Posts Tagged ‘hockey training’

A video recently surfaced of Claude Giroux, the Philadelphia Flyers’ 24 year old assistant captain, and his off-season workout routine, monitored by Tony Greco.

Giroux finished last regular season 2nd in NHL assists (65) and 3rd in NHL points (93), despite missing 5 games.

Here’s what he’s been doing this summer:

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Upon inspection of the workout, and without knowing the particular parameters (sets, reps, time, phase, etc) Mr. Greco has prescribed for Giroux’s workouts, here’s what I see the routine breaking down to, in order of exercise appearance:

  1. Three 1-foot hops, into to one lateral side bound, adding a palms-in 2-arm dumbbell shoulder press. Repeat in the opposite direction.
  2. Low side-to-side skater’s bounds, with 2 hanging dumbbells.
  3. 2-foot side hops, with a 2-arm hammer curl every hop.
  4. Single dumbbell squats (dumbbell held vertically, below chin).
  5. 2-foot hop up onto a riser, to 1-arm explosive front shoulder raises (raise on hop).
  6. Stationary barbell low/explosive hip/stride extensions.
  7. Squat to 2-arm dumbbell hammer curl, to palms-in shoulder press.
  8. 1-foot 3 Bosu hops: Bosus placed on floor in a line, approximately two feet apart. With right foot starting to the left of the bosu, hop on to the ball, and then off to the right of it, then back to starting point, and then hop up to the next ball. Switch feet, and repeat the pattern.
  9. While holding pushup position on two dumbbells, Slider socks 3 quick knee drives (will need special socks or a slider board for this one), then one pushup.
  10. While on a step-box holding a medicine ball, quick strides back and then alternating feet, while continuing to hold the medicine ball in front and above.
  11. 2-foot, weight plate distance squat leaps.
  12. Sled pull.

You’ll also notice that Claude is wearing two different color shirts through this video, indicating to me that this is a combination of multiple workouts — either on completely different days, or perhaps he’s on two-a-days. If you sort them together, the exercise groupings land as follows:

  • Routine 1: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 12
  • Routine 2: 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11

These routines seem to be primarily comprised of a heavy focus on combination exercises involving linked movements between the legs (glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves), shoulders (deltoids) arms (biceps in particular) and core, in hopes of mimicking the motions of hockey, which are far from isolated. I support this approach, though I do recommend taking the time to isolate single muscle training, so that said muscles are strong enough to perform the afore mentioned combination movements when required.

The equipment used seems to be minimal: dumbbells, medicine ball, barbell, and a step-up.

Serious hockey players are working out 4-6 times per week, so this is also obviously only a glimpse into Claude’s full routine. And as my friend Justin Bourne at The Score pointed out, it’s August, and guys are going hard now to be difference makers come opening day.

And of course, Giroux WORKS OUT WITH A TRAINER. This guy is at the top of his game, and one of the best players in the NHL. He’s not naive enough to think that he can do this stuff on his own. Sure, training with a trainer can be pricy, especially to a young hockey player not making “show dough” yet, but it’s clearly worth the investment, and such a better way to make your workouts efficient and pointed, and to eliminate the guesswork you’d be doing on your own. Think about it.

So there you have a 90 point scorer’s NHL level summer hockey training routine. What do you think? Can you keep up? If it’s good enough for an All-Star NHLer/NHL ’13 cover athlete, it’s probably good enough for you too.

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Here’s an interesting video that recently surfaced — features Paul Goodman, strength and conditioning coach for the Chicago Blackhawks, and follows him around during a ‘Hawks road trip to see what a day in his life is like.

One of my favourite things about not being a competitive athlete anymore is that I no longer have to compete (no more smashing my body up and taking 10 hour bus rides are some of the highlights).  It’s also been one of the hardest things to mentally adjust to as well–especially when it comes to training now.

