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Working Out with Andy O'Brien

Thursday, 05.24.2007 / 11:14 AM ET / News
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Working Out with Andy O\'Brien
Andy O’Brien has a busy summer planned.

Entering his third season as the Panthers strength and conditioning coach, O’Brien will be traveling throughout North America the next several months checking on players and working with Panther rookies at Prospects Camp outside Toronto and Development Camp in Kitchener, Ont.

But even before he launches his summer tour, O’Brien is spending much of his time at the BankAtlantic Center working each morning with Panther players.

On a recent weekday morning, O’Brien was working with nearly a dozen players including captain Olli Jokinen, forwards Nathan Horton and Stephen Weiss, and defensemen Bryan Allen and Branislav Mezei.

“It’s pretty standard for these guys now during the summer to prioritize around their off-season workouts,” O’Brien said. “It’s not just something they do in their spare time. It’s something they plan their life around.”

And something players want to be involved with.

According to Weiss, who set career highs last season in goals (20) and points (46), O’Brien’s workouts have been “huge for me personally, and a lot of the other guys.”

“He has a way of training that’s a lot different from other trainers I’ve seen,” he added. “Real hockey specific stuff that makes you stronger.”

O’Brien’s daily workouts begin with a two hour speed work at a nearby track that includes different types of sprints, lunges and plyometrics. The players then return to BankAtlantic Center for lifting and conditioning.

“The first phase (at the track) is just trying to get their bodies rebuilt,” O’Brien said. “It breaks down during the season. They end up having certain muscles getting really strong and certain muscles get really weak from skating because it’s not a real natural movement. So the objective is to try and strengthen some of those weak muscles and increase flexibility and get them going through a range of motions that are more optimal.”

Those include “marching drills and stretches and dynamic movements that help restructure their bodies so they’re stronger and can handle greater workloads,” O’Brien said. “The intensity of all the work generally increases more and more and more as the summer goes on.”

O’Brien, also known for his work with Sidney Crosby, customizes each player’s workout, including those currently recovering from surgery like Jokinen, Allen and Mezei.

“The main focus for them right now is on their rehabilitation,” said O’Brien of those coming out of surgery. “They’re really focused on overcoming their injury but also making sure they don’t lose their fitness while rehabbing.

“It’s difficult to be aggressive in their training right now because you don’t want them in a position where their body is going to break down,” he added. “That’s why we get so many of these surgeries down earlier in the (off-season) so they have a window where they can still have a significant amount of time in the summer to get their bodies fit and ready.”

While players of the past may have taken several weeks or months off after the season, O’Brien said those days are long gone.

“When you go through a period of three or four weeks of doing nothing, which is sort of the old-school mentality, your body really stiffens up,” he said. “Your body goes through a period of de-training and its almost that much time again to get your body ready to actually train.”

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01
 
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