Ice Hockey Conditioning: Why you should be testing anaerobic threshold, how to do it, and how to train it

Sports conditioning is a topic that people constantly get wrong. It’s easy to do: at the surface, things seem clear, but the details and interplay with the entire body tend to get overlooked.

Hockey is different than other team sports in that it is more glycolytic. Proper shift duration and conditioning is of utmost importance if you want to be faster than the other team in the 3rd period.

In this video, I wanted to chip away at some components of conditioning for hockey players.

  • Why it’s important to understand basic bioenergetics
  • Why hockey strength and conditioning coaches need to understand anaerobic threshold
  • What is anaerobic threshold and how do we test for it
  • Why I think a stress test is not worth your time, money, and effort
  • The low-tech test that I prefer to administer, how I run it, what to do if you don’t have ice time available, and common pitfalls to avoid so that you can maximize your effectiveness

The test you’ll see in this video is known as a Modified Cooper Test. For more on this test and others like it, pick up Joel Jamieson’s Ultimate MMA Conditioning.

This video is an example of physiology applied to a sport. If you want to brush up on your physiology, I suggest you watch these two videos.

  1. Basic Bioenergetics: How does your body find the energy to exercise?
  2. Acute Responses to Exercise: An exercise physiology instructor discusses training adaptations

For further reading on this topic, this article from 1986 discusses the determination of anaerobic threshold based on CO2 uptake vs O2 uptake. More general information can be found in a basic exercise physiology textbook (e.g. Physiology of Sport and Exercise).

Published by Lance Goyke

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