Train Smart: Use the Pro Fitter 3D Cross Trainer
Published on 02/22/2013
Not every outdoor activity has an obvious regimen for performance improvement. Some that do require NASA-scale equipment that’s far beyond even health club budgets. Downhill skiing is a gravity-powered discipline that turns core strength and lateral mobility into a rush that defies the physics fueling it. What’s needed is a way to simulate without crushing the motivation.
Fitter First literally rocks the PRO FITTER 3D CROSS TRAINER in a well-accepted platform for downhill strength. Built on the same principle as a children’s teeter totter, PRO FITTER moves side-to-side as the athlete exerts driving force. Tension varies based upon engagement of high-test bungees under the FITTER’s deck. A metal and durable plastic tray rides on rollers above the curved service to simulate the energy required to bring the FITTER back to center.
Testers jumped on the system born in 1985 for the express purpose of engaging core strength by facilitating a safe level of instability. From 15 minutes to nearly an hour at a crack, time on the slide inched upward. In the same way, upper-body endurance grew when the sliding deck was used on the floor in a push-up position.
FITTER is no lightweight attempt at faux skiing. Testers not only improved endurance after eight weeks of 3X/week sessions, but also succeeded in activating the tiny muscles on both sides of the knee joint. Crucial to on-snow acrobatics, these are the last to develop and the first to atrophy. More challenging than seeing the trainer’s benefits was finding an easy place to store the elliptical deck, support poles and floor pad. While FITTER can land a lot of places in home, apartment or garage, sound dampening may be needed for the benefit of all concerned.
At parties, PRO FITTER represents an amusing diversion, but spotters are recommended. Testers watched comrades jump on this alpine version of a mechanical bull only to end up catching them in-flight or headed for a close encounter with a fellow reveler. Ski teams use them for fitness and injury recovery. Amateurs find promise in the power there for the gaining. While the mountain ahead may not get any smaller, FITTER cuts the challenge of big lines down to size.