Leg Blasters

Snow on October 1st

There’s about 20 cm of snow on the ground from the storm that landed on the Rockies today. That’s way too early for my tastes. But, like everyone else, it’s got me thinking about skiing, which in turn has me thinking about getting these legs of mine in shape for ski season.

One of the very best exercises I know of to get the legs strong is “Leg Blasters”. Leg Blasters are simple and get you in shape really quickly. There are two versions: The one I recommend starting with begins with the word “Mini”…

Mini Leg Blaster

10x Air Squats
5x In-Place Lunges (5x each leg, 10x total)
5x Jumping Lunges (5x each leg, 10x total)
5x Jump Squats

Leg Blaster

20x Air Squats
10x In-Place Lunges (10x each leg, 20x total)
10x Jumping Lunges (10x each leg, 20x total)
10x Jump Squats

Don’t be deceived: even the Mini will work you hard if you’re not used to it. Check out Pip Hunt demonstrating a single Leg Blaster set:

As coach Rob Shaul in the video says, Leg Blasters are no joke. If you try to jump in and start doing them like Pip Hunt you’re going to get really sore and/or pass out, especially if you do a full set. My recommendation is to start it really slow. Don’t “sprint” like Pip does for the first couple of weeks. Ease into it, like any new exercise, and see how it works for you. If you’re sore the next day but recovered on the second day after training, you’ve done well. If you’re still sore on the second or third day after a workout you need to tone it down a notch or two.

Here’s a reasonably conservative training plan. Don’t push it! If in doubt, take it even slower than this plan suggests. If you’re already in great shape — no soreness the next day at all and it was a piece of cake — great, progress through the weeks at a faster rate.

Week 1
Mon, Wed, Fri – 2 or 3 sets of “Mini Leg Blasters”,  60 seconds between efforts

Week 2
Mon, Wed, Fri – 5 sets of Mini Leg Blasters,  45 seconds between efforts

Week 3
Mon, Wed, Fri – 10 sets of Mini Leg Blasters,  30 seconds between efforts

Week 4
3x Full Leg Blasters, 4x Mini Leg Blasters, 60 seconds between efforts

Week 5
3x Full Leg Blasters, 4x Mini Leg Blasters, 45 seconds rest between efforts

Week 6
4x Full Leg Blasters, 2x Mini Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts

Week 7 and onwards
5x Full Leg Blasters, 30 seconds rest between efforts

By my calculations, if you start this plan TODAY then you will be pulling off 5 Full Leg Blasters 3x/week by the beginning of December, which is pretty much perfect timing for ski season! Yes, exciting as this snow might be, ski season by my standards is still a long ways away! Let me know how it goes for you.

Tom Wolfe
Mountain Guide ACMG/IFMGA
October 2, 2018