Weight progression

I’ve beer working out consistently the past month, and i was wondering how much I should add weight by. I don’t want to over do it, but I also want to keep the exercises intense. I realize this will depend on the workout, but say for squatting, the most of done is 8 reps of 225. Should I try to go up 10 a week? Every 2 weeks? And for upper body work like rows, 5 every 2 weeks?

You should go up by whatever you can handle on that particular day. If you try to increase the weight by a pre-determined amount you risk either (a) shortchanging yourself when you could handle more or (b) doing too much when you’re not yet ready.

Your goal should be to be constantly increasing the weight, the number of reps (or the quality of those reps) or the number of sets (depending on your goal) every workout.

I recommend to my athletes to do their first working set using the weight they used from last week and they can adjust their weight (up or down) from there depending on how hard/easy the set is.

Keeping your workout intense as you put it, requires a lot of preplanning matched with diet and a sleep regiment.

So, first off, training with weights themselves comes in all shapes and forms. As such, dead weights like plates, dumbbells, kettlebells, weighted apparel, weighted bars, and then support equipment like weight benches, a pulley resistance system, and other apparatus are all out there for your selection with purpose.

The purpose of this equipment is to develop certain parts of the body for a reason. In that regard, pitchers are a unique challenge and require a careful dose of intertwining of what - when - how much and a cycle to follow religiously using one kind of weight or resistance, then a stretching routine, then rest and hydration, then start all over again.

I’m hesitant to recommend a “heavy” weight training program for pitchers only because of the requirements on the body after the fact, sort of speak. Agility, quickness, a fluid motion combined with endurance and tolerance has been my coaching in the “weight room.” I use the phrase “weight room” only because it’s kind of one-size fits all description that’s understood to include dead weights and other apparatus.

My suggestion would be to work with certain weights tailored for the upper body platforms like arms and shoulders, then other weights and resistance for the midsection and core, and yet other weights and resistance for the pelvic, buttocks, legs and ankles. So, light weights for the arms and shoulders, say 2 - 5 pounds max, just do more reps of your preferred workouts. Resistance workouts demanding no more than 25 pounds for core/mid section. And then for the lower body select weights, resistance and support apparatus suited for you strength and ability to manage AND CONTROL without straining.

Again, I prefer a pitcher to go easy on the amount of weight - just do and increase the reps. I look for endurance and tolerance, controlled strength and overall health. Also, don’t forget to work in a meal plan with enough time for digestion and benefit, prior to and after your workouts.

By the way, it’s a good idea to tell someone when and where your doing all this weight training, especially if you’re going to be working alone. Getting hurt or sustaining a serious strain with no one knowing where you are is very poor planning.

Its interesting Coach B.
There still seems to be different approaches in this regard with baseball in general and pitchers specifically. The success a guy experiences probably depends on the individual quite a bit.
Speaking in general terms I prefer guys develop power. Training for endurance for an explosive activity…I don’t know. There is some carry over of course. I prefer guys train with free weights and lifting heavy, lower body in particular. Low reps, high weight. The generic kind of goal being 2x body weight in a dead lift and 1.6x or so body weight with a squat. Those are just generic guidelines however. So a 200 lb guy dead lifting 400 lbs would be sort of “standard”.
The end results and health should be the starting point. Generating power for a pitcher should be the goal of lifting…and increased health and ability to recover of course.
More than one way to skin a cat I suppose.


Coach Baker makes an excellent point. If you are going to be lifting you need a partner. Preferably one that knows something about proper weight training techniques and modes of development. I am not saying you don’t, but you can’t supervise yourself and go max effort on a lift at the same time.

Remember, the first goal of training is to not get killed or injured during the training. Those two things are counterproductive.

Find a certified trainer and talk to them. Talk to a few. Then you can get an idea about how you should be training. Find a solid partner so you can do intense lifts with guidance.

In my view, trap bar deadlifts are a safer way to develop overall power than back squats. If you are going to do back squats you really should use a safety bar to protect your shoulders. Front squats would be a good alternative.

By the way 8 reps of 225 is pretty stout. Good job.

Stay strong and safe,



Agreed, getting killed will ruin ones program.

8 reps…time to cut reps and kick up the weight.