As Seen On

Archive for the ‘baseball strength and conditioning’ Category

Pitchers & Tommy John Surgery – Is Grip Strength Related?

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

At the Juniata College Strength Clinic, I was recently asked about the incidence of Tommy John surgery with pitchers and other position players. Specifically, they wanted to know if Grip Strength could be a factor in the equation.

Could a lack of grip strength be a contributor to the increases in UCL tears and the need for Tommy John Surgery?

I dig into this topic in the video below:

Tommy John Surgery and Grip Strength for Baseball Players

Want to bulletproof your elbows? Get the best resource in the world to develop grip strength for baseball players:

Ultimate Forearm Training for Baseball

Ankle Mobility – Is it REALLY That Important?

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

There’s lots of reasons I respect Eric Cressey as a strength coach.

First and foremost is the fact that he is STRONG. Guy deadlifts over 600-lbs, despite the fact that he’s not a genetic freak or anywhere near 300lbs. RESPECT.

But the biggest reason is his ability to see deeper, and analyze possible solutions to problems, ASIDE FROM what everyone else sees.

I don’t like to bag on the Fitness Industry. I think that happens far too often.

The problem is not the industry itself, but rather, the bad apples spread throughout it that tend to spoil the proverbial bunch.

Every so often, a new buzz word or catch phrase comes out, and you can just see the Johnny-come-lately’s ready to to swoop in, pick up on the new terms, and use them like they thought of them.

In the video below, Eric Cressey touches on one of these such buzz words, “Ankle Mobility.”

He’s a bit more diplomatic than me in the way he covers this topic, as you’ll see when you watch the video, and he may even make you question your previosu thoughts about ankle mobility and how it influences movement patterns, such as the Squat.

Like Eric points out, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

This attention to detail is why I trust him so much.

This week, Cressey has dropped the price on one of his most popular products, the High Performance Handbook, by $50.


So for the next few days you can add this to your library at a much lower investment.

Eric Cressey is one of the best strength coaches in the world. If you’re a budding strength coach and you’re looking for someone to follow, Eric is the man, and High Performance Handbook is a great place to start.

Get it today. I can’t recommend it strongly enough.

All the best,


The High Performance Handbook Right Now $50 Off

Interview: Grip and Forearm Training for Baseball Players

Friday, February 15th, 2013

I was recently interviewed by Mart Brooks of regarding grip and forearm training to increase performance and prevent injuries. Check it out below:

Want to improve your grip and wrist strength in order to hit more home runs, get more hits, strike out less, and just plain hit the ball harder next season?

Then what are you waiting for? The time to put in the work is right now.

My Ultimate Forearm Training System will get you there.

Why You’re Not Getting Stronger

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Around here, the kids are all back in school and they have the whole year ahead of them.

There’s tons of excitement as they look forward to the many possibilities and potential for the year.

I still remember my Senior year, when I said I was going to not play basketball (which I pretty much hated) and just concentrate on baseball.

I wanted to go into the school weight room three days a week and put on some serious muscle, because I was 6-feet tall and about 200-lbs, but thought for sure with hard work I could put on some muscle and show up for my Freshman Year in college looking like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.

While I never ended up looking like Mark or Barry, I did end up putting on some muscle and planting the seeds that would grow into a life-long interest in weight training.

Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t realize some of the things these guys were doing and taking in order to get so freakish. I also didn’t realize that there was a difference between training for size and for training with strength. I just went in there and did what I read about in bodybuilding magazines and didn’t understand the importance of proper loading and rep schemes in order to get stronger. If finding a balance between muscle gains and improvements in strength levels is something that you struggle with, then today’s article is perfect for you.

Today’s post comes from Eric Cressey. Eric is probably best known for his work with professional baseball players at his facility in Connecticut, Cressey Performance, but he is also know for his work in the arena of fitness and especially the field of strength & conditioning. His knowledge blows me away and he is one of the few professionals in the field I subscribe to. Every article, video and product he puts out is GOLD. Possibly his most well-recognized work, Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look Feel and Move Better is on sale for this week only for $50 off the regular price.

