Introduction: This is pretty long but I feel like I cover what I'm doing - What type of pitcher I am - Where I'm currently at
I'll have to keep you guys updated with something I've never done and most coaches would not promote. I love baseball and I was a little late but I'm 100% dedicated to the sport. Something I've learned in the last 5-6 years of pitching is that EVERYONE has their own opinion and the trick is to pick at different coaches philosophies and put together what works best for you. In theory (in my eyes atleast) Your velocity (Which has almost nothing to do with size) is based on your fast twitch muscles, and how fast you can move the ball before releasing it. It's a simple defintion and I know that many other aspects of pitching play key roles such as mental game, physical conditioning for endurance, release point closer to plate = increases difficulty to hit, and pitching mechanics of course. So in the last month I've changed my workout to build fast twitch muscles. How do you build these muscles? Short reps - Explosive Movements (For Pitching - Just throwing 90-100% will do it as well in my opinion). Now another reason I feel like I can get away with this is because I have a very skinny frame and even if I put on muscle I'm not going to be so bulky that I'm going to see major friction.
So for the last month I've been lifting part baseball workout & part football (Quarterback) workout. I'm going to follow my workout until summer ball starts. Something important for me to note is that I'm stretching 20-30 minutes in the morning and another 20-30 minutes at night - doing extensive stretching mostly with my hips and shoulders. (And actually doing it daily - you can't skip days) My thought process is if I can improve my strength & increase fast twitch muscles while staying flexible I will throw harder on the mound. Instead of doing 100000 pushups ect. My theory on all the pushups ect. is that eventually your body levels out - It adjust to the 100's of pushups. Or the 10000's of nonweighted lunges.
Another thing I've changed with my workout is I've added the things I HATE but I know will make me a stronger player. Instead of doing the workouts I'm "good" at or are not "easy" on my body. Examples for me would be sprints, box jumps, squart jumps ect.
I've mentioned in another thread I've just started throwing because I'm on academic probation (Which has given me the freedom of lifting as I please) and near the end of fall ball I was maxing my long toss on the football field to 105-110 yards. My first long toss during the first week was right under 110 yards on the football field. I also threw my first bullpen the following week and while I felt I had alot of gaps in my mechanics (Mentioned before) as I've previously mentioned I felt like I was throwing about the same velocity as I was when the fall season was over. All around I just feel stronger and quicker. This has motivated me to continue lifting heavy & explosive.
Examples of lifting heavy:
- Hang Cleans
- Squat Jumps
- Weighted Lunges
- Bench Press
I am lifting chest - and I am lifting chest heavy but I'm lifting with dumbells and on chest day I especially make sure I am completely loose. I do this with a stick about the length of my arm spand and go from back to front over my head. It gets your shoulders and chest really loose plus jogging ahead and band work.
Other explosive workouts I'm doing without weights:
- Medicine Balls
- Box Jumps
- Sprints (Hardly doing any jogging other then to flush my arm)
Things I'm doing to stay Flexible:
- Stretching (x2 daily)
- Elastic Bands (Atleast once a day)
- Long Tossing 3-4 days a week
- Bullpen atleast once a week (Tough getting a catcher in season)
- Throwing like 40-50 yards on days not long tossing
My long tossing varies by listening to my arm and how it is feeling - There is a difference between pain and sore
- I'm not going to promote or suggest this workout because I don't even know if it will work for me. But I'm close enough to the end of my career (I've got 2 years left of college baseball) and I feel like I can continue to be an "okay" college pitcher or take a risk and try something new and the workouts I'm doing are stuff that I've taken from different baseball, football, track, basketball workouts:
Workout Layout I've Been Following:
Monday: Chest - STC - Abs - Long Toss
Tuesday: Back - Sprints - Forearms - 50 Yard Throw
Wednesday: Legs - STC - Abs - 50 Yard Throw
Thursday: OFF - OFF - OFF - Long Toss
Friday: Explosive Lifting - Sprints - Abs - Long Toss
Saturday: Triceps & Shoulders - Sprints - OFF - 50 Yard / Long Toss
Sunday: OFF - OFF - OFF - (OFF Throwing or Bullpen - If throw Bullpen then off Monday)
STC = Slow Twitch Cardio:
- Long Distance Running (4-6 miles)
- Bike Riding (30-45 minutes)
- Swim Laps (20-40 minutes)
* I'll jog 1-1.5 miles after everytime I throw
I ALWAYS throw before I lift
Sprint Work (Fast Twitch Activities):
- 20 - 60 Yard Sprints
- 10 - 100 Yard Sprints
- 5 Triangles (Sprint - Jog - Sprint)
- Speed Swimming (Haven't done this yet so not sure what amount)
* 2 Laps as hard as you can go and then a break
- Jump Rope (15-20 Minutes - 3-5 Minute Intervals)
Nutrition:I've been eating completely clean (Haven't been counting calories though) with the exception of one cheat meal on Sunday nights with guys on the team.
