Cross country

I did not make the baseball team and I am trying to find something good for cardio…would cross country be th answer.all we run is five k’s so it is not that many miles and the terrain is really good for building calves and thigh muscles[/i]

Mostly everyone on this site know how muh I love to run, Cross-Country is a great sport and you can build leg muscles, endurance, and thigh muscles. I think you’ll like Cross-Country, my first year I ranked in the top 100 in the state. It is a great sport and you should join the team.

Not only that, but the practices are generally longer runs than the actual events.

Ypu, and XC is one of those sports, that if you work hard at it, than you’ll be able to actually see your progression throughout the season if you record your times

My first year

My First Race: 29:50
My fastest Race:22:36
My Last Race:22:45

And I have continued running 5ks at charity events, and am also training to run a half-marathon.

The last timed run I had was the Mariah’s Challenge fun run at 12.5ks. What a run. 58 mins if I remember correctly…

cross country is probably the single worst thing you could do if you are trying to be a strong and explosive athlete. If baseball is your top priority, I would not join the cross country team. If you just want to stay in cardiovascular shape and baseball is not the #1 priority then go ahead.

Well if he is a pitcher, Cross Country would be good to build stamina

Cross Country builds cardio immensely. And just because he is doing cross country, it doesnt mean that he cannot also do sprint work and lifting as well.
The serious baseball player works hard. If you are explosive, and can make it to first faster than anyone on your team, but you are struggling to stay at a sprint through an in the parker, then all that explosive work didnt do squat for you, cause those two feet you just lost got you thrown out.

Cross Country builds cardio immensely. And just because he is doing cross country, it doesnt mean that he cannot also do sprint work and lifting as well.
The serious baseball player works hard. If you are explosive, and can make it to first faster than anyone on your team, but you are struggling to stay at a sprint through an in the parker, then all that explosive work didnt do squat for you, cause those two feet you just lost got you thrown out.[/quote]

this is a hard thread to take seriously. It’s just so frustrating all the misconceptions about cardio…

first of all: in baseball you will almost NEVER need to run further than 60 yards…even if you hypothetically DID need to leg out an “in-the-parker” I have yet to meet someone who cannot keep up a sprint for 12-15 seconds…this is hardly justification for structuring your training around distance running

second of all: you are not automatically in bad cardiovascular shape if you do not run cross country…in fact, you can actually get pretty decent conditioning just from lifting weights…certainly ENOUGH for a game in which you never need to run more than 60 yards at a time, and for a pitcher where the only running you do is backing up a base…you’d be surprised how heavy proper training can have you breathing by the end of a lift…when you train compound movements, especially medium-high rep lower body, you do get a fair amount of conditioning in. Try Barbell reverse lunges with 185lbs 8 per leg and tell me how you feel after the set…

third of all: sure, conditioning has SOME importance for a pitcher, but it is such a low priority when compared to all of the other physically trainable factors. Conditioning is almost NEVER the limiting factor. Pitchers NEVER bend over out of breath while out on the mound…plenty of out of shape guys who couldn’t run 2 miles can pitch deep into 9 inning games…the only case I have actually seen was a 5’10 220lbs fat college pitcher who would be red-faced and puffing after 20 pitches…as long as you dont get borderline obese you should not have to work too hard to attain the minimum necessary conditioning needed to be even a starting pitcher.

how about ditch the unnecessary distance running and focus on strength, explosiveness, flexibility, mobility…

this is coming from somebody who has been THAT GUY who ran cross country in high school with a 70 mph fastball. Now I am the guy who knows how to train, weighs 50lbs more and can touch 87-88 sidearm…

quitting cross country was one of the single best decisions I made for my game…

edit: just to add on, refuting the claim that a player can do cross country, lifting and sprinting at the same time. Distance running actually dampens the effects of a lifting program. That is, you will not experience the same strength gains if you are simultaneously teaching your body to be slow-twitch and fast-twitch. This is why training phases should generally be geared towards a singular goal.

which body looks more capable of throwing a baseball through a wall?

