In-Season Training Still A Key Component To Hockey Success

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.

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You worked hard all off-season to get ready. You made the team and work hard in practice. Is there anything else you can do to maintain top performance as the season goes along?

The answer is yes.

In-season training off-ice is an important factor in a player’s continued success on the ice.  That is the feeling of Mike Boyle, owner/founder of Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning in Middleton and Woburn, MA and one of the foremost experts in the field.

“In-season training is the real key to success,” Boyle said. “One sad truth about strength and conditioning is that both are lost faster than they are gained. Most young athletes are on at best a two-steps forward, one-step back approach. Athetes train diligently in the off-season and then let themselves whither away in-season.

I always say ‘the best way to get stronger is not to get weaker.’ If strength is lost in-season then a portion of the next off-season must be spent regaining the lost strength before any real progress can be made.”

The key to in-season, off-ice workouts lies in weight training.

“I don’t worry as much about cardio/conditioning as most kids practice or play six days a week,” Boyle said. “What I worry about is kids getting two lifts in a week. The basic are always the best. Squat variations, deadlift, bench press and chin-ups work great.”

These off-season workouts don’t have to be every day. A solid workout twice a week should be sufficient and very beneficial.

“Two total body workouts a week can be done easily in 30 minutes a day,” said Boyle, who added that lower body in-season is vital, as skating is not enough. “The big key with in-season stuff is that a little goes a long way.”

According to Boyle, one hard set per exercise per day with the appropriate number of warm-up sets is a perfect way to get going.

“For an exercise like chin-ups, one set of max reps once a week goes a long way,” he said. “An exercise like the Hex Bar Deadlift might require 2-3 sets to get enough warm-up.”

To see some videos on specific exercise tips, please check them out here

To learn more about Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning, check it out here

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