Should you lift the day before a game?

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Freshman Sean Leonard (foreground), men’s ice hockey

Fifteen hockey players were in the weight room for a light lifting session yesterday. Today they’re playing Oswego, the No.1 Division III hockey team in the country.

One player didn’t want to lift. He thought it would drain him of energy the day before a big game. He went thought the work-out, but halfheartedly. Another player did the workout with intensity, followed by his own 20-minute lifting session afterwards. He says it makes him feel stronger the day before a game.

Interestingly, both players are right.

It only takes a little digging on Google Scholar to see what the research says about lifting the day before a game, but in practice it’s on a case-by-case basis. You can’t really know unless you know the athlete.

[Hint: in the above case, it’s worth noting that the first player has a difficult class schedule. He’s regularly overwhelmed by it, often getting by on little sleep.]

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