Ep.39 | Intelligent Hockey Training with Chad Drummond

In this episode, learn how to structure off-season training, maintenance protocols in-season, injury prevention, sleep and nutrition, and common mistakes in fitness programs and exercise execution. This episode is jam packed from start to finish with quality information/resources to help you take an intelligent approach to your hockey training.

Show Notes and Resources

Chad Drummond
Edmonton Oilers Head S&C Coach

Chad Drummond is the acting head Strength & Condition coach of the Edmonton Oilers. Born and raised in Edmonton, Chad and was hired as an Assistant Strength Coach for the Oilers in 2010 by the Oilers former strength coach, Simon Bennett. Chad had previously worked as a strength coach at two of Bennett’s training centres while completing his university degree.

In 2012, Chad was hired as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Oilers. The job has since evolved from Strength & Conditioning to Director of Sport Science where he oversees the programming of all players and staff in Oilers organization including their AHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors.

In this episode, Chad was live with us from Rogers Place Arena Training Facility. He begins by describing his work as it relates to the sport science aspect – namely data collection to ensure players are properly trained. This includes managing psychology, nutrition, sleep, and training.

Chad and Coach Andy then take a deep dive into sleep and nutrition. To start, Chad emphasizes that quality sleep and nutrition are foundational building blocks for training that are non-negotiable. Sleep is the base for recovery and regeneration. If you are not getting quality sleep, your body and mind will not be adapting. It is the most important step to stay healthy and have longevity. The conversation then shifts into strategies for managing sleep debt, and how poor sleep will impact performance.

Moving into nutrition, Chad acknowledges the confusing/conflicting nature of the information surrounding quality nourishment. To combat this, Chad recommends sticking to the basics and establishing a base diet of quality foods to work from. This comes in the form of whole food sources (none/minimal packaged goods) within meals approximately three hours apart. Chad explains in great detail what your plate should look like based on activity level. Each meal should include protein, quality carbohydrates, and a large portion of vegetables.

Resource – Dr. John Berardi and Precision Nutrition: follow these Instagram accounts for quality information posted on a regular basis. Both do a great job of taking complex information and simplifying it.

Coach Andy then inquiries about supplementation protocols. Very clearly, Chad explains players should be able to address all nutritional needs with real foods. Setting up a quality diet should start with a focus on the proper whole food sources first. In more competitive, complex, and/or advanced situations such as the professional level, nutritional deficiencies are sometimes resolved through supplementation as a last resort. He does not recommend or encourage heavy reliance on supplementation, especially for younger players – this does include protein powders.

With that said, Chad finishes with a recommendation of more natural supplements if necessary:
Tart Cherry Juice: Natural supplement assisting in the reduction of inflammation
BeetRoot Juice: Nitrate supplement helping to deliver more oxygen to the blood
Creatine: Involved in making the energy needed for muscles to perform work. Can be hard on the digestive system and is not recommended for anyone under the age of 16.

On the topic of training, Chad then goes into the X’s and O’s of off-season and in-season training.
He starts by outlining the proper structure of an off-season regimen. Some of the main talking points included:
– Light cross-training over a 2-3-week period
– A general preparation phase including isometrics and muscle building to reset and rebalance the body
– A strength phase focusing on power, strength, tempo, and eccentric work
– A speed phase where ground contact time mimics skating movements
– A sport specific phase where training should complement hockey NOT interfere with it

Some of the non-negotiable off-season guidelines for injury prevention:
1. Sleep
2. Nutrition
3. Appropriate dosed activity
4. Mobility, Core Stability, T-spine (preventative exercises)
5. Recovery Modalities

Switching over to in-season training, Chad describes the importance of building consistency in your off-ice training to maintain the off-season gains. Although training volume will change, this work needs to be done in order to maintain strength throughout the season. For example, maintaining strength/power on a squat would require 2-3 sets of 3reps in a session.

Finishing off, Chad answers several viewer questions covering a wide range of topics.

This episode is jam packed from start to finish with quality information and resources for you to take an intelligent approach to your hockey training. At times, the talk gets somewhat technical and the external sources mention will be of great utility in deepening your own understanding.

Enjoy this episode with Chad Drummond!


– Cheri D Ma
– Brandon Marcello www.brandonmarcellophd.com

– Dr John Berardi:  www.precisionnutrition.com

– Cal Dietz: www.triphasictraining.com
– Mike Boyle: www.bodybyboyle.com
– Brett Bartholemew: www.brettbartholemew.net
– Louie Simmons: www.westsidebarbell.com
– Fergus Connolly: www.fergusconnolly.com


Like what you heard or have questions? Leave us feedback here!