By Rob Shaul


Coming to an end are the days ….
When mountain athletes can simply “do their sport” and still perform at the elite levels of climbing, skiing, kayaking, mountain biking etc. Increased mountain sport media exposure will draw the talented natural athletes to these activities. To a large extent, the best natural athletes have thus far gravitated toward team sports. These natural athletes will bring to the mountain sports a higher level of natural athleticism and the gym-based training tradition which currently dominates team sports.

Further, Mountain Sports are dangerous, life-threatening. The mountain or the rock or the river will kill you in a heartbeat. It’s time Mountain Athletes take personal and professional responsibility to be as physically, technically, and mentally ready as possible before they endeavor outside.

Professional preparation demonstrates Respect for the Sport, and Respect for the Mountain.

Elite Mountain Athletes need to ….
Build a High Level of General Mountain Fitness through Gym-Based strength and conditioning …
The proper training program will begin with strength, then include sport-specific work capacity, stamina, endurance and mental fitness. A high level of general Mountain Fitness provides athletes with strength for performance and durability, mental toughness for staying power, increase durability, increased confidence and a greater survivability.

Train sport specifically in the gym …
Sport-specific gym based training immediately before the sport season allows the mountain athlete to focus his/her early season training on technical skills without needing to limit critical early season technical practice because of poor conditioning.

This combination of ….
Increased strength, conditioning, and durability, plus focused early season technical practice sends mountain athletes into the competitive or sport season performing better. This carries through the season, and by starting the season at a higher level, athletes finish the season at higher level. The thing builds and builds.



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