Vancouver Personal Training and Fitness Blog

Sport Specific Conditioning for Vancouver's Fall Sports

Posted by Craig Boyd on Thu, Sep 01, 2011 @ 14:09

Fall is in the air and many of us a gearing up for fall sports. Soccer, ice hockey, flag football and the impending ski season often inspire people to “get back in shape”. This is where many people go wrong with their sports conditioning program.

I personally know a lot of soccer players who start going on 5-10 kilometer runs to get in shape for their upcoming season. Sure, soccer does have an endurance component but the majority of the game is sprinting after the ball or the person you are defending, and then recovering. This requires anaerobic conditioning not aerobic endurance. Simply put, anaerobic conditioning is sprinting hard for 10 seconds to two minutes, then seeing how long it takes for you to recover and do it again. Aerobic endurance, on the other hand, involves understanding how long you can maintain a certain pace – for longer than two minutes.

A good way to judge if your training program is appropriate for your sport:

  1. Measure how long the effort is between breaks
  2. Determine what level the effort requires between breaks  
  3. Measure how long the break period is
  4. Determine what level the effort requires on the break period - i.e. total rest on the bench in hockey or jogging after sprinting in soccer

You would then mirror your training to these guidelines. This is expressed as a ratio of work to rest.

Sports such as soccer and hockey are often 1:3, which could be 30 seconds on and 90 seconds off. However, the two sports would differ on the effort level. Soccer is sprinting and jogging while hockey tends to be all-out effort - skating hard and fighting off opponents while wearing full padding – paired with complete rest. Your conditioning program should mimic:

  • The effort level, effort time period and the rest period of yourSort Conditioning Vancouver sport
  • Movement patterns of your sport including directional movement, acceleration and deceleration patterns


You will find most sports - with the exception of distance running - are mostly anaerobic focused. Moreover, most sports have a multi-direction movement pattern, i.e. running different directions vs. in a straight line; as well as an acceleration and breaking component.


So as you can see most fall and winter sports have little relationship to the 5-10 km steady-state run that is the ” go-to” exercise for getting in shape for the upcoming sports season. If you need some tips as to what to incorporate in your sports conditioning program, contact us for some help.


Precision Athletics is offering a Complete Soccer Conditioning program check here for details

Sport Conditioning coach Craig Boyd Precision Athletics VancouverCraig Boyd is one of Vancouver’s top personal trainers, boot camp instructors, CrossFit coaches and Nutrition coaches. Craig enjoys coaching people of all levels of fitness that want to improve. His company provides one on one personal training , partner and small group training as well as group classes such as boot camp, crosstraining and fitness and complete soccer conditioning.


Check his websites are .  Feel free to email him your questions at

His company offers a free one on one or partner personal training session if you are interested.

Tags: soccer conditioning vancouver, hockey conditioning vancouver, sports specific training vancouver, vancouver personal training yaletown