Anthony Donskov

Anthony Donskov is the founder of DSC where he serves as the Director of Sport Performance. Donskov holds a Masters Degree in Exercise Science & is the author of Physical Preparation for Ice Hockey.

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Iron: Friend or Foe?

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As a former athlete, I loved the weight room: the smell, the feeling, and the aura. It was, and still is, a place of solace for me. It’s a place of unbridled adrenaline and potential. The potential to become one day better!   As time has passed I find myself on the other side of the weight room, from athlete to Coach. Our job as Coaches is to harness that adrenaline, grit and determination into a safe platform of adaptation for our athletes.   Iron is our friend, but it needs to be treated with respect and care. A lack of respect can often lead to injury. Training is not an end to a means; it’s the means to accomplish great things one rep at a time. Below are three virtues in making iron your friend.


1.) Return on Investment: Iron is like a ROTH IRA! It’s an investment. If you invest your money with purpose, adherence and patience, your reward(s) will be great. However, there are monetary penalties for withdrawing funds too early. The iron game is no different: impatience, over aggressiveness, and lack of control can lead to penalties in the form of injury and decrease tissue tolerance. Patience is a virtue that has to be coupled with work ethic. My grandfather always used to say “you’ll never loose your shirt if you roll your sleeves up.” Virtue #1: Patience.


2.) Own the Movement: Focus on foundation! A pyramid is not built from the top down. A pyramid is built one brick at a time. Testosterone can alter decision making in the weight room. Own the movement before you load it. Don’t throw bricks around without foundation. Virtue #2: Persistence.


3.) Positive to Negative: Learn to drive under the speed limit before you speed! Control is an imperative element. Time under tension is important for beginners. We incorporate user-friendly tempo (5/0/1), (2/0/1) in order to teach control each and every rep. Virtue #3: Control.


In order to have a friend, you need to be a friend. Patience, persistence, control and hard work are important ingredients in the weight room. It has allowed me to have a life long relationship in the iron game. However, there have been times that I haven’t been a good friend: over aggressive, impatient and stubborn, the results have been injury (shoulder surgery), overtraining and joint pain. It’s important to me that my athletes embrace the process by aspiring to attain these virtues one rep at a time. After all what are friends for?


Anthony Donskov, MS, CSCS, PES, is a former collegiate and professional hockey player, founder of Donskov Strength and Conditioning Inc., ( and Head Instructor/Director of Off-Ice Strength and Conditioning for Donskov Hockey Development ( He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .




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