The scene is easy to imagine: freshly installed in a hotel in the Montreal area, the Russian defender Alexander Romanov rides a stationary bike in his room and multiplies the exercises by jumping with weights or by using rubber bands that he attaches. at one leg of the bed.
Heading the physical preparation of the Canadiens’ players, Pierre Allard gave a glimpse of what the daily life of Romanov and a few other hopes for the Montreal club looks like these days.
“For the players who return to the Montreal region, we will make sure, first of all, that they have the required equipment in their hotel room to continue their physical preparation,” Allard explained, Tuesday, during ‘a videoconference. So we’ll have them deliver a bike, weights and rubber bands too. What we realize is that we can do a lot, a lot of things with little equipment and in a relatively small space. “
So goes the life for the youngest players of the Habs who, while waiting for a next training camp, must prepare for it as best as possible despite an imposed quarantine.
“You have to have a lot of imagination,” Allard admitted, “about the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. In the case of Romanov, he also lived this experience [dans la ville-bulle] in Toronto. So this is nothing new for him. ”
Each player obviously deals with a different reality and the organization must adapt to the needs of each.
“Our challenge as a physical trainer is to recognize the reality of the player, to have the necessary equipment to cover a minimum and to vary the training a lot,” noted the one who carries the title of director of sports science. and performances with the CH. At the cardio level, we can simulate presences on the ice with intervals. It is also very pleasant to work with the rubber bands, because it allows to add a lot of resistance and to polish the explosion. You can attach rubber bands to a leg, for example. ”
All the Canadiens players are obviously not all in the same boat and are not all at the hotel.
“A lot of our players have a lot of equipment at home, some have practically a home training center,” Allard said. Others have less equipment, we try to go piecemeal and we individualize the physical preparation of the players. “
Speaking of Romanov, Alllard joined the Canadiens’ many staff who keep praising the 20-year-old defender.
“His attitude is great,” he said. He works hard and what I like is that he doesn’t just do what is asked of him. He wants to understand why he has to do certain things in training. “
Recovery and injury prevention
If it is necessary to adapt to the reality of the various players, objectives remain important for all in the event of a condensed calendar which could begin in mid-January.
“There’s going to be a lot of focus on recovery and injury prevention,” Allard said. The training programs will focus on what is called “prehab”. We will target muscle groups at greater risk. “
The challenge is great, especially if the next training camp is limited to just two weeks.
“In an ideal world, you would need as many weeks as possible,” said Allard. Now our job is to take what we are given and figure out how to maximize the physical condition of the players, while ensuring that we reduce the risk of injury. When we talk about two weeks of training camp, you have to know that there is a lot of work that is done beforehand, even if it is not always on the ice. ”