Archive for the ‘Frost on Ice’ Category

Recovery for the Elite Athlete . . .

January 6th, 2009

 

Optimizing Recovery for the Elite Athlete

As a former hockey player, I understand the demands imposed upon the body during regular and post season. I am aware of the dedication, determination, and sacrifices required to be successful. I understand the amount of time that is required on the ice, in the gym, and watching videos. I also know that proper rest and sound nutrition are key elements when optimizing ones performance. I chose to write this article to resolve any confusion about what to consume after a game, practice, or workout session for one’s body to properly recover.
Working in the supplement and fitness industry, I am aware of many miss-conceptions that people have about what proper recovery is. It is important to note that this article is directed at athletes whose activity level is much higher than the average individual. First, I think it is beneficial to define what recovery is. Recovery is the act of saving or regaining something lost or returning to an original state.
 According to this definition, in order to have proper recovery one must replenish resources lost during acts such as sporting events, resistance training sessions, or speed walking. If resources are not fully replenished then proper recovery will not occur. All cells in the human body use and create a high energy molecule called ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate).
 A nutritious diet gives the body energy and once food is digested, ATP is formed and this fuels cells and gives off energy. ATP is constantly broken down to release stored energy between bonds and rebuilt to ensure enough energy is present to complete a task.
 There are three energy systems in the human body: creatine phosphate, glycolitic, and oxidative. These systems work to replenish ATP and I believe that it is necessary to provide a brief explanation of each system before further discussion of recovery.

Creatine Phosphate system (CP)
– Anaerobic in nature, meaning it does not require oxygen to be present. It relies on our stored creatine phosphate levels to rebuild ATP. This system is utilized in intense, quick bursts of energy, and lasts for approximately ten to twenty seconds. (i.e. 100m sprint)

Glycolitic system
– Anaerobic in nature. Relies on one’s glycogen levels to replenish ATP. Glycogen is the body’s stored form of carbohydrates which is mainly found in muscle tissue and the liver. This system activates once creatine phosphate levels have been depleted and can no longer replenish ATP. Energy can be supplied up to about two minutes of intense activity in the glycolitic system. (i.e. 400m run, 1 min hockey shift)

Oxidative system
– Aerobic in nature; therefore, it requires oxygen to be present. ATP is replenished by the breakdown of carbohydrates, fatty acids, and some amino acids (Branch Chain Amino Acids – BCAA’s). The oxidative system is utilized during low intensity exercise that starts after two minutes of exercise and can last for hours. (i.e. running a marathon)Human physiology is very complicated; however, this simplistic overview of the body’s energy systems provides an understanding of the processes that one’s body undergoes during energy expenditure.
Bodies recover in three steps in an orderly fashion:

Energy replenishment

Localized recovery

Systemic recovery

For an athlete who constantly participates in strenuous activity, it is imperative that he or she consumes and adequate amount of carbohydrates. As discussed earlier, it is evident that if an individual is performing quick bursts of energy or performing a very high intense activity for less than two minutes (shift in hockey, sprinting to get open in soccer match, football snap) much glycogen, glucose, and creatine stores are being utilized for energy. Ensuring that these stores are topped before strenuous activity will delay the onset of fatigue; therefore, this will result in enhanced performance because more energy can be exerted for longer periods of time.

Furthermore, one very common misconception about recovery is that an abundant amount of protein is essential. Protein is very important for maintaining lean body tissue, promoting growth, and might contribute to a stronger immune system; however, it is not the main source of fuel for the body. Our bodies consume more carbohydrates for energy; therefore, carbohydrates are an important element to a post workout shake and/or meal. Our bodies will not increase in function if we do not replenish the resources, mainly carbs and creatine, lost during exercise. Consuming carbohydrates post exercise starts the recovery process and inhibits catabolism of precious lean tissue. Preserving lean tissue should be the ultimate goal for an elite athlete because the presence of lean tissue has many benefits such as: maintaining joint integrity which decreases the risk of injury; increases bone density, increases Basal Metabolic Rate, increases blood flow, and conditions the heart and lungs to become more efficient at oxygen delivery and uptake. By providing our bodies with both carbohydrates and creatine post exercise, the body can focus its efforts towards repairing damaged tissue. This will help to increase and/or maintain function or decrease the amount of functional loss.

