I know steroids in baseball is a very sensitive subject. Mainly because the MLB has a major problem with illegal drug use in the sport, but this is a critical topic that needs to be discussed. It is critical because of the fact that this problem has landed in high school baseball which is now becoming a serious issue for 16-18 year old boys.
The Miami Herald broke a story on the Biogenesis lab scandal in south Florida which was administering steroids to high school athletes along with some A list MLB ball players. Here is the story that broke the news: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/26/3522364/biogenesis-whistleblower-calls.html
In this article, I will give you 4 reasons that the MLB has a steroid problem and one of these reason is a big issue for the young ball player which also includes pitchers. I will also give away the better alternative for fighting the pressure of using illegal drugs as these young pitchers move up levels of this game.
4 Reasons the MLB Can Not Get Rid of Steroids
Major League Baseball has an incredibly large elephant hanging out in the room. They have a serious problem that they are really struggling to address. Mainly because this problem is the result of their addiction to this billion dollar business. That addiction is money and power and the elephant is steroids.
In these 4 reasons Major League Baseball can NOT get rid of steroids, I will define why steroids is a major problem for the MLB and how if they can NOT make these changes then steroids is here to stay for a long time.
- Cut the Amount of Games in Half – There is no reason that any sport should play 162 games in a 6 month period. That is almost 1 game a day for 6 months straight. In the little minor league ball that I played the 80+ game schedule was just ridiculous for the minor league level. If you can not give these athletes more time to rest, recover and rebuild then what do you expect them to do to keep themselves off of the DL or at their top level?
- No Individual Incentives – Giving a multi-million dollar bonus to a player for hitting so many homeruns or winning so many games is only going to create more cheaters which means more steroids. This is a team sport. Make the incentives for teams only.
- No Signing Bonuses – Giving a multi-million dollar purse to amateur ball players for their high school or college success is incentivizing them to cheat as well. This is why baseball has an ever growing problem with high school and college players doing steroids.
- Get Rid of The PT’s MLB – The MLB has bought up an army of physical therapists to be the strength advisers for the game while letting all of the highly sought after strength and conditioning specialist be taken by the NFL. These Glorified Physical Therapists in the MLB are more focused on babying these big leaguer’s than building these big leaguer’s into bigger/stronger/faster machines like in the NFL. This is exactly why the MLB has more problems with illegal drug use than the NFL. When you are not getting good performance enhancement strength and conditioning programs then you look for other ways to enhance performance, AKA steroids.
Here is a great example that these power/explosive training programs are foreign to the MLB. Watch this interview with Harold Reynolds and Bryce Harper on the MLB network. Harold Reynolds first asks the question to Bryce, “How many sets are you doing?” Bryce replies, “4 sets,” as he is doing heavy squats. Reynolds then says, “Ok, I will let you do them.” It gets even more obvious that Bryce’s training is not accepted as conventional when Reynolds says, after watching Bryce power clean around 250 lbs, “Mike Rizo, GM of the Washington Nationals, I am going to let you know that this is Bryce’s workout not mine.” Is that tattle telling or what? Harold Reynolds makes it obvious that this is NOT how an MLB superstar trains. Here is the video:
The Better Alternative to Steroids for Pitchers
This alternative to steroids isn’t just for pitchers but all position players. I am just focusing on pitchers because most young pitchers do not think that this issue includes them.
Pitcher’s, do not think that steroids is not a problem for you. Look at Roger Clemens, Bartolo Colon, Gio Gonzalez, Edinson Volquez just to name a few. If you want to learn of more pitchers who have been caught using steroids and suspended from the MLB, check out this list.
This is serious business for all up and coming young baseball players especially pitchers. If this is a growing problem then you will be competing against other pitchers and position players who are on these drugs. This is why I want to give you the better alternative, like Bryce Harper has found, over using these illegal drugs which could put a black cloud over your career forever or potentially even hurt you.
This better alternative is called 3X Pitching. The 3X Pitching Velocity Program comes with a complete approach to the mechanical movements of the high velocity pitcher and a throwing program to help the pitcher develop the motor coordination around these high velocity components. It also comes with the performance enhancement program called the Fusion System which is an Olympic-Style, explosive training approach which has been proven the most effective form of enhancing performance legally. To support these claims lets look at the science.
The Science Behind Performance Enhancement
The core of the Fusion System from the 3X Pitching Velocity Program is built around light and heavy load training with the Olympic Clean and Jerks. It also incorporates many explosive exercises to enhance power production. Here is the science proving the power of these lifts and exercises when developing the power athlete.
- Olympic-style lifts and their derivatives (e.g., power clean, snatch) are also considered the best training exercises to maximize muscular power and dynamic athletic performance because they are multi-joint exercises, they do not have the problem of deceleration phase, and they produce some of the highest average human power outputs of all the resistance-training exercises (1)
- Olympic-style weightlifting movements are known to produce some of the highest average human power outputs of all the resistance-training exercises (1).
- Because of the potential of the Olympic Lifts to produce high-power outputs and their movement- and velocity- specificities to many sport activities (e.g., jumping, running, throwing), Olympic-style lifts are considered as some of the best training exercises to maximize dynamic athletic performance (1).
