Book Review: The Outdoor Athlete

This book is designed to assist you in taking your snowshoeing and outdoor experiences to the next level. The Outdoor Athlete will prepare you through rigorous training and flexibility programs to maximize your outdoor enjoyment.

Authors Courtenay [MS, CSCS] and Doug Schurman [MBA, CSCS] use their extensive outdoor and training expertise to provide conditioning programs developed for the unique demands of 17 outdoor pursuits. These activities range from rock and ice climbing, trail running, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

The book is divided into three parts. Part One is about the ‘Foundation for Outdoor Fitness.’  Part Two concerns ‘Conditioning for Specific Activities.’ Part Three discusses ‘Exercises for Peak Performance.’ The appendix contains test results and tracking forms. Each section contains charts, diagrams, and programs for athletes at varying levels.

Part One delves into the principles of training and the components of outdoor sports, namely, cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training, skill and cross-training. SMART goal setting is addressed, i.e., specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time stamped steps are required. FITT parameters refer to the training variables requisite to maximize your program results. These include frequency, intensity, time, and type.

There are charts and tables respective to training blocks and goals—whether pre-season, in-season, post-season, or off-season. The Principles of Training section culminates in a template for various cycles applicable to each of the 17 endeavors. The importance of periodization is also discussed.

Part Two is concerned with the following:

-Fitness and assessment/adaptation;
-Improving endurance;
-Maximizing strength;
-Fueling for outdoor pursuits; and
-Environmental challenges.

Part Three specifically addresses flexibility and mobility, body stabilization and support, and strength.

The Schurmans recommend that the snow sports athlete focus on developing cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, and core flexibility. The book highlights the cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility needs of the snowshoer depending on the terrain, conditions, altitude, age, and the like. Short-term and long-term programs are posed to assess  the needs of the snowshoer based on the guidelines and parameters of the first three parts of the book.

The book is a comprehensive resource for outdoor enthusiasts. It references altitude and sea level training options. There are numerous illustrations, charts, and tables to assist the snowshoer and outdoor enthusiast in achieving their goals.

The authors own and operate Body Results, a company specializing in outdoor strength and conditioning, conduct workshops, seminars, and clinics and coach wilderness athletes across the United States.

For more information, visit

About the author

Jeff Kildahl, Wellness Editor

Jeff Kildahl is a writer, author, wellness consultant and philanthropist advancing preventive health care by synthesizing primary source nutrition and fitness as the principal components of the practice of medicine.

Kildahl is a sponsored vegan ultra-endurance athlete credentialed in bioenergetics, biomechanics, metabolic efficiency™ testing, sport nutrition, and natural medicine. He is a dynamic member of CUBE™ ~ a professional speakers group ~ empowering others to harmonize the "Keys to Living in the Song of Life."

He is the wellness editor at Snowshoe Magazine, United States Snowshoe Association columnist, and contributor to health, fitness and wellness sites, blogs and publications. He is a US-based ultra-endurance athlete and philanthropist for the 100 FOR 100 Movement ~

Kildahl is the creator and president of The Wholistic Edge® ~ a visionary firm providing synergistic solutions to transcend health, performance, and potential in life and sport from the inside out via the principles of Performance Medicine™ ~

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