In baseball we can split the year into the off-season, early pre-season, late pre-season, and in-season. To start off we need to develop foundational strength by preparing the joints, ligaments, tendons and connective tissue for more demanding training later. Baseball places uneven stresses on the body, like pitchers throw forcefully with the same arm thousands of times a year. Swinging the bat in the same direction over and over develops muscles on one side of the body more than the other side. Over time, small imbalances can create over-use injuries and the best way to prevent this is with exercises that re-develop the natural balance between left and right. The muscles of the trunk and lower back connect the upper and lower body. They support every twisting, turning, jumping, and lateral movement. They are literally the link through which all movement passes. Here are the parameters for this phase of the baseball strength-training program:
Time year: Early pre-season, Duration: 4-8 weeks, Days per Week: 2-3, Sets: 2-3, Reps: 15-20 Once you’ve built a solid well-balanced foundation, the next phase of the baseball strength-training program is develop maximal strength. It serves as a foundation for muscular power and speed. The goal is to spend some time in the pre-season increasing your strength to a peak and then to convert that strength into explosive power just as the competitive season approaches. Here are the parameters for this phase of the baseball strength-training program:
Time year: mid pre-season, Duration: 6 weeks, Days per Week: 3, Sets: 3-5, Reps: 4-6 Power is a combination of strength and speed. Increase either one and you increase your explosive power. The speed of the lift or movement is sharp and explosive. To allow for these quick contractions you have to reduce the amount of weight or resistance. Here are the parameters for this phase of the baseball strength-training program:
Time year: late pre-season, Duration: 4 weeks, Days per Week: 2-3, Sets: 2-3, Reps: 8-12
During the competitive season, baseball strength training can be reduced to two or even one session per week. It's good to perform a combination of maximal strength training exercises and explosive power exercises. During the in-season, varying the training load and intensity becomes critical. Training over a week should taper off towards a game. Training as a whole should taper off towards the end of the season or leading up to a particularly important game.
In the months of the closed season it can be a good idea to have a break from strength training altogether. But keep this break no longer than 3-4 weeks. After 5 weeks most of the gains made over the previous year are lost. If you do continue to train over this period, keep it informal and unstructured. This is a good…