Offseason workout


#1

So the offseason is comming around and it’s time for me to get to work.

First let me introduce myself. I’m a 20 year old righthanded baseballplayer (mainly pitching) from the Netherlands. I’m not aiming to play professionaly or anything, but seeing as I’m around 6"1 and weighing around 220 pounds and topping out at 73 mph. I would like to hit the gym to lose weight and gain strength. And also work on a better sleep and eating pattern.

So i looked at the musclepharm bizzy diet and it appealed to me. But since the workout program there is not specificly designed for baseball players, let alone pitchers. I decided to tweak some things in the workout program. In the dietary program i also tweaked some things to fit it into my student life and budget.

the bizzy diet can be found here:
http://www.musclepharm.com/sites/default/files/mensbizzy_21daystart_small_0.pdf

And here is my tweaked version


Meat: will mostly be chickenbreast and occasionaly tuna and lean beef.
Veggies/fruit: will be anything i can get my hands on and am in the mood for.

Workout:

Upper body 1
Eliptical 20 minutes

Weightlifting. 20 reps each 2x through, 10 minutes of treadmill in between

  1. Chest: dumbbell press
  2. Back: dumbbell row
  3. Shoulders: dumbbell shrugs
  4. Biceps: Curls
  5. Triceps: Machine pushdown

Upper body 2
Eliptical 20 minutes

Weightlifting. 20 reps each 2x through, 10 minutes of treadmill in between

  1. Rotator cuffs: cable machine
  2. Shoulders: Dumbbell shrugs
  3. Forearms: Dumbbell wrist curl

Lower body
Eliptical 20 minutes

Weightlifting. 20 reps each 2x through, 10 minutes of treadmill in between

  1. Legs: squats
  2. Legs: lunges
  3. Calves: calf raise
  4. Abs: ab crunch
  5. Abs: legs up and crossed

I start at the eliptical because i have bad running form and it hurts my ankles and shins. I won’t be able to run for 20 minutes.

The gym opens up at 7.00 and the plan is to hit the gym before my lectures start at 8:30 which means i have only about an hour for each session.
Monday: rest
Tuesday: Lower body
Wednessday: Upper body 1
Thursday: Upper body 2
Friday: Lower body
Saturday: upper body 1

But i still have some concerns aside from the, will i stick with it problem:

  1. What kind of weights should i use? And are 20 reps with 2 cycles ok for a baseball pitcher?
  2. Will i get enough nutrients?
  3. Are there any veggies/fruits i shouldn’t be eating?
  4. Am i not overdoing it?

Any help will be much aprreciated!
Alex


#2

Alex,

I noticed that no one has replied yet to this post, and thought I may be able to help you out.

First, stop all the long duration cardio. Start your strength training sessions with a 10-15 minute dynamic warm-up. You’ll better prepare your body for the demands of training and be able to work on your flexibility and mobility too.

Second, you are performing way too many reps on your lifts. You should be in the 3-8 range, especially for bigger lifts like squats and deadlifts (start including these in your training). Your sets for these should be in the 3-5 range.

Don’t be afraid to mix in some plyometric work (box jumps) and lateral work (lateral lunges, lateral squat).

Forget about crunches and start focusing your core work on rotational exercises as well as anti-rotation and anti-flexion exercises (i.e. planks, Pallof presses).

For upper body work, try to keep your pull-to-press ratio 2:1. This means for every pushing exercise you do (DB bench press, push-up), incorporate 2 pulling exercises (rows, pull-ups).

Because you have eliminated long duration cardio, you can add some conditioning into your sessions 2-3 days per week by performing sprints, sled work, medicine ball medleys, etc. Do this after your strength exercises.

Finally, finish your sessions with some good soft tissue work on the foam roller. This is a valuable piece that can really help limit tight/sore muscles and help with the recovery process.

I hope all that info helps.

Good luck!


#3

Hey,

Awesome reply thanks a lot ! I have been workingout for a month now and naturaly made some changes. Because the way i set up my program it wasn’t really achievable.
First i tossed the getting up early everyday to excersise. The main reason i did this anyway was because i wanted the structure to actualy keep going to the gym. But I found some guys to go with and i have been going.
For the past month i have been going around 4 times a week and I’m actualy starting to enjoy it. (had a 1 week break because of an important test)

First I incorporated some long duration cardio because I need to lose weight. I’m now at 205 pounds which definitly isn’t all muscle. So i’d really like to keep this in!

Second, The reps on the lifts i noticed was not really working at all and i switched to 3 series of 12 reps. But will try lowering them some more. 4x8 ?

I had considered deadlifts but too afraid to commit because of the complex motion. Will start with these.

Box jumps require boxes which my gym does not have :frowning: so that won’t work. Will incorporate some lateral work though since these exercises do indeed look usefull for baseball.

