Top 10 Gifts Ideas for Athletes & Fitness Fanatics (+ 1 Extra!)

There is SO much to love about the Holidays: delicious food, the much-needed break from work or school, and time with family and friend. With the Holidays may come the pressure to get the perfect gifts for your friends and loved ones.

While we may not be able to force you to hit the gym over the winter break or keep your hands off the cookies, we can ease the stress of finding a gift for your fitness-fanatic girlfriend, beer-loving brother, CrossFit-obsessed buddy, and new-to-it-all parent!

Check out our Holiday Gift Guide to help make your loved one’s workouts awesome this year!

1. Foam Roller 

Foam rollers are great for EVERYONE on your fitness gift wish list. Self-myofascial release (the technical name for ‘rolling’). Is a safe, inexpensive and VERY effective technique that involves applying sustained pressure into the body’s connective tissue to help improve flexibility, recovery, and athletic performance.

Foam rollers, roller strips, rumble rollers, roller balls, peanuts are all inexpensive and make GREAT stocking stuffer!

2. Bands

Strength bands, minibands, bands with handles, ALL THE BANDS!!Bands are inexpensive a great addition to any athlete’s gym bag.

Bands are a great way to take your dynamic warm-ups to the next level. Bands allow you to warm-up sport specific muscles groups and movements like pitching arms before you throw, glutes before you hit the ice, hip flexors before you hit the track. They are light-weight, inexpensive, portable and great in a Christmas morning stocking!

3. Better Nutrition

Athletes are no different from anyone else—eating properly is tough. It’s a never-ending battle to keep ourselves fueled up and eating well, while also doing our best to fight off temptation.

Better nutrition impacts athletes in a number of ways—improved energy levels, a stronger immune system, faster recovery, and of course, better performance.

While nutrition fads come and go, the basics of good, solid nutrition remain. Investing in nutrition counselling, meal prep supplies, recipe books, and even cooking classes is a great way to help your athlete performance their best!

4. Supplements

Supplements are essential to any athlete or individual looking to get the most out of their workouts and bodies. Protein, weight gainer protein (for those who need it), BCAA’s,

electrolytes, creatine and omega-3 fish oils are the supplements that will give you the best results, have the  scientific backing and will aid in performance and recovery.

Come into SST Mississauga to check out our AWESOME Holiday Supplement bundles and deals! (Sorry, shameless plug!)

5. Shaker Bottle

Shaker bottles do not just have to be for the gym , I use mine every day, everywhere I go! They are great for supplements and your daily water intake at work, gym, or on the go!

Some great feature to look for are separate compartments to store supplements, blender lids, and clips that make it easy to attach to your gym or work bag.

6. Lifting Straps

Lifting straps are a great addition to any athlete’s gym bag. As an athlete gets stronger they may begin to find that the strength of their legs or arms starts to surpass the strength or endurance of their grip. Straps are used to support grip and allows an athlete to hold more weight than their grip can handle or can assist when grip has been exhausted in previous working sets.

Personally, I prefer a Lasso style strap made of a strong cotton or nylon. Leather, figure 8, single loops, and hook straps are also options available.

7. Bluetooth Headphones

If you have EVER done a workout in silence you know how awful and unmotivating it can be. Music is a way to shut the world out and get you focused on what needs to get done…LIFT!

Bluetooth headphone are a great innovation for any gym goer as it keeps the pesky cord out of your way while you are trying to lift, run, stretch and even bust the odd move!

8. Music Streaming Subscription

A great addition to those awesome headphone your already have wrapped and under the tree is a music streaming subscription. Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play are all great options to bring some excitement and motivation to your loved ones workout AND everyday life!

9. Fitness/Workout Journal 

A workout journal is a great way to help your loved one set goals, keep them accountable, track their progression, and help them reach their goals. A workout journal does not need to be complicated, a lined notebook can work great.


But if you’re looking to get them something a little more detailed there are great athlete and fitness specific journals on the market. They help track sleep quality, nutrition, workouts and more.

10. Gym Bag

Now that you have outfitted the athlete on your list with the great gear above they are going to need something to store and carry it to the gym in! A gym bag is essential to hold an athletes workout gear, recovery tools, supplements and water, pre/post-workout food, extra socks, headphone, training journal, etc.

Some features to look for are easy to use zippers, external pockets to for easy access and storage options, over the shoulder strap, light weight and durable material, and size big enough to hold everything they need!

