T Nation


Hello TNATION and CT,

I am new to TNation and have been body weight training for 3 yrs and weight training for about 8 months. I am 14 soon to be 15 mid July and have been playing Baseball year round since age 5, Rec. ball, travel ball, All stars, and now JV and Legion ball.

I also play basketball and looking to get started in Football next summer. I play 2nd base, backup catcher and pitcher but Dad won’t let me show coach my pitching. Something about coach seen my ability on mound and fear of burning up my arm. Over the last 4 months of HS weight training I have seen my body change. Some due to HS weight train and some due to puberty.

I am loving the change and just pushes me to keep working. I am 5’6", 140lbs, and about 9% BF. I am not the strongest and sure as heck not the fastest actually 2nd to slowest. My 40yrd sprint is 5.4 and 60 yrd is 8 flat. Coach wants to see me put on some mass and strength and get faster. My personal goal is hit the 40 in 4.70 by Feb. The only thing I have going for me is a hot glove and bat, but at 5.7/40 and my size is not going to keep me on the field and my butt was not designed to sit on a flat bench.

My Dad has transformed the back garage into probably every thing I need. Full squat rack, bench, 450lbs of Olympic weights, 410lbs of standard weights, dumb bells, bands, treadmill…etc. There is even a P-bar and rings because my brother does gymnastics. Great for dips and pull ups and what ever else you can come up with. Weight training class at HS did some good but after training with Dad I learned it was a joke.

Some what effective joke but coaches could care less about form and your progress not to mention what the heck we were doing. Dad was not happy about somethings. Like when I had back pain from squats and dead lifts and said I need a belt or how they said arching your back to the point of just your toes on the floor and shoulders are touching the bench, when benching heavy weight.

OK, Lets get down to it. My dad likes this site and programs, and has approved me to join and educate myself. We have dedicated 8 months of hardcore training to reach my goals by start of Baseball next season (Feb). My first goal is put on size/mass. 2nd goal strength. and 3rd goal speed lost of it. I have been told mass and strength training with goals of also gaining “SPEED” is almost impossible.

Dad says not so…actually his favorite phrase is “The only thing in impossible is I’m possibly” This is our monthly agenda for 8 months. Mon, Wed, Fri weight training and Tues, Thur, Sat Plyometrics for agility.

Sept-lean up
Dec-lean up
Jan-lean up
Feb-Ball season starts

My questions are, will the I,BodyBuilder program help me reach my goals? Is this program designed to give me strength along with mass or just mass with low strength levels? I do not want to put on large amount of mass and sacrifice strength. As a baseball player I need to stay agile and have quick twitch muscle fibers but as I stated I need to put on Mass and strength and have 8 months to do it.

If this is not the program for me then please direct me to what will help me reach my goals. If this is the program can it work along with our weekly schedule of Mon, Wed, Fri weight training or do I need to stick to the I,BodyBuilder program like glue.

Thanks in advance to all experts on future advice.

For athletes, anything with the word, “bodybuilder,” is not going to be your best bet.

I’d recommend heading over to Joe DeFrancos website, read everything he has.
WS4SB (Defranco’s Template Program) is simple to learn, and easy to implement.
Plus it’s a great program that will get you results.

After you’ve done that you can come back to these forums and start asking more specific questions, such as posting video for critique, or discussing lifting around injuries, but if you come to the forums and ask for programming advice, I guarantee your brain will explode with all the different advice.

I played College Football for a few years, and now I’m coaching, so I’m a little more on the athletic side when it comes to my training advice.
What you have to realize though is this site is primarily bodybuilders, and hence, they have no idea how to train an athlete.
Be careful about what advice you take on these boards.

As long as you do these three things daily though, I guarantee you’ll grow and be bigger, faster, and stronger:
1.)Work up to a training max in a hinge, squat, pull, or push movement. Do not grind, lift the bar quickly, and explosively, lower under control. To be explosive, you must lift explosively. Mimic your sport, explosive as possible while maintaining control.
2.)Eat meat, veggies, and potatoes in massive amounts. Any meat is fine, any veggies or fruit is fine, and potatoes and rice are good too. I understand you’re young and will want to have some junk once and a while, THAT’S FINE, just don’t EVER make it a cornerstone of your diet. You need good meat, and fresh produce to grow, period.
3.)Sprint and jump, never exceeding your capacity to recover. To be faster you must train to move faster, pretty simple really. It takes less than you think too, even five box jumps a day can improve your explosive ability.

Once you’ve been lifting for a little while I recommend coming back and posting in Christain Thibadeau’s forum asking about Baseball and “The Layer System.”
CT is a fantastic coach, probably my personal favorite, you can trust anything he says.
I’d recommend getting acquainted with a barbell first though, his techniques are slightly more complex in nature, a new lifter would be better suited just learning how to lift for a month or so before diving in to intensity techniques.

