I sat down with Jason LaBarbera this afternoon and talked about his summer. LaBarbera spent part of the summer recovering from the surgery he had to repair a sports hernia and also took the opportunity to get in much better shape. Here’s what LaBarbera, who clearly looks trimmer, had to say about his offseason improvements…
Question: I’ve heard that you did a lot of work during the offseason. How did that go?
LABARBERA: “It was good. I think getting hurt was kind of a blessing in disguise, almost. You don’t want to get hurt and miss any games, but it kind of gave me a chance to refocus and recover and just get in better shape. It was never about how I worked, because I always worked hard. I always gained weight during seasons before, and then when I got to the summer I just tried to work my ass off to get back to where I was. Last year I never gained weight, so I had a good starting point. Then having that nutritionist thing, for me, was unreal. I never ate that bad, but you know how it is. I just ate too much sometimes. That’s just the way it was when you were growing up. You just ate until you were full. I had someone make me food (this summer) and it was seven meals a day. They were all small meals and well-proportioned. Every two hours I would eat, and it was the best I’ve ever felt. I just felt clean. You just feel better. I wasn’t as sore and dragging and tired as much as I used to be. It was night and day. It’s tough to describe how it is. You just feel like a different person.”
Question: Was there some weight training on top of that?
LABARBERA: “I’ve always done that kind of stuff. I just would always be behind the eight-ball. I could never do it at a high level. This summer I was able to do that on a high level. I did lots of running this summer and sprinting, lots of weights and circuit training. That makes a huge difference.”
Question: Do you know how much weight you lost?
LABARBERA: “I probably dropped about 10 pounds and six or seven percent body fat, which is pretty good. The thing was, like I said, feeling that good, I was able to train at a higher level. I feel stronger and way better about myself. Like I said, not gaining any weight was just huge for me.”