Snowboarding, skiing and Crossfit London

01 Nov

Hi snowboarders and skiers…a simple starting proposition.

If you are not fit enough for your snow sport, you will not enjoy your winter session.

Don’t waste valuable piste time: get snow fit with Crossfit London, and if anyone quits on the slopes it may be your mates, but it wont be you or your legs.

Train with us at our dedicated Crossfit facility in central London (5 minutes tube from Liverpool Street station), and we will get you the type of fitness recommended by the worlds leading Alpine skiers.

If you are worried by your VO2 max, your long slow distance aerobic training and the next set of leg extensions while sitting on your bum in a machine at your local health spa – it means you will have a rubbish time on the slopes.

We want you to enjoy your sport without the deep burn, “jello legs” and that shattered-to-the-core feeling that unprepared snowboarders get.

We want to keep you injury-free and on the slopes for as long as you want to be. We have a guaranteed-to-work fitness programme that will boost your performance levels through the roof.

The only drawback to this programme is that it’s hard (based on the old combat principle of “train hard, fight easy”) and, because it will make you look so fantastic, you’ll be beating off crowds of admirers! People hanging onto your ankles sobbing for your attention does slow you down a bit.

In a nutshell, we will help you build the strongest legs that last and last, an unbreakable core and lungs that could bellow hot coals in a blacksmith’s furnace. We’ll make you the best snowboarder you can be.


Imagine, it’s day one of your long awaited holiday. You throw open the shutters – and there it is ­­– a 2-foot fresh covering of snow: virgin, untouched , waiting to give you that epic day that you’ll never forget for the rest of your life.

You make your first run, scaring the mountain with your tracks. Imagine the exhilaration, the adrenaline rush, the mountain air. Now, do you fancy walking away like a whipped poodle within an hour, just because your legs gave up on you?

This is the day you have looked forward to for months, but now the tiredness makes you screw up easy moves, and all of a sudden it’s not fun – it’s hard. You are getting cross because you are making silly errors, just because you are not fit enough.

But you did what the experts in the local gym say?  You jogged around the park, sat in machines, did some wall squats…in fact just about everything guaranteed to retard your progress. That right, you paid your gym to make you unfit! It screwed your balance, your agility, your co-ordination, and now it’s screwing the activity you love.

You need the strength, endurance and power that means you can cope with high intensity at the same time as building coordination, balance and agility.

Our regime builds that strength, power, speed and endurance within an environment of agility, coordination and balance. We have what you need. We will teach you a spread of effective exercises  to keep your routines varied,  interesting and challenging.

Dont take our word for it- read Anderson and Montgomerys paper “Physiology of Alpine Skiing”

(Sports Med. 1988 Oct;6(4):210-21.)

Pay attention, next comes the science bit. Oh well, if you don’t understand what follows – don’t worry about it – we do!

This paper assessed the physiological profiles of elite Alpine skiers and revealed the importance of muscular strength, anaerobic power, anaerobic endurance, aerobic endurance, coordination, agility, balance, and flexibility. They concluded that  dry-land training programmes should focus on the elevation of these fitness components. In short, the training Crossfit London  gets you to do.

Elite skiers have strong legs. Leg strength correlates significantly with performance in the downhill and giant slalom events. By the way guys, strength does not mean maximal bench presses/and bicep curls: that’s for the wife beater t-shirt brigade.

The glycolytic contribution in the slalom and giant slalom events is about 40% of the total energy cost (that’s like  mini-sprints, sort of working without oxygen: so you have to train this system too)

Better skiers have higher lactate values than normal (advanced or novice) skiers. Lactate is when your muscles start to get that “burn”, which often means you cannot continue The aerobic demands of competitive Alpine skiing  approach 90 to 95% of the athlete’s maximal aerobic power. Maximal heart rate is often  achieved. If you are not training yourself to death with heart rates of 90% plus, your skiing will be  a nightmare (get the idea!!! That wimpish jog on the treadmill is  rubbish). Our training will increase the level at which your muscles “give up”

Turning is exhausting, isn’t it? The muscular activity of the turn acts to impede blood flow and oxygen delivery. As a consequence, anaerobic metabolism is increased (anaerobic metabolism: it’s that horrible out-of-breath feeling.) Plodding around the park at 65% of you max heart rate does not prepare you for this challenge.

Glycogen studies show significant utilisation from both slow and fast-twitch muscle fibres, but better skiers have a larger glycogen depletion in the slow-twitch fibres compared to unskilled skiers. In short, the slow-twitch muscles are stronger and can do more more. If you need to deploy your type 2 fibres for turns, you get shattered (quickly).

However Glycogen depletion may contribute to the injury patterns, which tend to  peak towards the end of the ski day. However, to build up glycogen utilization, does not mean sucking up sugary drinks all day long, In fact quite the opposite.

In your training, you need the body to get used to reduced amounts of available glycogen, not slush around in tanks of the stuff. It needs to learn how to burn fat,  too. Diets such as the Zone are essential to underpin your ski training. Of course you should carb-load when you perform, but during training, you need your body to increase its ability to use carb: therefore we don’t give it loads.

Neumays team, in “Physical and Physiological Factors Associated with Success in Professional Alpine Skiing “ again concluded that power and muscle strength were the key success factors (Int J Sports Med 2003; 24: 571-575)

Erich Müllers book  Science and Skiing, available at Google books. relies heavily on work done by Bosco (in 1990 and 1991), which promoted explosive power, speed, endurance (jumping, sprinting) anaerobic/alactic power, strength and the ability to perform continuous jumps while maintaining your back correctly ­– all correlated with Alpine ski ability.

And finally (for this article) according to Brown, et al., in “Characteristics of National, Divisional and Club Male Alpine Ski Racers” (Med. Sci. Sports Exerc, Vol. 15, No. 6, pp. 491-495, 1983), what distinguishes the better skiers, is not VO2 Max, but muscular power, anaerobic endurance and jump ability. Many club skiers have the same VO2 max as Olympians. Club skiers would benefit from training programmes designed to develop leg strength, power, and anaerobic endurance.

CrossfitLondon gives you , the strength and conditioning  programme you need based on clinical experience and science. Using Crossfit for skiing has already been discussed in one of the leading ski magazines, Crossfit for Skiers

Did you get a bit lost in some of the science? Well don’t worry, we break it down for you so you get the training you need.

So hunt out Crossfit London UK today.

Photos courtesy of Karina Cooney

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