Performance Lab Training for Outdoor Adventure

Deacon Andrews didn’t move to Park City to spend time in the gym. That may seem like an odd stance for a professional trainer and fitness coach, but it was the mountains that drew him in. “The gym is just a tool where we can practice perfect movement,” Andrews says. “Everything we experience outside is reactionary, and the gym helps us prepare for that.” Andrews runs SISU Strong, a specialized fitness program for mountain athletes, which is to say all of us who spend our free time biking and skiing around the Wasatch while we’re dodging work emails.

There’s an
App for That

TrueCoach makes it easy to squeeze every ounce of fitness from your limited time. Andrews creates a profile in the app, which delivers a detailed training program to your email inbox. Miss a day? TrueCoach keeps you honest with reminders if you fail to log your prescribed workout. Andrews includes video tutorials that show exactly how to perform each movement, and you can upload a video of yourself so that Andrews can provide feedback on your form and progress.

Andrews’ training methods are an amalgam of what he’s learned through a diverse background as an Army Veteran, a professional mix of martial artist and CrossFit coach. He’s trained elite mountain athletes—including Park City native Haley Batten, who recently won the under-23 UCI XC Mountain Bike World Cup in Nove Mesto in June—and brings the lessons he’s learned to train the rest of us. “Life can be hectic, so I want to help people train more efficiently,” Andrews explains. “I want to help the parents who have to pick up their kids every day and the 35-year-olds who work a lot and are a little beat up to adventure further and play outside more with the time they have.” 

The goal of SISU Strong training isn’t to exhaust you. Andrews builds customized programs to add specific strength and stability, helping clients increase longevity and avoid injury when chasing their passions in the mountains. Members at Silver Mountain Sports Club & Spa can participate in Andrews’ mountain sports conditioning classes three days a week as part of the $77 per-month membership fee. Alternatively, Andrews can build a customized SISU Strong program to suit your goals and schedule starting at $200 per month. In addition, you can train periodically with Andrews as your schedule allows and work on the rest at home with in-app video feedback.

I opted to experience the latter option first hand. During the 30-minute assessment with Andrews, he helped me understand how I fail to keep tension throughout my torso when fatigued, putting extra stress on my lumbar spine and aggravating my increasingly creaky back. He also taught me proper breathing techniques, which I wish I’d learned 34 years ago. Tying it together, he created a personalized training plan in the TrueCoach app, which included targeted exercises as well as video tutorials and feedback. 

“Two to three days a week for 30 minutes is enough to perform better while optimizing training and recovery. The entire objective is to help people do what they love,” Andrews says.


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Tony Gill
Tony Gill
Tony Gill is the outdoor and Park City editor for Salt Lake Magazine and previously toiled as editor-in-chief of Telemark Skier Magazine. Most of his time ignoring emails is spent aboard an under-geared single-speed on the trails above his home.

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