Mikaela Shiffrin is a member of the US Ski team, sponsored by HomeLight, since 2011. In that time, she has been dubbed the Winningest Slalom skier of all time – her latest win being on January 11, 2022, making this the 47th win throughout her entire career thus far.
That’s pretty incredible, right? You can bet her training regimen is pretty intense, but perhaps it’s not as intense as you’d think. Mikaela has five training habits to keep her on top of her game as the reigning slalom champion.
Stretching and Light Cardio
Any athlete knows that before you begin your true workout, you must stretch and warm-up. Mikaela begins her routine with a 10-minute ride on a stationary bike and a good stretch. You should never dive right into an intense workout because you could injure yourself!
Lower-body strength training
Strength training, particularly for the lower body, is a core focus in her training routine. She’ll work through a variety of lifts with a weighted bar and squats – lots of squats. This type of training is called “eccentric overload training,” which means the strength moves focus on the lowering (or squatting) position. As you can imagine, these exercises are great for skiers because it means they can stay strong and stable while in the squatting position.
Interval circuit training
Interval circuit training is a great way to work out various parts of the body in one workout session. Mikaela’s circuits include sprinting while pushing and pulling a weighted sled, more squats, working on a rowing machine, and using a slide board for workouts. As you can imagine, this is a grueling routine, but it clearly works well for the Olympian.
Detailed tracking of workouts
A serious athlete will keep mental track of their workouts, Mikaela goes in hard. After a training session, she’ll rate the workout on a scale from 1 to 10 – 10 being “pass out intense.” While she usually gives it her all when she trains (these workouts tend to be a 9), she has never actually passed out. Now, this is how an Olympian trains, but it’s perfectly okay to work your way up and increase the intensity at your own pace.
Balance is key
If you’ve ever gone skiing, you know that balance is an essential skill to have, especially if you prefer to ski down the hill and not tumble down face first. After circuit training, Mikaela will practice her balance training for about an hour or so. This means she’ll walk on a slackline, walk-on bolsters while juggling, or walk backward on the tops of dumbbells.
Bonus: Be your own cheerleader
Training to be the best isn’t easy, but it’s doable. Mikaela Shiffrin has shown that through hard work and dedication, it’s possible to achieve your dreams. But with that said, even if you have the entire world cheering you on, it’s important that you be your own source of motivation. You know your goals and your limits, but you have to decide if you’re willing and able to push harder. You have to keep your eyes on the prize!
These are just five (six?) habits that can help improve your workout regimen – there are a lot more ways you can push yourself even further. At the end of the day, you may not be a member of an Olympic ski team, but you can rest assured in knowing that you can at least train like one.