Enjoy today’s post from this world class author, speaker coach, and lifter.

5 Reasons You’re Not Getting Stronger

By: Eric Cressey

Like most lifters, I gained a lot of size and strength in my first 1-2 years of training in spite of the moronic stuff that I did. Looking back, I was about as informed as a chimp with a barbell – but things somehow worked out nonetheless. That is, however, until I hit a big fat plateau where things didn’t budge.

Truthfully, “big fat plateau” doesn’t even begin to do my shortcomings justice. No exaggeration: I spent 14 months trying to go from a 225-pound bench to 230. Take a moment and laugh at my past futility (or about how similar it sounds to your own plight), and we’ll continue.

All set? Good – because self-deprecating writing was never one of my strengths. I have, however, become quite good at picking heavy stuff off the floor – to the tune of a personal-best 660-pound deadlift at a body weight of 188.

Eric Cressey, 660-lb Deadlift

My other numbers aren’t too shabby, either, but this article isn’t about me; it’s about why YOU aren’t necessarily getting strong as fast as you’d like. To that end, I’d like to take a look at a few mistakes people commonly make in the quest to gain strength. Sadly, I’ve made most of these myself at some point, so hopefully I can save you some frustration.

Mistake #1: Only doing what’s fun and not what you need.

As you could probably tell, deadlifting is a strength of mine – and I enjoy it. Squatting, on the other hand, never came naturally to me. I always squatted, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it took the back seat to pulling heavy.

Eventually, though, I smartened up and took care of the issue – by always putting squatting before deadlifting in all my lower-body training sessions (twice a week). I eventually wound up with a Powerlifting USA Top 100 Squat in my weight class.

More interestingly, though, in addition to me dramatically improving my squat, a funny thing happened: I actually started to enjoy squatting. Whoever said that you can’t teach an old dog (or deadlifter) new tricks didn’t have the real scoop.

Mistake #2: Not taking deload periods.

One phrase of which I’ve grown quite fond is “fatigue masks fitness.” As a little frame of reference, my best vertical jump is 37.3” – but on most days, I won’t give you anything over 34” or so. The reason is very simple: most of your training career is going to be spent in some degree of fatigue. How you manage that fatigue is what dictates your adaptation over the long- term.

On one hand, you want to impose enough fatigue to create supercompensation – so that you’ll adapt and come back at a higher level of fitness. On the other hand, you don’t want to impose so much fatigue that you dig yourself a hole you can’t get out of without a significant amount of time off.

Good programs implement strategic overreaching follows by periods of lighter training stress to allow for adaptation to occur. You can’t just go in and hit personal bests in every single training session.

Mistake #3: Not rotating movements.

It never ceases to amaze me when a guy claims that he just can’t seem to add to his bench press (or any lift, for that matter), and when you ask him what he’s done to work on it of late, and he tells you “bench press.” Specificity is important, but if you aren’t rotating exercises, you’re missing out on an incredibly valuable training stimulus: rotating exercises.

While there is certainly a place for extended periods of specificity (Smolov squat cycles, for instance), you can’t push this approach indefinitely. Rotating my heaviest movements was one of the most important lessons I learned along my journey. In addition to helping to create adaptation, you’re also expanding your “motor program” and avoiding overuse injuries via pattern overload.

I’m not saying that you should overhaul your entire program with each trip to the gym, but there should be some semi-regular fluctuation in exercise selection. The more experienced you get, the more often you’ll want to rotate your exercises (I do it weekly). Assistance exercises ecan be shuffled every four weeks, though.

Mistake #4: Inconsistency in training.

