Snowbasin Winter Resort in beautiful Ogden, Utah will be home for the final stage of the 2010-11 Winter Dew Tour. As the world's top skiers and snowboarders prep last minute for a chance to hoist the coveted Dew Cup, 5'5" Ohio native Louie Vito is physically fit and ready to take home the prize.
For the past two years, while perfecting his high-flying superpipe skills, Vito has hit his dry-land training routine just as hard. "Training in the gym is really important to me," he says. "You got to not only be training for snowboarding, but injury prevention—and training to be fit is huge."
Vito, who trains with Erick Land, founder of Xtraordinary Sports Performance [XPS] in Salt Lake City and trainer to NBA All-Star Deron Williams, admits that some boarders may have the wrong impression about his off-snow exercise regimen. "It's not like I'm lifting heavy weights, getting all Jersey Shore up in the gym," he says. "It's mostly just making sure my body is warmed up, stretched and my muscles feel good."
In between comps and travel, Vito can be found at XPS, training as much as possible. Though he hasn't noticed much of a difference when performing tricks—like the Double Cork Frontside 1080—he believes his fitness level definitely helps with takeoffs and landings.
"Landing, especially flat, does reflect on the shape you're in a bit," Vito says. "Watching videos from years before, I'd see my legs give out. Not 'cause they aren't strong, but [you use] your whole body...to hold you up when landing. Takeoffs as well benefit from being fit. The stronger you are, the more G's you can withstand going up the pipe."
Although many in the snowboarding community frown on Vito's training lifestyle, the man's been standing tall atop the winner's podium all year. "You can still have fun, ride and party, but you need to have some kind of daily regimen," says the Dew Tour's number one-ranked boarder. "Snowboarding just keeps getting bigger, and there are a lot of good riders out there. Being in shape can be something that is going to separate you from everyone else."
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