The Long Distance Ski Championship

Wednesday Workout: Masters Strength at Sovereign (with Videos)

Author: 
Gerry Furseth

Eric de Nys (left) keeping the masters motivated at the end of a ski-striding intensity workout. (Courtesy photo)

VERNON, British Columbia — There are a lot of master blasters who are training hard all year. There are a lot less that progress from one season to the next. This strength program is designed to help one group of masters ski faster as they age.

Eric de Nys, the program director and head coach at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Club (who previously coached Canadian World Cup athletes for a decade and at three Olympics), created a two-session-per-week strength plan for Sovereign’s Masters High Performance skiers.

The club’s regular masters program has 160 participants and is as much social as it is about learning to ski better. Its HP program is focussed on progressing to better results and has a limit of 20 skiers. At the first on-snow session early last November, de Nys set the group goal of showing significant gains at the 2019 World Masters, 15 months in the future.

The masters program is very different than the youth programs. The primary difference is that the kids show up for the scheduled sessions and don’t need videos to learn what they missed. The next big difference is that the school system trains kids to pay attention for an hour at a time. For masters, the videos never exceed four minutes in length.

For Mesocycle 1, there are two strength workouts each week.

Each workout starts with a 15- to 20-minute run/bike/treadmill/row in Zone 1.

Next there is a warmup series of simple mobility drills, including high forward and backward skips, side shuffles, and hip mobility.

The meat of the workout is the Day 1 and Day 2 exercises, followed by a Zone 1 cool down.

The order and number of reps are laid out in this spreadsheet, but as de Nys explains in the intro video, one size does not fit all. Very few of the HP group are able to do this program unmodified. Check out these videos on progressions.

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