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It’s hard to top back-to-back Stanley Cup wins, but after winning in 2016 and ’17, the Pittsburgh Penguins are gunning for a three-peat. Luckily for them, they’re led by Canadian-born hockey star Sidney Crosby, whose work ethic has led to a list of accolades that includes three Ted Lindsay awards, given to the NHL’s most outstanding player.
At 5’11” and 200 pounds, the 30-year-old Crosby isn’t the biggest guy on the ice but has proven that he can handle himself, routinely outmuscling guys off the puck with a blend of power and speed.
As with many athletes, it’s Crosby’s time in the gym that allows him to be such a force come game time on the ice. But in the end, Crosby deems it worthwhile.
“All this hard work and preparation is what I need to do to make sure the Penguins have the best chance to win another Stanley Cup,” Crosby says. “As challenging as it was to win the first two, it is even more difficult to win three in a row.”
From the man himself, here’s the plan of attack for “Sid the Kid”—in and out of the weight room—for continued success.
1. Run for the Hills
“Preparing to win another Stanley Cup begins in July with running on Citadel Hill in Nova Scotia,” Crosby says. “Training on a hill forces me to continually push with my lower body, and it’s comparable to the physical requirements of skating, as it builds foot stability and speed in all directions. We do a variety of drills on the steep hill—cone drills, sprints, cross overs, and backpedals to train coordination.”
2. Need for Speed
“Speed is always important to me and my fitness trainer, Andy O’Brien. He designed this off-season workout, which I will do two to four days per week for about four to six weeks leading up to training camp to help make sure that I get the most out of my physical potential.”
3. Power Play
Once the championship run begins in early October, Alex Trinca—the strength and conditioning coach for the Penguins—has Crosby and the rest of the team focus on lower-body power workouts. (Check out Crosby’s lower-body workouts here.) To keep from getting muscled off the puck and smashed into the boards, Crosby favors a leg workout that relies on compound exercises like barbell squats alternated with barbell deadlifts, walking lunges, and plyometric box jumps, as these build maximum strength.
4. Fuel Up
Hockey players can burn 3,000 to 4,000 calories in one game, which means that their caloric intake has to be high—around 5,000 to 6,000 calories per day. Crosby favors organic foods that are local and sustainable. A typical breakfast might include oatmeal, organic eggs, locally sourced bacon or sausage, and a protein smoothie with cow colostrum, blended banana, blueberries, and kale. “I prefer to eat local, organic food,” Crosby says. “Especially in the summer in Nova Scotia, where there is so much beautiful produce.”