"I wish I could have my first year of training back."
How many times have you heard an experienced trainee say that? Likewise, how many times has a newbie come up to you and asked you to help him get started in the iron game? It happens to me on a daily basis.
1. I have seen a lot of guys who have hamstrings pulls in their health histories, but I don't recall ever coming across any studies that show that shooting yourself in the leg expedites recovery time.
The sad truth is that you'll probably have dozens of kids around the country with hamstrings strains shoot themselves in the leg in hopes of returning to play sooner because "Burress does it." I'll stick with soft tissue work, glute activation, and sprint mechanics training...
2. I got a question the other day about how we approach rest periods for our medicine ball work, and while it could be somewhat of a long, detailed response, I can probably respond even better with a simple, "We are always trying to slow guys down because they rush through them." Usually, our rest intervals are in the ballpark of one minute between sets. So, here's a little sample of what one of our professional pitchers did yesterday:
A) Side High Box Step-ups w/Leg Kick: 2x4/side
B1) Overhead Med Ball Stomp to Floor: 4x8 (5kg)
B2) Side-Lying Extension-Rotation: 3x8/side
C1) Recoiled Shotput: 3x3/side (4kg)
C2) Wall Hip Flexor Mobilizations: 2x8/side
D1) Recoiled Shotput: 3x3/side (2kg)
D2) Lying Knee-to-Knee Stretch: 2x30s
E1) Crow Hop to Overhead Med Ball Throw: 5x2 (2kg)
E2) Multiplanar Hamstrings Mobilizations: 2x5/5/5/side
So, as you can see, we use mobility work between sets to slow the guys down and address range-of-motion deficits they might have at the same time. A lot of these drills can be found on Magnificent Mobility (lower body) and Inside-Out (upper body).
4. For some good reading - particularly with respect to nutrition - check out Brian St. Pierre's blog.
5. I'm going with Joseph Addai over LenDale White this weekend. Thanks to everyone for the feedback from Tuesday. Fingers crossed...
6. Happy Birthday to Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic! Cass and I go way back, and she's been a great friend and resource for me all along the way. If you're looking for top-notch female-specific nutrition and fitness resources, you definitely ought to check out The New Rules of Lifting for Women and the Women's Health Perfect Body Diet, both of which Cass or co-authored.
That'll do it for this week. I've got some sweet content in line for next week, so stay tuned. Have a great weekend!
I received this email earlier this week:
I am a longtime follower of T-Nation and picked up your book, Maximum Strength, this past summer. I just finished with Moving Day and want to thank you for my great results in 16 weeks.
I am 6'3", 180 lbs and my weight stayed the same the whole time because I have low body fat to begin.
Broad Jump: 91" to 122"
Squat: 225 to 295
Bench: 215 to 235
Deadlift: 365 to 455
Chinup 3RM: 45 to 60
This book worked great when I had a goal to strive for.
Thanks again, Eric.
Q: I'm a personal trainer who just started training a couple of baseball catchers. I understand that your facility specializes in training baseball players. I just want to know if you guys have any tips, or recommend any resources to find out common structural issues that occur with this position. Perhaps what you guys have found through training catchers? What lifts they should avoid, more specifically?I have begun doing a ton of research and just wanted some ideas from you guys to help me out. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
A: Well, first, there are certain things that none of my baseball guys do:
-Overhead lifting (excluding pull-up/chin-up variations)
-Olympic Lifts (aside from the occasional high pull)
-Back Squats (we use safety squat and giant cambered bars instead, plus front squats)
I could go on and on with respect to the reasons for these exclusions, but for the sake of this blog, suffice it to say that it's for shoulder and elbow protection reasons. Fortunately, I wrote about my rationale in an old newsletter.
Catchers are obviously different than pitchers and position players in that they spend a lot of time squatting, so we have particular concerns at the knees and hips.
Whether or not I squat my catchers is dependent on age, training experience, time of year, and - most importantly - injury history. If a guy is older and more banged up, we aren't going to be squatting much, if at all. However, if we're talking about a younger athlete who has a lot more to gain from squatting (particularly if he isn't specialized in baseball yet), I definitely think there is a role for it.
That said, regardless of age and injury history, I don't squat my catchers deep in-season. We'll do some hip-dominant squatting (paused or light tap and go) to a box set at right about parallel, but for the most part, it's deadlift variations. We get our range-of-motion in the lower body with these guys with single-leg work.
As for structural issues, always check everything at the hip and ankle, as you should with any baseball player; it isn't just about shoulders and elbows (although you will want to screen those, too, obviously). Believe it or not, a lot of the pitching flexibility deficits about which I've written also hold true in catchers.
Additionally, I've found that a lot of catchers tend to lean to one side (adduct one femur), and over time, it can lead to some noteworthy imbalances in hip rotation range-of-motion. You'll also see a lot of catchers who lack thoracic spine range-of-motion because they spend so much time slumped over (not necessarily ideal catching posture, but it does happen when you're stuck down there for nine innings).
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I won 105-50 this week to move to 8-5 and second my spot as the third seed in the playoffs. For the record, I was the high scorer in the league, too. How you like them apples? Poor Tony was the second highest scorer and didn't even make the playoffs!
Just for the heck of it, I'll make this week's fantasy football post a bit more interactive. I've got a roster decision where you can have some input; feel free to post your comments below.
Would you play Joseph Addai (Colts home vs. Cincinnati) or LenDale White (Titans home vs. Cleveland)? For the record, I kicked myself for benching White (22 points) on Thanksgiving in favor of Addai (3 points on Sunday).
Just think: you can have just a little piece of this fantasy football glory if you make the right call...
Mike Robertson just brought to my attention that the Monday after Thanksgiving is known as Cyber Monday because it's the biggest day of the year for online sales. So, particularly with the economy the way it is, we decided to put most of our products up for sale for today ONLY.
For the fitness professionals in the crowd, keep in mind you can also purchase NSCA CEUs for the majority of these products, and those CEUs will come in handy at this time of year as you're up for renewal of your certification. The products with the asterisk after their names below are eligible.
Simply head on over to the Robertson Training Systems Products Page, add a product (or a bunch of products) to your shopping cart, and enter the coupon code CYBER at checkout to receive 15% off on your purchase. Eligible products include the Building the Efficient Athlete DVD Set*, Magnificent Mobility DVD*, Inside-Out DVD*, 2008 Indianapolis Performance Enhancement Seminar DVD Set*, and Bulletproof Knees Manual*.
Also, through my shopping cart, this same offer (same CYBER coupon code) is available for The Ultimate Off-Season Training Manual and The Art of the Deload E-Book. You can purchase those on my Products Page.
Don't miss out on this great chance to purchase our stuff at an excellent discount just in time for the holidays!