Should developing players train like major leaguers?

I came across an article recently that really reflects some of my opinions regarding training philosophy. Many people assume that everyone should train just as major leaguers do. As this blog post argues, that may not be the case after all

http://danblewett.com/2010/11/dont-work-out-like-a-major-leaguer/

I kind of expect this to be a little controversial, so let the debate begin!

Spot on, I don’t think there was a word I didn’t agree with…at all period…Going to ask stevemn to move it to the general

Pretty bad article in my opinion.

Describe what is wrong with it…in your opinion.
What don’t you agree with? I mean heck if you are advocating a 12 minute work out…that very certainly isn’t training as a pro does either so it would appear by the statements you’ve made, that you agree here too. If you are being contrary in order to antagonize, it simply won’t be tolerated.

At what age are we calling the developing player?

I would say any player who has a) not made it to professional baseball and/or b) has not come close to maxing out their strength, size, speed, velocity, etc potential. That is, unless you are at or close to the highest level, you are pretty much in a state of development, rather than maintenance.

What specifically should not be copied by an amateur? The actual exercise? Load? Rep scheme?

Most pros have well developed training programs by some of the smartest strength coaches in the business. Is there anything about these programs that should not be copied other than the idea of “maintenance” vs. “maximizing ability?”

Why is it that MLB don’t come back throwing 3 mph harder the next year? Is it because they’re not training for it, or is it because going from 92 to 95 is a lot harder than going from 75 to 78.

I would not dismiss MLB programs as “not good enough” for the amateur athlete. While I don’t disagree with the original premise, making a blanket statement that MLB pitchers are working only to maintain is a little premature. They may work extremely hard and may have a killer workout program, but the obvious reality is that major gains are not going to be seen in a 28 year old like they will a 15 year old.

[quote=“palo20”]What specifically should not be copied by an amateur? The actual exercise? Load? Rep scheme?

Most pros have well developed training programs by some of the smartest strength coaches in the business. Is there anything about these programs that should not be copied other than the idea of “maintenance” vs. “maximizing ability?”

Why is it that MLB don’t come back throwing 3 mph harder the next year? Is it because they’re not training for it, or is it because going from 92 to 95 is a lot harder than going from 75 to 78.

I would not dismiss MLB programs as “not good enough” for the amateur athlete. While I don’t disagree with the original premise, making a blanket statement that MLB pitchers are working only to maintain is a little premature. They may work extremely hard and may have a killer workout program, but the obvious reality is that major gains are not going to be seen in a 28 year old like they will a 15 year old.[/quote]

it has nothing to do with how good the strength coach is. The best strength coach in the world is going to design programs differently for a huge name major league player who MIGHT make slight gains at best vs. a less developed player who has a lot more to gain from an aggressive strength and conditioning program. Cressey talks about this here: http://ericcressey.com/newsletter158html

the mlb player may have a great workout for their goals, it may even be a good workout for a younger player to do, but its not designed for that younger player, with their goals in mind.

[quote=“LankyLefty”][quote=“palo20”]What specifically should not be copied by an amateur? The actual exercise? Load? Rep scheme?

Most pros have well developed training programs by some of the smartest strength coaches in the business. Is there anything about these programs that should not be copied other than the idea of “maintenance” vs. “maximizing ability?”

Why is it that MLB don’t come back throwing 3 mph harder the next year? Is it because they’re not training for it, or is it because going from 92 to 95 is a lot harder than going from 75 to 78.

I would not dismiss MLB programs as “not good enough” for the amateur athlete. While I don’t disagree with the original premise, making a blanket statement that MLB pitchers are working only to maintain is a little premature. They may work extremely hard and may have a killer workout program, but the obvious reality is that major gains are not going to be seen in a 28 year old like they will a 15 year old.[/quote]

it has nothing to do with how good the strength coach is. The best strength coach in the world is going to design programs differently for a huge name major league player who MIGHT make slight gains at best vs. a less developed player who has a lot more to gain from an aggressive strength and conditioning program. Cressey talks about this here: http://ericcressey.com/newsletter158html

the mlb player may have a great workout for their goals, it may even be a good workout for a younger player to do, but its not designed for that younger player, with their goals in mind.[/quote]

Like I said above, I’m not disagreeing with the general premise. I’ve seen plenty of articles on what MLB Player “X” does in the offseason (I’m looking at you Stack Magazine), and I know that if Johnny 15 Year Old does Roger Clemens’ exact workout program he’s not going to be throwing 95 all of a sudden.

My question was, what part of MLB training is not to be copied? Are we implying that all MLB training programs are just banging out a bunch of leg extensions and they’re outdated? Or are we implying that MLB players may be doing a ton of single leg work, deadlifts, chin ups, and other solid exercises, but their load and volume should not be duplicated by an amateur?

What if the perfect “offseason maintenance” program for an MLB pitcher happens to match up perfectly to fit an “aggressive” program for a 15 year old?

