How CrossFit Pushed NHL Player Brooks Laich to the Next Level

Hockey players have a crazy ability to handle high volumes of work both on the ice and in the gym. The sport involves perpetual dynamic movements across every movement plane coupled with varied explosive bouts, aka shifts. So when it comes to CrossFit® training, it makes perfect sense that hockey players naturally have an ability to quickly pick it up.

Brooks Laich, 34, is a professional hockey player who’s played organized hockey since the age of 5. He left home at 16 to pursue the hockey dream, then a year later played in the Western Hockey League at 17, turned professional at 19, and was drafted to the NHL at 20. Over the course of his career, he’s played in the NHL for a total of 14 years.

Currently, Laich is a free agent with no guaranteed NHL contract, and has been using CrossFit to help him stay at the top of his game. Laich is 34, so he’s older than most of his NHL peers, and knows that without a contract this year his career could potentially be over. Check out CrossFit HQ’s recent feature on Laich, his career, and CrossFit.

This video is awesome for a few reasons. First, it shows how passionate Laich is for his sport and the game, even after his long career. Second, it highlights how CrossFit has helped him improve his mobility, strength, and understanding in areas of fitness he lacked. It’s cool to see that a weathered professional hockey player still has a ton of room to grow athletically.

Third, Laich’s mentality towards his current life situation. In the video he states, “If you want to make god laugh, tell him your plan.”

And lastly (spoiler alert), the video finishes with a small clip of text saying that Laich signed a one-year contract with his hometown team the Los Angeles Kings. This was the team and goal Laich was aiming for throughout all of the training and uncertainty, so his hard work ended up payed off.

Was it all because of CrossFit? Of course not, but it was a factor that helped him push to new feats, learn a few of his weaknesses, and build a well-rounded athletic base.

Feature image screenshot from CrossFit YouTube channel. 

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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.