Summer Velocity Experiment


#1

Alright, so this summer I’m going to be training to gain pitching velocity. I find that keeping track of my progress helps to keep me motivated so I decided to start this log. It’ll also be interesting to see how all this stuff that I’ve read about will work for me when I put it into practice.

About me:
18 years old
5’11" / 175 lbs.
Current Velocity: 86-88 mph

Alright so here’s where I stand right now. I just graduated from high school and was planning on going to college at Cooper Union which is an art school in NYC. My parents met there, and ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed of going there and becoming an artist. Besides that I applied to a few liberal arts colleges on the east coast.

I went to a small private school for high school where I played baseball for 4 years. I always loved baseball but since the schools in my conference were pretty small, I didn’t train too hard and always did pretty well on my raw ability.

During the summer between junior and senior year, my fastball jumped from about 82 mph to 86 mph from doing Steve Ellis’s weighted ball program and by this spring i could consistently hit 88 on the radar gun and had a really great season.

Throughout high school, i never planned to play baseball in college (Cooper Union doesn’t have sports…I guess most artists are too starved and tormented to be good athletes). But after the gains that I made senior year, I realized that I still have a lot of potential as a pitcher, and I’d hate to quit before I reached that potential. I briefly considered going to a liberal arts college where I could play ball but recently decided on doing a post-graduate year at a prep school in CT. I really want to see how far I can push myself as a pitcher and how well I can do in a serious high school program. After that, I hope to play seriously at a good college where I can still major in fine arts.

Soon I’ll post my velocity-building training program, and hope to hear some feedback! My dad has bought so many books about this stuff over the years and it’s so hard to figure out which ideas to follow and which ones to throw out.

<3 Sammy


#2

Alright, here is my training program. It may seem like a lot but I’m pretty driven to do this. I mean, imagine throwing 90+ mph! lol my guess is that it’s one of the better feelings in the world…

it takes me about 4 hours/day from 9am to 1pm to do this training program. I’ve saved up a lot of money over the school year so instead of having a job this summer, I’m just going to try to do this everyday and then spend the rest of the time practicing guitar and piano and possibly trying to start a band.

Workout Days: Monday-Friday
Goals:
-Gain 4 mph on my fastball so that it sits between 90-92 mph.
-Gain lean body mass, explosive power, and flexibility.
-Strenghten Rotator Cuff to prevent injury.
-Grow another inch! I guess I don’t really have any control over this but I’m pretty sure that I can eek out that last inch in order to be 6’0" before I stop growing.

I’ve compiled the following training program from several different sources, including Steve Ellis’s “Tuff Cuff”, Ron Woolforth’s Athletic Pitcher Program, Steve Jaeger’s Website, Tom House’s “Fastball Fitness”, and the DVD “Power Yoga For Baseball.”

I’d love any feedback about my program if anyone cares to post. A part of me is worried that I’m trying to be Dice-K and doing too much (?) But then again, breaking that barrier of throwing high 80s to low 90s is tough so I think that this is what it’ll take:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Weight Training
Clapping Push Ups
Physioball Bench Press
Lat Pull Downs
Incline Bench Press

Hang Cleans
Leg Press
Leg Extensions
Leg Curls

Tubing, Plyometrics, & Functional Strength Training
I’m not going to list the specific exercises I do here because the names don’t really explain what they involve. Basically, I’m going to be doing arm, rotator cuff, and scapula work with the Rubber Bands, several variations on Medicine Ball Throws, and Pitching Specific Yoga.

Weighted Balls Throwing
This is the Steve Ellis Weighted Balls Program:
Warm Up Catch:
3 minutes at 70 feet
3 minutes at 90 feet
3 minutes at 120 feet

Routine (at 70 feet):
20 throws w/ 6 oz. ball
20 throws w/ 4 oz. ball
20 throws w/ 5 oz. ball

Long Toss & Bullpen
I’m going to gradually stretch out the Long Toss distance over the summer, beginning from 120 feet. During the bullpens I will focus on perfecting my mechanics, as well as placing my fastball, cutter, curveball, and changeup.

