Flame for Thought
So, Jarome Iginla is a geezer, the oldest man on a Colorado Avalanche team renowned for its youth. Get him kitted out for a walker and lament the loss of Paul Stastny, right?
Yeah, right. The 37-year-old Iginla — or Iggy, as the Avs Nation likes to call him — played more games than Paul Stastny last season, oh he of the endless back aches. Iginla played in 78 games during the 2013-14 season. Stastny played in 71. Actually, after his rookie year, Stastny hasn’t played a single season in its entirety. Iginla has played nine full seasons — more than Stastny’s even been in the league.
So, why is Iginla such a workhorse? It could be because he works out like a mad fiend.
The Jarome Iginla Workout
Even in a league renowned for its hard-working players, Iggy has set himself apart for his routine. In fact, NHL Player Workouts details several exercises that are key to his routine.
This had nothing to do with New Year’s Eve — this involves a tennis ball:
- Stand 15 feet from your partner/trainer
- The trainer releases the ball from shoulder width
- Charge forward — the object is to catch the ball within a single bounce
- The trainer steps back a foot between sets
Iginla repeats 12 repetitions of the ball drop, which improves his hand-eye coordination and foot speed.
This isn’t as disgusting as it sounds. Although it does inexplicably contain a 25-pound rock, a 16-pound medicine ball can be substituted in the absence of suitably-sized rocks:
- Bend over, and tuck in
- Cradle the rock/medicine ball between the knees
- In a single motion, heft the rock upward
- Extend the body, and catapult the rock behind you
Iginla, who does two sets of four catapults, admits, “There’s some grunting.” If trying this at home, seriously do not drop the rock on your head.
Watch Iggy power down the ice next season, and marvel at what he had to do to get those thighs of steel:
- Position five 3-foot hurdles — or whatever height you can bound over — six feet apart
- Squat in front of the first hurdle
- Leap frog the first hurdle, keeping your feet hip distance apart and tucked
- You should land in a squat. If not, squat
- Hold the squat for two seconds to re-build the power in your legs, and repeat, bounding over the second hurdle
Iggy performs three sets of 25 jumps — in 60 to 90 seconds!
In the off-season, Iginla follows a general schedule.
- Day 1: sprints and heavy lifting
- Day 2: abs and cardio (“recovery” day)
- Day 3: yoga (not just for Ryan O’Reilly anymore)
- Day 4: sprints and heavy lifting
- Day 5: abs and cardio
Of course, all of the off-ice training is for his performance on-ice. As reported on the Boston Bruins’ “Bear Track,” Iggy says he likes to start getting on the ice again starting in July:
"“Make sure the rust doesn’t build up, and also work on things to improve… We do some edging, some skating. The inside edge gets a lot of use, but the outside edge is a little tougher, I find — and a lot of guys do.”"
Personally, I find the one-legged skating impressive. Those tuck jumps must really come in handy as he weaves on one leg while maneuvering the puck. No wonder defensemen find it so hard to knock Iggy off the puck:
During off-season training, Iggy consumes an impressive 4,500 calories to “lose fat” — apparently the season before he joined the Bruins, he actually lost eight pounds on a diet that consisted of two breakfasts and two snacks in addition to lunch and dinner. Bison burgers, halibut, rice, raisin bran, fruit and more protein bars and protein powder than you can shake a stick at were on the daily menu. Seriously, do not try that at home.
On the flip side, those are all reasons Iginla is a workhorse — the Colorado Avalanche’s workhorse, to be specific.