Wondering if CFFB is appropriate for alpine skiing/racing? In the past I’ve used CrossFit for off/on season training and during that short duration, my strength never really progressed to a desired level; total shocker. I’m not the type to combine 20 different programs into my own secret squirrel special sauce, so I am looking for some guidance.
While I started skiing almost before I could walk, I have little hands on experience working with skiers. So I thought to enlist a good friend and fan of the CrossFit Football program to answer your question.
I forwarded your email to US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Famer and CrossFit legend, Eva Twardokens, to drop some knowledge.
“I believe CFFB is a fantastic mode of training for alpine skiing. Skiers should be trained to be fast like sprinters, but they need some mass to withstand the crashes. Keep it simple, have specific goals you can set and attain. And when in doubt – leave it out.”
Eva’s recommendations are on point with CFFB: strong, fast and enough body mass to survive big impacts.
If you are in the TTMJ eco system and interested in contracting Eva’s skills for consults or training, she is working on an S&C site to work with athletes. You can find her at EvaTStrengthAndConditioning.com or her personal blog, SkiEvaT.blogspot.com.
As a big fan both of CF and freeride skiing I took great advantage of CFFB-oriented workouts.
Skiing calls for strength and power as well as muscular endurance, all features your body is exposed when trained on explosive mid-short WODs + heavy lifts.
At 34, I hadn’t skied in eight years, due to deployments and living overseas. I took my family to the French Alps last year (CFFB for 3 years) and was amazed at how solid I was. My biggest concern was not being at the level I was in college, and not being able to take advantage of the steeps, but I was surprised to notice that I was better than I was before. All the extra strength and power this program develops completely overshadows any loss in technique or muscle memory. I was laying super-G turns on top of all the European’s butt-wiggles, down some exposed, steep faces. CFFB makes bomb-proof skiers. Do this shit religiously and be amazed at what you can do on the mountain.
I’m a professional Ski Teacher in Verbier, Switzerland. I agree with the above. Heavy lifts….SQUATS! One of the problems I see, especially with racers and skiers who need to be able to race quick GS times for their coach qualifications is that they dont do heavy lifting, therefore have weak legs, weak tendons and not enough body mass, so when they fall…inevitably they damage MCL.
They seem to think that running is a key exercise…IMHO…LIFT HEAVY. Crossfit has made me a much stronger skier, especially when take a tumble!
Skiing could be the main mode of travel after the Zombie Apocolpyse. We should all do it.
going to High School in Vermont, my pretentious hippie High School did not have a Foot ball team. We did have snowboarding. instead of game nights we had big air contests, and if you wanted to land the prom queen, you had to land a big trick or kill yourself trying. Snowboarding was life. I went years without ridding, and the recently made it out west with old the crew- guys who’d been bumming around resorts since college, and we’re never more than 20 min from a mountain. At the end of the 1st day they confronted me about pulling the ringer, why I had lied and said I hadn’t rode for years. I’m 30 and I ride better than when I was 20… it was like I had new legs…. “fucking power legs” is what I told them.
I’ve found that CFFB is good PT for dynamic (IPSC/IDPA) shooting. I’m glad I’ve found such a great training system.
I would agree that CFFB programming is solid for the power, agility, conditioning and strength demands of ski racing. Its a pure anaerobic sports which takes place over a marathon of a day. Athletes need to be prepped for the glycolytic 1-2min time domain which follows the “shorter” time domain programming of CFFB compared to mainsite for example. This 1-2min intervals are comparable to the physiologic demands 400-800 sprint which our coaches always put us through during dryland training. However, ski racing requires accuracy and total body strength and power while constantly changing direction. Not to mention always being prepared for the unknowns – course conditions, weather, coaching reports, etc – see where I’m going with this?! Even though it is a “sprinting” event, ski racing athletes must also have the stamina over a full day of being on snow while withstanding brutal conditions in little protective gear and dealing with everything else that makes up a full day: inspecting the course, dealing with course holds, warming-up before your run, etc. This is where the met-cons play their role along with the SWOD. I think CFFB preps for all of this and we all know CrossFit in general trains the mental component as well. I hope there are some Alpine coaches out there who adapt CFFB programming for dry-land/off season training.
I agree with heavy lifting too. Helps those muscles that you don’t exercise with running.