Samo's Training Log

Alright, so I’m starting another log because I feel that it helps me to write down my progress and I always like getting feedback from other forum users. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently a post-grad in high school. My goals are going to be big and might seem crazy, but as I see it, why would anyone NOT make crazy goals?

GOALS:

  1. Increase fastball speed to 90-92 or more.
  2. Develop better control on fastball, curveball, and changeup.
  3. Develop a knuckleball (I’ve always wanted to throw one!)
  4. Gain 10 lbs. of lean muscle, primarily in the legs and core.
  5. Increase mental toughness and confidence on the mound.

I’m going to be following a pretty specific training program up until winter break. It basically covers the same areas of training as Tuff Cuff, however I’ve revised it in a way that I believe better suits me.

The main areas of training are these:
1. Weight training
-I’ve been analyzing my mechanics a lot and I’ve changed my entire windup. I think that the best way for me to get the most out of my mechanics is by greatly building up my legs and core, which are currently my weakest muscle groups. I never neglected them before, but I think that my gains were stinted by my form, which could have been a lot better.

2. Throwing
I’m going to be throwing long toss and bullpens 2-3 times per week on my non-lifting days. During long toss, I’m going to be developing shoulder strength while bullpens will focus on mechanics.

3. Speed/Agility Training
This is something that I’m required to do with my team during the offseason. It’s basic agility training, with lots of form running, sprints, and other stuff.

But mainly, I’ll be getting my agility training from the boxing lessons that I’m now taking 3-4 times/week. I did this a little before, but mainly worked on learning the punches, defenses, and practicing good form. At the place I go now, I get in a legitimate boxing workout, and it’s HARD. I’ll post details in a little.

Alright, so that’s a basic overview. I’m gonna post some workouts in a bit and update periodically.

So this is a cross-training experiment that I’m doing. It’s a great cardio-workout, seems really good for agility/explosiveness, and is just an awesome sport in general.

Here’s what the workout looks like:
4 rounds on heavybag
4 rounds on jump rope
4 rounds shadowboxing
4 rounds on speedbag

Each round is 3 minutes long, with a minute break in between rounds, which means the workout takes about an hour.

So far I’ve felt like it’s just whipping me into great shape. I can feel all the punching and skipping really working those fast-twitch muscles. After each workout, I’ve thrown so many punches that I feel this great soreness in my forearms, biceps, and shoulders. And by this I mean good soreness- not like I’ve pulled a muscle or anything.

Another great aspect of boxing is that I think that it’s really developing my endurance. Pitching a 7 inning game seems like nothing compared to how much this sport takes out of you. I think that by baseball season, I’ll have a lot more stamina.[/b]

So it’s been awhile since I started this log but I want to get into posting regularly. Lately I’ve been boxing a lot and although I’ve been playing catch, I think that the month I took off from serious bullpens and long toss was healthy.

I never really added a conclusion to my summer velocity gain log but to be honest, I didn’t see much of a gain. When I was gunned in the fall, I consistently threw 86-88, which is where I was at the beginning of the summer. For a second, it kind of bummed me out that I didn’t make any velocity gains, but then I realized that 86-88 mph is still really good! Sometimes I get so caught up with this obsession of throwing 90+ mph that I take for granted what I have.

All in all, I think that the summer plan caused me to overtrain; I didn’t give my body enough time to heal and I tried to combine too many training programs. I also believe that for all the weightlifting I did, I wasn’t very efficient. Everytime I went to the gym, I would do the same exercises with no variation. I would always do exactly 4 sets of 10 reps each, and from what I have read since, I should have been constantly altering the amount of weight/number of reps I was doing so that my body didn’t get used to the workouts. For this reason, I think that my strength gains peaked at a certain point.

But here’s to the future. I’m training again and this time I’m more educated. I think my gains will be much greater this time and I’ll post the workouts shortly.

