Through the years, after hearing countless times from our athletes & their parents that their Coach doesn’t want them to “lift weights”, doesn’t want them to train with us, doesn’t want them to train anywhere else, etc. it starts to get annoying.
After all, kids are # 1, right? At least that’s what “they” say.
In sports, there are experts for certain areas. We bring in experts to The Underground to speak to the kids on nutrition, motivation & mental toughness and any other area we have an opportunity to get help from someone who can help make our athletes better.
That’s the bottom line. Kids are # 1. My friend and colleague, Eric Cressey, a world renown Strength & Conditioning Expert, wrote the article below and gave us permission to share with Undergrounders. HOPEFULLY, the Coaches who have threatened these athletes to never train anywhere else or that they should not train with us will read this.
Those Coaches are the people who need it MOST. BIG thanks to Eric Cressey for sharing and giving us permission to post at The Underground Strength Gym Blog….
Q: I really liked your blog article on Crossfit for Baseball, but I am curious what your answer would be to a baseball coach who is adamant players shouldn’t lift weights at all My son’s coach is 100% against it.
A: It’s tough to even know where to begin with this one, but here goes! I’ll begin with a quote from my e-book, The Truth About Unstable Surface Training:
“…resistance training exercises performed on stable surfaces have been demonstrated effective in numerous research studies with respect to improving a variety of athletic qualities, including:
muscular strength (5)
aerobic endurance (53)
running efficiency (54)
anaerobic endurance (5)
rate of force development (66,90)
reactive strength (66,90)
These qualities transfer to improved performance in a variety of sporting tasks, including vertical jump (74), throwing velocity (79), sprinting speed (22), and running economy (53).”
(FYI, the reference numbers in this quote are directly from the e-book, so if you’d like the exact studies, please just request them below in the comments section)
Now, I’ll venture a guess and assume that your coach isn’t looking to manage a team that lacks agility, throwing velocity, sprinting speed, jumping prowess, and rate of force development. To be candid, even those who are stubbornly adhering to a useless training concept like long-distance running for pitchers can get closer to their chosen training effect (as silly as it may be) from lifting!
Further, research has demonstration that resistance training can improve endocrine and immune function, so players will get sick less often and feel better overall.
On an equally important note, remember that resistance training is one of the foundations of today’s physical therapy. Would your coach tell a physical therapist that resistance training as part of a rehabilitation program is inappropriate? I hope not! He’d be fired immediately by an athletic director for overstepping his bounds. So, along that same line of thinking, how in the world it is within his scope of practice to tell a kid that lifting is bad for him – either in terms of increasing injury potential or decreasing performance – is completely beyond me.
Throwing a baseball is the single-fastest motion in sports; you simply don’t decelerate those insane arm speeds without at least a bit of muscular contribution.
Also, don’t forget that ideal strength and conditioning programs encompass a lot more than just lifting weights. They includes good self massage work (foam rollers, etc), mobility training, sprinting/ agility/plyos, and much, much more. It begins with a detailed movement assessment to determine what stability or mobility deficits may eventually lead to injury. It may also be the only avenue through which an athlete learns proper nutrition.
The fundamental problem is that many baseball coaches think of terrible practices like this when they hear the words “lifting weights:”
Can someone please tell me how my “biceps will develop” with this? Only in this video does the biceps EXTEND the elbow. Yikes.
The main message here is that a lot of coaches think that lifting programs are either a) a waste of time or b) flat-out dangerous. Sadly, as the videos above demonstrate, in many cases, they’re correct in their assumptions.
However, eliminating lifting absolutely can really stunt the development of players and increase their likelihood of injuries. Throwing is dangerous when done incorrectly, and so are sprinting, fielding ground balls, and taking batting practice.
We don’t contraindicate those, though, do we? We educate athletes on how to participate in these training initiatives properly.
At Cressey Performance, each one of our pro baseball players lifts four times a week, throws the medicine ball 2-3 times a week, and does supplemental movement training 2-3 days per week during the off-season – and they continue lifting during the season (at a lower frequency and volume). This is true of both position players and pitchers.
