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08-23-2007, 08:52 AM
  #3
Kevin Wey
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If you're body building, then you'll definitely want to give some space for major muscle groups to recover.

For hockey, if you hit legs real hard in the weight room on Monday, then Tuesday probably isn't the best day to do plyometrics or sprint intervals. It's hard to do much training for hockey that doesn't involve legs, but if you did a hard legs day on Monday, then Tuesday might be a good day to do some cardiovascular training on an elliptical machine, because that's low impact and won't work your legs as hard. (An aerobic base is important toward building a strong anaerobic capacity, and the anaerobic is the most important in hockey since shifts are supposed to be hard for 45 seconds and then off, especially if you're a forward.)

The need for rest is best shown by NHL hockey players themselves over the course of a season. They come into training camp pretty built and ripped, but by the end of the playoffs, some of them are looking really gaunt (maybe masked a bit by their playoff beard in their faces). As a great example, years ago when Todd Gill was playing for the San Jose Sharks, he started the season at 185 pounds (which isn't massive to start) but was down to 165 at the end of the season. With the NHL schedule of practices and games, it's hard for the players to build, it's pretty much about maintaining and recovery during the season. The building is done during the off-season.

That's why, even if you're a hardcore weightlifter, it's good to work in weeks of rest (from lifting at least) into your routine, like say 8 weeks of hard lifting and then a week off where you're still physically active, but not doing weights or hard plyos or sprint intervals. That week off is when you're going to build on the muscle. A lot of the rest of the time you appear to be getting bigger, or staying big, but that may not be adding muscle so much as it is the natural inflammation of the muscles. Like how models will do some push-ups and dips before they have their pictures taken. Or, like how if you hit arms and forearms hard, your watch fits tighter after your workout.

So, you won't need to completely take every other day off in the week as a hockey player, but you will want to alternate major muscle groups. (The abdominals are a bit of an exception, at least in comparison to the other muscle groups). Once you're in season, it's pretty much about maintaining, especially with the legs. Besides, if you're skating hard and challenging yourself, your legs should hurt a bit after every practice anyway. Then, there are certain things you can do and technologies you can use to help your body in the recovery time and the processing of that lactic acid.

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