Basic Barbell Skills are imperative to your success, don’t ignore it because you’re impatient.
Nutrition is just as important.
These two skills will carry you to greatness, but if you try and half-ass either, you’re going to be just another mediocre player.

Eat well, lift right.
Be great.

Welcome to the forums!
Stick around :slight_smile:


I will check Joe’s site out for sure. Thanks for the info. Junk food, yeah right not in this house. My Dad is kind of a health nut. He has me on a very strict diet. I eat about 210g of protien, 340g carbs, 60g fat and staying under 3,000 calories. I am about tired of eggs, chicken, brown rice, and oats. The steak I can do love me some steak. Anyways game on! For real legion game in 2 hours. We are tied for first and to day it is time to break to tie and send them to 2nd place.

The poster above said everything better than I could, so I’ll just say…Welcome to the forums and I hope you follow his advice.

[quote]Dawson7 wrote:
My questions are, will the I,BodyBuilder program help me reach my goals? [/quote]
Any lifting program will help you reach a goal of strength and mass. A bodybuilding program on the other hand is not necessarily going to make you the best athlete on the field.

I would check out “The Juggernaut Method” by Chad Wesley Smith. Great program for athletes as the author incorporates plyometrics and speed drills.

Here is the site that sells the book if the mods don’t delete it:

[quote]Dawson7 wrote:
I am 5’6", 140lbs, and about 9% BF.[/quote]
Forget about bodyfat percentage - forget measuring it, forget tracking it, forget caring about it. It’s useless for athletes and serves no purpose in the real world.

I’d say yes and no. It’s always best to prioritize one thing at a time, especially when the different goals are achieved by almost opposite methods (speed training is very different from training for size, for example). But on the flip side, you have the advantage of being young with plenty of time.

You don’t need to be doing the plyometrics/agility work three days a week for all 8 months. Again, prioritize.

Sept-lean up
Dec-lean up
Jan-lean up
Feb-Ball season starts[/quote]
I’m all for laying out a general plan, this looks like you’re setting things in concrete a little too much. There should be some wiggle room down the line. Have a general idea of where you want to end up, but try planning 2 or 3 months at a time and adjust as you go.

Also, I don’t really agree with this kind of setup since “mass, strength, power” isn’t one goal to shoot for, so it doesn’t really help to narrow down the type of training you’ll be doing.

Here’s how I’d kind of lay out the upcoming calendar:
June- June’s over, so it doesn’t matter. :wink:
July- Bodyweight conditioning
Aug- Focus: Size
Sept- Focus: Size
Oct- Focus: Strength
Nov- Focus: Strength, power
Dec- Focus: Power, speed/agility
Jan- Pre-season. Focus: Speed/agility, conditioning
Feb- Ball season starts

Some categories may overlap, especially since you’ll see improvements in several things at once because you’re a beginner, but having one thing as the basic priority helps to organize your training.

I don’t know what your training looks like right now, but I’d start with a few weeks of higher rep bodyweight stuff before transitioning into a basic routine for 6-12 weeks. (Dan John’s “Southwood program” is a good one.)

No, that would be an very inappropriate program for you right now.

Forget about fast twitch or slow twitch muscle fibers. It’s a level of detail you don’t need crowding your brain just yet.

In addition to Joe DeFranco, guys like Eric Cressey and Tony Gentilcore (both work with a ton of baseball players), Dan John, Mike Boyle, and Jim Wendler all have a bunch of experience working with high school athletes. Anything you can read by them will be golden.

How’d yesterday’s game go?

Slow down you’re doing too much

Chris Colucci,
Thanks for taking the time and breaking down my question with so answers. I agree with you on the I,BodyBuilder program. It is a good program but what it offers is not what I am trying to accomplish. Folks in TNation keep telling me about a layer System. I have yet to find what this is. The only info I get is info that directs me to Forums about it but not the program itself. I myself need to see the program and how it is structured, so does dad so I can understand it.

There is only 2 real days of plyo. The 3 is very light plyo with mostly ball skills worked in. That day the plyo is more like a warm up. As far as the monthly schedule it is not so much set in stone. just something we layed out just so I had an idea of my time frame and what I want to accomplish before season starts. But i am a little confused. You said focus on size for 2 months, then strength, strength/power, power and agility. Is strength, power and size one in the same. I mean if I am working on strength I will gain power and If I am doing both of those will I not gain size.

The game was a hard loss. Each inning ended with tying runs. Bottom of 7th and man on 2nd with 2 outs. Batter dropped one in left center field. Relay throw into home was outside to far to put tag down in time. But revenge comes this Friday.

