Posts Tagged ‘Georges Laraque

Former Oilers tough guy dons figure skates

- September 9th, 2010

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So big Georges Laraque is lacing up figure skates for the upcoming second season of CBC’s Battle of the Blades.

It remains to be seen how the ex-Oilers enforcer will fare as a figure skater. But one thing’s for sure, he’ll be in tip-top shape.

Here’s my Keeping Fit feature on the now retired NHLer:

Monday, May 21, 2007

Laraque in training
From boxing and cardio to organic food and yoga, NHLer Georges Laraque is powering up

BY CARY CASTAGNA

With each punishing haymaker he has unloaded against willing combatants over the past decade, ex-Edmonton Oiler Georges Laraque has forged a reputation as one of the most feared fighters in the NHL.

a_laraque_iBut it seems his toughest fight occurs after the season ends.

That’s when the six-foot-three enforcer has to contend with his sluggish metabolism – and the inevitable off-season weight gain.

Laraque, 30, admits it happens every year without fail.

After a gruelling season, the right winger takes a few weeks of rest and relaxation to help recuperate his rundown body.

“Once the season is over you have to take a break,” he insists.

But with inactivity comes more than a few unwanted pounds for the tough guy.

“When I don’t work out my body weight just goes up every day,” he explains.

After the Pittsburgh Penguins were ousted from this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, Laraque took three weeks off.

In that time, he says he put on 20 pounds.

Last week, he began his offseason training at a beefy 280.

But that’s nothing compared to several years back when Laraque was forced to lose 60 pounds one summer after ballooning to 300 following a month-long hiatus.

“I was fat. My face was round,” he recalls. “I worked so hard to lose it, I got mono.”

34714-9506This summer in his quest to get back to a solid 260, Laraque is working out five times a week with personal trainer Simon Bennett of Edmonton’s Body by Bennett.

Laraque’s 90-minute weight training sessions emphasize aerobic-type movements that focus largely on what he calls hockey’s two most important muscle groups – legs and abs.

“Hockey’s an aerobic sport,” he says, explaining that he doesn’t waste time on bodybuilding-type lifts such as bench presses and arm curls because they don’t translate into an on-ice advantage.

The Montreal product who maintains a home in Edmonton – despite being traded in February from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Pens – always follows up his strength training with cardio.

His cardio sessions typically include stair-climbing, running and cycling. With the warmer weather, Laraque heads outside, often going for an hour-long bicycle ride.

“You know those crazy guys on the road who almost get hit by a car? I’m one of those crazy guys,” he admits, adding he also enjoys running five-km and 10-km charity races throughout the summer with the Running Room. “I love running.”

Of course, as an NHLer who makes a living dropping his gloves, Laraque also trains three times a week with boxer Franco Sestito.

The two tangle in a variety of training sessions, including sparring. And in an effort to keep himself limber and stave off injuries, Laraque regularly does yoga at Shanti Yoga Studio with instructor Breanna Johnson.

The reputed pugilist admits he’s about as flexible as a bench press bar.

laraque“But I’m better than I used to be,” he says.

Fuelling all this exercise is a balanced diet composed strictly of organic food.

Laraque, who prefers to do his grocery shopping at Planet Organic Market, explains that because he cuts back on calories on his stringent summer diet, he wants to make sure he’s getting the most nutrients possible. To make doubly certain he leans up for training camp, Laraque stays away from white rice, pasta and bread.

“White flour, when you want to lose weight, is the worst thing for you,” he explains.

Laraque says he doesn’t have a problem sticking to his diet or his rigorous training regimen.

To keep himself motivated, he just thinks about Minnesota Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard – who weighs close to 275 pounds at six-foot-seven.

“Boogaard is so tough. He’s the toughest guy in the league. When I work out and I get tired, I just think about him and I just push myself,” says Laraque, who will be heading into his 10th NHL campaign this fall.

“The job that I have, people are bigger and tougher. You have to be in shape, otherwise you get killed.”

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Click here for more exclusive figure-skating photos of Laraque from the Edmonton Sun’s sharpshooter Perry Mah.

Ohmmm – free fresh air yoga downtown

- July 29th, 2010

madonna

The days when only celebrities like Madonna and Woody Harrelson did yoga are so far history, they’re anthropology.

Yoga has long since gone mainstream.

In fact, it’s so accessible now – it’s even free in some places.

Like downtown Edmonton.

Thanks to Active Edmonton, Alberta’s capital will be the scene of seven outdoor lunch-time yoga sessions next month. For free.

yoga_silCount ‘em: Seven free sessions.

Here’s the info straight from the City of Edmonton:

Centennial Plaza (south side of Stanley Milner Library)

Date: Aug. 5, 12, and 19, 2010
Time: 12:05-12:55 p.m.
Admission: Active Edmonton encourages donations of non-perishable items for the Edmonton Food Bank.

Churchill Square

Date: Aug. 10, 17, 24, and 31, 2010
Time: Noon-1 p.m.
Admission: Free

“Join Active Edmonton for yoga at the Plaza or at Churchill Square to energize your mind, body, and soul. No experience or equipment is necessary. All you need is comfortable clothing and a donation for the Food Bank.”

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There's no word on whether former Edmonton Oiler enforcer Georges Laraque will be in attendance.

What is Active Edmonton?

• Active Edmonton is a physical activity strategy encouraging all Edmontonians to value and regularly participate in physical activities.
• Active Edmonton challenges Edmontonians to make Edmonton the most active city in Canada
• Conceived in May 2003, Active Edmonton is dedicated to inspiring a strong, healthy, supportive and active city.
• Active Edmonton will complement current and planned provincial and federal government health and physical activity programs with an important emphasis on Edmonton – its residents and its physical activity resources.

Active Edmonton Goals

Active Edmonton is working hard to ensure Edmontonians:

• Understand the importance and benefits associated with being physically active.
• Know how to be physically active and overcome obstacles to becoming physically active.
• Are aware of physical activity opportunities, services and resources.
• Are encouraged to be physically active.
• Are supportive of each other’s commitment to active living.
• Are involved in regular physical activity participation.

Work out like elusive billionaire Oilers owner

- January 25th, 2010

katzBillionaires have to work out, too. All the money in the world doesn’t buy health and fitness. Just ask Oprah.

But where do the big shots go to break a sweat? Well, if you’re Daryl Katz — the drug-store magnate and elusive owner of the woeful cellar-dwelling Edmonton Oilers — you go to Body by Bennett in Alberta’s capital.

Katz frequents the private downtown studio that’s ironically in the LeMarchand Mansion. Indeed, the owner of Edmonton’s most expensive residential monstrosity loves his mansions. But I digress.

Body by Bennett’s downtown studio is at 11523 100 Ave., just north of Victoria Golf Course and south of Jasper Avenue. It also happens to be at the top of a gruelling set of river valley stairs.

The fact that the city’s richest man chooses to work out there is a glowing endorsement for the personal training studio.

georgesKatz, of course, isn’t the only Oiler connection to the studio. Ex-Oiler tough guy Georges Laraque has trained there for years and is co-owner of the fitness firm.

Laraque, cut loose by the Montreal Canadiens this month, writes about his association with Body by Bennett on his website at www.georgeslaraque.com.

Visit www.bodybybennett.com, for more on Body by Bennett.