SMP 99: What Is Off Season Training

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Today our guest is high performance trainer Eric Cressey. He specializes in individualized coaching at Cressey Sports Performance to empower clients, especially athletes and Major League Baseball players. He has worked with over 100 MLB players and caters to their needs with such things as throwing technique and strength. CSP is a high-performance training facility designed by athletes for athletes. They begin with a thorough assessment and then design an individualized training program.

Eric has a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He also holds several titles as a competitive powerlifter. He is an accomplished author with over 500 published articles in magazines and websites such as Men’s Health and ESPN. He has also published five books and co-created four DVD sets. Enjoy the interview!

Today’s topics include:

  • MLB draft is bigger than any other draft, it’s so big it’s hard to follow, now that it is online it is much easier to follow
  • Eric caught the exercise bug in college and realized he wanted to major in Exercise Science instead of accounting
  • Eric had some shoulder injuries and his interest in shoulder physiology got him involved with working with baseball players
  • He is also a powerlifter – he still works out, but he is mostly retired from competitions
  • There is a point where strong enough is sufficient, stress levels are high, so they need to learn how to manage that
  • MLB players spend 6-8 months a year in season, so in the off season they may need to take it easy in the weight room
  • A lot of people find baseball to slow, I enjoy it, but some people don’t appreciate the pace, but it can be very good if you know what to look for
  • Baseball players are successful because of traits not necessarily athleticism, although athleticism is important as well
  • Running hard on ground balls at a major league level if they know they are out
  • The off season is when Eric and his team get to work with the players and it gives those guys a chance to recharge
  • After the season, the guys rest for a couple of weeks, and then a slow buildup during training
  • Research shows multiple qualities can be trained if structured correctly
  • Middle of off season – 3 months in
    • Train Monday – Saturday
    • Monday, Thursday, Lower Body
    • Friday, Tuesday, Upper Body
    • Sprints on Wednesday and Saturday
    • Medball pre-training
    • Throwing volume and getting exposed to it
    • Throwing intensity goes up as time progresses
  • There are several books out there for periodization models, look at a lot of training programs, concurrent models and other variations
  • Commonalities of good programs – we agree more than we disagree
  • Eric puts a great focus on warm-ups and optimizing before starting the workout
  • Hip mobility and shoulder drills
  • A warm-up gets your body temperature up, but it should be a way to create and solidify good movement patterns, it should make you move more efficiently
  • Optimizing joint range of motion, but creating stability within that range of motion
  • Different ways to establish range of motion, but everyone agrees that creating stability is using proper form, then training hard, so our bodies perceive it as a normal movement
  • Don’t slip into faulty movement patterns that can lead to problems
  • Essential Mobility
    • Foam rolling, mobility drills
    • 8 exercises
    • Hip rotation
    • Length adductors
    • Stretch groin
    • Hips, ankles, thoracic spine
    • Activate glutes and core
    • Train a few qualities at once
  • Essential Stability
  • Just because something is tight, it may not need to be stretched
  • Look at the power of breathing
  • Baseball is a great sport. Go to Wrigley Field and give it a try!

Links and resources:

Eric Cressey Website

Twitter @EricCressey

Eric Cressey Sports Performance

Facebook @CresseyTrainingSystems

The High Performance Handbook

Instagram @EricCressey

The 10 Laws of Meatball Mastery

Quotes:

“I like the idea of being 100% responsible for my success or failure” Eric Cressey

“Powerlifting is good because you are competing against yourself, you learn a lot about yourself preparing for something like that” Eric Cressey

“My career may be accidently inspired by watching George Carlin and his lack of transition between jokes” Eric Cressey

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