So we shut it down for a couple weeks just to be safe with my elbow. I've been throwing again for about 2 weeks now and hopped on the mound again yesterday.
I threw 30 pitches at 50% according to my program. The first throw I lobbed in there at what I was sure was 60 mph, and the gun read 76. I had to back off even further and make sure I was in the 68-72 mph range for this pen. The fact that 76 felt so unbelievably easy is a good sign though, heading forward. Better, is the fact that I was throwing about 80% strikes with my fastball and actually felt like I could locate to either side of the plate. We stuck mainly to fastballs this first pen.
It took a lot of hard work over this past month to get to the mechanics you see in those videos. Here is Dan explaining some of the things we've been working on:
I'm excited to continue ramping back up to 100% over the next couple weeks, which coincides with one of the pro tryouts I was hoping to attend on July 24th (Reds).
If all goes well, I will either
1) Come back throwing slightly harder (91+)
2) Come back throwing just as hard (88-91) with better command of at least 1 pitch
The arm won't be in tip top shape, and I will only be a week into max effort throwing, but I'm hoping to show well at the tryout (92 with command) and have something to show for the summer of hard work.
In other news:
I've bulked back up to about 212, up from 205 in about 4 weeks. I was a ripped 205 going into the season, a slightly softer 205 by the end of the spring season, and I'm now as strong as ever, aside from the left arm which I have been largely resting for the time being from lifting.
My legs have gone from being neglected to being huge again thanks to lifting total body 5 days/week and keeping workouts shorter and more condensed. I really feel like this is the optimal way to train, and I have not put on any noticeable fat. Read about how we trained around my low back issues here: http://www.treadathletics.com/1/post/2013/06/building-lower-body-strength-without-squats-or-deadlifts.html
I plan to SLOWLY get up to a lean 215 by the end of october (nearly 4 months from now).
This will require adding about 8-10lbs of muscle in 12 weeks (let's assume I put on 9lbs of muscle, 4lbs of fat). 212 at about 10% to 225 at 12%, no small task.
Then dropping about 4% body fat over the course of the next 4 weeks to be an intimidating and shredded 215lb specimen.
Other Random Stuff:
Dan loves grip training, and I've been making some absurd gains in this department, with my right arm at least. Using the captains of crush grippers, I've gone from barely being able to close the 1.5 (167lbs crushing force) to being able to close it 14 times in a row easily and closing the 2 (195lbs crushing force) for reps. I went ahead and orders myself the 1 .5, 2 and 2.5 to continue using while I'm back at school.
Calf + Neck training:
just for the hell of it, and because I have the time, I've been training these body parts bodybuilder-style for aesthetic purposes. About 8 sets per week for each. I'll give more details on this if anyone is interested.
HEAVY Rotator Cuff Training:
On top of some really cool new rhythmic stabilization, blackburns and band scap work, one of the most interesting arm care tidbits I've learned is concerning heavy external rotation work. Please take the time to at least skim over this article: http://strengthology.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/weightlifting-101-the-overhead-athlete/
This is something we have incorporated in my routine at Warbird Academy, and I'm hoping that it carries over into better arm health and velocity. I'm up a few lbs on these (~20-25lbs), but nowhere near the 38lbs matt harvey is reported to have been able to do for 8 reps. We use the PACE weights to incrementally increase weight on these. http://paceweights.com/products/pw-0300.htm
Some other really cool stuff in the works as well. I'll keep you all updated on my progress, training and the tryout!