P90x for Baseball?


#1

So many of my friends talk about doing P90x and how awesome it is (it’s not), so I’ve adapted the argument towards why it’s a bad idea for baseball athletes on my blog:


#2

Interesting post. My brother just started his high school season and said that his coach was going to incorporate P90x into their workouts. I’m definitely going to show your post to him.


#3

I would argue that ANY program is better than no program, though. There are still some benefits to increasing overall strength, even if it’s not sport specific – particularly for high school athletes.

What do you think?


#4

As I said in my article:

[quote][size=18]1. Everything works.
2. Some things work better than others.
3. Nothing works forever.[/size]

P90x for completely untrained individuals fall directly under the first bullet point. Training 3-4 times a week while focusing on squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, rows, explosive movements, and a focus on mobility fall directly under the second bullet point. And Olympic athletes who are trying to increase their Clean and Jerk from 212 kg to 214 kg in the matter of four years fall under the third bullet point.[/quote]


#5

A high school in my district that has been to the state tournament 3 out of the last 5 years uses P90x as part of the workout. The guys on the team are pretty big - so I don’t know if this is all they are using or not.

My question to Kyleb would be has he ever watched or done a workout and does he know what exercises are in them.

Next question would be has he completed one 90 day cycle of this workout and if he has what were the results that he wasn’t pleased with? From what I have seen there are many different types of pull-ups, push-ups, leg exercises, yoga, stretching, core, and cardio in the program. So it is different from the workout that he describes - but does that make it ineffective in becoming a better athlete? I would say that if doing P90x gets you off the couch and doing a workout then do it. Or if P90x gives you a change from the day to day workouts that you are used to doing then do it. It won’t hurt you or mess you up. We waste more time everyday doing nothing (XBOX360, PS3, TV, facebook etc.) then we do trying to get better at playing baseball.

I say any workout is just one component of becoming a better player - whether pitcher, hitter, fielder, or baserunner and to concentrate too much on how much a person squats, benches, or deadlifts or does P90x takes focus away from the real goal which is to become a better player & understanding the craft & art of baseball.

The team that I mentioned earlier has some guys that are huge, very athletic looking, big arms, big legs, intimidating - but they should have spent less time in the weight room and more in the batting cage because -they have trouble hitting a change-up or curveball. They also don’t start on the varsity. One of the better players, is by some people’s standards, a little scrawny shortstop - with a cannon for an arm and a great bat (he has started varsity since he was a freshmen). He workouts in the weightroom but he spends more time doing baseball specific things - throwing, hitting fielding, etc… I played summer ball with him 2 years ago and he could cover some ground.

Just my opinion and observations.


#6

Everything works.

What I said in my article:

Why would I complete a 90 day cycle of workouts that would leave me less strong and likely injured or overtrained? A huge waste of three months.

Certainly just getting off the couch is to be commended, but a subpar training routine is subpar no matter how you slice it.

I agree. But the truth is that how much you squat and deadlift carries over very well to creating bat speed, vertical leap, broad jump, 3 lb. medball toss, 20 yard shuttle, and 60 yard dash. Why did I pick those metrics? Because that’s what scouts look for when they SPARQ Baseball test you.

I advocate training with weights 3 times per week in the offseason and training baseball-specific skills on the other days (as well as metabolic training). P90x has you training 6 days per week with one rest day. I’ll leave it to you to decide which program gives you more flexibility to get the needed skill-specific work in.


#7

I believe P90x trains with weights 3 days a week - you do abs this same time

Chest/Back - day 1
Shoulders/Bi/Tri - day 3
Legs/Back - day 5

2 workouts are either pylo or kendo/cardio

Day 2 - Pylometrics
Day 6 - Kendo/cardio

2 days of workout or either yoga (day 4) or stretching (day 7) - but the stretching is optional.

It is broken up into 3 cycles of roughly 3 weeks each with a week of recovery in between each cycle. Doing this cycle changes the workout combinations change - relative to what body parts are worked together. You always do the cardio/kendo/yoga workouts regardless whether you are in recovery period or training period. You do the same leg/back & pylo workout regardless of which phase but you don’t them in the recovery period. Most weight exercises are can be done in 8-10 rep range - but some are done to a specific number of repititions.

