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Health & Fitness: Build an Automatic Training Program

By Kim Duke NETA & AFAA Certified Trainer

I have had the good fortune of training many elite skiers as a personal trainer in Ellicottville, N.Y. As a personal trainer, I believe the best way to get in shape for ski season is to already be in shape. However, even I fluctuate with my training routine and find that I am in better fitness form at different times of the year. What is difficult for even the most seasoned athletes is adherence or sustaining a perfect training plan year round.

Sometimes what knocks you off your fitness ladder is an illness or injury. Other times, it is boredom with your workouts or just being too busy to maintain the fitness level you desire.

Recently, I read an amazing article by David Lawrence on “How to Build an Automatic Training Program.” Lawrence is on the PSIA Nordic Team. After a recent health setback, he is honing the perfect training program that balances life, business, time and health.

Lawrence believes in creating automatic environmental training triggers (AETT), which make adherence to a training program much easier. You follow this principle when you schedule a run with a friend or go to a workout class. By creating social pressure and accountability, you create AETT.

Lawrence goes on to describe how he also sets a timer on his phone to cue him to take a break and do a quick exercise cycle: push-ups, planks, squats, jump rope, pull-ups and dips. There is virtually no gear needed (except a jump rope) and it takes approximately eight minutes.

Another tactic he uses is getting rid of his office chair and creating a standing workstation. Also, if you hate training in a gym but love the outdoors, create a trail running course with obstacles that are challenging and fun. That way your activity does not take a lot of willpower.

Most people I talk with about maintaining a training program seem to fall into similar ruts when trying to balance work, families and fitness. By creating these mini workouts, you will keep your body moving and in shape. This way you are not starting from scratch when you really want to dial in your fitness level.

In my next article, I will get more specific with exercise principles and exercises that work your “ski muscles.”

Until then, stay active and stay healthy!

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