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  • Size for an athlete

    I'm a college athlete who's trying to walk on for my university's Division 1 hockey team. I'm 5'10" 180. I had hip surgery last September, and went from 190 down to 170. Anyhow, until mid-august gaining size is my number one priority (but not to the extent of forgetting everything else as an athlete).

    I'm an exercise science major, and I'm suffering from an extreme case of paralysis analysis for my training right now. Any suggestions training wise, or how to knock myself upside the head with a 2x4 to remember how to focus would be greatly appreciated guys.

    And by the way, even if I don't play hockey, I'll be playing rugby where I still need the size.

    Best lifts:
    Squat - 350
    Deadlift - 420
    Bench - 225

    Go ahead, tell me what I need to hear on this.

  • #2
    ok. as a former d1 player maybe i can help. 1st i wouldn't worry about gaining alot of size. your weight - 180 - and your lifts look good for a hockey player. at the d1 level the game is about speed and conditioning. as far as weight training i would look into a good circuit routine. look up some mike boyle articles. i will say this, if u are going to tryout as a walk-on i would try and be in the best shape come tryouts. some programs have land training before the on ice starts. make a good impression in the land workouts and this may help u get some more looks when the on ice starts. u can only do this if u are in great shape and beat everybody in everything in the land traing. hth

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    • #3
      I just completed an internship in a strength and conditioning program of Division I athletes where we worked with both hockey and rugby. Most of our hockey players are in the 5'10" - 6'2" range and in the 180 - 200 pound range. Not saying you won't see a guy 6'4" or 220+, but it's not the norm. Most are also maintaining a 6-12% bodyfat percentage year round, dropping slightly in-season. Also, most tend to be post-grads and hence are a little older than the traditional college student. Most guys are 20-23 years old.

      You will see different philosophies with every strength coach around, but there was a much greater emphasis on total work capacity, mobility, agility, and core stability over strength and power. We never back squatted and rarely did traditional cleans and snatches. Although we did plenty of benching, front squats, deadlift variations and various forms of plyometric training. I'd suggest find a good strength coach in your area and make sure you spend plenty of time not just hammering strength and bodybuilding exercises, but make sure you program for balance and functionality, meaning don't forget to build stabilization and endurance around the joints and maintain proper range of motion. I'd pay particular attention to the trouble areas for athletes...core (strength and endurance), hips (mobility, stength, and endurance), and shoulders (stability, ROM, and strength). Oh, and be in great shape. We always trained in a circuit fashion and almost always had a timer set to limit rest periods.
      Last edited by Knickerbocker24; 06-17-2011, 03:22 PM.

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      • #4
        For athletes I'd go for something like this:

        http://www.defrancostraining.com/art...rds-part3.html
        Disclaimer: I am not a DC trainee/expert/guru/coach, anything I say is purely my opinion based on experience and research I've read

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        • #5
          as kb24 noted u will not see a fat hockey player and work on all the stuff he mentioned. the game,physically, is really played from your ass down. workout circuit/interval style. one thing i did and found that really helped is bike riding - eric hieden, shelia young. find a nice hill about 1/2 long. put your bike in the highest gear and have it. if you can pedal up the hill in the highest gear with no hands you will have strong legs and the motion of riding is kinda like skating. i did this and never lost a race/sprint

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          • #6
            Just a quick question/observation. Why not try and get as big as possible while trying to maintain or better both your speed and mobility. I doubt anyone will say you got too big too play hockey if you did this. It's not about the number on the scale its how you preform on the ice that will count the most.

            In essence strive to be the biggest fastest most agile bastard on any playing field and you'll be better than 75% of the people playing the sport.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by riverhawk23 View Post
              Just a quick question/observation. Why not try and get as big as possible while trying to maintain or better both your speed and mobility.
              Simple, because the adaptations to strength and hypertrophy training and the adaptations to developing work capacity and endurance are different. You can't develop both simultaneously to their fullest extent. Sure, you can periodize one as a priority and scale back on the other, but the point is that endurance, mobility, agility, and athleticism are of a greater priority than size in this sport. That doesn't mean that you still can't gain weight, but IMO it should be done with a focus on nutrition and not at the expense of developing muscular imbalances and losing work capacity.

              Originally posted by riverhawk23 View Post
              In essence strive to be the biggest fastest most agile bastard on any playing field and you'll be better than 75% of the people playing the sport.
              Totally agree, but don't expect to develop all of those qualities quickly at the same time.
              Last edited by Knickerbocker24; 06-17-2011, 07:15 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Knickerbocker24 View Post
                Simple, because the adaptations to strength and hypertrophy training and the adaptations to developing work capacity and endurance are different. You can't develop both simultaneously to their fullest extent. Sure, you can periodize one as a priority and scale back on the other, but the point is that endurance, mobility, agility, and athleticism are of a greater priority than size in this sport. That doesn't mean that you still can't gain weight, but IMO it should be done with a focus on nutrition and not at the expense of developing muscular imbalances and losing work capacity.

