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! WARNING ! Not All Headlines Tell The Whole Story!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Nate VanKouwenberg, MA, CFSC, USAW

Patrick Kane is off to an amazing start this year and credits how he feels to his off-season preparation! This is a huge W for Kane and for his trainer Ian Mack! BUT, instead of validating the importance of quality training methods, this Men’s Health headline pushes kids and parents away from what they really need. What if the headline read, “Kane Credits Early Success To Off-Season Training” Same article, but much different message. We’ve already had several people send us this article asking how we feel about Kane’s off-season program. So, let’s dive in and clear the air.

First, if you read past the headline, you’ll see great statements, like: “Traditional weight training is just one tool in what should be a pretty extensive tool box for performance training.” And, “So, does this mean you should give up weights, too? Unless you’re a professional hockey player, or some other athlete with hyper-specific goals probably not.” We couldn’t agree more, but how many people just read the headline, watched the video and moved on?

When it comes to “Ditching The Weights,” let’s pump the breaks. Yes, a recent shift in our field has placed an increased focus on movement, speed and power. We've made significant changes to our programs, including weekly timed sprints, daily vertical jump monitoring and PUSH Velocity Based Training. BUT, without a solid foundation of strength, the ceiling to maximal speed/ power output will be lowered. Strong athletes are also harder to hurt. We want to build resilient players that can handle the violent impact they will experience on the ice. With that said, we've realized there’s such thing as "strong enough." The goal of training any athlete is to produce transferable adaptations, not set world lifting records.

As stated in the article, limited strength training is an individualized approach for one specific world class athlete with ultra specific needs and goals. Kane is in the second half of his NHL career, so his goals are much different than a High School, College or Early Pro player. He already has a solid base of strength that he's built in the weight room since he was playing amateur hockey. Although we always incorporate some form of strength training, we take a very similar approach with our older NHL/ AHL guys in the summer. The primary goals go from turning heads in development camp to contributing to their team for 82 games and earning a contract extension.

It’s important that we continue to educate young athletes and parents how to sort through the crap. Read past click bait headlines and do your research before making drastic changes!


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