RIP Frank Engel (Nov 2, 1961 – Jan 7, 2020)

You wouldn’t be reading this were it not for Frank Engel.

Back in 2004… it would have had to be around fall… my hockey coach, Rocky Trottier, told us that we were old enough to start lifting weights. So many of us did.

I had spent countless hours of my youth hurling hockey pucks at garages, nets, brick walls. I had a piece of plastic fake ice. I liked playing with a longer stick because I could really confuse attackers when they came through. I liked taking slap shots because I wasn’t good at wrist shots. I practiced stick handling fast, but never learned how to do it without looking down at the puck. And I spent my other free time playing hockey video games.

I wanted to be a professional hockey player, and I knew that I would need to practice — to get better — if I were going to get there.

So when Rocky recommended we start lifting weights, I was on board. That’s something that athletes do, so I should do that.

I remember walking in the first day. There’s lots of commotion. I’m not a loud guy, but I at least knew a few of the people around. I had no idea how to do any of the lifts I was about to do.

So I walk up to this hulking, scruffy dude who tells me the workout is on the whiteboard. I think he even gave me a notebook to track my workout. He gave me all the weights, told me to walk around to the different pieces and just do the workout. The last one was a trap bar deadlift: 150lbs for 10 reps. “That one’s gonna kick your ass,” he told me.

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