T Nation

Baseball Lifting Log

Ok I already started a forum in the beginner section. I was told it was more fitting to put my training log here.
A little information about myself:
lifting for 2 years (seriously for 8 months).
Live in NYC and want to play college baseball
My goal is to get as strong as possible before baseball season starts in April.

I’m 6’1" 185
My best lifts are as follows:
Front squat 205x1
Deadlift 315x2
Neutural grip chinups BW+35 x3
Db bench 65x10

Workout Tuesday 2/12/13

Lower Body
Lb mobility work/ dynamic warmup. yoga morons were in the way of my warmup. had to shorten the distance of my warmup drills.

Box Squats 185 3x5 165x6
Form felt good. Didn’t go that heavy today
Reverse lunges
110lbs (55 pound dumbells) 3x8
115 3x10 felt good. Kept spine neutral. I was happy about that
Anti rotation cable chops (not sure the exact name, it targets your “core” whatever that even means)
Vallslide ham curls 3x12 these are tough. harder than they look
Ab work

Comments: solid workout. Everything felt fine. nothing spectacular. My hammies are gonna be pretty sore tomorrow form those RDL’s and Ham curls. Next workout Wednesday (tomorrow) upper body.


Weighted chins
BW+ 25 3x3. BW 2x5- I love weighted chins. I cant do them for too long consecutively or else my elbow gets cranky. Especially when it is mixed with throwing.

high incline Db bench
55 lbs 2x8. 3) drop set: 55x6 45x6 35x6. I know i’m not a bodybuilder but drop sets are fun and I think have helped with gaining some size on my chest.

TRX Y’s 4x12 just keeping those shoulder balance and healthy.

face pulls 3x12 only exercise I feel in my rhomboids. I love these for balancing out the dumbbell bench pressing.

cuff work: side lying db external rotation
core work: cable chops

comments: Overall a pretty solid workout. Nothing special though

If you guys have any comments or suggestions please post them here. I’m interested to hear your feedback.

Looks good man. I think with baseball the biggest thing is injury prevention and you seem to be doing just that.

@Jtown thanks. Good to hear some positive feed back. I hope I can have an injury free year due to my training. That would be wonderful

Friday 2/15 Lower body

lower body prehab

  1. Sumo Deadlifts (only work sets listed) 275x1 225x5 225x4 225x4 185x5 These felt only ok. My thoracic spine rounded slightly during my heaviest pull.

2)Bulgarian split squat 100 3x10

3)Pull throughs 80lbs 5x10

  1. vallslide ham curls 4x10

  2. vallslide ab slide outs. 3x8 I learned these from Ben Bruno. He has some great stuff on this site.

Eric Cressey trains baseball players and he discusses a good grip to keep the wrists safe at around 2 minutes in.

@VD90 Its funny you posted that video. I just watched it a few weeks ago! I always go on his site and get his emails a couple times a week. Cressey is the man. He’s smart and also strong as a bull himself. I think he pulled around 660 at a weight of 181 a while back.

My favorite grip for front squats is the modified clean grip with the straps. He doesn’t seem to be such a fan of them, but I don’t have the flexibility for the regular clean grip and don’t feel comfortable in the cross armed grip. It just feels unstable. To each his own…

Did full body with a lot of conditioning. This was not one of my normal workouts. I had the opportunity to work out at an awesome gym nearby today and went pretty crazy. Not all of this would considered “safe” for baseball players, but what the hell. I’m out of season and don’t have any injuries as of yet.

worked up to a heavy triple at 205. This was hard. Then put 95lbs on the bar plus 70lbs worth of chain for 5.

Hex Bar Deadlifts 1) 225x10 2) 225x12 these are awesome. I love going high reps with hex bar deads. Unfortunately, they do not have a good hex bar at my regular commercial gym with high handles.

This is where things got insane:
Rowing for 500M as fast as I could followed by medicine ball squat and throws. (I wont call these wall ball shots or thrusters in fear of setting of the Crossfit alarm). I then did some push pressed with 95lbs for 2 sets of 6. Pushed the prowler with I forgot how much weight on it up and back about 40 yards a couple times. Finished off the workout with Trx core moves.

