Vogt, M., Jordan, K., Spring, J., & Hoppeler, H. (2003). Muscle physiology and determinants of performance in elite alpine skiers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(5), Supplement abstract 511.

Endurance and power testes were performed before and after a single training day on skis. Training included 16 slalom runs. Muscle biopsies were taken from the vastus lateralis before, after four, and after sixteen runs.

Glycogen reduction was higher in Type I than Type II muscle fibers. Glycogen was barely detectable in some Type I fibers. The ratio of Type II to Type I fiber cross sectional area, maximum power output during an endurance test, and counter movement jump performance correlated significantly with ski performance. There was no significant relationship between fiber-type composition and performance.

Implication. Endurance training is important for alpine skiing performance. High muscle oxidative capacity and muscle hypertrophy seem to be the best predictors in competitive alpine skiing.

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