Plus one Extra AWESOME gift for those on your list

An SST Gift Card

Shameless plug alert!! If your loved one looking for an advantage to their athletic performance or is new to the whole workout thing, an SST gift certificate is a great way to get them started or push them to their potential.

We have programs for every age and every fitness level. Gift certificates can be used for SST memberships, supplements, assessments, nutrition consultations, Butts and Guts, FAST Camp, and even personal training sessions.

Get yours before December 25th and get a FREE one-on-one personal session with one of our incredible SST Coaches; that’s a $120 value!

Check out our Facebook & Instagram pages for the latest SST news and more great Holiday & New Year deals!

Courtney Plewes BSc. Kin, CSCS

Director of Sport Performance /

Lead Strength & Conditioning Coach 

Sports Specific Training Mississauga 

1081 Brevik Place

Mississauga, ON L4W 3R7

P: (905) 624-6240


1 minute workout for fat loss- can it be done?

It sounds ridiculous but there is some very valid research to back this claim up!

Dr. Martin GIbala from McMaster University studied the effect of a 1 minute of all out maximum effort workout.  Subjects would perform perceived maximal effort exercise for 20 seconds and take a short rest – repeated three times.  What did they find?  12 weeks- 3 workouts per week increased the subject’s fitness level by 20%!!

This is significant for two reasons:

  1. One of the main excuses people have for NOT exercising is TIME…well this squashed that excuse like a good 1 minute round of sledgehammer work
  2. Maximum effort- most people think they are working out hard…but if we can provide a program which can pretty well guarantee you results in one minute….would you not to join with a friend?

In my next blogs I will provide a series of workouts using the one minute method in a creative fashion for guaranteed fat loss!

In the meantime if you would like to try a complimentary Butts and Guts session PLEASE CLICK HERE

Only risk is that you get into too good of shape!

The Pear – Dreaded Estrogen – Part 1

What is the best form of exercise for people who have high estrogen levels?  Is it strength training? Aerobics? Pilates? All nice choices but not the best form for what I typically call a pear shaped body.  The best and effective methods for getting rid of the junk and cellulite are a form of lactate training.   Let’s look at a typical sprinter…yes I now genetics does play a role but these athletes train and push them to the limit.  Ever get that feeling of throwing up?   If you don’t you are not creating enough lactate but if you are then you are in the right zone. By feeling this way one has increased lactate which leads to a dramatic increase in Growth Hormone resulting in significant burning of body fat. Consider that the amount of GH injected by professional body builders each day is actually a smaller amount than released by the body during lactate training (Poliquin, 2007). There are two very effective LEGAL methods of increasing Growth Hormone levels; Proper Exercise and Sleep! For this purpose we will only concentrate on increasing levels through exercise. There are many forms of exercise that are able to do this.  The cheapest and effective method is Sprinting


Feel The Burn!!

That “burn” one feels in a muscle is caused by the splitting of ATP (the body’s energy molecule) by the muscle in order to maintain its contractile properties. The lactate produced is actually supposed to decrease the amount of burn by neutralizing the acidic nature of the contracting muscle. If the muscles fill up, (with what?) they have to be emptied. The body uses the lactate as metabolic fuel for the heart, liver and kidneys (Brooks 1985).

Keep a look out for the 2nd part of this blog series.

Are you an Apple – Part 2?

What can be done to control insulin?

Well, let’s look at that professional football player I mentioned earlier. When tested, he was an apple. In fact he was a large Granny Smith!  What did we recommend for him?  He eliminated all refined carbs, increased his protein to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight and consumed 25 grams of fish oil each day (Must be wild pacific salmon oil). He maintained this protocol for eight weeks with built in cheat days where he could eat pizza, ice cream, cookies and anything else his mouth could find. What person wouldn’t love being able to have a pizza once in a while and still make such excellent changes in his body composition?


Cortisol? What’s that?

Stubborn abdominal fat is linked to high amounts of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is an energy hormone, which should be elevated when an individual wakes up and should decrease throughout the day. Unfortunately Apple types have a difficult time in a viscous cycle of yo-yo cortisol levels.  Excess stress such as job, family, financial issues all contribute to an increase in cortisol.  But, what I have found to be the main contributing factor to excess cortisol is what people put in their mouths on a daily basis. Yes, refined carbohydrates and any food that leads to an insulin spike will increase cortisol levels, which then lead to that stubborn abdominal fat.

