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Three Months to a Superhuman You

Be Strong
posted: 09/30/2004
by Helen Olsson

Use our 12-week full-body overhaul and you'll ignite your cardio engine, increase strength, and hone your balance and agility under the direction of skiing superheroes Chris Davenport, Aleisha Cline, and Daron Rahlves. Commit-and leap into ski season in a single bound.

While you're sitting on the chairlift, five quarts of blood course through your 62,000 miles of veins, arteries, and capillaries. Your heart, as heavy as a Double Whopper, lub-dubs in the low 70s. Meanwhile, inside the thoracic cavity of big-mountain flyboy Chris Davenport, a well-trained heart hums in the high 50s.

On the steeps, blood churns through Davenport's system and ours, ferrying away CO2 and other metabolic waste products. But halfway down the hill, we mortals suffer the effects of lactic acid pooling in our legs. Muscle fibers tear. Tissues swell. Cells rupture. Though fleet-footed Davenport won't feel the pain for another thousand feet, our damage is already done. Tomorrow, it's gonna be chaos in Quad City.

After years of training, Davenport's heart is strong, his body fat low, and his blood gooey with oxygen-transporting hemoglobin. His high lactate threshold means he'll wake up tomorrow ready to ride. Put simply, his system is Swiss-train efficient; ours is more Bangkok tuk-tuk.

Fortunately, we're here to change all that. We've teamed Laura Keller—a physical therapist who develops ski-training camps for elite athletes at San Francisco's Stone Clinic—with three skiers at the top of their game. Over the next 12 weeks, they'll show you how to build endurance, bulk up for on-demand power, and ignite your core for fine-tuned balance and agility. "To improve athletic performance, mix it up from month to month, says Keller. "That's how your body becomes efficient and how you avoid fitness plateaus.

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