Bulking Up For Baseball

Posted by On February - 7 - 2010 1 COMMENT

bulkingup-for-baseballEveryone wants to get bigger, stronger, and faster. Everyone wants the killer body that girls go flocking towards. Everyone wants to be the best athlete in his or her school. And lastly, everyone wants to succeed in what they do. Baseball players are a different breed, however.

Everywhere you look, there are weight training programs that are advertised to help you increase bat speed or throwing power. However, some of these coveted programs can really hinder a ballplayer’s performance on the field. Many coaches do not allow their athletes to do anything besides for what they believe is the right way to train.

Some of these coaches actually know what they are talking about, while others have no clue and just do it for the extra money. In this article, I will take a look at some common baseball player workout myths and examine some beneficial exercises and drills. Just in time for the season!


Rumor: It is pointless for a baseball player to squat.

Truth: Some coaches preach this. They say, never in baseball does a player make such a movement. It may have its place in football but certainly not baseball. If your coach tells you this, tell him he is WRONG. Squatting is a core exercise that helps strengthen the legs, especially the quadriceps. Your quadricepses are one of the most important muscles in use in a game. Take a look at Bartolo Colon.

squatsAlthough only 5′7, he has legs the size of tree trunks. These enormous legs help him push off the mound and hurl the ball at speeds sometimes over 100mph. Squats also help strengthen your hamstring. Your hamstring is another critical muscle in a baseball player’s physique. When you run to a base, the main muscle working is the hamstring. Strengthen this muscle, and your base-to-base times will drop. As you can see, the squat is not a bad exercise for players but actually an essential one.

Rumor: You have to be big to hit the ball far.

Truth: While overall strength helps any athlete, being big does not necessarily transfer to the diamond. You may say, well look at Barry Bonds or Jason Giambi, they are enormous and put up gaudy numbers each season. My reply, look at Mickey Mantle. When compared to Mark McGwire, “The Mick” weighed an astounding 55 pounds less and gave up nearly six inches in height.

If this were a boxing match, Mantle would get clobbered. However, this is baseball and size does not matter. In Mark McGwire’s career, he failed to hit a homerun over 550 feet.

The undersized Mickey Mantle hit eight balls over 550 feet and one that reaches 734 feet. And NO, he did not use a corked-bat. You will find examples for either case that it either does or does not matter how big you are. Nevertheless, I tend to lean towards the side that says it does not matter.

Rumor: To get a strong throwing arm, I have to do a lot of bicep work.

Truth: The bicep is in the arm, yes. The process of throwing a baseball greatly requires the bicep, NO. If you look at any bicep exercise, you will notice in one way or another, the muscle is worked by bending at the elbow and bringing your hand towards your shoulder.

Tell me when you have either thrown a ball or taken a swing in this motion. If you have, you probably were not successful in it. The truth is, while a bulging bicep looks good on the beach, it does not translate on the ball field. As a matter of fact, the triceps and the forearms are the most important muscles in the arm. The triceps account for about 70% of your upper-arm.

Every swing you take, you are extending your arm and flexing your triceps. Having well-developed triceps will build explosion to your swing and to your arm. Having big triceps will also make your biceps bigger and make your arms look good for the beach. Having a strong forearm helps your game tremendously.

baseball_arm_strength001009Many major league baseball players do wrist and forearm curls daily. When the bat meets the ball, your wrist absorbs most of the blow. A strong forearm meets the ball and drives through it. When you throw a baseball, the last part of the motion is the bending of the wrist. Developing a strong forearm assists in the power at the end of the throwing motion.

The Ball Player’s Exercise Workout

Day 1: Legs and Abs.

Squat: 4 sets of 15 reps
Stiff-Leg Dead lifts: 3 sets of 12 reps
Hamstring Curl: 3 sets of 12 reps
Leg Extension: 2 sets of 10 reps
Walking Lunge: 2 sets of 20 steps
Leg Lifts: 1 set of 30 reps
Crunches: 2 sets of 15 reps
Oblique Twists: 1 set of 25 reps
Reverse Crunches: 1 set of 30 reps

Day 2: Arms and Chest

Close-Grip Bench Press: 4 sets of 8 reps
Flies: 2 sets of 12 reps
Tri Pushdowns: 3 sets of 10 reps
Skull Crushers: 2 sets of 12 reps
Overhead Dumbbell Extension: 3 sets of 10 reps
Tri Pull downs: 2 sets of 8 reps
Forearm Curls: 4 sets of 10 reps
Wrist Curls: 4 sets of 10 reps

Day 3: Shoulders and Back

Bent rows: 3 sets of 15 reps
Back Extensions: 3 sets of 25 reps
Wide Grip Pull-ups: 1-Failure
Lateral Raises: 2 sets of 12 reps
Machine Rows: 2 sets of 8 reps
Cuban Press: 3 sets of 12 reps

As you can see, I stress high repetitions. This is especially important for pitchers that throw 50-125 pitches per game.

Drills To Help Your Game

30-yard Dash – Many uninformed coaches advocate running laps around the field. I may be misinformed, but I have never ran ¼ mile during any particular game. To increase your speed, you need to practice what you will do on the field. By running 30 yards, you mimic the base-to-base run.

Throwing With A Weighted Ball – By throwing with a heavier ball, you strengthen your shoulder and more importantly your rotator cuff. When you pick up a regulation ball it will feel lighter and you will be able to throw it further. The weighted ball works in the same way a heavy warm-up bat works.

Long Toss – Long Toss is a proven way to strengthen the arm. Humans are very adaptive by nature. If you practice throwing the ball far, your arm will get stronger and be able to reach the distance without that as much effort. Do long toss every other day. If your arm is sore, wait and do it every third day.


