Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group, LLC Blog

The Zen Master Speaks Again

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Tue, Jun 1, 2010 @ 17:06 PM

One of the most important points in the development of any young professional is when they’ve found a teacher and mentor that challenges them to not only develop their skills but develop the thought process needed for long term development and independent problem solving.  Steve Myrland, aka the “Strength Zen Master” challenges the “gurus” in this must read post.

Art Horne is the Coordinator of Care and Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Men’s Basketball Team at Northeastern University, Boston MA.  He can be reached at



Topics: basketball performance, basketball conference, boston hockey summit, athletic training, boston hockey conference, strength and conditioning tips, superdiscipline, inspiratory muscle training

Inspiratory Muscle Training

Posted by Guest Blogger on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 @ 20:03 PM

    This past year I was blessed with an opportunity to work alongside Dr. Larry Cahalin and Dr. Paul Canavan, both of the Northeastern University Physical Therapy Department on a study relating to increasing on-ice performance of the non-weight room variety.  I usually try and jump on any opportunity I have to work with professionals of substantial greater cognitive function than myself in order to expand both my professional and knowledge base, however, this time, I found myself severely overmatched.  As a strength coach I have fallen into the trap of associating VO2 with endurance athletes, and like many other strength coaches, unsure of an appropriate balance between aerobic an anaerobic training.  VO2 max is very important for Ice hockey despite the short work periods during a typical game.  A shift on average is only about 40 seconds long, and a recent study found that the average heart rate in a NHL player during a normal shift is around 90% HRMax (Leone, 2006).  With this intensity an athlete is sure to build up lactic acid during a shift, and it is important for sustained performance to recover quickly.  An increase in VO2 max will allow an individual to have a higher threshold or critical level.  Meaning they will be able to perform a moderate, sustained activity at a higher intensity without the continuous build up of lactic acid, or more specific to hockey they will be able to recover quicker from shorter, high intensity bouts.  

    We examined the affects of Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on VO2 max.  We had our experimental group perform 2 days/week of IMT following the Test of Incremental Respiratory Endurance (TIRE).  After 6 weeks of the IMT we were able to show a significant increase in VO2 max.  More importantly the IMT helped to decrease pressure within the thoracic cavity, and ultimately improve venous return.  Healthy people have a normal negative pressure within the intrathoracic, intraplueral, and the intraalveolar areas, however the IMT was able to improve this negative pressure in order to facilitate a performance enhancement in these healthy athletes.  The increased venous return caused a greater stretch to the left ventricle wall (Starlings Law) and resulted in an increase stroke volume and cardiac output.  The improvements to the inspiratory muscles also helped to increase the tidal volume within the lungs, and decrease the residual volume as well.  The improved contractibility of the inspiratory muscles, changes in pressure and improved cardiac output is what makes up the increase in inspiratory capacity.  Muscles are able to perform more anaerobic and aerobic exercise, because of the improved ability to uptake O2 and remove CO2.  For hockey this is crucial between shifts.  The improved vital capacity allows a hockey player to deliver more oxygenated blood to the working fat and replace the O2 debt faster.  Athletes are able to sustain a higher work level throughout a game.

    The hockey season is one of the longest in collegiate sports, and there are so many important areas that we need to cover during training with very little time.  The IMT was a commitment that yielded important benefits for our team and required a time investment of only 30 minutes 2 times/week.  The importance of recovery throughout as game is clear.  Success is dependent on the ability to sustain work levels throughout three periods of hockey and maybe more importantly recovery from night to night.

Dan Boothby is the Strength and Conditioning coach for the Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey teams at Northeastern University and can be reached at



Register for the May 2010 Conference here!!


Topics: basketball conference, athletic training conference, boston hockey summit, boston hockey conference, sports performance, strength coach, inspiratory muscle training, northeastern, V02 max

Watch highlights from last year's conference!

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Sun, Feb 21, 2010 @ 09:02 AM

     A tab on the "Conference Info" page of this website has just been added to show highlights from previous events hosted by BSMPG including the 2009 Boston Hockey Summit.  Be sure to check back as we continue to post additional videos and information in the weeks to come.


Register for this year's Boston Hockey Summit and Basketball Symposium!




Topics: basketball conference, athletic training conference, boston hockey summit, boston hockey conference, conference video, sports performance, inspiratory muscle training