|Weightlifting for the Ski Racer|
Neil Welch explains how Rob has used weight lifting as a key part of his summer training programme and outlines how the benefits of this work will translate into improvements on the slopes.
Rob has worked very hard over the summer to get him self in the best possible shape for this winter season. A major part of this work has been weightlifting in the gym and Rob has made a lot of progression in the amount of weight he’s been lifting and his technical ability to do so. As such we’ve been able to introduce some more advanced weightlifting methods to his program to make the gains on the hill.
One such method we used is called augmented eccentric loading, this is where more weight is placed on the bar for the down movement and then some is removed for the up movement. The reason for this is that a ski racer has to absorb large amounts of force throughout the turn and has to develop strength in that same way. It requires a certain amount of strength to be able to manage the movement as well as a lot of communication between the guys putting on and taking off the weights. For developing power Olympic weightlifting was a large focus. The clean and jerk and snatch lifts require a solid technique but are very powerful, fast movements that also help to improve balance and power, not to mention core strength.
When skiing, it is quite rare that the load on each leg is the same (unilateral loading) and a lot of the gym work Rob did throughout the summer reflected this. We used a lot of split position lifts (where you stand with one foot in front of you and one behind) for strength and lunge movements and split position Olympic lifts for power development, these have the added benefit of improving balance and core strength.
Rob was in the gym 3-4 times per week lifting weights throughout the summer with his program changing to a different focus every 6-8 weeks. This gave plenty of variety and to ensure there was no staleness or plateau performance. The result is a very strong and powerful ski racer raring to go for the season.