Cross Country builds cardio immensely. And just because he is doing cross country, it doesnt mean that he cannot also do sprint work and lifting as well.
The serious baseball player works hard. If you are explosive, and can make it to first faster than anyone on your team, but you are struggling to stay at a sprint through an in the parker, then all that explosive work didnt do squat for you, cause those two feet you just lost got you thrown out.[/quote]

this is a hard thread to take seriously. It’s just so frustrating all the misconceptions about cardio…

first of all: in baseball you will almost NEVER need to run further than 60 yards…even if you hypothetically DID need to leg out an “in-the-parker” I have yet to meet someone who cannot keep up a sprint for 12-15 seconds…this is hardly justification for structuring your training around distance running

second of all: you are not automatically in bad cardiovascular shape if you do not run cross country…in fact, you can actually get pretty decent conditioning just from lifting weights…certainly ENOUGH for a game in which you never need to run more than 60 yards at a time, and for a pitcher where the only running you do is backing up a base…you’d be surprised how heavy proper training can have you breathing by the end of a lift…when you train compound movements, especially medium-high rep lower body, you do get a fair amount of conditioning in. Try Barbell reverse lunges with 185lbs 8 per leg and tell me how you feel after the set…

third of all: sure, conditioning has SOME importance for a pitcher, but it is such a low priority when compared to all of the other physically trainable factors. Conditioning is almost NEVER the limiting factor. Pitchers NEVER bend over out of breath while out on the mound…plenty of out of shape guys who couldn’t run 2 miles can pitch deep into 9 inning games…the only case I have actually seen was a 5’10 220lbs fat college pitcher who would be red-faced and puffing after 20 pitches…as long as you dont get borderline obese you should not have to work too hard to attain the minimum necessary conditioning needed to be even a starting pitcher.

how about ditch the unnecessary distance running and focus on strength, explosiveness, flexibility, mobility…

this is coming from somebody who has been THAT GUY who ran cross country in high school with a 70 mph fastball. Now I am the guy who knows how to train, weighs 50lbs more and can touch 87-88 sidearm…

quitting cross country was one of the single best decisions I made for my game…

edit: just to add on, refuting the claim that a player can do cross country, lifting and sprinting at the same time. Distance running actually dampens the effects of a lifting program. That is, you will not experience the same strength gains if you are simultaneously teaching your body to be slow-twitch and fast-twitch. This is why training phases should generally be geared towards a singular goal.[/quote]

I apologize for the misconception. I am just speaking from personal experience of doing both cross country, baseball, and lifting. I know that for ME running before and after pitching reduced the pain I felt afterwards. It also increased my blood flow and lung capacity for sprinting. I am not saying that without cross country you have poor cardiovascular performance, I am just saying that it does not hurt in the least bit. It also helps one to control their breathing. I find it hard to take anybody seriously who claims that running is the worst thing you could do for ANY sport. Just saying. But of course I do not know everything. I am just a kid afterall.

Inappropriate energy system development can definitely hurt your performance on the mound. I suggest you do some reading on why this might be the case. LankyLefty has already been very gracious in explaining why.

The case that LankyLefty, as far as I understand, is that it trains you to use your slow twitch muscles rather than fast twitch. We all know that repetition creates muscle memory, and therefore translates into your playing time. I am saying that the mistake is that he assumes that cross country is the same slow pace throughout, training your slow twitch muscles, and not your fast twitch. Being a cross country runner myself, I know that when you are tired is when you really have to concentrate on form and bear down deep and push your hardest. Sprinting after you have already run 5k. Yes, there is sprinting in cross country. There is use of both muscle types, even in the middle of a race. Surging around corners, overtaking opponents. Im just saying that if you haven’t done cross country, then you cannot condemn it.

I don’t see how you can use the argument that cross country is both a slow and fast twitch sport…a 20 second sub maximal sprint at the end of a 20+ minute race is hardly developing your fast twitch muscles. Furthermore, any significant amount of this kind of slow steady-state training dampens the effects of your strength training program.

There’s a reason cross country runners are skinny and weak…it’s because training like they train makes you skinny and weak…

also the whole reason I am so adamant about this is because I HAVE run cross country…for 2 and a half years actually. First I ran as my only training…I became skinnier and less explosive. My sprint times actually all decreased after my first season of cross country…I had done it to be in good condition for baseball, and I was suddenly slower in the field and running the bases.

The next year I started strength training too, but I struggled to make appreciable progress as I was still running…I stayed skinny and weak for the most part.

