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Jeremy Benson mountain biking. Photo by Eric Asistan.

Mountain Biking is Good for Skiers

Not that you needed an excuse to go ride. But it turns out, mountain biking counts as ski conditioning too. Pro skier Jeremy Benson tells us why and suggests a few good trails to check out.

Rachael Burks and Julian Carr have their mean faces on. They're grunting, gasping, making expressions that are usually unwanted when taking ski photos. In this case, they can’t help it.  Burks and Carr are at Boxing is For Girls, a Salt Lake City gym geared toward beating the snot out of people—and not just ladies—in the name of fitness. They’re going through trainer Eliza James’ specially designed Chance workout, an ass-kicker that combines strength, endurance, and pushing your pain threshold. Ironmen and marathoners can’t even get through it, not even close. But Burks and Carr are definitely trying—and as some of the most badass skiers out there, they are doing a solid job.  “Work hard for your break, come on!” James yells. “You want all your hard work to pay off.”

Boxing is for Skiers

Rachael Burks and Julian Carr get put through a brutal boxing workout to see if they’ve got what it takes. Turns out skiers are good athletes.

Stefan Thomas grabbing some tail above Park City's Eagle superpipe.

Train Like an Olympian in Park City, Utah

January is "Learn a Snow Sports" month. So why not pick up Nordic jumping? As the 2010 Olympic athletes gear up for their trip to Vancouver in a few weeks, you can fine tune your own skills at Olympic events in Park City, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. They've got introductory courses in nearly all Olympic disciplines, from bobsledding to curling to slalom skiing.

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Skiers of the Year

These are the skiers we've had our eyes on this winter, from X Games gold medalists, and the queen of big mountain skiing, to the two-million-foot man.

Step aside Nutella, your time on a pedestal is over. Justin is here. Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter is not only decadent, but also nutritious, free of artificial flavors and processed dairy, plus it comes in an ultra-convenient squeeze pack size. These can be stashed in pockets and easily scarfed on the lift, minus the melted chocolate mess factor.  Hazelnuts, often overshadowed by the nutritional content of nut-brothers almonds and walnuts, are packin’ when it comes to nutrient-density. These chestnut relatives are a good source of vitamin B1, which is imperative for energy production, and copper, a mineral that is needed for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase which disarms free radicals. The best part is Justin uses palm fruit oil rather than inflammation-promoting hydrogenated vegetables oils like most commercial nut butters do. This is worth going nuts over. Cost: $0.55 cents per squeeze pack. Calories: 80www.justinsnutbutter.com

Top Five Pocket Snacks For Skiers

This question just might be one of the seven wonders of the food world: What is the optimal snack to pack so I don’t have to stop for lunch on a powder day, that doesn’t weigh me down, smooch, or melt in my pocket? The answer is that just as skis have gotten wider, on-slope snacks have also improved, moving past dry protein bars and sweaty string cheese. If you’ve upgraded your gear in the last year, then it’s also time to upgrade the snack selection. Start with these five snacks, each available for under $2 per serving.

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Girls Can Jump: ACL Injury Prevention

Female skiers are more likely to tear an ACL than men. So we sent our knee-injured intern to the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine to find out why and to learn how to prevent and rehab knee injuries. Including her own.