A while back I wrote a post outlining the physical qualities that can be trained at the same time without creating too large of a conflicting stimulus to the body. As I’ve mentioned in the past, attempting to train conflicting qualities at the same time (think powerlifting and marathon training) will result in the training efforts interfering with the adaptation of the other, and ultimately a blunted response to both. There are a myriad of ways to design programs to minimize this interference and progress to peak for a certain quality or group of qualities (e.g. progress from hypertrophy -> strength -> power -> speed).
You can’t be both
While no periodization model (read: planning) is perfect, I think when an individual has a relatively advanced training age (e.g. 5+ years of structured strength and conditioning ), the more targeted a given training phase will need to be to continue to make progress. In other words, it’ll be that much more important that phases are designed using almost entirely complimentary qualities (as outlined here: A New Perspective on Program Design), using a minimum volume of conflicting qualities to help maintain previously built levels.
During the off-season, it’s ideal to frame on-ice work within the same targets as the off-ice work. In other words, if you’re focusing off-ice efforts on developing maximum speed or power, which primarily rely upon alactic energy systems, and then you bag yourself on the ice with a lot of lactic work, the on-ice work will actually impair your off-ice efforts. This certainly isn’t to say that you’d gain some on-ice benefits from skating and handling a puck, only that there is a more targeted/optimal approach to take.
Recently I’ve had an opportunity to consult with some high level players about this very topic. Below is an example of the plan I put together for one, based on a preexisting skating schedule.
Monday: Upper Body/Skill Work
Tuesday: Lower Body/Intense Practice
Wednesday: Active Recovery
Thursday: Lower Body/Intense Practice
Friday: Upper Body/Skill Work
Saturday: Active Recovery
Hopefully this gives you an idea of how on- and off-ice work can be designed in a complimentary fashion to maximize development and avoid (to the extent possible) sending conflicting signals to the body, ultimately allowing for a deeper, more significant adaptation.
In a future post, I’ll post the “Mobility/Recovery Circuit” and Conditioning recommendations alluded to above so you can see how they line-up with the on-ice work. Stay tuned and, as always, please post your questions below!
To your success,
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Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.