As a kid all I wanted was to become a pro athlete.
Seven-figure paychecks and getting all the hot girls - that's the life I envisioned for myself.
When no team practices were scheduled, we were out playing street hockey or football with the other kids from the neighborhood.
Or playing NHL '94 back in the day when nobody had heard of "the internet"... Man, that game rocked!
Then in college, I became obsessed with strength training and improving athletic performance.
Down the line that led to thousands of hours spent in the gym training myself and others, and tens of thousands of dollars invested in books, seminars, training courses, and travel expenses racked up after visiting some of the best strength coaches on the planet to observe how they train athletes.
To date, I have personally trained and designed strength, speed and conditioning programs for 500+ athletes at all levels of competitive hockey, including:
- NCAA D1
- Finnish Elite League
- NHL Draft Picks from 10 NHL Teams
- Men's and Women's National Team
- 10 Gold Medal Winners at 4 Different U18 & U20 World Championships Since 2016
Certifications, Internships and Continuing Education Courses:
• Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
• Internship with Ben Prentiss at Prentiss Hockey Performance in Darien, Connecticut
• Internship with Kevin Neeld at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, New Jersey
• Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Level 1 and 2
• Progressive Calisthenics Certified (PCC) Instructor
With the formal introductions out of the way, you're probably asking yourself why you should listen to me?
I could blather on about the books or research papers I've read, trying to convince you how smart I am.
Instead, I will only say this...
Don't blindly listen to me.
Or anyone else for that matter.
As I've always said, the best thing anyone can do is learn to decipher research journals, seek out guys who have actually gotten results for their clients (you'd be surprised if you knew how many "experts" out there are clueless posers), think for yourself and not fall for inaccurate, ridiculous claims, experiment like crazy on your own and draw your conclusions based on all of those.
But since you asked, here are a few cornerstones of my training philosophy:
• Lift, drag, carry, push, pull heavy objects.
Pick a few basic exercises for each movement pattern or body part and get strong as shit on them over the course of five years.
• Master bodyweight exercises.
I can't help but marvel at how incredibly strong and jacked male gymnasts are. That's what years and years of subjecting your body's own resistance to gravity will do to your strength levels and appearance.
• Jump, throw, run, play your way into shape.
For athletes, being strong is important but it can never be the only goal (barring heavyweight strength athletes).
Football players, wrestlers, sprinters, boxers, hockey players... all of them place an emphasis on building anaerobic capacity in training, yet are extremely lean and strong. So never overlook the importance of playing, sprinting or fighting for getting your bodyfat down and gas tank up.
True mastery is never achieved by doing less of anything. There’s nobody who does the things I discuss on this site with consistency for a decade, and remains fat and weak.
• Beat your previous best.
Approach every training session with the intention of improving one way or the other. True enough, the longer you've been in the Iron Game, the harder this will become.
So how do you know whether what you're doing is actually working if you no longer experience performance gains from one week to the next?
As long as you feel fresh and motivated, are staying injury-free and getting stronger on a consistent basis, you’ll know you’re on the right path.
• Stop comparing yourself to others.
I see this all the time. Guys are looking at what other people are doing, how much weight they're hoisting, do they have ripped abs and all of that nonsense.
I want you to remember this... You don't know how long they've been training. You don't know how good their genetics are. You don't know whether they're on the juice or not. You. Don't. Know.
You don't know and it doesn't matter at all. Start OWNING YOUR TRAINING, the ups and downs, the moments of exhilaration and disappointment, that make training worth the time and effort you're putting into it, and the journey toward your goals so enjoyable.
So there you have it. Follow these principles and you will soon dominate in the gym.
Thanks for taking a minute to get to know me. If you have any questions, comments, cheers, jeers, suggestions or you simply want to hook me up with your insanely hot sister, you can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have written dozens of articles on strength training, athletic performance development and injury prevention for multiple publications. Some of them reach millions of readers every month.
The best training website on the Internet for serious lifters and athletes.
I have been reading T Nation since 2010 simply because some of the best strength coaches write for them. I'm very proud to have my work published there.
Terrific website providing information on all aspects of improving athletic performance - strength, speed, power, nutrition - from juniors to the pros.
One of the most well-known and visited fitness websites on the whole Internet.
The Personal Trainer Development Center is a great business resource for coaches and trainers working in the fitness industry.
In addition to being featured on major US training sites time and time again, I also sharpen my writing skills in other languages.
In fact, I have written numerous articles on all things hockey strength and conditioning for Faneille.com (a popular Finnish sports site), including the most comprehensive and practical off-season strength training guide for hockey players ever published in Finnish. Check out my extensive work below.
Pelurit-fi.com is another Finnish sports site that featured my article on hockey strength and conditioning leading up to the 2017 IIHF World Championships.
huippukunnosta kevään MM-kisoissa
The most popular Finnish training podcast, “Lepopäivä”, invited me over to discuss in-season and off-season strength and conditioning for hockey players on two occasions. Check out the episodes below.
Lepopäivä – Jakso 35: Jääkiekkoilijoiden oheisharjoittelu kiekkokauden aikana
Lepopäivä – Jakso 22: Jääkiekkoilijoiden oheisharjoittelu off-seasonilla
I also had the chance to discuss off-ice training methods for ice hockey players with strength coach Jukka Mäennenä in his podcast.
Jukka Mäennenä – Jakso 26:
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