Are you going to throw the baseball harder if you do this workout - I don’t know - just like I am not convinced that increase muscle mass on a 15/16/17/18 year old is adding velocity that wouldn’t be added by maturing.

I would say try this workout - you aren’t wasting 90 days. Kyleb may not like it but it may help reinvigorate other workouts for you or get you over a plateau in your training or get you interested in other training methods. Training is a person specific thing and you have to do what works for you and keeps you involved. Don’t let someone else make the decision for you. Do like LankyLefty does and research things and form you own opinion & when you ask someone a question about something look at what they say and see if what they says make sense or not. I think Kyleb has some good training ideas - I don’t agree with everything he says - just like he doesn’t agree with everything I say & do. I think he speaks in too general of a way and is too decisive about what he believes without putting up much technical argument - it is more his personal opinion - which is fine as long as we know it is just that. I remember the squat discussion he had with me. I did some research and found that Eric Cressey doesn’'t believe in back squats for pitchers with a straight bar, since it stresses the shoulder and he didn’t think the risk was worth the reward - instead he recommends using another another type of bar to remove stress from the shoulders.

I believe that if you focus on training you will see improvement - the key is to focus and have a plan about what you are trying to improve.


#8

[quote=“kidmullen”]I believe P90x trains with weights 3 days a week - you do abs this same time

Chest/Back - day 1
Shoulders/Bi/Tri - day 3
Legs/Back - day 5

2 workouts are either pylo or kendo/cardio

Day 2 - Pylometrics
Day 6 - Kendo/cardio

2 days of workout or either yoga (day 4) or stretching (day 7) - but the stretching is optional.[/quote]

You need to re-read my article. I have a copy of the schedule, and yes, they use light DBs with isolation-based methods of training. I cover why this is a bad idea in my article.

Yes, you are. A full three months of training lost to P90x’s methods will do very little for your baseball athleticism, especially compared to a real workout program that involves properly periodized training with loads that can be appropriately varied.

All novice trainees are essentially the same. The idea that we are special snowflakes and deserve individual workout plans (aside from postural and corrective exercises) is the real problem.

We all need to squat. We all need to deadlift. There are few absolutes, but one of them is: If you do not squat, your training protocol is useless.

What does “have a plan” mean? What if you had a plan to eat McDonalds three times a week and go running on the weekends? That’s a plan. Is it a good one? No.

The three tenets of exercise science need to be remembered and memorized.

  1. Everything works.
  2. Some things work better than others.
  3. Nothing works forever.

#9

p90x is worth researching into before you make a decision about what you want to do for a workout


#10

Couldn’t agree more. Access to information is important. Be sure to compare it to works like Starting Strength, Wendler’s 5/3/1, Westside for Skinny Bastards, Stronglifts 5x5, and so forth.


#11

not squatting making a program useless is a little strong. Obviously I squat, but I could make a very effective program out of heavy bulgarian split squats, lunges, RDLs, Glute Hams for the lower body.

especially for guys who have had back problems and need to find a way to work their legs without stressing their backs as much.

but yeah I agree you need heavy compound lower body exercises for any effective strength program.


#12

Brian Wilson (closer for the giants) and Barry Zito used p90x 2 offseasons ago.


#13

What does this prove other than the fact that genetics are a huge advantage?


#14

[quote=“kyleb”]As I said in my article:

[quote][size=18]1. Everything works.
2. Some things work better than others.
3. Nothing works forever.[/size]

P90x for completely untrained individuals fall directly under the first bullet point. Training 3-4 times a week while focusing on squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, rows, explosive movements, and a focus on mobility fall directly under the second bullet point. And Olympic athletes who are trying to increase their Clean and Jerk from 212 kg to 214 kg in the matter of four years fall under the third bullet point.[/quote][/quote]

Are we talking high school athletes or Olympic caliber athletes? If so we are talking apples and oranges. Most high school athletes could benefit from doing anything that puts them in 1 or 2 and their overall athletic performance would improve - but would they throw a baseball faster. There are few if any high school baseball pitchers that are major league pitching prospects that have done anything that would put them in 3. They have never had too work hard that says something other than working out is coming into play. They are just gifted individuals - or maybe genetic freaks.