The information and exercise in this article will bring your game to the next level. Make sure to avoid coaches who are not educated in training and/or have not done their fare share of research. Remember, although baseball may seem all upper-body, the real power and strength lies in your core and legs. Also remember, repetition is the key to success!



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What are hardgainers?

Common belief says people who can eat anything they want without gaining weight. They say hardgainers have a “fast metabolism”: they burn everything they eat. Or they don’t digest what they eat. Myths. Gaining weight is all about eating more than you’re doing now. I know you think you eat a lot, but you don’t. Otherwise you wouldn’t be skinny. Your metabolism & genetics have nothing to do with it. Read on.

8 Reasons Why Hardgainers Aren’t Gaining Weight.

Let’s start with the 8 most common mistakes hardgainers make when trying to gain weight.

1. Lack of Food. Track your daily calorie intake using fitday. You’ll see that you’re not eating as much as you think you are.
2. Wrong Food Choices. Foods like salad & spinach are healthy but won’t make you gain weight. You need calorie dense foods like pasta & nuts.
3. Too Much Activity. A very physical job will burn much of the calories you eat. Without massive amounts of food, you’ll never gain weight.
4. Training Wrong. You won’t gain weight doing isolation exercises like Curls. But you will with compound exercises like Squats & Deadlifts.
5. Avoiding Fat Gains. Gaining weight without gaining fat is slow & hard. Usually it leads nowhere. Better: gain weight first, then lose the fat.
6. No Consistency. No approach will work if you miss workouts, neglect to meet your daily caloric needs and change your approach all the time.
7. Limiting Beliefs. You believe you have bad genetics, a fast metabolism and that you’ll always be skinny because everyone else is in your family.
8. No Faith. You’ve given up all hope because everything you tried failed. You believe you’ll be skinny the rest of your life.

How to Gain Weight For Hardgainers.

Eat more, eat the right foods, train hard, believe you can do it and most of all be consistent.

To gain weight:
* Set Goal Weight. Rule of thumb: 1kg for each cm above 1m. Check this table for example goal weights based on your height.
* GOMAD. Drink 1 US gallon (4 liters) of whole milk each day. Every single day, no matter what. Read the GOMAD guide for more info.
* Eat Every 3 Hours. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, post workout and 2 snacks. Prepare your food in advance so you don’t skip meals.
* Eat +5000kcal/day. How much calories you need depends upon the individual. But 5000kcal/day will make most hardgainers gain weight.
* Use Fitday. Track everything you eat so you have accurate feedback on your daily caloric intake. Eat +5000kcal each day, no matter what.
* Get Stronger. Increase your Squat to 1.5x your body-weight for at least 1 rep. With hips going lower than knees. Check Stronglifts 5×5.
* Track Results. Take pictures front/side/back, measure body fat using a fat caliper and weigh yourself every 2 weeks. Keep a training log.
* Believe. You’re not a hardgainer. You were just not eating enough and eating the wrong foods. You’ll do it right this time.
* Be Consistent. Eat 5000kcal every single day and never skip workouts. Persist until you’ve achieved your goal weight.

For “Stubborn” Hardgainers.

If you’re really active, doing a very physical job or commuting to work with your bike each day for 20miles, then 5000kcal per day might not be enough for you to gain weight. Solution: eat more. Keep using Fitday and weigh yourself every 2 weeks. If you don’t gain weight with 5000kcal/day, eat 6000kcal/day. Still not gaining weight: 7000kcal/day. Still not? 8000kcal/day. It’s a lot of food, but once you’re used to 5000kcal/day, 6000kcal will be easy. Same when going from 6000 to 7000kcal/day. Read Bluestreak’s story: he ate 9000kcal on some days. Result: 25lbs weight gain in 25 days.

Best Foods to Gain Weight.

Calorie dense foods are the best ones for weight gain. Go to NutritionData and search for calorie dense foods. Here are some of the best foods your weight gain diet should include:

  • Whole Milk. Rich in proteins, saturated fats & carbs. GOMAD gets you 2400kcals/day. Whole milk is the best food to gain weight fast.
  • Pasta. 250G pasta equals 1000kcal. Pasta is easier to eat than rice or oats. Although less healthy, white pasta is even easier to eat.
  • Mixed Nuts. Can be expensive but 500kcal/100g, lots of protein to build muscle and easy to take with you. Peanut butter also works.
  • Bananas. The only fruit that really works to gain weight is the banana. Apples come second. Go heavy on bananas.

Meal Plan for Hardgainers.

1 gallon of whole milk and 500g pasta totals for 4500kcal. Eat every 3 hours and you’ll easily get 5000kcal/day. Here’s an example weight gain diet. It’s repetitive but simple & efficient.

  • Breakfast: whole eggs, veggies, orange, green tea.
  • Snack: 1 liter whole milk, mixed nuts, banana.
  • Lunch: 250g pasta, tomato sauce, ground round.
  • Snack: 1 liter whole milk, mixed nuts, apple.
  • Post Workout: 1 liter whole milk, oats, banana.
  • Dinner: 250g pasta, tomato sauce, ground round.
  • Pre bed: cottage cheese, berries, ground flax seeds, 1 liter whole milk.

If you were only eating 2000kcal/day before: persist. It gets easier each day. If you really struggle: build up to it. Start with ¼ gallon whole milk the 1st week and add ¼ gallon each week. You’ll be drinking 1 gallon in week 4. Eat like that for 3 months and train hard and you’ll realize that you’re not a hardgainer. There’s no way you won’t gain weight if you do the above. Be consistent and you’ll get rid of your skinny look forever.

References: http://www.stronglifts.com

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Bulking Up For Baseball

Everyone wants to get bigger, stronger, and faster. Everyone wants the killer body that girls go flocking towards. Everyone wants