In this article, I’m going to teach you an extremely effective method to break through training plateaus and start making major gains in becoming an all-around faster skater – the Breakaway Speed System.
Any real expert in strength training understands that program design is as much an art as it is a science. Our newly released Breakaway Speed System is a program where the art and craftsmanship of program design shine through in a system that ends up looking deceptively simple.
You won’t find much common ground between this training program and others—at least, not as much as you might think.
Most experts or expert trainers will use variation within a training session to hit muscles from different angles using a wide variety of exercises in order to create a greater adaptation effect in the short term. This certainly can work—and has worked for many years. I’ve done it myself in most of my programming and training life.
However, very few experts ever really look at designing a program that specifically employs the variation idea as the intention of the whole program, instead employing a form of periodization where you switch exercise selection from one phase to the next, changing exercises every month or so.
The Breakaway Speed System is a program I designed with a much longer-term vision than just thinking from one phase to the next. Instead, this program sets you up for a lifetime of better hockey-specific speed gains.
This Program is Not for Everyone
First, let me clarify that this program is not for everyone.
This program is for the hockey player who is serious about improving their performance and is willing to put in consistent, hard work over a 30-day period to slingshot their speed gains forward. It’s for the athletes who are looking to break through their current speed plateau and have already tried the usual training strategies to do so.
As any hockey player understands, you can only spend so long doing the basics until you start seeing your progress within your dryland training begin to slow down (or even come to a halt). It takes longer and longer to make even small gains in quality, noticeable speed development.
This program is the only program I know of that takes the cumulative effect of the plateaued hockey player into consideration. It is all about incorporating as much variation as possible to induce a slingshot effect down the road for the next few programs you will do following this one.
As you become more advanced, this is the kind of strategy you need to continue to make significant progress within your hockey training.
However, I don’t want you to think this style of programming is only for advanced adults: this type of programming is for any serious hockey player (whether youth or adult) who is ready to put in the work and use the most advanced speed training tools in the world to progress their speed on the ice.
Slingshot Past Your Speed Plateau
Most training experts seem to agree (within reason) about the general amount of training volume that is commonly needed for dryland hockey performance training.
But herein lies the problem: the hockey player who is currently plateaued in their development is one who has been down the training road before and the “common” approaches to training are something that is moreso foundational in their daily routine rather than constructive within their daily routine.
The truth is, training progress will plateau for everyone at some point, and it’s always extremely frustrating. So while it’s mostly smart to stick to the most recognized formats, the plateaued hockey player needs something different.
As the old saying goes: If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.
The Breakaway Speed System is the program you need to employ once your gains have plateaued in order to slingshot past and deliberately exceed your target.
What does this mean? Well, think about how a slingshot works: you pull back on it at first, and this backwards pulling actually creates forward momentum. Eventually, you create so much tension by pulling back that when you finally release the sling, it shoots much farther than you could have thrown it on your own.
In other words, you create backward tension in order to create incredible forward momentum as a result. That is the exact intent of the Breakaway Speed System: it is all about deliberately overshooting and exceeding your target upfront so that you can slingshot past your plateau.
The secret of this program, then, is that it sets your body up to absolutely explode in speed development once you let go of the slingshot and blast forward during the Recovery Booster, which is your final four-day taper and peaking phase (more on this later).
Using Variation to Blast through Hockey Speed Plateaus
There are two key parts to the Breakaway Speed System that make it work so well:
- High-level speed training equipment (Edge Work Enhancer Ladder, Hockey Reaction Ball, and Explosive Speed Rings)
- Extreme training variation
Utilizing the speed training kit in combination with the careful approach to training variation puts you in a state to slingshot past your current plateau.
The Hockey Speed Kit and Breakaway Speed System keeps what’s foundationally sound within sports science but amplifies the approach to exercise variation for a short time period to deliberately exceed your target.
Not many experts would advocate switching up your exercise selection for every single workout across an entire month of programming—and normally, neither would I.
But thinking outside the box and considering the special requirements of a hockey player’s long-term development is required of advanced program design strategies to blast through plateaus.
Traditional approaches that seek to bust through plateaus frequently overtrain the hockey player, whereas the Breakaway Speed System gives you a lot of volume for a short period but doesn’t run the same overtraining risk because of two primary reasons:
1. The program exceeds the normal target of exercises per movement pattern per day, but the utilization of variation keeps your joints healthy by avoiding repetitive injury strains.
2. Since you’re changing your workout every time you train, you never run into the same psychological burn-out that you might have on another program.
This effective combination keeps your physical body feeling good and your mental approach to training exciting and fun. Both kids and adults love this approach because you’re never just “clocking in and clocking out” of workouts; instead, you’re always doing something new and fun.
Not only will you become faster and break through a plateau during this type of training, but you will also respond better to the next training programs that follow because you will be fully recovered—and what was once “foundational” will now be new again because you have been doing something completely different for the past 30 days.
