Why Baseline Testing is Critical for Hockey Players

Learn how baseline testing sets you up for success in your off-season hockey training program.

Hockey Bench Press

How often do you hear hockey players attribute their success to hard work during the off-season? Probably quite frequently, since this is a critical component of strong performance on the ice.

Your off-season workout program sets the tone for your entire season. (Learn more about hockey off-season workouts.) The harder you work, the more likely you will succeed. However, you can't go into the weight room and perform a bunch of random exercises and expect to improve. You need a progressive program designed to continually challenge your body. And before you start, you need to establish a baseline.

Hockey Baseline Testing

Before you begin a hockey training program, I recommend performing four indicator, or baseline, exercises—two lower-body and two upper-body—to test your strength, lower-body agility and upper-body stability, all essential attributes for hockey players. The exercises are the Deadlift, 40/40/40 Agility Test, Bench Press and Pull-Up.

Repeat these tests at intervals during your training to measure progress.

  • Initial baseline test
  • Phase One: hypertrophy (weeks 2-6)
  • Retest
  • Phase Two: speed, core strength, flexibility and explosive power (weeks 7-12)
  • Retest
  • Phase Three: hockey-specific conditioning (weeks 13-19)
  • Final test

How Baseline Testing Makes You Better

The idea is that if you structure your workouts to improve your performance in these four basic exercises, your performance on the ice will also improve. The testing program allows you to measure your workouts to see if, in fact, you are making progress toward accomplishing your goals. You should see improvement on each exercise after each successive phase. If you don't, then you need to adjust your workouts to account for and correct any weaknesses.

View the video below to see an off-season hockey training program in action.

Photo: stthomastimesjournal.com

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