Photo by Mark Stosberg
Riding your bike to work (or school) might be a great way for you to stay in shape during the off-season. In most areas the weather is perfect this time of year, so now is a great time to get yourself into the habit. In addition to the numerous health benefits, you can save money on gas, help the environment, and get $20 a month for riding! (Check with your employer to see if they participate in the commuter tax benefit program). Since cycling is mostly an aerobic exercise while hockey is an anaerobic activity, you probably won’t see huge gains in your one-minute line shifts, but your overall endurance should improve. You could always power up a steep hill as fast as you can if you wanted to work on your explosiveness, but if you’re training for hockey there are other workouts that you would be better off doing. Riding your bike is simply a substitute for commuting to work in a car and it should not be used in place of a hockey-specific training regimen. If you are looking for a good off-ice training program, take a look at Jeremy Weiss’ S3 Formula. The point is, and I think anyone would agree, that riding a bike will probably strengthen your quads, hams, glutes, and calves better than working the gas and brake pedals will. Your lungs and heart will thank you for putting down the keys, so give it a try!