The following post was written by North Face athlete and champion freeskier Kit Deslauriers.
Why bother with cross training
My first philosophy is to never get bored so it is important to me to mix it up as far as cross training goes. Secondly, to carry a big pack and still ski the things we do, the core of the body has got to be incredibly strong. Combining this concept of core strengthening with keeping it fresh is the most important cross training combination to me since power comes both from our core and our minds.
Mountain post meets the mountain
If you can guess a single workout that targets both the core and the mind you will discover what I call my secret weapon: yoga. A strong body is a flexible body. I first discovered yoga when I was in pursuit of my World Freeskiing Tour titles and I became fascinated by the concept of ‘embracing my stiffness because I worked hard to get it’ while full of enjoyment with the moments of mental clarity during the challenging poses, and well-rounded by the humility required to continue to practice at something that I am most likely not the best in the room at.
Beyond yoga here are some more cross training tips:
Embrace the season
Trail run, road bike and mountain bike in the summer. But don’t just do those things, challenge yourself. Do intervals. Go hard and recover, then go hard again. This will enable you to recover more quickly so that you can find those mental and physical ‘rest’ spots where others are can’t.
Do distance. Make yourself do huge days, with a smile on your face. It will give you the experience to know yourself and your mental toughness so you can draw on it for the long days in your principal sport. Like we say, mountaineering is the art of suffering and the sooner you decide you like it, the better you will be at it.
Have a ball at the gym
Get to the gym . . . There is no substitute. Grab a Bosu and put the blue rounded side down. Stand on the flat black side with one leg and squat. Give it three sets of 10 squats per leg while balancing, and when that becomes easy then add weights in your hands.
Take a medicine ball and roll out on your stomach to the point where your feet are all that is left on the ball and with your hands on the floor do push-ups. Then pike your booty up in the air. Alternate ten of each to make three sets.
Work it to the core
With your arms/elbows in a 90 degree hanging support like you can find on a pull up bar, put a weighted ball between your knees and pick your knees up to your chest. Repeat until grunting and eventual failure. This one will put you above all your competition.
For more mountain time fun, be sure to read all of Kit's posts.