We tell all of our ladies that everyone has abs; it’s just that some people have fat covering them!  Increased cortisol not only leads to abdominal fat but also is linked to a decrease of up to 50% in free testosterone!  The hormone testosterone is anabolic (meaning growth) while cortisol is catabolic (breaks down muscle tissue). Do you now know why I frown upon rhythmical cardio – it causes a breakdown of muscle tissue and decreases testosterone!  Heck, we work too hard in the gym to let this to occur.

The problem with the stress hormones is that they follow the same path as testosterone. In fact when someone is too stressed the hormone pregnenolone is being stolen to produce cortisol and lowers the levels of testosterone.


When an Apple type comes to us for help we put them on a Paleolithic type nutritional system.  Humans have been around for 2.5 million years and our DNA is 99% the same as our prehistoric ancestors. These hunters and gatherers consumed foods that were fresh and natural not processed or canned. They consumed organic types of meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds and some fruit.  Only after the agricultural revolution did we start to eat foods such as cookies, chips and Coke.  By consuming highly processed foods we are causing increased levels of insulin and robbing our raw resources to make more cortisol, which has led to our society being fatter than ever. Right now obesity is at epidemic proportions and is one of the most serious medical issues of our time.

Remember this: When you go grocery shopping, stick to the outside aisles and only go down another aisle to get your toilet paper.

All SST clients start on a similar type of protocol for 14 days.  They consume large amounts of fish oil, a high quality multi vitamin, 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight and follow a strength training program to increase their cross sectional muscle fibers.  What should be expected? We’ve seen menopausal women lose 3% body fat and 5-10lbs in only 2 weeks by following this protocol!

Just in case you missed Part 1 of this series – Are you an Apple? CLICK HERE

10 Foods Staples to Throw Out NOW!! – Part 2

nutnHere we are with our second installment of food staples that you need to rid your pantry of ASAP!

And of course what to replace them with!

Click the link in case you happened to miss Part 1


White bread, and even deceivingly, multi-grain breads contain zero whole grains, are made with enriched white flours, and little to no fiber. Meaning these breads will spike your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling unsatisfied and hungry again soon after eating.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – 100% Whole Grain Wheat Bread

whole grain bread
Look for breads with ‘whole grain’ as the first ingredient on the ingredient list. The first ingredient on any nutrition label means it is proportionately the most used ingredient in that particular product. Whole grains are not only great for keeping you satiated but can also help protect against many diet-related chronic diseases; such as diabetes.



While peanut butter on toast or fruit may seem like a smart snack choice, generic peanut butter is full of sugar, trans fats and little useful nutrients. Generic peanut butters (such as Kraft, Jif or Skippy) are usually highly processed using a technique called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen atoms to the molecular structure of fat in a product in order to make it more spreadable, creamier, and shelf-stable. This process actually lowers levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body and increases levels of bad cholesterol (LDL). Hydrogenated oils should be avoided as much as possible.nutrition fat loss,

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Natural Nut Butter
Now a days there are SO many nut butters to choose from! Almond, cashew, walnut, the choices are endless. When choosing a nut butter to keep your pantry stocked, read the ingredient list, there should be 3 or fewer ingredients and the first one should always be nuts.

nut butter


Trail Mix is another tricky snack dressed up and disguised as a healthy one. Pre-made trail mixes now contain chunks of chocolate, M&M’s, and dried fruit. Making this, could be healthy, staple more like a bag of candy.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Homemade trail mix

The best trial mix is the one you mix yourself! You can customize them to your own preferences and goals. Cut out the unwanted sugar and look to add ingredients such as 90% dark chocolate, almonds, and walnuts. Be sure to store them in air-tight containers to keep your mixture fresh!



White pasta has the same problems as white rice or white bread, it has been stripped of all its useful nutrients, is highly processed, and is a simple carbohydrate. It will spike your blood sugar levels as well as leave you feeling hungry again soon after your meal.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Garbanzo bean, Quinoa, Black Bean or Veggies Based Pastabean pastas

The one upside to the ridiculous gluten-free craze that hit the supermarket shelves was the introduction of vegetable based pastas! These ‘pastas’ contain more fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals. These options are going to keep your blood sugar levels steadier and keep you feeling full long after your meal. Granted they do not taste as bland or neutral as regular pasta but once you try these options you will not want to go back to tasteless pastas ever again!

