T Nation

High Frequency for Ice Hockey Players (Look Like BB, Perform Like Athlete - Neural Charge)


Hey Christian

Being a person who always does too much, making my performance in in Hockey Trainings suffer, I came accross your “perform like Athlete” program. As it was similar but working with less weight and volume than I would normally do, I thought that by doing my weightlifting that way, I would be less tired in the other tasks I do next to weightlifting, especially my hockeytrainings (games worked always well).
However, after the “finding my 3rep max week” I started this program, and after some days I had one of the worst hockeytrainings of my life. It was not that my body was tired, I felt more mentally exhausted.

I don’t know if it’s because of the frequency, or that I directly started after the “3 max week”, or maybe it is normal that way as it is new for my body? (I was never a pussy crying about hard trainings and stuff, normally I just went through it and did even more until a bad feeling went away, but now with all people talking about overtraining and this shit I am afraid to fall in a downwards spiral or something, so I preferred to ask you what you think about it)

I wanted to know:

  1. How often a week should Hockeyplayers incorporate weightlifting during the season? -> I am on the Ice: Mo, (tue), Thu, (Fri), Sat, (sun)
    ->not in brackets: every week/ in brackets: sometimes/depends on the week. (I love weighttraining and do not want to stop it during the season)

  2. As i am pretty exhausted right now, should I just carry on with the program and see wheter it gets better or should I do a week Neural Charge Workouts instead of the Plan-Workouts?

  3. Is a neural charge workout also better than doing nothing when you are overtaxed (ore even overtrained)? Which neural charge circuits would you recommend the most?

  4. You mentioned that you trained some athletes 3 times a day, everyday of the week. Could you tell me how a day or a week like that looked? (I just want to get this overtraining shit people are talking out of my mind and assure once for all for me, that I cannot be overtrained.

  5. In the perform like athlete program you are suggesting three/four core lifts. Should you really do all three in a row or pic one/two out of them? The heavy-zone3 workouts feel pretty good like that, but after the light-zone1 workout I was feeling so bad on ice afterwards, some bodyparts even hurt after the two trainings…

Hey, I thank you so much for helping me! I really appreciate that and am looking forward to meeting you one day and thank you in person for what you are doing here. Great work for real!!!



How often are you training? -6 days a week in the gym as laid out in the article is too much for in-season, especially a tough sport like hockey


Normally “weightlifting” refers to the sport of weightlifting (what we call Olympic lifting) so “weightlifting” refers to variations of the snatch, clean and jerk. “weight lifting” refers to regular training.

I can’t really answer that question because it depends on the level you are playing. For example NHL pros travel a lot, and it is harder to get a lot of sessions in BUT they also have a structure working for them, so they can normally hit the gym 3x a week, not always hard, sometimes it’s only to activate themselves the day of a game. AHL is the worst because they have just as many games, but the travel is by bus and they don’t have structure. So getting 2x in is often all you can get.

In the juniors they have around 65 games and they can normally get 3 good sessions in. In US college hockey they have much few games and could get as many as 4 sessions if intensity and volume is planned correctly.


You should NOT follow a program designed for someone for whom training is his no.1 activity if it is your second. A pure lifting program is NOT designed for an in-season athlete. An in-season program should be designed as such, using anything else is not really smart.

I hate to break it down to you but I’ve worked with hundreds of hockey players from juniors to NHL pros and I’ve never seen one maintain all his muscle mass during the season. Some can minimize the loss but there is always some loss.

Neural charge is a bit smarter for now, but it’s still not an in-season plan.


You are not doing nothing, you are playing hockey. The principle behind neural charge is to keep your nervous system active without burning it out. Hockey practices can actually do that.


No because it is irrelevant to your situation. We are talking about people who were genetically gifted to recover from physical work, they had the physiological and neurological profile to withstand such frequency, you clearly do not (it’s okay, very few people have it). Answering that would only lead to a disaster.


Again, it’s not an in-season program for an athlete and should be used as such. In-season plan are carefully planned and will vary based on the sport and season. Never use generic programs to do that.


Wow, that’s what I call a fast and qualitative answer! Thank you so much for that!!
Yeah your right… in Junior we were crazy… in season training 4-6 times in the gym while being about 6 times on the ice, I guess we got older hahahhah
Now I am college level, 2-4 Trainings and 1-2 games a week. 4 trainings in the gym worked ok, it was pretty much the edge, a lot more seems too much. So I thought switching to the “athlete program” might be possible as it was more frequent (6 instead of 4days) but less volume and intensity.
Now I think you are right, I should do less. What would you say would be the smartest time to train off ice? On days where I have icetraining anyways, so that “free days” are used to recover? Or on “free days” so that there is trained everyday but not too much on one day? Or almost everyday but only very small sessions on icetraining days?

Thanks again for your effort. I really was stunned about how fast and good you answered and how much time you must have taken. Impressive!!!


This. Mostly because you are in season.