As we move through the summer and into the season, we’ll be doing different types of training. Typically, we do different types of training to ensure that we’re optimizing the results.
Warm Up / Cool Down
A good warm up is critically important prior to all types of exercise. When we warm up, we’re trying to prepare our body for the movement and physical exertion to come. We want to warm up our muscles in advance of harder work and loosen them up to avoid injuries.
A good warm up is comprised of a series of low effort movements. Ideally, we’d like to get our heart rate up and move all the muscles that we’ll be using in our workout.
Many people mistake “stretching” for warming up. They aren’t the same thing. In fact, numerous studies have shown that doing static stretching (holding stretches for 10-60 seconds) as part of your warm up, often increases the chance of injuries. Rather, we’d like to stretch our muscles in a dynamic fashion (by moving them).
A good cool down is critically important to start the process of our body recovering. We want to bring our heart rate down and relax the muscles we’ve been using.
The cool down is typically where we would use static stretching.
Aerobic Exercise (Cardio)
“Aerobic” means “WITH oxygen”. This kind of exercise is fueled by the oxygen that you get from breathing. Aerobic exercise is cardiovascular conditioning that strengthens both your heart and lungs.
When we talk about doing “Cardio”, we’re usually talking about doing aerobic exercise.
Our body’s Aerobic Energy System is a highly efficient system that can support low-intensity work over long durations.
As you exercise, your muscles need more oxygen, which is carried by the blood, to keep going. This causes your heart rate to go up and makes you breathe deeply and quickly. While doing aerobic exercise, your small blood vessels get wider so that they can carry more oxygen to your large muscle groups, like the arms, legs, and hips.
Common aerobic exercises include:
- Running or jogging
- Walking, especially at a brisk pace
- Using cardio machines like a treadmill or elliptical
- Cycling or biking
- Jumping rope
- Step aerobics
- Stair climbing
These exercises get your heart rate and breathing up and keep them elevated for a longer period of time.
You should aim to do aerobic exercises activity for at least 30-60 minutes per session, 3-4 times each week.
Aerobic training typically takes place in heart rate Zone 2.
Anaerobic means “WITHOUR oxygen”. When you are doing anaerobic activities, your body is using a lot of energy in a short period of time, and the oxygen demand surpasses the oxygen supply. Instead of using oxygen, your body breaks down glucose that's already in your muscles to supply the required energy.
If we want to improve our strength, speed and power, we need to do exercises that increase our anaerobic capacity and power.
The body supplies energy for anaerobic exercise using two energy systems.
The Alactic Energy System (ATP-PC) uses fuel present in the muscles themselves and can produce high levels of energy for very short durations (10-15 seconds). These are usually short, explosive, MAXIMAL bursts.
For longer durations (20-120 seconds), the torch is passed to the Lactic (or Glycolytic) Energy System. The lactic energy system converts glucose in the blood to lactate which is then used in the muscles. The lactate is used as your primary source of energy for around a minute before you have to rest or slow down.
Athletes need to do anaerobic exercise that targets both their alactic and lactic energy systems.
Anaerobic activities are short, fast, high-intensity exercises.
Examples of anaerobic exercise include:
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
- Strength training including weight lifting. Muscular strength is the maximum output of one muscle contraction.
- Speed training like sprinting. Speed is the time it takes to cover a distance.
- Power training. Power is the relationship between speed and strength.
- Endurance training such as calisthenics like jump squats, box jumps, and plyometrics. Muscular endurance is the ability to repeatedly contract the muscle against low resistance without fatigue.
Alactic energy system training typically takes place in heart rate Zone 5.
Lactic energy system training typically takes place in heart rate Zone 4.
Mobility training is an over-arching term used to describe training the way that our bodies move.
Flexibility is the range of motion available at our joints. Flexibility can be developed using Dynamic Stretching (controlled movement) or Static Stretching (holding stretches).
Agility is the ability to change direction without the loss of speed or balance.
Balance is the ability to keep our centre of mass above our base of support.
Coordination is the ability to use multiple limbs and eyes together to produce accurate and smooth moves.
Reaction time is the time delay between the initiation of a stimulus and our response.
Sport / Skill Training
Skill training for hockey players typically includes developing game specific skills. Obviously, these include skating, shooting, passing and puck-handling.
We’ll start building individual training programs that incorporate all of these elements in the days and weeks ahead.
Today’s assignment is the first of our daily challenges.
- Do the Dot Drill — Click here for the explanation. Without resting, complete each of the 5 patterns six times each as described. Don’t forget to record your time. Post your time to the team WhatsApp group.