Although it may seem outdated, lots of hockey coaches still think bulking is negative for players. The reasoning behind this belief relies on the fact that coaches think getting bigger and bulkier will make athletes feel heavy and slow on the pitch.
Bulking will only have benefits to the body, as gaining muscle and growing their frame gives hockey players the chance to make the most out of their abilities. In this article, the reasons why hockey players should start bulking now to improve their performance will be shared.
More Strength for Longer Periods of Time
Doing some heavy-weight low-rep training sessions every week will help you get stronger and gain muscle in the process. Adding some hypertrophy periods to your training in order to avoid getting into a plateau translates in you gaining lean muscle mass, thus building stronger and bigger muscles without affecting your speed and agility on the pitch.
Gaining Speed by Fixing Muscular Imbalances
Bad posture and weak muscles are common among hockey players, whether they are professional or not. This is due to the basic skating posture players adopt for extended periods of time: a hunched-over half-squat position which will only damage their muscles. Training the back side of the body, mostly glutes and hamstrings, will help to avoid this.
Avoid Injuries by Protecting the Body
Currently, some of the most common injuries in almost every sport are groin strains. Protecting the body in order to avoid this kind of injuries by gaining some lean muscle mass and strength in areas like the hip flexors, lower abs, glutes, and hamstrings, is pretty much mandatory.
Gaining muscle on the upper body will also help players to have ‘armor’ against heavy contact situations which are extremely common in sports like hockey.
3 Tips for Bulking
Now you know why bulking is important if you are a hockey athlete. Next, we provide some handy tips to get your bulking started easily.
Mind Your Nutrition
Nutrition plays an integral role when you are building muscle and doing bulking exercises. You should eat at least 5-7 small meals per day, and each should consist of the right amount of fat, water, protein and carbohydrates.
Focus on Functional Muscles
While bulking can be confused with bodybuilding, the truth is you want to focus on strength and muscles. The purpose of bulking is after all to improve your performance on the pitch, so be sure that you focus on all your functional muscle groups when training.
Follow the Right Training Program
Finally, you’ll need to follow a professional training program to ensure you target all the right functional muscles. This will also include following a balanced diet. The ideal program consists of four phases; Introduction, Hypertrophy, Strength and finally, the Power phase.
Although knowing how to bulk properly may seem easy, it takes some time and effort to actually do it and make it right. The positive rewards from bulking is certainly worth the work put to it, as it grants hockey players better performance and more strength and resistance in the long run.