Tuesday & Thursday
Workout
Clapping Push Ups

Curls
Reverse Curls
Military Curls
Frensh Curls
Bent-Over Rows
Shoulder Flys
Shoulder Shrugs
Wrist Curls
Reverse Wrist Curls

Tubing, Plyometric, & Functional Strength
The same routine as I do on Monday, Wednesay, & Friday

Core Work
Leg Ups
V-Crunches
Diagonal Crunches
Straight Crunches
90 Degrees Crunches
Scissor Kicks
Side Obliques
Medicine Ball Twists

Saturday & Sunday

Clapping Push-Ups

Core Work
Leg Ups
V-Crunches
Diagonal Crunches
Straight Crunches
90 Degrees Crunches
Scissor Kicks
Side Obliques
Medicine Ball Twists


#3

What is up with all the different curls? The bicep muscles do not need so much isolation, unless you plan to do some bodybuilding competitions. Go with compound exercises that hit the biceps in addition to other muscles (chinups, rows, etc.).

Secondly, doing clapping pushups every day is counter-productive. There needs to be a period of recovery following intense exercise, and clapping pushups should be very explosive movements. I would only do explosive strength training 2-3 times a week and maximal strength type training 1-2 times a week.

Hang cleans are good for explosiveness, but some of the other exercises could be replaced for better gains…
Leg extensions -> Squats
Leg Curls -> Deadlifts
Leg Press -> Lunges (DB or BB)
Lat Pulldowns -> Pullups

I’d start trying to cut down on the time of your training sessions as well. There is no reason to go 4 hours a day. In fact, this is another thing that could end up hurting your velocity goals. The body can only handle so much before it gets extremely fatigued. Try to limit your strength sessions to 30 minutes (if you cut down on rest between sets, it’s not difficult). Focus on intensity rather than the number of total exercises or time spent in the gym. Same goes with the core routine; it would be better to do 4 exercises that offer serious challenge than do 10 without breaking a sweat. Try an ab wheel if you need a new exercise that will kick your butt (start from your knees and work up to a standing rollout).


#4

KC- I really appreciate your feedback especially because you seem to know so much about strength training. I understand what you’re saying about the curls- i think that I just put together a lot of different types that I saw in various pitching books. But what do you mean by compound exercises? What would you do to productively replace the curls exercises?

The only other question i have for you is why I should replace the leg exercises? again, i compiled the ones that i do now from various pitching books. i’m not arguing or anything- I’m just wondering why squats and deadlifts are more productive than extensions and leg curls. Also, I thought that the leg press was essentially the same as a squat.

anyway, thanks again to anyone who gives me any feedback. hopefully over the next few days i can streamline my workouts to be more efficient.

another note: i’ve stopped boxing for the summer. hopefully i’ll continue again at some point, whether next school year or in college, but i think i’ll collapse if i keep doing it in conjunction with this stuff.

Besides that, I’m going to throw a bullpen today and then play guitar until bed.

<3 Sammy


#5

[quote=“Samo_292”]KC- I really appreciate your feedback especially because you seem to know so much about strength training. I understand what you’re saying about the curls- i think that I just put together a lot of different types that I saw in various pitching books. But what do you mean by compound exercises? What would you do to productively replace the curls exercises?
[/quote]
Rows and pullups are two compound exercises that will hit the biceps. By compound I mean that the movement is not isolating one muscle, but involving several. If you think about it, sports always involve more than one muscle, especially baseball.

[quote]The only other question i have for you is why I should replace the leg exercises? again, i compiled the ones that i do now from various pitching books. i’m not arguing or anything- I’m just wondering why squats and deadlifts are more productive than extensions and leg curls. Also, I thought that the leg press was essentially the same as a squat.
[/quote]The leg exercises you listed were all isolation and seated. A leg extension will only work the quad (and it will put way too much pressure on the knee), but the squat works several muscles, check here: http://exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBSquat.html
Same goes with leg curls, they only hit the hamstrings. Deadlifts hit many more muscles: http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/ErectorSpinae/BBDeadlift.html
I think you get the idea. Squats, deads and lunges are much more effective than the three isolation movements you listed.


