Exactly How Forwards & D Should Train During The Hockey Season
Exactly how much to train during the hockey season…
It can be tough to find the sweet spot for your in-season hockey training. You have games, practices, perhaps team training sessions and the rest of your hectic life to deal with. Some weeks you have lots of time to train, some weeks you struggle to keep up. So how should you prioritize your training.
The answer is simple and complex at the same time, but the key is finding the minimum effective dose. How much can you do to maintain or improve your speed and power without breaking down your body as the season wears on.
If you are trying to train the same way you did during the off-season, then you better keep reading for sure, you are WAY off base. What you are doing is almost as bad as doing nothing at all.
So here’s what you need and how much you should be doing…
You should be getting some sort of mobility training 4-5 times per week minimum, if you want to do it daily, even better.
This is a biggie, your speed is one of the first things you lose during the season and one of your key tools for success on the ice. You do not get much ‘speed training’ during your practices; they are typically more stamina based, so this is definitely a focus.
A lot of players make the mistake of lightening their loads during the season, using lighter weights and higher reps, this is NOT the training you need.
Keep the load heavy (as long as you have the base for it) and the reps low. Go for 2-3 sets of 2-6 reps for your big prime-mover exercises. It is okay to go lighter on your stabilizers as that is what they need – more endurance.
Get in at least two strength workouts per week. Keep the duration to 20-30 minutes
This goes hand in hand with the strength training. You need to tap into those high threshold fast twitch fibers, they are the high octane muscles you need to be more explosive.
During practice you are hopefully getting lots of opportunity to skate and run through systems, so go hard on those. Even if your team has a training session at the rink, you are probably doing circuits and maybe even running the stairs – this is stamina training, you should be getting enough of that.
So you will focus on your explosiveness. Plyometrics, accelerations and agility drills will form the foundation of this workout. I suggest putting it with your strength workout during the same session.
If the plyo or agility drill is lasting more than 10-seconds for the work phase (I try to keep it in the 6-second or less range), then you are getting away from training explosive power and moving into stamina-land.
So select 2-4 exercises that you will complete for two sets of 4-6 reps with a work interval of less than 8-seconds and a rest interval of 40-60 seconds. The rest does not need to be absolute rest, it can be relative rest where you work on skills or stabilization training.
In total your mobility, strength and speed session should last about 30-45-minutes.
If you cannot list off what you do for recovery, then you are not maximizing your performance throughout the season. You should at very least use a recovery ritual after your games and practices. This is how you maximize your performance during the next game or practice.
Some strategies can be as simple as foam rolling, contrast showers on your legs (one of the favourites from my In Season Hockey Solution program) or even breathing exercises.
These are the simple things that can give you a huge advantage over your competition. Some of them even know about these strategies, but neglect to do them because they seem too simple.
Let’s Put It All Together…
- Mobility 4-7 days per week
- Strength and Speed – 2-4 times per week for 30-45 minutes
- Recovery – at least 4 days per week
- Stamina – hopefully you are getting that during games and practices, but if you are spending most games on the bench, then you better do something to start turning that tide like THIS and you will need to do some HIIT training like THIS
There’s your recipe for success. If you are not sure exactly what exercises you should do during the season to maximize your strength, speed and stability, just click HERE.