Using the article’s example, a 30 year MLB player may have an offseason where he shows great improvement in squats, deads, push ups and chin ups. On the field, this would result in minimal, if any, improvement. Maybe velocity stays a tick higher longer into the season. That might be best case scenario.

But, let’s say our 15 year old does the exact same workout and makes similar improvements to the aforementioned exercises. This will affect his on field performance a lot.

So in this case, a well developed program, which may have had different end goals, worked perfectly in each case.

If the point of the article is that MLB players have outdated workouts, or they don’t work that hard in the offseason, or they don’t NEED to work that hard in the offseason, then I disagree completely.

If the point of the article was that an amateur may need to take a few more risks than a pro, maybe throw a few more medicine balls, maybe really push to get his max squat up a bit, maybe do more long toss, then yes, I agree.

Towards the end of the article it comes off to me that a younger player should work so hard that they risk a little bit more injury than a professional player. That sounds ridiculous to me, injury should never occur in a workout. The workout should always make you stonger. Doing a risky workout defeats the whole purpose of working out.

Actually - there are proponents for guys were picked in the higher draft rounds - to work out using a much riskier workout program. Cressey wrote about one of his guys who was drafted in a really late round - I want to say 40th round (does the draft go that high) who he had worked with and pushed really hard. The thinking being that his probability of making it to the bigs was minimal at best so he should work his butt off and do some of the more riskier exercises & maybe this risk taking would lead to a better shot at the pros.

I want everyone to understand that there is a SIGNIFICANT difference in the way a 15 year old kid throwing 75 mph should work out, and a big league pitcher who has been throwing 95 mph for the last 10 years of his life.

Agree with JD and Dan Blewett. I think this philosophy not only extends to training, but also to skills development - i.e., the types of drill work, mechanics work, throwing, etc., that is just totally different.

I agree with the article for the most part, but I don’t like the way he presents the message. The main point I take away from it is that the pros perform maintenance work and developing athletes should be working to develop.

Define “maintenance” for me please. Maintenance: to retain, Retain: to keep possession of.

I have a poster of Josh Hamilton on my wall. He hit .359 with 32 HR and 100 RBI. Based on the way this article reads, Josh’s training goals would be to repeat those numbers. To never exceed where he is at.

No. Wrong. Just wrong. His goals are likely to be to hit at least .360 with 33 HR and 101 RBI. To take where he was last year, and take it another step further.

“Curtis Granderson doesn’t need to run faster.”

No he doesnt need to. But if he can steal one more base next year, stretch one more single into a double, dive for one more fly ball than last year, it could mean the difference between a crucial victory, and an upsetting loss for his team.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that there are differences between pro and amateur training, but to say its maintenance work feels like your saying that once you hit the big leagues, you just gotta coast. So while I agree with the article, I disagree with him in that regard.

A professional baseball player is not just trying to maintain their skills. They are trying to refine them.

A couple years back, maybe 3 or 4 by now, I recall A-Rod dropped some weight in the off-season. He posted solid numbers the year before, but his additional mass was impeding his performance, so he needed to cut some weight. Does losing 10lbs in the off-season count as maintenance? Nope.

The author was right, pros do have different goals than us and their workouts are planned accordingly. But they’re working their butts off to achieve those goals, not just going through the motions of maintenance.

[quote=“DueceMeister”]I agree with the article for the most part, but I don’t like the way he presents the message. The main point I take away from it is that the pros perform maintenance work and developing athletes should be working to develop.

Define “maintenance” for me please. Maintenance: to retain, Retain: to keep possession of.

I have a poster of Josh Hamilton on my wall. He hit .359 with 32 HR and 100 RBI. Based on the way this article reads, Josh’s training goals would be to repeat those numbers. To never exceed where he is at.

No. Wrong. Just wrong. His goals are likely to be to hit at least .360 with 33 HR and 101 RBI. To take where he was last year, and take it another step further.

“Curtis Granderson doesn’t need to run faster.”

No he doesnt need to. But if he can steal one more base next year, stretch one more single into a double, dive for one more fly ball than last year, it could mean the difference between a crucial victory, and an upsetting loss for his team.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree that there are differences between pro and amateur training, but to say its maintenance work feels like your saying that once you hit the big leagues, you just gotta coast. So while I agree with the article, I disagree with him in that regard.

A professional baseball player is not just trying to maintain their skills. They are trying to refine them.

A couple years back, maybe 3 or 4 by now, I recall A-Rod dropped some weight in the off-season. He posted solid numbers the year before, but his additional mass was impeding his performance, so he needed to cut some weight. Does losing 10lbs in the off-season count as maintenance? Nope.

The author was right, pros do have different goals than us and their workouts are planned accordingly. But they’re working their butts off to achieve those goals, not just going through the motions of maintenance.[/quote]

very good point, I agree with you in that regard