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Workout of the Week: Compound Strength
By: Karl Saidla (2006/11/03)
Workout Type: Strength
Exertion Level: Hard
Skier Level: Intermediate
Technique: N/A
Season: Pre-competitive
Terrain: Flats

Suggested Trails:

Equipment: Weightroom, medicine ball, ski-poling machine, weights


As mentioned in some earlier articles, Megan and I have been getting some useful help with our strength work from Rich Childs of A Step Up (www.a-step-up.com).

As we are getting closer to racing season, the workouts in the gym have involved faster, more explosive and dynamic movements. We have also been attempting to be increasingly ski specific in the movements.

One workout that we have been enjoying lately is what Rich calls "compound strength". In essence, this workout involves doing a number of paired movements. The first movement of the pair is done explosively, but with a fair amount of resistance (this means using a weight that allows you to do about 10-12 reps while keeping the movements snappy). The second movement should be similar, but with less resistance. For the second movement we do 15 reps absolutely as explosively as possible.

For a given pair of exercises, the routine is something like this. Do the first movement for 10 reps, followed immediately by the second movement of 15 reps. Take a break of a minimum of two minutes. Repeat this procedure 3 to 5 times. Then move on to a different pair of movements.

What are the movements? Obviously, there are many that could be used, but to give people an idea, I have attached pictures of the ones we did today. We did 4 pairs of movements, for a total of 8 different exercises. They were:

1a: Explosive leg press
1b: Squat jump

2a: Double pole machine
2b: Medicine ball smash

3a: Leg abduction
3b: Skate jump

4a: Diagonal arm pulley
4b: Fast diagonal arms with light weight.


Remember to do a thorough warm up and cool down for these types of workouts. This might mean about 10 minutes of light aerobic activity followed by some dynamic mobility drills (see my ealier workout of the week of this title) before the workout, and about 10 minutes of easy aerobic activity afterwards.

It is also possible to incorporate rehabilitation exercises and core work into the workout. You might want to dry doing some of these exercises in betweeen sets of the workout, or perhaps for about 10 or 15 minutes at the end of the workout.

More Workout Suggestions . . .
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