The MLB post-season is under way and the World Series is upon us!
It’s been a long season, starting back in the spring and playing nearly 200 games, but it all comes down to the games in October. With such a long haul of a season, it’s absolutely crucial that athletes have the proper diet/supplementation to maintain muscle mass and strength as well as training throughout the season. The grueling task of being active for many of these games is a challenge, but keeping fit through the season will help avoid injuries and let these athletes perform to their maximum abilities.
Below is an example of an in-season training regimen as well as a sample diet/supplementation schedule. Sticking to these guidelines will help such athletes be in it for the long haul and when the season is on the line, they’ll be ready for whatever is thrown at them.
A sample warm-up for baseball players should include a heavy dosage of shoulder/rotator cuff work because their main function is to throw. With this repetitive overhand motion, it can place a lot of stress on the shoulder as a whole. Start with this:
- Banded Shoulder External Rotations – 2 x 10 reps each arm
- Banded Shoulder Internal Rotations – 2 x 10 reps each arm
- Banded Face Pulls – 2 x 10 reps
- DB External Rotations (supported by knee)- 2 x 10 reps each arm
- Shoulder ABC’s- 2 sets through the alphabet on each arm
- These may be foreign to some, so begin by holding around a 5-10 ounce ball directly out in front of your body
- Start writing your ABC’s from A-Z with the ball out in front of body
- Since this is such a light weight, the delts won’t come in to play and will help to activate the muscles of the rotator cuff- prepping them for throwing/swinging motions
Since players have to be able to sprint off the crack of the bat either on offense or defense, warming up the lower body is crucial to prevent injury and priming the body for explosive movements. Use the following movements/stretches to get the rest of your body warm for the tasks ahead.
- Hurdle Stretches
- For the quad- place top of foot on the hurdle and squat down with opposite leg to enhance the stretch
- For the hamstring- place heel on the hurdle and lean forward feeling the stretch in hamstring as well as glute and calf
- Active stretch for the groin/ IT band- place hands on top of the hurdle out in front of you and take one leg and swing back and forth in front of the torso
- Karaoke – 2 x 25 yards each way
- High Knees– 2 x 25 yards
- Butt Kicks– 2 x 25 yards
- Walking Lunges with a Twist– 2 x 20 yards
- Reverse Lunges with Reach– 2 x 20 yards
- Build-up sprints– 2 x 30 yards
- Start at about 50% percent of top speed then build up to full speed at about 15 yards
Now that the body is primed and ready, we can move into the strength and weight training portion of the training. Many people will say that training during the season is a waste of time and that these athletes will be over-training by playing games and workout out- not true. Not training the length of the season would mean not working out from March until November if you count spring training and the playoffs. This is an enormous amount of time for your body to break down muscle and your strength will decline significantly. Don’t fall into this trap and hit these workouts just as hard as you would in the off-season.
- BB Deadlift– 4 x 5 reps
- DB 1-Arm Bench Press– 3 x 8 reps on each arm
- Landmine 1-Arm Shoulder Press– 3 x 8 reps on each arm
- On these, take up athletic stance and use a little bit of body language by engaging core and slightly twisting for more torque
- Weighted Pull-ups– 3 x 10 reps
- 3-Way Shoulder Function Tri-Set
- Plate Front Raises- 3 x 10 reps
- DB Side Raises- 3 x 10 reps
- Bent-Over Rear Raises- 3 x 10 reps
- BB Curl– 3 x 10 reps
- Dips– 3 x 10 reps
- NOTE: There is no direct core work but you will still work the midsection from embracing the core on the compound lifts like deadlifts, bench press and shoulder press.
We’ve got the muscle-building phase done and over with, but in baseball you’ve got to be able to run. The usual distance you’d be running is around 90 feet (distance between the bases). Being able to take off in a dead sprint after smashing a line drive or laying down a bunt is what separates the average MLB player from and MVP-caliber player. Here’s a sample conditioning workout to end on:
- Side Slides to Sprint– 3 x 30 yards
- Slide laterally 5 yards then immediately explode the hips open and sprint for the remaining 25 yards
- This motion is to imitate a base runner taking a lead and sprinting to next base at the crack of the bat
- Whistle Sprints– 3 x 30 yards
- Start out jogging and when whistle blows sprint 30 yards
- This motion is to replicate taking off for a fly ball at the crack of a bat
- Sled Pushes– 3 x 30 yards
- With arms extended, keep your back flat and torso low to the ground and drive with your legs
Diet and Supplementation for Baseball Players
Playing anywhere from 3-6 games a week, diet and supplements are going to play the largest role in making sure your body is 100% all the time. The diet will consist of about 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fats. This will provide the body with enough complex carbohydrates to power through workout and games as well as enough protein and fats to recover and replenish those broken down muscle cells.
Supplementing with sports is different than supplementing for bodybuilding or physique building. The main purpose is to aid in recovery of the body but to also enhance performance as much as possible. Three staples for any athlete should include whey protein for post-workout or post-game, creatine to rebuild muscle after long and taxing workouts and BCAA’s for fueling through a game or training session.
Keep these training and diet/supplementation recommendations in mind when training for your sport whether it is baseball or anything else. Knowing these things will give you a leg up on your competition and will help you to perform to your maximum potential. Get bigger, get faster and get stronger and your output in whatever your sport will be greatly enhanced.