Jessica Baker professional skier and mountain
Jessica Baker, professional skier and mountain guide (Photo: Ski Divas)

Mountain Fitness Tips: Cultivate Healthy Habits

You may not be a pro skier or climber, but at least you can train like one. Mountain sports coach Rob Shaul and his students share how they prepare for the peaks.

Jessica Baker professional skier and mountain
Kim Havell

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A hard training session followed by six beers at the bar is stupid. Serious professional athletes don’t drink excessively, don’t smoke, and don’t chew. They wear their seat belts, don’t text while driving, take vitamins and supplements, and go to bed early. They are as professional and thoughtful about their personal habits as they are about their sport and fitness. —Coach Shaul

ATHLETE: Jessica Baker, professional skier and mountain guide

MA TRAINING: 4 years

Success Story: North American & World Tour big mountain freeskiing champion; founder and owner of Ski Divas; Alaska heli-ski guide; Exum mountain guide; Jackson Hole alpine guide; PSIA Intermountain Demo Team member.

My specialty has always been alpine skiing, but I came to Rob to get strong for climbing. When I started at MA, I was in my second year working for Exum Mountain Guides, and I knew I needed to be strong to guide in the mountains day in and day out without getting injured or tired. Rob put me on a relentless cycle of strength, work capacity, and stamina climbing workouts. By week six, I started feeling the results. I was able to hold onto small edges with ease, and relax on moves that used to pump me out immediately.

Real athletes can’t party all night and still perform well in the morning, and in the mountains, where small missteps can have dire consequences, an off day is not on option. Being fit and healthy is just part of my job: I often work all day guiding in the mountains, and then head to MA for training later the same day.

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Lead Photo: Ski Divas