Minnesota. It’s called ‘The State of Hockey’ – for good reasons.
The University of Minnesota has won five NCAA Men’s Division I Ice Hockey Championships and has been the runner-up eight times. The women’s program has won 6 NCAA Championships.
The list of All-Americans, Olympians, and professionals is long.
Physiologically, it’s a demanding sport. High-intensity intermittent skating, rapid changes in velocity and duration, and frequent body contact – all which challenge both the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems and require impressive muscular strength & power.
The person behind the preparation of Golden Gopher hockey is Cal Dietz, a highly regarded sports performance mind and coach – and an avid user of the 1080.
In this blog, we share some highlights from Cal’s 1080 Summit 2023 presentation from Park City, Utah focusing on off-season training.
One key to programming high-level athletes is individualization. The Principle of Individuality maintains that no two individuals will benefit from training exactly the same way. Differences in genetics, age, experience, body size, and health status can all affect the outcomes of a training program. In addition, some athletes may be strong but cannot express it quickly to produce high power outputs.
Based on 20+ years of data and experience, Dietz developed an algorithm (performancemadesimple.com) using the athlete’s height, weight, and 10 and 20 yard sprint times to classify them into 1 of 3 groups: Strength, Power, and Speed. This grouping then informs both the speed development and weight room programming for the athlete.
So, what about progressing and changing the program for the athlete over time? Cal states “I don’t use periodization. I use this formula to determine the next phase of what the athlete needs”.
Let’s Get Fired Up and Sprint
With the individual training prescription in hand, it’s times to start the training session. First matters – firing up the nervous system and fast-twitch muscle fiber recruitment.
Following a very short warm-up, including the GOAT Drill to get the brain and nervous system primed, Dietz starts every training session with 4-6 reps of some type of speed development, whether that be linear, curvilinear, lateral or change of direction. That’s right – every day starts with high-speed sprinting! And always with the 1080 Sprint.
The GOAT Drill is also used as active recovery in-between each sprinting rep. The GOAT Drill is adapted from the Infiniti Walk, where the athlete walks or runs in a figure 8 pattern with the eyes fixed on point in front. Cal explains that “this is a brain development drill….and is probably the best athlete development drill that I use.” For advanced athletes, constraints and barriers are added for complexity. For example, exchanging a tennis ball from hand-to-hand around the waist while teammates block your vision of the fixed point at the front. Learn more here.
Again, depending on which training program the athlete is assigned will dictate how the 1080 Sprint is used. For example, on a linear speed day a Strength athlete would do resisted 20m starts, a Power athlete would assisted 20m starts and a Speed athlete would do assisted 20m flys with corresponding loads.
Here are the 1080 Sprint Loading Guidelines for each drill created by Dietz along with Chris Korfist and Cody Anderson.
|Start Resisted||22-30 kg||10-15 kg||3-7 kg|
|Start Assisted||X||3-5 kg||8-12 kg|
|Fly Resisted||X||10-12 kg||4-6 kg|
|Fly Assisted||X||3-5 kg||5-8 kg|
|10-10-10 Pro Agility Resisted||X||10-15 kg||3-7 kg|
|10-10-10 Pro Agility Assisted||X||3-5 kg||8-12 kg|
|Zig-Zag Resisted||X||5-8 kg||3-5 kg|
|Zig-Zag Assisted||X||3-5 kg||5-8 kg|
|Primetime Fly Resisted||X||7-12 kg||5-8 kg|
|Primetime Fly Assisted||X||3-5 kg||5-8 kg|
|Primetime Start Resisted||X||7-12 kg||X|
|Primetime Start Assisted||X||3-5 kg||8-12 kg|
|Lateral Run No Cross Resisted||X||5-8 kg||3-5 kg|
|Lateral Run No Cross Assisted||X||3-5 kg||5-8 kg|
|Lateral Run Cross Resisted||X||5-8 kg||3-5 kg|
|Lateral Run Cross Assisted||X||3-5 kg||5-8 kg|
|Primetime Mini Fly Resisted||X||7-12 kg||5-10 kg|
|Primetime Mini Fly Assisted||X||5-10 kg||10-15 kg|
|Primetime Mini Start Resisted||X||5-8 kg||3-5 kg|
|Primetime Mini Start Assisted||X||5-10 kg||10-15 kg|
Into the Weight Room: Eccentric Boost, Jumps and Functional Transfer Complex
Following the sprint-based “warm-up”, it’s into the weight room to build strength and power (and more speed). Dietz utilizes both the 1080 Sprint and the 1080 Quantum Syncro in the weight room. The Quantum Syncro offers the ability to select load and speed during both the concentric and eccentric phases of any movement, and is utilized for both traditional resistance training exercises (hex bar deadlift and bench press), including supra maximal eccentrics at 120% of 1RM, and with jumps.
Dietz claims that the Quantum Syncro is “absolutely the most effective tool that exists”. In one case, Dietz “tricked” a 182 lb female to train heavy. The athlete had a force production of 580 lbs while performing an empty bar staggered stance hex bar deadlift when exposed to the Eccentric Boost function. Dietz stated “I don’t think you can match this. You can’t get this type of training anywhere else.”
Developing lower body power is key for hockey. Several jumps are performed using the 1080 Quantum Syncro including depth jumps, drop jumps, rotational depth jumps and lateral bounds to vertical jump. The concentric load is set at 3-8 kg and the eccentric load at 3x concentric load.
Being well read on the former Soviet/Eastern Bloc training systems, Dietz utilizes what he calls Functional Transfer Complexes (FTC) to enhance transfer of training. FTC’s are performed by pairing traditional resistance exercises with a high velocity movement performed with the 1080 Sprint that mimics an athletic movement. For example, the following are three FTC’s used by Dietz:
- Yuri Dive / 1080 Assisted Primetime Straight Leg Start
- Drop Jump Hexbar / Razor Curl / 1080 Assisted Sprint Start
- Groin Adduction / Glute Abduction / 1080 Resisted Lateral No Cross-over fly
The Bottom Line: Results
So, what kind of results are the outcome of this methodology? Dietz asks a rhetorical question “Do I get results that nobody else can get?” … “Yep, and this (the 1080) is one of the reasons why.”
Increased lower body strength and power and skating speed. Increased rotational power and slapshot velocity. Improved fatigue resistance and quality playing minutes.
And, most importantly National Championships and Olympic Gold Medals.
Cal Dietz, University of Minnesota, Associate Director of Athletic Performance (Men’s & Women’s Ice Hockey), Strength and Conditioning Head Coach U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team