Small Town Kid, Big City Dreams


#161

Hey Astro,
Its good you are working out on a regular program. Doing multiple sets of high reps is more a bodybuilding model than a real strength gainer, but, if you are young and pretty new to working out I am sure you will see some progress. Track you lifting, increased and progress. It is easy to stagnate lifting if you don’t track you stuff. Do they have built in “re-testing” days to increase your max?
If you don’t have any direct forearm work on the biceps-triceps day it would be good to add some. Forearm are under trained in many guys. They are important because the flexor pronator mass (forearm muscles basically) stabilize the elbow while throwing, particularly at and after release of the ball. Dan Blewett has a good forearm circuit that he does as part of his Tommy John recovery that is good. It can be done with either a weight or with a band. You can find it on his website or I believe on YouTube.
I am also a big fan of medicine ball tosses and rotational work. If you think about pitching there is a big rotational element to it. The point with working out for baseball in general and pitching specifically should be to gain power, explosiveness, mobility and balance. Gaining mass just to gain muscle mass is very secondary in my humble opinion.
Medicine ball throws like the side toss, wood chopper and slam are all good at getting the body used to moving explosively and developing some rotational strength. Using a lighter ball (6-8 lbs) and focusing on the power/speed of the movement I have found to be good, as opposed to using a heavier ball that is harder to move.
Some good rotational movement I would consider adding would be a Paloff Press and some sort of twist movement. Starting out with a “reverse” russian twist on the ground is a good place to start. For this exercise can be a tough movement at first. Doing an adaptive version at first is a good option. I also like Heidens a lot for pitchers. Developing some good power in that sideways movement is a good thing, much more useful than say, increasing a vertical jump (although that is a great measurement of power).
Also, try to make sure you are doing some warming up before exercising. We will usually start with 5 minutes on an exercise bike then foam roll. We also do a band walk where a band is placed around the ankles and you walk sideway with the toes slightly pointed in. This really activates the glutes. I have found this helpful as most people in general do not use their glutes enough and displace a lot of work load onto their lower back. If you do this you should feel it in the glutes.
Recovery and mobility is important too. Doing a good mobility screen is always good as most people have some sort of mobility limitation. People that play “one sided” sports tend to get out of balance.
For nutrition, what are you trying to do? Lose weight? Gain weight?


#162

Thanks for that information. What do you mean by “retesting your Max”?
I’m also trying to gain weight.
I’m starting to do med ball stuff after on my own as well.
Thinking about getting tuff cuff.
I edited the workout post and it now contains the full thing.
I do forearm rollers with the stick with the weight tied on every night and the wrist stuff in our workouts is for forearms and wrists.
When we max we do 2 reps instead of 1.


#163

Some of the lifts have 75%, 80% of max. I was assuming this is how all lifts were being done.
I was asking how often you reset you max.
There are sone good things in there and some things that are ehhh to me.
If you get Tuff Cuff would be allowed to do that in place of the program you are on now?
Or supplement what you are doing?
You would not want to do two different full programs.
In terms of gaining weight, it is pretty simple. Calories in vs. calories out.
If you shoot for 5,000 calories a day you will probably gain weight.


#164

We max about every two or three weeks. I probably wouldn’t be allowed to use tuffcuff to replace what I am currently doing.
Do you think that I can see a difference in strength and velocity. I’ve gained about 7 pounds and I’ve been working out since about the second week of June with a few breaks in due to tournaments. I’m just trying to put on muscle, get stronger, and throw harder.