And forgetting crunches is not that hard for me since i hate those anyway. Pallof press looks nice. You have any more examples of good core exercises?

Will look into foam rolling. Initial impression is good and will use this. Is this something usefull post pitching as well?

At the moment my workout looks like this:
5 minutes eliptical -> legstretching -> 15 minutes interval eliptical

upper body days:
armstretching

  1. Chest: dumbell press
  2. Back: dumbell row
  3. Biceps: curls
  4. Triceps: machine pushdown
  5. Rotator cuffs: cable machine
  6. Forearms: Dumbell wrist curl

lower body days:

  1. Legs: Squats
  2. Legs: lunges forward and backwards
    [i]3. Legs: Lateral lunges
  3. Legs: Deadlift[/i]
  4. Calves: calf raise
  5. Abs: ab crunch -> Paloff press

Alex


#4

Alex,

If you want to lose some weight, start with better nutrition habits. Next, mix in more interval/sprint work. Both will be better approaches than long duration cardio. And they will have a more positive impact on your performance.

For set and rep ranges:
-The deadlift and squat can be kept at 3 sets of 5 reps each week. Add 5 pounds each week to each lift.
-For exercises involving dumbbells (DB) or cables, stay in the 6-10 range for reps with 2-3 sets.
-For bodyweight exercises such as push-ups or pull-ups, use 6, 8, 10, and 12 as your rep increments. Stay in the 2-4 sets range.

Don’t be afraid of the deadlift. You need posterior chain work (hamstrings, butt, low back). If you have access to a trap bar, start there. If you are still weary of deadlifts, start with RDLs and really hammer down the form.

You definitely need some plyo work, and box jumps are just one type. You can try broad jumps, 1-leg bounds, lateral bounds, lateral hops, squat jumps (in place), and the list goes on.

For core work, you can include some explosive medicine ball work near the front of your training sessions with your plyos. As for other “core” exercises, try planks, side planks, farmer’s walks, prone low back raises, and reverse hypers. Those are all good starting exercises.

Any soft tissue work is huge for recovery. Foam rolling is just one method to get the job done. To use post-pitching may be more of a personal preference so you’ll have to experiment with it. But, I would say yes.


#5

Phil,

First thanks a lot of really taking some time with helping me out!
I actualy did change my nutrition habits. Almost exactly like the schedule in my first post. Only exception is i exchanged the eggs for breakfast for oatmeal with some honey and raisins. Because I got tired of the eggs very quick. And i eat some cottage cheese or quark right before bed.
Made me lose about 8 pounds in a month time. (With the occasional slipup) So im happy about that.
Whenever I’m on the eliptical I set it to interval mode. Does this count?

upper body days:
set x rep

  1. Chest: dumbell press 3x8
  2. Back: dumbell row 3x8
  3. Back: Pullup 3x8
  4. Biceps: curls 3x8
  5. Triceps: machine pushdown 3x8
  6. Rotator cuffs: cable machine 3x8 (per motion)
  7. Forearms: Dumbell wrist curl 3x8

lower body days:

  1. Legs: Squats 3x5
  2. Legs: lunges forward and backwards 3x8
  3. Legs: Lateral lunges 3x8
  4. Legs: Deadlift 3x5
  5. Legs: Glute/ham Bridge 3x5
  6. Calves: calf raise 3x8
  7. Abs: Paloff press 3x8
  8. Abs: (Side)Planking

I’m gonna start working out with this first. Really want to get those deadlifts correct. And get familiar with the foamrolling before i add more stuff.

Is it ok to shove some core work into my lower/upper body days. Or just reserve a seperate day for core work. So i can do more core work and get some plyo excersises in here as well ( need to do some more research on this when i have more time)
So i’d have a lowerbody day, upperbody day, and core/plyo day.


#6

Alex,
Get rid of ALL cardio work. Ellipticals are not going to get you anywhere. Any cardio machine should be out of the question of an athlete, and thus for you. If you cannot sprint full out, which I don’t recommend anyways until you have gotten used to it, you have a few options. First, do hill sprints, as it is less hard on your hamstrings (only sprint up, not down), then go and do sprints at 80%, then 90%, then 100% (a four week progression).

Cut curls out of the program, stop doing isolation work. Do full body lifts that incorporate all of the areas that you wish to hit. Also, do you do a proper warm-up before you jump into your workout? Let us know. Foamrolling is good and check out deadlift technique by Eric Cressey. He has a lot of videos that will help to coach you to get the hip hinge pattern correct.


#7

Hey,
Is cardio really that bad? I always thought it was good for respiratory stamina and weight loss.

Did some deadlifts today and i think it went fine. Gonna get a buddy to film me next time so i can evaluate my form. But it felt fine.

Foamrolling hurts! Didn’t manage to get out all knots. But i guess this is something that will get better gradualy?


