Shaping up for summer recreation |

Shaping up for summer recreation

Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Reports
Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily Tribune U.S. freestyle skiing champion Travis Cabral hops on an advanced stationary bike at Push fitness club, to work on strength training.

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series on physical fitness preparation for summer.

By Susan Wood

Tribune staff writer

It’s that time of year again for summer temperatures and workouts to heat up.

Personal trainers are seeing plenty of athletes ready to adapt their regimens to accommodate Lake Tahoe signature activities like mountain biking, hiking, road-bike riding, backpacking, waterskiing and swimming.

The fitness prowess of Tahoe residents now thinking about summer ranges from the most seasoned athlete like 2004 U.S. freestyle ski champion Travis Cabral to a Babe Ruth League baseball player.

“This summer I really want to work on my strength training, and aerobics is the key,” said Cabral, who, at the Push club Tuesday hopped on an advanced stationary bike that’s a hybrid between spin and mountain biking.

Cabral spends his spring and summer gearing up for his big season – winter. Now through athletic club owner Tim Christenson, the moguls champ will be working out on the Push personal training program.

Head trainer Cassandra Chandler recommends an assortment of exercises to compete in summer sports.

Chandler, who trained diligently to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in East Africa, suggested hikers prepare themselves for the trails by hitting the stairs.

“I live up Kingsbury, and when I trained I ran up and down stairs,” she said.

Now, others can emulate the action at the gym on a stair machine.

Andrea Adams, another personal trainer, knows the tenacity it takes to complete a major endurance event. She ran a marathon in March with one of her clients, Becky Manoukian – who stretched on the mats at Kahle Community Center with her son, Jake.

He’s training for the Babe Ruth Indians’ first ballgame on May 2, so the teenager said he wants to trade the lower-body workout of skiing for more arm and shoulder weight training. Adams plans to have him perform chest pulls and bicep curls. But for now, simple leg raises provided a necesary warm-up Tuesday.

“When you stretch, you need to make sure everything relaxes. And take nice, deep breaths,” Adams told the mother-son team. They grunted and pointed to where they could feel the muscle pull.

“This is a crucial part of the program,” she said.

Apparently, others agree.

According to the Sports Medicine Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., stretching increases flexibility, improves circulation, relieves stress and enhances coordination. Each stretch should be held for at least 30 seconds – up to a minute in problem areas.

Cross-training for the overall fitness program is the name of the game for personal trainer Sue Hellman.

Diane Banning came to her because she wants to return to hiking and mountain biking this summer. She lives off Kingsbury Grade near the Tahoe Rim Trail, her preferred route.

“The bottom line is, you can’t run before you walk,” Hellman said, rattling off squats and lunges as key exercises.

Hellman put her on a weight-training regimen to build up the strength of her core, the area around the trunk and pelvis. The move reduces risk of injuries, including those to the back.

Banning is recovering from knee replacement surgery.

Hellman has placed Banning on a program including the stationary bike and elliptical machine to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee. The trainer urges Banning to do a half or full hour at least four times a week.

“They have less impact than the treadmill,” Hellman said as Banning did a set of bicep curls.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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