MEN'S FITNESS: So Jagr is getting pretty famous for his unorthodox drills...
TOMMY POWERS: A lot of the stuff we do is definitely a little out there.
He shoots a six-pound med ball against a wall. He wears a 45-pound vest and ankle weights, and he’ll just wear them all day until he gets on the ice. Then sometimes when he’s on the ice he’ll skate with the weights on. There was one practice where one of our star defensemen lifted up Jagr’s stick and took his puck away, and after that Jagr came in and said, “I’ll never get a puck taken away from me again!”
We also found a way to strap a stick to a cable on a Keiser Functional Trainer, and he applies pressure downward on the stick to activate his core.
MEN'S FITNESS: And any traditional weight training?
POWERS: Not really. He’ll do some dumbbell shoulder raises, but he’s not doing bench presses or hang cleans or power cleans or deadlifts or any of that stuff. When he sees other players doing those, he’ll be like, “You shouldn’t be doing that, you should be doing this!” It’s pretty funny to see. Some guys will start going over to the stuff that he’s doing.
I do think something like hang cleans could benefit Jagr with the power aspect, but he’s 44, and he’s probably never really trained that way in his career. I’m not going to come in and say, “Hey, you should be doing this,” and totally change up his routine.
MEN'S FITNESS: What did you expect training him would be like?
POWERS: When Jagr got traded to us he was 43, and everybody told me he was the kind of guy who has his own key to the rink, who wants to skate at late hours—all these nightmare stories for a strength and conditioning coach.
But it really wasn’t that bad. He’ll call me up and we’ll skate at 10:30 at night, and then we’ll work out in the gym until 12, 12:30 doing sprints and pushes and all that stuff. He just wants to train when his body feels ready, not be told when to do it.