About Roughnecks Strength and Conditioning coach Sean Hope-Ross:

The Calgary native is a certified strength coach and personal trainer with more than 20 years of health and fitness experience, who has worked with hundreds of professional and elite athletes. Not only does Hope-Ross help guide the Roughnecks to their peak fitness, but he is also in his 18th season as Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Hitmen, and has also worked closely with the Flames and Stampeders throughout his career.

How many calories a day does a Roughneck consume?

It depends on the player, there is no generic diet plan for the guys, as some players want to gain weight and some want to lose or just maintain body weight. 

For those that want to gain weight and lean muscle mass….put weight on, and keep it on, they’d eat around 4,000-5,000 calories a day, pushing even higher than that if they’re really struggling to gain the weight/size that they are looking for. 

A guy who is working to maintain his weight or drop weight would consume around 3,000 calories per day. 

What are the best practices for a Roughneck’s diet?

The ideal goal would be to have protein with every meal, a portion about the size of the palm of your hand. Lots of green vegetables and some complex carbohydrates mixed in (i.e. brown rice, quinoa, whole grains). I encourage them to stay away from white pastas, rice and bread which are empty calories.

What would a day of eating look like for a Roughneck?

We preach eating every couple of hours for athletes because they need the energy and fuel. A sample day might be something like this;

Breakfast: Eggs, yogurt, berries, and a banana

Morning snack: Whole-wheat bagel with peanut butter

Lunch: A big, green salad with chicken, tuna, or another protein source.

Afternoon snack: A handful of almonds and a piece of cheese.

Dinner: A lots of green vegetables, a complex carb, and a protein source.

Night time snack 3: Low fat popcorn or protein shake.

With that, they should be consuming around 4 liters of water per day.

How does game day affect their eating?

The big difference is that the amount of carbohydrates they eat increases, as they will need the extra energy.  Ideally they would have the same good breakfast. Then they’d get their shoot-around in – and I’d recommend they have a shake right after that and some simple carbs like a banana or oranges. 

The pre-game meal is usually eaten in the mid-afternoon, because you want to make sure their body has enough time to process the food. For that meal, they’ll have pasta, or rice, lots of green veggies and protein. Before the game most will have a small snack, such as a shake or a few pieces of toast with peanut butter. Post-game they’ll have another balanced full meal, ideally within an hour of finishing playing. 

What are some common supplements the Roughnecks utilize that the average Joe can mix into their diet?

Protein supplements. Each serving has about 25-30 grams of protein, but keep in mind the body can only use around 30 grams at a time. It’s important they get a protein source in their system 20-30 minutes after a workout  – we call that the magic window, the window where your body absolutely needs to have protein to start the recovery process for your muscles. 

Also, if there’s ever a good time to have Gatorade or simple sugars, it’s a small amount post workout, because your glycogen levels are depleted. 

Many also take Creatine Monohydrate. Creatine helps maintain strength and training performance while increasing muscle mass during intense training. These noticeable improvements are primarily caused by your body’s increased capacity to produce ATP (energy)

The only known side effect can be dehydration, so they must make sure to consume a lot of water while using creatine. 

BCAA’s (Branched-chain amino acids)  are also very popular among athletes. Essentially they’re amino acids in pill or powder form. These are the building blocks of muscles, without amino acids you can’t build muscle.  If you’re not eating or drinking enough protein you better be getting those amino acids elsewhere.

As for vitamins, a Roughneck would also take a multi-vitamin, some extra vitamin C , and stress vitamins like B12.

Check out Sean Hope-Ross’ Rigger-approved breakfast recipe below!

Low Carb Banana Pancake: 

What you’ll need:

* 1 ripe banana 

* 4 eggs 

* 1/4 cup almond flour 

* 1/4 cup almond milk 

* 1 tablespoon ground psyllium husk powder 

* 1 pinch salt 

* 1 teaspoon baking powder 

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

* coconut oil for frying


Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, mix, and set aside.

Mash the banana in another mixing bowl using a fork. Add in remaining wet ingredients; mix until fully combined.

Add in dry ingredients to the banana mixture and whisk/beat until fully incorporated.

Heat a pan or skillet over medium heat, lightly grease with coconut oil to prevent sticking.  Drop batter into pan using a spoon, ladle or cup and cook until bubbles form (2-3 minutes). Flip the pancake, and cook until the other side is browned as well (2-3 minutes).  Serve immediately.

Back to News

Related Posts