What is with the title? Let me explain.
First, here is some background information for those who are reading this blog for the first time. I am scheduled to do an RKC workshop in San Diego in August. I am currently training with Kettlebells so that I can make it through the weekend (which I hear is brutally challenging) and pass the Snatch test. My training is going really well. My sessions are spread throughout the week where I am doing h1-arm swings with a 32k on Monday, snatch prep with the 24k bell on Wednesdays, and high rep snatch work with the 16k bell on Fridays. Each day I am also doing Turkish Get Ups and Presses. This is a routine that I picked up from reading another one of Brett Jones’ articles and getting some practical instruction from Jim Hooper RKC who owns and operates Balboa Fitness here in Newport Beach, CA. I was fortunate to spend a few hours with Jim where he critiqued my form and gave me some pointers. We both agreed that the program I am following will be beneficial to me as I build up strength and endurance for the weekend and the test.
For those wondering about my snatch progression, I am on the 7+7 reps each arm on the minute for 12 minutes. I just finished 11 minutes last Wednesday; however, my form was breaking down on my left arm. I really didn’t think that another set would look or feel good. I am going to get another week of 7 reps before I head to 8 reps each hand in 10 minutes. I am going to own each stage before I progress to the next. On a different note, one thing that I was concerned about was my hands. I have experienced torn calluses now a few times. Each time, I had no clue they were torn until I looked at my hand when I put the bell down. Now I feel that I have figured it out as I have been obsessively shaving them down and smoothing them out. Now they feel better and I can grip the bells pretty good. The 100 rep goal will be attainable when I head down to San Diego.
What does this have to do with Hockey? I think as a Strength and Conditioning Coach, you owe it to your athletes and yourself to be in the possible condition you can be in. Many times when I tell someone what my training routine is, I usually get a response “what else are you doing” or “what are you doing for cardio/conditioning?” I probably don’t need to be doing anything else besides the work with the kettlebells because all of the endurance work with bells is probably sufficient enough. However, I really can’t train 3 days out of a possible 7.
One thing that I really enjoy is playing hockey. I have been playing in an adult league now for the last year. When I play, I really enjoy the competition. I really want to win no matter if it is a league game or a pick-up game that I play once per week. I actually just played a 10:40 pm game this past Saturday night. On the way to the rink, I thought back to when I was in my early twenties which was when Saturday nights were for other activities. If you asked me then if I could ever picture myself at age 35 playing a hockey game at 10:40 pm on a Saturday night, I would say you were crazy. Actually, the toughest part was that I am usually in bed an hour before the start time! It is just amazing how life changes right in front of you.
I really never skated until about 4 years ago here in Anaheim. I would started skating with the injured players to help them get their on-ice work done. It was difficult at first as I was absolutely terrible out there. However, our guys were more than helpful when it came to the small technical instructions that have helped me along the way. (By the way, I am still terrible when in comparison to the pro’s.) I know that my experience with our injured players and by playing in a league has helped me do my job better on a daily basis. My perspective has changed when it comes to designing workouts for strength and conditioning sessions for our players.
So when I am asked what I do for conditioning besides work with kettlebells, I say that I play hockey 2-3 times per week. Playing hockey is a really good conditioning tool. Several times, I will wear a heart rate monitor and I will usually see my heart rate in the 175-182 bpm range.
For now, this is what’s working for me. I feel great as I think the kettlebell work is helping my hockey performance and the hockey skating is helping my conditioning in the kettlebell work.