I tell our clients from all walks of life that the best strength and conditioning programs are ones that are sustainable. I’ll take a terrible program executed with consistency over a great program that’s only done sporadically. This is absolutely huge for professional athletes who need to maximize progress in the off-season; they just can’t afford to have unplanned breaks in training if they want to improve from year to year. However, it’s equally important for general fitness folks who don’t have an extensive training background to fall back on, unlike the professional athletes.

If a program isn’t conducive to your goals and lifestyle, then it isn’t a good program. That’s why I went out of my way to create 2x/week, 3x/week, and 4x/week strength training options – plus five supplemental conditioning options and a host of exercise modifications – when I pulled Show and Go together; I wanted it to be a very versatile resource.

Likewise, I wanted it to be safe; a program isn’t good if it injures you and prevents you from exercising. Solid programs include targeted efforts to reduce the likelihood of injury via means like mobility warm-ups, supplemental stretching recommendations, specific progressions, fluctuations in training stress, and alternative exercises (“plan B”) in case you aren’t quite ready to execute “Plan A.”

For me personally, I attribute a lot of my progress to the fact that at one point, I actually went over eight years without missing a planned lift. It’s a bit extreme, I know, but there’s a lesson to be learned.

Mistake #5: Wrong rep schemes

Beginners can make strength gains on as little as 40% of their one-rep max. Past that initial period, the number moves to 70% – which is roughly a 12-rep max for most folks. Later, I’d say that the number creeps up to about 85% – which would be about a 5-rep max for an intermediate lifter. This last range is where you’ll find most people who head to the internet for strength training information.

What they don’t realize is that 85% isn’t going to get the job done for very long, either. My experience is that in advanced lifters, the fastest way to build strength is to perform singles at or above 90% of one-rep max with regularity. As long as exercises are rotated and deloading periods are included, this is a strategy that can be employed for an extended period of time. In fact, it was probably the single (no pun intended) most valuable discovery I made in my quest to get stronger.

I’m not saying that you should be attempting one-rep maxes each time you enter the gym, but I do think they’ll “just happen” if you employ this technique.

To take the guesswork out of all this and try some programming that considers all these crucial factors (and a whole lot more), check out Show and Go: High Performance Training to Look Feel and Move Better.

-Eric Cressey-

6 Killer Tips to Improve Your Deadlift

Monday, July 16th, 2012

This is a guest post from Joe Meglio. Joe is the head strength coach at the Underground Strength Gym in Edison NJ and works with athletes, strength enthusiasts, and fitness clients on a daily basis. Joe was voted #1 Rising Star it Fitness and deadlifted over 3 Times Bodyweight at the age of 20.

How to Improve Your Deadlift

by Joe Meglio

I don’t claim to know everything in the world of strength training, but if there is one thing that I know best, it is the deadlift. While I am not the best deadlifter in the world, I have put up some respectable numbers. At the age of 20 and bodyweight of 196 1/2 I pulled 600, 3 X my bodyweight.

The deadlift is truly the king all lifts because it works every single muscle in your body. It is the ultimate test of raw strength. Before you learn how you can improve your deadlift, let’s go over how to deadlift.

If you want to learn how you can shatter personal records and earn the respect you deserve from other strength coaches, lifters and friends check out these 6 deadlift tips below to start deadlifting like a champion.

600-lb Deadlift at 196.5-lb BW

1- Increase Deadlift Frequency

Dan John, once said if you want to get good at something then do it everyday. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating loading up the bar with 5 plates and deadlift every day BUT simply put, if you want to get good at anything start doing it more often.

This holds true especially for beginner and intermediate athletes who need to learn all the intricacies of the deadlift. The best results I’ve seen in the deadlift came while having one heavy deadlift day and on the second lower body day, focusing on speed deadlifts and learning to apply as much force as possible to the bar.

Generally speaking, the stronger you are the less often you can deadlift. Somebody who deadlifts 600, 700 + lbs will need a lot more time in-between deadlift workouts compared to somebody who is pulling 300 or 400lbs because their outputs are much higher and thus need more time to recover. Nonetheless, increasing frequency of the deadlift will help ingrain great technique and help you progressively get stronger over time.

