Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Baseball Weight Training
The Truth About Baseball-Specific Training - Part 2
By Jon Doyle
In this 3 part expose, Jon Doyle will reveal the current state of baseball weight training, strength and conditioning information, explain what the baseball player needs and tell you how to get there…
In Part 1 of "The Truth About Baseball-Specific Training" I covered a great deal about baseball-specifictraining that had never been published before. I told exactly why most baseball weight training programs aren't worth the paper they are printed on. I explained exactly why maximal strength (weight on the bar) is not as important as most make it out to be. I went on to tell about force production and how that is the real key to developing into a strong, explosive athlete and baseball player.
In this installment I will go into detail about what needs to become the center of your training program if you ever want to become a great athlete…Speed and Reactive Strength.
Speed (or Reactive) Strength is rarely developed in American athletics today, especially baseball players. The ones who have a great deal of this strength were simply blessed with it.
Speed strength is so misunderstood by most coaches it's mind-boggling. As I covered in Part 1 of this series, maximal strength is targeted by the majority of baseball players. As you know, this is a monumental mistake.
Speed strength is the ability of the neuromuscular system to produce the greatest possible impulse in the shortest possible time. Furthermore, the two aspects to speed strength are starting strength and explosive strength.
Or in other words, How fast you can react and move in game-like conditions.
Can someone please explain to me what the heck is the point of being "strong" if you move slowly and mechanically?
When is the last time a good baseball player threw with slow arm speed or slow bat quickness?
It simply doesn't happen.
These three training methods should be avoided like the plague if you want to develop a tremendous amount of speed strength:
1. Working until failure. Please do not work until failure. Not only is it counterproductive, but it will increase injury-risk dramatically due to improper postural changes and excessive force on the joints.
2. Always working above 80% of 1 RM. While there are certainly times in your baseball weight training program where higher loads need to be used, be very careful of how long you spend in this range. The sad thing is almost every program I review when taking on a new client is work above 80%.
3. Lifting slow. I'm sure you have been told to lift weights "slow and controlled" for maximum safety. What a bunch of BS. When does anything in baseball happen "slow and controlled?" The real secret is lifting "fast and controlled," just as the game is played. If you train to be slow you will be slow. It's really as simple as that. Teach your body to explode AND be in control and watch your performance skyrocket and your body become bullet-proof.
Of course these are just a few of the baseball weight training mistakes I see. But they certainly are the most common. Remove these techniques from your program and watch yourself turn into a more explosive, more productive athlete.
We spend a great deal of time using loads between 40-65% of a theoretical 1RM. At first, many scowl at this notion. However, when they see us and our athletes move at blazing speeds almost effortlessly, their skepticism quickly turns to intrigue.
In the sport of baseball your ability to move a sub-maximal object (baseball or baseball bat) under control at lightning speeds will determine just how well you perform. That and, of course, your reaction time. For those of us not born with it, this will largely come from proper training methods.
Next installment, in Part 3 of "The Truth About Baseball Weight Training," Jon will go into detail about specific training methods you can use today to immediately make you a better athlete.