Training all Components of Fitness During Off-Season Conditioning

Training all Components of Fitness During Off-Season Conditioning
Hockey requires many components of fitness in order to perform at a high level.

There are several components of fitness that hockey players need in order to play at a high level. Generally speaking, the most important components of fitness for hockey performance include: Muscle strength, power, endurance, hypertrophy (increased size of the muscles), and cardiovascular power/anaerobic training.

Periodized Training Program

When players are training with strength and conditioning coaches (and even if they are not), they will be following what is referred to as a periodized training program. This means the program has different periods of training which focus on different components of fitness throughout the off-season. Each training period lasts between 2 – 6 weeks, depending on the length of the off-season and what the players’ need is for fitness.

There are several different methods to incorporate a periodized program, but generally speaking a “typical” program would follow a pattern similar to this:

  1. Early off-season, right after the season ends – Active Rest – players train, but do so at a low intensity with cardiovascular endurance training and maintenance of muscle strength either with light weight training or body weight training. This is an important phase of training so that players can recover from the season.
  2. Muscle and Cardiovascular Endurance – weight training with light weight and high repetitions and medium length (20 – 40 minutes) cardiovascular endurance training (riding a spin, mountain, or road bike, running, roller blading, exercise classes, etc.).
  3. Muscle Hypertrophy and low intensity interval training – this is important because the larger a muscle, the stronger a muscle. However, we do not want players to training like body builders rather, 3 – 6 weeks (depending on the length of the off-season training) of hypertrophy training which is sufficient to increase muscle size enough to “support” the weight training programs for the rest of the off-season.
  4. Muscle strength weight training and interval training.
  5. Muscle power weight training, plyometrics/jump training, and interval training.
  6. Taper (decrease intensity and volume of training) to get ready for training camp.

Hockey requires many components of fitness in order to perform at a high level . . .



Join The Coaches Site to access the latest drills, tactics & leadership lessons from hockey's top coaches.


Already a member? Login

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.5 / 5. Vote count: 2

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Since you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry this post was not useful for you...

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Add comment

Mike Bracko

Mike Bracko is a skating coach, skating researcher, strength & conditioning coach, and fitness educator. He holds a Doctorate degree in Exercise Science and Biomechanics and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach through the NSCA. He played hockey in the AJHL, BCHL and NCAA (University of Illinois-Chicago). He does skating clinics with 300–400 hockey players every year specializing in 1-on-1, small group, and team skating with male and female players ranging in age from 8 years old to pro players.  He is also the strength & conditioning coach for the USA Men’s Deaflympic hockey team.  [email protected]

View all posts