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Get Jacked! With Coach Scott Umberger

Quote of the week:

“You do not pay the price of success, you enjoy the price of success.”

– Zig Ziglar

I was asked to write some training advice that was position specific.

Basics: Attack and D run pretty close to the same amount. The middies are running the most and the goalies the least.

by sfPhotocraft (flickr)
via sfPhotocraft (flickr)

To be honest, there are not any studies that I’ve run across that outline the specific volume and heart rate for the game of Lacrosse. The only study that I’ve seen is for soccer and it was done in the Premier League. They have the money to do these studies on these “machines” at that level.

So in regards to me having specific information down to total volume to be trained in a session, I don’t have it. The good news is that I don’t need it. I’ve trained a hockey player who has scored 19 points in 25 NHL playoff games.The key here is playoffs. He played well during the season and killed it in the post-season. I mention this because you can train and be ready for your position. It’s not just cut and dry.

I’ll use ice hockey to explain the challenges mimicking games exactly how you play them because hockey is a structured sport with shifts. A hockey shifts lasts basically 45 seconds with a 1.30 rest. A good NHL offensive player will play between 22-29 shifts in a game. The issue is that these shifts are broken up over a game with two 20 minute periods in between. If I completely replicated a game in a energy system workout (cardio) it would take 3 hours. Who has that time for that, especially with weight room and skill work to do?

Aside from conditioning (where I like to get position specific), I prefer to look at the individual athlete and seek to “fix” that athlete’s issues.

by gus_estrella
via gus_estrella (flickr)

Even with the Pro Lax players, I could pick out several issues. Lets face it, strength training isn’t something that is done from an early age in youth Lax like it is in football. There are exceptions but serious strength training isn’t done across this country in Junior High and High School Lax Programs. To be honest, football is the only sport that comes close and there are still more programs that fall short than excel in this area. Basic athletic and strength training techniques would be great in helping any Lax Athlete.

A tale from this summer….

I helped changed the game of a major DI middie this summer in 8 short weeks. Being already one of the best athletes on the team from the outset, he destroyed all of his old testing results when he went back to school. He dropped 3-4 tenths off of his pro shuttle and L drill, added 25 lbs to his bench, and added 10 pull ups to his total(with 6 being taken off for swinging). He also ran a 5:26 mile (3 sec PR) after destroying the 27- 100 yd sprints that they had to do prior to testing the mile. I didn’t train him as just a middie, I simply trained an athlete that needed to get strong.

He did have some shoulder mobility issues that we worked on throughout the summer but the rest of the time was spent developing the athlete. The most impressive aspect to all of these performance gains is that he added 15 pounds during those 8 weeks. He trained his ass off and ate his face off (ETG for those that read my regular posts).

If you would like to get position specific here’s my recommendation:

You’ll need a coach/partner, a stop watch, and a whistle. Have the coach start the watch. The idea is to run in different intervals over the next 10-15 minutes. The intervals will change and you can’t do anything about it because the guy with the watch and whistle is controlling your destiny. The coach should sprint you between 3-8 seconds, jog you between 2-15 seconds, and walk for 3-15 seconds.

The idea is to mix these intervals up. Nothing should be the same. You want position specific? You want age level specific? Here’s where you can customize the running to meet your position needs. You can control the running, the rest, and the jogging according to your game play. You should run in the areas in which you play. Obviously the defensive players aren’t running over the entire field. So don’t condition like that if you are a defenseman. The idea is to run with a stick like you do in a game. Cut and run like you do in games.

I would do this for at least 20 minutes once you “get the hang of it”. If it’s easy then do it for 30 minutes. I would like to see you get up to 50-60 minutes. You can rest for 5-10 minutes halfway through the workout as a “half time” if you would like.

The problem with this workout is that it’s hard to do without help. The good news is that the help doesn’t have to know anything about Lax. Have them mix it up and work you hard.


Scott Umberger is the owner of Umberger Performance and can be reached through www, or email at

Scott Umberger has worked with high school, college (athletes from 20 different NCAA schools), and professional athletes(MLL, NHL-ECL, MLB, CHL, NFL, NBA, World Championship Games, and Arena Football I & II), 3 All-Americans (track, swimming, hockey), a Biletnikoff Trophy Winner (top DI Football Receiver), 2 Hobe Baker Trophy Finalist-top 3 and top 10 (Heisman Trophy of College Hockey), a top 10 NCAA scorer in Men’s Hockey, a member of the USA U-22 Woman’s Team, FINA Master World Championship Qualifying Swimmer, current Olympic Hopeful Javelin Thrower, ECAC/IC4A qualifying track hurdler.