Strength & conditioning: how long should we leave between a gym session and a match?

Discussion in 'Training Tips & Coaching' started by Hockeyjoe, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. Hockeyjoe

    Hockeyjoe FHF Starter

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    How many days rest should we leave before a game to make sure we are fresh? I try to not do anything like squats/ cleans in the 48 hours beforehand, but generally only leave a day's rest after something like a bike session. Curious to know others' thoughts.
     
  2. Waxy

    Waxy FHF Legend

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    I work to a similar rule of thumb - "no weights after Wednesdays" (games are Saturdays). The cardio is less of an issue given my position and I regularly do sprints or cardio sessions on Thursdays or Fridays, but I'm so reliant on fast twitch muscle and accurate placement / movement as a keeper that having limbs like jelly or walking onto the pitch like a slightly rusty robot from a heavy squat or deadline session just leads to problems.
     
  3. Mollster

    Mollster FHF Top Player

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    Waxy, do you mind me asking what your weekly workout schedule sort of looks like? I feel overwhelmed with what I should be doing when, feeling like I need to do weightlifting AND cardio AND plyometrics AND footwork/agility but have no idea really how I should fit it all in during season to make sure I'm not jelly legged on match day! Thanks for any help (feel free to DM response if you feel I am taking the thread off topic?)
     
  4. sanabas

    sanabas FHF All Time Great

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    My next game will be about 10 years since my last gym session. I think that's reasonable.
     
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  5. F1-mania

    F1-mania FHF Legend

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    I do my last leg session on Wednesday, do quite a bit of upper body and core work on a Thursday, and then leave a Friday morning for a casual 30 minute cycle on a spin bike before a foam roll and stretch. Never had a problem with feeling tired on a game day.

    We used to have a team gym session on a Tuesday before BUCS games on a Wednesday. Never felt any ill effects or Jelly legs from it. Generally if you recover properly afterwards you'll be fine the next day. In fact, I personally feel like I play significantly worse the next day if I've not managed to get my heart rate going to a decent level the day before.

    Worth mentioning I'm a keeper though, so I probably don't require as much recovery post training as outfield players. Not doing any heavy leg work 48 hours before a game is probably a reasonable rule of thumb. Just make sure you keep somewhat mobile, as your legs can get stiff quite quickly if left idle.
     
  6. Waxy

    Waxy FHF Legend

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    I'm far from an expert (and far from an Adonis!) but happy to share what I do for whatever value it may have. Thankfully I don't have to come up with any of the ideas myself as I use a PT twice a week so just do as instructed! My routine has also moved around a bit over the last year as I had a few specific targets. Off season was all about losing weight (106kg down to 97 by start of season), so it was cardio, cardio, cardio. Sprints, attack bike, cross trainer, rower (2km for time or sprints). All of them at challenging base pace (think fast jog) with bursts of extreme efforts (30 sec on / 90 sec off x 7 or 8 rounds). Occasionally throw in a circuit (check out FitBrit 2016 challenge for an idea).

    For the last few months I've been on more of a balanced schedule as below.
    Mon or Tues session (45min to 1hr) - generally a heavy one. My PT likes the classic olypmic lifts. I've had a bust elbow for the last month so after a short warm up it's squat, deadlifts or leg press - only one exercise each session but mixed around each week. Intention was to work in clean & jerk and shoulder press before I screwed my elbow. Low(ish) reps, heavy weights to build explosive power - breaks between sets as it's not about keeping your heart rate up. Heavy as you can 5 rep x 5 sets, when you start finding that manageable move to 8 rep x 3 sets at same weight, once you can do that without dying go back to 5 x 5 but up the weight. Free weights rather than machines (except leg press) as it engages your core and skeleto-muscle to stabilise you so you get much wider whole body benefits. No expert but I feel this gives me all the explosive power I need without plyometrics.

    Thursday session (1hr) - Cardio based. 1km or 2km hike at 15% incline, 5.5 to 6.0 kmph, if PT is feeling brutal then carrying a sandbag on shoulders for part as well. Then some interval training - sprints on rower, attack bike, cross trainer. Alternatively a boxing session with rounds interspersed with hand release burpees (that'll hit plyometrics too). Wrap up usually with sled push and pull alternated with lunges down a short (15m) track - fairly light weight on the sled but done at speed to keep the heart rate up. twice out and back is 1 set, but probably only do about 3 sets.

