I am really tired of hearing "Old School Coaches" saying weight lifting does not increase pitching velocity. I mean, REALLY! Coaches, what do you think Roger Clemens and his trainer Brian McNamee where doing together besides just the steroids? They were lifting their butts off! The problem is the coaches who are saying this are from the pre-steroid era.
Do your history! The pitchers from this era and before did not spend their time in weight rooms because they had to spend their off seasons making an honest living. This means they worked on farms like Bob Feller or were crab fisherman like Joe DiMaggio (see pictures below). Have you ever bailed hay or pulled a crab trap from the water? It is no different than power cleaning 150 pounds or more. Yes, these old ball players where lifting weights, it was just on the farms or the fishing boats. Just ask Bob Feller who lived his entire life as an advocate for fitness and today is still considered one of the games hardest throwers. He will tell you the importance of strength and conditioning for the elite athlete.
The Truth About Pitching Velocity and Weight Training
I want to show respect to these "Old School Coaches" because I used these coaches programs in the 90's when I was playing but unfortunately all I got out of it was rotator cuff surgery at the age of 18. I do not credit these coaches for my injury but I do credit the lack of strength and conditioning before the surgery.
More proof that these coaches are making bogus claims about weight training. I will not mention names but there is a well known pitching coach online who claims that Jim "The Rookie" Morris made his comeback because of his new mechanics. He specifically said that Jim Morris never lifted weights. I did an interview with the legendary Jim "The Rookie" Morris and asked him what he was doing, outside of his faith in God, to increase his pitching velocity. His exact words from the interview that you can listen to on this site, “I was lifting a lot of weight!” He said that he was also a college football player and he looked outside of baseball to help him rehabilitate his career. We both shared this in common. I highly recommend that you listen to this entire interview with him.
In my career alone I trained with professional, college and high school top level players who religiously used a strength and conditioning program. They showed up almost everyday at the gym to worship the weight room gods. I also had the privilege to train with Dan Miceli during my rehabilitation years. He was a 15 year major league pitcher for the Padres, Rookies and many more and he would bench press 350lbs and leg press 800+lbs during his off season. He would go into spring training 35 pounds overweight. This was muscle not fat. He said he needed this weight because he would lose all of it in the next 3 months of the regular season and if he didn't lift this way then he would lose a lot of his pitching velocity late into the season.
I would like to hear those who speak out against weight training for pitchers explain why most of the players on the Mitchell report were pitchers? This means MLB pitchers where using steroids along with a strength and conditioning program to increase pitching velocity. I also learned this first hand from Jose Canseco when we were teammates with the San Diego Surf Dawgs. Roger Clemens didn't ruin his legacy by taking a performance enhancing drug like steroids because it was the cool thing to do, he extended his career because of it. If you know anything about steroids, it isn't enough to just take this stuff and you will benefit. It will increase the benefits of a strength and conditioning program 10 fold if used correctly! This is why Roger Clemens needed a trainer like Brian McNamee to not only get him the drugs but to show him how to use them and how to use them with a strength and conditioning program to get the maximum gains in pitching velocity and longevity.
I do not support steroid use to enhance performance. I believe your own testosterone and growth hormone levels can be increased with proper training and diet. You can learn more in this article called, Boost Your Testosterone and Growth Hormone Levels Naturally.
More Evidence that Weight Training Supports the Pitcher
If you really need more evidence of weight training for the pitcher/athlete and you do not want to read the countless number of sites that support it for athletes all over the web then I have posted some articles below to show scientific proof that weight training is critical for increasing velocity. Also once you purchase the 3X Pitching eBook you will find it loaded with even more weight training benefits to support these claims.
I feel that it is popular to believe that weight training does not increase pitching velocity because most people are looking for the easy way out. Most people in this game really want to believe that increases in pitching velocity only come in a mechanical adjustment or a secret device that they will one day discover online and it will change their career forever. This is why these pitching gimmicks show up on infomercials at 2 in the morning because they know that there or thousands of baseball players sitting at home waiting for the easy way out.
If lifting weights doesn't increase pitching velocity then everyone who doesn't have the genetics is screwed and they should just quit. Wouldn't life really suck if it was just that simple? I mean for God's sake, isn't that why weight training was invented in the first place. It was invented because some highly determined individual wanted to enhance his genetics so he could accomplish a goal that his undeveloped genetics would not support. This is also why weight training is used in almost every single D1 University baseball program along with the best high school programs in the country. It works, for not just football players but all athletes!
I am not telling every pitcher to go out and start throwing around weight but I am saying that if you are sick of waiting for your pitching velocity to increase then get into a weight room and turn yourself into an elite athlete. It will not happen overnight but if you work hard enough and smart enough, you will train your body to move like the hard throwers and then you will quickly learn that this was all you needed to do to increase your pitching velocity.