Strength and Conditioning


The Train Hockey Smart Mission

Our aim at Train Hockey Smart is to ensure all UK based Ice Hockey players can access affordable, reliable, and well-structured Strength and Conditioning resources. We believe by working with players, coaches, teams, and organisations, we can raise the standard of ice hockey in the UK by ensuring all athletes have the tools to prepare physically to play the game.


“My professional Ice Hockey career was derailed when I was 25, due to shoulder injuries that took two surgeries and years of rehabilitation to overcome. When I started studying Sports Exercise Science, I quickly realised that these injuries could have been avoided if I was physically prepared to play the game. I’m convinced that injury prevention serves as the greatest gift Strength and Conditioning can give for a young Ice Hockey player.”

Rupert Quiney MSc, Founder of Train Hockey Smart & Train Bodysmart

The current position of Strength and Conditioning for UK Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is an intense and potentially dangerous contact sport, proper physical preparation is essential to maximise player safety and promote longevity in their playing careers. Strength and conditioning for UK ice hockey is important. 

However, ice hockey is behind the curve quite considerably when it comes to the number of players that actively participate in quality strength and conditioning practices. Only a handful of elite league clubs utilise strength and conditioning staff, despite teams being required to play between 60-75 games in an 8-month time frame. In the NIHL National league, still considered a professional/semi-professional league, little to no teams utilise strength and conditioning programming. This is despite players still being required to play close to 60-games per season. 

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On the development side, there are numerous instances where players move through all the junior hockey age groups and embark on senior careers, having done little to no structured strength and conditioning at any stage.

We feel a culture change around strength and conditioning is needed to allow players to prepare physically for the game. The entry level for strength and conditioning in ice hockey should be long before players start playing contact rules (12-13 years old) and is an absolute must before players are allowed to play at senior level (16 years old).

Strength and Conditioning built for UK Ice Hockey

Train Hockey Smart is founded by Rupert Quiney, former professional ice hockey player turned Strength and Conditioning Coach. Rupe grew up playing in the Streatham youth development program before moving abroad in North America from the ages of 19-22. He returned to the UK 2012, spending two seasons with the Cardiff Devils of the Elite Ice Hockey League, then a further 6 seasons playing in the English Premier League and NIHL National Leagues, most notably for the Telford Tigers and the Guildford Flames.

Career in Strength and Conditioning

It was in 2016, while playing in Guildford, that Rupe transitioned towards a career in Strength and Conditioning. He completed a bachelor’s degree in Sports Science (Human Performance) and a master’s degree in Strength and Conditioning. He now serves as Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Guildford Flames of the Elite Ice Hockey League, while also working in youth Ice Hockey for the English Ice Hockey Association, serving as Regional Strength and Conditioning Lead for Southern England.

Experience as an ice hockey player

The experiences seen through playing ice hockey across the leagues in the UK have very much shaped the structure of Train Hockey Smart. While having the insight of a former player, with the knowledge from years of strength and conditioning education and practice, Train Hockey Smart is in the best position to raise the standard of strength and conditioning across UK ice hockey as a whole.

EIS logo

“Strength and Conditioning is about more than lifting weights – it encompasses the entire physical development of the athlete and what is required to allow them to be the best physical version of themselves.”

English Institute of Sport (EIS)

The Train Hockey Smart Pillars of Strength and Conditioning

At Train Hockey Smart, we believe strength and conditioning programs should be focussed around three key areas: 

Athletic Development

Improving general athleticism which is unrelated to a specific task or sport.

It’s important for an athlete to learn and develop the foundations of training before specialising in training for a specific type of sport. This is especially important when training youth athletes but is even true with professional ice hockey players that have spent thousands of hours on the ice over their career.

Injury Prevention

Reducing an athlete’s risk of injury through improving strength and mobility.


Strength training is an essential tool for injury prevention because it helps acclimatise an athlete to produce and withstand high levels of force. Especially for a sport like ice hockey, where players will likely be subjected to extremely high force moments during play. Promoting ideal mobility through various joints allows athletes to exert and withstand force through a greater range of movement patterns before and injury occurs.

