Simple Training and Nutrition Tips for Young Hockey Players

Now that I’m fully back on the writing saddle after a four-month hiatus from the blog at the beginning of this year, I’ve begun receiving more training related questions again.

A few days ago, I found an email in my inbox from a young hockey player seeking my advice on nutrition and off-ice training.

Crosby goal

Here’s the email (edited slightly for clarity and to protect privacy):

“Dear Yunus,

I was wondering if you could help me out.

I am a 16-year-old hockey player. I am contacting you for some advice for working out over the summer as a hockey player.

I live [on the East Coast] so unfortunately I cannot train with you however; I was hoping you could help me out with my training. I am small for my age (5’4) but height is overrated and I know you know because you saw numerous small hockey players at Ben Prentiss’s gym.

My goal this summer is to get bigger, stronger, and most importantly faster. I have learned that no matter how hard you work in the gym if you do not eat right you will not see the results you want.

This brings me to my first question, what is considered a good protein recovery shake?

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One Simple Trick for Increased Exercise Volume

Anderson Squat

As strength & conditioning coach Mike Boyle is fond of saying: “In the fitness industry, common sense is not very common.”

I was once again reminded of this in the middle of my own training session yesterday.

Normally, I pay zero attention to what other people are doing in the gym, as I’ve noticed reminiscing about Jessica Alba’s underwater scenes in Into the Blue in the midst of a rest period keeps my blood pressure relatively within the accepted norms as opposed to having to witness yet another leg press-knee extension-lying leg curl training session that seems to be the go-to lower body workout for almost every personal trainer and their clients in town.

Jessica Alba_into the blue

See? I told ya that was an Oscar-worthy performance by Jessica. If only I knew how to Photoshop myself in there and become that creepy white guy groping those tight little buttocks palpating her hip rotators, I think I could die happy…

But as I recovered from my R-rated, heavily Jessica Alba-influenced thoughts for a thorough look at the peeps training at the half-empty gym, it suddenly dawned on me that almost nobody uses supersets (sets combining opposite muscle groups/movement patterns) in their strength training sessions.

Why should this matter? Continue Reading

I Have Ebola!

Well not really… But I do have a new job!

I recently started as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for a youth hockey organization in Espoo, Finland – which means I’m responsible for designing and carrying out all their off-ice training sessions in preparation for and during the upcoming hockey season.


To say I’m happy about this opportunity to teach proper training and lifting habits to young athletes is like saying Jessica Alba all dolled up, flashing a peachy smile and a generous amount of cleavage looks kinda nice – a gigantic understatement.


On that note, I realize I’ve been severely underperforming on the writing front this year. My goal is to turn the tables around and start pumping out some fresh new content ASAP.

With that in mind, the direction of this site will take a new turn as well. I’ll be writing more about strength training for hockey players and youth athletes while also throwing in the occasional article for the gen pop out there.

I’ve got a few cool plans and projects scheduled for 2015, so be sure to check back here on the site regularly.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with what has the potential of being the dopest new movie release of the summer…

10 Christmas Gift Ideas for Those Who Lift

A few more nights left until December 24… and I’d venture a guess that there still are a few gifts that need to be bought before it’s time to attack that juicy roast turkey and ’em delicious jam pastries?

This Christmas, do yourself and the lifter/meathead in your friend/family member/significant other a favor by forgoing the Calvin Klein long johns, cheap imported vodka and Mariah Carey concert tickets that typically only generate a lukewarm reaction upon unwrapping a much awaited holiday present, and opt for one (or more) of the items on this list instead.

1. Medicine Ball

Med ball

A great tool for developing upper body explosiveness.

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Elite Hockey Strength Training Interview

I had the chance to appear on the popular Lepopäivä podcast with my buddies Jaska and Antti last week.

We discussed several topics related to training hockey players, from juniors to the pros, namely:

 Improving strength, explosiveness and body composition

 Reducing injury risk

 Off-season strength training program design for 14-16-year-olds

 And much, much more that I learned during my internships at Prentiss Hockey Performance and Endeavor Sports Performance

Check it out!

(The interview is in Finnish)

5 Lessons I Learned About Training Youth Athletes at Endeavor Sports Performance

It’s been five weeks since my internship at Endeavor Sports Performance – the premier strength & conditioning facility for hockey players in the NJ/PA/DE area – came to an end.


During a typical week I had the chance to coach and work with dozens of athletes from various sports – mostly hockey players but there were some wrestlers, baseball, lacrosse and soccer players in the mix as well.

One of the teams I got to work with was the Philadelphia Flyers U20 team playing in the USPHL.

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Research Corner November 2014 – How to Optimize Creatine Supplementation For Enhanced Strength and Muscle Gains?

Among a wide variety of mass gainers, fat boosters, diet pills and other bogus supplements, the one sports supplement that has been shown to actually work time and time again rarely gets featured in the limelight.


Today we’re going to take a cold, hard look at the facts behind this one product that does enhance athletic performance – and the best part is, it won’t set you back financially by a fortune unlike many of the other supplements on the market with exceptional marketing tactics but woefully inadequate impact on strength levels and body composition.

Enter creatine.

What Creatine?

Creatine is the most well researched supplement out there, with numerous studies showcasing its efficacy regarding increases in strength, power and muscle mass. [1-5]

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