In conducting my research on snowboarding workouts, I’ve been a bit disappointed in the recommendations for cardio training. An article in the Dallas News, Start Now To Build Fitness For Snow Sports, makes a case for doing endurance training Snowboardersas opposed to High Intensity Interval Training, but I would have to disagree:
“Intensity isn’t as significant as endurance for winter sports, says Thom Allen, a Plano trainer. If you plan to ski daily for six or eight hours, he says you would benefit from long training sessions at low cardiovascular levels rather than short, high-intensity workouts.”
But wait… in that very same article, the author and also the physical trainer being interviewed said:
“…you get off the chair lift, coast to a run and size it up before bursting downhill about 100 yards. The whole time, you’re crouched, knees slightly bent, facing downhill. You weave from side to side, on and off the edges of your skis.
Then, you stop for at least a minute, catch your breath, take in the scenery and wait for your buddies, after which you head down another 100 yards, he says.”
That sounds like HIIT to me! Most people have come to the conclusion that since you end up snowboarding for hours at a time, you need to be doing your cardio more on the endurance side. That may be useful… if you’re snowboarding down Mount Everest with no stops! But most of us snowboard in spurts of energy, taking breaks throughout.
And for that, you will need a different type of strength, which steady state cardio lacks. Let’s put it into perspective. Do you think that jogging at 65% of your max effort for an hour at a time is translatable to making a snowboarding run down a mountain, stopping when you fall, make it to the bottom or when you’re simply exhausted cause you’re giving it your max effort? Clearly not.
So do yourself a favor and train your legs to pack the most amount of strength into every inch by engaging in HIIT.
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