Not many experts design programs with that thought in mind, nor do they think that long term. They’ll do periodization within the span of a single program, but they won’t think about these smaller details and why they would massively benefit a hockey player who goes through multiple different “seasons” per year (pre-season, in-season, post-season, off-season).
But if you’re serious about becoming an elite hockey player, all of these seemingly small details are extremely important.
Experts Live Outside of the Box
This particular program is simple, and it’s been an ace up my sleeve for a long, long time. I’ve had some very advanced athletes love this style of programming and it did exactly what it was intended to do: break through long-standing plateaus and reach new levels of speed, conditioning, and agility.
In order to succeed and maximize your genetic bandwidth, you have to be the kind of programming expert who can look outside the box and not stay trapped in “the way it’s always been done.”
Trust me: I know an overshoot program built on the foundation of variation is not even close to what your local personal training textbook will teach you.
I’m fine with that.
Pure exercise science and research has its problems. The populations studied are typically small (often fewer than 20–30 people in the group). Furthermore, these people usually represent the completely under-trained general population for whom any stress is adaptive.
This is a poor way to study the specific performance demands of a hockey player and completely excludes any questions regarding complete program design and adaptations for someone that advances over the course of the in-season and off-season and has run into a plateau in development.
Even among real, in-the-trenches experts that I know and respect, one of the biggest dangers they face is to be locked into one single, particular way of seeing and doing things.
Real-world application of knowledge is different from a textbook understanding of knowledge: it’s about knowing and embracing the subtle nuances and distinctions of hockey-specific training that make many approaches to performance much more effective than just one broad stroke approach for everybody.
Programming to blast through hockey performance plateaus can—and must—utilize variations in volume, intensity, and exercise selection over longer time-frame considerations, simply because advanced plateau-busting adaptation takes place over longer time frames.
This is why the Breakaway Speed System is not just looking at the next 30 days (even though you will see results that fast) but is also looking at improving the adaptations of your next program(s)—because we want your adaptive response to last months, not just weeks.
Specific Breakaway Speed System Strategy
It isn’t just the volume of work, but the quality of training that’s important.
This program deliberately manipulates volume and variation in order to produce a slingshot effect of adaptation in both the acute and cumulative sense (in this phase and in the next one[s]).
You’re going to train speed, agility, and conditioning hard three times per week.
Ideally, you would put these on their own day entirely and not perform any other intense training on the same day (although active recovery methods would be allowed).
On the days you don’t do speed, agility, or conditioning work, you would perform further active recovery methods and/or resistance training.
Although blasting through speed/agility/conditioning is the prime focus of this program, it’s important to back off from your resistance training and allow your body to better recover from (and therefore, make more progress in) your speed, conditioning, and agility workouts.
Because of this, you should only be performing 2–3 total body resistance training sessions per week.
With all of that said, this is how your typical weekly schedule on this program would look:
Breakaway Speed System Weekly Schedule:
Day 1: Speed Workout + Active Recovery
Day 2: Resistance Training + Active Recovery
Day 3: Conditioning Workout + Active Recovery
Day 4: Resistance Training + Active Recovery
Day 5: Agility Training + Active Recovery
Day 6: Off (or) Active Recovery
Day 7: Off (or) Active Recovery
Each of the speed, agility, and conditioning sessions must be performed at a high output of both volume and intensity and ideally also use advanced speed training equipment, such as the Edge Work Enhancer Ladder, Explosive Speed Rings, and Hockey Reaction Ball.
Example Breakaway Speed System Workout
Here is an example workout so you can get an idea about what types of drills you need to be utilizing and what intensity/volume is required:
*When designing your own Breakaway Speed System workouts, you must consider all three pillars of unstoppable speed and train both your mind and your body. For a complete breakdown of this methodology, see this article.
**The above workout is Speed Workout #4, which is taken directly from the brand new Breakaway Speed System
30-Day Programming Schedule
To run the plateau-busting Breakaway Speed System properly, you must have your entire 30-day challenge planned out in advance.
With the above weekly schedule and information on workout design, you now understand the overshoot aspect of the programming.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the second key factor in this successful program: the variation of exercise selection.
Every single workout you do will be different in design all month long, but the goal of each training session and the total volume will still be identically controlled. So your sets/reps will be identical from one workout to the next, but the exercise selection and exercise order of your daily workouts will change every single time you do a dryland session.
Because of this, your monthly schedule will look like either one of these two options:
Breakaway Speed System Base Schedule
Looking to add in more training? Check out the Boosted Schedule below.
Breakaway Speed System Boosted Schedule
As you can see above, even though your schedule and calculated training volume stay the same all month long, the variation of your workout design changes every single week for all three training goals (speed, agility, conditioning).
When you incorporate variation into every single session, you don’t have to walk the edge of injury, overtraining, or burnout—even when purposely doing an overshoot approach like this one.
For three main reasons:
- Psychological: Much of the exhausted burnout feeling you get at the end of a program is due to the psychological monotony of doing the same thing every day, rather than because of true physical overtraining. By changing your workout every time you do a dryland session, things are always fresh and training becomes much more fun and much less boring.
