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The one battle you'd envy: Keeping weight on Print
Written by Justin Bourne   
Tuesday, 25 May 2010 17:34
Justin Bourne

For 90 percent of hockey players, keeping on weight is a chore.

Once the season starts your job becomes an hour-plus of on-ice cardio in the morning, followed by weights, on practice days. On game day, it's a 20-minute sweat in the morning followed by two-plus hours of max exertion.

As a result, you ingest more powder than Daryl Strawberry in the 90s. The guys who have to pay attention to not getting too thin will keep a shaker on hand, grab a couple scoops, give it a quick mix and bury it – 500 calories, boom.

Chocolate milk is an amazing substitute for expensive mixes. Since it's close to the ideal recovery ratio of four carbs to one protein, it pretty much directly mimics any three-dollar Muscle Milk you can track down, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper. 

You eat, and you eat, and you eat.

I stayed at home during the summertime my college years, and my Mom's grocery bill always took a beating. Without fail she'd make an extra entire plate of food, cover it, and it was my job to eat it just before bed. And I'd still wake up lighter the next day. It was insane.

As a guy who needed to get bigger, I usually packed on another 10 pounds by mass-eating, protein supplementing, and lifting as much weight as humanly possible. I was fully aware that the second the season started I'd lose five, and hoped to end up plus-five on the previous season.

With the skinny guys trying to de-skinny, let's all sit here and take a moment to hate them. As if it's not enough they get to play hockey for a living, they get to eat McNuggets, too?

The reasons it's so crucial to not get too skinny are everywhere. Without the muscles to absorb hits, your structure takes the abuse. Bones, cartilage, everything – it's all under more pressure. You're more likely to get sick. You get flat-out pushed around. Worse still, come playoffs, it's easy to get worn down and simply have no energy for those trying weeks.

For the teams entering the Stanley Cup Finals, the five days afforded between rounds allows them the time to properly prepare their bodies to be at their best.

NHL players have the luxury of a team of strength and conditioning coaches to emphasize the importance of stretching, and the need to not just eat, but to eat the right things (for the real skinny guys like I was in college, they emphasize the need to eat anything. It was a Big Mac free-for-all that I regret not capitalizing on more).

NHL teams will have a fridge full of protein shakes, so it's pretty easy to grab one and mindlessly replace the calories you sweat out. There's no excuse to lose track of your weight.

The problem with the eat-then-eat-then-eat again lifestyle is, it's sort of what I got used to.

Now I'm sitting behind a computer screen, 10 feet from a fridge full of calories I highly doubt I'm burning with my fingertips. I'm sure a few of you can relate.

So, with the Finals about to start, and the skinny guys trying to de-skinny, let's all sit here and take a moment to hate them. As if it's not enough they get to play hockey for a living, they get to eat McNuggets, too? 

Man. I took that for granted.

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While logically I knew this, I hadn't ever sat down at thought about it. Think about how hard it is for joe-schmoe who's metabolism slows down when he hits 30 and he starts packing it on. For players who get out for a few years and then make a come-back that has got to be one of the most annoying things to get used to again.
Deirdre , June 03, 2010

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 18:39