MJ5: NHL Star P.K. Subban on 5 a.m. Workouts, Starting Pilates, and His ‘Big’ Wine Cellar

Devils star P.K. Subban / New Jersey Devils
Credit: New Jersey Devils

With three All-Star appearances, an NHL defenseman MVP award, and an Olympic gold medal under his belt, NHL star P.K. Subban has accomplished quite a bit in his hockey career. Subban chalks up his success to a sustained focus on his training and fitness, something he’s been working on with his trainer Kam Brothers for over two decades.

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“We’ve been working together for 25 years and he’s a big reason why I’m in the NHL,” Subban tells Men’s Journal. “My training and preparation is so important to what I do on the ice. This past offseason, I started doing more pilates and it’s one of the best and smartest decisions I’ve ever made for my training. I think it’s a big reason why my body has felt better than usual this whole year.”

 

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Commit, invest, repeat.☝🏿

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2019 was a big year for Subban, and not just because he was traded to the New Jersey Devils. Subban, a former star for the Montreal Canadiens, hung out with music superstar Drake and the NBA championship trophy to celebrate the Toronto Raptors’ championship, proposed to his girlfriend, Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, and even presented at the Video Music Awards.

Even with that busy schedule, Subban doesn’t skimp on his training.

“Every morning I’m up at 5 a.m. to get started on my pre-workout before my first real workout,” Subban says. “It’s really important to get my body fully activated right away. Over this year, I’ve been working on my leg muscles and increasing my speed. The game has gotten noticeably faster in recent years and you need to account for that when you’re training.”

Subban took some time out of his training schedule to talk about his favorite gear, his top workouts, wine, and more for his MJ5. Check out the full MJ5 archives for more interviews with Michael Strahan, Tony Hawk, Chris Evans, Russell Wilson, Ewan McGregor, and more.

On his favorite workouts: “I like to do full body movements that really engage my core. On leg day it’s all about squats, snatches and deadlifts. Also, running drills on the ice is really the best way I’ve been able to improve my game.”

On his favorite drink: “I love wine and I started collecting it. Although I don’t drink often, because it’s tough when I’m training. When I can drink, I enjoy wine or a really good tequila. I have a pretty big wine cellar, so I try to put more in each year. It’s been really fun to collect and taste wines from all over the world.”

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On his favorite travel spots: “A few years ago, I took a vacation in the south of France and before that I had never really been on vacation before in my life. I was 23 years old and usually when I go to Europe it’s for hockey, so to see it in another way was incredible and eye-opening. This past summer was also really special because I had never gone on vacation with the person I love. Lindsey and I went to Germany and Italy and we had the best time.”

On his favorite meal to make: “Definitely stir fry— I make a mean stir fry! I cook it for Lindsey all the time and she loves it. Or maybe she pretends to, since she knows how much I love to make it.”

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On his favorite piece of gear: “My Dior Saddle Bag—it’s a one strap saddle bag and when I’m traveling I can’t leave without it.”

Bonus – On the best advice he’s received: “Pay attention to details. That’s a piece of advice I got when I was probably 15 years old and it really stuck with me. Now I call it the 20% rule. As a professional athlete, you need to dedicate 100% of your time and effort to the game. On top of that, you need to use an extra 20% to pay attention to how you’re treating people— your trainers, doctors, fans, how you represent the team and all the details that come with the responsibility of being an athlete.”

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