2-Attack Your Weakness

Finding your sticking point in the deadlift is critical. There are 3 general areas when the deadlift will break down: off the floor, mid range and at lockout.

Weak off the Floor: If you are weak off the floor, focusing on the posterior chain, more specifically the hamstrings, will be critical to being strong off the floor because you need to be able to load up your hamstrings before you pull. If you fail to do this, your deadlift and strength off the floor will suffer.

Here are my top 5 lifts to help improve strength off the floor:

1) Deficit deadlifts
2) Speed deadlifts
3) GHR
4) Good mornings

Weak at the Mid-Range: If you are weak at the mid-range area, focus on training your back like a beast. Not just your upper and middle back but also your lower back is critical.

Here are my Top 6 back exercises for those who have weakness in the mid-range of the deadlift.

1) Chest supported rows
2) 1 arm rows
3) Barbell rows
4) Pull-ups
5) Barbell back extensions
6) Low rack pulls

Weak at Lockout: If you are weak at lockout focus on improving glute strength and grip strength. The glutes are critical to extending the hips and finishing the deadlift. Without strong and powerful glutes, you will have a hard time finishing the deadlift.

Here are my top 3 go to exercises to build strong glutes and finish the deadlift strong:

1) Barbell Glute Bridge
2) Barbell Hip Thrusts
3) RDL’s

3-Drop the Bar Between Reps

A lot of lifters and coaches don’t like deadlifts because it takes too long to recover from them. Instead of scrapping the deadlift, try dropping the bar in-between reps. Most injuries happen during the eccentric part of the lift so avoiding it is a good way to improve your ability to recover from the deadlift.

If you are a competitive powerlifter you will have to lower the bar to the ground but you can start dropping the bar for your assistance exercises.

4-Perfect Your Technique

Learning proper technique is important for not only safety reasons but also performance. While there are many different ways to setup, just find what works for you best and something that you can repeat every time you deadlift.

Here is your 6 step process to deadlifting like a champion:

  • Start with a vertical jump stance and the bar over the midline of your foot (for conventional stance lifters)
  • Sit your butt back and down until you hands reach the bar
  • Make sure your hamstrings are loaded up, back is neutral and neck is packed
  • Fill your belly with air, pull the slack out to create tension on your lats
  • Squeeze the bar off the ground by leading with your chest and driving your feet down through the ground
  • Once the bar passes your knees, snap and squeeze your glutes at the top

Practice your technique often. Make sure it is ingrained in your head and always try to improve it.

5-Find out What Stance Works Best for YOU

There are two different deadlift stances: sumo deadlifts or conventional deadlifts. Common knowledge would tell you that the sumo deadlift is easier because the bar path is shorter but this isn’t always the case. If you are built like me, longer arms, average legs and a shorter torso you are more built for the conventional deadlift.

Lifters who are good squatters and benches will lift with a sumo stance because generally speaking they have shorter arms and legs but a longer torso. The only way to truly know which stance you are stronger with is to experiment with both stances and see what works best for you.

6-Train Your Back Like a Beast

One of the big things that took my deadlift from 500lbs to 600lbs was how much stronger my back got. The back muscles are critical for stabilization during the deadlift and it is almost impossible to deadlift a lot of weight without having a back built like a beast.

Here are 5 awesome back exercises that you need to be doing:
1) Pull-ups
2) 1 arm DB rows
3) Chest supported rows
4) T Bar Rows
5) Bent Over Rows

And there you have it, 6 killer deadlift tips. If you want to shatter personal records and skyrocket your deadlift, start using these tips right now. Remember, the deadlift is more then just a great lift, it is your ticket to earning your man card and earning the respect you deserve.

P.S You can have instant access to my ‘Lift Like A Man’ 12 Week Muscle & Strength Building Course along with 4 Killer bonuses for ONLY $27 (total value of $163). You have to act fast this sale ends in 3 days.