Olympic Snowboarder Louie Vito's Ridiculous Off-Season Strength Workout

Louie Vito has the ultimate off-season workout for snowboarders. Credit: Stan Evans/Red Bull Images

X-Games SuperPipe silver medalist and top Red Bull snowboarder Louie Vito has a long list of accomplishments on the slopes. He’s won four U.S. Grand Prix Overall Halfpipe Championships and six career X-Games medals, and was a member of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team. He’s also been rated as one of the 50 fittest athletes in the world, landed in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue, and even throws in a half-marathon every year at the Wings for Life World Run. Not only does Louie’s training regimen help him compete at the highest level of his sport, it also makes him look damn good while doing it. Here’s how he trains when he's off the mountain.

The workout, custom-designed for Vito by John Schaeffer at Winning Factor Sports Sciences, focuses on cognitive, neuro-response, recovery, and explosive strength. “I do two sessions a day,” Vito says. “I normally start off with 30 rounds of a 30-second progressive interval on the treadmill.” Then he follows that with an explosive strength session. Reps vary, he says, but a typical workout features low-rep sets with short breaks. He also alternates the strength moves with an explosive staircase sequence he calls "The Drill."

Session 1: Treadmill Sprints

30 Rounds of a 30-second recovery and 30-second sprint

The incline varies from a normal 2-percent incline to an extreme 15-percent incline, depending on the day. On a 2-percent incline day, Vito normally starts off with a 6mph pace/8mph sprint. Each round gradually gets faster, both the recovery pace and the sprint.

For example: 7mph/9mph, 7mph/10mph, 7 mph/11mph, continuing like this so the final round is 10mph/15mph.

Session 2: Strength 

Six sets of four (each side) single-leg squats. Take 10 seconds of rest between sets without racking the weight.

The Drill: Progressive staircase hop. Vito's staircase has 17 steps, and he carries 40-pound dumbbells, but start without weights. Double-leg hop up every step, run down. Hop every other step, run down. Hop up every third step, run down. Hop up every fourth step, run down. 

Six sets of four plyometric leg presses. Bring the weight down and then explode up so the weight just barely lifts off your feet. Hold the weight up for 10 seconds between sets, making sure knees aren't locked. 

The Drill: Repeat the four-ascent progression.

Six sets of four reverse plyometric hack squats. Instead of putting your back to the hack squat machine, face it. Squat down, then explode up so that your feet barely leave the ground. Hold the weight up for 10 seconds between sets, making sure knees aren't locked.

The Drill: Repeat the four-ascent progression.