The society of sweat: Ski conditioning in Vail |

The society of sweat: Ski conditioning in Vail

Randy Wyrickrwyrick@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
HL ski condition party 2 KA 11-17-10

VAIL VALLEY – Hundreds of you have been gathering in dozens of gyms for weeks to train for ski season.You are the same sorts of people who pile up money to buy stuff you need, instead of piling up credit card debt. You are an admirable lot.The Aria Fitness Club’s ski conditioning class was sort of a sweaty social event. Upwards of 75 people showed up faithfully at the Vail Cascade on Mondays and Wednesdays for six weeks to perform pretty much the same exercises done by the U.S. Ski Team, and professional football and hockey players.Mike Benedict and John Cole put the program together. Benedict is a personal trainer at Aria. Cole is the human performance director for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.Kyle Griffith was there all six weeks. So Kyle, what did we learn in ski conditioning class?”It’s a great program. The trainers did a great job putting it together,” Griffith said. “If anyone sticks with it, they’ll see a noticeable difference from the time they began through the time they ended.”The Cascade’s program concentrates on flexibility, core strength, leg strength – the stuff you’ll need for ski season.”I’m ready to go,” Griffith said. “The trainers are there to help you get your body in shape for the ski season. This is my third year. They’ve done a great job every year, and it just gets better.”

Louanne Perfetti runs Fitness Tactics in Edwards and has been a trainer around here for decades. She sees this every season. People rush through her door insisting that the weight they gained during the previous year must be banished immediately. She really hates the television show “The Biggest Loser,” because some people think life should really be like that.Still, it’s better late than never. It’s not too late to condition for ski season specifically, and life its ownself in general. You can do everything better if you’re stronger.”Skiing is a dynamic sport that places unusual demands on your body,” Perfetti said. “Any skier who has felt unyielding leg burn knows the importance of getting in shape before heading to the slopes.”Your conditioning must be ski-specific for lots of good reasons. You’ll ski better, enjoy it more and reduce the chance for injury, she said.”If you think skiing exercises are just for serious skiers, think again,” Perfetti said. “Strong muscles improve every skier’s performance, whether he or she is a beginner, intermediate, advanced or expert skier.”Skiers will hit the slopes with little or no training, and pay for it with sore muscles and an increased chance for injury. The most common skiing injuries are joint related, and the best way to protect joints is by building muscle, Perfetti said.”Find a group ski conditioning class,” Perfetti said. “Those who need some professional guidance, find a certified trainer. A professional will design a program specific to your abilities , to prevent injury before you hit the slopes.”Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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