Our high school and college guys get after it with similar frequencies as well, and we have middle schoolers involved in strength training programs as part of a feeder program as well. Business is growing, and more and more guys are being drafted and presented with college scholarships. Something is working.
Additionally, beyond just the direct training benefits of this system, there is something to be said for the camaraderie strength and
conditioning does for teammates on top of regular practices. The fact that kids actually requested this says volumes!
Hopefully, articles like this – and bright, forward-thinking coaches – will help to spread the word about what safe, effective training is – and where to get it.
These guys make me proud…. Anthony Ashnault & Ray Jaz…..
Monday night, Ray Jaz shows up at 7:30 to train, unannounced…. after a looong weekend of wrestling in Va. and cutting weight from 128 to 113, he was FULL of energy. He trained till 8:30 that night, doing at least 3 x the amount of work as any other wrestler did that day!
THIS is what it takes to become a champion….. other athletes are “too tired”, “too busy”, “too sore”, etc.
Other wrestlers insist on going to a wrestling club on top of the 6 x week practices and matches…. this is the old adage of it use or lose it…. wrestling more In season isn’t the answer, but doing what others do NOT do in season IS the answer….
I’m proud of the guys who step up and do ALL the small things that lead to BIG victories.
This is NOT just about sport, this is about LIFE, and when you train at The Underground, we prepare you for LIFE… forever!
PS: To prepare you unlike any other training program can for BOTH sports AND life, you can apply for Underground Membership by clicking HERE.
Not all applicants are accepted and referrals will speed up your acceptance process. Space is limited.
PPS: These guys aren’t champions because they do 1 thing…. instead, they do ALL the little things that add up to BIG victories. They separate themselves from “the pack” by training at The Underground, with our non-traditional methods, battle tested and proven, they gain the edge.
When our wrestlers and athletes train at The Underground, they also compete.
Athletes don’t just need greater physical strength, speed and conditioning, but they also need greater mental toughness and fortitude. The lessons our athletes learn here carry over to their entire life, making them better in athletics, school work and life in general.
Excellence is a habit, NOT an accident. If you show up with dedication and work ethic we will take care of the rest.
It doesn’t matter how weak or slow you are, all you need is the desire to become GREAT, to become a champion.
Do you have the desire?
If so, call NOW and schedule your FREE consultation with us and we’ll see if you qualify for membership at The Underground Strength Gym.
Call NOW ==> (732) 379-9370 <==
PS: Before calling us, make sure you clearly understand our expectations and requirements for your membership.
Click HERE to see if you qualify for a FREE Underground Strength Gym Consultation
PPS: If membership is full you will be placed on a waiting list, please carefully consider your commitment and seriousness to our training before calling us. Our time is very limited and we only work with serious athletes and supportive parents. Thank you for understanding
Yesterday I met up with Undergrounders, Corey & Kyle Markovitch at their home turf at Cranford High School.
Both wrestlers helped me crank a photo shoot for my bi monthly strength & conditioning column in TaPOuT Magazine, which will hit newsstands late February.
Kyle & Corey took me through their weight room, which was loaded with some old school equipment, AND, it was actually the OLD wrestling room where we used (Edison Wrestling) to scrimmage against Cranford back in 92′ and 93′!!
That was BEFORE Kyle & Corey were born!! OUCH!! ha ha
The room was still REALLY hot, just as I remembered it some 19 years ago!! I had fond memories of my low single as if it was yesterday 🙂
Kyle is currently undefeated at 135 lbs and has won both The JFK and Bloomfield Wrestling Tournaments, these are 2 VERY tough tournaments.
Corey is a sophomore and has made his way into the varsity line up and is one of our most improved wrestlers, not just physically, but mentally as well. Corey’s confidence is light years ahead of where his mind used to be when he first began training with us.
Our training is as much, if not more mental, than physical. Stay tuned as we’ll be hearing BIG things about The Markovitch Brothers from Cranford Wrestling!