
Canning Vale, Perth
I've been on the Beechoc diet for a couple of weeks and put on about 10 kgs.

I've ceased all physical activity to get a good read on the efficacy of the diet.

Conclusions: When your 11 y/o kid comes home from Tae Kwon Do with 2 boxes of fund raiser chocolates, don't eat most of them and wash them down with beer. Well actually do, do that, because it's great but just don't expect to lose any weight.

Your TKD kid and club will respect your dedication
 

sly_karma

Green Bastard
Ski Pass
Dec 12, 2005
22,424
16,445
1,063
Penticton, BC
I was surprised there is so little carb in dark chocolate. I realised the other night I could have the odd square of the sea salt Lindt that Mrs Sly likes so much. But I'm pretty ho hum about chocolate so I haven't had any yet. Now if someone comes up with port that is keto friendly, then it'll be chocolate, here I come!
 

almontyrat

One of Us
Ski Pass
Apr 16, 2005
1,923
3,383
363
Wesley Vale, Tasmania
I was surprised there is so little carb in dark chocolate. I realised the other night I could have the odd square of the sea salt Lindt that Mrs Sly likes so much. But I'm pretty ho hum about chocolate so I haven't had any yet. Now if someone comes up with port that is keto friendly, then it'll be chocolate, here I come!
Yes dry white wine, while pleasant, is not the same as port.......
 

climberman

CloudRide1000 Legend
Ski Pass
Jul 24, 2000
45,127
39,480
1,563
the sunny illawarra
Sly,

Awesome on the weight change plan and success to date. You’ll notice this on the hill right from Day 1.

I’m a bit younger than you (late 40’s) but my advice is around ‘age’.

I agree with finding a trainer, but at this phase you are probably looking at a general fitness improvement with a bent towards ski/leg related training. Any trainer worth their salt can pick this up (you aren’t training for the World Cup). What the training industry doesn’t do so well is:
  • have a good handle on getting the ‘untrained’ into training slowly and evenly
  • understand the ‘more experienced body’ so well
It’s really easy to get injured training, and to overtrain. Overtraining when older, coupled with weight loss programs, can be pretty debilitating. An extra few kilo’s can be just what an early 30’s person needs to lift to improve, but just what an early 50’s person needs lift to get a month’s worth of remedial physiotherapy and rooted body repair (bye-bye ski season). General exhaustion (over and above normal training tiredness) is a real risk as well.

My advice would be to try and find a trainer who has lots of happy people as clients who are in your age bracket, or who advertises as supporting older exercisers.

Also take it easy. You are training, but at the early stages it needs to be about achievable, incremental improvement appropriate to your life stage.

General exercise such as cycling and swimming is great for being non-weight bearing and good for minimising risks to joints.

Get on it. You'll feel great, especially when coupled with the weight loss.
 

DPS Driver

A Local
Jul 18, 2014
5,622
6,618
563
I was surprised there is so little carb in dark chocolate. I realised the other night I could have the odd square of the sea salt Lindt that Mrs Sly likes so much. But I'm pretty ho hum about chocolate so I haven't had any yet. Now if someone comes up with port that is keto friendly, then it'll be chocolate, here I come!
Port and chocolate is my favourite dessert.

Oh! sorry Sly, this probably isn't helping you.
 

KylePee

Cage rattler
Ski Pass
Feb 10, 2012
9,815
18,530
563
Jumped the wall to Mexico
I'm learning very slowly, but very particular to this case - about the long, slow approach to strength and fitness. I took a humble pill when I started with new trainers about a year ago, and I'm now back to the kind of decent weights I was doing a few years back, but with far fewer issues.

It doesn't matter how old/young, strong/weak, experienced/newb - make sure you do the base work before you get too carried away with the heavy and intense stuff!

That backcountry article is a good simple approach if you are starting from a reasonable base, but a few weeks of air squats and lunges doesn't seem to meet where you're at. Some of the exercises there definitely, but I'd say take a longer term approach to it. You're going to need to make sure everything that's meant to be doing the work is 'switched on' and other muscles aren't compensating. Will definitely need some glute activation work, single leg work and range of motion.

Part of what our gym owners do is get everyone who starts at the gym, to do some base training cycles before joining the full group. The weight can still be heavy if they're getting technique spot on, but it ensures things are balanced and controlled. So it will be single leg side step ups, then adding dumbells or kettlebells, before moving onto traditional squats; single leg good-mornings before progressing through to dead-lifts. They join in with out HIIT circuits, but for everyone it's a safer weight and movement pattern that you can safely do plenty of reps even when tiring (though focus is still on doing it right). Can share their details as they do a good online plan, but you may want something more face to face. I'd just recommend making sure that whoever you get tells you a pretty clear 'why' and how it fits in with their longer term plan for you
 

Adricat

One of Us
Aug 10, 2011
1,050
197
213
ACT
After I started working with a personal trainer as part of knee rehab, I was introduced to the TRX. Took a few months before the TRX exercises made sense but eventually I bought one for home use. I was mid-50s then. Great for core strength while working on other stuff, like deeper squats than I was willing to do without support at the time. I also like using TRX for whole body stretching.

