Fitness for Ski Instructor Training: Active recovery basics

Welcome to Fitness for ski instructor training Session 21 and week 6. After 5 weeks of training at a fairly high intensity week 6 is going to be a deload week. The purpose of this week is to make sure that we give our muscles plenty of time to adapt, grow and recover. We will throw deload weeks into the programming every 5 – 8 weeks, as tempting as it may be to keep pushing hard in the long run you will benefit from relaxing for a bit. We will still do light work but using easy weights.

So with the above in mind there is no work scheduled today at all instead we are going to look at active recovery.

After a hard day or week at the gym the last thing you may feel like doing is more exercise but what if I told you that adding in an active recovery day to your work out may actually help reduce the chance of suffering a day of doing nothing other crying about muscle stiffness and soreness from that killer leg session.

During active recovery your focus should be on completing a work out at an intensity that is just high enough to get the blood flowing and helps reduce residual fatigue in the muscle. Typically during an active recovery session we will look to work at around 70% of our potential, this allows us to flush oxygenated blood around our bodies.


Short runs under 60 minutes long or cycles less than 90 minutes are great examples of active recovery if you are not feeling those you can also try rock climbing, yoga or cross country skiing.

One of my favourites is swimming, if you fancy give this a go on your next  active recovery day and see how it goes.

Perform 10 sets of

  • Swim 50 metres @60% effort
  • Swim 50 metres @80% effort
  • Rest 60 Seconds

The key thing to remember is you can take a recovery day and do nothing, but it may not make you feel as good as you hope. If you do go for an active recovery day make sure you keep the intensity low and the mood light. You will find this is as much a mental recovery as it is physical. If you have to grind it out leave it for today and go and do something you enjoy.