#6

Ok, so I’ve been trying to revise my workout a bunch. Besides some new stuff I’ve been reading about strength training, I want to change things up anyway since I’ve used the routine I mentioned before and lately I’ve been feeling really unmotivated and stale when I’ve been doing it.

I want to isolate my lower body workouts to one day since legs are so hard. What I’m thinking right now is:
Squats
Dumbbell Lunges
Deadlifts
Hang Cleans

Chest exercises are basically staying the same although I realized that I should cut down on the plyometric push ups. I initially thought that they’d require less recovery time since they don’t require any weights. So now I’ll only be doing those on chest days.

Besides that, I’m trying to figure out which exercises to do that will work my arms without isolating muscles. I’ve eliminated a lot of the curls and am still looking for new stuff. Right now I’m keeping some things from my old workouts, like:
Military Curls
Bent-Over Row
Bent-Over Fly
Bicep Pull Downs
Seated Row
Shoulder Shrugs
Wrist Curls
Reverse Wrist Curls

So I’ve pretty much got the back taken care of but I’m looking for some things that will hit other parts of the arm like biceps, triceps, and forearms.

Besides that, I’ve been playing some intense long toss. I start close-ish and stretch it back to about 180 feet, which is about as far as I can consistently throw the ball on a fly. It tires me out but afterwards my arm feels loose and nicely stretched out, although it tends to be a little sore in bicep which doesn’t worry me. Tomorrow I’ll take off for the 4th of July and hopefully have a complete new workout plan by the 5th.

<3 Sammy


#7

[quote=“Samo_292”]Ok, so I’ve been trying to revise my workout a bunch. Besides some new stuff I’ve been reading about strength training, I want to change things up anyway since I’ve used the routine I mentioned before and lately I’ve been feeling really unmotivated and stale when I’ve been doing it.

I want to isolate my lower body workouts to one day since legs are so hard. What I’m thinking right now is:
Squats
Dumbbell Lunges
Deadlifts
Hang Cleans
[/quote]
Looks good. Try to push yourself on one of these exercises each workout (aim to hit your 1 rep max or close to it). Rotate each workout. I could swear that this is part of the Rippetoe system, but I can’t remember. Just read it last night too.

[quote]Chest exercises are basically staying the same although I realized that I should cut down on the plyometric push ups. I initially thought that they’d require less recovery time since they don’t require any weights. So now I’ll only be doing those on chest days.

Besides that, I’m trying to figure out which exercises to do that will work my arms without isolating muscles. I’ve eliminated a lot of the curls and am still looking for new stuff. Right now I’m keeping some things from my old workouts, like:
Military Curls
Bent-Over Row
Bent-Over Fly
Bicep Pull Downs
Seated Row
Shoulder Shrugs
Wrist Curls
Reverse Wrist Curls

So I’ve pretty much got the back taken care of but I’m looking for some things that will hit other parts of the arm like biceps, triceps, and forearms.
[/quote]
I made some comments on the other thread, so I’ll try to address some other stuff here. Forearms should be getting blasted during the course of a workout. They are sort of like calves in that regard, they are always in use when you workout. If you do heavy deadlifts, that should be strengthening your grip, wrists and forearms. Same goes for lunges with dumbbells, which effectively turns the exercise into a variation of farmer’s walks. Triceps are engaged in the bench press as well as pushups. If you want to hit them again more actively, you cant beat dips, which also work the chest. For the biceps, you’ll be working them in pullups/chinups and in the rows (definitely add the pullups/chinups if you havent done so already). Here is a pretty cool exercise you can do to work the biceps and shoulders at the same time. Start with DB’s in each hand, palms facing your quads. Curl the weight up to the starting position for the Arnold Press (palms facing you) and go from there directly into the AP. Not sure if this has a name, but it works extremely well. Especially good for saving time in the gym.


#8

One extra thing, a bit more unorthodox but it works. Get a sledgehammer (12-20 pounds) and an old tire. Hit the tire with the sledge and repeat. You can go for reps or base it on time. Try to switch grips so both sides get an even workout and to prevent muscle imbalance.

This is an old school boxing strength training exercise. It builds tons of strength from head to toe, but especially in the hands, wrists, forearms, shoulders, and core. Not to mention the benefits to the anaerobic energy system (quick and explosive bursts of energy). This is something you can do at home- it takes very little equipment and it works wonders.