#8

Alex,

Cardio itself is not inherently bad, but when we discuss long duration cardio and its effect on baseball performance, there really is no transfer of benefits.

Eric Cressey has a great piece on why distance running is not the answer - http://www.ericcressey.com/a-new-model-for-training-between-starts-part-1

Here is an article I wrote for STACK that gives you 6 other options to consider instead of running long distance or doing long duration on the elliptical.

As mentioned before, I would place these conditioning drills at the end of your strength training sessions, or do them on a separate day.

Glad you are trying the deadlifts. If you can post the video here, maybe we can assess your form a little bit and help you out. CSOleson’s suggestion of checking out Cressey’s info on deadlifting is spot on.

As for the foam roller, get comfortable being uncomfortable. Stay consistent with it and you’ll see the benefit for sure.


#9

Ok here it is: my 2nd day deadlifting. Help would be much appreciated


#10

Alex,

Pretty solid for only your 2nd time performing a deadlift.

A few things to note/consider:
-Have the weight return to the ground each rep.
-Squeeze your glutes at the top. A lot of athletes take this to mean “thrust the hips forward,” but what we really want is to get as tall as possible. This allows the hips to go through a full range of motion.
-Think about applying force to the ground through your heels. This will force you to sit back and really engage the posterior chain.
-Try taking your shoes off. You’ll have a better feel for how your feet interact with the ground and you will not lose any force production through the cushioning provided by the athletic shoe.

Your back/posture looks pretty good. As this is really a brand new lift for you, I would only up the weight by 5 lbs per week (not necessarily per session). This will allow you to hammer down all the finer points of the lift. For a beginner on the deadlift, you do not need to go really heavy. Just performing and learning the lift will give you a huge boost in your lower body strength.

Nice work!


#11

Phil,
Thanks for the feedback! Will upload a new deadlifting clip this week.

Foamrolling is getting more comfortable, starting to feel good and im not feeling as sore after leg day as i used to. Might also because im getting used to leg day.

So i was looking into some explosive exercises. The gym I go to doesnt have strong walls. I noticed this after i tossed a 2pound med bal against the wall and its not gonna work.
So I found an alternative.

Here it says its an softball hitting exercise. But I think i could also use this for pitching purposes?

and what are your thoughts on power cleans?


#12

Alex,

Glad the foam rolling is starting to help. Just for future reference, there are other tools that you can use to perform soft tissue work - tennis ball, The Stick, a baseball (if you really want to “dig” in there), lacrosse ball, etc. These are all easier to travel with or throw in a baseball bag compared to a foam roller. Just thought I’d give you some other options/ideas in case you ever do not have access to a foam roller.

It’s tough if you don’t have a med ball wall for throwing, but if we get a little creative, we may be able to make it work. First, if you have a training partner and the gym you use has a little bit of space, you can make med ball throws to your partner. Or, get your med ball work in at the field where you have lots of space and most dugout walls are brick.

Second, don’t forget about med ball slams. Obviously, you need a durable med ball for these, but they can help with explosiveness. Here’s two examples:

Lastly, when performing your strength exercises you can really focus on a quick and powerful movement when you lift the weight, and a little slower as you lower the weight. Using the squat as an example, as you lower into the bottom of the squat take a 3-4 second tempo. When you reach the bottom and it’s time to move the weight back to the starting position, drive through the floor as fast and quick as possible while keeping the best form possible.

I hope this info helps give you some ideas that you can incorporate into your program.

Looking forward to seeing the next deadlift video.


#13

Ok here it is.

I think i still need to get my hips through a full range of motion better.


#14

Alex,

You are right. Still need to get that full hip extension at the top of the lift. Again, work on squeezing your glutes at the top. To reinforce the movement, as you squeeze your glutes, push your hips into the bar. You don’t want a giant hip thrust where you end up leaning backwards. You just need to get as tall as possible.

You are coming along nicely though. To be able to recognize where you need to improve and understand it is a huge step. You’ll be killing the deadlift in no time.

Keep up the good work and feel free to post any other videos to keep us updated with your progress.


#15

Damn it’s been a while since i posted something here. My apologies
Have been very busy with school. And also threw out my back, so i took a 1-2 week break from leg excersises.

Been doing deadlifts regularly and its a pretty cool excercise. Will shoot a new video next week probably. Think i got the excercise down.

Havent really added plyo’s or sprints to my workouts, But indoor practice started last week where we do some plyo’s and sprints. And people at the gym werent really happy when i started doing med ball slams, so i just do some medballthrows with a partner whenever i have a partner.

Did add landminerow and seated cable row to my program and occasionally i’ll do barbell bench press. Whenever my workoutpartner wants to do them.

I think this topic would be better suited in the logs section of the forum. Should i open a new topic, or could this one be moved?

Alex