- Joint health: This program allows you to go as hard as you want but avoid the typical wear and tear that doing the same exercise all the time causes. It lets you move at maximum velocities but changes the angle of order of contractions from week to week to help avoid repetitive stress injuries.
- Active recovery: One glance at the above schedule tells you that although we train hard this month, we also recover hard. Active recovery strategies allow you to recover at a faster rate from training and push your total weekly training volume to the limits.
The above three-point combination creates the perfect storm, because your active recovery methods allow you to accelerate the rate at which you repair the muscular and nervous system post training, but the variation aspect allows your joints to feel great all month long.
This leaves you feeling fully rejuvenated for each training session (due to active recovery) and also prevents inflamed/injured joints that wouldn’t allow you to move at maximum velocities or achieve maximum fiber recruitment during an overshoot phase (due to the variation).
The best part?
You’ll be performing not just a high quantity of training, but your training will also be extremely high quality due to the complete avoidance of boredom (since you’ll be doing something different all month long).
Training Smarter for Better Hockey Results
The above information on how to construct your 30-Day Breakaway Speed System must be followed without alteration.
If workouts are poorly planned or incorrectly performed, you may not improve and your performance may continue to stagnate. This is increasingly true the more advanced you become.
I say this to note that even though this program is an overshoot, it’s not just about training hard: you need to train smart.
I also want to re-emphasize that this program is suitable for all ages and ability levels, but it must be done correctly to get the desired result.
In my opinion, the sign of a really excellent hockey training coach is one who can design a program that places great demands on the hockey player yet produces progressive long-term improvement without soreness or injury or the athlete ever feeling thoroughly burnt out.
Anyone can create a program so demanding it would burn out even the most elite hockey players, but the key is to create a tough, hockey-specific program that produces real gains in performance without any unnecessary pain.
Additionally, biology teaches us that we not only respond in the short term to a stimulus but also adapt in the long term to the sum total of stimuli we are presented with, so long as we are able to recover.
The idea of creating anything to become horrendously fatigued only appeals to the short-thinking mind and not the long-term hockey career. In other words, anyone can ego train and anyone can “survive” a brutal workout. But that doesn’t have anything to do with programming with a specific purpose.
Training smart yet hard at the same time is a whole different level of intelligent training.
I call it “staying in the pocket”: if you can maintain this mindset over the course of the 30-day schedule, you’re going to be a completely different athlete by the time it’s done.
If you’re a serious hockey player who is ready to take their entire game to the next level by utilizing the Breakaway Speed System and incorporating the three most powerful hockey-specific training tools, then now is the time to take action.
The above information can be utilized to create a complete speed training program to improve your all-around hockey performance, but if you want a complete “done-for-you” solution, the all-new 30-Day Breakaway Speed System was designed to take all of the guesswork out of it so you can use this methodology in the exact same way I would for an NHL athlete.
This complete hockey toolkit includes the Edge Work Enhancer Ladder, Explosive Speed Rings, Hockey Reaction Ball, and the brand-new 30-Day Breakaway Speed System that you can perform no matter what age you are or what access to equipment you currently have.
Remember, if your hockey performance isn’t great right now, it’s not your fault.
Real progress comes from real hockey-specific training, and this type of plateau-busting programming only comes from a hockey performance specialist who is able to think outside the box and get you the exact program you need as a dedicated hockey player.
You can’t find hockey-specific results in a non-hockey-specific program, and this is something rarely talked about in the hockey world.
Most people just exercise, yet after going through this article you can start to see how “exercising” makes up a very small portion of what true training you should be doing to get NHL-like results.
The days of just hoping you will become a better hockey player are over: get instant access to the Breakaway Speed System here so you can leave fans, coaches and scouts in awe of how much progress you have made in a single month of training.
One final caveat that I should mention here in terms of program design and program purpose is that this type of training method should be used sparingly.
(I am only referring to the Breakaway Speed System when I say to use it sparingly. The Edge Work Enhancer Ladder, Explosive Speed Rings, and Hockey Reaction Ball are all tools that you can—and should—use year ’round.)
Just because something works extremely well doesn’t mean it will work forever—nor is it designed to.
The purpose of the Breakaway Speed System is to break through training plateaus and take your speed, agility, and conditioning to the “next level” of development.
Because of this, you want to keep this program up your sleeve as a plateau-busting tool that you only pull out once or twice per year. Even when it is used, 30 days would be the absolute limit you would want to run this system for.
This is exactly why every Hockey Speed Kit includes an integration manual that teaches our athletes how to integrate the tools and drills into the more foundational Off-Season Domination, Youth Off-Season, and Men’s League Domination/Annihilation programs here at Hockey Training.
Having access to the best speed training tools in combination with a program that is specifically built to turn you into the best version of yourself out on the ice is exactly why I think joining the team and picking up a Hockey Speed Kit is a no-brainer for every serious hockey player out there.
If you’re ready to work hard and you’re in agreement with all of the methodology I laid out for you in this article, then check this out and let’s dominate this year!