Off-season training has much more play-room in the amount of time you have to gain a certain quality from a training phase than in-season. For example you can work 3 weeks exclusively on endurance, or 8 weeks exclusively on power output, and so on.
In this scenario, you have as much time to play around with your program design as much as you want to meet your individual needs.
In-season we don’t have that type of luxury. In-season, our main objective is to maintain everything that you earned in the off-season and progress on any area that we can while keeping you healthy, injury free and full of energy for your games. This means keeping up your strength, size, power output, aerobic / anaerobic capacity and agility all within the same system.
This can only be done with professionally designed hockey training program and periodization. Periodization is science behind the order in which your phases come and the primary focuses of each phase. Proper periodization drives training phases to benefit from going one to the other, as opposed to random selection.
This is a big problem most people endure. They pick which training plan they want to run next. As opposed to having a systematic order proven by science to bring continuous improvement from week to week. Picking random programs is what we call “pinballing” between plans because it’s random selection with no real targeted outcome.
Whereas periodization takes all of the “unknown” right out of it and it is truly periodization that separates which athletes are training and which athletes are just exercising. Let’s take a look at the definition of each:
Training: The process of producing a specific physical adaptation over time. Workouts are the constituent components of a training program; exercises are the constituent components of a workout. Workouts within a training program are important because of the effect they have on the process. Strength training is the process by which an increase in force production capacity is developed.
Exercise: Physical activity done for the effect it produces today, e.g. hot, sweaty, tired, and sore. A workout done to make oneself feel productive, just because the workout got done. Not to be confused with an exercise, which is a movement pattern done within a workout. Exercise is just fine for non-athletes.
There’s a big difference here.
With training you’re targeted, and when you’re targeted you improve your performance on the ice. Which is why the proper periodized strength training is the best method to utilize while training during the competitive season.
Properly incorporating all athletic training adaptations into one well designed unit so it is not segmented into different phases. This is important because in-season you are much more susceptible to losing off-season progress which is why we have to train all methods to maintain and improve.
Training all methods includes using a wide variety of exercises, movements, rep ranges and overall training volume. The workouts are designed to incorporate all off-season training phases into one system plus a few new tricks up my sleeve to keep you at peak performance for the whole season as opposed to just dropping training once the season starts and slowly digressing from your athletic potential.
For the purpose of understanding your periodization and our primary goals, here’s an outline of a professional hockey strength coaches point of view on to how to best optimize hockey performance from a goal setting perspective in the gym.
OFFICIAL AND LEAGUE COMPETITIONS
• Sport-Specific preparations
• Specific speed
• Reactive agility
• Maximal strength
• Conversion of power
• Maintenance and improvement of muscle mass and both power and strength
• Mental skills to cope with opponents
• Stress management
• Mental rehearsal
• Positive self-talk
• Fluctuates according to competitive schedule and team travel
• Moderate protein
• High carbohydrate
• Moderate fat
• Targeted, research proven performance enhancing supplementation
Check out our Hockey Training Videos for more information on how to train properly as a hockey player to help increase your performance.