Sports Performance

Improving physical attributes specific for Ice Hockey.
Ice hockey is a unique sport in terms of movement demands and the force velocity profiles of skating, but also regarding the energy system demands of activities of such high intensities (40-60s on-ice shift) separated by absolute rest periods (100-180s off-ice between shifts). All of which would contrast depending on the different players positions (forwards, defenceman, netminders). Exercise selection, intensities, volume, and rest intervals are all factors within training that can help improve the various on-ice abilities required.

what our athletes say about us

Athlete & Organisation Testimonials

The Guildford Flames professional ice hockey club contract Rupert Quiney (Train Hockey Smart) for our player’s strength and conditioning. His formal education in the field and experience as a former professional athlete provide unparalleled insight into the ongoing efforts to improve training and fitness of our players so they can compete to the best of their ability while minimizing injury layoffs. Rupert is an extremely positive addition to our team and his input has had a measurable impact on our performance and results.

Kirk Humphreys, Chief Operating Officer

Guildford Flames Ice Hockey

Strength and Conditioning have long been overlooked for young hockey players but bringing Rupe in to help our U14 team has been invaluable. Not only have they started to think more about their bodies and what's needed to perform at a higher level but having the S&C sessions in the gym has helped build chemistry and team bonding by encouraging players to spend time together off the ice.

Dean Worsfold

Head Coach of Guildford JIHC U14

Strength and Conditioning have long been overlooked for young hockey players but bringing Rupe in to help our U14 team has been invaluable. Not only have they started to think more about their bodies and what's needed to perform at a higher level but having the S&C sessions in the gym has helped build chemistry and team bonding by encouraging players to spend time together off the ice.

Dean Worsfold

Head Coach of Guildford JIHC U14

Train Hockey Smart Services

Individual or Small Group Strength and Conditioning

In-person coaching is the best way to ensure athletes are getting the most out of their training time, guaranteeing close supervision when performing their gym based lifts. This service is best for young athletes, those new to the gym environment, or elite levels that demand a higher degree of specificity.

Large Group or Team Strength and Conditioning

Our team strength and conditioning sessions allow larger groups to experience the benefits of structured training, while creating a fun environment where the group can build morale. We can deliver sessions focussed on lifting in a gym environment or delivery of speed/plyometric activities in a hall/outdoor space.

In-Season and Off-Season Remote Programming

Available for individuals or entire teams, comprehensive programming to suit competition schedules can be prescribed via the training app we use companywide (Train Heroic). This allows athletes to easily access their training programs complete with exercise tutorials, log their training data, while easily interacting with the coach to give essential feedback. This serves as the most cost effective complete strength and conditioning package.

Anthropometry, Movement Screens and Performance Testing

Assessing athleticism is an essential tool for benchmarking and measuring the effectiveness of a strength and conditioning intervention, while also serving as valuable information to identify potential injury risks. Team testing also allows coaches to see the range of their athletes’ abilities. A variety of types of testing are available for individual athletes or larger groups.

Strength and Conditioning Education and Workshops

Learning how to train is an essential skill that is often overlooked within sports. We see training education as an integral part of long-term athletic development and aim to provide online and in-person resources that will aid athletes throughout their entire sporting life.

what our athletes & parents say about us

Youth Athlete Testimonials

Our 13 year old son has trained with Rupe since Aug 2018. He already knew who he was as he’s an avid Guildford Flames fan. Our son was on an ice hockey camp at the time and was lucky enough to take part in some strength and conditioning sessions with Rupe each day. He enjoyed it so much he asked to do some more work with him, so we contacted him direct.  We’re really pleased with his progress and seeing the difference it makes to him on ice. He pushes himself hard both in his gym sessions and in the training homework he gets for in between personal training sessions. As parents we find Rupe to be a mentor as well as a trainer, he engages with our son well. He encourages our son to be the best he can be. Rupe is knowledgeable and we feel very comfortable knowing he is ensuring safety when lifting weights and working on his strength and conditioning. Read more on this topic on our youth strength and conditioning blog post.
James Stewart (13), Guildford JIHC
Youth Athlete

Rupe is motivational and inspirational. He’s fun to work with. He knows where your weaknesses are. He helps me when I find things a challenge. He’s good at transferring gym work to whatever it is you want to achieve. He’s been helping me with my legs and speed as it’s one of my weaker areas on ice.