Overall a great workout. Maybe not a smart one but i’m 17 years old. I’ll be fine. I don’t do overhead work often because of the injury risk to my shoulder associated with overhead pressing. I also don’t do crossfit type stuff very often, but boy does that stuff get your heart rate up. Great for conditioning.

I think I’ll go back to my normal workouts for a month before i do something like that again.

I played college ball years back, Its good to see a baseball log on here. I would do so many things different training wise if I could redo it. Good luck I will follow along

@Scott Awesome, where did you play?

Also, is there anything from my training that I’ve posted so far that you would do differently if you were me? What were some mistakes while weight training wise that you had as a young player?

I played at Catonsville community college my first 2 years, then Shepherd University (small D2) for 2 years then a year independent before my shoulder had enough. I was a pitcher so my training is probably a little different than yours (seeing as you are holding a bat in your picture)

I would say you are ahead of me being as though you are using free weights, at that time I was doing machines.

My best gains came at Shepherd. I squatted twice a week (light/ heavy day) I had an upper body day and a pre-hab day as well.

My best advise to you is just have seasons, during season you should be doing low volume work/ maintain

Off season keep hammer your big 3 lifts but hammer mobility too to avoid stiffness.

Sprint and explosive work is your friend (not that long distance running crap like my coach had me do)

Keep it simple for now, in college you will get a strength coach. Both schools I went to we had strength programming from a coach.

Other than that just go out there every day and out work everyone on the field

Box Squats are for powerlifters.

Make sure you train like an athlete.

Get in a lot of shoulder prehab work, upper back strength training, various pullup, facepulls, etc. You’ll need it for all of the throwing you will do.

For what its worth. Good luck.

I have a young son who loves baseball. Great sport to be in I think. Wish I had played more of it when I was younger.

@scott Thank you for sharing your experience and advice. Thats Ryan Braun in my avatar not me. hahaha I wish I was him.

@ Hold up. Yeah, baseball is a great sport. I see what you mean about box squats being for powerlifters but that doesn’t mean they’re not good for athletes also. I know Eric Cressey, Tony Gentilcore and Joe Defranco all to box squats with their athletes. The reason I am doing them is because my hip/ankle mobility is not stellar so regular back squats cause slightly too much trunk flexion when I get close to below parralell. After i get my mobility better, I’ll do much more regular squatting than box squatting.

I’m interested to know what you mean by suggesting box squats are exclusively for powerlifters and not for athletes.

As far as I know, nothing says box squats are primarily a tool for powerlifters. I don’t have access to anything for box squats, but nothing would suggest they are just for powerlifting in fact I believe they weren’t originally created for the sport. I mean they seem to just be a tool for someone that would need something for their strength out of the bottom, posterior chain strength, and force rate development along with consistent depth.

It seems as though they would be a great tool for any athlete that would need a stronger posterior chain, strength their squat and pull, along with being faster.

Monday 2/18/13

Upper Body pull
band shoulder prefab/ dynamic warmup

Pronated pullups; x8 x7
Neutural grip chinups x5 x4

TRX IWT pulls 4x8

Facepulls (seated) 55lbs 2x10
(Standing) 1) 35lbsx10 2) 25lbsx10

Anti rotation cable chops 1) 30lbsx12 2) 35lbsx8 3) 30lbsx10

rotator cuff external rotation work

Comments; Crowded gym today. Had to switch the exercise order a round a bit but I made it work. Tomorrow morning is upper body pushing then I’m off on my college tour until Friday.

I’d love to hear more feedback/ suggestions on my training

Frankly, I don’t like them, but box squats can offer some specific benefits to powerlifters depending on how they squat, specifically with respect to gear. But for athletes there is virtually always a better exercise selection. But even if there isn’t box squats are not that great for posterior chain recruitment when compared to the many deadlift variations, goodmornings, reverse hypers, back extensions, Romanian deadlifts, et. al. Most seem to do box squats improperly, anyway.

A quote from Kenny Croxdale:
[i]While pausing on the box and exploding upward will build power, it is NOT the best method of building explosiveness.

