Olympic gold-medalist and US Ski Team member Ted Ligety is a busy guy year round. In addition to launching, running, and promoting his companies, Shred Optics, a eye and head protection line, and Slytech, a body armor line, Ligety has to keep in serious physical shape to stay on top in ski racing.
Training is a year-round obligation, whether on the road or not. With much of the year spent traveling the world, just being at home is like a vacation, said Ligety, who lives in Park City, Utah. “We start training again about 3 weeks after the last race so we don't have a ton of down time. I have a couple snowmobiles so I try to get in as much backcountry skiing and riding in as I can,” he said.
After a few weeks of freeskiing fun, however, the season ahead looms large and the ski team athletes get back on the ball with serious dryland training. Ligety chatted with WME about how what it is like getting ready for the next year of competition, and how he stays motivated in the gym.
June and July are the only months I'm not skiing much, but those are the important dryland months. In the off-season I spend 5-6 hours a day training. I lift legs 3 days a week; each session is different, and do core almost everyday. Outside the gym I mountain bike a lot. We have a group of us on the team that play basketball a fair amount, and I play a little tennis too.
I've been doing the majority of my training alone (previous years I've had work out partner but he got hurt this year). There are always a bunch of my teammates in the gym.
The sports science component to our training has become more and more prevalent, so we are now training smarter and more effectively. Alex Moore, our trainer does a good job of making sure we are on track and keeping things fun.
I wouldn't say there is one end-all-be-all exercise, but I do a lot of eccentric leg strengthening, like resisting a heavier weight on the way down than one could push up.
We go to New Zealand every year, as well as Portillo, Chile [before the race season starts again] and do about an hour of dryland after skiing. There is a ton to do outside of skiing in NZ so it’s always a fun trip. We get a ton done in Portillo training-wise but it's at the end of the world, so after the first week, it's hard to not get cabin fever.
It's easy to stay motivated and focused on snow since it's fun. It's not always easy in the summer when I'm working out in the gym, but I just think how much it will help my skiing and how much I hate to lose.
Keep an eye out for Ted in this years film Warren Miller’s Flow State.