How Players Go From Skinny-Fat to Lean, Mean NHL Machines
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The Hockey News ran a cool article on NHL players' off-season training.
Strength and conditioning coaches Ben Prentiss (trainer to guys like Jonathan Quick, Max Pacioretty, James van Riemsdyk) and Matt Nichol (Tyler Seguin, Wayne Simmonds, Mike Cammalleri, etc.) chimed in with some interesting facts:
- The best hockey is played when the players are in their worst shape of the year in the playoffs
- Guys enter the off-season bruised, battered, and beaten from the game
- They have lost muscle mass and strength, their body fat has gone up during the season, resulting in a "skinny-fat" appearance
- Their hormones are out of whack due to travel, pre-game coffees and energy drinks, stress, low vitamin D levels, and going to bed at odd hours in the AM
- The focus of the first part of the summer is just getting healthy
- A nutritional detox is applied; this includes a high-fat diet with fish, nuts, eggs, avocados, coconut oil, lots of water and cutting out all sugars
- Players spend a considerable amount of time in saunas, hot tubs and on a massage table working out the kinks in their bodies
- Many won't go near a dumbbell or barbell for the first couple of weeks in the summer; instead, they work on breathing, proper posture and mobility
All of that, of course, is just the beginning.
Then it's time for the real work to commence.
To build that size and strength for next season.
Here's the training program hundreds of elite junior, college and pro hockey players trust to turn into lean, mean machines in the off-season:
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