To fully develop explosiveness out of the hole, the stretch reflex need to be trained. Even a short pause will negate the stretch reflex. Additional research indicates that “delays as short as .02 seconds are sufficient to dissipate the benefits of prior stretch”, with up to 50% of the stretch reflex being lost in one second. strengthcats.com/KCsquattingarticle.htm

Thus, for one to full develop the stretch reflex, some type of bouncing momement need to be employed in one workout.

That doesn’t mean that box squats with a pause are not beneficial. [/i]

Another coaches perspective (english isnt his 1st language, though):

Per Fred Hatfield (aka Dr.Squat):
DANGER! Lots of lifters swear by them, but they’re DAMNED dangerous when not done properly!

As far as the ankle/hip mobility…I’m sure there is a ton of info on this website to address that. One easy or quick fix is Olympic Lifting shoes.

No athlete uses that movement pattern in any sport. The full squat more closely simulates everyting from sprinting to a catcher getting into position, to a a DB giving a WR some cushion, to a basketball player getting into a defensive stance. At best it could be used in the general preperatory period, but the problem with that is, that period is usually devoted to correcting imbalances, as well as getting into shape for the season. Box squats, especially when used over time create a gross muscular imbalance between the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis. I’m not having an athlete do something that creates imbalance. I’m balanceing that athlete and then using movements that, at minumum maintain proper balance. As sprint coach Charlie Francis says, “Looks right, flys right.” meaning, the machine must be in proper working order to operate properly.

@ Hold Up: Wow! you must really hate box squats. But seriously, thank you for doing some thinking and researching into the topic. I truly appreciate that. With that said, I disagree with a few things you just posted.

First off, the experts that you quoted and used for information are reputable; however, there are many other knowledgable strength coaches who used them with their athletes and love the exercise subsequently disagreeing with Mr. Poliquin and Dr, Squat. For example Joe Defranco who trains many different athletes said this about box squats:

"Box Squat
“This is hands-down the best version of the squat I’ve found to add some serious weight to the bar and serious muscle to your body,” says DeFranco.
While DeFranco has used Olympic squats and leg presses to build decent-sized quads, they never did much for his hamstrings.
“I looked in the mirror and just didn’t see the amount of muscle I would’ve liked,” he says. But after reading about the box squat and the success Louie Simmons and the rest of the Westside crew had with it, he decided to give it a try.

“Having the box behind me triggered something in my brain to sit back and really stretch the hamstrings,” he says.

According to DeFranco a box squat is superior for a few different reasons. “You can load the bar with a ton of weight and maintain perfect form while making sure you have the proper depth with every squat.”

Secondly, Tony Gentilcore who trains Minor and Major league baseball players said this about Box squats:
“While the box squat is generally considered a fairly advanced movement (and it is), it might come as a surprise to know that we use them quite often with beginners at CP- particularly with regards to teaching proper squat technique. Lets be real, most people don?t come remotely close to squatting to full depth (for the record, full depth equates to the point where the anterior surface of the thigh is BELOW the knee joint), let alone performing anything that you?d actually, you know, call a squat.”
He agrees with me about the mobility thing

Thirdly, I don’t buy the whole sports specificity argument you make here. Sorry. Nobody ever is asked to push weight off their chest off a bench during a football or basketball game, but does that mean these athletes shouldn’t bench ever? No. Baseball players don’t need to lift anything off the ground that isn’t a baseball, but does that mean Baseball players shouldn’t dead lift? NO! I think you get my point. None of these movements, even squatting are really “sports specific” because they simply are not done during competition. I look at lifting to get my whole body stronger so I will able to perform the “sports specific” movement on the actual field in a stronger and faster way. I dont lift to mimic any sort of baseball-like motion or position. You feel me?

After having said all that, I happen to agree that regular ol’ squats are a better exercise. Once I get my mobility fixed and am able to squat well below parallel with good form, I won’t box squat as much. Happy?

Didn’t get up early enough for a workout in my gym at home. Had to settle for a hotel gym workout before dinner in Syracuse, New York. I just did some Db benches with 50lbs dumbells because thats the heaviest they had. Did a crap load of sets of those, did some pushups and some footwork drills. that was it