I gathered together stuff that I found online in recent years into a personal blog if you want some ideas. I'm not a fitness professional, just an over 50 ski nut. You are in the correct age bracket. :)

https://over50skifitness.blogspot.com/search/label/ski conditioning
https://over50skifitness.blogspot.com/search/label/TRX
At 10 weeks post ACL reco, I've bookmarked your site.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MarzNC and Ozgirl

DbSki

Old n' Crusty
Jun 19, 2012
21,403
7,359
1,063
Melb
Best ski exercise I ever got was skiing on the carpet.

Hillegom_3_skiers_web.jpg


You can ski on it until you feel leg burn identical to what you get doing a long run of short turns on snow.

After a summer on it the first day on snow was like the last day on snow the previous season doing runs top to bottom.

Sadly the idiots charged too much and closed up which seems to be a common outcome for them.
They just don't seem to recognise their biggest ongoing customer base would be off season ski exercise and constantly go for the ski training market that is a dead end.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sly_karma

BoofHead

One of Us
Ski Pass
Ski Pass
Aug 8, 2007
3,448
9,025
363
Brisbane
Well done on the weight loss SK. Dropping 22kegs should make a huge difference.
I’m mid fifties as well. A knee injury 2 years ago playing in an ol blokes soccer tournament was a big wake up call for me. I joined a gym and found the stair machine to be awesome for legs and cardio. I do HIITS mainly but sometimes set to rolling hills. After or before the stair machine I also do legs and glutes.
For safety reasons I use the various machines rather than free weights.
Cheers
 
  • Like
Reactions: sly_karma

hipo

One off
Ski Pass
Jun 23, 2011
3,630
7,458
363
here and there
Road bike with plenty of hills plus strava to challenge yourself
Bike trainer and rowing m/c _ dont watch tv without
Inner and outer thigh and core strength exercises - search rebecca louise on you tube
Fresh food cooked at home
Be consistant
Enjoy a beer
 
  • Like
Reactions: robbo mcs

southpaw

One of Us
Ski Pass
Mar 28, 2018
1,281
2,833
363
Canberra
Best ski exercise I ever got was skiing on the carpet.

Hillegom_3_skiers_web.jpg


You can ski on it until you feel leg burn identical to what you get doing a long run of short turns on snow.

After a summer on it the first day on snow was like the last day on snow the previous season doing runs top to bottom.

Sadly the idiots charged too much and closed up which seems to be a common outcome for them.
They just don't seem to recognise their biggest ongoing customer base would be off season ski exercise and constantly go for the ski training market that is a dead end.
Where was this one located? There is one in Canberra called Vertikal which I think is still going. I understand they also focus on ski training. I was keen to try them out to see what it’s like.
 

Lifes2good

One of Us
Jan 21, 2012
744
1,125
263
51
Sydney, Aust
Good on you for the weight loss and decision to work on your snow fitness. My +1 is a similar vintage to you and also has a desk job. His fitness work is running (~10km x 2-3 per week), and circuit training with a HIIT component (~2x per week). He has found it makes a huge difference to his enjoyment and endurance on the snow. I'm a bit younger but still late 40's and do pilates and yoga for core stability, balance, and strength and play soccer for fitness and leg strength (and fun of course). I have found this terrific training for skiing. All the best with your program!
 
  • Like
Reactions: sly_karma

qwill

not in the bunker
Ski Pass
Jun 18, 2010
18,004
9,883
813
queensland
Oh I like port and chocolate too, about the only way I have chocolate. My new dessert of choice is berries and whipped cream, glad I picked summer time to do the big diet.
Chocolate comes from a bean, therefore it is salad, therefore it is part of any sensible diet.
Cream is a byproduct of grass, therefore it is salad, therefore it is part of any sensible diet.
 

bluess57

Hard Yards
Aug 2, 2014
143
64
98
Apart from cycling, I run/do stairs/staircase
There are some bridge staircases near me
10-15 reps of 30 stairs with a short 2km jog to/from
 

Kletterer

Thredbo Doughnut Tragic
Moderator
Nov 26, 2014
21,965
26,315
1,063
Canberra
I find that climbing helps a lot with core strength, balance and the finesse factor. Pushing the odd barrow of bricks and mortar upslope helps too. Remember that maintaining strength is all well and good ,but exercise that isolates muscle groups can detract from overall muscle coordination . Tune in and recognise the difference between isolation and simulation.
 

cold wombat

Twitter Contributer
Moderator
Jun 4, 2008
58,938
39,776
2,115
13
Perth
@sly_karma if you think your skiing sucked the last couple of years, I'd hate to see you fit....shit. I'll never be capable of following you down the hill, just barely keep up now.....cause you let me.

