Mountain Fitness Tips: Be Professional
You may not be a pro skier or climber, but at least you can train like one. Mountain sports coach Rob Shaul and his students share how they prepare for the peaks.
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Too many mountain athletes avoid gym training and “do their sport” for fitness. That's a mistake. Professional mountain athletes' most important equipment isn't their skis or climbing shoes, it's their bodies. Gym training shows respect for the mountain and your sport. —Coach Shaul
ATHLETE: Rob Hess, mountain guide
MA TRAINING: 6 years
SUCCESS STORY: Lead instructor, examiner, and discipline coordinator for the American Mountain Guides Association ski program; 2007 AMGA Guide of the Year; lead guide for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Teton Gravity Research.
Early in my career, I realized that if I were to achieve my goals as a mountain athlete, I could not simply rely on athleticism, youthful vigor and immersion in my sports. As a mentor, instructor and examiner for guide training and certification for the American Mountain Guides Association, we hold participants to a high physical and technical standard, and I need to be able to meet that standard myself. Working with MA on sport-specific training has allowed me to continue to keep up with the younger folks.
I recently had major hip surgery. In the months leading up to surgery, I trained hard, knowing that this would accelerate my return. With well thought-out programming, I have returned to far exceed the levels I was at in aggressive, high-level mountain guiding.