Have you tried any of new food staples?!? Let us know how these new staples are fairing in your kitchen down in the comment section.

Check back next week for Part 3!

If you have any questions or comments make sure to ask in our comments section or email SST Mississauga’s Lead Strength Coach, Courtney  ( ).

10 Foods Staples to Throw Out NOW!! – Part 1

With busy schedules of work, school, kids, training, housework – the list can go on and on – pantry staples can be a great time saver in preparing your meals, avoiding the drive-thru and keeping your nutrition on track. However, there are many everyday staples in your pantry that are doing more harm than good and need to be thrown out immediately!

healthy pantryHaving healthy, nutrient dense pantry staples on hand will help keep you full longer, aid in lean muscle growth, increase your energy and help the waist line shrink!

Read on to find out what time saving staple need to be kicked to the curb and what you can replace them with!


These are the first thing that need to hit the trash bin!! This staple is quick, easy, LOADED with sugar and not much else. It is easy to be fooled by labels boasting about ‘added vitamins’, and pictures of whole almonds, oats, grains, mountain scenery… But even those cereals marketed as ‘healthy’ are usually loaded with sugar and refined carbohydrates and they lack sufficient fiber, protein, and healthy fats to help keep you energized and full for the start of your day. Because of this you are more likely to have a crash in blood sugar levels mid-morning causing more sugar cravings and having you reaching for snacks that contain more sugar and doing so earlier in the day then you should be.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Oatmealoatmeal

Were not talking to Quacker packets loaded with sugar. Stock your pantry with plain oats (steel cut are even better) that can be made on the stove top. They only take a couple minutes to prepare and you can customize them with all your favourites – almonds, cashew butter, fruits, seeds, flax-seed, organic honey, dark chocolate shavings – the possibilities are endless and delicious!


White rice is about as void of nutrients as a product can get. The heavy processing the rice goes through strips rice of almost all vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Along with that white rice is a refined carbohydrate meaning it is digested and absorbed by the body quickly, causing spikes in blood sugar levels which in turn forces your body to process the sugar quickly and leads to fat conversion and storage.

What to Keep On-hand Instead? – Red, Black or Wild Rice
These whole grain rice options may cost an extra buck or two but they are worth the splurge! Whole grain rices have vitamins, minerals, fiber, and are digested at a much slower rates. Allowing your body to properly prowild ricecess the carbohydrates and using them as fuel instead of converting them for fat storage. These options will also keep your blood sugar levels more stable leading to less cravings and the extra fiber will help keep you feeling full longer.




If you liked this post make sure to check back in a few days for Part 2!

If you have any questions or comments about this post make sure to ask in our comments section or email SST Mississauga’s Lead Strength Coach, Courtney  ( ).

Thank you for 20 Years!

2016 marks the 20 year anniversary of SST. 20 years in business is a long time, not only for a business to survive but flourish and expand, when so many other seemingly successful business models have failed along the way.

There are many contributing factors to the success of SST and I am taking this opportunity to share them with you. For that, we need to start at the beginning.

For anyone who is not familiar with my “back story”, in 1989  I was fortunate to receive a full athletic scholarship to UCF, one of the highest points in my life, only to have that very scholarship revoked due to an injury.  That injury was a direct result of improper training.

It was a result of this injury and subsequent loss of my athletic scholarship that the conception of SST came to be.  I believed that if athletes were trained properly, they would be stronger and faster in their field and less injuries would result, saving them from the disappointment of lost opportunity.

This was the conception of SST.  What started as an idea to help others, grew into a successful long term franchise, providing me with not only a long term career but also an outlet for my greatest passions, football and training.

SST had a humble beginning, starting off in a small gym in what was then Lord Elgin High School (now Robert Bateman).  A huge debt of gratitude must be paid to Tam Morrison, a teacher who shared the same vision as myself and helped get SST off the ground.

Lord Elgin was where teams like the Burlington Eagles came to train for hockey.  I have many fond memories of training future star athletes such as Tim Brent and Andrew Campbell on the back field of Lord Elgin in over 40 degree weather, pushing my Nissan truck around a dirt field. I am sure it is still a fond memory for the athletes too!

In 1999 I was fortunate to meet Steve Bodanis at a seminar and saw his enthusiasm and passion for athletes.  Steve quickly became my right hand man and one of my greatest friends.  Steve is now the owner of SST Hamilton, our very first franchise.