As for what I’ve been up to recently…I’ve been going to the gym and revisiting some old lifts that I’ve done, trying to perfect my form. Mainly, however, I’ve been experimenting with new exercises, trying to determine the most efficient/baseball related exercises that I can possibly do. I absolutely love boxing as well, because it is a great workout for power/agility, endurance, and muscle toning. After a day at the boxing gym, I feel this great soreness in my arms and shoulders. The speed bag seems to be great for the rotator cuff- when I use the speed bag I feel this great burn in the rotator cuff area that I typically get when I’m doing my normal rotator cuff exercises.

Speaking of boxing, I actually had my first sparring session recently. It was incredibly fun but pretty frightening as well. It’s a pretty surreal feeling to go into the ring with one of your friends and suddenly start trying to knock his head off.

Anyway, I’m gonna post some workout stuff and then head to bed. Class got canceled tomorrow so I’m gonna sleep in and then throw a bullpen and hit the gym.

Monday
Agility Training
Bullpen
Core Workout

Tuesday
Legs & Upper Body Lift
Core Work
Boxing

Wednesday
Agility Training
Bullpen
Core Workout

Thursday
Upper Body Lift
Core Work
Boxing

Friday
Legs and Upper Body Lift
Core Work
Bullpen

I’ve experimented with weighted balls and extreme long toss, but I think that for this offseason, I’m mainly going to throw bullpens. During my bullpens, I’m going to focus very heavily on mechanics while trying to throw my absolute hardest. I believe that by perfecting my mechanics and training myself to throw at 100% intensity, I will not only develop significantly better control, but significantly greater velocity as well.

Here are some of the mechanical elements that I’m going to particularly focus on during bullpens. I’m also going to note what conditioning I’m going to do in order to maximize the results of good mechanics:

1. Leading with the butt: In my new windup, I make sure that my butt is moving toward home plate as soon as I begin my motion, gradually building momentum until I explode later in my windup. LOL I feel as though a lot of power pitchers like Clemens and Sabathia have really strong asses and use them to generate lots of power. This is a concept that I’ve taken from Tom House and plan to work on. Exercises: Glute Ham raises.

2. Long stride and explosion: I want to make sure that I’m maximizing my stride length and exploding toward home plate with the greatest amount of power I can generate. Exercises: Legs are hugely important for this one. My goal is to turn my legs into a pair of sturdy oak trees through exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges, and calf raises. For these exercises I plan to go all out, usually maxing out on weight and doing the exercises to failure. At the same time, I want to develop greater explosive power in my legs through hang cleans, jump squats, box jumps, and the agility gained from boxing.

3. Late rotation: This is also inspired by some stuff I’ve read from Tom House, as well as my own experience watching Tim Lincecum. I think that the later I rotate in my windup, the more rotational power I will generate. If I rotate to throw in conjunction with my hip explosion toward home plate, I think that I’ll generate a great deal of power. Exercises: This is where the core comes in. The abdominal muscles are very important, however I think that greatly building my obliques will allow me to generate huge amounts of rotational force/torque.

4. Pinching shoulders, jutting the chest, arching the back: My goal is to try to jut my chest towards home plate just before I release the ball to develop power. This is another mechanical technique I see employed by many pro pitchers. The only problem I have to loom out for is that I don’t arch my back too early (i.e. before hip rotation). This is a problem I sometimes run into and it often forces me to throw the ball high and inside. Exercises: A lot of people tell me to lay off the chest, however I don’t buy this. Look around- pitchers like Clemens, Pettite, Papelbon and countless others obviously have strong chests. I’m going to continue to do a chest routine focused around bench presses and flyes while trying to develop plyometric power through clapping push ups.

5. Staying straight, late release point: I think that the later a pitcher releases the ball, the faster it will travel to home plate. To maximize this, I need to make sure that I keep my body straight instead of releasing the ball at an angle.

6. Bringing glove to chest, drag line, falling off mound: Lately I’ve been finishing my motion by bringing my glove to my chest instead of to my side. I also focus on creating a distinct drag line behind me and making sure that I’ve generated so much power that I actually fall off the mound after my windup.

Short workout today. Went hard and fast, working mostly on legs.

