Off-ice training tips for the hockey referee.

Hi Gang,

I had a request from a hockey ref for a few training tips that will help him keep up with the play, stay injury free and just like you players, he wants to move up to the pro level one day.  I have a lot of respect for what those guys do and how athletic they need to be to be great at their job, so here are a few suggestion.  Many of the suggestions are similar to those I will give hockey goalies and skaters, such as avoiding any machine based training other than cable columns.

Where the ref is different is their need for aerobic and anaerobic conditioning.  Where a skater gets to take a short break between their 30-45s shifts, the ref is out there the entire period.  He may not need to sprint as much as the players, but he needs to be moving and keeping up with the play.  Another difference is the need for upper body power and strength.  Naturally a ref needs the strength to put a firm hand on a player or step between two guys at the end of a fight, but they are not constantly battling in the corners.  So, here is my suggested circuit for refs which will help build aerobic and anaerobic conditioning and strength in about 40-minutes.

  1. Dynamic warm up for hockey
  2. Complete the following circuit completing each station for 20 seconds
  • Push Up – hands on a stability ball
  • Shuttle run back and forth between cones placed 15-25m apart – this gets you stopping and starting which is what really fatigues your legs. Just make sure you face the same way each time you change direction so you get practice decelerating and accelerating off each leg.
  • Glute bridge & hold – make sure you do not hyper-extend your back and keep your glutes contracted
  • Shuttle run between cones 15-25m apart
  • Rear foot elevated split squat – back foot on a bench, chair or step – performing a squat with most weight on the front leg (20 seconds each leg)
  • Shuttle run between cones 15-25m apart
  • Core plank & hold
  • Shuttle run between cones 15-25 m apart
  • Side plank x 20s each
  • Shuttle run between cones 15-25m apart
  • Cable, bungee or DB row
  • Shuttle run between cones 15-25m apart

Rest 2-3 minutes and then repeat the circuit.  Complete the circuit a total of 3 times.  After 2-3 weeks at 20 second intervals you can increase it to 30 second intervals.  Give yourself about 10 seconds to switch stations.  If you have an iPod touch or iPhone, then you need to download the UltraTimer which is the best circuit training timer I have found.

Can hockey players do circuits like this as well?  For sure, I think they are a good option for adult players who really want to continue playing at a high level – just make sure you are a regular exerciser before starting this type of workout because the shuttle runs will be very challenging and if you are not in decent shape you could end up injuring yourself.  You may also want to sign up for my 28-Day Fitness Challenge which is on my Revolution Conditioning website – it is 28 days of workouts (you get a few days off in there) but no workout takes longer than 30-minutes so it is good for people who want to get a great workout, but don’t have much time.  This program is not for beginners.  If you are interested, just head to Revolution Conditioning and fill in the green opt-in box on the right hand side.  Then you will get the link to the program – you will also go on that email list which is more for my clients at the Revolution studio, so if you are not interested in that stuff, you can just unsubscribe.

If you are hockey player who is still trying to get to the next level (or you want to train that way), then you need the HockeyStrong Training off-ice training system if you are a skater or my goalie specific off ice training program Ultimate Goalie Training.  I hope that gives you guys lots of options for training.  Hope the refs don’t embarrass you too bad next season after all their circuit training!