Eventually SST’s popularity began to grow and we outgrew the space provided by Lord Elgin.  In 2001 SST moved its location to Harrington Court.  This was an important move, it was at this location that SST became a household name in Boot Camp style workouts, with the launch of Fit and Lean and MaxFit44.

Harrington Court is also where I had the privilege of training many pro football players such as Mike O’Shea, Jeff Johnson, Jeff Keeping, Chad Remple and many others.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to train many fine young quarterbacks like Danny Brannagan (Vanier cup champ), Will Finch, Kyle Williams, Nathan Rourke and countless others. My passion is teaching and coaching, these athletes make it worthwhile.

SST has also enabled me to coach football with the BMFA for the last 8 years and thru this I have made great friends and relationships with so many terrific people. 20 years in business has allowed me to train and meet so many great student athletes.  It has been my pleasure getting to know these young people and watch them develop into successful adults. Rob Legate, Drew Collins, CJ Morrison, Stephanie Dwyer, Karla Leong to name a few, plus so many more wonderful people have been my absolute pleasure and privilege to know.

In 2010 SST Burlington moved locations again to its current New St. location.  This moved allowed again for expansion as we grew with our fast growing adult memberships.  This location also allowed for the addition of a sports therapy clinic. Peter Kissel and David Schenkel are outstanding at their crafts and have helped many clients.  We are grateful to have them and their staff as part of SST.

No training facility is complete without a special group of coaches and SST prides itself on our exceptional training staff. Over the years SST has been fortunate to recruit amazing trainers such as: John Blair, Dave Scott MacDowell and Sean Stewart. Each of our trainers have specific qualities and strengths and bring a unique flavor to SST.

A huge part of the ongoing success of SST has been our ability to franchise and grow.  Increasing our brand awareness and our place in the market.

I want to thank and express my appreciation to all SST franchise owners who have built SST in their own community. Each of them have added to the overall success of SST and I can’t thank them enough.

SST Hamilton: Our first Franchisee. Owner Steve Bodanis

SST Mississauga: Owner Rick Johnstone and Mike/ Nicole Tevlin. Former owner and good friend Mike Mc Carthy who helped build the Baseball Zone in conjunction with SST.

SST Waterloo: Owner Ajay Nagy who has won numerous Franchisee of the year awards.

SST Milton: Owner Jeff Jensen, who I met in a gym one day doing warmups- a terrific OLYMPIC lifting coach.

SST Oakville: Owner Delroy, a good friend and a tireless owner, we have shared a lot over the years and look forward to the next 20 with him.

SST Laval: Owner Antoine H, our first franchisee outside of Ontario, yet another owner who I have become great friends with. SST Laval was the winner of franchise of the year in 2015!

20 years in business has allowed me to train and meet some amazing people.  Clients have become friends and friends have become clients, contributing to the success of SST and for this I am both grateful and thankful.

Lastly and most importantly, I want to THANK YOU, my friends, clients and ambassadors of SST. You have meant more to me over the last 20 years than you could possibly know.  The success of SST would not be possible without you and your continued support. I would love to name everyone but there are literally thousands of you who have touched my life in one way or another.  I look forward to the next 20 years with my SST Family!


Il n’y a rien de pire pour celui ou celle qui s’entraine fort dans le gym que passer 4-5 heures par semaine à lever des poids et à se défoncer sur des entrainements difficiles sans voir les résultats escomptés. Voici 8 astuces pour s’assurer que le temps et les efforts investis seront payants.

