This sample baseball weight training program is a continuation of the baseball strength training article.
If you missed that first article be sure to take a look. It explains how to structure your training over an entire year.
To quickly recap...
Strength training for any sport is usually broken into separate phases. And in baseball the end-goal is NOT bulk and size or even maximal strength -- the main objective is to develop explosive power.
This baseball weight training program assumes you have shown correct form and technique and that you've had medical clearance from a physician. At this point you should read the disclaimer.
Circuit training is excellent format for this phase of a baseball weight training program. At this stage THE most important objective is to balance and prepare the body for an excellent season. Training can be less specific to baseball but it's a good idea to incorporate some exercises that match the demands of the sport.
Time year: Early pre-season
Duration: 4-8 weeks
Days per week: 2-3 (Leave 24hrs between sessions)
Load: Bodyweight or 50-60% 1 rep max
Rest interval: 30 secs between exercises
Rest interval: 2-3 mins between circuits
The last few reps on each station should be taxing. When you can comfortably perform the number of reps suggested increase the weight.
Training for maximum strength requires experience and a good foundation of strength. Because it includes the use of heavier weights ideally you should have someone to spot you. Do NOT jump straight to this phase in the baseball weight training program. It's only effective if you stay injury free and the best way to do that is to prepare and balance the body first with a foundational program - even if you're an experienced lifter.
Time year: Mid pre-season
Duration: 6 weeks
Days per week:3 (leave 24-48hrs between sessions)
Load: 80-90% 1 rep max
In this third phase of the baseball weight training program, the preparation and gains made over the previous few months are converted into baseball specific strength and power.
The movement patterns in throwing, hitting and sprinting short distances are sharp and explosive. Increased strength alone won't make a dramatic impact on your performance. Being able to apply that strength quickly will.
The emphasis now moves away from heavy, near-maximum load, to lighter resistance that you can move explosively. If the weight is too heavy, the movements will be slow and you'll fail to make the neural adaptations that are important in power development.
The program below uses some plyometric exercises. This is not the only method to develop power but it is effective. Plyometric training can be deceptively tough. It won't leave you out of breath or fatigued...
In fact you may end the sessions feeling like you need to do more. Don't! Don't compare this type of training with maximal strength training which does leave you feeling fatigued.
Please read the plyometrics article for important guidelines before moving on.
Time year: Late pre-season
Duration: 4 weeks
Days per week:2-3
Load: Bodyweight, medicine ball or 50-60% 1 rep max
1. Lateral Jumps 3 x 10 (bodyweight)
2. Plyometric Push-Ups 3 x 10 (bodyweight)
Same as a regular push-up except as you extend your arms push up explosively so your hands leave the ground. Then allow your elbows to bend slightly to absorb the shock as you land. Lower and repeat. A variation of this exercise is to quickly clap your hands as they are in the air.
3. Depth Jumps 3 x 10 (bodyweight)
4. Pull Over Throw 3 x 10 (medicine ball)
5. Dumbbell Squats w/ Rotational Swings 3 x 10
6. Reverse Curls 3 x 12 (medicine ball)
7. Alternating Squats w/ Press 3 x 10
8. Side Throws 3 x 10 (medicine ball)
Two plyometric/power sessions per week is ample and you should leave 48hrs between sessions. You can, if you want, do one maximal strength training session in between - perhaps on Wednesdays if plyometric sessions are performed on Mondays and Fridays.
During the competitive season the aim is to maintain both an adequate level of maximal strength and explosive power. Because it takes less to maintain a level of fitness than it does to develop it, you can cut your strength training sessions down to once or twice per week.
Avoid weight training the day before a game (ideally leave it 2 days before). You might want to perform one strength session per week and one power session. Or you could combine some of the exercises into one session per week depending on your time commitments.
Following the end of the competitive year, give your body a break.
A couple of weeks off from baseball weight training is fine but rather than do nothing all through out the winter/off-season months, do some light circuit training. Nothing too intense and try to incorporate muscles and exercises you feel might get neglected during the season. Don't worry too much about sets and reps and weights (keep them light though!).