VANCOUVER, BC - So, you know how great you always feel after a run? Or a hard weight-lifting workout? Or even the fact that you decided to take the stairs instead of the elevator?
Yeah, Milan Lucic put us all to shame this morning in Vancouver, as we kicked off Day 2 of #BearTracks with his morning workout at Pro 4 Sports to get a glimpse of his offseason training.
After his warm-up routine (that could serve as a whole workout for most people, quite frankly) full of hurdles and quick footwork and clapping push-ups, the main bulk of the workout began. And 'Looch' ended up covered in sweat as a result.
With other hockey players in his training facility, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound power forward, apologized at one point to a few athletes who were about to hit the machine right after him. There was a stream of sweat covering the bench and a little pool underneath. Further evidence of the effort put into the morning, if we even needed it.
"It was a tough one," smiled Lucic, post-workout. "Today was combining endurance with strength."
"Yesterday we were at the track and we did a full 40 sprints. Short sprints, everything’s under a hundred meters. On the ice surface, you are doing a lot of quick, short sprints where you’re trying to get to top speed as quick as possible."
"Tomorrow once again is going to be another different work day that focuses more on chest and back. No workout has ever been the same. It definitely gets harder as we get closer to camp."
And that's the ultimate goal, of course, to be ready to go come September 11, when Training Camp opens for Lucic and the B's back in Boston. His workout was intense, especially given the sprinting that took place the day prior.
As the morning went on, we saw No. 17 work on quick feet and movement with mini hurdles, followed by medicine ball work that focuses on power in his arms, chest and upper body, and translates into "getting a good, quick, hard shooting motion" as Lucic put it.
He followed that up with pushing and pulling the weight sleigh over and over for power and endurance. Looch said that's always one of the tougher exercises, because of the strength that goes into it. "It got the heart rate up. It really got me sweating and going," he said.
After he had finished, his trainer Ian Gallagher, jokingly asked if we needed another take for the video - I don't think the forward would have been too excited about that!
Gallagher has been working with Milan since he was 17 and starting out in junior hockey, so he's seen his progression over the years morph the 24-year-old into one of the toughest players in the NHL (he's actually been voted "the toughest player in the NHL" by a poll of his peers before).
"Milan’s a powerful, explosive guy but quickness, speed, and agility is going to be the thing that keeps him playing at a high level for a long time," he said.
"All coaches want players that can move. Ultimately, that’s what all programs should be centered around."
With the shorter summer, Lucic is working through his endurance and power training phases at the same so he's to ready to go.
"I know big talk was that I was a little out of shape last year with the lockout. It was kind of harder to get ready not knowing when the season was going to start," he said. "Just getting that conditioning and strength and, as always, getting that quickness and that speed up to 100 percent is what I focus on every summer and that’s the same this summer going into next year."
Lucic certainly had the focus and "no pain, no gain" mentality, as he gets himself ready for 2013-14.
"He’s in that upper echelon for ability to move mass," said his trainer. "His work ethic’s the thing that I believe separates him. Every day when he shows up he tries to be that top performer. That’s consistent every day."