                Totally agree, but don't expect to develop all of those qualities quickly at the same time.
                First let me say I am no expert and these are just my opinions and hopefully through this we can get to what might be better. And more information would be useful from the OP rather than us speculating what he is in need more of, which I think we all agree is not just size at any cost but weight that will help increase performance, or at least that is how I feel.

                But back to knickerbocker, That old conundrum. You cannot be a slave to two masters. But if he already has the ability to play at this high of a level he can do a lot to at least maintain his abilities and also increase size. I agree with everything you wrote, but I think he had a hard number in mind hoping someone would say, "At 5'10 he needs to be 185 pounds to play D1 hockey," rather than, "it doesn't matter what weight he is 210lbs or 160 lbs just as long as with the weight increase he also maintains/increases (difficult I know) all his other attributes and abilities."

                Plus he is also playing rugby and depending on what position he may need more size.It is of my own personal feeling that off season one should focus on quality weight gain while trying to maintain past levels of endurance and mobility and all that jazz, of course these are bound to fall off but you do not want them to fall off completely. Then fine tune that new mass during preseason.

                Once again I'm no expert this is just how I feel one should go about this whole thing. Hopefully we all can come to a better understanding of what needs to be done here as athletics and training for them are a hobby of mine that I'm interested in and I'll take this opportunity to pick someone's brain when given a chance. Plus we cannot really give very detailed information without full assessing where hockeychamp is developmental wise one can only speculate what he might need.
                Last edited by riverhawk23; 06-17-2011, 08:12 PM. Reason: spelling

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by riverhawk23 View Post
                  But if he already has the ability to play at this high of a level he can do a lot to at least maintain his abilities and also increase size.
                  What would be the difference in how you would have him train?

                  Originally posted by riverhawk23 View Post
                  I think he had a hard number in mind hoping someone would say, "At 5'10 he needs to be 185 pounds to play D1 hockey,"
                  Maybe...I gave him a range of our average player, but I think all will agree that it really only matters that you can play, not what size you are. The average NHL player is 6'1" 205lbs, but there are plenty of great players well under that. Zach Parise, Martin St. Louis, Brian Giontta, Patrick Kane, Daniel Briere, Paul Kariya are just a few reputable names that are all under 5'10" 190lbs. My point here, that while it's great to put on quality size and strength, it shouldn't be done at the expense of other attributes. Skill, rather than size would be the dictating factor in playing D1 hockey I believe, and hence training should continue to enhance those abilities.
                  Last edited by Knickerbocker24; 06-18-2011, 02:26 PM.

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                  • #10
                    You guys are awesome! Thanks for the shift in where my brain is at.

                    Playing rugby I forgot a bit that "legs feed the wolf." Too many people get eye-strung by the physical specimens that the guys who just get the job done can get a bit overlooked.

                    As far as my playing style goes, as a walk-on I'm not going to play based on my talent (if that was there before I wouldn't be needing to walk on somewhere). Therefore I need to make sure my skating, checking, strength and everything is top notch, in order to see ice.

                    Yeah I was basically worrying to much about the "I'm not 200 pounds!" factor.

                    As far as rugby goes, if my physical attributes are good enough for me to be playing hockey, I'll be able to go on the pitch just fine. I'll end up at wing, center, or flanker.

                    Sorry for the delayed response, I was at a 7's tournament all weekend! Thank you guys!

                    And chris -- what school were you working with? I played junior out in Cromwell, CT, and have my dad in the West Hartford area.
                    Last edited by hockechamp14; 06-20-2011, 10:49 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Knickerbocker24 View Post
                      What would be the difference in how you would have him train?
                      I guess I wouldn't focus nearly as much on increasing his abilities like speed and mobility and try and put size on him, but this again goes into the balancing act of mainting everything while increasing size.

                      Originally posted by Knickerbocker24 View Post
                      Maybe...I gave him a range of our average player, but I think all will agree that it really only matters that you can play, not what size you are. The average NHL player is 6'1" 205lbs, but there are plenty of great players well under that. Zach Parise, Martin St. Louis, Brian Giontta, Patrick Kane, Daniel Briere, Paul Kariya are just a few reputable names that are all under 5'10" 190lbs. My point here, that while it's great to put on quality size and strength, it shouldn't be done at the expense of other attributes. Skill, rather than size would be the dictating factor in playing D1 hockey I believe, and hence training should continue to enhance those abilities.
                      True size definitely isn't going to be a major factor if you have the skill of those guys, but if it's between two people with the same skills I'd take the one with size, but that's me. In the end I think we are agreeing more on the same side of things, just in different ways.

                      Hockeychamp good luck with everything.

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