Mike Clark Core/functional training

In the dick mills pitching video set on pitching.com mike clark a well known athletic trainer works with over 60 MLB pitchers doing flexibility and core training. They dont lift any weights and use a different kind of training that is becoming more well known. Lifting weights decreases speed because it is harder to speed up the body and pitch faster. Ervin Santana a 6 foot 2 or 3 inch 160 pound pitcher throwing 98. How is it possible look at this


He has some good points; I do a similar warm up as he noted; light sprinting, walking lunges, etc…

But how many people out there at irvin santana’s size throw 90 plus? For some, it’s just not possible without the addition of some extra weight, and I fail to believe that weight lifting will hinder a pitcher’s performance if done right.

I’ll add on to this post later…

it will because he is wasting his time trying to get bigger when he should be working on getting smooth and quick and speed with his body to throw the ball faster.

How so? If you are basing your statement on this article alone, you may be living in a false sense of reality… How many pitchers in the league are under 170? Not many, maybe about 5.

If this were the case, I would be throwing mid-high 80’s at the moment because I’m equvilent to irvin santana’s size. Again, there are people out there who are gifted; and there is a reason why there are more pitchers throwing 90 plus nowadays, then what there were 20 plus years ago.

To simply state “it will” is biased in a sense due to the fact that you’re only using one source as your prime example.

That is not true the speed in the last 20 years has gone down alot. From about an average of 95 to now 90 as the reg. Im just saying that there is no study that says weightlifting will enhance proformance. Im saying you should exersize according to your sport and baseball is a skill sport not a power sport like you think. It’s just my view and no harm but really it doesn’t help. More and More pitcher are truning to this new way of trianing and weight lifting is mostly only used for hitter mostly now.

Baseball is actually more of a power sport in which you harness your skills to perform at maximum output. :wink:

Can you provide a link showing me that the speed has gone down? Everything I’ve heard says different?

Like I’ve mentioned, he has some good points, but take it with a grain of salt, and look into other sources as well.

Your basing your points off one article, and one source… This creates a bias stanced, where as I am looking into multiple sources and stating my opinion off of what I’ve learned through reading information from more then just ‘one site.’

weight lifting slows your movemeant down. pitching is a fast explosive movement. That’s y i think exersizes using pitching motions in functional training is better than slow weight lifting.

I think Dick Mills would get more support if he weren’t so abrasive and sure of himself. It’s a little risky to single out one MLB pitcher as a poster boy in support of your ideas. He chewed on alot in this article.

flexibility training - The use of light dumbells and surgical tubing is generally accepted as a means to strenghten tendons and ligaments. It’s got some scientific basis. I agree that warming up prior to pitching need not include tubing.

weight training - IMO lower body weight training is essential to development of stamina and power for the pitcher. Be stronger longer. Heavy weight training for the sake of building muscle mass is counter productive.

Long toss - I think you ought to stay within your pitching mechanics when you throw long toss. Isn’t it a form of overload/underload training? I’m not a big fan of throwing the crow hop and crossover rainbow to the centerfield fence just to prove you’ve got a stonger arm than your buddy.

Year round full effort throwing from a mound - I’ve found the advice of Leo Mazzone to be true. Throwing 50-75 % max effort between starts makes sense. In- game pitching and bullpens provide enough trauma to the shoulder and elbow.

If you are blessed with good genetics most of this stuff doesn’t matter. Santana

WOAH WOAH WOAH, hold on there Jay,

I’m not exactly sure what baseball you were watching but baseball now has many more pitchers throwing much harder.

basically, EVERY TEAM has atleast one guy hitting atleast 98mph.
Bret Saberhagen was interviewed towards the end of the season during a game I was watching. He only threw 85-88mph, he said himself, that the league he pitched in had far less people throwing mid 90’s, and that to throw his velocity today in the majors would be MUCH harder to keep a job.

And I’ve posted this way to many times, you have got to see REAL weightlifting before you can tell me that you lift slow and controlled…

Exhibit A:

That man right there can use upwards of 85% of his muscles at one time.

