Why Use Sets & Reps For Hockey Training

Hope you had an awesome weekend gang. It has been super hot in Southern Ontario for the last couple weeks (sorry to my friends on the west coast) so the hill run with my hockey group on Saturday morning was punishing to say the least. It was about 23C when I left home for the hill which is a very short bike ride away. That was at about 7:45am. By the time I got home just after 9am it was already 27C with lots of humidity.

A day at the beach.

We cut the workout in half and gave extra rest in the shadiest spot we could find and the group did awesome. I was really impressed with how hard they worked and the fact that not one athlete complained about the heat – not once. Amazing group.

After that it was home to cut the grass and then take my Mom out to run some errands and stop off for lunch – we had a great visit.

Sunday after working in the morning Paul and I headed up to the beach for some stand up paddleboarding – it was pretty windy and wavy at the beach yesterday, but the temperature had cooled a bit so it was a really pleasant 24C. The waves were so big that I actually surfed on part of the way in – it was a great time.

So now back to business and I am going to answer a question I had a few weeks ago from my friend Bill who asked me why we do sets and reps when we workout – why can we just do all of them at once? Does it matter?
Why We Use Sets & Reps For Dryland Hockey Training

I can answer this question very simply and then I will give you a little more detail. Simply, if you went to the doctor with a sore throat and your doctor wrote you a prescription for two weeks of antibiotic, would you take all of the pills at once? I certainly hope not.

Sets and reps are kind of like a prescription making sure you get the right amount of an exercise to give you the desired benefit. This will depend on the phase of training and the muscle groups you are trying to train. A rep is the completion of one single cycle of any exercise from start to finish, so if I am squatting, one rep is lowering down into the bottom of the squat and standing up again (returning to the starting position).

One set is the completion of the desired number of repetitions. So if my goal was 6 repetitions of squats; when I had completed all six, that would constitute one set. Typically a program includes 2-4 sets of any given exercise with a specific rest interval, which is also part of the prescription which should be followed.

If you are trying to build Max Strength (the phase of the off season right now) then for your big mover muscles (called prime movers) you should be lifting very heavy loads for only 2-6 reps with lots of rest between each set.

Let’s look at that in a little more detail…

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Goalie Specific Cardio Training

Goalie Specific Cardio Training

I had a question over the weekend from someone asking about goalie specific cardio training. This goalie felt like their conditioning let them down last season, so they were looking for me to tell them what they should do when they go to the gym to ride the bike.

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Happy Birthday Canada!

 Today is actually one of my favourite holidays – Canada Day – the day we celebrate the birth of our country.  We typically do this by going to the beach…

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Bottom Up Hip & Knee – Advanced

Bottoms Up Training: The Advanced Knee and Hip

When I created the ‘basic’ version of this series, I mentioned that it was really hard to talk about the knee without talking about the ankle and the hip. In fact, you come across a lot of athletes with knee pain (luckily fewer of them are hockey players), but the knee really is not to blame. The knee just takes the brunt of crappy mechanics from the hip and ankle.

Since we already discussed advanced ankle strategies HERE, I am going to go ahead and discuss the knee in relation to the hip.

You see, as I mentioned before, the knee is a hinge joint; for the most part it just wants to bend and straighten. In fact, I would wager that none of you have ever injured your MCL without some sort of traumatic force – like a skater falling on you when you were in you vulnerable position like a butterfly or without going down awkwardly with your bodyweight behind you.

Probably more than a few of you have sprained your ankle by stepping off a curb the wrong way, (heck, I know someone who tore their Achilles tendon doing this) but I am thinking very few have torn their MCL this way.

In the basic version I talked mainly about mobility of the knee – flexion and extension and having full range of motion. We talked about it as it relates to the squat pattern.

Today I am going to give you 3 exercises that will help you progress to that symbol of the hip, knee and ankle working together in concert – the single leg squat to thigh parallel. Now, before I get started, let me remind you that some of us do not have knees that will allow us to safely do this exercise anymore.

Some of you adult goalies may have arthritis in your knees from wear and tear and the risk:reward ratio for you may be pretty slim so I would suggest you stay away. If you have an injury to a meniscus in your knee, then you should shy away from this one until you are sufficiently recovered and cleared by your physician or sport physiotherapist.

Finally, I will remind you that you must have mastered the skills from the basic version before you even think of moving on to this advanced version. Okay, here we go…

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Goalie Off-Ice Circuit You Can Do At Home

Hope you had a wicked weekend and happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there. This weekend marked the kick off of the dreaded Saturday morning hill runs for the hockey players at Revolution Conditioning. They did an awesome job and I think they actually enjoy themselves.

I just got an email from one of the players in my Elite Goalie Strength & Conditioning program and here is the scoop – he is away from his home base at a goalie camp for the next two weeks. He is 16 and for some reason the gym is only for athletes who are 17 years of age and older, so he is now away from a gym for two weeks.