But, there are guys out there that already throw 85-90 in high school and have trouble getting out of the 3rd inning. General conditioning or more specific weight training isn’t going to help them be better pitchers & wasting time with squats or deadlifts or whatever - isn’t going to help them. They need to plan on improving location, change of speed or something other than strength.

If the goal is to increase general strength and conditioning - (a pretty general statement) - then what Kyleb proposes isn’t necessarily true. General strength and conditioning isn’t sport specific and there is more than one way to achieve this - you aren’t trying to maximize one aspect of your performance at the expense of the other. I could say P90x - offers more than some other exercise plans that have been mentioned here. Since P90xt has a day of yoga (1.5 hours long) and a day of stretching, in addition to 3 days of weights, and 2 days of cardio. The yoga is a balance between strength and flexibility. Guys would never spend 2.5 hours a week working on balancing strength and flexibility the way that P90x does - there isn’t a measure for this - no big biceps or thick quads, no 2x body weight records, but I always read about guys wanting to increase there stride length like Lincecum - wouldn’t a balance between flexibility and strength help to achieve this? So wouldn’t Yoga be one way of getting to this point? Doesn’t focusing too much on weight training increase strength but decrease flexibility? Wouldn’t focusing too much on strength training be counter to achieving the goal. Most post always emphasize the strength part - but not much is said about the flexibility part.

If the goal is more pitching specific - then the need to lift with heavy weights isn’t as absolute as some guys would like you to believe. Woolforth doesn’t mention having lifting in his program and his workouts are pretty long - so I would imagine such weighted workouts are something that he doesn’t care about or he believes the benefits of such workouts can be achieved someother way. Coach Woolforth has many guys playing D1 ball - so how did they get there? If they didn’t regularly lift weigths and push themselves to increase their personal maximum squat or deadlift? Cressey, works with Woolforth and has some ideas different from Woolforth and he also has some interesting things to say about what exercises should be done.

There are plenty of guys out there that spend more time with nothing heavier than a 14 lb med ball doing core work or med ball throws (with something lighter than a 14 lb med ball) - than they do with 45 lb plates, an Olympic bar, and a squat rack. That is what I mean when I say have a goal and ask yourself how does a specific exercise help me meet the goal. Some folks may not like to hear it - but that is the truth - there are more ways than one to get better at throwing the pill. There isn’t a cookie cutter or absolute way of doing things - if there were you would see all kinds of elite baseball pitchers and wannabes following this path. As a matter of fact you could argue (I won’t) the normal ways are ineffective because so few guys that use them actually succeed at getting to the highest levels of baseball. [/u]


#15

What does this prove other than the fact that genetics are a huge advantage?[/quote]

Barry Zito also used Dick Mills’ program back in the 90s, and he uses Jaeger’s conditioning program as well. Hmmm…


#16

kidmullen:

You are ignoring the first principle of exercise science when you make your arguments. You say “Well how did the D1 player get there?!” when it could be a combination of Rule 1 (Everything Works) and the fact that the player could be extremely genetically gifted.

For people with average genetic makeup who want to maximize gains, they can’t afford to train suboptimally. Strength absolutely does lead to increased fastball velocity - and for that matter reduced chance of injury.

http://ericcressey.com/my-coach-says-i-shouldnt-lift

The paper that addresses your concern is:

  1. VAN DEN TILLAAR, R. Effect of different training programs on the velocity of overarm throwing: a brief review. J Strength Cond Res. 18(2):388-96. 2004

And for the last time, no one is saying that you should avoid skill work. You are creating strawmen by putting words in my mouth. Pitchers need to train for strength AND they need to refine their mechanics AND focus on mobility/flexibility.