Supplements - Most supplements are total BS - but I am taking a few that I feel help my workouts:
- Fish Oil - Great source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids (3x Day)
- Tri-Flex - Supplement that is supposed to help joints (3x Day)
- Myoplex Protein Shakes - Whey Protein for Building Muscle (2x Day)
- N.O.-Xplode - Energizer / Creatine to help lifts and increased repetitions(1x day before lift)
So there is my workout I've been following religiously for about 4-5 weeks - For the last 2-3 years I've always worked out that hard but I've always done the things I "enjoyed" instead of doing the things I felt will make me more explosive. Another big thing I've had trouble to keep is sticking to the throwing schedule which I'm doing much better.
Here's some personal stats:
** Realistically ranking my pitches 1-10 **
Example: If I ranked my curveball 10 in movement - I would be considering my curveball movement to vintage Barry Zito (I didn't rank my curveball even close to 10)
-- Two-seam fastball: 79-82 mph
* Location: 7-8 - 90% never miss inside or outside - Probably like 50-70% depending on the day on locating vertically
* Movement: 8 - My fastball never moves same direction which is great but takes a hit in velocity - one fastball will tail an inch to two inches and be around 80-82. The next fastball will drop almost like a changeup but be about 77-78
* Arm Slot: 7 - It all depends if my slot is side-arm or over the top. If I'm doing a good job staying closer to side-arm then my fastball stays similar to my changeup and slider. If I start to overthrow my arm slot begins to rise to more 3/4. It dosen't effect my location TOO MUCH but it gives away the pitch to any smart hitter.
-- Changeup: 70-74
* Location: 8 - Best pitch to locate I can put it about anywhere, anytime. I think I locate it so well because I am not trying to throw 10000 mph so I have an easier time keeping my head locked on the catcher.
* Movement: 7 - When it's moving it's my best pitch, but somedays it is just a flat slow fastball - Dropping to side-arm helped keep my hands on top of the ball and it makes my movement insane - Looks like a fastball and then about half-way there cuts and drops about 8-12 inches and falls outside.
* Arm Slot: 7 - Will vary between 3/4 and side arm. I think this is why my movement will vary occasionally. When I get more 3/4 on it I tend to throw it with less movement but when I throw it closer to side-arm I tend to stay on top of it and roll over it giving it good late break.
-- Split-Slider: 69-73
* Movement: 9 - I can throw this pitch 10 times and 9 times it will cut hard. My best pitch for facing lefties.
* Location: 6 - I scored my location with my slider low because I can only use it on certain situations. I can throw it almost 90% of the time back-door to lefties but I throw it at about 30% consistancy when trying to get it to cut out of the strike zone. Opposite with righties: I can throw it about 75-80% of time on the righties hands and it's a great pitch with the count 0-2 or 1-2 and even sometimes with the count 2-2 but I throw it about 20% of the time for a strike to righties (Breaking off into the strikezone)
* Arm Slot: 7 - I tend to keep it side arm, but occasionally will rise 3/4 and will lose some velocity and break more like a curveball.
-- Curveball: 65-70
* Location: 5 - Same situation as the slider except I throw it to righties and lefties at almost the exact same location every time. Luckily it isn't 5 zone - but facing a right it's almost guranteed to fall about an inch or two out of the strike zone on the inside half.
* Movement: 6 - It's your typical slopy lefty curveball - It's pretty good for throwing hitters off but defintley my worst pitch.
* Arm Slot: 2 - My arm slot is noticably higher on my curveball.
Note: I say side-arm alot because my arm is usually closer to side-arm then 3/4 but I'm standing straight up so I'm not really a "side-arm" pitcher.
Strengths as of April 22, 2008:
- Locate pretty well
- Usually have 3 pitches working
- Not afraid to come inside
- Destroy lefty hitters
Weaknesses as of April 22, 2008:
- Velocity dosen't allow me to make many mistakes
- Curveball is a weak pitch
- Show pitches a lot from the stretch
- Stretch in general is slow and uncomfortable
- Arm slot varies on certain pitches
- I'll update my log with some background information - but once I do that I promise it will be short. I'll probably write a log once in a while telling how my long tossing - lifting is going but next time I give a review on my stuff will probably be the first week of summer ball and then probably another one at the end of summer ball.