T Nation

Help with putting together baseball workout

Hey t-mag readers and staff. I need help. I am 16 and am just starting to workout. I am working on putting together a baseball specific routine. Just wanted to get any ideas on reps and exercises. I am figuring stick to deadlifts, squats, rotator cuff exercises, and forearm exercises. Of course I also plan on doing several sets of chest and back. What do you guys think. Any advice from current baseball players, trainers, or people who really know what they are doing. Thanks to all who respond. Oh and I plan on working out 3 times a week.

Do not do ANYTHING for your chest. It will get bigger anyway. Having pillows for pecs just gets in the way as you try to swing. This decreases your bat speed. DO NOT DO DEADLIFTS. Do partial deadlifts…that is, start from the top of your knees (off a power rack). This is much safer. EVERYONE hurts themselves sooner or later deadlifting. DO military presses for shoulders and maybe JUMP SQUATS (with light weight) for legs. SPRINT…do 5-10 sets of 40 yard dashes at about 90% intensity.

Finally, don’t overtrain on the weights and practice baseball skills.


To niclac-Raise the blast shields.

Check out renegade training, and contact Coach Davies. He can help you. Deadlifts are O.K. to do, as long as your form is good. You have just as great a chance of hurting yourself doing squats or any other exercise.And as far as working the chest, most chest work is also works the triceps, which are important to swinging the bat and throwing. Then most important thing is to keep working on your baseball skills.

Please for the love of God, do not listen to Niclac. Do yourself a favor and go to the Coach Davies website. And as for training advice, start with abdominals, lower back, and trunk exercises. Those are the most important, whether you are a hitter or a pitcher. You can’t go wrong concentrating on those areas. And again, I repeat, DO NOT LISTEN TO NICLAC.

please don’t listen to nicklac.
check out renegade training.
throw and swing every chance you get, lots of long toss and bp will do wonders.

Don’t listen to nicklac! (Oh wait, that was already said…)

Actually, the only thing that I thought was really wrong with his advice was the deadlifting part, which was ridiculous. I’ve been deadlifting for 25 years now and have never had a problem. IMHO, jump squats carry far more risk than deads. Of course, your form has to be good on any exercise. No question about that.

I’m no baseball trainer, but I would think that core strength, especially rotational strength, would be essential. Might try throwing some woodchoppers into your workout.

I’m 16 and play baseball and train westside style. It’s made me alot faster and stronger. throw in some more core work and beat the hell outa a tree with a sledge hammer.Try running with a weighted sled on off days and do some (not much) endurance training. do more running if your a pitcher. And check out setpro.com to help you with batspeed and throwing speed. just my humble opinion

“I am 16 and am just starting to workout.” Great glad to have you joining the club, I see nothing wrong with any of Coach Davies routines (I have done many), but I would recomend that you don’t get to specialized at first, you’re just starting out! Get strong, stick to the basics (squat, bench, & dead; 3-4 times a week, lift no more than 1 hour at a time) and then in 1-2 years check back. Ian King’s mass building workout might be a good fit. Best of luck.

me to/…dont listen to niklik
compound movements. Renegade would be the #1 place to look/…just make sure u keep hitting wile ur getting stronger so ur swing adjusts to ur new strength

Hey ball player,
I’ll restate like a lot of others, GO TO COACH DAVIES AT RENEGADE TRAINING. In the event that you delay or choose not to GO TO COACH DAVIES then try adding kettlebell / dumbbell swings and hip dynamic flexibility drills. Add the olympic lifts and hybrids into your weight training( rotator cuff work too but don’t over do it)GPP is standard and get a big ol’ tractor tire(like the ones that ploy the fields) and a couple of different weight sledge hammers ( start light) and wail away for 15 mins or so 2 - 3 times a week.Go to intensity magazine for pointers and guidelines. These are some basics get more guidance. Peace, Tmofa

yeah your right bro, just ask barry, sammy, and giambi. those big pecs really slow your bat speed.

Do go over to Renegade Training. Definitely focus on core strength. Especially rotational work.

Look at all the great hitters, like Bonds, They have thick torso’s. This powers the hip turn (Bonds has the quickest hips in the league) which will power the swing.

I would make sure to do a lot of medicine ball work. Also the sledgehammer series at Intensity magazine or Renegade training would help a lot.

Just don’t focus on getting big to get big. make sure you’re mobile, flexible, fast, and powerful.

Well, I can see my advice went over like a lead balloon.

First of all, about the chest exercises and getting big pecs. Current major leaguers don’t have Pecs like I’m talking about. Large, dense and thick. If that’s what you build for baseball, YOU WILL HAVE SLOWER BAT SPEED.

Secondly, deadlifting as I described is efficacious and far safter than pulling 3-4 hundred lbs. from the floor. YOU WILL INEVITABLY HURT YOURSELF.

Otherwise, I suggested sticking to basics with nothing fancy. The baseball-specific exercises for forearms etc are great…but not more important than basics. I never said NOT to do squats just that JUMP SQUATS are good too. They develop explosive power and you don’t use heavy weight because you can’t.

There isn’t much better leg training than sprints. I suggested going 90% speed…should I recommend 100 so that you end up with pulled hammies?

