Reps for Warriors: women’s hockey

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This past week, instead of covering another game, <em>Imprint</em> decided to follow the athletes who play the game.


Outside of the rink and off the court, Waterloo Warriors find themselves at the PAC gym, partaking in either special training or regular conditioning. Despite having a reputation as a dungeon, PAC has a sort of cozy, warm vibe &mdash; or maybe it&rsquo;s the excessive heat people are producing. Compared to CIF, PAC is the place for building muscles: all cardio equipment is in a separate room and many different weight machines and squat racks are readily available &mdash; if it&rsquo;s not too busy.


Those registered in the Warrior conditioning program are given a dossier containing different workouts depending on the day. Sessions are typically held in the morning, early afternoon, and sometimes even on the weekends. If being on a team doesn&rsquo;t build strong enough relationships, the program solidifies some serious bonds. Coming from football, basketball, volleyball, and more, the gym is crawling with athletes having a great time working out together.


This week, <em>Imprint</em> followed a few female hockey athletes at an early morning session. Men and women typically work separately, due to the trainers available and times offered. Some guys do occasionally join the girls in the afternoon, but not often.


Being in-season, most Warriors aren&rsquo;t focusing on making their deadlifts or squats stronger, but rather maintaining their mental and physical health &mdash; avoiding injury is the number one priority.


The session opens like a typical workout with some stretching and a cardio warmup. In addition, the supervising trainer takes a quick survey from the girls on how they feel, 1&ndash;10. This is a new element to the conditioning program only added last semester. Trainer Schuyler said, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s just kinda to see where the athletes are at. It&rsquo;s one of the ways we&rsquo;re trying to look at overtraining &hellip; If [a girl starts] at a nine and by the end of the week they&rsquo;re at a five it means something is going on, so we need to back off them a little bit because their sport&rsquo;s taking demand or their life&rsquo;s taking command because they are student athletes, so that plays a huge factor.&rdquo;


After getting warmed up, the hockey girls begin their dynamic exercises to improve their movement. Some exercises include T-spine clocks and rocking hip flexors. During <em>Imprint</em>&rsquo;s shadowing, the motion of a proper Monster Walk was discussed: according to Schuyler, too many people waddle during the exercise, and should move as if walking normally.


After their dynamic exercises are complete, athletes begin their muscle exercises, which varies depending on the day. Typically, games are on the weekend, so athletes will come in two days before their game and then a couple days afterward &mdash; the former to prep for the game and the latter to recover. The programs the girls have are detailed enough such that they could perform it by themselves, but the trainers supervise to provide encouragement, improve form, and do the occasional spotting.


<img alt="Graphic by Madzia McCutcheon" src="/uploads/2015/01/warrior.png" style="width: 708px; height: 701px; " />


Athletes will often work in tandem, only resting as they help or watch their partner. Supersets, in which an exercise is immediately performed after another with no rest, are frequent in the work outs. In the program, there is only one time a rest is outright scheduled. Some main exercises include Bulgarian split squats, suitcase carries, and TRX rows.


Lasting approximately an hour, the girls leave (hopefully) feeling better than when they came in, ready to take on the day. When asked how she felt about the supervised training versus training on her own, Warrior Madison Behr said, &ldquo;I think that it&rsquo;s important to have a trainer there just beside you to ensure that you&rsquo;re doing things with good form and really pushing&nbsp;
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