Robert U. Newton and Kerry P. McEvoy with the Centre for Exercise Science and Sport Management, Southern Cross University Australia has proven the title of this page to be true. I have been saying this for years but pitching coaches all over this country continue to believe that lifting weights only make you bulky, like a body builder and does not help pitching velocity.
The brilliance behind this study, called Baseball Throwing Velocity: A Comparison of Medicine Ball Training and Weight Training, is the fact that the scientist set out to prove that medicine ball training was more an effective training method to increasing throwing velocity than weight lifting. What they learned was that weight training was the winner here. Not only was it weight lifting but it was heavy weight lifting. Here is an excerpt from the study talking about this result along with a more in depth description from the study.
The results of this study suggest that the use of heavier loads has been more effective than the medicine ball training in increasing velocity…..
Kaneko et al, determined that training with heavier loads of 100% maximal voluntary contractions (MVC) resulted in increases not only in strength but also in unloaded movement speed. Similarly, a training study by Schmidtbleicher and Buehrly found that the use of relatively heavy loads of 80-90% MVC enhanced the performance of powerful dynamic movements more effectively than light loads.
I love reading studies that set out to prove a certain method and in return they learn an entirely new method that is proven to be more effective. In this case it was that heavy load training increased speed and light load training, at high velocities, did not. The best excerpt in the study is in reference to another study called Velocity specificity of resistance training found here.
A recent review by Behm and Sale concluded that balistic movements such as throwing and jumping are preprogrammed and that maximum limb velocity is determined principally by the rate of force development and overall force output. Improvement in these factors does not seem to require low load, high velocity training, but rather heavy loads or even isometric contractions. Research by Behm and Sale demonstrated that it may be the intention to move quickly that determines the velocity-specific response.
Learning that training the intention to explode and move faster is more effective than actually training moving faster is revolutionary, because most training programs do not train using intention. This is because most pitching programs do not involve heavy load training.
This phenomenon is almost proof that training methods like long toss do not have the effectiveness of increasing throwing velocity alone (ASMI has proven more reasons why long toss is not advisable for training and rehabilitation). Velocity enhancement comes from heavy load training and this is the foundation of the Fusion System in the 3X Pitching Velocity Program.
Here is a quick summary of the study.
There were three control groups of young pitchers around the high school years. They did not have any form of training outside of throwing a baseball. One group only threw the baseball for 8 weeks and the next group did medicine ball plyometric training and also threw the baseball for 8 weeks. The last group performed heavy weight training specifically presses for the 8 weeks and also threw the baseball. The first group who only threw the baseball did not experience any strength gains or velocity gains. The second group who did the medicine ball training experienced strength gains but no velocity gains. The third and final group, who did the weight training, experienced both strength and velocity gains. The strength gains were also more than all the groups. The velocity gains was up to 4.1% in 8 weeks.
This study continues to support why the 3X Pitching Velocity Program works and why it can offer a money back guarantee. This case study was an 8 week training and throwing program and the third control group had up to 5 mph in velocity gains. The 3X Pitching Velocity Program is a 16 week training and throwing program and it continues to show results of increasing velocity from 5-10 mph.
Even though this study does not talk about injury or recovery, I would like to make a point that this is an important factor when training with heavy loads. If you are excited to read that heavy weight training will increase your pitching velocity but you are nervous about the risk of injury, then this is why you need a program that will help you reduce the risk of injury and also where recovery is as important as pushing your limits. This is a program like the 3X Pitching Velocity Program that teaches you that proper lifting mechanics is critical to learn before you can start training heavy. Just like you must learn proper throwing mechanics before you start throwing hard, you must learn how to lift correctly to prevent injury and give your body a safe environment to improve itself.
If you would like to read this entire study for your self then visit here. You may want to print out this study and give it to your pitching coach when he asks you why you are lifting heavy weights!