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.


This is a focused, intense, limited equipment, 7-week, training plan specifically designed to efficiently and effectively prepare athletes for lift-assisted alpine skiing. Complete this program the 7 weeks directly before your ski trip or season. Week 7 is a taper/unload week.

This is Version 5 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan – updated in July 2019.

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 and overall stability to help protect your knees from injury during the ski season.


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.

Here is the weekly schedule:

  • Monday – Leg Lactate Tolerance, Total Body Strength, Hamstring balance work
  • Tuesday – Eccentric Leg Strength, Total Body Strength, Chassis Integrity (core)
  • Wednesday – Recovery Run or Bike/Spin
  • Thursday – Leg Lactate Tolerance, Total Body Strength, Hamstring balance work
  • Friday – Eccentric Leg Strength, Total Body Strength, Chassis Integrity (core)


  • 12-15″ Box or step for touch/jump/touch intervals.
  • 60 pound sandbag for Men. 40-pound Sandbag for women.
  • 25-pound pair of dumbbells for Men. 15-pound pair of dumbbells for women.
  • Pull Up Bar
  • Foam Roller


How long should the training sessions take? 
50-60 minutes.

What if I can’t keep up the Monday to Friday Training Schedule?
The days you train are not as important as completing the training sessions sequentially and taking 2 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 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.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

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.

Can I see sample training?
Yes. Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.

How do I access the plan?
Access is online, via username and password. You can login either through our website or through our app (Mtn Tactical Fitness) available for IOS and Android.

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

  • 12-15" Box or step for touch/jump/touch intervals.

  • 60-pound sandbag for Men. 40-pound Sandbag for women.

  • 25-pound pair of dumbbells for Men. 15-pound pair of dumbbells for women.

  • Pull Up Bar

  • Foam Roller

Sample Training

Below is the entire first week of programming from the plan:


Obj: Leg Lactate Tolerance, Upper Body Strength, Total Body Strength, Hamstring Strength

Warm Up:

3 Rounds


(1) 20 Rounds

(2) 6 Rounds

(3) 3 Rounds


Obj: Eccentric Leg Strength, Upper Body Strength, Chassis Integrity

Warm Up:

3 Rounds


(1) 8 Rounds

(3) 4 Round Grind …

“Grind” = work steadily, not frantically

(4) Foam Roll Complex


Obj: Recovery Run/Bike


(1) Run 3 Miles or Bike/Spin for 30-40 minutes at an Easy Pace

"Easy" = you can speak in full sentences

(2) 2 Rounds


Obj: Leg Lactate Tolerance, Upper Body Strength, Total Body Strength, Hamstring Strength

Warm Up:

3 Rounds

(1) 20 Rounds

(2) 6 Rounds

(3) 3 Rounds


Obj: Eccentric Leg Strength, Upper Body Strength, Chassis Integrity

Warm Up:

3 Rounds


(1) 8 Rounds

(3) 4 Round Grind …

“Grind” = work steadily, not frantically

(4) Foam Roll Complex

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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


Do you have any reviews or testimonials from athletes who have used your Athlete’s Subscription
Yes. Click HERE.

Is it true you guarantee your stuff works?
Yes. 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.

How is MTI programming different than CrossFit?
This is a common question. Read our answer HERE.

You have a lot of competitors. Why should I choose MTI?
MTI is driven to improve mountain and tactical athletes’ mission performance and keep them safe. This emphasis and focus on mission performance sets us apart. Read about more that sets us apart HERE.

If I purchase a plan or subscription, how do I access the programming?
All of our plans are online, accessible via username and password.
You can log in through our →Website  or Mobile App →IOS and Android.

Do you have downloadable .pdf’s of the training plans?
No. But you can print the programming, by week, from your browser. You access individual training plans online via a username and password.

Do you have a mobile app?
Yes, we do. Available for IOS and Android.

What is the difference between purchasing an individual training plan, packet of plans or an Athlete’s Subscription?

  • Plan – Like purchasing the DVD of the first Star Wars movie. You own it forever, including any updates we make to the plan.
  • Packet – Like purchasing the DVD’s of all the Star Wars movies. You own them forever, including any updates we make to the plans.
  • Athlete’s Subscription – Like subscribing to Netflix. You get access to all 200+ plan in our library, but lose access if you unsubscribe.

If I purchase an Athletes Subscription Can I cancel on my own, anytime?

Do I have to contact MTI to cancel or can I do it myself?
You can do it yourself. Instructions HERE.

If I purchase a subscription and have questions about where to start or what plans(s) to use for my goals, will you help?
Yes. We answer dozens of training questions from athletes weekly. Email coach@mtntactical.com.

If you add new plans or update existing plans after I subscribe will I have access to them?
Yes. We are continuously adding training plans and packets (2-5/month) and updating plans. With your subscription you’ll have access to all new plans, new courses and plan updates.

What Equipment is Required?
Click the “Required Equipment” tab to find out what equipment is required for the specific plan you are interested in.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run and Ruck Calculators are listed as exercises.

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 have more questions?
Email rob@mtntactical.com



Just wanted to acknowledge and say how effective your programming is. I’m a South MS boy who skies once or twice a year, and I can say your dry land ski plans kick ass. Had a solid strong week here in JHMR.  Felt strong all week and recovered soundly.

The snow was awesome and the mountain was spectacular as always.


"Thanks for the advice.  On a different note, I am really impressed with everything about MTI.  With two daughters who ski raced, I have spent a lot of time tracking dryland training programs run by others and researched and developed my own programs in an attempt to address the shortfalls in what was available.  Without doubt your programs are the best that I have come across.  Your understanding of, and focus on, what is important for the sport in question is refreshing and unusual.  In addition, I like the fact that I can have a really good understanding of what a program entails before paying for it.  You have clearly put a lot of effort into your website and app and it makes using an online program efficient and easy.  I have worked hard on my fitness over the years, but your programs are taking me to a different level."


"I just wanted to send you a quick note to say thank you.

Thank you for sending out the Beta emails, I find them really interesting and love that you continue to reassess your plans to improve our outcomes. As an Emerg Doc, I love the research and practical application.

Thank you for having a multitude of plan options available by subscription. I am on week 4 of the Backcountry Ski V4 and like the changes. I have done either that or the Pre-season ski prep for the 4 out of the 5 last seasons. The only year I didn't do it, I compressed over a bump in December, tore muscles off of the back of my pelvis and missed 6 weeks of skiing. Needless to say, I feel that if I had done the prep that year, I wouldn't have gotten injured!"


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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