I finally dropped cross country my junior year and my weight and strength shot up, my velo shot up and my sprinting speed shot up. I learned how to train properly and why endurance type training like cross country is an awful way to prepare your body for a sport like baseball. I haven’t looked back since.

In case you have forgotten, all through the 80’s and part of the 90’s, the desired look of a baseball player was tall and lanky. Look at the Big unit. Throw a baseball through a wall indeed. The idea was that larger muscles could slow movement. In either extreme it is not what you are looking for. Too skinny and you cant throw hard enough. Too big, and you cant throw hard enough. Bigger isnt always better. How about I post a pic of me (skinny and weak, according to you). Cheers

Using the big unit as an example is not really helpful to your argument because he is a 6’10" physical specimen…

Also I will certainly agree that there is such a thing as “too big,” but this is in fact far bigger than most people would admit…at 6’3" or 6’4" there seems to me no reason for why you would settle for a bodyweight under 200lbs if you have not already achieved your velocity goals. I would argue there is no threat of excess bulkiness until the 220lbs + range. I think pitchers should carry as much muscle as they can while still maintaining optimal flexibility, mobility, explosiveness, athletecism, etc. etc. Yes there is a point of diminishing returns, but it is much higher than your typical 6’3" 175lb high school pitcher thinks. When I was 6’3" 165 I thought I would be JACKED at 190lbs…in fact i was still pretty skinny and weak…then I figured by 210 I would be maxed out…nope, still hadn’t lost flexibility and still looked and felt skinny. We’re getting close to the breaking point, but I have not reached it yet.

I don’t know if you personally are “skinny and weak,” but even if you aren’t in a general sense, you likely are in relation to what you could be if you trained in a different way.

Please tell me how much different a wrestler’s or boxer’s training should be different from a pitcher’s. As I recall, every one of either runs at least 5 miles a day, jogging, as well as their lifting program. I am pretty sure it is not just to meet their weight requirements.
As for examples, how about I use 5’11" Tim Lincicum at 175 lbs. Not exactly a huge guy, if you ask me. What I am saying is build does not effect performance. I refuse to believe that cross country running is the worst thing a baseball payer, let alone a pitcher, could do.
You said that your sphmore year was the last year you did cross country correct? Did you give any thought to the possibility that physical maturity was the cause of your rapid muscle growth in your junior and senior years?

My post posted twice for some reason, so I edited this one to not be so long.

[quote=“therbert11”]Please tell me how much different a wrestler’s or boxer’s training should be different from a pitcher’s. As I recall, every one of either runs at least 5 miles a day, jogging, as well as their lifting program. I am pretty sure it is not just to meet their weight requirements.
As for examples, how about I use 5’11" Tim Lincicum at 175 lbs. Not exactly a huge guy, if you ask me. What I am saying is build does not effect performance. I refuse to believe that cross country running is the worst thing a baseball payer, let alone a pitcher, could do.
You said that your sphmore year was the last year you did cross country correct? Did you give any thought to the possibility that physical maturity was the cause of your rapid muscle growth in your junior and senior years?[/quote]

tim lincecum is an example of how extraordinary flexibility, natural explosiveness and rotation can compensate for lack of strength (not that lincecum is weak…he is supposedly very strong for his size, but nothing like the 220lb guys you so often see)

but for every example you can find of a small guy like lincecum throwing gas (they all make up for lack of strength by doing EVERYTHING else exceptionally well) there are 10 bigger guys that benefited extraordinarily from lifting heavy.

Small guys CAN throw hard, but it is pretty uncommon. One example of how strength training helped a small pitcher throw harder is tim collins of the royals. He was 5’5" 130lbs in high school throwing 83, started training with eric cressey and a few years later is now in the big leagues hitting 97 mph at 5’5" 170lbs. Freaky strength, freaky explosiveness, incredible mechanics, great flexibility…he wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near where he is today without that strength training.

as for you claiming that I naturally physically matured… its true I probably physically matured some, but this would not account for the disproportionate increase in muscle size and strength…all my buddies who kept running cross country stayed skinny, while I began to transform my body…

as for the similarity between wrestling and pitching…I would say conditioning has a much higher value in wrestling and that should be reflected in training