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Misery Loves Company

I’m not sure if there are other generations of skiing fans out there—other than my own—who remember Warren Miller movies featuring a Mohawk-sporting extreme skier named Glen Plake (aka Plake G). As a budding junior high skier, he was my idol. Plake G was doing things on skis that blew my mind—skiing faces I wouldn’t even fathom climbing with safety ropes, doing backflips off of massive cliffs, soaring over moving school buses.

In 7th grade, after drooling over all of Miller’s movies, my friend Jeremy and I decided to train together for the upcoming ski season so we could tackle the bumps and jumps of New England’s mountain terrain. Three times a week, we woke before school, laced up our Rollerblades, slid on the knee pads, and grabbed the ski poles for a 6:30 a.m. dry-land training trip. We did daily push-ups, sit-ups, squat jumps. We endured long drives to the slopes and then took as many runs as our legs could handle before cramping.

Looking back there would be no way I would have or could have done that training on my own. Having a partner was the added motivation I needed to get out there. Plus it made it so much more fun with my training buddy. This month, inspired by Plake G and our ski training routine, I have a partner workout for you. This routine will not only inject variety into your current exercise program, it will also improve your strength, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility.

The Workout:


You: Row 1,000 meters as 500 easy intensity at 24 strokes per minute; 300 meters at medium intensity at a 26; and 200 hard at a 28.

Partner: 10 burpees, 10 squats, 10 sit-ups, 10 push-ups, 10 lunges (each leg), and 20-40 seconds holding a plank. Do all at an easy intensity while focusing on good form. Rest for one minute and then repeat.

Round 1

You: Row 1,000 meters as 500 medium at a 26 and 500 hard at a 26-30.

Partner: 10 burpees, 10 squats, 10 sit-ups, 10 push-ups, 10 lunges (each leg), and 20-45 seconds holding a plank. Perform at hard intensity. If you finish all exercises, cycle through again until the rower finishes the distance. Rest for one minute. Switch stations. Repeat.

Round 2

Partner: 10-15 burpees, 10-15 squats (add a jump if possible as you extend legs), and 10-15 sit-ups or crunches or until rower completes their 500 meters.

You: Row hard for 500 meters at a 26-30. Rest for one minute. Switch stations. Repeat.

Round 3

Partner: 10 push-ups, 10 lunges (each leg), hold a plank until the rower completes the 350 meters.

You: Row 350 meters hard at a 26-30. Rest for 30 seconds. Switch stations.


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