Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/26/13

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 08: Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates during the game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on October 8, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
While few would doubt that professional athletes have intense workouts in the summer, it’s a safe bet that even fewer know what goes on behind the scenes during the offseason of a professional athlete, or in this case, an NHL defenseman. But thanks to Penguins blue liner Kris Letang, hockey fans all over the country just got a serious education. Recently, using his newly created Twitter account, Letang let photographers and reporters from the NHL in on one of his workouts.  After watching the coverage and seeing Letang hopes his stellar conditioning translates to a Stanley Cup this year the images, one thing is clear: dude is a freak.  But don’t take my word for it, check him out in action. Hurdle jumps.  Sled Pulls.  One-legged squats, and whatever the heck that Jacob’s Ladder thing was.  If you’ve ever watched hockey, its clear that a traditional workout is not always sufficient to maintain a level of success in the NHL.  Bulk and raw strength do not necessarily equate to success on the ice.   It takes a specialized workout focused on agility and explosion in addition to strength to stay competitive at the highest level Which is exactly what Letang has done.  He said it himself: he’ll never have the strength or size to match up against a Zdeno Chara or Shea Weber type defenseman.  Letang’s game is one of high speed and high skill, which this type of workout is perfectly suited for. This is now Letang’s third offseason with trainer Jonathan Chaimberg, and the results speak for themselves.  He is the Pittsburgh Penguins’ leader in ice time night in and night out, which he is able to maintain while still producing at over a point per game pace.  He also stresses nutrition and rest as key to his success. Playoff collapses aside, Kris Letang is one heck of an athlete.
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