The average person is capable of using maybe 50% of their muscles at one time.

Wouldn’t be able to activate more muscles during pitching be quite effective.
Isn’t that weightlifting incredibly explosive requiring and excellent core.
I haven’t done ab work in ages and I have a 6-pack from my weightlifting alone.

And actually MANY strength trainers, including one I have much respect for his writing (Joe Defranco) do not like sport specific movements as a key part of training. He feels that it can mess with ones mechanics since it is not the same, but one is mimicing the motion to a degree.

I have read many times that “functional” training is overhyped and overused, I agree with that to a degree. As part of a total program I have no problem, but you need a lot more than throwing a medicine ball and some plyo’s if you want to max out your performance.

Also lbarber is right, lanky and skinny dominating fastball pitchers aren’t all that easy to find. You need some weight behind the ball.

Nolan Ryan weight trained before they even put gyms in the stadiums, he got a membership at a health club in Anaheim.
Mr. Roger Clemens, pitching well into his 40’s better than anyone at any age, weight lifts and trains hard, he’s big too.

Honestly, if you want to convince anyone, your going to need to do more than just repeat Mr. Mill’s words.

Oh by the way, my offseason:
Heavy and hard lifting 4 times a week.
Throwing (often weighted balls) 3 times a week.
Some plyo’s here and there.

7mph’s from August to November, tell me how I’m slowing myself down?

[quote=“Dino”] Heavy weight training for the sake of building muscle mass is counter productive.

Most bodybuilders cannot push all that much weight for their size.

There’s tons of different ways to weight lift and motives to be weightlifting.

If you are lifting to become a better athlete, and using low reps, going as hard as possible, you will get BIGGER, FASTER, STRONGER, and I’m sorry but that’s never going to hurt you on the mound.
Oh, and a real lifting program includes flexibility training too, so that you have one heck of a range of motion.

I am far more flexible from weight training than I ever was before it.

Yes weightlifting is only a portion of the offseason program, but there’s a reason there’s harder fastballs, faster outfielders, more homeruns, and overall more athletic play.

This is kinda sad.

Go read some books, then come back and argue your point.

stop being ignorant and read about pitching. read about weight lifting too. since i started lifting months ago i find myself throwing harder and keeping my velocity deeper into games. done correctly weight training can be beneficial. low weight, high reps. live by it.

I think Jay is really Dick Mills in disguise.

Please remember that not everything about pitching is about velocity. Not every workout that a pitcher does is about maximizing velocity. Also, just because Ervin Santana and Pedro Martinez are small doesn’t mean that they are weak, as Mills states.

Both Santana and Martinez are strong in the right places, core and back. You cannot be weak to throw 95 mph, your body has to be strong somewhere so they can handle it. And while Pedro handled it for a while, his small frame probably lead to his rotator cuff injury after years of throwing 95+.

BTW, Jay, the average velocity in MLB has NOT gone down from 95 to 90 in recent years, it’s actually the opposite. Jeff Bagwell made a remark last year or the year before where he said when he came into the league there were only a handful of guys throwin 95+, now there are multiple guys on each team, and on a given night a team can throw 3 or 4 hard throwers at you.

So once again, weight lifting is not necessarily about gaining more mph’s, it’s about maintaining whatever velocity you can achieve. I think Dino pointed that out above. I think it’s important for pitchers to life throughout the season (not heavy), because they lose muscle mass as the season goes on. If no maintenance is done, there is no way to throw at the same level at the end of the season as in the beggining of the season.

I DO believe that there should be more functional explosive pitching movements, however.

BTW, arm speed does have a little to do with Santana’s velocity. I don’t care how smooth your mechanics are, how well you transfer energy, and how strong your core is, if you have the arm speed of a 14 year old, you’re not gonna throw 95.

The other thing about weight lifting is that when it is done properly, it teaches the core how to move the body. People often mistake the core for ab work. The core is everything under the abs as well. Proper weight lifting form will strenghten the core, and that translates well to pitching.