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08-27-2012, 02:32 PM
TheDaysOf 04
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t's not easy to put Gary Roberts out of commission. Steven Stamkos almost did it in with one powerful squeeze this summer.

Stamkos, the Tampa Bay Lightning center, was playfully roughhousing with Roberts, a man 24 years his elder but one many consider to be among the toughest to ever play in the NHL. Stamkos put a vicelike grip on Roberts' bicep, and Roberts' arm started to throb, threatening to at least temporarily ruin his plans for golf that day.

instead of anger, all Roberts felt was pride. After all, Roberts and his training methods are ultimately responsible for Stamkos' surge in strength during the past four years.

"If you eat properly and train right at a young age, your body goes through the roof, and that's why Stammer can grab my bicep and I can't golf that day," Roberts told during a recent interview at his gym in North York. "I was like, 'My goodness, that's how strong he's gotten.' He's still 22 years old. He's got three or four years left of good quality years of training. He's still got an opportunity to improve.
Roberts can thank Stamkos for helping jump start his post-NHL career, because without the success of his first client, the Gary Roberts High Performance Training Centre might never have been born.

"You see this now," Stamkos told, referring to the state-of-the-art facility built specifically for Roberts inside the Fitness Institute. "Four years ago it was Gary and I in his home gym."
In 2009, Roberts, then with the Lightning as a player, invited Stamkos into his home gym in Uxbridge, Ontario to train and learn about nutrition in a one-on-one setting. The idea was that proper training and nutrition could help Stamkos, the No. 1 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, build on his 46-point rookie season.

According to Roberts, Brian Lawton, then Lightning general manager, wanted Stamkos to spend the summer training in Minnesota, which meant living in a hotel. Roberts and coach Rick Tocchet figured out a more convenient way to help the rising star.

Instead of living 1,000 miles from home, Stamkos could drive the 20 or so minutes to Roberts' house to train and eat with someone who knew exactly what it takes to survive and thrive in the NHL, both as a 20-year-old and a 40-year-old.
Stamkos said he's training even harder this summer in a workout group that includes Pittsburgh Penguins right wing James Neal, Carolina Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner, Tampa Bay teammate Brett Connolly, New York Rangers prospect Christian Thomas and St. Louis Blues prospect Anthony Peluso.

"It's still All In to me dammit." - Felonious Python
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