Dryland Skiing Training Program


• 7-Week Plan specifically for lift-assisted skiing
• Focus on eccentric leg strength, leg lactate tolerance and core strength
• Same programming used for professional FreeSkiers
• Intense, focused, effective
• This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


7-Week training program is specifically designed to efficiently and effectively prepare athletes for lift-assisted alpine skiing.

This is Version 4 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan – updated in November 2016.

Complete this program the 7 weeks directly before your ski trip or season. Week 7 is an assessment/unload week.

Program Goals:

  • Build the eccentric strength and strength endurance in your legs to prepare you for the eccentric loading which occurs during alpine skiing.
  • Build the lactate tolerance and recovery in your legs so you can ski harder longer, and recover quicker during stops or between runs.
  • Build your core/midsection strength and overall strength to add stability during skiing and increase overall durability.
  • Build your lower body connective tissue, landing mechanics, hamstring strength an overall stability to help protect your knees from injury during the ski season.


This is a  progressive, very intense, 6-week,  gym-based training program. You will train 4 days/week for a total of 24 training sessions. The intention is that Monday through Thursday are are training days. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are rest days.

This training program is designed to be completed in any commercial gym, with basic equipment. None of the exercises or routines described here are complicated, nor are they easy.


This training program is set up to be completed sequentially. Exercises and volumes build as it progresses, so don’t skip around. Start at the beginning and follow the sessions in order.

Again, we are assuming a 4x day/week training schedule. Try not to train on the weekends.

If you are doing the program Monday through Thursday, here is what your schedule will look like:

  • Monday – Touch/Jump/Touch with Box Intervals, Barbell Strenth Training
  • Tuesday – Quadzilla Complex, Chassis Integrity Training, Touch/Jump/Touch Intervals
  • Wednesday – Touch/Jump/Touch with Box Intervals, Barbell Strenth Training
  • Thursday –  Quadzilla Complex, Chassis Integrity Training, Touch/Jump/Touch Intervals


  • Fully Equipped gym including barbells, plates, squats racks, dumbbells.
  • 14-16″ Box or step for touch/jump/touch intervals.
  • 60# & 80# sandbag (men). 60 & 40# Sandbag (women).


How long should the training sessions take? 

Generally around 60 minutes, though near the end of the program, training sessions may take up to 75 minutes.

What if I can’t keep up the Monday to Thursday Training Schedule?

The days you train are not as important as completing the training sessions sequentially and taking 3 full day’s rest between weeks.

What if I can’t complete the exercises using the prescribed loads?

Drop, or “scale” the load or weight as necessary to meet the prescribed number of reps. For example, if the training session calls for 6x Sandbag Cleans with 60# and this is too, heavy, drop down to 40#, – whatever is required, to get 6 reps.

What if I’ve never training in a gym before?

This training program is going to be quite an adventure in athletic training for you! Monday and Wednesday’s strength work is built primarily around classic front squat and hinge lift barbell exercises. These are not complicated exercises, but they can be awkward at first. If needed, you can seek exercise instruction from a local coach or personal trainer. You can also teach yourself these exercises by being patient, using lighter weights, and sticking with it. Practice helps! There are many web-based sites and resources to find information on performing these common exercises. You’re not helpless. Be resourceful.

What equipment do I need?

  • Fully Equipped gym including barbells, plates, squats racks, dumbbells.
  • 14-16″ Box or step for touch/jump/touch intervals.
  • 60# & 80# sandbag (men). 60 & 40# Sandbag (women).

What about my diet?

  • Eating well does not take rocket science. It takes discipline. Here are our recommended diet guidelines:
  • 6 days/week – eat as much meat, vegetables, fruit, seeds and nuts as you want – no restriction. Drink only water, coffee or tea. Do not eat bread, pasta, or grain of any kind, no potatoes, corn or other starchy vegetables. No sugar, candy, soda or alcohol.
  • 1 day/week – cheat like a mother. Eat/drink anything you want.

What about supplements?

Optional: Drink a whey protein shake 15 minutes before, and 15 minutes after training.

