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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