Build Power in Three Easy Steps

Jul 23, 2009
Outside Magazine

   Photo: Illustration by Chris Philpot

The Pillars of Fitness

To get in peak shape try out all four parts of our comprehensive series.

Build Power, Not Bulk

IF YOU'VE BEEN FOLLOWING our Pillars of Fitness series ("Building a Base," March, and "Speed Up," May), congratulations. By now you've dedicated yourself to sustainable, year-round conditioning and pushed yourself harder in pursuit of your summertime endurance goals. As the dingos say, good on ya, mate.

Now, with the cooler, shorter days of autumn approaching, and your long summer runs and rides coming to an end, it's time to rebuild the muscle mass that atrophied while you focused on endurance. Here's why: As any contestant on America's Gargantuan Loser could tell you, lean muscle burns more energy. You'll keep the weight off easier this fall and winter if you remember that. More important, as the seasons change, so do your athletic needs. That 50-mile bike ride won't be much help when you need to hold an icy edge on the steeps at Killington. Fall soccer, skiing and snowboarding, surfing vacations, drunken pond hockey they all demand strength that an exclusive cardio routine won't give you.

The good news? Building real strength no longer means paying membership fees and standing in line for a sweaty Nautilus machine glistening with staph bacteria. This month, our experts have designed a mobile strength routine envision the athletic form of Jackie Robinson, not the 'roided-up Barry Bonds that challenges your balance more than your biceps and delivers total-body power. All you need are a few simple pieces of equipment (see "Create Your Own Fitness Center," opposite) and a couple of hours a week. It's time to awaken your dormant athleticism.

Meet the Experts

NANNA L. MEYER: A doctor of exercise physiology with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Meyer serves as the sports dietitian for U.S. Speed Skating. This month she provides dietary guidelines for strength training.
ERIC MINKWITZ: A former professional football player, Minkwitz is an independent sports-performance trainer who's conditioned hundreds of athletes, employing a range of mobile-strength moves that don't require complex equipment or expensive gyms.
PER LUNDSTAM: As the strength-and-conditioning coach for the U.S. Ski Team, Lundstam has helped oversee the team's transition from "correlative" strength training (building bigger quads and glutes to theoretically improve skiing power) to "supportive" strength training (strengthening the core and muscles that actually improve skiing) and its current emphasis on mobile strength training.

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