#9

LOL i’ve actually done that sledgehammer thing except i used an ax and a tree stump instead. I guess Muhammad Ali used to swear by this one.

anyway thanks again for the feedback. i still need to organize this new stuff into a weekly workout plan but i think that my workout from now on will be a lot faster and more efficient.

today i’ll be playing guitar and hopefully finding some fireworks to blow up. happy 4th everybody.


#10

There’s a big disparity between a velocity of 86-88 mph and a maximum long toss distance of 180’. My son throws about 80-81, although his max might be a bit higher. Even back when his shoulder was tight and he was only throwing 76 mph he was able to long toss 240’. He’d probably be at about 260’ now, but we don’t know because he’s been pitching a couple times a week and hasn’t had time to work on the long toss.

The weight work isn’t likely to have much impact on your velocity, although it should increase your bat speed, and if you do the wrong things it might even reduce your velocity. The long toss, done properly and weighted balls are the most likely path to increased velocity. Supervised bullpens with feedback on your velocity from a radar gun can also help but it is important to spend most of the bullpen working on pitching and only a limited portion of it throwing for velocity.


#11

It’s really tough to tell which training programs will work best because there are so many different theories floating around these days. And of course, different things work for different people. I read that Clemens trains for 6 hours a day. Then on the other hand, you’ve got guys like Pedro Martinez who are short and skinny as a twig, but can absolutely hurl the ball.

That’s why I’m treating this as personal experiment. Over the next two months, I’m going to figure out what works and what doesn’t work and hopefully add up to 4 mph on my fastball along the way.

As far as the long toss goes, I’m loosely following the Jaeger Program and gradually increasing my distance. I think that I could hit my partner on the fly from further than 180 feet right now, but I’m sure that I would fatigue faster and not be very accurate either. I read that when Joel Zumaya began the Jaeger program, he started off at about the same distance and his fastball was already 95 mph.

And for anyone following this experiment- I hope that you don’t get the wrong idea about my lifting circuit. I’m not bodybuilding here- I’m trying to build lean muscle by focusing on doing high repetitions with medium-sized weights. And I think that the tubing, med-ball, and yoga work that I do will maintain a balance between my small accelerator/decelerator muscles and the prime movers.

I don’t use all of the same exercises that are mentioned in Tuff Cuff, but the whole program as a whole is pretty much based on the overall program that Steve Ellis outlines, which includes:

Throwing/Weighted Balls throwing
Strength Training/Core Work
Plyometrics/Flexibility Work


#12

Completely disagree here. If the mechanics do not change, a stronger pitcher will throw faster than the weaker one. The idea that somehow strength will make you slow is something of a myth, whereas pitchers may change their mechanics or train improperly (going for bodybuilding rather than strength training) and then blame the resulting drop in velocity on weight lifting. I can understand why some of the old school baseball guys feel this way, but I think it is time for them to check out the science behind strength and learn how to train properly.

This study basically shows that the dividing line between the best athletes and “the rest” is basically strength. Div I guys are stronger than Div II and so on. It is interesting to see the correlation between the hang clean and a fast sprint time.
http://www.coachesinfo.com/article/246

This is from The Simple Guide to Speed Training by Kelly Baggett

[quote]So a 150 lb guy squatting 300 lbs will always run faster then a 200 lb guy squatting 300 lbs?

Most of the time but not always. Limb lengths, tendons, bones, neurological differences, and other factors affect how efficiently force gets delivered into the ground and expressed by different individuals. A guy with longer limbs, smaller joints, longer tendons, and better reflexes naturally has an advantage. Therefore, say you compare Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. Say Moss squats 250 and Owens 400. Owens should blow him away in a sprint right? Not necessarily. Moss has a much more efficient structure for sprinting so what force he can deliver gets delivered and expressed much more efficiently. The only way a guy like Owens is going to beat Moss is if he makes up for that with superior horsepower. It’s like the difference between a pit bull and a greyhound. If the pit bull is going to beat a greyhound in a race he has to have a much more powerful motor. He obviously does, but that still is not enough for him to overcome the structural advantages demonstrated by the greyhound. Now, compare Ben Johnson to Carl Lewis. In this instance, the Pit Bull type body structure of Johnson was able to overcome the perfect lines and greyhound type structural characteristics of Lewis, due largely to Johnson’s 600 lb squat. Unfavorable leverages can sometimes be overcome with favorable strength levels. [/quote]


