off season ski racing workout

Holding an Edge: Pro Ski Racers’ Offseason Workouts

U.S. Ski Team alpine racers Resi Stiegler and River Radamus crush it on the slopes all winter. One’s experienced; the other’s an up-and-comer. To maintain an edge, both hit the gym hard for offseason workouts.

Resi Stiegler off-season workout
Photo by Sarah Brunson

Elite alpine athletes don’t slow down when the snow melts. Two-time Olympian, slalom skier Resi Stiegler, 32, said hiking and finding new swimming holes are her favorite summer adventures. But most days she spends three hours in the gym.

“Depending on what’s going on, I might have gym time and outdoor (aerobic) or therapy, or a recovery yoga session,” said the Jackson Hole native and daughter of Olympic gold medalist Pepi Stiegler.

River Radamus skier workouts
River Radamus skies GS on the 2017 Audi Birds of Prey Alpine World Cup at Beaver Creek Creek, Colo. Photo by Cody Downard Photography

Ski racer River Radamus, 20, who lives in Edwards, Colo., said he trains in the gym for up to five hours each day in the offseason, plus up to a couple more doing something aerobic like a bike ride or sports with friends.

The up-and-coming skier is currently ranked first in the overall North American standings.

A post shared by River Radamus (@riverradamus) on

Radamus’ favorite offseason workout is intervals on the Airdyne. “They’re a great way to do a lot of work in a short amount of time and work muscles you never knew you had,” he said.

It seems to be working. Last year he grabbed a hat-trick of wins across super G, giant slalom, and combined disciplines.

We spoke with the two athletes to learn how they stay fit when traveling during the summer and what gear maximizes their performance in the gym.

Pro Tips for Offseason Workouts on the Road

Resi Stiegler's offseason workout
Photo by Sarah Brunson

Summer comes with some windows for travel. Both athletes have their own styles for staying fit on the road. “I’m that weirdo stretching in the airport or doing hot laps to keep the blood flowing,” Stiegler said.

“I try to drink lots of water and find the healthiest spots to eat on all the layovers. Or just make a travel day my day off,” said Stiegler.

Radamus works to keep his motivation up on vacation, but that requires staying flexible.

“I don’t often want to work out or run while on vacation, but I always feel better after I do,” he said. “I like to bring training bands or water weights on the road so I can still get the work done regardless of what the hotel gym provides. When the hotel gym doesn’t have the equipment I need, it’s important to be creative and able to adapt my plans to what’s provided.”

Let’s Talk About Gear For Gym Workouts

lululemon tights for offseason workouts

GearJunkie: What is your favorite workout apparel and accessories?

Resi: My go-to look is a pair of navy lululemon Wunder leggings and an oversized boyfriend tee with a bright sports bra. I usually have to do something before or after the gym, so I head in with a pair of slippers on and never work out without my La Sportiva runners.

River: My most essential piece of gym gear is headphones. I use the Bose QC35 because when it comes to noise canceling, they sort of set the standard.

workout headphones

As a ski racer, I punish my feet all winter with ski boots a size too small in ungodly cold temperatures. When it comes to training, I put a premium on comfort. Nike’s Zoom Train Command shoes have the stability I need to be dynamic, but also the cushion and stretchy material I need for comfort.

Lululemon is my training short of choice. I tried my first pair last summer and never looked back. They really feel like you’re wearing nothing. They’re light and short and come in all kinds of cool colors.

lululemon gym shorts

My go-to shirt is anything not too flashy or tight. I tend to wear some sort of graphic tee: a band logo or just a design I quite like. Something that says, “I’m here to work, but I don’t live here.”

What do you use to stash your workout wear?

Resi: I’m a big fan of Douchebags backpacks, especially for the gym. They’re functional, easy to use, and fashionable if you need to meet up with people after. I am not a huge fan of looking technical when going to meet friends.

River: Nike Crossbody duffle. It fits all my gear perfectly and looks really sleek and professional. Most important, it says “USA” in big white letters across the side and gives me that little reminder why I do what I do.

Fuel for the Gym

Resi Stiegler lifting weights
Photo by Sarah Brunson

GearJunkie: What hydration and foods fuel your workouts?

Resi: I can get very “hangry” and oftentimes can’t get food down right after a workout. Rockin’ Protein is my go-to sports drink for the fastest recovery and muscle-building.

Then, I usually can wait a little bit and eat a real meal. I love a good sandwich and tacos. I’m trying to cook at home because I have celiac and I want to eat the healthiest I can.

River: I use Clif products pretty much exclusively for fueling. The electrolyte mix and Bloks not only work but actually taste good — something I can’t say for many of the pre-training supplements out there. Immediately after a workout, I need lots of carbs and protein, so I’ll make a smoothie and add a scoop of whey protein.

Resi Stiegler pro skier
Resi Stiegler attacks a slalom gate at the Audi FIS World Cup in Austria. Photo by Mitchell Gunn/ESPA
Julie Kailus

Associate editor Julie Kailus has spent a career covering people, places, and products in the outdoor industry. Julie can be found testing the latest and greatest in her favorite activities — trail running, mountain biking, swimming, snowboarding, and the underrated endurance sport of chasing two sons around the mountains.