Additionally, protein is the building block of lean muscle tissue and consuming an adequate amount is essential for an elite athlete. Through strenuous bouts of exercise, damage to muscle tissue occurs and protein aids in tissue repair. Protein also helps reduce muscle soreness the day after intense exercise. The longer the exercise session or game, the more amino acids are being utilized to synthesize ATP. The amount of amino acids used is not substantial, in an hour long session of exercise approximately 5% of energy is coming from BCAA’s. Although this percentage is quite small, replenishment is still essential for recovery. Many people consume more protein than needed; however, many are not aware that excessive consumption of protein over a long period of time can be extremely over burdening and damaging to the kidneys, which could lead to kidney failure. An adequate amount of protein for an elite athlete should be 1.5-2.5 grams per pound of lean body mass.

Furthermore, a post workout shake and/or meal should consist of approximately 60-65% carbohydrates, 15-20% protein, and have a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. There are many supplements that contain this ratio; however, one I am fond of and know many elite athletes use is:

 

 

Endurox R4 offers:

Electrolytes
– These are lost through sweat glands, and should be replenished. Electrolytes aid in maintaining intra and extra-cellular water balance in the body. The main two electrolytes are potassium and sodium

Vitamins
– Anti-oxidants help neutralize free radicals that are formed from exercise, game, or practice. Although exercise is important for increasing and/or maintaining health, it is a stressor which attributes to free radical build up; therefore, anti-oxidants should be consumed.

Carbohydrates
– per serving there is 52 grams of carbohydrates. This aids in replenishment of utilized resources (glycogen, glucose).

Protein
– per serving there is 13 grams of protein, which aids in repairing of tissue. If prolonged exercise has taken place, it helps to replace used Amino Acids (mainly BCAA’s).This is a brief description of the Endurox ingredients; however, it is important to note that there are many different sport recovery drinks that have a relatively similar nutrient profile. I know many hockey players consume this product between the second and third periods and doing so they feel more energetic and are able to exert energy for longer periods of time. Taking a recovery drink, like Endurox, would definitely benefit any athlete competing at a high level.
It is crucial to take the necessary steps to ensure you are competing at an optimal level. Recovery is an easy step to take and it is essential if you want to excel in performance. Any post workout meal and/or shake should be considered a pre-pre- meal for your next workout, game, or practice. This will aid in proper recovery and allow one to perform at their best!
Don’t forget, protein alone is not a smart recovery choice. Replenishing ALL depleted resources ensures one is Optimizing Recovery .Special Story to Hockey God by Jordan Watson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANADA GOLD AGAIN !

January 5th, 2009

Canada won their 5th straight Gold medal in a sold out Ottawa building that fans shook with emotion.

Along with proudly booing everytime the puck went near the Swedish goaltender and big mouth Swedish player that put his foot in his mouth . You see you never say a word before a big game or playoffs that can be used as motivation by the other team in hockey.

The Swedish goaltender who had a great tournament has been stellar in the Swedish Elite league playing against men this season. But when Canada came crashing the net instead of keeping his composure, he flopped and acted like a young Dominik Hasek. Falling all over the ice so many times, he became public enemy number one for the fans.

The Canadians were once again dynamite throughout this huge tilt showing  that Canada is a hockey super power every year at this event.

Two players who will be playing in the NHL next season, sure fire first rounder John Tavares will be playing for the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa the Nations Capital. Right Ottawa ? This is a joke obviously but the way the Sens are playing, they may yet get a lottery pick and get a shot at  Tavares.

The other player that will be playing next season who almost made NHL club this season is Cody Hodgson who was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks. Mike Gillis, the Canucks GM has his player personal director all over Hodgson making sure he eats right, sleeps right and does everything he can to be ready to step in next season. For my money this kid was the best player for Canada in  the tournament, because as a former coach I love when players do everything that Hodgson does. He can score, he hits, he plays on all special teams.

Difference in this game was Canada came out ready and forced the Swede’s hard on the puck and pounded them at every chance. Then, like previously  mentioned the Swedish goalie opened up like a can of Swedish meatballs, opening up a window for Canadian ownership once again in Ottawa.

Pat Quinn’s coaching staff was excellent on special teams. The Power Play  was scary to say the least, you could not have asked for more timely goals especially tonight’s Gold medal game at the start of the 3rd period on fresh ice.That goal was Swedens back breaker without a doubt.

Canada is just dominate in World Jr tournaments and it goes without saying if you pull on the Canadian sweater, there is tremendous pride that goes with it!

CANADA BIG BOYS UP NEXT

Steve Yzerman met his executives Ken Holland, Kevin Lowe and Doug Armstrong in Montreal to start serious discussions about what players will get a chance to play for Canada. They narrowed their player list down to a group of roughly 40 plus players who will be watched closely during the second half of the NHL season.

