StrengthTechniqueTrainingWorkoutsWednesday Workout: Ski Specific Strength with Rocky Mountain Racers

Brainspiral BrainspiralDecember 2, 2015
The 2015/2016 Rocky Mountain Racers jump for joy for a team photo. (Photo: Maya MacIsaac-Jones)
The 2015/2016 Rocky Mountain Racers jump for joy for a team photo. (Photo: Maya MacIsaac-Jones)

This week’s workout comes from Maya MacIsaac-Jones of Rocky Mountain Racers in Canmore, Alberta. A dryland workout, it’s meant for strength-and-technique prep for snow skiing, if not now, hopefully in the very near future.

***

To get ready for on-snow skiing, Rocky Mountain Racers increase their power and efficiency by pulling their coaches on a bike, uphill, while coaches apply brakes. This is the RMR dryland Ski Specific Strength (SSS). The workout, which is legs-only and arms-only, helps coaches and athletes easily identify technique issues, and athletes are able to see the immediate effect of any technique changes.

Andrea Dupont, RMR athlete and last season’s NorAm Sprint leader, uses SSS to help her prepare for the season’s sprint races.

“I find SSS to be the best way to teach your body to generate max power in each push, which is critical in sprinting,” she says. “When you’re pulling your coach up a hill, if you aren’t generating a lot of power, you literally don’t move. It’s pretty black and white if your power is going in the wrong direction.”

The Workout: Ski Specific Strength (SSS)

What you need: Skate rollerskis and poles, 3-4 mountain bike tubes tied together in a line, and a coach on a bike.

Warmup: Prepare for SSS as you would for any hard interval workout; your warmup should be between 30- and 45-minutes long, and include some Zone 3 and Zone 4 intervals. It also helps to add some easy legs-only and double poling into your warmup, so that your legs, core and arms are warmed up and ready for the workout.

Workout: 

For this workout, during each set, you will be pulling your coach uphill on a bike. Ideally, your coach should be applying the brakes, timing you and yelling encouragement.

– 5 x 15 seconds of max effort with 45 seconds rest between each, double poling.

– Rest 5 minutes.

– 5 x 15 seconds of max effort with 45 seconds rest between each, legs only skate.

– Rest 5 minutes.

– 5 x 15 seconds of max effort with 45 seconds rest between each, double poling.

– Rest 5 minutes.

– 5 x 15 seconds of max effort with 45 seconds rest between each, legs only skate.

Cool down: 30 minutes easy ski in Zone 1.

Other SSS Workouts:

As you become more confident in your leg and arm strength, you may want to progress to new SSS workouts. SSS progressions include:

  • Replacing legs only with one-skate.
  • Replacing legs only with classic striding.
  • Lengthening the interval time from 15 max-effort seconds to 45 max-effort seconds (you will likely need to increase the rest to 4-5 minutes between each interval).
  • Lengthening interval time to 2 minutes of controlled Zone 3 intensity, with 10-second sprints throughout (you will likely need to increase the rest time to 5 minutes between each interval).
Andrea Dupont (Rocky Mountain Racers) pulls a coach on a bike during a Ski Specific Workout in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Maya MacIsaac-Jones)
Andrea Dupont (Rocky Mountain Racers) pulls a coach on a bike during a Ski Specific Workout in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Maya MacIsaac-Jones)

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