OFF-SEASON IN REVIEW
It’s official – summer is over, not only by the Gregorian calendar but also by the hockey one. A new beer league season kicks off tomorrow and my off-season is officially in the books.
Looking back, I feel it was a good off-season, overall. After my season ended with an abrupt two-and-out exit from the playoffs, I thought it would be a good idea to take some time away from hockey so I could recharge before starting into training for the next season. So that’s what I did. I kicked back, relaxed and focused on non-hockey pursuits for a while. There was reading, video games, a movie or two, beer ... lots of good, clean leisure.
Four days of that was enough. So, on March 21, with the trees completely bare, the ground still a patchwork of white and brown, and still three weeks left in the NHL regular season, I launched into my off-season training schedule.
For the initial few weeks, my routine consisted of thrice-weekly aerobic sessions supplemented by sprints and strength work (squats and lunges). After about four weeks I scaled back the aerobics and increased the frequency of wind sprints, which are aimed at building the energy systems in the leg muscles. Along with all this fun movement I added regular sessions of stickhandling and shooting.
The spreadsheet I used to track my activities shows a clear pattern. For the vast majority of weeks I turned in five workouts. There are a few weeks in which the number of workouts dropped to four or three and a couple that are even more sparse, due to holidays or purposeful recovery. Here is a summary of the numbers.
By the numbers
+13 (pure muscle)
2 (mine & Connor McDavid's)
Days since last game
Days off before beginning off-season training
Days on which I did some form of conditioning or skill training
Previous item expressed as a percentage
Practice shots taken
Minutes devoted to stickhandling
Weight change, in pounds
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