#13

kc86,
And if we were talking about moving a large mass, the body, fast I’d agree 100% that strength is a key factor. However, we are talking about moving a small mass, a ball, hand and forearm fast and that is a whole different ballgame. Specific strength such as that gained through long toss or weighted balls can help build speed but general strength training of the upper body is usually going to do very little for the trained thrower other than increase the bulk of the arm making it tougher on the decelerators. Sorry but I’ve seen kids who get overly into general weightlifting lose velocity. With hitters bulk is a key factor as momentum is readily transferred into bat speed. That’s why the big beer bellied guys can hit slow pitch softballs so far.

I agree that bulk, leg and core strength can provide additional momentum that the arm if capable can turn into velocity but generally the arm is the limiting factor and not the lower body or even the core (JMO) as is so clearly demonstrated by some of the skinny pitchers throwing mid 90s. People always bring up Clemens but I’ll simply say his head is literally bigger than it used to be.

Samo,
Relative to the weights I’d only recommend you stay away from the higher weight exercises involving the shoulder. As far as distance on long toss goes I’ve watched and participated in the Jaeger workouts for several years and although they are careful to not move too quickly it really isn’t more than a couple weeks before players are long tossing at near their full distance and 250’ is pretty normal for HS kids. These days my son typically goes to the Jaeger camp just after our vacation when there’s only 1 week left so he works into it fairly gradually during the camp and then continues to build the arm strength through long toss for the next month or so. We’ll probably try to keep him at 250’ or less during the camp and then work up from there. I’d like to see him at 280’ or more by the end of summer, but only time will tell.


#14

CaDad

When you are long tossing and the distances are going out to 250 feet and more, what do you consider to be the mandatory arc of the throw. Of course you don’t want much of an arc, but I guess what I’m asking is what is considered acceptable as far as arc goes as you are increasing your distance??

thanx


#15

[quote=“CADad”]kc86,
And if we were talking about moving a large mass, the body, fast I’d agree 100% that strength is a key factor. However, we are talking about moving a small mass, a ball, hand and forearm fast and that is a whole different ballgame. Specific strength such as that gained through long toss or weighted balls can help build speed but general strength training of the upper body is usually going to do very little for the trained thrower other than increase the bulk of the arm making it tougher on the decelerators. Sorry but I’ve seen kids who get overly into general weightlifting lose velocity. With hitters bulk is a key factor as momentum is readily transferred into bat speed. That’s why the big beer bellied guys can hit slow pitch softballs so far.

I agree that bulk, leg and core strength can provide additional momentum that the arm if capable can turn into velocity but generally the arm is the limiting factor and not the lower body or even the core (JMO) as is so clearly demonstrated by some of the skinny pitchers throwing mid 90s. People always bring up Clemens but I’ll simply say his head is literally bigger than it used to be.
[/quote]
(This actually has turned into a worthwhile discussion of ideas. Thanks for not turning this into a RIStar type rant, CADad.)

Actually sprinting has more to do with pitching than one would think. The foot only makes brief contact with the ground. In fact, stride turnover (the amount of steps you can take) and stride length are the determining factors as to running speed. You are transferring power in the blink of an eye; the foot hits the ground with a tremendous amount of power, but it is a split second application. If strength were a limiting factor in speed, then you would see a lot of skinny guys winning sprinting gold medals. That is not the case, as most of the guys have huge legs and are generally built like tanks.

What does this have to do with baseball? Well, the principals are basically the same, only we are dealing with a new end goal- imparting velocity to a 5 oz ball. This process involves literally every muscle from the feet to the fingertips. If you start adding more tension to mix (ie. more strength) then you can impart more force to the ball. The arm is certainly going to be a limiting factor, but that would exist no matter what kind of training you do, long toss, weighted ball or otherwise. Yet, that does not negate the effectiveness of long toss or weighted ball work. The same is true for strength training.