Let me explain a little further.  When I was trying to climb the ladder in the hockey world, everything was a competition, both on the ice and off the ice.  On the ice, there’s obviously the team vs team conflict; but there’s also the individual battles to be better than other individual players on opposing teams, and also on your own.  You want to beat other teams, but you also want to get a lot of points, so you can get a lot more ice time, so important people notice you and give you the chance to move up.  You train as hard as you can in the summers and through the year to give yourself an edge over other players.  So season in and season out, it’s a necessity to be your best. Mentally, I’m glad to be done with that stuff as well.

These days when I workout, all that pressure if off and I don’t have to worry about people getting ahead of me.  I workout to stay in shape, and because I enjoy it.  But as gruelling as the competition used to be, it did do me one favour: it kept me focused on my goal and on track towards achieving it.  While my workouts now are far more relaxed than they used to be, without some of that focus and motivation I picked up along the way, they run the risk of becoming completely unproductive very quickly if I can’t stay tuned in.

If you take one thing away from reading this article, let it be the value of goal setting and motivation in your workouts.  What are you trying to achieve?  Weight loss?  Weight and mass gain? Are you training for a sport? Are your goals long or short term?  And perhaps most importantly, are they realistic?  If I stroll down to the gym once every month and a half in flip-flops, do a set of bench press and bicep curls and then leave, I don’t really have the right to wonder why I have chicken legs and don’t have six-pack abs.  However, if I establish a goal (lose abdominal fat and gain muscle mass, lose x amount of weight, run a marathon, etc) set a realistic timeline of when I want to achieve these things by (at least six weeks), and stick to the parameters of an appropriate training regimen and nutritional plan, those goals will begin to shift from unobtainable to obtained.  And of course, a fitness professional can scientifically lay out the amount of sets, reps, frequency, intensity, time, and type of exercise that is best suited to your specific goals and are appropriate for your body type, and can show you how to execute them all safely.

Another invaluable point about motivation is recognizing what your personal motivational style is.  I always had a difficult time working out on my own, and found I got far better results with a regular workout partner.  Some people love to plug in their iPod earbuds, tune out the world, and dive in on their own.  Some people benefit from a large group setting, such as a fitness class.  Maybe you work best at the crack of dawn, or maybe the evening is your optimal workout window.  The important thing is to be honest with yourself about who you are, and what environment is going to be most conducive of getting you to where you want to be.  Pick your style, and run with it.  If you are unsure, try them all and find out!

That brings me to my last point, which is that working out should be, and needs to be, fun.  If you are not enjoying your training time, eventually you will grow to hate it and not see the need for it at all.  If your workouts have grown stale, change them up!  If you hate the fitness class you’ve been going to for a year, try a new one!  If you’re grown bored of working out on your own, invite some friends along.  Maybe you would benefit from the competitive element of sports, and should take up a new one.  Whatever it takes to keep you off the couch, take a risk and do it.  Don’t be too proud or too scared to try new things, nor to not be any good at them.  Don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself now to who you want to become.  Changing lifestyles and habits takes work, but it’s got to start somewhere.  Discovering your motivational style, maintaining it, setting goals, and enjoying yourself, are all key factors that will go a long way in spurring you on to achieving whatever fitness goal you’ve set for yourself.

If you need a goal setting or motivational reboot in your workouts, I’d be happy to help.  Come by World Gym Kelowna or West Kelowna today and see me, follow me on twitter, email me, or leave a comment — I’d be more than happy to help you set goals and make sure you reach them!

