What is the Bronko Belt RTI?
The Bronko Belt RTI is a new, resistance training device for hockey players which is worn on-ice during practice to help develop sport-specific strength, speed and quickness. The belt is worn over your pants so it's easy to put on and adjust.
What is resistance training?
Resistance Training is a form of strength training where each effort or rep is performed against a specific opposing force caused by resistance. The resistance can come from weights, elastic bands, hydraulics etc. Regardless of the source of the resistance, the goal of resistance training is the gradual and progressive overloading of the muscles to cause increased strength, tone, mass or endurance. Most hockey players will do resistance training at the gym in order to add strength, power and/or mass. However, whether you're in the gym or on the ice, the principle behind resistance training remains the same.
Is resistance training on ice new?
If you've ever had to push the net down the ice during practice or had to pull a teammate behind you while he held onto your stick or jersey then you've done resistance training on ice. Why are these drills used? Among other reasons, they're used to condition your muscles to move more weight than they're used to. The same principle is at work with the Bronko Belt. What makes the Bronko Belt better is that your hands are free to shoot, stickhandle and pass while you wear the belt. You can do almost any drill with the belt that you can do without it (although it isn't recommended to use the belt for drills focusing substantially on body contact) meaning you can use the belt almost any time you're on the ice for practice including during drills which simulate game situations.
Why is the Bronko Belt better than other on-ice training aids?
The biggest reason the Bronko Belt is superior is its weight distribution pattern. Because the training weight in a Bronko Belt is located evenly on both hips, it doesn't affect your balance or restrict your range of motion which means your skating stride isn't negatively affected. The distribution pattern is also important from a safety perspective because it prevents the unnecessary strain on your back which can result when you place the training weight on your extremities instead of around your center of gravity. Placing the weight around your waist has one additional important feature: it allows you to shoot, pass and stickhandle like normal so you can participate in most of the drills you normally do. Other important features include:
No other training aid can offer the same combination of features and versatility. The Bronko Belt RTI helps you get more from each practice because every drill becomes a more intense, sport-specific workout.
Who is the Bronko Belt intended for?
The Bronko Belt RTI is intended for users over the age of 9 who adequately fulfill the size requirements outlined in the Sizing Chart (see below). It is recommeded players have at least 3 years skating experience before beginning to train with the belt. The Bronko Belt RTI is intended to be worn on the exterior of the hockey pants commonly worn during hockey and only during on ice practice sessions. For full instructions on how to use the Bronko Belt RTI safely and effectively download the User Guide.
Does the Bronko Belt eliminate having to go to the gym?
Off-ice training, including a combination of weight lifting, plyometrics, sprinting etc. is critical in improving overall strength, quickness and agility. However, to translate the strength gains made off-ice into hockey-specific improvements, the type of training you do on-ice is also important. The Bronko Belt allows you to combine both resistance training and sport-specific movements to facilitate and accelerate the transition of gains made off-ice into on-ice impovements. It does not however eliminate the need for a rigorous off-ice training program.
How much training weight should I use on the ice?
The amount of training weight required will depend on the individual using the belt. Age, physical strength, conditioning level and training goals all factor into the decision of how much training weight to use. Because of the high speeds generated in hockey, adding even a small amount of weight to the belt results in a noticeable increase in the effort required to skate. Each Senior (large) Bronko Belt RTI comes with 8 lbs. of training weight (4 lbs. in each weight pack) with additional weight sold seperately. Each Junior (small) Bronko Belt RTI comes with 4 lbs. of training weight (2 lbs. in each weight pack). The Bronko Belt allows you to select and adjust the amount of training weight you insert into the weight packs so you can start with less weight and work your way up. The proper amount of training weight should make it feel like you're working harder to skate but it should NOT make you feel that you can't keep up during drills or that you have to adjust your skating stride to compensate for the training weight.
How do I put the belt on?
