Workout vs. mph

There are some great logs in here about workouts, but what I don’t see in most cases is how the velocity is doing along with the strength gains. This is a pitching forum after all and the purpose of the workouts is to gain velocity if I’m not mistaken.

“the purpose of the workouts is to gain velocity if I’m not mistaken.”

And assure arm health/vitality as well as ability to pitch a maximum amount of innings with the least amount of negative impact :smiley:

Of course, but those aren’t overly quantifiable in the short to medium term, while velocity is.

Once you gain strength, it takes a while for the gains to translate into actual MPH. The body has to “learn” how to harness the new strength attributes and apply them to the sport specific goal, in this case throwing a baseball.

For me I do not have the equipment to really quantify it all. The film says I picked up a few miles per hour.

I definitely noticed a solid boost in my first 8 weeks of training or so, I don’t have any film taken from back then unfortunately. (May - July)

It appears to me that my mechanics were preventing me from making hardly any gains. Since I have stared improving my arm motion and allowing more “whip” I have tapped deeper into the velocity threshold.

I would say, in 8 weeks, when i get rid of my mechnical weak links, I will be able to evaluate improvement. And see where I am at.

There is scientific studies confirming velocity improvement of pitchers from weight lifting, independant of mechanical changes.

For me I would definitely say i have seen significant improvements, unfortunately I can’t quanitfy them well.

Wish I had a jugs gun, or even something remotely reliable and consistent.

Can’t tell you how much my MPH has increased since I started my log, I don’t have assess to any equipment and am half scared to know what it might be.

I figured there were many mechanical flaws to work on so why worry too terribly much about velocity with all the other things. My pitching coach says velocity will come as I get bigger & stronger - he wants more sound mechanics to go with this too. He also said that he can tell a big change in my velocity since August.

For most young pitchers, gains in velocity will come naturally with growth. What I think you’re really asking about is how much additional gain beyond what comes naturally is being achieved through work-outs. That would be real interesting to know. But how do you differentiate the work-out gains from the natural gains?

Actually, what I was implying was that in some cases the workout may have become the goal rather than pitching improvement. As hard of a worker in the gym as centerfield is, it is obvious that his goal is being a better pitcher. He’s gone to a showcase camp to see what his velocity is on a gun and he uses the means he has available to measure his velocity.

Some of the others seem more focused on the workout for it’s own sake.

Just as one has to get feedback on velocity while throwing to know if one is really throwing harder, one has to get feedback on one’s lifting program to know if it is helping or hurting. For example, the hardest worker in the gym from our program saw his fastball velocity drop. He got bigger, he got stronger, he got slower. That doesn’t mean that strength doesn’t help, it means that if you don’t develop the right type of strength it can even hurt your velocity. That leads me to believe that pitchers should be monitoring their velocity while lifting to make sure that the specific lifting they are doing is helping and not hurting over the long term. Of course there are going to be up days and down days with the velocity and you can’t over react, but the velocity should go up over the long term or the program isn’t helping and has to be changed.

There are many ways to monitor arm strength and one of the simplest is long tossing for maximum distance. If your long toss distance is increasing over time then your arm strength is increasing. That usually, but not always, results in increased velocity on the mound.

Excellent points there, CADad.

You can’t effectively correlate short term changes in strength with changes in velocity. As I mentioned above, it takes time for gains in strength attributes to become manifest through the sport specific field. Most coaches measure that time in months, not weeks or days. That is the reason that a linear periodization model (the way a strength coach will structure their workouts) tries to lay out the schedule in order to make an athlete hit their peak in the competitive season. Max strength lifting will be the focus until a month of two before the season, then it shifts to sport specific and explosive type (speed strength) activities. When the athlete hits the peak, it is not just a function of the sport specific phase of the program, but it is a combination of increased max strength and sports specific exercises that harness that newfound strength (and direct it toward baseball type activities like pitching or hitting).

I havent read Tuff Cuff, but from what Steven has stated previously, the program seems to follow a linear periodization model. If you have the book, this concept is probably already familiar to you. But in the case of the athlete you mentioned CADad, it becomes a question more of working smart versus working hard. Sacrificing a couple mph in the preseason is not important if his program is setting him up to peak in the competitive season. Obviously, I have no idea what type of program this guy is following, or if he even knows about periodization.

Awesome points CADad! Definitely needed to be said, hopefully guys will come across this thread and evaluate what they are doing.

[quote=“CADad”]Actually, what I was implying was that in some cases the workout may have become the goal rather than pitching improvement. As hard of a worker in the gym as centerfield is, it is obvious that his goal is being a better pitcher. He’s gone to a showcase camp to see what his velocity is on a gun and he uses the means he has available to measure his velocity.

Some of the others seem more focused on the workout for it’s own sake.
[/quote]

There is definitely a discrepancy between what I would be doing if I wasn’t training as a pitcher. As such, I am always evaluating my programming to make sure it fits my needs and goals.

If I wasn’t lifting to be a pitcher, I’m sure my physique would be a bit sharper and I would have a far bigger bench press. Neither of those make a difference on the mound, so both are towards the bottom end of what i’m trying to accomplish, if they even get factored into the equation or not.

I don’t even do bicep curls, I would say you could count all the HS athletes you know that aren’t worried about their arm size and doing curls on one hand. In the long run, other things are far more valuable towards my success. (I know I can)

Tracking my progress is more challenging than I would like it to be, but you have to monitor it without a doubt!

Evaluate and adjust.

I could not agree more! It seems everyone around me that is actually motivated enough to work either, hasn’t set concise goals as to what they want, or isn’t actually tracking there progress to see how it’s going. You should be doing both!

