The road to pro-skierdom is a road seldom traveled for a few obvious reasons: excruciating amounts of physical training and practice, an unyielding level of mental toughness and, of course, you need that little bit of raw God-given talent. With the level of competition on the rise, professional skiers are facing serious pressure; the fight to remain in the top-tier is increasingly difficult.
You see them at events, you see them in the movies, and you see them in the magazines, but what you don’t see is how hard these athletes are working behind the scenes to stay on top of their game. Fitness and mental training become all the more important to retain status and respect. We’re checking in with some of the biggest names in the sport to see how they train in the off-season. For those of you aspiring athletes out there, you’d better bust out your pen and take some notes.
FS: Tell us about your diet.
SD: The biggest thing with diet for me is that it's all about timing; the timing with your consumption is super important. Eating smaller meals too, and more meals throughout the day. I try and eat six meals a day right now.
One of the things I've been doing is eating right after I've finished a workout. It's important to put something back in your body.
How does training benefit you as a skier?
The biggest reason I workout is injury prevention. If you're strong and you fall, you're more likely to be OK. You can see some of the hard crashes I've taken in the past few years, and the biggest reason I can walk away is because I'm prepared.
The other thing is longevity. If you're strong and fit, your career is likely to last that much longer.
Do you have any favorite exercises?
Hard to say. I guess I'm into plyometrics, things that help with agility and speed. Jump roping, jumping exercises, sprints and skips, and different kinds of cardio as opposed to basic jogging. Jump roping is best I think. Squat jumps, where you go down, jump as high as you can, do a couple of reps. All that stuff brings up your lactic acid threshold if you do it often, and are well practiced.
There's aerobic and anaerobic exercises; aerobic helps burn fat and the other helps build muscle and bring up the lactic acid threshold, so I'm more into the latter.
Any other types of workout you enjoy?
Road biking for sure. It's awesome to be outside, and not in the gym, and I love to cover so much ground in a short period of time. I have an Addict R1 Scott bike, and I love it.
Do you have a favorite place to workout?
New Zealand [laughs], because it's boring as hell, and there's nothing to do where we go. I ski all day, and then go to the gym for probably four hours at a time. There are no other distractions down there.
Do you have any favorite workout tunes?
I guess it's the same as when I'm skiing, I have a pretty big genre of stuff I like to listen to. For the most part, it's hip-hop, it gets me going.
Is there any special gear you use to workout with?
I have a badass pair of Nike running shoes, Oakley bike jersey and compression shorts when riding the bike. I like to ride in Oakley M-frame sunglasses too.