Q&A with HalfPipe Snowboarder Louie Vito
From intense lifting workouts to his non-existent party schedule, here’s how one of the best technical boarders in the world stays fit enough to ride pipe.
MF: What’s different about your training program?
LV: I will say that when 2014 comes around, there will not be a more conditioned snowboarder than me. In fact, I am confident there will not be any athlete in all of the Winter Olympics that will be more conditioned than me. John has trained some of the best athletes in many different disciplines, and he knows health and fitness more than anyone. If anyone disagrees, I urge them to come and do a workout with us. His easiest day is harder than most people's hardest day.
MF: Has your training off the slopes always been important to you—or did it increase as you moved up through the professional ranks of the sport?
LV: I grew up in a pretty healthy and active family. Before the last Olympics, I worked with a trainer who trained a lot of NBA players. But after 2010, I felt like it was time for me to really step it up and go to the best that I could find.
MF: Is nutrition an important part of your regimen?
LV: I changed my whole diet when I started working with John. I quit partying because I didn't want to take any steps backwards. I don't eat bread, rice, milk, or soy. I eat a lot of fish, veggies, eggs, and chicken. I don't take a lot of supplements, but I take CLA, Cal-Mag with D3, Colostrum, and Glutamine.
MF: What exercises do you find particularly beneficial to snowboarding? Are there any that readers can try at home?
LV: I think running steps is a great one. If you don't have weights, you go for speed and more rounds. If you have weights, then that is even better. I go from running steps without weight to running steps with 60 lbs. in each hand. Also, intervals are great on a treadmill. Everything is short and intense with no water cooler rests. You get in and get out!
MF: How do you divide weight training and cardio so that you can be at your best when you’re out on the slopes?
LV: I go hard in the off-season with mostly two-a-days. Then when the season gets closer, I begin to taper it down a little. And when the season is here, I stay in a lower intensity program. Contest week I don't do anything at the gym unless it’s stretching.
MF: You vs. Shaun White—heated rivalry or friendly rivalry?
LV: Neither. Shaun is a great snowboarder but I never look at a contest that he is at as, "I want to beat Shaun White." If I have to beat him to win, then great. But if he gets 3rd place and I get 2nd, that isn't a successful contest for me because I didn't win. Snowboarding is a subjective sport, so I just try to ride the best that I can because I can't control what anyone else does—or how the judges score me.