What if I miss a training day?
Ideally, you will train 5 days in a row, and take 2 full days off for rest. If for some reason miss a session,  do not skip ahead. Start again where you left off and complete the sessions in order throughout the plan.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run Calculator is listed as an exercise.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming. 
You are encouraged to do it before purchasing.

What if I can’t do the whole session?
If you don’t have enough time to complete the whole session, you can split the session into two.

How do I access the plan? Pdf? Online?
Plan access is online, via username and password.

Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.

What if I have more questions?
Email coach@mtntactical.com

Required Equipment

  • Fully Equipped gym including barbells, plates, squats racks, dumbbells.

  • 14-16" Box or step for touch/jump/touch intervals.

  • 60# & 80# sandbag (men). 60 & 40# Sandbag (women).


Sample Training



Obj: Assessments, Leg Lactate Tolerance

Warm Up: 4 Rounds

  • 4x Touch/Jump/Touch with 15” Box**

  • 5x Hand Release Push Ups

  • 5x EO’s

  • Instep Stretch

T/J/T - 1x rep = each time your feet touch the box.


(1) Touch Jump Touch with 15” Box

  • Max Reps in 60 Seconds (1x = every time feet touch the box)

(2) Work up to 1RM Hinge Lift

(3) Work up to 1RM Bench Press

(4) Work up to 1RM Front Squat


(5) 10 Rounds

  • 10 Sec Touch/Jump/Touch with 15” box

  • 50 Sec Rest

(6) Foam Roll Legs/Low Back



Obj: Eccentric Leg Strength, Chassis Integrity

Warm Up: 4 Rounds

  • 4 Square Drill

  • 5x Hand Release Push Ups

  • 5x Walking Lunge

  • 5x EO’s

  • Instep Stretch


(1) 6 Rounds

  • 3x Quadzilla Complex @ 15/25#

  • 3x Scotty Bobs @ 15/25#

  • 60 Second Rest

(3) 15 Minute Grind

  • 6x Sandbag Getup @ 40/60#

  • 3x Sandbag Keg Lift @ 40/60#

  • 3x Kneeling Plate Half-moon @ 25/35#

  • 10/10 Standing Founder

(3) 3 Rounds

  • 10x 1-Leg Poor Man’s Leg Curl

  • Foam Roll Quads/Low Back



Obj: Leg Lactate Tolerance, Strength

Warm Up: 3 Rounds

  • 5x Front Squat @ 45/75#

  • 4 Square Drill

  • 5x Hand Release Push Ups

  • 5x EO’s

  • Instep Stretch


(1) 10 Rounds

  • 10 Sec Touch/Jump/Touch with 15” box

  • 50 Sec Rest

(2) 6 Rounds

  • 3x Front Squat (See loading below)

  • 2/5x Pull Ups

  • Hip Flexor Stretch

Front Squat Loading:

                Round   Load

                1           50% 1RM

                2           60% 1RM

                3           70% 1RM

                4-6        85% 1RM

(3) 6 Rounds

  • 3x Hinge Lift (See loading below)

  • 5x Kneeling Curl To Press - increase load each round until 5x is hard, but doable

  • Foam Roll Hip Flexors

Hinge Lift Loading:

         Round   Load

         1           50% 1RM

         2           60% 1RM

         3           70% 1RM

         4-6        85% 1RM

(4) 10 Rounds

  • 15 Sec Touch/Jump/Touch with 15” box

  • 45 Sec Rest

(5) Foam Roll Legs/Low Back



Obj: Eccentric Leg Strength, Chassis Integrity

Warm Up: 4 Rounds

  • 4 Square Drill

  • 5x Hand Release Push Ups

  • 5x Walking Lunge

  • 5x EO’s

  • Instep Stretch


(1) 6 Rounds

  • 3x Quadzilla Complex @ 15/25#

  • 3x Scotty Bobs @ 15/25#

  • 60 Second Rest

(3) 15 Minute Grind

  • 6x Sandbag Toss & Chase @ 40/60#

  • 5x Kneeling Slasher to Halo @ 8/12kg

  • 5x 1-Sided Dead Lift @ 15/25#

  • 10x Good Morning @ 45#

(3) 3 Rounds

  • 10x 1-Leg Poor Man’s Leg Curl

  • Foam Roll Quads/Low Back

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1)  Mission Direct

Gym numbers mean nothing. All that matters is mission performance. 