  1. Les répétitions. Une grande majorité des répétitions exécutées dans un entrainement devraient être entre 6 et 12. Oui des répétitions plus basses, en force (2 à 5) et des ”finisher” de plus de 15 répétitions peuvent aider à la croissance des muscles, mais si on fait la plupart de nos séries entre 6 et 12 reps on s’assure d’un temps sous tension de 25 à 50 secondes, ce qui représente un temps sous tension idéal pour l’hypertrophie pour la plupart des muscles.
  2. Devenir plus fort. Un muscle doit être soumis à un stress mécanique important à chaque entrainement. Ce stress doit être suffisant pour forcer la croissance musculaire. Un exemple très commun est le gars qui a réussi à faire 225 lbs au bench press pour quelques répétitions et qui arrête de mettre plus de poids sur la barre. Le processus d’adaptation (nouveau muscle dans ce cas-ci) nécéssite que le corps soit soumis à un nouveau défi: 5lbs de plus sur la barre, ou une répétition de plus que la semaine précédente. Cherchez toujours à dépasser ce que vous avez fait la semaine précédente (même si cela prend quelques semaines avant de bouger). Cette manière de structurer vos entrainements vous gardera également toujours motivé pour vos entrainements car vous aurez un objectif bien précis, et réaliste, à atteindre.
  3. Le programme. Une des pires erreurs que j’ai faites quand j’étais jeune a été de changer trop souvent de programme. Dès que je voyais un nouveau programme qui avait aidé tel ou tel powerlifter ou bodybuilder à augmenter son bench press de 50 livres je changeais de programme (donc aux 2 semaines environ…). Il y a très peu de mauvais programmes, mais la plupart ne donneront pas de résultats avant plusieurs semaines. Le processus d’adaptation que j’ai mentionné au point précédent prend plusieurs entrainememts sur une longue période de temps avant de se manifester. Le corps humain ne s’adapte pas à des stress aléatoires. Par exemple, s’il faisait 0 degrés celcius un matin de juillet, pensez-vous que votre corps s’adapterait au froid pour quelques heures? Il le fait en novembre quand les températures demeurent basses sur une période de temps très longue et de manière progressive (sur plusieurs semaines). De la même manière le corps ne s’adaptera pas à un stress imposé par quelques entrainements sur 2 semaines, mais il le fera certainement sur une périodes de quelques semaines, voire de quelques mois.
  4. L’effort. Dans les 16 dernières années que j’ai passées à travailler dans les gyms, j’ai eu la chance de côtoyer plusieurs hommes et femmes qui n’avaient aucune connaissance en entrainement, aucune connaissance du corps humain et aucun support d’un entraineur qualifié mais qui arrivaient à des résultats exceptionnels. Ces personnes avaient tous et toutes en commun une éthique de travail irréprochable, ils se donnaient corps et âme à chaque entrainement comme si leur vie en dépendait. Je suis chanceux après toutes ces années au gym SST Laval de pouvoir ne travailler maintenant avec un groupe d’athlètes qui sont si motivés que chaque répétition, chaque série, chaque mouvement est fait avec le plus intense des efforts. Je suis certain que ces athlètes vont progresser parce que jamais un bon programme ou un nouveau supplément ne pourra remplacer l’effort au travail en musculation. Si vous n’êtes pas prêt à donner votre 100% à chaque répétition quand vous vous entrainez, vous n’aurez probablement jamais les résultats que vous désirez.


La vitesse est la principale qualité recherchée chez un joueur par les coach des sports de puissance comme le football et le hockey. Plus un athlète est rapide et plus il a de chances de faire l’équipe, d’être repêché et de dominer la competition Voici 8 principes qui peuvent vous aider à devenir un athlète plus rapide.

  1. Gagner en flexibilité. Une des clés pour courir plus vite est d’exécuter des foulées complètes. Un manqué de flexibilité dans les muscles fléchisseur de la hanche, dans les ischio-jambiers, dans les fessiers ou même au niveau des tendons d’achille empêche d’exécuter une foulée complète. C’est un fait bien connu que l’athlète qui court un 40 verges en 36 foulées au lieu de 40 améliorera son temps. De plus, une bonne flexibilité au niveau de ces musles aide à prévenir les blessures. Il faut donc prévoir du temps pour la flexibilité dans la routine d’un athlète au même titre que la musculation et la vitesse.
  2. Entrainement spécifique. Un linebacker au football court au maximum 15 à 20 verges par jeu. Un joueur de hockey développe un maximum de force sur ses 3 ou 4 premiers coups de patin. Les systèmes d’énergie utilisés dans les sports d’explosion (hockey, football, basketball) sont du type anaérobique (en absence d’oxygène). Une majorité des entrainements doivent reproduire ces conditions et être très spécifiques aux demandes du sport. Bien que du jogging à faible intensité ne soit pas mauvais en soi, il n’aidera pas un joueur de hockey ou de football à développer une bonne capacité à performer tout au long de sa partie à l’intensité très élevée sur courte distance qui caractérise les 2 sports. Si vous êtes un joueur de ligne au football qui court des 400m, vous devriez changer votre entrainement pour quelque chose de plus spécifique à votre position (et vos genoux vous remercieront).
  3. Ne jamais s’entrainer en état de fatigue. L’entrainement de sprint ou pour la vitesse est un entrainement très demandant pour le système nerveux. S’il est fatigué par des entrainements antérieurs, l’athlète risque d’exécuter des mouvements incorrects et ainsi d’intégrer un mauvais patron moteur. Chez SST Laval, si un athlète n’est pas capable d’atteindre ses vitesses habituelles lors d’un entrainement de vitesse il est retourné chez lui pour du repos ou il fait un entrainement qui ne requiert pas une grosse implication du système nerveux.
  4. Utiliser la pliométrie. La pliométrie est un entrainement ou l’athlète exécute des sauts et des bonds multiples à partir de différentes hauteurs. Lors de l’atterissage après le saut le muscle s’étire très rapidement et doit se recourcir (et se contracter) très rapidement pour exécuter le saut suivant. Plus un muscle devient efficace à s’allonger et à se contracter rapidement et plus il transférera cette puissance sur le terrain ou sur la glace lors de sprints, de changements de directon ou d’arrêts brusques. Le seul hic est que la pliométrie doit être adaptée au sport, à la force et au niveau de développement de l’athlète. Un athlète devrait toujours faire ce type d’entrainement supervisé par un entraineur qualifié.


