Women's BC Ski Team - Fernie Dryland Camp - Report by Sandra MacDonald - BC Alpine Ski Association

Women’s BC Ski Team Fernie Dryland Camp – August 2007

The main focus this summer with the BC Women’s Ski Team has been dryland. Cindy Thomson, the BC Team strength and conditioning coach, designed everyone’s dryland programs based upon our fitness testing results. One of the many dryland blocks we have had was located in Fernie. We arrived in Fernie on August 7th for two weeks of training. Each one of us had our own personal programs and goals to be reached by the end of the camp. Even though we all had different programs, the main focus was to increase our strength and power.

A typical day in Fernie was 6-7 hours of dryland, 10 hours of sleep, 2 hours of napping and 5 hours of cooking/eating. We would start our day with a 7am wakeup and would be in the local Fernie gym warming up by 8. A typical warm-up would start with 15 minutes on the bike followed by 15 minutes of dynamic and explosive movement to get all of the muscles firing and ready to go. Our main workouts would change on a daily basis. The lower body workouts we did consisted of high weight, low reps and lots of sets. The amount of weight lifted, technique and speed of each exercise was crucial for all of us to get the most out of our workouts. The workouts included a lot of full squats, front squats, and lunges. We also did hamstring work, balancing, and plyometrics in between sets. On mornings when we weren’t doing lower body workouts, we would do Olympic lifting sessions. We are all fairly new to Olympic lifting so getting the technique right was our main concern. Keith Hartley, a local Olympic lifting coach, helped us out to learn more about technique. Dead lifts, split squats, front squats, cleans, hang cleans, and jerks were our main exercises. Olympic lifting was great to increase our speed and explosive power because the weights were reasonably light and the tempo was fast. After each morning weight session we would finish with 30 minutes of core and any individual exercises needed. Paul Attala also coached us through a couple of hour-long core sessions.

After a 3-4 hour lunch break we began our afternoon training. We did a variety of things in the afternoons. Normally, if we had a heavy lower body workout in the morning, we would pair it with a light recovery run, bike or hike. On recovery workouts, we would keep our heart rates in our individual zones, usually between 130-140 BPM. We also did yoga a few times at the Essential Yoga Studio in Fernie when we were feeling really tired. If we were feeling fresh we would do a sprint session on bikes or running and then a recovery workout. We also did plyometrics or sled pulls on some days. After each afternoon session we would finish off with a 45 minute stretch.

Throughout the two weeks we spent in Fernie, we had three days off. Training hard is the key to success, but having enough rest is just as important. Without enough mental and physical rest, the results won’t show. Our dryland program has really benefited all of us. We are able to put more energy into our skis, train harder, longer and we recover faster. Without a proper dryland program, it is impossible to become the best ski racer you can be.

~ submitted by Sandra MacDonald (Apex Ski Club)