To this end, MTI's fitness solutions and programming are not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.

We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.


2) Fitness Solutions Built from the Ground Up

MTI's programming is not "re-tread" bodybuilding, football, CrossFit, kettlebell, strength or general fitness programming. We've built our fitness programming for mountain and tactical athletes from the ground up.

The Fluid Periodization methodology we deploy to concurrently train multiple fitness attributes is completely original and has continued to evolve and improve over the years.

Our mid-section training methodology, Chassis Integrity, is also original, as is our endurance programming, 7 strength training progressions, tactical agility, and work capacity programming.

Our mountain sports pre-season training plans, tactical PFT, selection, school, course, and fitness improvement training plans across military, LE and Fire Rescue are MTI-developed, tested and athlete-proven.

Over the years hundreds of athletes and coaches have taken our advanced programming and unit fitness leader programming courses and MTI is widely recognized within the mountain and tactical professions and fitness media as a thought leader in fitness programming for military and tactical athletes.


3) The MTI Method

→ Research: MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.

→ Deploy & Assess: We deploy the training plan "Lab Rats" at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan. Post cycle we assess the programming's effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn't.

→ Publish & Assess Again: Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers. Feedback/results are assessed.

→ Iterate: We take what we learn from lab rats and athletes, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.


4) Mission-Direct Research

MTI exists to "Improve Mountain and Tactical Athletes mission performance and keep them safe." To that end, we have developed a unique research methodology aimed at identifying real world areas of improvement and identifying immediately deployable mission-direct solutions. Click HERE to learn more about MTI's Mission-Direct Research methodology, and Here to read about just few of our research efforts.

5) Field Proven

Our stuff works. Weekly we receive unsolicited reviews of our programming and testimonials to its effectiveness.


6) Programming Breadth

MTI's library of 200+ sport-specific fitness plans for mountain and tactical athletes is unmatched. Resources range from specific programming for tactical special forces selections, to specific plans for climbing Rainier and Denali, to general fitness solutions such as running improvement, to post-rehab from injury.

Over the past decade, MTI has partnered with hundreds of athletes throughout their individual mountain and tactical careers, and provided fitness solutions as they face new mountain objectives, tactical schools, selections, PFTs and deployments, and came back from injury.


7) Worldwide Influence

Our work is not limited to US Athletes.

We've developed selection-specific training plans for Canadian, UK, Australian and German Special Forces Selections and worked with individual military personnel from Scandinavia, South, and Central America.

Canadian, Australian, UK and western European law enforcement and fire/rescue athletes have used MTI programming for mission-direct fitness.

On the mountain side, Alpinists from Japan to Slovakia have consulted with MTI and used MTI's programming to prepare for mountain objectives.


8) Mission Performance beyond Fitness

MTI’s exists is to improve Mission Performance for mountain and tactical athletes and keep them safe. 

This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research and extends beyond fitness solutions to include training, leadership, gear, team culture, and safety. 

Fitness is just one area of our work.

Our non-fitness research has included tactical cultures, combat uniforms, and gore-tex performance, and effect of stress on marksmanship.

Our work on defining what it means to be a Quiet Professional has had penetrating influence and driven healthy conversations with both mountain and tactical professionals.


9) Direct, Honest, Clear Answers

Since 2007 we've taken and answered dozens of questions weekly from mountain and tactical athletes. We've saved these individual Q&A's and now thousands are archived on our site.

We're not salesmen, and our answers are noted for their directness, honesty, and clarity. Our stuff isn't for everyone. If we can help, we'll let you know. If we can't, we'll let you know that, too.

