Read about Gary Roberts' tips for beginning a new athletic training program
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Gary Roberts: Taking on a New Training Program in the New Year

This post comes from Gary Roberts, former Pittsburgh Penguin and 19-year NHL veteran, of UPMC Sports Performance, Powered by Gary Roberts High Performance Training. 

We always seem to be the most focused on making positive lifestyle changes at the beginning of the new year. If this is true for you, I’m hopeful that our training programs at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex can help. Success is dependent on a commitment to three critical components: proper training, holistic nutrition, and recovery measures. It is truly a lifestyle.

With respect to proper training, my philosophy is that it must be individually focused to meet the unique needs of each person, and implemented with acute attention to technique and quality of movement.

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Before anyone embarks on a training program, I believe it’s critical to take stock of the condition of your body — strengths, weaknesses, limitations — and follow that process with an initial training plan that corrects any imbalances. The purpose of corrective training is to create a strong foundation that supports the progression of additional training phases in an efficient and safe manner.

When it comes to nutrition, I take a holistic approach that focuses on eating a variety of whole foods to fuel your body. I believe it’s advantageous to eat a variety of good carbohydrates, lean proteins, fiber, and healthy fats to ensure a full cross-section of nutrients. Proper nutrition plays a critical role in achieving optimal performance, as well as helping your body recover effectively.

Learn more about UPMC Sports Performance, Powered by Gary Roberts.

One aspect that is often overlooked is utilizing recovery measures to help your body bounce back after everything you put it through each day. Proper rest and recovery are essential to maximizing training gains and achieving optimal performance, particularly over the long-term. I utilize a number of different measures to help my body recover and recharge, for example: various therapies like active release therapy, massage, acupuncture; yoga and stretching; proper nutrition and hydration; and allowing my body the proper rest it needs.

Whether it’s January or any other time of year, I believe it’s always the right time to implement healthy habits.  As long as there is a commitment to a program, success can follow. I know it has for me.