I said to work on baseball skills too. All the weights in the world aren’t going to help you at specific baseball skills.

To the gentleman who hasn’t hurt himself Powerlifting. You know you are the exception.

I also stated not to overtrain…is that what you want…train so much that you have no energy to play ball?

In conclusion, my recommendations are based on experience and taking my bodyweight from 145 to 234. I use a WOODEN BAT…36-36. No aluminum like the girls.

thanks for everyone about those kind words. I think the most important consideration in your training is to ensure it always relates to enhancing your baseball skill-set. Question whether your training enhancing bat-speed, speed and agility on the path. Its always an honor and pleasure to help so feel free to ask. In faith, Coach Davies

After reading all the opinions I have come up with this. I will workout 3 times a week (1hour). I am just starting so I will stick with basic lifts (bench, squat, deadlifts) Trunk exercises are a must. GPP will be good to do on days in between workouts. Swinging a sledge hammer will help build forearm strength and trunk muscles. And also it will help my bat speed. Maybe throw in some sprints on off days, but not to many. What about jump squats. I think that is a good exercise, but coach Davies and others what do you guys recommend. I am really appreciative of all the help and advice. Any further advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I know that you have already been prodded enough, but I feel that I have to make a point. When you say that jump squats a used with low weight, out of necessity, I think you missing the point the concentric work is not really the problem, injury-wise. The major problem is in eccentric muscle action. This is where the ‘problem’ of from the floor deadlifts come in. Many (maybe most, maybe all)people who hurt themselves in the deadlift do so when their erector spinae yeild to the load (eccentric action). In a case such as this, the force of the load (mass times acceleration, in this case gravity) is too great for the muscle. In ‘normal’ (non-ballistic) lifts the momentum (mass times velocity) of the load, during the eccentric action of the lift, is very little, due to the low velocity. In a jump squat, momentum has the potential to be very high, due to the high velocity of the load. This, in turn, creates a need for a high to very high countering force to slow the load in a reasonable time and distance. This additional acceleration (in the opposite direction of the action) actually adds with the acceleration of gravity, thereby making the WEIGHT (read: force applied by the mass used as resistance) used in the Jump Squat rather high, even if the mass used is rather low. I don’t think this bad, I just think you need to understand that exercises aren’t bad, just inappropriate loading is.

The bottom line is that the trainer only has so much energy with which to practice and play the game of baseball and then to weight train.

Playing the game and/or practicing it 6 days a week drains the energy reserves so the training must be kept to a minimum but be most efficacious. I suppose most of the posters here are beginners without massive pecs otherwise they’d know that it’s hard to “clear” them when swinging a baseball bat or a golf club. Players like Giambi and Bonds don’t have massive Pecs (different than chest measurement).

As for deadlifts, the concern is dropping one’s “groin”. Everyone I know has done something bad to themselves at some time. However, starting on a power rack from the top of the knee position allows the trainer to work the back, traps , legs etc in safety.

Still, the routine must be kept to a minimum because of limited energy reserves. This is why the BASICS are best and not 3 days per week for 1 hour. That’s way to DRAINING. I don’t see how anyone can argue that controlled SPRINTING is useful for the trainer.

Endpoint: the key getting stronger and bigger safely and most efficaciously. This is accomplished by doing the basic lifts and being wary of those power exercises that can cause injury- deadlifting, power cleans FROM THE FLOOR, snatches. These exercises as performed by weight-lifters put the baseball player in greater danger of injury. Of course, if people are beginners and are pulling 135-200 lb. deadlifts and 95 lb. clean and jerks, the chances are less for injury.

Hey baseballplayer,
Amazing timing. I just now added a special to the Renegade Training web site for some Spring sports, including baseball, volleyball, and tennis. You can get the full alpha phase (26 weeks) for only $199, which is almost half price. Check it out at RenegadeTraining.com … weird how the universe works!

Im a strength and conditioning specialist, have worked with baseball players, as well as being an ex ballplayer myself so here’s my two sense…At 16, and new to weightlifting you should stick to a basic conditioning program focusing on learning the basic movements to strengthen the major muscle groups of your body. Learning how to squat or deadlift with perfect form in ok as long as your are flexible enough to do the exercise with proper form. That being said, strengthening of your core is important before you begin using very challenging weight. You want to focus on developing balanced strength throughout your body so that you can eliminate any muscle inbalances you might have or prevent yourself from getting any. At this point you must “train to train” meaning you must condition your whole body before getting into a very specific program for baseball (as in strength/power phases ect…that will come later down the road as well as cycling intensity and volume depending on what time of the year it is). Your anaerobic/agility training will be the most “specific” of your baseball training (Im not a big fan of “baseball specific” weightlifting…in my opinion baseball specific weight training exercises don’t exist, you must train the whole body to be balanced). Work on speed/speed endurance drills instead of a lot of long distance running…train slow = be slow. And please take care of your shoulders with a good cuff program…you only get one arm…take care of it. Last but not least practice your baseball skills…weightlifitng will give you the strength needed to imporve performance, but only practice of your baseball skills will actually improve performance of those skills. If you’ve got questions feel free to ask.