Kevin Neeld — Hockey Training, Sports Performance, & Sports Science

Small Changes are Big Changes

Seemingly small improvements lead to large changes in training volume.

There are many different ways to gauge training progress. In terms of resistance training, many people default to how much weight they use. While this is certainly reasonable, it may lead the individual to thinking they’ve made less progress than they actually have.

For example, consider an athlete starting a new phase with a DB Goblet 1-Leg Squat. Week 1 they do 3 sets of 8 with a 50lb dumbbell. Week 2 they climb 5lbs each for set 2 and set 3. Week 3 they add a 4th set at 55lbs.

In 3 weeks of training, the athlete may think “I went from 50 to 60lbs”, which feels like a small jump. Alternatively, when viewing the training from a total volume perspective (load * sets * reps)…

➡ Week 1: (50*8)+(50*8)+(50*x8)=1200
➡ Week 3: (50*8)+(55*8)+(60*8)+(55*x8)=1760

…they’ve actually increased their total training volume by 47% in that time span.

Depending on the client and the goal, progress can mean different things. Total training volume is an easy thing to track and an often overlooked way of communicating substantial training progress. Look for wins!

Feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. If you’re interested in year-round comprehensive hockey-specific training programs for players at different ages, check out Ultimate Hockey Transformation.

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Kevin Neeld

Kevin Neeld Knows Hockey

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.