I suspect most of us are making a significant mental adjustment to the meaning of "unfit, out of form", even without having seen Sly ski.
 

robbo mcs

One of Us
Ski Pass
Sep 1, 2008
4,573
19,678
363
Kenthurst / Jindabyne
I think the best preparation you can do is general fitness, rather than any ski specific program. Anything that improves your cardiovascular fitness, improves core strength and helps you lose weight is going to help your skiing enormously.

Personally I do a lot of bicycling, both in and out of the ski season. I think it helps my general fitness, rather than “preparing my legs”.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sly_karma

Kletterer

Thredbo Doughnut Tragic
Moderator
Nov 26, 2014
21,965
26,315
1,063
Canberra
If Apex was that close to my jobsites i would be having big breakfasts and smokos etc. and taking it pretty casualy. Sometimes your tails scarve a bit when you are relaxed in Nirvana Sly. Dont overthink it bro.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sly_karma

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jan 1, 1998
70,376
28,869
1,515
Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
I don't really like the idea of a keto diet, because there is some evidence to suggest it's not good for you long term.
I prefer to continue to eat carbs, but be aware of the GI of those carbs (and the GL). It's easy enough to eat lower GI foods vs high GI foods, and it is SUSTAINABLE long term.
So far as exercise is concerned, I've settled for a while now, on high intensity exercise (but for an older person, not something that can cause you injury) that depletes muscles of glycogen, which then stops you storing fat when you eat carbs. You will burn fat when you sleep.
This type of exercise also makes your muscles strong... and you can put on muscle bulk, even though you're aging, when you would ordinarily be losing it. I've put on maybe 2-3 kilos of muscle in 4 years, even though I'm almost 62. I ski from 8.30am - 4.00pm, no days off (don't want to waste skiing days!!), and try to get 25-30 days skiing a season (Japanese season). It's definitely do-able.
# And lost more than 10kg of fat.
 

gareth_oau

Pool Room
Ski Pass
Dec 27, 2008
52,809
24,092
1,563
57
Canning Vale, Perth
Chocolate comes from a bean, therefore it is salad, therefore it is part of any sensible diet.
Cream is a byproduct of grass, therefore it is salad, therefore it is part of any sensible diet.

I saw a report recently which questioned:

“will switching to a plant based diet reduce the incidence of Type 2 diabetes?”

AndI though Yes! As long as the plant is celery
 

leigh the noob

Hard Yards
Jul 26, 2015
36
57
68
Melbourne
No particular fitness/training expertise here, but my plan was simply to increase general fitness / aerobic capacity, plus some leg work. Just turned 50, started about 7 years ago, and noticed marked improvement to endurance when skiing. Not that I ski a lot (3-4 days / year), or am super fit. My routine is just 25min, 3-4 times per week (push ups, sit ups, step ups, squats) at home, no equipment required. Also aim to embed activity into regular day (walk from home to train station, get out of office for walk at lunch time, walk up stairs instead of take the escalator, etc). Also start off gentle, slowly build it up. No running for me, knees won't take it any more.

The key for me to maintain the activity, is build it into my regular day or do it at home, so I don't have to go anywhere special to exercise, and so therefore still available to take care of family stuff.

Probably a lot of scope for improvement, but this is what worked for me, YMMV.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Snowfi and piolet

JM72

One of Us
Ski Pass
May 29, 2018
564
2,179
263
Yes! This time last year I weighed 98kg !
The day I got back to Sydney saw a photo and then realized, set up home gym, tried a few diets, found this diet 600 calories a day, no sugar, no carbs , 45 mins gym, 7 days a week.
I set up some $20 Kmart weights, $89 target exercise bike , Gumtree rowing machine and sit up bench, and I now weigh 80kg !
I'm 47 years old and loving life!
 

JM72

One of Us
Ski Pass
May 29, 2018
564
2,179
263
600cal a day?! Yikes
Good job
I guess the key is finding what works for you
It's the mudda of diets, plenty headaches , drink heaps of water, savour that boiled egg, and cut those veges so it looks like more, disaplin and training is my new drug!
Won't work for everyone
I'm in the zone
(for once)
 
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass

Log in

or Log in using
Learn how membership works on these forums
Remove ads with a
Ski Pass