The difference between a skinny pitcher throwing mid 90’s actually shows the opposite- the skinny pitcher possesses more strength. Now, we have to assume the mechanics are equally efficient in either case (for the sake of argument). But, if someone of smaller mass can throw harder than someone of larger mass, the only other variable is strength (or power, whatever you want to call the ability to express muscular tension). Strength does not necessarily mean bulk. You can look at any athlete that competes in a weight class based sport: weightlifting, wrestling, boxing, etc. They are generally stronger than people who are much heavier than they are (even those that weight lift quite frequently).

You can take a guy like Pyrros Dimas, who can lift 450 pounds over his head at 185 pounds bodyweight. Then there are guys like Milos Sarcev, a well known bodybuilder that has a gym near my house, who doesn’t even bench more than 250, which is around his bodyweight (and he is extremely bulky and musclebound). So, training type can make a huge difference. If you train correctly, then strength should outpace mass or bulk by a good margin. If you train like a bodybuilder, you will end up with bodybuilder results. Every time I have seen one of these types of routines posted here, I have tried to make corrections to point people in the right direction (the Defranco, Enamait, Feruggio, etc. direction).

Alright, well I meandered a bit there addressing a few things, but I’d just like to conclude by pointing out the necessity for a comprehensive type of strength training program. Maximal strength, explosive strength, speed strength, and strength endurance all need to be addressed. Typical baseball training completely forsakes maximal, speed and explosive strength in favor of strength endurance. You see guys lifting small amounts of weight for insane rep numbers, hoping to feel the “burn.” That is why strength training has such a bad name in baseball circles, because it has become so bastardized. The teeth of the programs have been removed in order to cater to the “I dont want to get bulky” groups, when actually you would need to train differently to get big and bulky.
(In fact, the way to gain the most strength with the least gain of mass is by lifting extremely heavy weights for a couple reps and only a couple sets). Anyway, strength training is such a personal subject, seeing as everyone has different experiences and knowledge on the subject. I am more than happy to let people train however they want, whether that be not lifting at all, or lifting a 2 pound dumbbell whilst standing on an upside down bosu ball. I suppose that people will figure things out sooner or later.


#16

kc86,
My experience is that there’s a limit as to how fast a pitcher can move his arm regardless of strength. Some pitchers don’t have enough arm strength and in their case building arm strength helps. Some pitchers have plenty of arm strength but simply can’t move their arm fast enough. In that case underload training tends to be more effective. Part of it is the ratio of fast twitch fibers, part of it is coordination and timing. Generally, the biggest advantage of “weight” work for pitchers is building the small muscles that can take some of the load off of tendons and ligaments and that requires endurance as well as strength.

As far as explosive movements vs ridiculous numbers of reps that is why I believe that pitching workouts including a small number of maximum effort throws are valuable in building velocity. Remember though that most pitchers are throwing 150 or more pitches a game when you include warming up over a period of a couple hours so there certainly is an endurance aspect to be considered.

From what I’ve seen of weighted ball studies the primary gain seems to come early as pitchers simply learn how to put more effort into throwing. The gains seem to be quite limited unless enhanced by underload training after that.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject so I’m just expressing my opinions based on my limited experience and none of it should be taken as gospel.


#17

Strength training in general works on the same principles as weighted ball programs. Overload training increases the max strength you can apply and the underload training increases the speed with which you can apply the strength. In strength training you work on maximal strength by using heavy resistance and speed strength by using lower resistence.

But, if the arm is the limiting factor like you say, strength training can help. The speed with which something can move is based on how quickly the muscles can create tension and how much of the tension can be applied in that instant. You mentioned fast twitch muscle, and that is exactly what you are trying to build through strength training. Slow twitch is essentially useless for a baseball player. Now, explosive lifting has been proven numerous times to increase fast twitch muscle. In fact, they tested olympic lifters for sprint times and found that they were just as fast as olympic sprinters within the first 30 yards (there was also the 300 pounder who could dunk a basketball at 5’6"). If you have ever seen an olympic lifter do a snatch, there is no doubt about the ability to explode with the wrists, forearms, etc.

