New hockey player needing fitness / skills development / food advice
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01-10-2013, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
Welcome! My thoughts...
You sound exactly like me in terms of laziness and diet
I think this is the big one. To have an impact, you have to change your habits. You have to do things differently all week long, not just once or twice a week.
There's got to be commitment to change, otherwise you're not giving a full effort and setting yourself up for failure. When I've made a promise to myself to do something, it's easier to stay on track. That's important to me at least.
I've been making one change at a time. A couple months ago, before the holidays, I told myself I'd not drink beer during the week and work out for just five minutes three times a week. Start small. It was hard the first couple weeks then it was easy.
But it started with that real commitment, and I got myself excited for it. Like a challenge. I think that's important at least for me.
I'm not sure there's a one-size-fits-all approach for everyone. Some people do well to eat a low fat diet with less meat. Others do well with a low carb paleo type diet where they drop bread and eat meat and veggies.
I think I'm in the latter group. The last 4-6 weeks I've been watching calories and eating low fat while working out several times per week but no change in my weight or waist. Of course the holidays might have played a part.
This past week I've swapped out most bread and pasta for lots of veggies and ate more fat and I'm spontaneously eating fewer calories and have dropped a few pounds off the bat. Ask me in a few weeks if it's water weight or not.
One thing I'm pretty sure of is that unless you're super strict six days a week, even one night of debauchery will undo your work. I ate pretty well five days a week but a couple nights of beer and pizza and snacks kept me at the same weight.
Like I said, it sounds like you're a lot like me, and I really struggled at first with really keeping snacks and drinks to the weekend, but after a couple weeks it was not hard. So maybe just focus on that at first and build from there?
Twice in my life I've dropped 30+ pounds over a period of months, so I know it's possible...it just gets harder with a desk job and kids and what not. Less room for error.
Okay, here's something that's actually made a difference for me.
I think for general fitness, jogging (if your joints can handle it) and biking are good. For hockey, not so sure. We don't glide around the ice for 45 minutes straight, we skate really hard for 45 seconds and then we go to the bench and breathe really hard to recover for a couple minutes.
My personal experience was jogging did nothing for me other than kill my knees and give me shin splints. So last year I started lifting weights and within a few weeks I was a LOT faster on the ice and able to skate harder and recover better. But then the weights got too heavy and I hurt my back, plus all the food to recover from the lifts packed on pounds I didn't want.
So a couple months ago I started doing some interval workouts at home with kettlebells and dumbbells. I started with maybe 5-7 minutes, but after a few weeks I wanted to do more so I can burn off more calories and got up to about 15 minutes. Key words: I WANTED to do more. I started to enjoy the workouts!
It took about a month, but then my conditioning started to improve and I was again picking up speed and recovering better on the bench. And with the light weights, I'm not getting injured or tweaking my back or anything. It actually feels a little better than before.
Looking at your schedule...I would maybe try to do 3 days per week of exercise in addition to hockey. One or two days try interval sprints (not necessarily balls to the wall at first, it can just be run across a field and walk back a few times). One or two days do some body circuit exercises, like pushups, bodyweight squats, pullups, or if you have some dumbbells, rows, shoulder press, bench press, squats holding dumbbells, etc.
It's easy and fun to improve your hands and shot, but it will take some money.
First, get yourself a golf ball and a Smart Hockey ball. Then Google "USA hockey stickhandling drills" and work on them. Do it on the carpet, concrete, wherever. Do it on commercial breaks. The golf ball helps you develop "soft hands" where you can make smooth moovements, not choppy ones. The Smart ball builds your strength like a puck would. I had an instructor that made us stickhandle for five minutes straight, back and forth. That BURNED. Do that with the Smart ball.
Second, try and find a place to shoot off ice. If you can get a net and a shooting board, that is ideal. Or a thick tarp that you can draw a net on and a shooting board. Or a rink with a shooting range. Something to work on your shot. Unfortunately, shooting a tennis ball is nowhere near the same as a puck, so you just have to find a way to shoot pucks off a smooth/slick surface.
Nice thing with skills is they stay in your muscle memory so anything you can do will build on top of what you've done before.
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