My 12 year old lefty pitcher son (just entering 7th grade) has been wanting to workout and get stronger so I’ve done a great deal of learning about strength and conditioning over the past few months. The goal currently is not to optimize 12-year old velocity, but to make him overall much stronger, more resistant to injury, and lay the groundwork for working out at a higher level in high school.
He has been going already for about two months with the following routine on M/W/F:
Warmup 5 minutes (jumping jacks, jump rope, run in place, high knees)
5 sets of the following 5 activities (2 minutes rest between each set)
- squats (different type each set)
- crunches or planks (his choice)
- “special” - this rotates for each set to different things like superman, lunges, catching erratic bouncing ball, etc. - sometimes he just does something totally new for this slot.
And then ends with about 10 minutes of recovery routine.
On T/TH he does running, never more than 1.5 miles, and sometimes it is sprints, sometimes trying to run 1 mile as fast as he can. The intention is never to exceed 2 miles.
So it’s all going well, with reps increasing each week. As a nice bonus side effect, his velocity is increasing. More importantly, he never seems to experience fatigue when pitching any more. But my question is this:
With reps increasing to larger and larger numbers, the workouts are taking longer and longer, approaching 1.5 hours (will probably hit that in 2 weeks at the rate he’s going). Up until now, he has not used any weight except for wall sits where he holds a couple heavy books. Just added a 4 lb medicine ball to some of his squats. But other than that, no weights.
It’s taking so long because he’s now doing the following numbers on each set (approximately - the actual numbers are higher for the 2nd and 5th rounds, lower for other rounds):
Squats: 1 minute or 10 jumps
Crunches: 18 (or one minute plank)
Special: takes about 1-2 minutes depending on activity
Is it best to keep the number of reps smaller and increased weight at this age? Or is it better to just keep increasing the number of reps?
I do know that pitchers need explosiveness, and that that comes with fewer reps and increased resistance. I fully expect that’s what he’ll do more of after he finished puberty at age 16 or whenever. But he has barely begun puberty and I have not found much information on what to do for pre-pubescent kids who know they want to pitch at a high level in high school eventually.
If it helps - he’s short and light at 4’ 10", 85 lbs. He’s 6 lbs heavier than he was 2 1/2 months ago, when he first starting doing all these calisthenics.