If you want to check out some good strength and conditioning resources, www.rosstraining.com and www.defrancostraining.com are two of my favorites. There is also a large library of articles here: http://www.elitefts.com/articles/Current-Articles/default.asp


#18

My response is longwinded as usual (1100 words), but I’ve become very passionate about this topic.

CADad: I do understand where your coming from with your different statements and do agree with you to various extents.

One thing is that I think tall and skinny guys are a bad example for reasoning is that most of the dominant guys you see are genetically gifted really. For instance, andrew miller runs around a 6.6 second 60 yard dash. Andrew Brackman (30th overall pick this year) is 6’10" skinny but throws high 90s, yet he was a starter in basketball for NCState as well.

I question that these guys would be gifted with great arms really regardless of what they do.

I think only a small percentage of the population will be naturally gifted enough to throw 90 miles per hour. However with proper training and preparation I think a signifcantly larger percentage is capable of 90mph. I feel weightlifting is an important part of that prepartion especially the lighter guys.

You just don’t see all that many skinny guys throwing heat. Atleast if you compare the percentage of thin guys in the MLB to thick guys. Sure their out their but I think they are more gifted then other pitchers. I think the best odds include an overall increase in size as well as improved body composition.

And no I’m not taking away at all from the work some of those guys put in, yes they do work incredibly hard and are dedicated at what they do, but you have to ask were their odds to throw 90+ significantly greater then everyone elses before they even picked up a ball?

Things I think are important from lifting:

First off any genuine and well done program should begin trying to fix posture problems. Our general life puts us in awful positions anatomically speaking. Pulled hamstrings are everywhere now a days. This can partially be attributed to being seated so often. Over time your pelvis tips forward and puts the hamstrings in an extremely vulernable position.
Also the sitting at a desk creates a rounding of the shoulders and sometime the scapulas tend to wing out. This can cause all sorts of aches and pains. Lifting properly to reestablish muscle balance will fix these posture problems and improve all aspects of life include game performance. Better posture = better leverages and better health.

I see motor control and activation directly related to pitching.
Lifting allows people to activate more total motor units at once. The regular person and even most athletes cannot get much more than half their total motor units activated at one time. A seasoned lifter can activate around 90% of their total motor units.

Lifting can improve your muscle fiber makeup
It is beneficial to pitchers to have mostly type IIB (fast twitch muscle) as they are doing explosive movements and then having a break for several seconds. This is what type II’s are for.

Other reasons include enhanced discipline, motivation, and competativeness. Most guys I know don’t understand strain, they think things are “to hard” and to demanding, lifting really teaches you how to deal with an intense environment.

A few studies showing weight training giving positive effects for pitchers:

http://nsca.allenpress.com/nscaonline/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1519%2F1533-4287(1994)008<0198:BTVACO>2.3.CO%3B2
http://nsca.allenpress.com/nscaonline/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1519%2F1533-4287(1994)008<0198:BTVACO>2.3.CO%3B2
http://nsca.allenpress.com/nscaonline/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1519%2F1533-4287(1992)006<0002:EOTTMO>2.3.CO%3B2
http://nsca.allenpress.com/nscaonline/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1519%2F1533-4287(1998)012<0216:BTSABR>2.3.CO%3B2
http://nsca.allenpress.com/nscaonline/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1519%2F1533-4287(1992)006<0002:EOTTMO>2.3.CO%3B2

All show positive improvements via some sort of weight training, and a few show it’s more effective then popular tools such a medicine balls.

Now CADad I understand your statements about long toss and lifting being possibly more effective. I question why not use all the tools in the box? Why limit yourself to only a few methods. While most of the studies showed increase in velocity without subjects regularly pitching, I feel it is of the utmost important to be longtoss, pitching, throwing, etc on a regular basis.

I think the maximum improvements within an offseason would combine all of these in no particular order (and if managed and periodized properly the body could handle this workload if your dedicated)
Listed in no particular order:

Pitching from mound
Weighted baseball (over-under) training
Weight training
Medicine ball work
Plyometric and jump training
Planned nutrition
Mobility and restoration (foam rolling, stretching)
Injury prevention exercises
Energy system development/sprinting


I also understand that weight training and all the marketing bogus around body building have given the whole concept a bad reputation.