Notice how he did not let it go for days and days before letting me know – he let me know right away – that email came through at 6:51am today! This is what I love about the athletes in the Elite Goalie Strength and Conditioning program – they are so committed to their success.

Anyway, here is a quick workout that any of you can do at any time – all you need is a dumbbell or a bungee cord for the rowing exercise and you are good to go. My suggestion is to do 15-30 seconds of each exercise and repeat 2-4 cycles (for my EGSC guy that would be 4 cycles + I will send you some other specific energy system work)

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5 Upper Body Exercises for Hockey Goalies

An Open Letter to Your Pecs & Pipes

Dear Pecs & Pipes,

I would like to sincerely apologize for neglecting you over the last few months. I hope you did not misunderstand and think that I was ignoring you on purpose or that I don’t value your contribution to keeping the puck out of the net.

Not only do you look good at the beach, you also are vital to every goalies’ success. You help maintain a stable shoulder girdle so they can make those great glove saves without having an anterior dislocation or rotator cuff tear.

I hope you will accept the following video as a token of my affection.

In this video you will see five of my favourite upper body exercises for goalies including:

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Use these strategies to reduce your risk of groin injury.

The hockey off-season is not only a key time for goalies to build strength and speed, it is also the best time to work on your injury reduction strategies. Notice I call them ‘injury reduction’ strategies and not injury prevention. The fact is that not all injuries can be prevented, but we can do a lot to reduce the risk of getting one. Today’s video will focus on strategies to help hockey goalies reduce their risk of groin injury. After the video I have a detailed breakdown of sets and reps for you.

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The lost video & 5 definitive exercises for every goalie training program

Hope you had a great weekend – Paul and I were up to Blue Mountain (a ski resort in Collingwood, ON) for the Met Con Blue Adventure Race. It rained all day on Friday, so the cross country course was a mud pit – it was crazy fun. Basically it was a 5km run (66% uphill) with 13 obstacles like – climbing an 8 foot wall, monkey bars over a water pit, jumping over a fire, a big slip and slide into a mud pit, etc. It was pretty tiring, but loads of fun.

Before I give you the 5 definitive exercises for every goalie training program, I see that when I switched servers, the post that went with the sample off-season workout video was lost, so here is the video anyway….

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Your off-season hockey training should focus on your strengths. Here’s why.

I was talking with one of the players I work with the other day about his off season hockey training and we were musing at how some smaller players spend their entire off-season trying to get bigger, while some of the bigger more fierce players spend their entire summer trying to get smaller and quicker.

Ultimately any player wants to be big enough, fast enough and agile enough. All of them need to be fit enough to compete for an entire 60-minutes plus some. But there are different types of players with different roles.

Yes, we all admire the small, quick hockey player who gets into the corners and digs at the puck, but that is not their primary job. Their job is to get that space from their opponent to either set up a scoring chance or capitalize on one.

The big guy is not out there for his finesse, he is out there to lay a lickin’ on the opponent, to dig in the corners, to stand in front of their goalie and wreak havoc in that way.

Again, the ideal is to be big, strong, fast AND have mad skills, it just does not happen all that often.

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Q&A: Cardio Training for Hockey Goalies

Hope your day is off to a great start. After my meeting with Bedros, Craig and the rest of the crew in San Diego I changed my flight to a red eye into Detroit via Atlanta. Although sleeping overnight on a plane is never fun, it got me into DTW at 9:30am rather than my original flight which would have had me arriving at 6:45pm + the 2.75 hour drive to get me home sweet home.

So, yesterday was a bit of a write off, but I did get to visit my Mom on Mother’s Day, so I know she enjoyed that.

The meetings and workshops were great – I learned a lot and left with my marching orders for the next 30 and 90-days. It helps so much to know that I will be held accountable to my coaches and my fellow group members. From workshop to workshop we have to show what we have accomplished and I sure don’t want to be the one who shows up and all I have to talk about is how much time I have spent thinking about what I am ‘gonna do’. I always want to show what I have done. That’s DONE like dinner.

So if you are still plotting in your head how awesome your off-season training is gonna be and how fit you are gonna be next season – let’s try this – do something today to move yourself forward. You get results with DONE. As I mentioned last week, we spend a lot of money to be in that group and some still show up to talk about what they want to do. Some of you are the same – maybe you have purchased the pro-style Ultimate Goalie Training 2.0 and it has done nothing but sit on your computer until today – do at least one flexibility module and get it DONE.

Okay – on to the business at hand – this is a response to a question sent in by one of you – – you may end up being sorry you asked. Here is more than you ever wanted to know about cardio training for hockey goalies (this is what I call energy system training).
Cardio Training For Hockey Goalies

I had a question from a long time subscriber Trevor last week who asked for an article on the energy systems used by hockey goalies and how exactly they work. His scenario was something like this – he spent lots of his after work hours doing home renovation work and then had late evening games with his men’s league team.

What he found was that he was getting pooped by the time the third period rolled around. One of the solutions he offered for this was to skip his warm-up as a means of conserving his energy for the game (I think he already sensed that this was probably not the best solution).

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