Andrew Brackman, from NC State, went 30th overall in the MLB draft. In reality, he could have went much higher. He’s 6’10" and a twig. His junior year he’s bringing it 98mph, and decides to go on a lifting program leading into his senior year.

Brackman came out in the spring of his senior throwing 90-92. He blamed his whole lack of success on his lifting. I blame it on his stupidity. You don’t loose 6-8 miles per hour over night. I am confident his program was poor and I am sure he wasn’t throwing and tracking himself enough. Had he, he would have realized his velocity was starting to dip.

If you are properly teaching your body to be more efficient, I don’t see how one could possibly end up being negative. Lifting for physique, I can believe negative results without a doubt… Most HS kids are so weak, so far from their genetic potential that they will get away without lifting properly, and still see great progress actually. However, they’re progress will cap out way before it would have if they lifted properly.

And when someone is near their genetic peak, much like Brackman, I don’t know that you should be changing things up from what you have done before. If I’m throwing 99mph before picking up any iron, I doubt you will see me doing much in the way of weight training. I mean come on.

Also a good point KC.

This is why i prefer the conjugate method. You can reprioritize and rework what your doing based on progress. If you progress faster than expected you can step it up even more, if you progress slower you can evaluate and make some changes.

Linear method is kinda one shot in my mind. It’s proven to work, and has worked for decades, so it may come down to personal preference. I don’t want to wait till the end of all my training to see if what I did benefited me…

I think nearly all of untrained athletes should see velocity progress even within the realm of linear periodization. It may not have yet become “specific” but they are still bettering their bodies and teaching themselves how to be more efficient.

I am the only, ONLY HS athlete I personally know that is on a program with any sort of periodization.

I don’t think that is who CADad is talking to. I think he’s talking to the kids that want to be great pitchers, but go into the weight room worried about how they look and how much the bench and curl.

Yep, I’m just getting started on Tudor Bompa’s book on linear periodization, but the contrasts to the conjugate/Westside/Verkoshanky model are pretty stark. Enamait uses conjugate method in his books, so I have more experience with that type of training up close. Seems to be a matter of both preference and schedule. Linear seems to work better for athletes with a well defined season and offseason period. Football players, for example, know that September-December is their time to be in peak shape. The rest of the winter is deloading time, then spring and summer is back to work. A baseball player, especially in high school, has essentially two seasons a year since almost all play regular season and fall ball. If you take that into account, then you dont have long periods to lay out the various stages linear style. Going with conjugate method is a good option for a lot of these athletes.

I’m thinking of using myself as a guinea pig for Bompa’s model. I have a BJJ tourney in August, so that should be more than enough time to run through a complete periodization schedule. Strength per pound of bodyweight is crucial for fighting sports, so hopefully the results would be helpful to some on this forum as well.

Being of a thick head and somewhat dense…I now understand where you are coming from CaDad. My approach to pitching has always been holistic. I sure can see the point…I’ve worried the same as a matter of fact.
KC your part of the discussion kind of implies that all of the loggers are as well versed and knowledgeable about the lifting and conditioning aspect as you…I would argue with a few exceptions that at the ages of say 14-18 you’d have to walk many miles to get anywhere near to your level. Heck man I couldn’t carry your jock (So to speak) as far as your knowledge and expertise at lifting and conditioning. I do see you monitoring when guys (In the logs) talk about their conditioning routine and your input is invaluable but stepping back and looking a person can see some get caught up in the lifting/conditioning aspect, at the potential expense of their ability to grow as a pitcher. I see Barber for example moving away from pitching and towards the world of lifting/conditioning…he’s even hinted that he’ll be a paid member of that world shortly…not that it would be a bad thing…I think you know I hold him in very high regard…I think that a cautionary statement is prudent and proper given the forum at hand.
CF…I am sending you a pm. :wink:

[quote=“kc86”]
I’m thinking of using myself as a guinea pig for Bompa’s model. I have a BJJ tourney in August, so that should be more than enough time to run through a complete periodization schedule. Strength per pound of bodyweight is crucial for fighting sports, so hopefully the results would be helpful to some on this forum as well.[/quote]

It would definitely be interesting to see how Bompa’s model pan’s out.

The one thing that wouldn’t have worked out for me is how one set goals of what they are trying to reach each cycle, and you have X amount of time and move on. I have sets of weeks wehre everything is clicking, I feel amazing, and my training is progressing like wildfire. I also have extremely stressful periods where my progress suffers.

None the less, I crushed about every weight room oriented goal I set like 3 months left in my training. I really didn’t think I set my goals that low, I jut progressed better than I expected.

I would agree with you there. Not many people are too worried about periodization, or laying out a routine beyond a week or two. Part of the reason is the difficulty in trying to author a plan that can extend months into the future. Most of my advice to athletes here is to switch to a conjugate type program, like DeFranco’s, where you’ll work all training aspects at the same time. It’s a good program no doubt, but also much simpler to put into action.

In terms of this discussion though, I was trying to address the notion that strength training is bad if it doesnt bear immediate fruit. It is not an instantaneous thing, and if you expect quick results then it can lead to even greater frustration.

“Not many people are too worried about periodization”

Half of them would think you just cussed them out :lol: , the other half would be embarressed and think you were talking about their sisters :oops: .
I really thank goodness you are a member of the forum. You spark that thought and really help guys move in that direction…But CaDad is correct encouraging the guys to re-focus and get back to the point is imo timely.

Sorry to double post but the last point you made is entirely correct. Patience unfortunately lacks with guys in this age group and it can definately cause confusion when results aren’t translating into expected results.