The first time you wear the Belt you need to adjust it to fit your body. Once you've got your hockey gear on, tuck your jersey in in the back for a moment and put on the waist belt. Insert the clips on either side of the weight packs into the corresponding clips found on your waist belt. Adjust the positioning of each of the weight packs on your hips by pulling on the loose end of the straps on each weight pack. Doing this will securely fasten the weight packs to waist belt and prevent the weight packs from moving on your pants. Attach the RipCord at the back of the waist belt to the Tie Down strap on the back of your pants to lock the Belt in position on your pants and prevent it from spinning on your waist. You can adjust the amount of training weight in each of the weight packs by opening the flap on each and adding/removing the weight packs. Untuck your jersey and you're ready to practice. For a full, detailed description of how to put the belt on download the User Guide.
Removing the belt is a simple, two-step process. First, pull on the RipCord loop at the back of the wasit belt to release the Tie Down strap on the back of your pants. Second, unfasten the main buckle of the waist belt at the front of the Belt. The Bronko Belt will slide off your pants and you can put the Belt on the player's bench. Note that removing the weight packs one at a time and leaving the waist belt on your pants is a good idea if you plan on using the weight packs again later in the practice. Once you've tried it a couple times, adding or removing the Bronko Belt RTI will only take seconds. You'll be able to do it on the ice, on the bench or in the locker room.
What does it feel like to wear a Bronko Belt?
You'll notice it requires more effort to reach the same speeds and that it's particularly difficult when you're changing directions. Once you've worn the belt for a few minutes though, you'll start to get used to the weight, focus on the next drill and forget you are wearing the belt altogether. Of course, your body will still need to work harder than normal to compensate for the extra weight but you'll be able to participate in drills as though you weren't wearing anything. Once you take the belt off, you'll feel lighter and faster immediately. You'll notice how big a difference a few pounds can make. The sensation will fade in a few minutes as your body gets used to your normal weight again but over time the muscles that power your stride will grow stronger as they adapt to the heavier weight.
Should I wear the belt at all times during practice?
It's not recommended to wear the belt for the duration of every practice because you want to train your body to use its increasing strength to move your normal (lighter) body weight around as quickly as possible. Since strong and slow is not the goal, you must incorporate time to do drills at full speed into your workouts--which means time when you're not carrying around extra weight. Therefore, it's recommended that the belt be worn for only a portion of practice and not the entire length. For example, you can wear the belt for every drill in the first half hour of practice or, alternatively, you could wear the belt for the first two or three reps of each drill-- and then do the drill again without the belt for the final few reps.
Where can I buy a Bronko Belt RTI?
Click here to visit our Shop page and place an order.
Can I try one before buying it?
If you play for a team in southern Ontario or will be travelling to the southern Ontario region, a Bronko Hockey representative can visit your team at practice so you and your teammates can try the belt on-ice. Click here to find out more.
What do I get when I buy a Bronko Belt RTI?
Each Bronko Belt RTI comes with a waist belt, two weight packs and training weight. Adult (large) Belts come with 8 lbs. of training weight. Youth (small) Belts come with 4 lbs. of training weight. A printed copy of the User Guide is also included with each Bronko Belt RTI.
Does it come in different colours?
The Bronko Belt RTI comes with weight packs which are black with white trim. Custom team colours can be ordered at an additional cost. Contact us here for further information.
What size is right for me?
Two sizes are available. Youth (small) Belts are intended for players aged 9 and up who fulfill the sizing requirements in our Sizing chart below. Players usually wear the Youth Belt between the ages of 9 and 14 depending on their size. The Adult (large) Belts can fit players as young as 12 depending on their size. The size requirements for players training with the Bronko Belt RTI are listed below in our Sizing Chart. The Belt should not be so large on a player as to interfere with the player's skating stride but should be large enough that the Belt spans the gap between the hip and kidney pads of the player's pants by at least 2 inches on top and bottom. When properly sized and positioned, the Belt should rest entirely on top of the hip and kidney pads of the pants. Refer to the User Guide for more information.
Bronko Belt RTI Sizing Waist Size Height