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Chantelle HerouxJune 17, 2008 – Waking up at 5:45 am isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do. In fact, I think I’d rather stay awake until 5:45 am than go to bed to get up at that time. But I’ve realized if I don’t wake up to go to the gym, an entire day can go by without me going.

There’s an ad I once saw that had somebody running and it said something along the lines of, “If you decide not to run today, would it matter that nobody but you noticed?” I guess that ad has always stuck with me. I mean, if I decided not to get up in the morning, would it really matter? I doubt anybody would know. And if they did know, I doubt they would really care.

But the point of the ad is this: If I chose to sleep in instead of going to the gym to train, I’m the one who would feel bad about it. I would notice, and I would care. So I go, and by 8 am, I feel great. I’ve already accomplished a huge amount in my day before most of my friends have even awakened.

In the past I’ve been a huge fan of the, “well my cross-training for skiing is skiing” motto, I’ve also been a big fan of the non-exercise-exercise: you know, skateboarding, wakeboarding, tennis, etc… Not that I feel I didn’t get exercise from these methods, because I know I did. But I know that if I want to progress to the next level of skiing, I need to become stronger physically. So I’ve started sacrificing my late morning sleep for cross- training, and I’d have to say, I believe it’s well worth the sacrifice.

I try to alternate days between cardio and strength. Cardio is the type of exercise that increases the work of the heart and lungs. Common cardio workouts include running, walking, and swimming. I  ‘spin’ on a stationary bike (I never quite got out of the awkward real bike stage- otherwise I might have tried to do it on real roads instead of imaginary ones). Because I work harder if I’m being told what to do, I go to a spinning class, which they have at gyms and/or health centers all over.

Strength training is also a very important aspect to include in any training program. Not only will it help reduce the risk of injuries, but the training is also beneficial in more than just muscle build up. It can help to improve range of motion, posture, tendon strength, and flexibility- all of which will be helpful on the slopes (and elsewhere)! Every workout that I do, I try to change it up. With so many different methods to strength training why would you keep it monotonous? Plus, there’s been plenty of studies done claiming that changing up your workout day after day is actually really good for you. If you do the same thing everyday, your muscles get used to it, and you tend to get less out of a workout. But with change, the muscles are ‘tricked’, and you end up gaining more of all the benefits that accompany exercise!

So whatever be your sport, consider the possibilities you’ll have if you put in just a little more effort than the rest of the girls. There are websites, health centers, gyms, and people all over that are willing to get you started on a program if you’re interested. And the benefits definitely overrule the drawbacks. So hop to it, and you’ll not only be performing at a higher level than ever before, but you’ll also be regularly fitting into all those clothes that you’ve set aside for your ‘skinny days’!

June 17, 2008

Pretty Tough Training by Chantelle Heroux

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