I agree heavy shoulder work isn’t really necessary, especially barbell stuff. Unfortunately most teens workouts including benching as heavy as possible and having their partner deadlift the weight as it’s to heavy for them anyways.

Body builders aren’t really that much of athletes IMO. Now guys that are natural (no gear, illegal stuff) bust their butts and are dedicated, but they get winded from posing for a few minutes, and aren’t generally strong for their body weight, much like kc said.

Many ball players lift with no long term plan or even logging what their doing that day. This is why template manuals such as tuff cuff, ultimate offseason, super strength, and several other are beneficial, they take the guess work out of the whole situation and actually create results.

The biggest problem that prevents people from being productive in the weight room is everyone is still worried about “looking good” that’s fine and dandy, quite frankly my physique looks pretty decent compared to what it was, but that’s not a goal for me, or even a consideration when I setup my training.

Joe Defranco (one of the top guys around) has said he often takes athletes infront of the one mirror he has in the gym and has them look at themselves in it. He then says “All the muscles you can’t see, those are the important ones, that’s what we’ll be working on.” And Joe’s guys are still extremely “cut”.

The important muscles are almost all on your back side so guys don’t like training them.

Hamstrings, glutes, back extensors, lattissimus dorsi, traps, triceps. And well the abs are about the only thing very important on the front.
A program should still be balanced, but most guys do atleast twice as many movements for quads, pecs, and bis then the do for anything on the back if they do stuff on the posterior chain at all.


Here’s a Pyrros Dimas snatch, he’s moving somewhere over 400 pounds, and he weighs under 200. Also worth noting he can jump somewhere around 40 inches and is one of the fastest guys in the world for a 25 yard sprint.


#19

Hey, if any of you guys have time you can make me an ideal excersize thing for a 15 year old who isnt done growing and is only 125ish and around 5 foot 8


#20

Alright so I’ve basically boiled the weight training aspect of my workout down to the essentials. I’ve done some research over the web based largely on the ideas put out by KC and even some stuff from reading lbarber’s log and think my workout is a lot more efficient now.

As far as my other training goes (i.e. throwing, tubing, plyos, yoga) goes, i’m satisfied with what I’ve got so far. I’m not too concerned with the volume right now. I know that 4 hours may seem like a lot but even Steven Ellis said that he would spend around this much time training each day. I think that with proper nutrition and recovery, I should be ok and still be able to jam on my guitar and piano for a LONG time each day :wink: it’s like Centerfield said:

[quote]I think the maximum improvements within an offseason would combine all of these in no particular order (and if managed and periodized properly the body could handle this workload if your dedicated)
Listed in no particular order:

Pitching from mound
Weighted baseball (over-under) training
Weight training
Medicine ball work
Plyometric and jump training
Planned nutrition
Mobility and restoration (foam rolling, stretching)
Injury prevention exercises
Energy system development/sprinting
[/quote]

I think that my plan pretty much incorporates all of these in as compact a manner as is possible for the offseason. Anyway, the exercises that I’ve mentioned for legs and chest are staying the same but what I’m going to do to touch the arms are these. This may need some minor adjustments but I think it’s pretty good for the most part:

Monday
Push Press
Chinups
Dips
Bent-Over Row
Bent-Over Fly
Tricep Extensions
Wrist Curls
Reverse Wrist Curls

Wednesday
Overhead Curls
Arnold Press
Bicep Pull-Downs
Bent-Over Row
Bent-Over Fly
Seated Row
Shoulder Shrugs
Tricep Push Downs

Friday
Push Press
Chinups
Dips
Seated Row
Shoulder Shrugs
Tricep Extensions
Wrist Curls
Reverse Wrist Curls

I like those exercises and think that they’ll also help my workout go a lot faster as a whole. What was killing my time before was all the curls- I’d need really long breaks between sets for them but I’d be able to fly through the other stuff.

So for the next few days I’ll be mostly throwing and hitting the gym just to figure out how to correctly do the new workouts.

Thanks again to everyone who’s been posting. With that I need to get to bed.

<3 Sammy