This week’s post is on how to get strong legs like Mike Richards.
This week I’m going to do a post on a local Northwestern Ontario boy. He represents how Canadians have always loved to play the game of hockey….fast, tough, and powerful. Mike Richards is a guy from Kenora, Ontario who was traded this past off-season to the LA Kings and is a huge reason why they’re contending for the Stanley Cup this year.
Now if you’re looking to become a powerful skater like Richards, there’s a few things you need to focus on. Training hard is one thing that is a must but you must learn to be smart with your training.
Here’s this week’s tips:
1. Train hard, but not every single day.
This is a tricky one for people who catch on to the training bug. They get hooked and want to train every day but they’re actually doing themselves a disservice. When you train every day, you don’t give your muscles time to grow and come back stronger. So you’re actually spinning your wheels in the same spot for longer than you have to. With training comes patience. You’ll get stronger, you just have to give your body time to grow outside of the gym.
2. Your workouts don’t always have to be hard.
There’s a mentality that exists in the fitness world that if your workout doesn’t leave you gassed like the guy above, than it wasn’t beneficial. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you think like this than you’re probably suffering from a bunch of overuse injuries and performing at subpar levels because your body just doesn’t have any gas left in the tank on game day. The purpose of a workout is to stimulate an adaptation in the body but not to the point of diminishing returns. So every 4 weeks or so, you should have a deload week, where you perform similar exercises but lower the weight to around 50% of your 1RM.
3. Learn how to get strong legs by squatting and deadlifting.
If you want powerful legs, then these two exercises will help you gain power. Point blank…if you can generate more power into the ice in your stride, you’ll skate faster. Improve your numbers on these exercises by using variations of them like the front squat and sumo deadlift. Variation always helps to create a different stimuli than your body is used to.
4. Interval training is not speed training.
One would think that intervals would be a form of speed training, since you’re basically always speeding up and slowing down. But don’t get the two confused. Speed training is defined at 2 to 8 seconds of maximum intensity work with full recovery. That means after an 8 second sprint, you actively rest for 3 minutes going through light dynamic movements. If you’re going to get faster, you must concentrate on proper form and maintain maximum intensity.
5. Work on your flexibility after your workout.
This may be confusing to some that read last week’s post on stopping static stretching, but I was talking about before a workout. Working on your flexibility with static stretching after a workout is the perfect time because your muscles are warm and loose. When an athlete’s flexibility inhibits their range of motion, they’re more likely to suffer injuries and perform at lower than normal levels. So after your workout or game, spend 10-15 minutes stretching and you’ll be better off for it.
To get to Mike Richards’ level of skating power, you’ll need to follow these tips as well as some that you can find in this manual, Top Secret Off-Ice Training From The Pros.
To your success,
Star Factory Fitness