With isolation and separation now our new norm, to say GMVS’s conditioning programming has gotten creative is an understatement.  GMVS High Performance Director of Conditioning, Dani Koch, moved into high gear to retool our Phase 1 conditioning plan to function remotely, with on-line educational tools available to the athletes at all times.

After building the programs, Dani led workshops via Zoom with each training group and their coaches to describe the why, how and what of the Phase 1 plan, breaking the program down into five main components: Movement Prep/Dynamic Warm Up, Jump Progression, Strength Training, Aerobic Training, and Core Strength Training.

In Phase 1, we emphasize the foundation of proper movements and timing of muscle activation, while improving joint mobility and body stability. For aerobic conditioning, Dani explained that basic, low intensity (A1) effort is the goal for this twelve week block.  Guided by data from heart rate monitors, the athletes (who generally tend to go too hard in this phase), moderate their effort to drive training in the proper metabolic pathway.  When most people think about core strength, the classic “six pack” comes to mind.  Core training in reality encompasses basically anything other than the body’s extremities, with a goal of allowing for dynamic extremity movement (think ankle, knee, hip movement in a ski turn) while stabilizing without compensatory spine movement.

Each level’s schedule of two-a-day workouts and program is conveniently shared in a google folder for the athletes to refer to as needed.  Recognizing that we cannot rely on demonstrating and correcting movements as we typically can in this phase, Dani has included a library of video clips of each exercise in the shared folder.  Importantly all of these exercises can be done at home, without the equipment that can commonly be found in a gym.

Coaches are checking in with their athletes several times per week.  In an additional effort to remain connected with our athletes, we are offering remote live conditioning programming (via Zoom, Instagram live and other platforms) for many of our morning training sessions–and tracking of aerobic training sessions through team Strava accounts.

All ski racers who achieve their personal best in the sport share many traits in common.  They are passionate about their sport, they love hard work, and despite common adversities, they strive to be their best.  One additional defining characteristic that is now being tested is a willingness to embrace hard work in isolation.  Most athletes respond positively to the voice of a coach urging them to get better and to work to that end.  In this period of separation and isolation, athletes who will achieve their best will have to internalize that voice.  This is the real test.

To follow our conditioning program “live,” be sure to follow gmvsski, gmvsxc, and winthegym on Instagram