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In-Season Off-Ice Training for Hockey

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January 3, 2003. First day on the job as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for The Washington Capitals. It's a game day. Team has 10am skate with Jeff Halpern and Michael Nylander injured. I stretch Michael and Jeff and prepare the workout for the healthy scratches for tonight. The wokout consists of Dumbbell Incline Chest press-2x12, Latpull-2x12, Upright row-2x12, Lunges-2x12, Leg Curl-2x12, In and Outs-2x12, MB Abs.-2x20, and Bike Workout-1200-5 min., 1200-1 min., 1200-30 sec. sprint, 1200-1 min., 1200-30 sec. sprint, 1500-1 min., 1500-30 sec. sprint, 1800-1 min., 1200-1 min., 2100-1 min., 1200-1 min.x5, cool-down. This was a typical game day for the NHL. Most people don't understand the day in and day out grind that athletes endure year to year in their respective sports. Not only is a NHL player expected to play every other night but also take care of off-ice responsibilities which could include up to 2 times per week strength training as well as extra cardiovascular training depending on the level of playing time that an individual is getting. Despite many opinions that it is not possible to make gains over the course of the ice hockey season it is quite the opposite. The off-ice plan must be carefully placed within games in order to not overtrain but at the same time making gains for each player. What does the plan look like? The above sample workout is typical of most of the in-season training that takes place in the NHL. Total body workout, 2 sets with most exercises involving double jointed exercises. The above workout, excluding the bike workout, would take about 20 minutes. Keep in mind that the abouve workout is for healthy scratches, not playing and not injured so they need extra cardiovascular training to keep up with the rest of the team that is playing a full game. I would like to add that alot of the training takes place post-game, which means in addition to playing a full NHL game the players are lifting from about 9:30pm to 9:50pm. That's dedication. Strenghcoach.

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