When to Use a Weight Vest for Off-ice Training.

Will the Leafs ever win another hockey game?  You know when most teams fire their coach and they turn on the jets for at least a couple of games?  Maybe that is to prove that it really was the coach’s fault – see, we are winning now that we are rid of THAT guy 🙂

At least Team RevCon athlete Matt Halischuk and the Winnipeg Jets are playing their hearts out night after night and getting some nice wins in return – gives me something to cheer for!

Does this vest make me look JACKED?

A weight vest can be a great tool for improving strength, power or stamina. But it is often used in the wrong way, so let’s clarify exactly when you should use a weight vest for your off-ice training.

Maybe we should start with when not to use the weight vest.

I don’t think you get much (if any) benefit from wearing a weight vest to do your sprints. Doing so will increase your ground contact time, thus making you slower when you are supposed to be training for speed.

It will make it harder, by loading you vertically, but the direction of force we are focusing on with sprints is horizontal. So if you want to overload your sprints, then start pushing the sled.

Where weight vests have value

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I like using the weight vest for squat jumps or box hop ups onto a low or medium box. I don’t mind them for lateral hops, knee recovery lateral push (which we talked about HERE) or the Step-Cross-Stick drill. With the vertical drills the vest adds pure overload in the vertical plane, so you could achieve a similar outcome by holding dumbbells, the weight vest allows your hands to be free.

For the lateral movement drills, it increases the momentum as you drive from side to side. This increases the deceleration/acceleration load on legs, but also requires more work from the torso to support and stabilize with the added load of the vest.


The vests we use at Revolution are 45lbs and this is way too heavy for power and agility training. It is great for doing strength exercises like single leg squats when our players cannot physically old enough load in their hands with dumbbells (yes, that happens).

So we remove some of the weight from the vest taking it down to the 10lbs range to start and then working up to as much as 20-25lbs overload.


How to get a new goalie or skater specific workout each month.

You are ready to improve your fitness, drop a few pounds of flab, replace those with muscle and finally discover how it feels to play hard for an entire game without feeling like your legs were filled with cement.