Is there really such a thing as ‘less is more’? Besides bikinis can this be true with hockey training? Can we reduce or eliminate some things from our program without losing a step? Or maybe even being a step ahead? 

Yesterday I did an interview on the phone with a big time strength coach out of the states. Just to clarify that last point, I was the one getting the info here. This coach was the one being interviewed. I’ll post the entire interview shortly once I’ve had a chance to edit for content and clarity and any connecting ideas to help convey the message.

Anyways this strength coach had a really unique perspective. It was unique in that he said he was always trying to look for the minimum. And in a sense this isn’t unique at all. North America is filled with people who are seeking the magic bullet for whatever they are seeking. They don’t want to do the necessary hard work and would love to discover a way to achieve the end result without any hard work.

That’s not what this coach had in mind. What he was talking about was the minimum level in order to see a response. What is the least amount of protein I need to take in to stimulate muscle growth? Or what is the least amount of volume I need to lift to achieve the same result?

Do you see the difference? They way most people look at things is a way to cop out. To get a free pass and not to invest any blood, sweat or tears towards achieving their goal. The way this coach was looking at it was the minimal amount of stress to put the human system under in order to reap the rewards.

You constantly see examples of the ‘more is better attitude’. If 1 gram of protein is recommended I’ll eat 2. If a team is doing 2-a-days to get ready for the season, we’ll do 3-a-days.

And unfortunately we don’t really measure to see if more is better. Nor do we take the time to see if more is worse.

Because the thing is anyone can crack a whip. And anyone can blow a whistle. But few can detect deterioration in performance. And fewer still will have the courage to hold up or end a training session early when they do see this.

So as you continue on with your hockey training keep the following in mind regarding your goals.

What is the minimum necessary to extract the most benefit from your efforts? When you think and then approach your training in this way you will realize the following benefits such as:

* Reduced incidence of over-training – If we can get the same result with less training this obviously supports a decreased incidence of over-training.

* Reduced chance of injury – Just due to the law of averages, fewer attempted lifts means fewer potential injuries.

* Increased intensity – If an athlete knows they have to do ‘X’ amount of work they will establish a particular work intensity. If this athlete knows they only have to do 1/2 ‘X’, the intensity will be higher.

* Increased focus – There’s nothing like marathon weight-room sessions to make the athlete and sometimes the coach feel like they can’t wait for the training to be over. And when this happens the mind can wander and there is a loss of focus.

There are many other benefits to approaching your training in this way. But there are a couple of conditions to this rule:

* Do not compromise on your sleep, rest, regeneration or recovery. We are trying to minimize the factors that put a stress on the body. As well, sleep is usually less than adequate for most athletes and should not be reduced in this regard.

* Do not use this approach simply as a way to get out of doing work. Be honest with yourself and reduce what you do as a way to test and improve, not as a way to be lazy.

Let me know what you think about this post. It’s probably counter to what most people think. Let me hear your comments.


Leave a Reply