Ideal body fat % for baseball players / pitchers


#1

I’ve heard all kinds of #'s thrown around. When it comes down to it, is there an ideal range when it comes to pitchers? OF’s? IF’s? or is there just a general health standard for above average / elite level athletes?


#2

Not really. You don’t want to be very lean, otherwise you run the risk of injury and trouble recovering from workouts/competition. 15% is a general recommendation.


#3

[quote=“kyleb”]Not really. You don’t want to be very lean, otherwise you run the risk of injury and trouble recovering from workouts/competition. 15% is a general recommendation.[/quote]From what I’ve heard, from people actually in the Minors and higher levels even, 8-10% is about what they look for ideal pecentages.


#4

If it’s a true measurement, 8% is insanity. It’s attainable for someone who wants to do nothing but carefully measure his nutrition and focus on body composition, but totally ridiculous for a performance athlete.

If by 8% you mean “8%” (people are notoriously bad at estimating this stuff), then they really mean 12-15%. In which case, fine.

But actual 8% is lean bodybuilder-type stuff before the final cut using drugs, dehydration, and starvation.

Are we interested in “looking cut” and “looking good” or maximizing performance on the diamond and reducing the chance of injury? No chance someone stays at 8% all year and remains injury free through 162 games. Fat cells aren’t “bad.” They do more than just sit there.


#5

and yet again, Kyle B has the resources to back up his input. that article was a great read, and after scouring the net I think that I’ve come to the conclusion that competing in the 11-13% range will be healthy AND realistic. I am currently 15.7% @ 199.8lbs I’d like to be in that range by the end of April, 67 days from now. I have a meeting set up with a CDN on Monday morning. I’ve got my work cut out for me!


#6

The average weekend warrior can be at lower body fat levels than the hardcore professional athlete, so it’s not that big of a deal - so if you want to be more lean, that’s fine. Just crazy for pros to be THAT lean.

I’m 6’1" 220 lbs at around 21%, I think. Staying here for awhile because I don’t particularly like how I look under 200 pounds, plus the season is coming up and I need to keep my lifts progressing (or maintaining).

Obligatory picture to prove that I’m not a huge lardass at 220 lbs. :slight_smile:


#7

Nice Chuck Taylors.


#8

Nothing but the best! Sadly, the right one is getting torn up pretty badly. Had to replace it with a pair of thrift store cross trainers.


#9

Ha! Had you pegged for a duct tape guy!


#10

Oh trust me, I tried that first. :slight_smile:

The toe was ripped up bad from pitching off a mound and then the heel came apart. I lifted in these pretty hard for 7 months and then pitched in them for the rest of the year indoors. RIP.

Still, found a good pair of cross-trainers at the local Goodwill for $7. They should last 8 months or so :slight_smile:


#11

Oh trust me, I tried that first. :slight_smile:

The toe was ripped up bad from pitching off a mound and then the heel came apart. I lifted in these pretty hard for 7 months and then pitched in them for the rest of the year indoors. RIP.

Still, found a good pair of cross-trainers at the local Goodwill for $7. They should last 8 months or so :)[/quote]

I love lifting in 30$ wrestling shoes…theyve lasted me almost two years with plenty of life left in them

speaking to body fat %…i’ll probably try to drop down to the 8-10% range over the summer but for now, 10-12% is fine and as far as I can tell doesnt have any negative effect on performance carrying a couple of extra lbs of fat.


#12

My son went from 19% to 12% (calculated using calipers with skin pinch test)…whatever the heck that means. Anyway, I think he looks great at the weight he’s at.


#13

Weightlifting shoes were the only thing I splurged on. I have a pair of VS Athletics shoes ($80) because I got into Olympic weightlifting and they are basically mandatory. Helped in ton in squats too, however.

They should last years, so I’m OK with spending good money on them.


#14

In hindsight I’m glad I started this topic because I think it gets good discussion going on the topic. The more I think about it, the more I realize #1) Just how difficult it is to trim down to 8 or 9% BF, #2)How it borders on impossibility to stay healthy over the course of a long drawn out season (100 games +) All the HBP’s, the double play breaking slides into 2nd, the dives into the 3.5 or 5.5 holes, laying out full speed in the OF. It is indeed the few extra lbs of weight/fat/cushioning that helps protect us from the wear and tear of a baseball season. I haven’t been sub 9% BF since I was 25, and at that time i was more concerned with an aesthetically pleasing beach body than I was in preparing for battle between those white lines. Good luck to all with your strength / conditioning goals!


#15

If you know someone in the minors like i do that says 15% body fat is what they look for, then I will believe you. But I have multiple players that have taken the body fat tests, one is actually in AAA, one is in AA, and the other 4 are in extended A, and they are all between 8-11% body fat, and this isn’t an inaccurate test done. So, if you have the resources from pro ball players, which is the best resource possible, then you have something.


#16

Gene Coleman goes to talk on about how you should keep your body fat under 12%, and if you are a position player, under 10%, but no less than 8% body fat. Why? Well because the more weight you carry on your body, the slower you will end up being. The less agile you are, flexible you are, etc. Yet under 8% you are walking the line that you don’t want to cross. Fat can be good on the body, but not too much, not too little.


#17

Gene Coleman goes to talk on about how you should keep your body fat under 12%, and if you are a position player, under 10%, but no less than 8% body fat. Why? Well because the more weight you carry on your body, the slower you will end up being. The less agile you are, flexible you are, etc. Yet under 8% you are walking the line that you don’t want to cross. Fat can be good on the body, but not too much, not too little.[/quote]Thank you. Point made.


#18

Oh, I believe that they want that. I don’t doubt you. I also know that it is a ridiculous standard to hold people to.

As a fun experiment: If you think bodyfat only exists to make you slow, what do you think the average NFL linebacker’s BF is? I guarantee it’s above 10%.


#19

Cubs’ pitchers were expected to be 12%. I’d usually report to Spring Training at that: 6’3" 225 and then over the course of the season, it’d actually go down a little.

Remember, % body fat has nothing to do with being “skinny.” At 225 pounds and 12%, I was hardly “skinny.”

I do believe it’s important to stay within a 10% to 15% range for pitchers. Starters can be on the higher end, but relievers should be on the lower end.


#20

[quote=“Steven Ellis”]Cubs’ pitchers were expected to be 12%. I’d usually report to Spring Training at that: 6’3" 225 and then over the course of the season, it’d actually go down a little.

Remember, % body fat has nothing to do with being “skinny.” At 225 pounds and 12%, I was hardly “skinny.”

I do believe it’s important to stay within a 10% to 15% range for pitchers. Starters can be on the higher end, but relievers should be on the lower end.[/quote]

Steven:

You touched on a great reason why going into the season with higher BF% than “ideal” is a good idea - it’s hard to get good nutrition and typically enough calories when on those road trips! (I’m sure you know all about those)

I also agree that starters can be on the higher end to facilitate longer recovery cycles while relievers should be on the lower end.