T Nation

Baseball Specific Training

Howdy, my name is Mike, and I am 19 years-old. I’m a long-time lurker of TMag… but I have yet to ever post anything. :slight_smile:

Anyway, on to the topic at-hand.

Once upon a time, five or six years ago, I was a hardcore baseball fan and a pretty damn good little league pitcher. I played for several rep. and house league teams during my early teens. Unfortunately, when I was 15 years-old, I moved away from my hometown. Soon after my move, I lost all my interest in sports and became an overweight, anti-social bum–at the height of 5’6", I grew from 125lbs of leanness to 185lbs of fat.

However, in the past two years, I have dropped down to 155lbs of chub. Definitely skinnier… but my shame-fat still remains.

Lately, I’ve been hitting the gym, paying attention to my diet, reading TMag(of course) and making an attempt to change myself for the better. However, I’m one of those people who either go all the way or do not go at all. Unfortunately, the most minute things tend to throw me off. If I eat something I shouldn’t, I quit my diet and binge. If I feel that my exercise routine is not up-to-par or that I did not put my effort into the gym, I will try and find a new exercise plan… to “do it right” the next time.

Anyway, I’ve decided to commit myself to something. Most of my “goals” up until this point have been cosmetic in nature. Therefore, I feel that if I work toward a long-term goal, that I find fun, such as getting back into serious and competitive baseball, I will be more motivated to push through the rough stuff.

So, I need some advice from the TMAG readers. I have two goals… my short-term goal is to be in good game-shape for my upcoming high school’s baseball season(around April '05). My long-term goal is to be in fantastic game-shape by the time I reach university in three years; allowing me to make a serious push for the university team.

What training program would you suggest for someone who is 5’7" 155lbs 15-17% BF(estimate), has access to a gym year-round, does not have access to a sunny year-round climate(Canada), and wants to put on muscle, lose fat, gain strength, and be in fantastic athletic shape within three years? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

(Some other info:

Approx. diet - 1800-2000 cals, 50-55g fat, 150g-200g quality carbs, 150g+ protein, 30-60g fibre.)

I would suggest you get an acurate bodyfat test done. Most people are horrible at estimating their body fat. This will help you determine your caloric intake. It would also help for you to post what type of workouts you have been doing so we can see what type of lifting backround you have.

I’ll assume you are doing bodybuilding type of training at the moment. To start training like an athlete you must start to concentrate on movments rather than muscle groups, most of your exercises should be multijoint, involve various movement planes, and make use of bi-lateral and uni-lateral exercises. For an explosive sport like baseball the posterior chain and the core are vital, bringing up your strength in these areas will benefit you a lot. Baseball also requires power, however you must be strong first before you become more powerful. Working on rate of force developement movements without an adequate strength base is putting the cart before the horse. Up to a certain point, your power will improve just by improving your strenth. Obviously a baseball player needs healthy, strong, and stable shoulders. So paying close attention to your cuff and scapular stabilzers is important. Your external rotators must be strong enough to decelerate your arm when you throw. How you set up your weekely training program depends on a lot of personal factors, however Mike Robertson just wrote an article on this subject this past week that you might want to check out. Also look into Joe Kenn’s book about the tier system, and of course CT has some great stuff for athletic deveoplement on here also. However, all the training info in these sources should be proceded by a complete evaluation of your body’s kinetic chain as it stands right now. You might have some postural, strength, and/or length-tension issues that have to be corrected first. A repetitive sport like baseball can ruin your body, so you don’t want to start with imbalances.

Bro, begin doing the Westside for Skinny Bastards program in the T-Nation archives and read all the Q&A’s on his site, as he addresses training for baseball players in a couple of the “Ask Joe” Q&A’s.

You need to train for the sport, and it’s going to require you to hit the weights and do some conditioning work (sprinting, GPP).

Look at some of the training photos of his athletes. There is a baseball player from the University of Miami that is freakin’ huge! Check out this photo of him.

Alright, thank you very much for all the information…

I’ve decided that I’m going to use DeFranco’s WSB4SB for my training. However, I will also be focusing on baseball-specific muscle groups, including additional external-rotator exercises into my workout, and using GPP and flexibility training. For the past few weeks I’ve been trying this and enjoy it’s compactness and the feeling I get at the conclusion of my sessaions.

Now, I have another question… what exactly should I be doing about my diet? Currently, I’m 155lbs and definitely “skinny-fat”. You can see my ribs, but there are fat deposits on my chest, thighs, and I have love-handles. I’m guessing that I could deal with losing approx. 10-15 pounds.

Would it be more beneficial for me to use a lean-mass gaining diet, to gain on my minute strength during the winter and cut before my season starts in April? Or should I make an attempt to lose the fat first and then work on a strength program? Or, is there someway that I can continue to build strength while losing these last few pounds?

Once again, the help would be appreciated. :slight_smile:

Do you know what your bodyfat level is? I would just train hard, do some GPP or sprinting and eat clean, and let your training take care of the fat. As you build muscle, you will burn more calories, so you should actually get leaner in the process. Of course, this depends on how many calories you take in.

I suggest something along the lines of what CW, Berardi and Lowery recommend. Eat your protein and carb meals only after your workouts and eat protein and fat for the other meals.