- Rob Shaul, Founder


All of the Above is Backed Up By Our Promise: Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.


Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

By Rob Shaul

I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.

While I understand the question, I’m not a salesman - so I can't put a hard sale on anyone for our programming.

I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.

We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.

Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.

Then we publish the programming in the form of one of our plans or as part of our subscription daily training sessions for tactical and mountain athletes.
We don’t stop there - our daily programming is the “tip of the spear” for our programming evolution. We use these sessions to learn and make continuous improvement.

As we learn more and improve, we go back, and update the sport-specific training plans on the website. For example, we’re currently on Version 5 of our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and Version 3 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan and Version 4 of our Big Game Back Country Hunting Training Plan.

We understand our programing isn’t cheap, but we believe it’s a great value. The $79 for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, and $39 for the Dryland Ski Training Plan reflect the, research, work, innovative theory, iteration, testing and feedback we've put in and received to make these plans effective.

All that matters for us is outside performance, and we feel strongly that Our Stuff Works in the real world.

Here’s our guarantee:

1) Individual Training Plan Purchase:
If you purchase an individual training plan, follow it as prescribed before your season/event/pft/selection, and if you don’t feel you were physically ready for your season/event/pft/selection, and/or didn’t see dramatic improvements in your early season performance, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

2) Athlete’s Subscription
If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

Email: rob@mtntactical.com


Just have to say, I started to dread Quadzilla complexes as I progressed in the Dryland Ski training, but holy shiitakes! I have never felt so strong on the mountain! You really helped elevate my skiing experience and I’ve been telling everyone I know who enjoys skiing about this program. Now I embrace the Quadzillas!  My husband has been using your programs for years and finally convinced me last year to start. Not going to lie, I was intimidated at first even with some CrossFit experience, but I’m so glad I started because I haven’t been able to experience such improvement in strength and endurance that carries over so well in my every day life and outdoor adventures. He’s happy too, since it’s a rare occasion when I admit he’s right. ;)  Thanks again for your awesome customer service, recommendations and all the work you guys do!!



A month ago my wife found out we had a few days where we could get away, so we booked to trip to Jackson.  She needed some motivation to get ready and it needed to work with her grad school schedule that had made fitness less of a priority.

I have followed your stuff for a while and will often refer my reserve soldiers to military athlete. Despite having a strength and conditioning background, there was no way my wife was going to stick to a plan I made. So we grabbed your ski conditioning program and we both completed it.

The results were three great days of skiing, injury free, with legs that were not only able to keep up, but aren’t screaming at the end of the day.  Having that fitness allowed us to focus on having fun and enjoying the mountains.

She had never skied outside of the east coast, and nothing close to the powder we got these past couple of days. Without the prep work this could have been a tough trip.

Thank you for putting out a great product. This has insured skiing will continue to be a part of our future get aways together.

Keep up the great work.


Rob, Back in October I did the Dry land ski training program which was awesome, I had a great year highlighted by a trip to Colorado where I skied 6 days in a row, charging all day long. Thanks. --J


Thank you for this program. I used to compete in the IFSA comps, coached the Winter Park Juniors and now patrol at Vail. I use this program for injury-prevention as well as to further enhance my working ability and skiing. I cannot sell this program enough to my friends and co-workers (though most of my co-workers are old curmudgeons who are stuck in their own ways). My strength has improved dramatically with each training session. My injury recovery time is almost nothing (I had an old knee injury resurface last winter and was back within the week), and my general fitness is the best it has ever been. I trail-run on my lunch breaks at work in the summer, on the hill and have never been able to run as far, as fast or enjoy myself as much as I do since starting Mountain Athlete. Gym-wise, my bench has gone from a 135# 3rep max to a 180# 4rep max (I have never been able to bench my weight, let alone more), and my squats are now up 50#, my cleans are up 30# and my sprints are faster than ever. My job requires everything from skiing hard, fast and safely, to carrying everything heavy on skis or in boots, to hiking, to running rigs in the winter and I am stronger than most of my co-workers, even at 168# of personal weight.  Thank you again.  --J
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