Wednesday Workout: ‘Real Work’ with Knute Johnsgaard

FasterSkierJune 13, 2018
Canadian Knute Johnsgaard (r) after checking on rabbit snares on his family’s trapline in the Yukon. (Courtesy photo)

For this week’s Wednesday Workout (WW), FasterSkier is featuring Knute Johnsgaard, a native of Canada’s Yukon Territory. A 2018 Olympic cross-country skier and former Canadian World Cup Team member, Johnsgaard, 25, recently retired from professional skiing. With one of the more non-traditional ascents to the World Cup, Johnsgaard shared a workout that incorporates non-traditional training. The following assimilates chores and exercise into one, ideal for multitaskers everywhere.


The basement or garage might not be the first place most cross-country skiers visit before working out. For Knute Johnsgaard, however, there’s no better place to get started.

Knute Johnsgaard racing to 54th in his first international World Cup, a freestyle sprint in Planica, Slovenia, in January 2016. (Photo: Fischer/NordicFocus)

“I think athletes can benefit from doing some ‘real work’ now and then,” Johnsgaard wrote in an email. “It’s unfortunate that you don’t always get rewarded for the hard work that you put in to ski training. Usually you do see it down the road, but sometimes you may unknowingly be doing the wrong workouts at the wrong time or whatever–it just didn’t pay dividends like you thought.

“That’s why I’ve always enjoyed doing feel-good jobs or chores and treating them as a workout,” Johnsgaard explained.

His chores of choice include shoveling snow or splitting wood.

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“It’s incredibly satisfying not only that you’re killing 2 birds with one stone (getting in a workout and getting chores done) but because you will always no matter what be rewarded for your efforts, especially if it’s a chore for someone else and you get to see their satisfaction as well,” Johnsgaard wrote.

So get to the garage, grab an axe or a shovel, and get to it.

The Workout: Real Work

Choose a physical task or job. Johnsgaard’s favorites include:

  • Shoveling snow
  • Splitting wood

Get the job done. Johnsgaard estimates 10.5 hours should do the trick.

Be sure to stay in Zone 1.

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