Jarome Iginla Workout
Jarome Iginla has an explosive workout routine that provides him with incredible speed, agility, and not to mention, true muscle strength and a ripped body. Iginla has a tremendous work ethic and at 6'1" and 210 lbs., this big hockey captain from the Calgary Flames of the NHL works hard on and off the ice.
You can always appreciate a skater who can score and be willing to throw down with his fists when tested. That player is Jarome Iginla who is so gifted he has carried the Flames on his back for several years. The only way Iginla is capable of doing this is because he puts in the work in the off-season. Just take a look.
Calgary Flames' strength and conditioning coach, Rich Hesketh, designs a two-hour program for Jarome, where Iginla focuses on maximum output at short bursts. Hockey is all about a game of sprints. Players only stay on the ice for a minute or two at a time. During this short time, they go all out and are constantly sprinting. Iginla must be fully conditioned for this so Hesketh makes sure he is prepared at all levels.
During the summer, Iginla works his off-season training as if it were a 9-5 job, Monday to Friday, weekends off. “Some people don’t take weekends off,” says Iginla, “I find I need it. It’s a mental break.” Remember, this is his off-season, when his competition is vacationing in the Caribbean Isles. By giving himself two days off, Iginla gets additional rest and recovery. Professional athletes constantly take a beating from their bodies so it is imperative to rest. Not only does rest aid in healing but it provide muscle growth. Your muscles grow when it rests, not during training.
Iginla (left) has one of the best physiques in the NHL
today. You can attribute this to his intense training
Monday- AM-Sprints; Afternoon- Heavy Lifting
“Monday is a workday for me,” he begins. “That’s my speed day where I’ll sprint. I’ll have different variations during the summer, from ten yards to sixty, and then l’ll change it up and cycle or whatever. Then after my sprints on Monday would be my lifts—my heavy lifts. Those are together: sprints then lifts." Sprints mirror the game of hockey so this is very important to do. Heavy lifting is important because it builds power and explosion.
Tuesday- Tempo day- Ab work; Cardio
“Tuesday is my tempo day, where I am recovering, where I do some abs, a lot of abs, and some sort of cardio, but not too hard cardio, within seventy-five per cent.” It's not good to do cardio every single day at vigorous levels so doing light cardio can be beneficial.
“I find that [yoga has] helped me to listen to my body more,” says Iginla. “Some days I can’t push; some days it’s not good to push. Some days my knee’s a little sore. Now I listen, you know. It’s better to be healthy than to push into injury. I think it’s been a really good balance, and it helps me to ease up sometimes.” Yoga helps with balance and stability and trains muscles you wouldn't normally hit in the weight room. Not to mention, yoga helps fight off injuries. This can benefit Iginla's game even more.
Thursday- AM-Sprints; Afternoon- Heavy Lifting
Friday- Tempo day- Ab work; Cardio
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Saturday, Sunday- Off
“When I was younger, I used to do more volume. I used to do more—longer, not harder—longer during the week. Now I find I can still work just as hard, but not as long.“ Iginla goes on to say, “We do the same tests every year, and it’s neat because with a little bit more rest, I’m not detraining. I can push it at the right times, and rest up. You need to push on the push days and to relax on the other days, you know, and I take that over into the season into the games because one thing I do need to do sometimes is ease up, relax, and not just push and work hard. There’s a certain time for everything, and you need to try to ease up a little bit more.” As was said before, rest and recovery is essential for these athletes. Too few rest days can lead to overtraining and compromising your progress.
During the season, Iginla's routine is a little different. “After a game I’ll go in and I’ll do squats, I’ll do cleans, I’ll do bench press, I’ll do some kind of row, like a bent-over row, and if I’m feeling good I’ll do four, and I’ll do three sets of each, try to keep the reps low, and if I’m a little tired after a game, I’ll maybe just do two of those exercises, maybe a push and a pull, but I always try to do as heavy as I’ve got that day. I find that as the year goes on, some guys do lift, but not everyone lifts heavy or maintains their strength.... So it gives me confidence that I’m maintaining it, and I feel like sometimes you can get stronger as the year goes on, and that’s the goal.” It's not always good to lift heavy due to the higher risk of injury. It's good to do a combination of high reps and low reps. However, Iginla seems to prefer going heavy. Lifting heavy builds explosive muscles and works on the fast twitch muscle fibers, which coincides with the game of hockey. Iginla is a professional and knows the proper way to go heavy. Everybody grows differently so it's important to find out what kind of workout benefits you the most. For Iginla, it seems like going heavy is the way to go.
Iginla says that the dynamic and explosive lifts is what has translated into his success on the ice. “I find they really help your first couple steps,” he says. “And you know in hockey your first couple steps are very, very important. It’s not always how fast you can run your hundred metres ... it’s your first few steps that, if you can get out ahead of the guy, you can lean in and use your body and have the advantage. You’re reacting. You never know where your body is going to pull you; you never know how your body is going to get hit, so I find that to be able to be more flexible, to be more athletic, not to be rigid, and to train that way, and on my recovery days sometimes in the summer maybe I’ll play tennis, maybe a while back, played soccer out in Kelowna with some of the other hockey guys and stuff—but it gets a little physical—it’s those types of things—to be more well rounded. There’s so much.” As you can see, Iginla knows exactly why going heavy benefits him so much. Hockey is all about those short bursts and going heavy and explosive is what can get you there.
Iginla also makes sure his nutrition is in top-gear as well. He makes sure he eats 4,500 calories a day while training in the off-season to ensure he lost some fat. He lost 8 pounds over the off-season even with eating this large amount of calories, indicating the amount of training he does. He eats small meals throughout the day and never goes more than 2 hours without eating something to make sure his metabolism is firing.
• FIRST BREAKFAST- Before training, Iginla eats a bowl of raisin bran.
• SECOND BREAKFAST- After training, Iginla has a protein shake (half cup blueberries, banana, half cup of 1% milk, 50 grams of protein powder, spoonful of peanut butter).
• LUNCH- Two buffalo burgers on a bun; lettuce, tomato. Why? "They're leaner than hamburgers," Iginla says.
• SNACK- Protein bar (30 grams) and fruit. Over the course of a day Iginla ate 2 1/2 pounds of fruit. "In Kelowna [B.C., where he lives] cherries were everywhere.... That's where I got most of my carbs."
• DINNER- Baked halibut, white rice and green beans. "After dinner I'd probably have another protein bar."
• BEFORE BED- Protein powder (30 grams) mixed with water.
Iginla goes on to say, "Now we have a nutritionist that works with the team, and we always have our meals after the games. We have that option. You don’t have to, but you have the option to stay in and get it in you right after the game.... They always serve chicken, pasta, chicken and rice, steak, chili, it’s definitely a health-conscious menu, where it’s for getting the carbs after.”
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