Week One

If it’s raining in the city, it’s snowing on the mountains! Can’t you feel it now…the speed, the adrenaline, the powder, the wind rushing through your hair, the crisp chill to the air, the majestic mountains! Or are you one of those who dreads ski season because you’re always dogging it at the back of the pack?

Because skiing and boarding is such a blast, most of us forget that they are both very intense sports requiring musculo-skeletal strength and endurance, cardiovascular fitness, power, flexibility, balance, coordination and agility.

All the twisting, jumping, and bashing through the bumps can lead to injuries if your body isn’t ready for it – besides if you’re not fit, you may risk an embarrassing performance!

Well this year is going to be different. No longer will you be forced to suffer the humiliation of holding up the rear!  And say good-bye to all those post-ski aches and pains. This year you’re setting the pace – let’s just see if your friends can keep up to you!

I’ve designed an 8 week program to condition your lower body and torso, develop your balance, agility, power and speed and improve your flexibility. Now all you have to do is follow it!

Here’s some basic guidelines:

Begin each of your workouts with a dynamic 6-12 minute warm-up. The purpose of this component of the workout is to increase your body temperature and prepare your muscles and joints for the demands of the upcoming workout. This could include walking, light cycling, or easy stair-climbing.

When performing this sports specific workout, you will quickly move from one exercise to the next and you will only need to perform 1 set of each exercise. Each week, I will add a new set of exercises to challenge your bodies. By the end of the 8 weeks, you will have 24 new sport specific moves. I have also included an apres-ski stretch at the end of each week that can be performed at a pub or restaurant so by the end of the 8 weeks you will have a full stretching routine that you can perform at the end of the day.

Perform the following program 2x/week maximum on non-consecutive days.

In addition to the following program, you should also include some longer and slower aerobic workouts like running, stair-climbing, power-walking or cycling.

This sport specific program will involve a lot of very intense and high-impact movements. Please feel free to omit or modify any of the movements by removing any jumping or movement patterns that do not feel comfortable to you.

I tried to keep the equipment requirements as minimal as possible. You will require the following:  A step (sturdy box or crate will do), skipping rope, cones (any kind of prop will do), medicine ball.

Be sure to set your posture before each exercise. This means contracting your abdominals inwards, keeping your shoulders back and your chest up and out and maintaining neutral back positioning. Then you can start the exercise.

See you on the slopes!

Lower Body:

Knee dips + lunge – Stand on one leg on your step. Set your posture and keep your knee-cap facing forwards and your weight distributed on all 4 corners of your foot. Slowly bend your supporting leg so that your front leg dips down in front of your step a few inches. Now slowly extend back upwards and then take the unsupported leg and lunge it backwards behind the step until the knee of the front leg is at 90 degrees. During the backwards lunge motion, remember to keep your body-weight on the front leg. Slowly lift back to the starting position.  Perform 13-20 reps each leg.


Lateral agility drill – Position 2 cones or props a few feet apart.  Now quickly step laterally to the outside of one cone and back to the outside of the other touching down towards the floor on each end.  Try to go as fast as you possibly can.  Continue for 30 seconds.

Upper body + Torso:

1 legged push-ups – Get into push-up position with your arms positioned on your step and a little wider than shoulder width apart.  Support your body weight on your 2 hands and one foot.  The other leg is straight and extended in the air.  Keeping your abdominals contracted and maintaining perfect posture, slowly lower into push-up position.  Perform 10 reps on each foot.


Apres-ski back stretch – Sit in a chair with perfect upright posture and abdominals contracted.  Now slowly rotate in one direction and hold.  Repeat to the other side.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.

Join us for the Scary Run – Half Marathon, 10k & 5k

Sunday October 27th – Washougal, WA

Half the fun at this event is all the AMAZING Scary (and not so scary) Halloween costumes! Plus enjoy 3 distances! You can run or walk the Half Marathon, 10K or 5K distances. Whether you are an experienced racer, a weekend warrior, new to running, or a walker….we will scare you all the same!





Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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