Shape up for the slopes with Barnsley’s toughest trainer, says Sally Ann Voak. READ MORE
Aayee oop, lads! Get off t’sofa, and join body building champ Carly Tierney’s exclusive GSG pre-ski fitness course. That’s if you want to hit the slopes like our main skier pictured in France’s Courchevel.
Carly 32, is a strapping Yorkshire lass with great Northern qualities:
• She’s hard (check those abs!),
• Uncompromising, very smart and extremely ambitious.
• She’s a finalist in the National Fitness Awards this year, biggest challenge in the UK fitness industry.
• As a personal instructor, she prepares clients for running, cycling and military survival tests, skiing and, like all Yorkshire sporting stars (think Geoff Boycott!) , she doesn’t take prisoners!
“There is no slacking in my gym, “she says. “People who are facing a big challenge like a marathon are usually the keenest but skiers often leave it too late to train or just become lazy, “she says.
“That’s crazy: you could face difficult weather conditions, runs you haven’t tackled before or a sudden emergency. Without at least 12 weeks’ good prep and conditioning, skiing can be a dangerous sport. Imagine jelly legs halfway through the first day – injury, anyone?
A combination of cardio and strength training will help you achieve maximum performance, and, most important, safety on the slopes. So, move your butt, guys! ”
Fellow trainers Sally Ann Butters and Jess Hibbert are full of praise for their hard-as-iron trainer: “She always jokes that she wants us to walk into the gym and go out on our knees” says Sally Ann Butters, 32, who works in PR and has seen her skiing skills level go from intermediate to advanced during the three years she has been training with Carly.
“Carl’s enthusiasm is infectious. We work hard, but the programme is fun, varied and her dietary advice is spot on: complex carbs, fresh fruit, and lean meat. We eat more than before, but it’s all good stuff. I’ve skied for 6 years, in the Dolomites and St. Moritz and seen a dramatic improvement.”
“In January 2016, we hit the slopes in Italy, “says Jess, 31, an office administrator. “We will be ready for new challenges, and, of course, the pasta will be great for our diet!”
CARLY’S 12 WEEK PLAN
CARDIO TRAINING Think you’re doing your heart a favour with 10 minutes on the treadmill? No way! Step up the action now for all -day energy.
Include 20 minutes of high-intensity workout such as circuit training, a 20-45 minute endurance session on the cross trainer, and a 60-minute long, slow workout such as an uphill walk to build up strength in lungs and legs. Vary this routine throughout week, working up to peak performance in the final two weeks.
EXERCISES Tackle these three times a week to target specific muscle groups, essential for skiing.
1. PLANK Make sure your abs do the work to protect your spine and prevent strain. Core strength will improve turns!
Lie on mat in press-up position, bend elbows and rest on forearms. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles as you engage your core by squeezing your tummy button into your spine. Start with a count of 30, and work up to 1 or even 2 minutes.
2. SIDE LUNGES Target inner and outer thighs. The first set of muscles work like crazy to keep your skis in line, the second set keep your body stable and help you steer.
Stand straight, feet slightly apart, a light dumb-bell in each hand (a can of soup will do). Now lunge to the left, lowering your body by flexing your knee. Return to starting position, and then lunge to the right. To target glutes, do a long lunge, for quads, a slightly smaller step. So, vary it. Try 12-15 repetitions.
3. CALF RAISES Because your knees are bent while you ski, your calves help you stay upright
Stand on a low box and face a wall, placing your hands on wall for balance. Push your toes into the box, heels rising up. Pause, and then lower to starting position, squeezing your calves with every repetition. Do as many as possible!
4 DEADLIFTS Skiing means holding your body in a flexed position, leaning forward from the hips. This requires great strength from hamstrings and glutes.
Do this with an instructor, as the weight and repetitions must be right for you. Stand with a weight in each hand (or on the floor if using a dumb-bell), feet apart. Bend forward, lift your weighs or weight to hip level, using your legs to take the strain, then pause and lower.
5 SQUAT JUMPS Quad muscles hold you in position as you ski and protect knees. This exercise strengthens and develops explosiveness in the quads, necessary if you want to ski fast, pushing hard out of your turns.
Stand with feet shoulders’-width apart. Squat so thighs are parallel to floor, then jump high in the air and land softly on your feet. Repeat 10 times, aiming for five sets.
6. BICEP CURLS Help you to push off with poles while stabilising shoulder joints, minimizing strain.
Stand straight, a light dumbbell in each hand. With your elbows close to your torso, palms facing forwards, curl the weights up while keeping upper arms stationary and squeezing biceps. Do six repetitions per set, working up to eight sets.
*Carly’s achievement as a finalist in the National Fitness Awards is all the more inspirational because, for 16 years, she battled bulimia, and now works for an eating disorder charity. Says Carly:’I’ve been free of the condition for three years but life is always a challenge,’ and “I never weigh myself, eat well and help others by encouraging fitness, self-worth and good nutrition. Bulimia can be triggered by over-dieting, lack of confidence and, as in my case, by childhood trauma. I am now happy, with a super partner and a great career.”
For Carly’s gym…www.dwfitnessclubs.com