Craig Adams of the Pittsburgh Penguins talks about his sports performance training at Umberger Performance. Given Craig’s level of development, we were able to advance into special physical preparation rather quickly. The summer of 2010 was his first summer here with us. He made some great strides in developing his explosiveness and maximal strength. Through hard work he was able to maintain most of his strength through the 2010-2011 season. This allowed us to hit the ground running once the year was over. In July, Craig’s strength was off the charts, which allowed us to focus on his energy system training(cardio) specific to his role with the Penguins. As a 4th line forward and a ferocious penalty killer, his conditioning needs are much different than those of RJ Umberger whose turning 24-26 shifts per game. In the United States we are barraged with “sport specific” terms by “trainers” that have ZERO idea what they talking about. 15 and 16 years don’t need to get sports specific. The Soviet Union did develop special exercises that enhanced an athletes performance in competition. This however isn’t what 99% of the athletes in the US are doing.
Specific Sports Performance Training For Each Athlete
“Trainers” and athletes talk about sport specifc conditioning a lot in the media. They aren’t even close to sports specific unless they are wearing a heart rate monitor. How could they be? Craig understands this hence why he lives with one on while he’s training with us. Conditioning is centered around the cardio vascular system and the host of chemical
proceses tied to energy production. It doesn’t make much sense for a parent to invest in a $100-$300 heart rate monitor for a 14 year old whose focus should be on general fitness, athletic technique, and strength training. Our older athletes that need to prepare for the specificity of their game and their own specific position wear heart rate monitors when they condition
ing at Umberger Performance. This is only after they have laid the proper base for development. Every athlete needs to properly develop their aerobic energy system in order to speed the recovery for the other energy systems. When talking about specific training for advanced or elite athletes this doesn’t happen on a bike for a non cyclical athlete. In other words, athletes that don’t compete on a bike should not be doing sport specific work on a bike with the intent on preparing them for competition. Lance Armstrong finished 856th in his first NYC Marathon. This is an athlete who has one of best VO2 Maxes ever recorded. Being awesome on a bike or in the pool won’t make an elite hockey player a better elite hockey player.
Please understand that what Craig is saying when describing sport specific. The Sports Science Practiced with our sports performance athletes is based on decades of research done on hundreds of thousands of elite athletes in the former Soviet Union and former East Germany. There’s way more to it than sprint intervals on a bike (which we don’t do).
Enjoy the video update on Craig’s summer. He even cracks a joke in the beginning. Since when does CFA crack jokes and not heads? Is Craig destine for a comic career post hockey?