When I was playing minor hockey in the 90’s, to see other players participate in off-ice training was a rarity. After all, hockey was all about having fun. As I got older, I realized I wanted to play as long as I could and at the highest level possible, and that to do that’d I’d have to take the game more seriously. As I progressed up through my junior, college, and pro career, it became pretty obvious that these higher level leagues were filled with players who had been devoting time to their off-ice fitness, as well as further developing their on-ice skills; and that the players who chose to rely purely on their natural talent to progress, rather than add any extra-curricular fitness methodologies to their repertoire, all seemed to vanish from team rosters. As the level of play I competed at elevated, my natural skills for the game seemed to average out compared to other players; mostly because the level of competition and talent I played against increased at every increment. Moves I could make and goals I could score at lower levels became progressively more inadmissible the higher level I played at. I had to find a way to adapt my game if I were to have any success, and advance further in the game, as I aspired to. Devotion to off-ice training became an absolute necessity, and without it, I doubt I would have made it as far in hockey as I did. One of the most inspiring and applicable quotes I’ve heard in regards to this transition is, “Hard work beats talent when talent refuses to work hard.” Just ask the 8th seeded 2010 Montreal Canadiens about this idea, after beating the talent laden 1st place Washington Capitals and the previous year’s Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in last year’s NHL playoffs.

The difference in hockey training that sticks out most to me when I compare my generation to the current one is that unlike when I was young and only a few players were committed to their off-ice training, it seems that nowadays any player that is remotely serious about furthering their hockey career has acknowledged the need to improve their physical fitness away from the rink. So now that the secret is out and the standard just to be average is set so high, the challenge for young hockey players hoping to move up the ladder is to decipher a way to rise above the already high median and stick out in a positive and attractive way.

My suggestion for accomplishing this task is the notion of training smarter. While it’s great to attend summer hockey camps, spring leagues, enroll in hockey academies, and explore other methods in getting ahead of the curve, those large group setting models may not be the most beneficial for player improvement, and can prove quite costly as well. Individual attention may be minimized, and a personalized program tailored to a player’s unique goals and attributes likely gets waived in favour of a general set of standards that everyone is expected to achieve. Whether you’re a centerman, left-winger, right-winger, defenceman, or goaltender; every position has a unique on-ice job description that requires different motions and actions to be performed, and different muscles to be activated in different scenarios. So how would a goaltender specifically benefit from partaking in the same program as a forward, when both will need to be strong in completely different ways in a game?

You may or may not be familiar with the term, “Periodization”. This is breaking a season up into smaller focus points: pre-season, in-season, post-season, and off-season. The concept helps to identify which training methods are most appropriate to a player’s development, and when. For example, the way off-season weight training focuses on heavy weight/low repetitions for maximum strength gains is nearly polar opposite to the post-season phase (playoffs), where players focus on simple maintenance of their strength and cardio, and may not lift more than their own body weight while weight training. Because different levels of hockey hold their playoffs at different points in the season, it is imperative that a player’s workout routine enables him or her to peak at the correct point in the season. Minor hockey will generally finish around March, while junior hockey can continue on until May, college hockey can last until late March/early April, and of course the NHL can take until June to complete. If a player’s body is not trained to adapt to and endure this changing but predictable schedule, they likely will not compete at their optimal level, at the time when their team needs them the most.

This is where a Personal Trainer can become an invaluable resource to a player. Often times, players will string together routines based on what others have told them, or perhaps on their own intuition. And more often than not, these workouts degrade into “beach workouts”, featuring chest, biceps, and abs exercises only. While they may indeed put on size and strength this way, their sport specific improvements will likely be limited. Working with a fitness professional can optimize a player’s development by maximizing their off-ice efficiency and gains, translating those improvements into a more effective on-ice product, showing you testable results, and navigating you down the quickest route to obtaining your fitness goals.

If you are a hockey player aspiring to advance to the next level and beyond, do yourself a favour and seek out a qualified Personal Trainer to keep you on track, no matter what phase your season is in. After all, the last day of the season is also the first day towards next season. Use your training time wisely and give yourself the best chance possible to be a stand-out player next year. If training smarter sounds like something you would benefit from, I’d be more than happy to work with you this summer to motivate, educate, and create a program that will spur you on towards being the best player you can be next season and beyond.

Blog: https://cunningathletics.wordpress.com Twitter: @CunningAthletix Email:davecunning09@shaw.ca Phone: 250 826 7489