The task of choosing the team is the toughest part of the job, but it’s not the only thing the group must consider. Yzerman hopes to have his coaching staff in place by the end of the spring and plans to hold a camp for prospective players in late August.

COACHING STAFF IS CRITICAL CHOICE

Look for Detroit’s, Mike Babcock to get the nod from his boss Stevie Y as Head Coach. Babcock seems to have the temperament to handle today’s superstars in Detroit and winning his first Stanley Cup will go a long way for the management that involves two of his bosses in Detroit.

After Babcock it will depend heavily on the type of system they want to play and the type of players they choose to play for Canada’s next world stage entry. Columbus’s Ken Hitchcock as always will get a close look but hopefully they bring in some new blood to devise a system that brings home Canada hockey dominance in Vancouver.

For Hockey God I’m Dave Frost

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NHL’s ALL STAR GAME A JOKE !

January 5th, 2009

NHL ALL STAR game includes some of the best skilled players in the game that much is true.

The NHL in hope of getting the fans revved up about the event allow fan balloting in each of the teams buildings on top of NHL.com write in votes. The NHL has long dropped the ball on this event with the game becoming a boring no hitter with very little to like about it.

MONTREAL ALL STAR BANANZA

But this years being in Montreal a Canadian City with rabid fans should be much better for the event that has very little interest right ? NO ! This years of all years is tainted by ballot stuffing and Montreal fans have flocked, being that it’s in Montreal to stuff it’s own players in the starting  fan voted lineup.

The starters for the East are Crosby leading the way which is a no brainer. Then Malkin, Crosby’s teammate who sits on top of the NHL in scoring is an obvious choice. What the hell is the only way to talk about the next pick from the Habs, it is none other than the lazy skilled Russian who went as much as 18 games this season with out a goal Alex Kovalev. Can anyone in Montreal tell me with a straight face that Kovalev has played better this year which is how it’s suppose to work than say Alex Ovechkin ? If you said yes, you are full of it, Ovechkin has slipped into 2nd in league points and is tied for first in Goals with 27 with another deserving player the Flyer’s Jeff Carter.

Ovechkin has 27 Goals to go along with his 26 helpers giving him almost as much goals or assists than Kovalev does points, this year at 9 goals for 28 points good for 74th overall in the league tied with Defenceman Sheldon Souray. Ovechkin should be the starter over Kovalev anyone can see that just by looking at their games and stats this season.

Then there is Habs D Mike Komisarek, who I actually think is a great tough puck moving D that I think Brian Burke with the Leafs should go after the minute this guy becomes a free agent for the wimpy club that plays in Toronto. Komisarek would be a good addition if they ran the All Star game the way I think they should (more on that later) but in the way it’s set up today, it’s not a great pick and let’s face it, it’s a homer fan pick.

Andrei Markov Montreal’s best D is a deserving pick but their could be a case made by several other D around the East as well.

Carey Price has showed that at a young age that he deserved  GM Gainey’s trust to go with him as the teams number one goalie. Price a starter for the East I”m not too sure about that, though, he has played well but has he been better than say Boston’s tandem which sit on top of the East. Or the Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist, the Devils back up that has come in a held the fort together for the hurting number one goalie with New Jersey, still having a great record under Scott Clemmensen. Price at the very least I can stand being their because he is a top flight goalie on a East team that is near the top of the conference. But you get the point with the voting and the bullshit that it all is moving forward in Montreal this year.

HOCKEY IS SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYED TOUGH

The All Star game is a collection of skill but does not turn into grace on ice with the stars showing their outstanding skill level at full speeds that hockey needs to be played at. No, it’s boring no hitter with zero emotion that is hard to watch.

Those people that say hockey is too tough , too many fights, are the same people that don’t like NFL football and the crushing hits that go with that. If you want to see figure skating and the skill that goes with that then watch it. But if your the NHL, don’t try to fool real hockey fans, you can give them shit skill in a rink and in the end it’s still shit skill in the rink!

ALL STAR BELONGS TO THE PLAYERS

Here is what they should do with the game for the NHL All Star game next season. Let the players choose the players that play in the All Star game next year. But make the option on the choices like this: The players would have 6 forward positions that would go to the top 6 in each conference, so that’s 12 forward players that would match the top scoring leaders and power play guys in the league. Then choose the 6 best goalies in each conference who are carrying his team at the time in the conference. Pick the next 3rd line players in each conference that bring to their respective teams a mix of skill, grit and passion for the game that will go out in an All Star game and play that same style. Then for the 4th line, each conference pick the best fighter so that’s 1 per team along with the conferences best penalty killing 4th line players to round out the forward units.

