Articles

Hockey Speed Hacks 🏒🚀

August 25, 2019


– Hey hockey players. Today I want to talk about hockey specific speed training. More specifically, the speed hacks that you can start incorporating into your traditional speed
training program design today to start becoming a faster hockey player. Now, everybody should already be taking the traditional approach that
I’ve talked about in many articles, blogs, videos,
and even full manuals on how you can utilize weight
training, and power training, and plyometrics, and sprints, and jumps, and all these different
methods that are already very entrenched within
the scientific literature to improve functional outputs in athletes and improve speed out on the ice. But today, I want to talk about four things that are relatively unknown, a little bit more underground if you will, as far as it goes in improving speed, but still in a very well
documented way in terms of the scientific literature
of Sports Science theory. And these are the speed hacks. We’re gonna be talking about overspeed, underspeed, breath work, and EMS. Each one of these improves speed through a different mechanism. That’s one thing that makes these hacks complementary to one another,
and definitely complementary to your current traditional
speed training program design because if you want to increase speed, or you wanna increase strength, or you wanna increase hypertrophy, it really doesn’t matter
what method or ultimate adaptation you want out of
your training program design, you need to get different
stimulus out of it. You can’t only train hypertrophy, which is muscle size,
in one way all the time or else the body gets adapted
to that specific stimulus, and you start not getting
as good of a result anymore. A lot of peoples result start to taper off after about six to eight
weeks on a training program, and that’s because the body
is a very adaptive machine. It can get used to a type of training. So when you want more speed and you want less of what you’re already doing because a lot of times
we run into plateaus because we keep training
in the same way nonstop. We need to introduce new stimulus to our training program
design to get a faster result. First is overspeed. Overspeed, actually, is a
nervous system training tool that hockey players can use to train their nervous system to
recruit more muscle fibers faster than they already would have. I want you to, kind of,
think about the Road Runner right now, how his leg’s going nonstop like that, that’s how overspeed works. We move faster than we
otherwise would have, which trains our body to
recruit muscle fibers faster than it otherwise would
have, which is huge for explosive speed out in the ice. So how do you train overspeed? Well you introduce it to an environment that forces you to move fast. One of the best ways to train overspeed is to, actually, find about a 5% downhill place where you can run. So not very steep, but about a 5% decline, so you can start running downhill, and your legs are forced to
turn over at a faster rate, which forces your nervous
system to decelerate and accelerate faster than
it would on flat ground, or the flat ice, that’s
an excellent way to do it. Another way to do it
is on a stationary bike where you pedal as fast as
you can with no resistance. We’ve all felt that before
where the pedals can start, kind of, getting ahead of us,
that is overspeed training ’cause the nervous system doesn’t
know how to move that fast yet until you start training it, and then you can start taking
that out with you on the ice. Another thing that I use with my athletes is I’ll have a long band,
and I will have the athlete, I’ll put the band around
the athletes waist, and they will walk
backwards to the start line on one of our sprint training drills, and then when it’s time
to go, they are assisted with the band, and therefore
are training overspeed right in their sprint workout. And that’s something you could
add to the sprint workouts we already have available
at hockeytraining.com. So overspeed is excellent,
but it’s something that taxes the body quite a bit because your nervous
system gets fatigued a lot because we’re training it directly, so even an advanced athlete should only train this once per week. Beyond this, it’s a little bit tough on the joints and tendons, anybody who’s run downhill already knows this. So even the most advanced athlete should only ever do this once per week and start very gradually and very slowly. One of the best ways
to start is just simply with the bike, and then the banded sprint, and then move on to the downhill running. These are ways you ways you
would progress overspeed to become a faster hockey player. Next one is underspeed. So predictably, if overspeed
is moving too fast, underspeed is gonna be
a way in which we can move a little bit slower but
still train hockey speed. This means means running up
stairs, or running up the hill, or even having a weighted vest
on when you’re on a Stepmill. These are all ways in which
we can train underspeed. Now, overspeed trains the nervous system to activate faster muscle fibers, whereas underspeed is more
of a strength perspective when it comes to speed
training ’cause you’re able to train strength with
speed specific moves like running and like going uphill. These are ways in which we
can add resistance to the body during the most functional
and most sport specific thing that we can possibly be doing. So where overspeed trains the
nervous system to be faster, underspeed trains the muscles to be much faster in a different way than if you’re on flat
ground or on the ice, and also trains you to be stronger while you’re moving at top speeds. Those are two different things, a lot of people know somebody who’s fast but will get knocked off the puck. This is something that can help
prevent that from happening. And underspeed, since
it’s a lot more muscular as opposed to nervous system based, this is something that you can do two, even three times per week,
and I have workouts already at hockeytraining.com on
how to start incorporating hill sprints into your program today. There’s a reason I’ve used that
a lot, and there’s a reason that’s in the off season training program. Next, we have EMS, or what’s known as electromyostimulation. So this is something
that’s really brand new, and a lot of people are
very unfamiliar with it, which is why I’m calling
it the speed hack. And electromyostimulation,
or an EMS machine, is a type of machine where you, essentially, have two cords, and they have pads attached to them, and you will attach the pads to the bottom of a muscle