No offense and don’t take this the wrong way but slowing down is not me. Every minute I am not training or focusing on reach my goals the more chances I give the other guy a better opportunity. I DO NOT LIKE LOSING!!! I learn from losing but I still hate it. My favorite saying “I like to win for 2 reason. 1 because I enjoy it, 2 and even better I wish for you to lose.”

With respect to voodoo, i think that there’s absolutely mindblowing amounts off good info on here for athletes, including newbs especially. This is because the basics are largely the same for newbs to weights, with some differences in the last 6,7%. As you prpgress though, athletic training becomes more and more specific.

Voodoo did a great job outlining things and Collucci got the things he didnt. I second joe defranco, it is about perfect for the young high school guy looking to become better athletically AND stronger and bigger. Gotta eat for growth though.

Your dad sounds awesome, and i wish to hell i would have had a dad with stuff like that in my back yard and an eye for details an fundamentals that the high school “weight coach” dont have.

Only thing i’ll say is i dunno exactly what “plyometrics for agility” means…if it means agility drills and speed drills great. If it means depth jumps and stuff less great. Depth jumps and the like are great exercises, but a) advanced fpr you on a “need” basis at just the moment and b) potentially hard on you impact wise. If it was the depth jumps you met i would cut them and only add plyos for about 3 weeks every 3-4 months or so.

High impact plyos are best used very sparingly if at all for young guys, and especially weaker/new to serious weights. In fact i would say they need to be almost entirely eliminated from many young guys schedules if they are under 17…but thats a ramble for another time :stuck_out_tongue:

Best of luck, welcome aboard.

If I was a young aspiring baseball player I would do everything Eric Cressey says. Do a search for him. He has written articles on this site and has his own website.

The reason why Eric Cressey is the coach for you is because he trains baseball players for a living. They are his bread and butter. He is also an expert on shoulder health. You may not have injuries now but in a few years you will have but by following Cressey’s advice you can remain pretty much injury free.

An example of this is Cressey doesn’t let any of his athletes do an overhead press. He also says most people don’t do lateral raises properly and so on. Being a baseball player you need healthy shoulders so this type of advice is vital for injury prevention.

Tony Gentilcore also writes articles on this site and he works at the same facility as Cressey.
They are pretty much the only 2 coaches I would be following if I was you and had the goal of becoming an elite baseball player.

[quote]Dawson7 wrote:
Folks in TNation keep telling me about a layer System. I have yet to find what this is. The only info I get is info that directs me to Forums about it but not the program itself. I myself need to see the program and how it is structured, so does dad so I can understand it.[/quote]
That’s pretty much only been discussed in the forums. There are a few threads about it in Christian Thibaudeau’s forum, but it’s another plan that I don’t think it appropriate for now.

When I cook a big pan of bacon on Sunday morning, my primary goal is to end up eating bacon. A nice secondary benefit is that I end up with bacon fat that I can store in the fridge and cook with later. Another awesome side benefit is that the house smells like bacon for a while. This is why bacon is amazing. Lifting is kinda like that. You focus on a primary goal (size, strength, fat loss, whatever) and train in a way that’s best suited to improving that thing, but you’ll often see side benefits in other areas.

Those secondary benefits won’t always be as big an improvement as if you it was your number one goal, but it’s enough to tide you over until you can eventually shift the focus and put the spotlight on improving something else. In beginners, these side effects are even more noticeable because everything sees improvements right off the bat. For example, if your power clean goes from 95x5 in August to 205x3 in December, you can almost guarantee that your back and legs have gotten more muscular (bigger) and you’ve gotten faster - you end up with lots of good results piled on top of each other, even though you had different training priorities along the way.

Bummer. But yeah, just take it out on them next time.

Just pace yourself. You’re really young and have decades of training ahead of you. Training 6 days a week for the next 8 months is overkill.

I don’t think anyone enjoys losing, but as long as you do learn from it, it’s worth it.

Ok, now I am on the same page with the strength, power and mass issue. Yes I believe my Dad has it structured for each month flipping it up a little. But he knows me and know I can only grasp short goals at a time. Great to hear the Layer System is not for me. I was getting tied of trying to figure it out. Thanks for the video and to touch on it Jordan is one of the greatest. Why? He never gave up, never settled for 2nd best, pushed himself harder then the rest and I am pretty sure he probable smiled when someone told him he was doing to much. So I have my own for you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-225FFIE3AE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Eric Cressey??? I will check it out today. Seen how rain has closed down ball camp today. Thanks again for the help Chris Colucci.

I second doing any DeFranco program. They’re actually geared for the type of results you need. Also the more you improve your jump the faster you’ll run, it’s all about explosive power, I don’t know if the DeFranco programs include speed work but I’d choose one that has it. Speed work is doing something like 50% of your 1RM and doing something like 8 sets of 3 reps and moving the weight as fast as possible using bands so you don’t have to decelerate when you’re reaching the top of the movement and can push hard throughout the movement.