Physiological profile of professional hockey players — a longitudinal comparison

Montgomery, David L.
June 2006
Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism;Jun2006, Vol. 31 Issue 3, p181
Academic Journal
This paper examines the size, strength, and aerobic fitness of players from a professional hockey team. Beginning in 1917, data on body size were obtained from historical records of the Montreal Canadiens. Body composition, strength, and VO2 max were obtained through physiological testing of Canadiens players between 1981 and 2003. Compared with players in the 1920s and 1930s, current players were an average of 17 kg heavier and 10 cm taller, with BMI increased by 2.3 kg/m². The gain in BMI was not attributed to added fat mass, since percent body fat remained unchanged over the past 22 years. From 1992 to 2003, upper body strength was assessed using a bench press test. Predicted 1 repetition maximum (1 RM) for the 17- to 19-year-old group was 107.0 kg with the highest values attained by the 25- to 29-year-old age group (128.1 kg). Gains in body mass were associated with an increase in upper body strength. VO2 max was measured annually on a treadmill between 1992 and 2003 with annual mean values ranging between 54.6 and 59.2 mL·(kg·min)-1. Compared with values from players in the early 1980s, VO2 max has increased with the improvements independent of body mass; however, given the variability in the data, we are hesitant to infer that VO2 max has increased significantly during the 1990s.


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