5 Things I’ve Learned from Training Hockey Players this Off-Season

By Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)

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We’d like to send out a big “thank you” to all of nearly 80 hockey players who trained at RPP this off-season and helped make it our biggest hockey off-season yet. It’s getting to be that time of year when our hockey traffic starts to slow down and guys start coming in once a week to make sure they’re staying strong throughout the season.  Although we hate to see them less, it marks the beginning of hockey season and we get to go to games and watch all our guys hard work pay off on the ice. Today, I’d like to share with you a few things I’ve learned from watching them train this year.

1. Lifting Heavy – More than any sport we train, most hockey players LOVE to get after it. They also generally gain the most lean muscle mass during the off-season. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

(Split Squats)

(Heavy Sled Pushes)

2. Punctuality – Not only do they always show up on time but they generally show up 10-15 minutes early. This also is a positive reflection on the parents who get the younger guys here on time despite crazy schedules.

3. Foam Rolling – We’re working on this one. True, they do get here early but not to foam roll. By the end of the off-season we had them understand that foam rolling is more important to do before you lift than kicking around a soccer ball or putting each other in head locks. Here, Charlotte Checker’s Matt Willows sets a great example for our younger guys.

(Matt Willows SMR)

4. They Love to Sprint – As you may well know I’m not a huge fan of long distance running due to the lack of sport specific carry over. I am however a huge fan of transitional sprint drills that have a significant carry over to on-ice performance. These are extremely grueling drills that for some reason these guys love to do.

(Transitional Sprint Drills)

5. They Hate Taking Breaks – Maybe because they’re used to short shift breaks on the ice, but we find that we’re constantly telling the guys to “slow down” in the months when we’re focusing on absolute strength. It’s not uncommon for these guys to run through a 75 minute program in about 65 minutes.

It’s been a pleasure working with you all.  Best of luck this coming season and GOD SPEED to all of you.

See ya’ in the gym.