I’m still sort of figuring out what exercises I want to stick with and how I want to organize them into single workouts. Right now I have about 3 1/2 months to make my gains before the season starts.

One new thing that I’m starting to do is varying the weight and repetitions for each exercise that I do. For example, if I start doing squats at 225 lbs and 10 reps, for the second or third set I’ll do 8 reps at 275 lbs. What I used to do was 4 sets of 10 reps without ever changing the weight. I think that my body eventually adjusted to this technique and I made fewer gains than I could have.

If any of the guys who know more about weight lifting are reading this post, is this method a better way to go about lifting and does it look like I’m doing it correctly?

Anyway, here’s what I did today:

    [b]Hang Cleans:[/b] 3x135x5, 1x145x4, 1x155x3

    Chin Ups: 3xBWx10

    Jump Shrugs: 2x70x10, 1x90x8

    Dips: 3xBWx10

    Squats: 2x225x12, 1x275x8, 1x315x6

    Dead Lifts: 2x185x10, 1x205x8

    Calf Raises: 4x260x20

Tomorrow I box bright and early then probably a quick lift or bullpen before lunch.

The easiest and probably most effective thing to do would be to start following WSFSB : http://www.defrancostraining.com/articles/articles.htm

It should take a lot of the guess work out of your training since Joe breaks everything down really well. He’s worked with lots of athletes and had great results. I also believe that CF is following the program, so you know it’s good.

Thanks a lot KC. I’ve been reading that article and it really clears up some questions I had. I’m trying to reconfigure my schedule based on a lot of the stuff.

I like how he breaks workouts down into choosing one exercise from a list of a bunch of things that encompass the same muscle group. I think that another problem I sometimes had is that I would do more than one exercise that pretty much did the same thing.

Anyway, great article.

It’s been awhile since I last posted. It’s been hard to keep while applying to colleges and studying for exams and stuff but now everything is done and I’m on break so I have plenty of time. I have almost a month before I go back to school!

Anyway, I’ve carefully rearranged my workout based largely on the WSFSB program that KC told me about. I revised some parts and added a few exercises that I like to do. Besides my strength workouts, I’m doing weighted ball/regular bullpens and elastic tubing exercises. I’ve been on a little break while studying for exams and now I’m sort of detoxifying after killing myself with all-nighters and energy drinks and stuff. Sometimes I really can’t stand how counterproductive school can be.

So yeah I’m going to get back into the full swing of working out and throwing on Monday. I don’t celebrate Christmas but I’m pretty sure the gyms are closed for the next two days anyway so I’m just going to spend the time resting and dropping off some gifts to a few of my friends.

I was going to post my revised workout but all of a sudden I’m really tired so I’m going to head to bed. Probably will post it tomorrow and then regular progress updates.

Alright, so I’m getting back into the swing of training after a little break where I was getting killed by exams, college apps, etc. I’d get into this more but I think my head would explode.

Yesterday I made a bullpen area and set up some weights and tubing equipment in an old abandoned warehouse owned by some friends of the family. It’s a really great space to throw during the winter, especially considering I don’t have to pay for it. It’s in an old brick factory in one of the industrial sections of Providence, near my old house, and working out there makes me feel like I’m in Rocky I or something. I’m going to throw a bullpen tomorrow but the past two days I’ve just been playing catch to break in the new glove I got for Hanukkah and to get my arm loosened up after 2 weeks downtime.

I did a Max-Effort Upper Body Lift today that went pretty well. Right now I’m replacing my boxing workouts with Elastic Tubing exercises in an effort to strengthen tendons/flexibility. The only supplement I’m taking right now is whey protein shakes. At times I’ve been feeling sort of tired in the gym and not up to my potential and I’ve been thinking about trying NOExplode, but for some reason I’m a little paranoid about the small amount of creatine it contains. Some people I know take it say it works really well but sometimes I feel like it’s sort of like this hyped up thing made to appeal to bodybuilder kids so I don’t know.

Anyway, tomorrow is Max Effort Lower Body and a bullpen, which I’ll probably do with weighted balls.