Spring Training Baseball, Periodization, and My Birthday

February 27, 2009

For those of you who have wondered why the blog content has dried up, in returning from my spring break on Monday, I got a nice post-break assault of assignments and midterms. I love how profs make it so that your break isn’t really a break from schoolwork…however I chose to be rebellious and didn’t do much work at all over last week, so I was playing some serious catch up.(It was also my birthday on Tuesday, I’m a ripe old 23 years young now. So all this work was at the expense of my birthday festivities which will have to be pushed back)

Since I haven’t blogged in about a week, this is going to be a bit of a throwback to my Random Thought Fridays. As they say in the blog reading world, “Bon Appetite” :P

1) Spring training games have started! Ah the optimism of Spring Training…for the players and teams, not necessarily so much the fans. In any event, I always enjoy watching the weekly game they show on tv up here (usually a Yankees game for some reason) since it sheds some hope on the fact that spring is actually on its way.

2)  This is a video I saw on Coach Jeremy Boone’s blog. Jeremy has worked with the Carolina Panthers as well as running his own performance training company, Athletes by Design (I figure by using some of his content, the least I can do is give a shoutout to his site). In the video Pete Carroll (head football coach) and Chris Carlisle (head strength & conditioning coach) at USC are discussing preparation for football. Pay particular attention to Coach Carlisle speaking about the purpose of strength training at 1:04 – 1:50. In school, my training class I’ve had all talk about periodization (a fancy term for the planned progression of training) and how in the off-season there is a general preparation phase and a specific preparation phase. What I dislike about this idea is that it is being taught as though “specific” actually means “identical” or “identical enough” (I’ve written about this before >> Anti-sport specificity <<)

3) I hope this post doesn’t turn into a rant on periodization :P In a standard (linear) periodization model we have hypertrophy (gain muscle size), strength, and power phases to name the big ones, but to make up a successful program thats going to allow an athlete to play better, these have to be trained for as part of the big picture. The big picture being the athlete performing better on the field, court, ice, etc. I think with strength and power this is pretty straightforward, but with hypertrophy I think this can become somewhat mis-directed. If I need to put some weight on an athlete, I need to put on weight that will allow them to be better on the field. This means I’m not having them use bodybuilding methods that will make them add size for size’s sake.

4) Continuing from point 3 (I wanted to give it its own point), this doesn’t mean that bodybuilding methods are necessarily bad; for training an athlete they can be used improperly but thats not the fault of the method. If we’re training athletes and they need a more advanced or aggressive hypertrophy protocol, the strength coach just needs to adapt the implementation of the method so that its adds muscle so that sport performance will be improved.

5) I wish I could work on some plyometric progressions here at school, however we have no hurdles or boxes, so I’d pretty much be relegated to a level 1 progression which wouldn’t mean much past the first 3 weeks. Gotta love the university gym — cuase people there don’t want to train for performance right?!

Hope you enjoyed this week’s return to blogging! I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these points whether you’re a coach, athlete, or general fitness enthusiast…the more persepctives the better!

Have a great weekend guys!



2 Responses to “Spring Training Baseball, Periodization, and My Birthday”

  1. Nice to see you! I’m in the market for some plyo boxes myself. However, once I have them, I’m not sure what to do with them. I don’t suppose I could convince you to write a plyometric post with a ton of ideas for me and whoever else is interested in plyometrics but just dont know what to do??? Anyway, that’s another 6-12 weeks off so no rush :).

    Happy 23rd birthday! You all on here are so damn young!

  2. Mike Says:

    Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    Making Money $150 An Hour

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