Why would you pay for something that you are not going to use? Why train your body in a way where you won't see any dramatic athletic improvement?

Many athletes go by the un
derstanding that they must run 6-12 miles to be considered conditioned. This is considered true, but only for some sports. From the NHL to Peewee hockey, every player takes a maximum of 45-60 second shifts. Goaltenders at times will have a 60 second time on attack and then have a period of rest due to the change in play. This being said...would running for an hour straight in the off-season be total benefit if you are a hockey player?

Doing This the Body is Simply Trained Incorrectly.


The body develops the wrong energy systems and puts strength training emphasis on the wrong muscle groups. Correct this! To get out of this dark hole you must understand that the energy systems that a hockey player uses must be trained specifically to the performance aspects acquired to play the sport.

What Do You Mean By Energy Systems, and Which Do I Train?

Energy Systems help provide energy, in scientific terms ATP, to the body.

There are 3 Different Types of Energy Systems:

1. ATP - PC
  • Short Explosive bursts of energy used. 20 - 30 second recovery time to regain. The system is called Adenosine- Triphosphate-Phosphocreatine system due to the fact that ATP breaks and restores energy into PC and PC breaks down ATP to create the bursts of all out intensity within 10 seconds. Once this energy system is depleted the lactic acid system of Anaerobic Glycolysis takes over.

2. Anaerobic Glycolysis

  • High intensity over a mid-duration of 30sec-2 minutes.15-25 minutes to recover half of the energy used. The Anaerobic system uses the energy stored in the muscles (glycogen) for short bursts of activity.Anaerobic metabolism (Breakdown) works without oxygen. The by-product is lactic acid, which is related to the burning sensation felt in the muscles during the high intensity efforts.

3. Aerobic

  • Low intensity over a long duration. Not explosive, and not used a lot in hockey. Helps anaerobic system recover more quickly. The heart and lungs work together to "pay back" this oxygen debt (Caused by Anaerobic Glycolysis) and break down the lactic acid. This phase is where the aerobic system is in control, using oxygen to convert stored carbohydrates into energy.


Energy Systems for Selected Sports

% ATP Contribution by Energy Systems

Sport/Activity

ATP-PC

Glycolisis

Aerobic


Baseball

80

15

5





Basketball

80

10

10





Field hockey

60

20

20





Football

90

10

0




Golf (swing)

100

0

0



Ice hockey

80

20

0




Soccer

60

20

20





Tennis

70

20

10





Marathon

0

2

98




Volleyball

90

10

0





Fox EL, Mathews DK (1974). Interval training: conditioning for sports and general fitness. Saunders College Publishing, Orlando, FL.


The two main energy systems that hockey players use are ATP- PC and Anaerobic Glycolysis.
Forwards and defense use approximately 80% ATP-PC and 20% Anaerobic Glycolysis. Goaltenders use largely 95% ATP-PC and 5% Anaerobic Glycolysis.

From these percentages it is important to remember that the Aerobic system creates a base to your anaerobic and ATP -PC speed endurance, helping both of them recover quicker. Your anaerobic endurance as a goaltender is applied to a workload over a longer duration of time and intensity used. Besides both of these, as a goaltender your main energy system is ATP-PC, where the focus is on speed endurance - sprint/ fast intervals.


How Does Interval Training Work?


Interval training can be best described as bouts of exercise interspersed with short rest intervals. It is based on the concept that more work can be completed at a higher relative intensity compared to continuous-type training.

The intensity and duration of the work intervals and the length of the rest periods dictates the training response. Very short, all-out bouts of work coupled with longer rest periods are used for speed and speed endurance development.

To read up more on how to perform interval training works and for interval training programs Click Here for a previous post describing the benefits - such as burning fat in less time.

Why Train in Intervals? What are the Benefits?

This repetitive form of training leads to the adaptation response. A response where the body begins to build new capillaries in your lungs, and is better able to take in and deliver oxygen to the working muscles. Muscles develop a higher tolerance to the build-up of lactate, and the heart muscle is strengthened. These changes result in improved performance particularly with the cardiovascular system.

Here is an example of how to train your ATP-PC energy system by using interval training. Doing a various sprint to walk regimen over a time period of 10-20 minutes will help you train constructively on your speed endurance. This can be done by running to the end of a soccer field, and then running diagonally to the corner at your max. speed while sprinting. After getting to 2 different points, then walk to the start again.





(Longer rest periods can be added where you can walk the whole distance and then start again)


Now How does this Relate to the Goaltending Position?



As a goaltender your game revolves around bursts of quick movements in a confined space. The opposition enters your defensive zone for a minute on attack at a time. During this minute there may be 2-3 shots with per-say 10-20 different movements and adjustments to your angle, depth, and body position that you may have to make.

There are numerous amounts of rest physically and then the intensity begins to pick up again. With short periods of time where you may be strictly positioned on the post when the play is in the corner. Then there will suddenly be a change in direction of the puck, forcing you to move at a high intensity. As we stress using speed at GDI by triggering quick movements, it is important to have that speed endurance built up to use at your maximum potential.

How Do I Practice this on the Ice?

Simple. The PSM's that you perform at GDI are understandably the most comparable to the interval training that you may perform in a game. Once you have the specific steps set in place to perform your movement from A to B then you will be able to progressively add speed and trigger quick powerful movements to every new distinguished position.

From all this being stated...the biggest aspect that you need to take out of this is the fact that as a goaltender your main source of energy bursts comes from training specifically speed endurance. Both other sys tems should be integrated into your training but to a point where they will help and not necessarily take over what the body is try to do.

As your speed endurance progresses, the amount of time it takes you to move from one position to another decreases. The quicker and more controlled you can move to a new position, the more controlled your save response will be. Ultimately...making your job in net easier!