    During the season I tend to completely neglect my agility / footwork. Ideal would be getting some actual hockey training in - but my squad are pretty flakey about turning up. During the off season I built in ladder runs, low hurdle step overs and also animal movement (which is a lot harder than it sounds!). Flexibility I've managed to keep hold of after years of karate when I was a youth, so I stretch well before games and sessions but otherwise I pretty much ignore. Have tried pilates & yoga before but didn't have the time to work them in.

    Outside the gym I have a foam roller at home (god send) which sorts out any stiff or knotty bits when used a couple of times a week (or when needed). And I like my hiking so usually put in 7 or so miles with my wife on a Sunday too. As I say, I'm far from a respectable athlete but the above has got me down to about 97kg and just below 20% body fat in less than a year (at 6ft tall). Feel like I'm in a good place at the moment. As a side note, I'm fit only to be a keeper - I can do explosive power (10/20 sec burst) or slow chugging along for hours. But anything between destroys me within very short order.
     
  7. Mollster

    Mollster FHF Top Player

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    Thats incredibly helpful, thanks so much for taking the time to write it all out!

    I was fine during the summer/preseason. Just did 5x5 to build strength on squats, deads and overhead press, 3 times a week, with some cardio on gym days, and sprint sessions on days I wasn't lifting. Enjoyed it and saw great results, but as soon as the season came around I got really lost as I didn't know how to organise without potentially interfering with match day performance... it just really helps to know what other keepers are doing :) thanks again!
     
  8. Hockeyjoe

    Hockeyjoe FHF Starter

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    It's really interesting that only keepers seem to be replying to this thread.

    I read a study recently by a masters student who was looking at strength and conditioning work done by players in national league teams. What she found was that outfield players were very unlikely to be lifting weights, and specifically training legs, unless they were playing at an international level. Does anyone have any anecdotal evidence to attest to this?
     
  9. CoachP

    CoachP FHF Starter

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    You don't happen to remember where this paper was do you? Is it publicly available?
     
  10. F1-mania

    F1-mania FHF Legend

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    Potentially overkill, and I've not even begun to read through it, but I did stumble across this PhD thesis not all that long ago: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/5868/1/2014WhiteAPhD.pdf

    Probably some useful information in there if you're willing to browse through a few hundred pages.
     
  11. Hockeyjoe

    Hockeyjoe FHF Starter

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    http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/1124/1/Hibbert_10_MPhil.pdf

    Having just reread this I think I might have misrepresented the findings a little bit, but still an interesting read
     
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  12. Craggsy

    Craggsy Beikou Hockey founder
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    I do the following, its a bit rough as I keep my weights flexible depending on how sore I am.

    Saturday - Match
    Sunday - Coaching in the morning, gym to do Squats and some general flexibility/recovery stuff with a small amount of upper body assistance work (shoulder press, arms etc)
    Monday - Hockey training in the evening
    Tuesday - Deadlifts, followed by leg assistance work (lunges, calf raises and some SAQ footwork stuff).
    Wednesday - Bench press followed by remaining assistance stuff (rows, pull downs, arms)
    Thursday - Hockey training in evening
    Friday - Nothing!

    I used to do legs on a Wednesday but it was too much and I was still sore come Saturday. Splitting my main leg work out (squats) from the assistance work helps with the soreness, though being motivated to go to the gym on Sunday following a game is a challenge.

    Key thing is try something if you're still sore come match day its either 1) you're doing more volume than before so you'll be sore, which will pass as your body adjusts. 2) You're training too close to the match day giving yourself no chance to be fully fit. So go to the gym see how you go, if your soreness passes quicker then you might be able to train closer to a match, if it doesn't change your schedule around.
     
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  13. Johnny Heath

    Johnny Heath FHF Starter

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    I play midfield and I believe it's its all down to the individual. Everyone is different how their body reacts to training. The most important thing is not to carry on where you left off after 2-3 week break and immediately play a game without breaking yourself in. I have my own routine. I know what works for me. I love my Concept 2 rowing which is no impact and works all the major muscle groups. 30mins on that 3-4 times a week is fine.

    Back in January i registered to run the Dartmoor Discovery? U.K.'s single longest single lap road race at 32 miles. I was putting in a some big distances during the week. 2 runs totalling 25-35miles with hockey training and playing Saturday, with longest run on the Sunday. And you know what? It improved my endurance for hockey. My legs were like steel after running up some very steep acents. Think driving in 2nd gear in your car steep.

    Hockey focuses my mind during training. It makes the hurt all worth worthwhile. :)
     

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