Yes, strength/power development increases pitching velocity. As much as baseball doesn't want to hear it but there or numerous studies that prove the benefits of strength and conditioning for the baseball player and the athlete in general. Many of these studies are listed on this site. It should just be common sense that if the human body was developed to adapt to all outside stimulus or die then training an athlete through resistance or repetitive ballistic movements will enhance performance over time. You would think this was common sense but this simple logic is not that common in baseball still today.
How to Develop Maximum Power for the Pitcher
Some recent research by the School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, has discovered some of the most effective and efficient ways to develop maximum power in the athlete. This research is documented in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. The document is called, Developing maximal neuromuscular power: Part 1--biological basis of maximal power production. Part 2 - training considerations for improving maximal power production. You can read the documents here: Part 1 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21142282 Part 2 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21244105.
The most significant finding in the document is the critical relationship between strength and power. Here is an excerpt covering this discovery:
First, a fundamental relationship exists between strength and power, which dictates that an individual cannot possess a high level of power without first being relatively strong.
These findings are supported in their case study called, Adaptations in athletic performance after ballistic power versus strength training. Here was the conclusion of the study:
Improvements in athletic performance were similar in relatively weak individuals exposed to either ballistic power training or heavy strength training for 10 wk. These performance improvements were mediated through neuromuscular adaptations specific to the training stimulus. The ability of strength training to render similar short-term improvements in athletic performance as ballistic power training, coupled with the potential long-term benefits of improved maximal strength, makes strength training a more effective training modality for relatively weak individuals. Read the entire study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20139780
This is proof that strength training is the foundation for building the power athlete. This is why legendary strength Coach Gayle Hatch uses a serious squat regime to build maximum amounts of strength first in his elite athletes. The problem is this is how most pitchers in the game of baseball DO NOT train. Most baseball organizations avoid this kind of strength training. They spend most of their time with running and joint integrity training. They rarely have their athletes, especially their pitchers, push 1.5X or 2X their body weight with their lower half to build a dominant strength base. This is why steroids had such a tremendous effect on the game because these baseball players had no idea that an athlete "cannot posses a high level of power without being relatively strong."
The research documented above continues on to define how the perfect strength training program can develop maximal power in the athlete or pitcher. Here is another excerpt from the research:
The use of ballistic exercises with loads ranging from 0% to 50% of one-repetition maximum (1RM) and/or weightlifting exercises performed with loads ranging from 50% to 90% of 1RM appears to be the most potent loading stimulus for improving maximal power in complex movements.
Here once again we learn that velocity specificity is best practiced with either a ballistic movement, like with a plyometric movement, or a heavy load resistance movement close to ones maximum voluntary isometric contraction, like with the squat. The 3X Pitching Velocity Program has proven both training movements used together to be the most effective. Why use one or the other when you can use and benefit from both? The reason the Olympic Lifts are the superior power training tool over the ballistic and the heavy load training movement is because it is both a ballistic and a heavy load movement in one. This is also why it is the foundation of the Fusion System in the 3X Pitching Velocity Program.
The document concludes with a valuable piece of power training information. Here is the excerpt from the document listed above:
A training programme that focuses on the least developed factor contributing to maximal power will prompt the greatest neuromuscular adaptations and therefore result in superior performance improvements for that individual.
This means for a pitcher to make superior performance improvements he must first focus on his weaknesses and improve these weaknesses. This is also why the 3X Pitching Velocity Program has been so effective. The majority of low velocity pitchers who come through the program have very poor leg and core strength. Using the Fusion System from the 3X Pitching Velocity Program it mainly focuses on this weakness. This is why a 5-10 mph jump in the 16 week program is common. The catch is most low velocity pitchers do not have the focus or drive to make it through this challenging program.
The Steps to Develop 3X Power and Increase Pitching Velocity
What we have learned, once again, is that strength is just as important as power and once we have this strength/power it must be enhanced through both a ballistic and heavy load environment. Also we must first address our weakness.
Here are the steps to developing this 3X Power to Increase Pitching Velocity.
- First start with the beginner training program here.
- Learn the techniques to perform the Olympic Lifts along with plyometric movements before performing them.
- Discover your weakness during this training and begin to isolate and improve them.
- When ready for the challenge, step up to the 3X Pitching Velocity Program.