Cardio is cardio right? It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something to improve your conditioning. It turns out that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When it comes to improving your body’s energy systems specificity is very important if you want it to translate to your performance as a goalie. Basically, specificity means that you have to train your body’s energy systems off the ice exactly as you’ll need them to perform on the ice. That’s why running a 5k can actually hurt your stamina in net because it doesn’t match your energy needs in goal.
What type of training should you do to increase your stamina in the net? Let’s start by looking at your body’s energy systems and which one you need to target to most increase your stamina. Without getting into an in depth scientific discussion, your body uses three energy systems:
• ATP/CP or Phosphagen System- capable of producing the most amount of power of the three, but can only be used for high intensity activity last up to 10 seconds.
• Glycolysis- is the predominant energy system used for all out activity lasting from 30 seconds to about 2 minutes. It’s primarily responsible for “the burn”.
• Aerobic System- it’s not surprising that the aerobic system, which is dependent on oxygen, is the most complex of the three energy systems. The metabolic reactions that take place in the presence of oxygen are responsible for most of the cellular energy produced by the body. However, aerobic metabolism is the slowest way to resynthesize ATP.
Your bodies’ energy systems are not like gears that you shift from one to another. They are more like an equalizer for music where you adjust the bass, treble and mid-range to get the sound you like. They are working simultaneously at all times. Your body’s work demands determines which one needs to be the most dominant one at any given time.
The position of goalie requires very specific energy demands. It requires brief to intermediate periods of high intense activity followed by periods of recovery. So when you look at the body’s three energy systems it’s clear that the first two, ATP-CP, Glycolysis, is where your training should be focused. Running a 5k will help develop the aerobic system, but will not improve the other two and these are the very energy systems that should be improved if you want to increase your stamina on the ice.
Goalies should focus on high intensity interval training for their conditioning off the ice. This closely mimics the on ice energy needs and will translate to greater increases in stamina than strictly aerobic training. I will warn you that high intensity interval training is not a pleasant experience, but neither is giving up a soft goal because you’re too tired to make the save.
This is a basic interval workout that is a good starting point for most goalies.
Warm Up – 5 minutes easy
30 seconds at Level 8-10
1 minute at Level 3-5
Repeat for 5 intervals
Cool Down – 5 minutes easy
Levels are based on Perceived Exertion with 1 = rest and 10 = maximum effort
Do cardio two days a week and increase intervals by one per week until you reach 10
Come back to the website often to check out workouts and videos that are posted on conditioning workouts. Its just another thing that will help you make more saves with less injuries.