Strength and Conditioning for Sliding Athletes

PowderStrong is back at Wasatch Fitness Academy(*) for 2021, with some big shifts and improvements.

If you’re looking for information on PowderStrong Online (the on-your-own version), we’ve got your details here.

If you’re looking for information on PowderStrong, in-person with our supportive community and professional coaches, keep reading.

(*) We’ve moved since last year. Details down below.

What is PowerStrong?

PowderStrong is WFA’s seasonal program where we blend the best in strength and conditioning to give skiers and snowboarders their best-ever winter on the snow.

We keep our classes small – never more than 10 people in a session, so everyone gets the necessary coaching for good technique, modifications for injuries or limitations, and a chance to build friendships and meet others who live to spend their time in the mountains.

This isn’t endless squats and lunges – although we definitely use those exercises. 

We also build strength in the hamstrings and glutes to ensure knees are good-to-go all season. We build the postural muscles of the back so they don’t fatigue with long days in the powder and moguls. 

We even build the shoulders and arms for stronger poling on the skin track, and for the durability to not get hurt from a crash. 

And yes, we train the core. Oh, so much core.

Ready to get #powderstrong? Start here.

What are the workouts like?

PowderStrong sessions are all 60 minutes long, and start with a “flow” phase to get the major joints of the body moving. If it’s early and we just got out of bed, or it’s the end of a day spent sitting in the computer, we need to address that stiffness before we get into more challenging work.

We then go through a warm-up, usually about 10 minutes long, that addresses the muscles that we’ll use during that session.

Next, we have a block of strength work – focusing on two or three muscle groups or body parts, usually for about 20 minutes.

Then we spend another 20 minutes or so working on athleticism (jumping, explosiveness, balance, etc.) and/or chassis integrity (core strength from the hips to the shoulders).

Some sessions will feel harder than others, but every workout is designed specifically to build on the one before it, and to prepare for what’s coming next.

And every session is focused on preparing you for your strongest, fastest, and most fun winter in the snow.

Ready to get #powderstrong? Start here.

The details...location, schedule, cost.

Location: We’ve moved to 3540 S. Main Street, in South Salt Lake.

Schedule: All of the MTN STRNG classes on our schedule are PowderStrong classes for the fall and winter. Most sessions currently have space available; please use this form to start the registration process and ensure spaces are available for your preferred schedule. 

PowderStrong 2021 is in session now, and enrollment is still open. The pre-season workouts come to an end in the first week of January, when we’ll transition to in-season training to assist in recovery and the maintenance of strength through the season.

We offer options for training once, twice, or thrice with us in-person; regardless of your choice, with your registration you’ll have access to the online programming as well, allowing you to follow along if you’re traveling, or miss a session for another reason. 

If you’re only training with us once a week, we highly recommend you plan to do at least one other session each week from the online programming, to maximize your results from PowderStrong.

Cost: PowderStrong is priced based on the number of sessions you’d like to attend each week, whether you’d rather pay-in-full, and when you join (we prorate the first month based on your start date).

One Session Per Week: $89 / month

Two Sessions Per Week: $164 / month

Three Sessions Per Week: $217/ month

Discounts are available for couples, and if you’d like to pay in full. Because the program is already running, we’ll calculate the PIF cost based on when you start. Simply use this form to start the registration process, and we’ll be in touch to confirm that your selected schedule is available, along with your cost.

First, we’re expanding the timeline of the program.

  • In 2019, we trained skiing athleticism for the entire 10 weeks of the program.
  • In 2020, we added deliberate hypertrophy (muscle size) and strength (muscle power) blocks to the program.
  • For 2021, we’re extending the hypertrophy block, and sprinkling in athleticism work – balance, jumping and landing, and speed) to ensure we don’t slow down.
  • Why do hypertrophy (muscle size) work, in a sports-performance program, when we’re trying to be lean, mean, skiing (and perhaps skinning) machines? Three reasons:
    • More muscle equals more strength (within reason). This is especially valuable for the hamstrings, which don’t get as much load across the ski season; so we build them first, so they can keep the knees healthy.
    • Training for hypertrophy, which uses moderate loads for moderate reps (think sets of 15, getting close to failure) stimulates a ton of blood flow into muscles and connective tissue, which is a key component to the health of tendons and ligaments.
    • Training with moderate loads for moderate reps is the best way to learn high-quality movement. The squats you do for 15 reps will make your technique better when you’re squatting heavy for sets of 5.

Second, we’re adding more athleticism work to the entire program. Movements like jumping and landing, lateral movement, speed, and balance will be integrated into the program from day one. At various times they’ll make up more or less of a complete training session, but they’ll never be absent – even on our heaviest of strength days.

Third, we’re integrating components of two other programs (from other authors) into PowderStrong.

  • First, we’ll incorporate bodyweight movements for joint health and mobility from Phase6, particularly into warm-ups and athleticism work. Their exercises are adaptable to any skill level, and can be used even outside of PowderStrong as a regular movement practice.
  • Second, we’ll incorporate knee strength and mobility movements from the “Knees Over Toes Guy” (ATG). His programming is designed to make knees healthier and more resilient. I’ve already found his principles to be powerful for addressing knee issues in multiple runners and cyclists.

Fourth, we’re expanding the options available in the PowderStrong programming, for those who are completing it outside of Wasatch Fitness Academy. There are three tracks to choose from for each workout:

  • If you have access to a well-outfitted commercial gym (Planet Fitness, Vasa, Gold’s, etc.), you’ll be able to integrate machines (like leg press and hamstring curls) into the program with the “full-blown”
  • If you have access to a diverse set of dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell or sandbag, you’ll be able to follow the “standard” program largely as it’s been written for in-person sessions at Wasatch Fitness Academy.
  • If you have access to no equipment, other than a backpack with some heavy books in it, a couple of full Nalgene bottles, and a wall to lean on, you’ll be able to follow the “spartan” version of the program.
  • I’m excited about this, because if you’re traveling, you can choose to do the “spartan” version of the workout – or find a full gym and do the “full-blown” version.

Fifth, we’ll have an open line for questions and answers, both through a Facebook group, and via a weekly Q&A video.

Ready to get #powderstrong? Start here.