XLR8 Sports Training

How many Ice Hockey Players Does it Take to Turn on a Light Bulb?

2012 Visit to the New York Rangers – Ice Hockey. S&C Reg Grant.

Posted: 5 October 2012
Ice Hockey boasts one of the most recognisable trophies in world sport – the Stanley Cup. After winning the Stanley Cup in 1924, the Montréal Canadiens accidentally left the trophy sitting in the snow by the side of the road – it’s pretty hard to miss. What is also pretty hard to miss is another playing skating at full speed smashing into another player.

Consider this: the average weight of an ice hockey player in the NHL has fallen of late, but is still about 190lb (86kg).

If we then allowed for each skating at 20mph (32km/hr.) then the amount of energy produced from the collision is equal to 6878 Joules.  A single joule is not a lot of energy. It's about the amount of energy you'd use to lift an apple to your mouth from the fruit bowl.

However with this amount of energy you could fire a puck a long way, where it would initially be moving at a speed of 449mph (723km/hr.). There is enough energy through this collision to light a 60 watt light bulb for 114 seconds. So the answer to the question... it takes 2 ice hockey players to turn on a light bulb!

So in a game full of collisions – it is an easy pun to make, that the game is electric!

An official NHL roster is 20 players (18 players and 2 goaltenders). They will get through 80+ games a season.  These athletes are highly conditioned and I was impressed by the way in which Reg Grant organised his gym.

Some of the notable observations were:

  • The use of suspension training – I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to be able to lift your own body weight with stability and speed. No point lifting heavy slowly when it comes to power.
  • Lifting Cues through use of Keiser Air Resistance. Anything greater than a 10% drop-off is a ‘cue’ to lift your game. Quality as well as quantity.
  • Recovery’s are completed in the gym immediately after games – strength / recover lasting 20min. Take every opportunity when it’s very likely the next day you are on the road or getting ready for the next game.
  • Combining Olympic lifts and plyometrics is common practice and a great way to get functional, fast and fit. Ideally would like a track close by to top it off.
  • Trigger point & self-massage has a big role to play in both recovery and prehab.
  • Most rink sessions are around 45min and coach directed.
  • Measure 3 body comp sites only: chest, ab & thigh. Common practice within Rugby Union is to measure 7 or even 8 sites.  With 3 sites, they are used as a %fat calculation rather than looking at how sites might change over time. %fat doesn't change significantly – although sites can.
  • Another effective use of space is the stackable weights and fibre class resistance poles. Let me know if you want to know more on either of these by leaving a comment on this article.

All in all a very efficient programme. Has the BIG ROCKS in place and does them well. Really enjoyable visit.

Cheers JT

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