- Garhammer suggested 80% of 1RM maximized mechanical power output in Olympic-style lifts (1).
- Haff et al. investigated power output during midthigh pull at 80%, 90%, and 100% of 1RM and found a general trend of increasing power output as the load was decreased from 100 to 80% (1).
- Stone et al. found high correlations between maximum strength (1RM squat) and power output even at relatively light weight, indicating the possibility that heavy resistance training may improve power output even against light resistance (1).
In the study, Olympic lifters, who use both heavy resistance training and explosive-type resistance training, achieved better results in jump height and muscular-power measures than did power lifters who use only heavy resistance training (1).
Studies show Olympic Lifting is most effective form of training to remodel or hypertrophy fast twitch muscle fiber (2,3).
The Effects of a Bad Strength and Conditioning Program
The studies show that an Olympic-Style approach is far superior to developing the power athlete which is what comes first when developing the power pitcher. The problem is the MLB has not supported this style of training because it goes against the conventional wisdom of the game. This conventional wisdom has trickled down from the MLB for years and even today we continue to see evidence of this conventional wisdom effecting talented athletes in this game. For example, when Tim Lincecum changed his strength and conditioning program and diet to loss 30 pounds before his worst season of his MLB career where he lost 2-3 mph on his fastball on average. CC Sabathia had a similar velocity decline with his recent weight loss. So who are advising these veteran multi-million dollar pitchers? The answer is the conventional wisdom of this game.
This level of professionals making these poor choices on strength and conditioning programs which has been proven to be detrimental to their million dollar careers is evidence that they are not getting the advice that their pay grades can afford. This lack of knowledge and advice on strength and conditioning programs for these elite athletes is creating a market for illegal drugs in this game. Once these high level professional athletes learn or experience the better and legal alternative to steroids in the Olympic-Style strength and conditioning program like 3X Pitching or Bryce Harper’s program, then steroids will have a competitor that the MLB can stand by.
Steroids vs Protein Supplementation
Steroids is far from whey protein but with the right strength and conditioning program it takes on a new edge. Studies show that both steroid and protein intake with a strength and conditioning program increases muscle size. Here is some excerpts from the studies below making these claims. Through my experience, I have seen others train on steroids through poor strength and conditioning programs and I have seen others train with protein through advanced strength and conditioning programs and they both made similar improvements. I truly believe that if this game had better knowledge of the advancements in the science of strength and conditioning and all natural supplementation then steroid use would be less popular in this sport.
- Intake of anabolic steroids and strength-training induce an increase in muscle size by both hypertrophy and the formation of new muscle fibers (4).
- Results indicated that consumption of fat-free milk post-workout was statistically more effective than soy protein in promoting increases in LBM (p<0.01), increases in type II muscle fiber area (p<0.05) and decreases in body fat (p<0.05) (5).
- Andersen et al. examined the effects of a mixed blend of proteins on muscle strength and muscle fiber size . They studied the ingestion pre- and post- workout of 25 g of a protein blend (whey, casein, egg- white proteins, and l-glutamine), compared with a maltodextrin supplement, over the course of a 3 d.wk-1 14-week resistance-training program. Results of muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis indicated that the protein supplementation group had greater increases in muscle hypertrophy and in squat jump height . Results of this study provide evidence that supplementation with a blend of whey, casein, egg-white proteins, and l-glutamine pre- and post-workout helps promote muscle hypertrophy and improved physical performance (5).
If you have been concerned about your level of performance as a pitcher or you have even considered steroid use to improve your performance as a pitcher then follow this link to learn more about the 3X Pitching Velocity Program and contact me if you would like to learn more about a legal, all natural supplement and meal plan to support your performance enhancement training with the 3X Pitching Velocity Program. I hope this article informed you on the alternatives to steroids when enhancing performance. If you know of anyone who is considering steroids for these purposes then do them a favor and share this information with them. You could be saving their career!
- Kawamori N, Haff GG. – The optimal training load for the development of muscular power. – Department of Kinesiology, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas 76308, USA. – J Strength Cond Res. 2004 Aug;18(3):675-84.
1.Fry AC, Schilling BK, Staron RS, Hagerman FC, Hikida RS, Thrush JT. – Muscle fiber characteristics and performance correlates of male Olympic-style weightlifters. – Human Performance Laboratories, The University of Memphis, Tennessee 38152, USA. – J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Nov;17(4):746-54.
Tesch PA, Thorsson A, Essén-Gustavsson B. – Enzyme activities of FT and ST muscle fibers in heavy-resistance trained athletes. – J Appl Physiol. 1989 Jul;67(1):83-7.
- Stark M, Lukaszuk J, Prawitz A, Salacinski A. – Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and strength in individuals engaged in weight-training. – School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, USA. – J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Dec 14;9(1):54.
- Kadi F, Eriksson A, Holmner S, Thornell LE. – Effects of anabolic steroids on the muscle cells of strength-trained athletes. – Department of Integrative Medical Biology, Umeå University, Sweden. – Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Nov;31(11):1528-34.