SXS FITNESS TIP: Off-season Training Key to Maintaining Success
SXS FITNESS TIPS submitted by Stefan Overgaard. Visit SXS Fitness.
It’s no secret that training in the off-season is absolutely critical for both performance, and injury prevention in most sports. This includes participating in a variety of other sports and activities, in particular at the U14 age and younger. It also important to include some basic strength training, mobility/ flexibility work as well as interval and other higher intensity, energy systems training. Most do a good job of training in the fall and spring months, however struggle to maintain a consistent routine over the summer. There are various reasons for the this, and most of them are NOT unreasonable – going to camp, traveling, summer school, training camps, cottages, other sports and all the above.
Everyone deserves some down time away from the stress of trying to balance school, skiing and other extra circular activities, parents deserve it as well! BUT, I can’t emphasise this enough – if you don’t take the time to at least MAINTAIN your fitness levels YOU WILL LOSE some important gains you made in spring training. You can gain your fitness back in the fall, and your levels could get back up to where you were fairly quickly with dedicated training, but you will ALWAYS lose the momentum you had and your fitness levels will NOT be where they could be if you did some basic training in the summer. When you step away from your training routine for more then a few weeks you will LOSE strength, power and overall performance ability.
It’s understood that sustaining a full training regiment over the summer months is a challenge for most, but there is a lot of research that supports even training ONCE per week will maintain your current fitness level (assuming you have put in training time before the maintenance phase). So, enjoy your summer down time, but you owe it to yourself, and the time you’ve previously spent training, to add in just a couple of hours a week to do some specific ski training. It does NOT have to be complicated, fancy or require equipment; there is a ton you can safely do on your own whether you are at camp, cottage, traveling or at home.
A great way to stay on track is to find a training partner. It could be a teammate, competitor, friend, sibling, even- dare I say it- a parent… Ideally it should be someone that is at a similar (or better) fitness level that brings some focus and intensity to the training. If that’s not possible any sort of training partner is helpful as you will hold each other accountable and help with consistency. Statistically you are far more likely to get the workouts in, and, train at a higher intensity if you have a partner; plus it makes it a lot more fun. So, this summer get a program, a training partner and maintain those gains!
Buxton, Barton P et al (1996). Effects of Training Frequency on Strength Maintenance in Pubescent Baseball Players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 10(1), 3-7.
Nymark et al (2010). Effects of In-season Strength Maintenance Training Frequency in Professional Soccer Players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25(10), 2653-60.