Posters here like to ignore the “genetic makeup” argument. They do so at their peril. Focus on this video and pay attention to when Cressey says that the majority of pitchers in the MLB have a positive sulcus sign in their throwing shoulder but nearly all of them (89%) with the positive sulcus sign also had it in their NON-throwing shoulder. Combine this with the fact that MLB pitchers have large ROM in static ER and can achieve rates of dynamic MER about the throwing shoulder that amateur pitchers can’t dream of, and you have just begun to scratch the surface of genetic/anatomical advantages.

“A lot of the guys are throwing baseballs hard because they picked the right parents. Picked the right sport, too.”


#17

Actually - I didn’t ignore any rule of exercise science - instead - all I am saying is it is difficult (impossible) at the high school level to know what suboptimal training is or isn’t and there is no rigid definition of what a good training program is or isn’t. We can only suspect a training program is bad or ineffective - but if someone has success with what we consider a bad program regardless if the program really worked for everyone - would that person consider it bad or would they consider it effective? We might consider it suboptimal but who cares what we think - we didn’t do it - somebody else did and they had success with it. Look at Lincecum’s mechanics - ten years ago before he was a college star or professional ball player were they considered optimal or would we’ve said there are mechanical flaws that need to be fixed or else he is going to get hurt? For that matter people still say he has mechanical flaws and he is going to get hurt because of them?

In the case of P90x some coaches obviously believe they have had success using it and will continue to use it. It may be suboptimal - but it satisfied the objective they were trying to teach with the time and equipment they had available. I don’t think we could convince them otherwise that it didn’t work - because most baseball coaches aren’t in the business of wasting time.

The models and research you throw out are just that models and research. Models are nothing more than a simple way experts try to explain difficult things. Didn’t the sun orbit the earth at one time or is that global warming thing really true.

My only disagreement with your position is that you come across as saying the workout you present is it - the most optimal of all workouts nothing compares even though other workouts may have produced improved results for those people using them - everything else is suboptimal relative to your workout - that just isn’t correct. There are other ways to get to the same place. Remember I am not talking Olympic caliber athletes or professional athletes - I have no experience with these guys - I am talking about the typical high school kid that has maybe, during a good week, an hour to hour and half, to train five days a week.


#18

The plural of “anecdote” is not “data.”

No one here is talking about mechanics.

Yeah, god forbid we use research to develop our programs. Far better to guess and do random things and hope it works!

Exercise science proves that compound multi-joint movements are the best way to safely and effectively train for strength. This isn’t a matter of opinion - not yours, not mine. It is simply just true.

A high school kid with 60-90 minutes to train 3-4 times a week is the perfect candidate for this type of training.


#19

The plural of “anecdote” is not “data.” Yes & the point missed is that data can be manipulated to arrive at some conclusion that you want to present.

No one here is talking about mechanics.

You are correct we aren’t talking about mechanics and again the point missed is that experts can be wrong and what works for some individuals doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.

Yeah, god forbid we use research to develop our programs. Far better to guess and do random things and hope it works!

Yes - there are many models out there - that can help develop a valid workout program - the one you suggest is valid - but it isn’t the only one & isn’t proven to be the best one.

Go look what you wrote to SoBro in the earlier post and the difference in it and my post. You threw out a workout based on all kinds of theories but you didn’t ask one question of the kid - only this is the workout I recommend. What if he doesn’t have the equipment and can’t buy the equipment. What if he can only buy some equipment but not all of it. What if he has parents that won’t haul him around to a gym. What can he do when that happens. That is the point I have been trying to make - ask some questions try to understand what is going on as opposed to just rushing in and saying this is the workout. Again - there is more than one way to arrive at something and you have to work with what you got to get there.

Exercise science proves that compound multi-joint movements are the best way to safely and effectively train for strength. This isn’t a matter of opinion - not yours, not mine. It is simply just true.

Which I haven’t disagreed with - the only thing I have disagreed with is the nature of some of your responses (as an example all athletes do squats). Well I guess a kid is out of luck if he doesn’t have a squat rack and someone to teach him how to properly do the exercise or someone to spot him when he is doing his heaviest lift. Go sit on the bench kid because your athletic career is now over because you can’t squat.

A high school kid with 60-90 minutes to train 3-4 times a week is the perfect candidate for this type of training.[/quote]


#20

this is getting intense. :viking: