Interval Training for Hockey Players

Hockey is a game played in 40-60 seconds “sprints” and your off ice training should reflect that.

Too many times have I seen younger hockey players jogging on the treadmill for 30-60 minutes to improve their on ice conditioning.  Although there are times when longer and slower paced cardio sessions should be used, as a hockey player the majority of your training should be done in intervals to reflect what your body would go through in a hockey game.

My two favourite types of interval training that will get your body prepared for a high speed hockey game are sprints or speed bike intervals.  In summer months both sprints and bike intervals can be done outside, but if you are doing some training in the winter months you can substitute with a bike machine or treadmill.

The average hockey shift is about 40-60 seconds in length and the average time sitting on the bench will be around 120 seconds.  (Of course the higher the level of hockey you play the more this will vary, but hey if you’re a third or fourth line guy and train like a first line guy you may see yourself up there soon.)

Using the numbers above we are going to base your interval training around the simulation of a hockey game.

The idea is that you will be going “full out” for a specific amount of time, and then you get to rest for about double that time period.  This cycle will be repeated for about 20 minutes.

If you are new to interval training you can ease yourself into it, and if you have already been doing some interval training you can skip ahead to the advanced hockey interval training….

Sprints or Bike Sprints (outside or on machines).  Duration is the total time of the interval training.  Sprint is the amount of time you will be going full out.  Rest is a walk or slow pedal.  Sets are the amount of times you do the “sprint-rest” combo.

Beginner Interval Training for Hockey Players

Duration = 16 minutes
Sprint = 40 seconds
Rest = 120 seconds
Sets =  6

Example = Sprint 40 seconds, Rest 120 seconds (1 set complete), Sprint 40, Rest 120, etc, etc.

Intermediate Interval Training for Hockey Players

Duration = ~20 minutes
Sprint = 50 seconds
Rest = 120 seconds
Sets =  7

Advanced Interval Training for Hockey Players

Duration = 18 to 24 minutes
Sprint = 60 seconds
Rest = 120 seconds
Sets =  6-8

Work hard with these interval workouts and you will feel the difference on the ice!


  1. Keagan says

    I’m 12, I play AAA hockey and i am 5 foot 1 inch and I am looking for ways to get better at quick starts and other quick feet purposes please tell me if you have any suggestions


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