#165

Strength certainly yes. How does that translate to velocity? Not sure.
A lot goes into that. Mobility and mechanics of course.
I would post some updated mechanics when you have the chance. As I have told others there are some very qualified people who can offer great advice on this board.
Any kid that I have advised I have told to start their process with a movement screen done by a good physical therapist or trainer. The 24 year old guy at the local $20/mnth gym who charges $30 bucks a session has his place, but, generally speaking they don’t know much about actual movement. First addressing existing weaknesses, imbalance and mobility/flexability issues is an important part to me.
A couple of general rules (just my opinion) that are important. Any throwing program needs to be based in arm care first. Lifting should be to gain strength and explosive power, not size. Gaining weight is about eating to gain weight, not eating a bunch of fast food. 4,000-5,000 calories of lean chicken and veggies is going to be impossible basically. But, for example, a snack of 8 oz of Planters Dry Honey Roasted Peanuts and a glass of milk (2 cups) has protein and about 1,500 calories. Eating what you are eating now and adding that snack and a protein shake (that has high protein and calories…800 calories or so) post workout and you will probably gain weight.
The simple things are sometimes over looked. Drinking enough water, getting enough good sleep and allowing your body time to recover are all key. Nothing replaces throwing and arm care.
After summer ball I think any young player with your stated goals would be better served skipping fall ball and spending that time, late August through pre high school season training and training hard. You would probably gain more skill working hard on your own or with a dedicated group than pitching meaningless innings to sub par talent.


#166

I am lifting trying to gain strength and explosiveness, and I think that it could translate into more velocity, from the mound and off the bat. For a throwing program I’m playing long toss every couple days and doing band work. On days that I don’t long toss I play light catch. I got in a ton of skills work today (hitting, ground balls, fly balls)
Is subway a good thing to eat? I usually get Black Forest ham, turkey, or oven roasted chicken.


#167

Subway is fine.
To gain weight it is calories in and thats it in them most basic form. You can get super detailed and into micro nutrients and how things break down and release in the body etc but for most younger, healthy guys just trying to gain weight, there is no need to get so complex really.
The real question is what do you eat in a normal day?
There are different approaches to LT. Some guys use distance to track effort and intent some don’t. You can get the same benefit in LT not throwing beyond 120 feet, but, you need to make sure…after you are warmed up and loose and have been throwing for a bit…that you throw hard. To throw hard you need to practice throwing hard. How do you normally do your LT routine?


#168

I usually wake up then work out then eat a breakfast burrito or something with eggs. I got some protein power stuff that I’m gonna start using. I usually eat some kind of chicken for lunch or maybe pasta with chicken. Then a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Then whatever my family has for dinner.
I’m trying a different kind of long toss program from what we’ve done in the past. One person on the foul line and the other person backs up about 10 feet per throw (once warmed up) until they reach the outfield fence. We just get the ball there it doesn’t have to been a line at this point. Then coming back in you start throwing hard and on a line.


#169

PITCHING UPDATE:
I am probably going to throw a bullpen tomorrow. I’ll try to remember to record it and post it!


#170

Had a very long day today, worked out and then was at the school hitting, playing catch, and taking fly balls for about 5 hours. It was a lot of fun. I also threw about 20 pitches which I recorded. (VIDEO IN NEXT POST)
After watching and comparing to my previous mechanics video (which I think was better) i need to stride out a lot more. I also need to work on controlling my glove side and working on driving with my head and have my momentum take me forward.


#171

#172

The idea with stride is that it is caused by other things happening early in the delivery.
You generate no momentum early in your delivery, then, then try to quickly throw with the arm.
I am thinking if you try to just lengthen the stride you will end up swinging the front leg open and kill what momentum you do have going. Bring the leg up just to slowly put it back down is basically wasted motion. You are not generating much of any energy toward the plate.
If you watch a video of Austin Bergner, who is a skinny kid, highly rated 2016 RHP, look at the energy he generates, the momentum he generates moving down the mound into foot plant.
His glove ends up similar to yours, but, if you pause it he does get the glove out front first and pulls it to the chest before it wanders down. This sort of action is important for helping to generate upper body rotation in the throw.
There are others on the board who are much better at the mechanical aspects of things, so, hopefully they will comment more artfully than I have. But at some point the body has to be used to generate energy, momentum, power…whatever you want to call it toward the target or it will be an all arm throw.


#173

What do you mean by generating momentum early? Momemtum toward the plate? I don’t know how I could do that. Could you explain?


#174

First I like that you are smiling a lot. It gives the impression that you had some good funk that day on your off speed pitches. Hitting your spots and having fun are the most important things to be successful at your current level. Don’t lose that.

