Staying Strong and Healthy with In Season Training – Part 2

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

Part 2 - 1

In today’s post we are covering Part 2 of this article. In Part 1 (please click here if you missed it) we dug into the “why’s” of in-season training.  I hope you found it helpful and informative.

Today, we are going to outline the “how’s” of how we actually do it here at RPP. 

To start, there are 3 considerations when structuring an in-season program:

  • Goals (overall purpose)
  • Parameters (considerations specific to the sport)
  • Frequency (how often)

1. Goals

The goals of an in-season program are the same regardless of what sport you play.  They are as follows:

  • Maintain physical qualities (strength and endurance) gained during off-season training
  • Reverse changes in soft tissue length that occur during the season (through foam rolling and mobility work)

(Myofascial Release – Calves)

  •  Help facilitate recovery between games (light conditioning)

2. Parameters

Although the goals are the same from sport to sport, the road to get there is anything but. This is where “specificity” comes in.  Since we’re talking hockey today, let’s take a look at a few parameters specific to hockey.

Playing hockey involves high volume (as in games and practices), low-load power (basically moving their body weight), mostly lateral (skating) movement, massive amounts of rotation and short stop/start conditioning.  So in order to work movement patterns not being utilized at game time, we would:

Incorporate:

  • Low Volume – Short sessions (generally 45 min. total time) and low set ranges
  • High Load power (explosive, heavy lifting)

(Trap Bar Deadlift)

  •  Linear Movement (North /South)

And Avoid:

  • Rotation– Hockey players rotate 100’s of times per game/week.  No need to beat a dead horse (we will however always work on T-spine and hip rotational mobility)

(T-Spine Int/Ext Rotation)

  •  Conditioning – All conditioning work is done on the ice.  We do not add an conditioning work during in-season training.

3. Frequency

Like I said in Part 1 of this series, strength is maintained for approximately 3 weeks before it tapers off considerably. This means that getting a workout in 1-2x per week (for no longer than 45-50 minutes) in-season would yield huge benefits by not allowing for a drop in strength all season!!  Workout days must also be scheduled around games.  An athlete who is getting less playing time can benefit from training a bit longer each session.  The object of in-season training is to maintain strength all season, not create fatigue!

Please let me remind you that embarking on a strength and conditioning program without the knowledge for good form and movement can do more harm than good (which can be even more relevant in-season when you include the overall fatigue that goes into playing a sport). I highly recommend training with qualified strength coaches who understand all the parameters that go into training athletes as well as a great programming.  In other words, not this guy.

Part 2 - 2

Please feel free to visit our “Elite Hockey” webpage by clicking here or stop by the gym and inquire about our hockey specific training.  I hope you have enjoyed this 2 part series on in-season training.

See you in the gym.

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