La vitesse est la principale qualité recherchée chez un joueur par les coach des sports de puissance comme le football et le hockey. Plus un athlète est rapide et plus il a de chances de faire l’équipe, d’être repêché et de dominer la competition Voici 8 principes qui peuvent vous aider à devenir un athlète plus rapide.

  1. Améliorer la composition corporelle. Des études ont démontré que le simple fait de perdre 5 livres pouvait augmenter la vitesse d’un joueur de football de 0.05 à 0.10 secondes sur une distances de 40 verges (dépendant du niveau de l’athlète cela représente une amélioration de 2 à 5%!). J’ai même vu lors de mo pasage comme assistant coach de force dans la LNH un joueur vedette recevoir une amende de plusieurs milliers de dollars au premier jour du camp parce que son taux de gras était supérieur à 10%. Il est important de comprendre que ce point vise la perte de masse adipeuse et non musculaire. Une alimentation saine et équilibrée est donc recommandée pour arriver à cette fin, et ce, tout au long de la saison aussi bien que la saison morte. Le prochain article portera sur les saines pratiques alimentaires pour les athlètes.
  2. Apprendre la bonne mécanique de sprint. Il suffit de regarder un sprinter de haut niveau courir pour se render compte que ses mouvements sont fluides et qu’il ne gaspille pas d’énergie à faire des gestes inutiles. La mécanique de course, comme n’importe quelle autre habileté sportive doit être enseignée comme il faut. Lorsqu’un athlète déjà puissant apprend à courir ses temps peuvent s’améliorer grandement. Il n’est pas rare en effet en un été chez SST Laval de voir un athlète abaisser son 40 verges de 0,05 à 0,10 secondes. Mes joueurs de hockey bénéficient également beaucoup d’un bon programme de sprint après leur saison. La vitesse acquise ainsi aide à leur coup de patin et aide à leur mobilité au niveau des hanches et de la cheville (ce qui aide à prévenir plusieurs blessures chroniques également).
  3. Améliorer sa force. J’explique souvent aux parents de joueurs de hockey, football, soccer, basketball, etc, que la qualité physiologique ayant le plus d’impact sur la performance de leur jeune est la force relative. Dès qu’un athlète augmente sa force relative (par rapport à son propre poids), il génère plus de force à chaque coup de patin, à chaque pas. Il change de direction plus rapidement, freine plus rapidement, saute plus haut, etc. L’approche que nous prévilégions chez SST Laval est de débuter très tôt l’entrainement en force (en respectant bien sûr le stade de développement du jeune) afin qu’iI atteigne son plein potentiel lorsqu’il sera un jeune adulte.
  4. Travailler la chaine postérieure. La chaine postérieure est composée des muscles ischio-jambiers, des fessiers et du bas du dos. Ces muscles sont souvent négligés et faibles chez plusieurs athlètes (même au niveau professionnel). Pourtant ils sont d’une importance capitale pour le développement de la vitesse dans les sports de course et pour la prevention des blessures et pour la longévité des carrières au hockey. Ces muscles doivent souvent être priorisés dans l’entrainement des athlètes de puissance.