As owner and head coach of Mountain Athlete and Military Athlete, Rob Shaul lives and breathes discipline. From his gym in a warehouse in Jackson, Wyoming, Shaul uses traditional strength and conditioning workouts to teach climbers, mountain guides, kayakers, and other outdoor athletes how they can boost their performance by structuring their gym sessions. As you might expect, he doesn't believe in random training.
"We like knowing where we're going," says Shaul, who calls his program "MA" for short. To that end, he creates carefully programmed, sport-specific training routines designed to help his athletes build functional strength. While his job is in the gym, Shaul acknowledges that, “gym numbers are meaningless if they do not build to an outside purpose.”
With a roster of students that ranges from freeskiing world champions to Navy SEALs, Shaul's brand of focused fitness has helped professional athletes from across the spectrum of mountain sports (including me: I'm part of a freeski team that he trains and sponsors). I spoke to Shaul and 10 of his disciples to find out how he guides pros to the top.