In Season Training for Baseball Part II

With high school and college baseball in full swing, I have been getting a lot of questions in regards to in season training for baseball. Over the summer I wrote an article In Season Training for Baseball for  EliteFTS.com. If you haven’t checked out that article be sure you check it out before you keep reading. Here is a list of my rules for in season training.

  1. Do  2 training sessions per week- 2 training sessions per week is optimal for recovery and sport performance.  Training 3-4 x per week  may interfere with you ability to recover and may inhibit your sport performance. Part time players and bench players should be able to train 3 x a week.
  2. Do short workouts- 30 minutes is more than enough time to get in and out of the gym and maintain your strength levels. Baseball players spend enough time practicing and playing games and most have a hard enough time getting into the gym during the season. Training sessions should be limited to no more than 40 minutes.
  3. Do full body workouts– Full body workouts are optimal when training 2x per week because you can get the same amount of work done in less time. For example, in the off season an athlete may follow an upper/ lower body split where they do each 2x a week. Full body workouts allow you to train the upper and lower body 2x a week in season. Obviously the volume will be reduced when compared to the off season. Due to the lower volume, full body workouts minimize soreness and keep you fresh for practice and games. Athletes who train 3x per week in season should also do 3 full body workouts per week
  4. Do exercises like sled drags and farmer carries–  These type of exercises are awesome because they do not have an eccentric portion. Exercises without an eccentric portion are especially good in season because they will not get you sore.                     httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX9YhHPUhMk

  5. Do compound exercises– Exercises like squats, deadlifts, chin ups should be used during the competitive season. These exercises are king because they are very economical and yield the best results in the least amount of time.
  6. Do exercises your familiar with– In season is not the time to introduce variety. By sticking to exercises you are familiar with you will limit soreness. Perform the same exercises for 2-3 weeks before you change anything. Just make sure you are increasing the intensity or volume each week.
  7. If it hurts, don’t do it- Your number one goal as an athlete is to stay healthy. You are no good to your team if you are hurt. Baseball players are bound to get banged up in season. Stick to the exercises that are pain free.
  8. Train on the days you feel good-Be ready to change your workout on the fly. Even if you plan to train Monday/Thursday be prepared in case you are not feeling so good on one of these days. This may mean lowering volume or intensity or just taking the day off. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!
  9. Do a ton of soft tissue, mobility & flexibility work– Baseball players are prone to muscular imbalances caused from their sport. During the season baseball players are going to get banged up. In order to avoid or minimize these muscular imbalances be sure to do a ton of soft tissue, mobility and flexibility work during the season. Aside from doing this work before and after training, I am a huge advocate of doing it in between sets as active recovery.  httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGJr3av8pOA

  10. Avoid speed, agility & conditioning training in season– The sprints and explosive movements you do during practice and games is your speed, agility and agility training. Your in season conditioning comes from playing baseball games. Conditioning is specific to the demands of your sport. The goal is to condition your body to play 5 games of baseball per week. By playing in these games you are doing your conditioning.
  11. Avoid training the joints and muscles that are already taking a beating– This means limit the amount of knee flexion, overhead pressing and rotator cuff work in season. The hamstrings, shoulders and rotator cuff already take a huge beating from playing baseball, do not compound this issue in the gym. Be smart with your exercise selection. I rarely squat catchers in season. As a collegiate catcher, I can tell you that it is not in your best interest to squat in season. Your best bet is to do box squats or deadlift variations. Position players and pitchers are another story.
  12. Avoid isolation exercises– Compound exercises will give you the best bang for your buck. Certain isolation exercises have their part in training to help prevent injury but for the most part stick to compound exercises.
  13. Always leave a few reps in the tank– This is critical to staying healthy. Keep training heavy in season, just be sure to leave a few reps in the tank. For example say your 6 RM on the squat is 315, in season you should hit a set of 3 reps at 315. Leave a minimum of 2 reps in the tank during each set. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX9YhHPUhMk
     

    Do you have question or comment about in season training? Drop a comment below!

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Leave A Reply (4 comments so far)

  • Scott

    Joe- Well said! I am so sick and tired of parents or coaches making execuses on why they can’t train in season. “They don’t have time.” I call BS on that 30-40 min is plenty of time. Player, parents and coaches need to make the time. Instead, they spend the extra time hitting when they could be maintaining strength and an pre-hab. Thanks Joe

  • Scott,

    Thanks for your comment. Couldn’t agree with your more. Instead of doing long distance running in season and other forms of conditioning that wastes energy, why not spend this time maintaining strength levels?

    By the way how is everything going in Maryland?

  • Joe,

    What are your thoughts on coaches that don’t do any true speed training on their teams? Do you think it would beneficial to perform speed training within your routine? Nice site.

  • Hey Jimmy,

    It depends on the athletes themselves. How old are they? What are they doing instead of speed training?

    I think that doing speed training during the pre season is beneficial to add to your routine. Sprints are awesome! During the season it isn’t necessarily because the players are already running enough during the game and practice. They are better off spending this energy elsewhere.

    Thanks Jimmy,

    Joe

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