Strength & Conditioning World Tour 2014 - Part 4: Boston, MA

Strength & Conditioning World Tour 2014 – Part 4: Boston, MA

After the Perform Better Summit in Providence, my journey on the U.S. East Coast took me to Boston.

On my first day in the city I headed into the Sports Museum after a great early morning training session at the Charles River playground, which is a small park with various pull-up bars and other implements that allow joggers and other trainees to get in some bodyweight action while enjoying the beautiful Charles River scenery.

The Sports Museum is located neatly inside TD Garden where the Bruins play their home games.

View from the nosebleed section at TD Garden

View from the nosebleed section at TD Garden

The Bruins are one of the most exciting teams to watch in today’s NHL and as an organization their history is filled with great players and unforgettable moments.

For me, the 70’s Bruins that won the Cup twice represents the perfect blend of offensive-minded hockey and a physical playing style that was matched only by the Broad Street Bullies in intensity and aggressiveness.

While the Bruins had the fifth best goal-scorer in NHL history leading the offense in Phil Esposito during that era, I still have a hard time comprehending how unbelievably dominant the greatest defenseman ever to play the game of hockey, Bobby Orr, was in his prime.

He won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading point scorer. No other defender has ever done that; Orr got the Art Ross not once, but twice.

Orr had six straight 100+ points seasons. The last time a D-man broke the 100-point barrier was in the 1991-92 season as Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers pulled that feat off.

Orr’s best single season point total ended up being 139 – during that campaign he also amassed over 100 ASSISTS. For comparison’s sake, the last time ANY player matched Orr’s 139 points during regular season play occurred in 1995-96 when Mario Lemieux and the long, black Czech mullet also known as Jaromir Jagr were tearing up defenses like loose leaf paper. So even with some outstanding players like Joe Sakic, Eric Lindros, Peter Forsberg or Sidney Crosby, we’ve gone nearly 20 seasons since then without anybody coming close to Bobby’s numbers.

Oh, and did I also mention Orr was known as a player who didn’t choke when the pressure was amped up in the playoffs? Much the opposite of great regular season players like Alex Ovechkin and Joe Thornton, Orr was never in a hurry to board a plane to Cancun for a nice beach vacation after an early first-round exit in the post-season, evidenced by his two Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP from the Bruins’ two successful Cup runs.

Now that I’ve made my man crush on Bobby Orr unquestionably evident, you’ll realize why I’m posting this picture of me below emitting some quite laid-back vacation vibes as #4 is flying in the background after having scored the most famous goal in NHL history that clinched the 1970 Stanley Cup for the Bruins – and not only because I look studly in the pic (though that is a significant factor). I’m just hoping some magic will rub off on me for being in the presence of greatness.

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On Wednesday I had some time to kill at North Station before visiting Cressey Performance. I went on a shopping spree at the adjacent Bruins fan shop like a hoochie mama at the grand opening of a Louis Vuitton store by taking advantage of the summer sale they had going on and ended up buying some cool Bruins schwag – a Lucic t-shirt and two sweaters with the B’s logo – for only 75 bucks.

Unfortunately for me, it was a rather slow day at Cressey Performance since most baseball clients were going through their weekly movement-focused training session (as I was told). So I didn’t get to see much lifting action but still had the opportunity to talk with Tony Gentilcore and a few of the CP summer interns.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” – with Tony Gentilcore and Eric Cressey

On Thursday I visited Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning, which was packed with 50-80 athletes (mainly high school and college) at a time all training in small groups.

If you’ve never seen a session at MBSC in action, I gotta tell you, the training is essentially laid out in a group setting and clients go through their session like on an assembly line in a factory (Mike’s words, not mine).75369C5F-5C9E-42FE-9D7A-9B049BDF7A4E.png

What I witnessed today on an upper-body training day looked like this (if I remember correctly):

1. DB complex:

1a) DB snatch x5 per side

1b) DB row x5 per side

1c) DB goblet split squat x5 per leg

1d) Push-up x10

2a) 35 degree incline DB bench press

2b) Lying hip flexion with band

3a) Feet elevated push-up on flipped Bosu

3b) Anti-rotation core work on Keiser

4) Farmer’s walk / Prowler work

On a completely different note, I happened to enjoy perhaps the best burger I’ve ever had in my life at Four Burgers on Harvard campus.

Everything was put together from fresh, healthy ingredients – something that isn’t exactly the norm in the great US of A where you’ll come across three Dunkin’ Donuts, two McDonald’s and a Home Depot before finding a grocery store that sells fresh meat and produce.

Anyway, back to the splendid dish I came across after having randomly decided to check this non-descript joint out while strolling the streets of Harvard and soaking in the atmosphere that undoubtedly elevated my IQ by circa 12.6 points…

Along with the juicy grass-fed beef, the organic lettuce, grilled onions, tomatoes and a fried egg that together formed THE MARVELOUS BURGER OF AWESOMESAUCE, I devoured a big serving of nicely cut, hand-made sweet potato fries and a small bowl of potato salad that really brought the entire meal home for me.

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You can’t go back to the cheeseburgers you get at Mickey D’s for a buck forty-nine after having tasted grub like this! So if you’re ever in town, check this place out.

I’m heading over to Prentiss Hockey Performance in Darien, CT next. Should be a fun day of observing how NHL players train in the off-season.

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Yunus Barisik
 

Yunus Barisik, CSCS, specializes in making hockey players strong, fast and explosive. He has trained 500+ hockey players at the junior, college and pro levels, including NHL Draft picks and World Champions. An accomplished author, Yunus has had articles published on top fitness and performance sites, including T Nation, STACK and Muscle & Strength. He also wrote Next Level Hockey Training, a comprehensive resource for ice hockey players on building athletic strength, size and power, while staying injury-free.

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