Fitness
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Getting fit – how one pro stays in peak condition year round

Chris Schmidt, a defenceman for Team Germany, shares his training routine.

photos_articles_46.jpg(World Hockey Championships, Halifax)

Chris Schmidt was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the fifth round of the 1994 NHL entry draft. Born in Beaver Lodge, Alberta, he has dual citizenship and is a defenceman on Team Germany. He currently plays for the Iserlohn Roosters in the Deutsche Eishockey-Liga (the German Ice Hockey League). The 6’3, 212 pound blueliner lead Team Germany in scoring with two goals and four assists at the World Hockey Championships.

optimyz: How many games do you play in Europe?
Schmidt:In Europe, we don’t play as many. We play two, three a week, never back to back, so it’s a bit easier. In North America, we’re playing 80 a year.

optimyz: How often do you practice?
Schmidt: We practice every day we’re not playing, one day off the ice a week, and try to fit in a good day at the gym once a week. It’s usually about all the time you have just to recover from the weights. Usually, they want you to do that two to three days before the game. On ice, six days a week usually.

optimyz: Each session at the gym, how long are you there?
Schmidt:Not too long, because usually you’ve practiced and then you’ve come off the ice, changed, and hit the gym. It’s usually quick and you try and get the intensity up and get it over in 20 to 30 minutes. After an hour, hour and a half practice, it’s tough to get in there for much longer than a half hour, 40 minutes.

optimyz: How about nutrition?
Schmidt: I’m all over the map. I try to eat fairly healthy. Generally, I don’t really overload on carbs or meat. I just eat a balanced diet and that’s usually served me all right.

optimyz: During the off-season, what sort of training schedule do you have?
Schmidt: I train usually, four to five days a week. Usually about four days hard in the gym with heavy weights, plyos, maybe not four days a week with the plyos, but some kind of cardio, and usually a fifth day, I’ll go for a swim or a run.

optimyz: On those days in the gym, how much time are you spending in there?
Schmidt: Probably two to three hours. Maybe an hour, and hour 15 of weights, and then do some sprints, maybe some kind of intervals on the bike, plyometrics.

optimyz: Are you working different body parts every day?
Schmidt: Usually two days a week legs, two days a week upper body, alternating. As far as cardio goes, maybe a long ride once a week, sprints, plyos type of thing.

optimyz: Is there a lot of skating for you in the off-season?
Schmidt: Not a whole lot. In Germany, our camp kind of gets going August 1st and we have a pretty long training camp. It usually lasts about six weeks. So usually you have quite a while to get into it. Maybe five, six, seven, eight times a summer before I head over to shake some of the rust off.

optimyz: How does training camp in Europe compare to North America?
Schmidt:It’s different in Europe. You’re not trying to make the team. You’ve already signed. You’ve already got your 20, 22 guys on the team as opposed to North America where you go to a camp, there are 50 guys and you’re fighting from day one for a spot.

optimyz: So you don’t need to prove yourself as much per se?
Schmidt: No, it’s completely different. You come in and you’re on the team. Right away, you’re gelling as a team and going forward from that. Whereas, at an NHL camp, they last maybe 18 days now. Four, five days in, if you haven’t made a good impression, you’re out of there. You gotta be ready from day one

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