Then on D pick 3 of the best skilled power play puck moving D and allow for 6 spots 3 on each conference team. Then the other 6 spots 3 for each team is for the best D defencemen that combine a solid game with physical aggressive hitting mean D.

Add in a money prize that would give the winning team a good chunk of $change$ and let those players loose on each other.  You have a real NHL game but it would be the best of each job and position in the NHL going at it. Their would be personal pride from the skill players to the bottom 6 forwards to go along with the skill and tough D in each conference. Are you kidding me hitting, fighting, goals to go along with real hockey in an All Star game what a novel idea.

IN TUESDAYS HOCKEY GOD WE WILL PICK OUR ALL STAR LINE UPS USING THIS SYSTEM.

For Hockey God I’m Dave Frost.

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CROSBY FIGHTS ! AS DOES THE WEST !

January 3rd, 2009

Pens superstar Sidney Crosby showed once again that if he is provoked or is in the mood he too will drop the gloves. Florida’s Brett McLean found out on a draw when Crosby as shown in the video started to pound away on him. Crosby, who is frustrated with the play of his hockey team and the pressure of all that goes with carrying the team with Russian star Malkin, all seems to be getting old quick in Pittsburgh.

LOOKING FOR EXCUSES

It almost makes me sick that I hear hockey people complaining about the most ridiculous smallest things when it comes to not only Crosby but superstar players all over the league.

It seems, we like to eat our own when it comes to Hockey players and dissect every single little thing about them. Crosby as I wrote last week has zero problems, he is the best player on the team, he is 2nd in the entire NHL in points scoring race. Crosby’s only issue is after Malkin, their is not a hell of alot to play with in the top 6 in Pittsburgh. The team is getting no secondary scoring and the lineup is just not that good.

The coaching staff continues to look for answers and the media looks for excuses. Mike Milbury who was at one time a good tough aggressive coach in the NHL that made the mistake of moving into management. Milbury screwed up the Islanders with daft moves and high risk signings which resulted in Milbury now being a main stay in the media and not a GM now or in the future.

For Milbury to suggest on HNIC that Crosby’s living with the owner Mario Lemieux, who he has lived with since a rookie in The NHL is a problem is just stupid. Milbury also said that” Crosby’s Dad needs to find a job because he is at practice all the time”. Milbury saying this shows me once again how” hockey insecure” some people are in our game.

LOOK AT THE FACTS

Look if Crosby’s Dad is helping, telling, or other wise anything that is resulting in Crosby’s scoring race stats. If it is at  the moment or last year or the year before for that matter, I say keep doing whatever it is that has got Crosby to his All Star form. Why the hell should Milbury or anyone else care about Crosby’s living arrangements, or the fact that his old man is if helping him hockey wise. As long as he continues ripping the league up as he has for years now. I say PISS OFF to Milbury and whoever else is worrying about what Crosby is doing on or off the ice. First off you simply do not argue with the success he is having and has had on the ice. Second I don’t care what he does off the ice, he has never been in any trouble ever, he is a good kid by all indications off the ice and frankly his personal life is… just that PERSONAL. I was shocked that Milbury would try to use Crosby as the excuse for the teams sudden drop in the standings when he has done nothing but put up numbers. Look at the roster and his current linemates long before you look at him or Malkin as the problems in Pittsburgh. It didn’t matter where he was living last year or his Dad being around last year when Crosby was carrying the team to the Stanley Cup finals did it ? NO ! GIVE IT UP ! I say if it’s working leave it alone !

NHL FIGHTING MAJOR LEADERS:

Jared Boll 13, Riley Cote 12, Mike Brown 11, Daniel Carcillio 11, Erik Goodard 11, George Parros 11, Brandon Prust 11 ( Who is injured), Zack Stortini 11.

Two of the teams are in the West and one in the East, they are the Team Fighting Majors leaders:

All three teams just happen to be in a playoff spot!

1st: Canucks with 45 Fighting Majors with a record of: 21-15-4 good for 1 point out of 4th in the West. This without their number one goalie, for most of the season.

2nd: Flyers with 43 Fighting Majors with a record of 21-10-7 sit 3rd in the East and have always been the type of organization that believes in this type of team play for their players and fans.

3rd: Ducks with 42 Fighting Majors hold a record of 19-15-5 good for 6th in the League’s Western conference.

For Hockey God I’m Dave Frost

Toronto Getting Number #1 Pick Means Nothing!

