Making Big Gains This Summer

By Nunzio Signore (B.A., CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)

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Okay, so you’re one of the best hockey players in your county or better yet the state, kudos on a job well done. But if you’ve worked hard enough to get offers to play hockey after high school you should know that spending the spring and summer in the weight room to get strong and pack on much needed muscle can be the deal breaker.

And because of this, it’s my favorite time of the year at RPP for a few reasons:

  • Our college guys are home and starting to come in for off-season training. This raises the bar from a “work ethic” standpoint for all of the high school players.
  • They provide positive feedback to our younger athletes in regards to the benefits of getting off the ice and into the gym early to reap the most off-season strength gains as well as great conversation as to what to expect in college.
  • The younger guys get “stoked” by being in the gym at the same time as these guys.

Take Mike Gillespie for example, after a successful high school career and a year in the USHL playing for the Lincoln Stars, Mike was offered to play hockey at Ohio State. Knowing he needed to get bigger, faster and stronger, he came into RPP on a recommendation from Matt Willows (Matt was a forward and team captain at UNH and is now playing with the Florida Everglades in the ECHL, he has been a constant here at RPP and a huge inspiration to our younger guys).

(Matt Willows – Ext.Rotation @ 90 degrees)

When I asked Mike what his goals were, he said “I want a program like the one you gave Matt”. I was happy to oblige and Mike crushed it.

(Barbell Bench Bridge)

(Sl.Board Body Saws)

(Side Plank to Low Row)

Mike Gillespie, Matt Willows, Kevin Hill (Wesleyan), Colin MacDonald (UNH), Alex Whelan (Quinnipiac), and a host of other great hockey players in the gym this summer are a constant reminder in regards to work ethic as well as great motivation to our younger guys.

If you haven’t started your off season program yet, your window of opportunity to get strong this summer starts now. What are you waiting for? Remember, the other guy isn’t.

I should also note that a great program needs to be combined with great a nutrition plan.  To gain lean muscle you must eat and you must eat the right types of foods.  Collin MacDonald didn’t put on 18 lbs. of muscle after his senior year by just coming to the gym. It’s a combination of the right amount of calories consumed at the right times especially pre- and post-workout (we’ll talk more on this topic in a future blog).

Please feel free to drop by or visit our website page on the Skaters Program.

See ya’ in the gym.