Four Steps to Peak Agility

Without agility, working out is just bodybuilding.

Oct 23, 2009
Outside Magazine
Agility Training

   Photo: Photograph by Shana Novak

The Pillars of Fitness

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

Training always reverts to the quantifiable: Put in three weeks of high mileage on the bike and it's "How much fat did you drop?" Ramp up the intensity of your running workouts and it's "What was the split time?" Throw a medicine ball and it's "How heavy and how far?" We're a results-driven society. In the first three installments of our Pillars of Fitness series, our experts served up results-based advice to make you measurably fitter, faster, and stronger than ever. But athleticism is more than a numbers game. Up to this point, whether your goal was to build a more powerful cardiovascular engine or strengthen your core, you've essentially been bodybuilding. Now it's time to apply your gains to the outdoor sports you love, whether it's skate-skiing in Vermont, surfing off Baja, or just scrambling around in the mountains with the dog. To do that, you'll need to forget about numbers and start honing your agility and coordination. Here's how.

PETE VORDENBERG: Head coach of the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, former NCAA champion, and two-time Olympian. Since Vordenberg took over in 2006, the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team has gone from 40 World Cup points a season to 600 and started standing on podiums.
FRANK FLETCHER: Owner of Rhythmic Nature Fitness, a Los Gatos, California based training outfit, Fletcher works with outdoor athletes to develop agility programs and movement-based workouts designed to prevent injuries. Here he lays out a routine for winter athletes.
PER LUNDSTAM: As the strength-and-conditioning coach for the U.S. Ski Team, Lundstam has helped oversee the strongest and best-performing group of American racers in a generation. Lundstam gets you ready to handle your next wipeout.
DARON RAHLVES: The most decorated U.S. downhill and super-G skier of all time. Today, Rahlves trains for skiercross at home in Truckee, California.