January 2nd, 2009

For all the people out there media and fans alike that think somehow landing the number one pick in the NHL entry draft somehow gets the Leafs to the promise land, here’s a sad reality.

In means virtually nothing if first off the organization doesn’t properly develop the draft pick. Second, if you don’t get that player some strong supporting cast to play around him, your in the same boat as you were before you started.

Look at Sidney Crosby perhaps the best draft pick to come around in a long time who has developed into one of the leagues best players. But what does it really mean? He along with Russian superstar Malkin have formed a scary one two punch on the Pens power play yes. What have they got from these picks ? Well a trip to the Stanley Cup last year only to be beaten by the Detroit Red Wings, who use their draft picks from Europe to continue to build Championship teams. The Wings have the best scout in Europe bar none and the simple fact is their local scouting has been very average at best. Kenny Holland, the Wings GM looks like a genius and he is in his own right a very good decision maker when it comes to trades, free agent signings and getting his own players under contract. But he owes and I”m sure he knows it alot of his success to his European scout that just flat out finds players that can play.

1ST PICK GUARANTEE’S YOU NOTHING

In Columbus, their big draft choice Rick Nash is a prime time goal scorer and has proven without a doubt that it’s no fluke, this kid can find the net on a regular basis. But without a strong cast around him what has Columbus got from drafting Nash? Some ticket sales that would be for sure partly some of the bonus with Nash. But after that no Cups! no playoffs! and certainly they will find out soon when Nash likely leaves as a free agent no longevity!. In Toronto they don”t need to worry about ticket sales they need to worry about playoffs and Cups.

Their are some success stories but they usually do not happen over night in the NHL. In Tampa the former Owner once called Vinny Lecavalier the NHL version of Micheal Jordon. Well, obviously that was a stupid thing to say at the time with the kid being 18yrs old and just drafted. But you almost got to laugh at the comment now because Vinny is clearly one of the best talents in the NHL today just YEARS LATER.

Tampa did not see any rewards for a long period of time and when they did finally win a Cup, Vinny had a massive support cast in Tampa with him that resulted in them finally getting to the promise land. You see fans just expect that it will happen if you land one of these big fish draft picks and Toronto media is all over the Leafs to get a lottery pick and  chance at young JR sensation John Tavares. First off, the media would put so much ridiculous pressure on this kid to score it would probably kill the kids career in Toronto. That’s why you got to love the pick of rookie defensive defencman Luke Schenn. What pressure does he have really ? He keeps the puck out of trouble makes quick ups and clean passes he will stay UN noticed. But a savior up front in Toronto’s meat market media are you kidding me this kid would be expected to carry the franchise on his back and win a  Stanley Cup. Toronto media would cry every time this kid went 2 games without a goal.

TORONTO IS NOT TAMPA

History has proven it takes a hell of a lot more than a top draft pick to get you there. Toronto unlike Tampa would not be patient or kind to the high pick while he develops, learns the game and settles into a top role with the hockey club. Most of the local Toronto media would attempt anyways at eating this kid up and spitting him out. Vinny , Crosby, they are as good as they are and Crosby as media savvy as he is wouldn’t have been able to withstand the constant ridiculous expectations that is the Toronto media.

Toronto needs an overhaul that much is painfully obvious for anyone who really watches this team play night to night. But first round picks or in this case first over all lottery picks don’t mean a damn thing. Leafs GM Brain Burke needs to get lucky in the draft and have a few players develop like Corey Perry or Ryan Getzlaf did for the Ducks. But is there anyone who really thinks the Ducks win the Stanley Cup two years ago with Perry and Getzlaf in the line up but without top D men Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer. Not a chance not to mention they had goalies that could stop the puck on a nightly basis.

I know how most of the Toronto media works, if it sounds sexy 1st round draft pick then it must be good right ? No, not in Toronto if I were Tavares agent the last thing in the world I would want for my client is to be thrown into this fish bowl in TO. But if I were Nash I would want to come play here now after I have developed into a front line player. Then this would be a great place to settle in for the rest of my career.

MORAL OF THE STORY

What’s my point in all of this? Toronto needs to build through the draft somewhat yes, but Toronto absolutely needs to land some Canadian born free agents that want to play and win a Cup in the best Hockey City in the world if you ever won. The moral of the story is don’t worry so much about lottery picks that take years to develop. Worry about getting a goaltender that can stop the puck for starters. If you are the Leafs Dream team management then move to sign the before mentioned Canadian born free agents who have skill & grit and sprinkle in some astute draft picks if you want any chance at the promise land in Toronto.

For Hockey God I”m Dave Frost