and the top of a muscle. And what this electromyostimulation can do is stimulate the muscle to contract. But the beauty of this is that it stimulates the muscle to contract, but doesn’t affect nervous system. So since it’s like an invader, right? The first time you’ll ever
put one on, it’s, kind of, like an alien took over your
body ’cause you’re contracting even though you’re not telling
your muscle to contract. Well lucky for us, muscle’s dumb. It doesn’t know if we’re doing
it or if we’re not doing it, it just knows contraction,
so it’s gonna adapt to that stimulus even if we didn’t do it. So when we can contract our muscle without using our nervous system to do it then we can contract a muscle, gain a new muscular adaptation such as strength, power,
or even enhanced recovery, but we don’t fatigue the
nervous system at the same time, so recovery isn’t even affected, and yet you can still train muscle fibers for the purpose of speed,
power, and even conditioning. Because there’s different frequencies you can set these things at, and the frequency whether
you go high or low can train either type one, type two,
or type two b muscle fibers. So we can get a wide range of effect using something like this. Another added benefit of an
EMS machine is the fact that you’re contracting a muscle
tissue and the muscle fibers that you want to contract to get faster, but since you’re sitting down, there’s no wear and tear on
your joints or ligaments either. So it’s something you
can add to your regimen if you’re injury prone, or
it’s something you can add to your regimen if you are injured, or it’s something you can add
to your routine no matter what because you’re not gonna wear
and tear the nervous system, you’re not gonna wear and tear your tendons, ligaments, and joints, which is something a lot of
hockey players have issues with. So EMS definitely ranks
100% as a speed hack, and anybody who thinks that
that sounds a little quirky because we’ve all seen the
infomercials on TV where, get a six-pack and do nothing because if you attach these
to your abs, they’ll contract and you’ll get a six-pack
without ever working out. That is, actually, this machine, but that is just a terrible example of the application of this machine. And there is already
a mountain of evidence behind electromyostimulation. Scientific evidence is
there or else it would not be in this video today, trust me. So EMS is a viable tool to look for, if you’re looking at
introducing a new stimulus to your muscles to become
a faster hockey player. Last but not least is breath work. The science of breath work
is one that is emerging, and it is currently in its infancy, but we know there’s a
lot of benefit to it. There are a lot of deep
breathing routines. There’s a lot of deep
breathing in mobility work. There’s a lot of deep breathing in things like Tai chi, qigong, and yoga, and there’s all these benefits come from your ability to control your breathing, and use your breathing appropriately in order to get in better
shape, be a healthier person. Across the board, breath work can be very beneficial for hockey players. Now, this is a huge category and perhaps the subject of a video all by
itself in the future because there’s restricted breathing,
there is resisted breathing, and then there’s that
type of hypoxic breathing where you’d go to a top
of a mountain and train, or you would sleep in a
hypoxic chamber overnight. All these different strategies can be used at the right time. You see people with those
restricted masks on, it looks like they’ve got
scuba gear or that they’re Bane from Batman while they’re
training in the gym. All these are very different strategies, but what I think is most applicable for everybody watching this video because not everybody has
the money to go to a top of a mountain or move to
Denver or buy a Bane mask, but you can do is, actually,
restricted breathing. Now, restricted breathing
truly means breath restriction. So you do not have access
to oxygen while you are performing a bout of physical exertion. One of the best ways to do
this is simply in the pool. So, if you’re doing a
pool conditioning session, which I think is already
great because it’s so easy on your joints, tendons, and
ligaments, yet you can still train the energy systems
for hockey athletes, if you’re doing a pool
conditioning session or speed session, then
breathe every seven strokes, or as opposed to every two strokes, or breathe every five to seven strokes as opposed to every two strokes. This breath restriction has been demonstrated within the literature to improve your ability to transfer oxygen throughout the body, it, actually, strengthens your respiratory
muscles in your lungs that pump oxygen out to
work in muscle tissues. It improves immune system function, and it also increases red blood
cell count within the body, and that is huge for you
because it’s, actually, the red blood cells that carry
oxygen to our working muscles and get carbon dioxide
out of those muscles so that fatigue doesn’t
accumulate and we ultimately fail, be slower, or get tired in the 3rd period. So restriction can
really help in this area, and it is as simple as not breathing for five to seven strokes in a pool, or if you’re gonna finish
a conditioning session for example, you could finish with a there and back in the pool
where you go there and back without bringing your head up
once, or go as far as you can and then over time try and
build the lung capacity, and the oxygen capacity, and
the red blood cell capacity that’s gonna allow you to go
there and back because that is something that is gonna
transfer out in the ice. Because when you have more
oxygen to working muscle tissues, then you’re able to work in an environment with suboptimal levels of oxygen, you’re gonna be a fast
hockey player, all right? I know that was a lot of information, but these are the four speed
hacks I want you guys to know so that you can start incorporating
these into your routine. Overspeed, nervous system, underspeed, muscular strength, EMS, training muscle tissue
without inducing fatigue, and breath work, working on
our bodies from the inside out as opposed from the inside
in, from the outside in, in order to increase hockey
speed out in the ice. Thank you so much for watching today. And if you want to learn more about these different methods and
exactly how to apply them, make sure you click on the link
below ’cause I’ve got a PDF cheat sheet already to
rock ‘n’ roll for ya’. And don’t forget to give us a thumbs up if you liked this video,
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