hey, so I just thought to write something real quick and spread some knowledge. backstory:
I hurt my knee march 08 and never got it checked out. fucked around during summer playing soccer, attempting to work out, running and what not. skied very uncomfortably almost every weekend w/ a hurt knee. come march 09 i got hit by a car while walking by what most think was a drunk driver, breaking 8 ribs, collapsing a lung, lacerating my spleen, and fracturing my hip. took 7 weeks before i could do anything.
I looked at myself after this downtime and realized I would never be able to do the sport I loved if I didn't fix myself up. I mean I was in terrible shape. All that time I had been favoring my bad knee making it weak and my upperbody had atrophied from an allready sad state of neglect. I had approximately may - november to do this. I had my knee operated on to repair a torn meniscus at the end of may (revealing a partial tear to my acl). This was another 3 weeks down.
since then I have been in the gym 4-5 days a week. 1-1.5 hours is all it takes, no more because you will be doing more damage than good after that amount of time. start with a quick 7-10 minute warmup either rowing, biking, jogging. then depending on the muscles you want to stress, perform your workouts. don't do the same muscles two days in a row rather split it up into working different parts of the body each day. To gain strength as fast as possibly you want to be putting in 100% of your intensity into a very low amount of reps. This means working to failure. 4 sets of 5-7 is all you need. its hard to explain but you want to feel powerful when you are doing these not explosive. This means smooth steady application of power over a large range of motion. When you are done, immediately go eat a healthy, natural meal.
That is a quick guide to getting in great athletic shape fast. Don't spend all your time in the gym, however. As a skier you just need a moderate ammount of strength to control your body precisely. Flexibility and durability are where you really need to shine so work on these things by biking, rowing, diving, swimming. I find soccer is probably the best way to cross train, since it works your knees more than most other sports.
hope this helps. I wrote this because I am sitting here 30 days from when the first mtn near me will open and I am in the best shape of my life. wanted to share why and how. I think its gonna be a great season.