Energy toward the plate is generated through two main mechanisms: Linear drive to the plate and rotation of the shoulders. Your feeling of needing to stride out longer is your body’s recognition that you could develop more linear energy. However, you don’t want to just stride out with an open leg. You want to develop your stride by getting your front hip leading your forward movement with your head just behind your center line (google Herhiser drill). Initiating your stride should feel like it starts from inside your posting hip (not your posting knee) While you are striding out your hips should remain closed. You do this by striding out with the side of your foot toward the catcher. (or even leading with your heel slightly)

Once your stride foot makes contact you will begin to rotate your shoulders. This will start with your stride leg firming up (starting to straighten or extend). Next your torso will rotate to face the plate and then decelerate causing your arm to whip around while being driven by the shoulder.

Generally, if you get the early phase of stride right the throwing part sort of takes care of itself.

So for now, you want to work on leading with your hips while keeping your head slightly behind your center line. Striding with your hips closed for as long as you naturally can and taking your chest to the mitt. I would begin this work from the stretch to eliminate change of direction issues from the wind up.

If you post a question in the mechanics area you’ll get more info.

Good luck,

Ted


#175

Ted gave a pretty good description of it.
Pitching at high velocity is an explosive move…the most explosive movement in sports.
Following that model of the slow leg lift, slowly lowering it down then sort of stepping toward home does little to generate energy. Throwing hard takes the whole body. It takes the whole body moving quickly and in sync. Momentum, energy, power…whatever term is being used it is an effort to describe the same thing. Basically, throwing hard and moving slowly don’t go together. The tricky part is learning to change what you are doing now. If you have been pitching with the same mechanics for awhile it is tough to change the muscle memory of what you are doing. Guys that are taught “tall and fall” or “up, down and out” mechanics usually end up throwing all arm.
Doing things like lifting weights to get strong, gaining weight ect. are to develop a power engine. It is like someone doing heavy squats, lunges, dead lift, plyo box jumps to help develop sprinting speed…then just going for a jog. The weight lifting, long toss, etc are great to develop some elements of a powerful throwers body, but, until mechanics are developed to take advantage of it…
Teds post is very good and I like his suggestion to post in the mechanics section including your video. It is good to get feedback from different people, but, don’t let that confuse you if people seem to contradict each other in some way. Some truths do exist. To throw hard, you need to practice throwing hard. To best do that you need to prepare yourself. To throw hard you need to be powerful, fast and explosive.


#176

Thanks fearsomefour and Ted22!
I’ve been doing dry runs with my mechanics and doing some drills.
I’ve been throwing a lot lately. I’ve been hitting a lot in the cages. I feel like it’s been pretty quality work. I take ground balls whenever I can and hit and throw just about every day. It’s hard to get guys to come out and work when it’s 100+ degrees outside. I really want to play shortstop this upcoming year. I’ve been working hard at it and I played it in middle school. But one of my best friends is the starting shortstop. He isn’t the best at fielding rounders and that stuff but he is crazy athletic. I’m thinking with me at short we could stick him in center. Immstill working out in the mornings but haven’t gained very much weight.


#177

Been a few days since I’ve made a post. The past two days have been off days kinda. I still worked out in the morning, but I didn’t go back up to hit and stuff later in the day. I went to the driving range and went fishing so I just took some time to relax. School is starting up in a few weeks and I need to do my summer reading so I might not have the chance to getup to school and hit in the afternoon.


#178

Well? How was the fishing? I’m in the mood for a good fish story, so make something up if nothing happened. :wink:


#179

I caught a few bass and 10 lb catfish so that was fun. Don’t really have a good fishing story but I broke my driver golfing so that’s disappointing. You can definitely tell when playing golf which ones the baseball players are lol.


#180

I’ve been out a couple of days so I haven’t seen your post till now. 10lbs is fun. When I was in college we would snorkel down to the bottom of the river and catch big catfish. The biggest we caught was about 30lbs. We let em go but it was a lot of fun. Enjoy the rest of your summer and keep getting stronger.

Good luck,

Ted