Ilan Cum­ber­birch puts hockey pros and busi­ness ex­ecs through their paces NHL

BC Business Magazine - - Contents - By Nathan Cad­dell

A day in the life of trainer Ilan Cum­ber­birch, who gives biz and hockey pros the runaround

Like many good Cana­dian kids, Ilan Cum­ber­birch dreamed of play­ing in the NHL. The Van­cou­ver na­tive got closer than most but re­al­ized that his sea­son with the Lim­burg Eaters in the Nether­lands' top league would be the end of the line. Af­ter com­ing back home a few years ago, the UBC ki­ne­si­ol­ogy grad bought into his for­mer down­town train­ing fa­cil­ity, Fac­tory Hockey, which spe­cial­izes in work­ing with pro­fes­sional play­ers, in­clud­ing many Van­cou­ver Canucks. Last Novem­ber he founded Yard Ath­let­ics, his own per­sonal-train­ing brand for ath­letes and busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives, out of the same space.

5 a.m. Days start early for Cum­ber­birch, who hits the alarm buzzer be­fore even the crows wake up. He downs a bul­let­proof cof­fee, which for him con­sists of two dou­ble shots of espresso (he goes with Caffè Um­bria, find­ing lo­cal roast­ers too acidic); MCT (medium-chain triglyc­erides) oil, which acts as a slow-re­lease fuel source; a lit­tle bit of col­la­gen; and a dash of pro­tein pow­der. He needs it: af­ter the drive to his Granville Street gym, he has three back-to-back train­ing ses­sions, from 6 un­til 9 a.m.

9 a.m. Hockey play­ers oc­cupy the next four and a half hours, with spe­cial­ized train­ing for groups of four to six pros and am­a­teurs. Past clients in­clude Nhlers like Vic­tor Bart­ley, Lan­don Fer­raro and Jeff Tam­bellini, who, like Cum­ber­birch, bought into Fac­tory a few years ago. “With that first-hand experience–hav­ing played through the ju­nior ranks, col­le­giate ranks and then pro­fes­sional, and done all the train­ing that comes with that–there's some cred­i­bil­ity on my end,” says Cum­ber­birch of how he at­tracts high-end ath­letes. Lunch Cum­ber­birch, who tries to eat around noon or 1 p.m., notes that lunch is al­most al­ways on the go: “I’ll do chicken or tur­key—some sort of meat—and then a lot of roasted veg­eta­bles, grilled veg­eta­bles,” he says. “Af­ter my work­out I try not to do gluten or dairy. So rice, pota­toes, yams, quinoa— some­thing like that that’s eas­ily di­gestible.” 1:30 p.m. It's time for the play­ers to get their on-ice train­ing, so Cum­ber­birch heads over to the Bri­tan­nia Com­mu­nity Cen­tre to lace up his skates. About a week be­fore

train­ing camps start in mid­Septem­ber, the Canucks will come calling, and he'll run drills to get them up to speed be­fore they be­gin for­mal prac­tices. “Hockey play­ers re­quire a lot of at­ten­tion, and it's very spe­cific and quite de­mand­ing,” Cum­ber­birch says, point­ing out that most pro play­ers don't make a lot of money. “If you're play­ing in the AHL, you're not clear­ing that much, and the AHL is just one step shy of the NHL,” he ex­plains. “So to make a liv­ing off just ath­letes, espe­cially in this mar­ket and in this city, is very dif­fi­cult.”

a day in the life

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