Part Two: Baseball Weight Training & The Secret to Maximizing Bat Speed in ONLY 30 Minutes a Day

Here's the baseball weight training Swing Smarter article to increasing bat speed in 30 days you've all been waiting for...

(Total article read time: 6-8 minutes)

Escalating Density Training, or EDT, by Charles Staley at staleytraining.com. This is the perfect baseball weight training program because it's short, puts on explosive swing muscle, and is highly effective in bringing down a player's resting heart rate, so they can perform better in high pressure situations.

For our Swing Smarter baseball weight training purposes today we're going to:

  • Describe what a typical EDT recipe consist of (included Staley article), and
  • Give you sample programming, and you're free to use them as a template for other plug & play workouts.

For example,

You can use EDT alongside the squat exercise routine discussed in a previous increasing bat speed article, and definitely use Explosive Baseball Strength Training For Hitters: Part 1 as a guide to the explosive power movements included in EDT training.

What is Escalating Density Training (EDT) AND how does it work into baseball weight training?

It's the best way to build muscle and burn body fat in less time with a progressive self-correcting load system. As it applies to baseball weight training we have to stick with unilateral movements (One-Arm/One-Leg), we use dumbbells at all costs, so we build the proper explosive swing muscle.

In the last 5-6 weeks with this workout regime I added:

  • Almost 4 pounds of muscle to my frame 176.4 to 180,
  • 1.5 inches to my chest,
  • 1 inch to my waist (mostly to my back and rib cage expansion from the heavy breathing this workout enlists),
  • 1.5 inches to my hips,
  • Reduced my blood pressure pretty substantially, AND
  • Took my resting heart rate from 50 down to 47*

*Normal human beings are between the 60-70 RHR range. Most of the time, the lower the heart rate for an athlete the better trained the cardiovascular system is at adapting under extreme competitive pressures. Debilitating diseases and drug inducement aside, of course.

Now, Swing Smarter is going to give the floor to a republished article Charles Staley wrote explaining the nuts and bolts of EDT training...feel free to click on any of the links to go straight to the Staley site, I just want to warn you though, the "look" of the initial web page is a little salesy, however the quality of his product is second-to-none.

Any extra baseball weight training notes from Swing Smarter throughout the article will be italicized between "()" and start with "SS:"

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(Total Staley Article Reading Time: about 4-6 minutes)

EDT For Maximal Strength Development

(SS: plus baseball weight training application)

By Charles Staley, B.Sc, MSS
Director, Staley Training Systems
Escalating Density Training

In this article, I'm going to tell you all about how to use Escalating Density Training to build Maximal Strength.

Maximal strength (MxS) is defined as the maximum amount of force one can produce irrespective of time or body weight. The qualifiers "time" and "body weight" distinguish MxS from power and relative strength, respectively.

MxS is perhaps the core quality that all individuals should be concerned with, because it's acquisition is the fastest route to all other motor qualities, including relative-strength, speed-strength, strength-endurance, speed, and speed-endurance.

To a lesser degree, MxS improvements also lead to higher levels of aerobic fitness, agility, and dynamic mobility. And to point out a sadly-overlooked fact, MxS development is a precursor to lean-mass gains, since fast-twitch motor units have much greater capacity for hypertrophy than do Type I MU's. And needless to say, all MU's must be recruited before they can be trained.

(SS: this type of program is key to baseball weight training and hitting development because it makes stronger the exact muscle fibers used in the swing)

Traditional MxS training involves the use of maximal or near-maximal loads, typically 90% of 1RM and above. The maximal-load method has validity and a proven track record for results. However, load is only one-half of the equation, since it is tension- not load- that provokes anatomical adaptations leading to MxS improvements. These adaptations include improved inter- and intra-muscular coordination, as well as more efficient rate-coding.

Tension of course, is the offspring of load and speed. High loads, performed at (unavoidably) low speeds produce high tensions- that's a given. Less appreciated however, is the fact that moderate loads, moved at high speeds, also lead to high tensions. So as it turns out, there are two distinctively different methods that can be employed in your quest for MxS. Given what we know about the importance of variety for the sake of preventing physical and psychological stagnation, why not employ both methods?

Here's how you can do just that:

Set up two training sessions per week for a compound lift you'd like to improve. Any of the three power lifts are good candidates, as are the Olympic lifts.

The "A Session"

The first session (which we'll call the "A Session") features the performance of (up to) 14 sets of 2 reps, using a 4RM load, resting exactly one minute between sets. As an illustration, if your 4RM on a dead-lift is 352 pounds, that's your working weight. First perform your warm-up sets, and then set your stopwatch for 15 minutes. Every 60 seconds, perform a set of 2 reps, moving as explosively as possible during the concentric phase.

(SS: in respect to baseball weight training, you can use your 10RM weight and do it 5 repetitions per exercise, resting 0-60 seconds between sets, instead of the 4RM discussed here and 2RM in following)

During this first A Session, one of two things will happen- either you'll hit your 14 sets, or you won't. If you fail to complete 14 doubles (let's say you got 11 doubles and a single), the next time out, you try to get 12 or more doubles. Continue this procedure until you manage to complete 14 sets of 2.

If you (or once you) do manage to complete 14 sets, the next time out, add 5 pounds or 5% (whichever is less) to the bar, wipe the slate clean, and start over.

The "B Session"

The second session (which we'll call the "B Session")

Involves heavier loads- 2RM to be specific. You'll perform (up to) 7 sets of 1, using a 2RM weight, resting 3 minutes between sets. As an illustration, if your 2RM on a dead-lift is 374 pounds, that's your working weight. First perform your warm-up sets, and then set your stopwatch for 15 minutes. Every 3 minutes, perform one rep, moving as explosively as possible during the concentric phase.

During this first "B Session," one of two things will happen- either you'll hit your 7 sets, or you won't. If you fail to complete 7 singles (let's say you got 5 singles and a missed attempt), the next time out, you try to get 6 or (hopefully) 7 singles. Continue this procedure until you manage to complete 7 sets of 1.

If you (or once you) do manage to complete 7 sets, the next time out, add 5 pounds or 5% (whichever is less) to the bar, wipe the slate clean, and start over.

(SS: you're continually increasing load, or density, making this baseball weight training the best in the business. NO more long ass workouts, you get more done in a relatively short amount of time)

Troubleshooting:

  • If you're not sure what your 2RM or 4RM weights are, err on the side of conservatism- the system will self-adjust
  • If you performance decreases for any reason, use the 5/5 rule in reverse: next time out, reduce the load by 5 pounds or 5% (whichever is greater), wipe the slate clean, and start over.
  • Pain is bad. Respect your body.

Speed And Load- The Fastest Way To Huge Gains in Maximal Strength!

In addition to the simple fact that you've now introduced more variety into your training, you're also attacking the MxS equation from both angles. The improved speed you acquire on your "A Sessions" will contribute to strength expression during your "B Sessions." In turn, your newly-acquired strength will improve your rate of force production on your "A Sessions."

MxS training is a drain on all of your recuperative mechanisms, but fortunately, this two-sided approach provides the perfect amount of contrast to facilitate recovery.

Try this approach on your favorite lift for 6 weeks and tell me how it went. I know you'll be pleasantly surprised.

About The Author

Charles Staley...world-class strength/performance coach...his colleagues call him an iconoclast, a visionary, a rule-breaker. His clients call him "The Secret Weapon" for his ability to see what other coaches miss. Charles calls himself a "geek" who struggled in Phys Ed throughout school. Whatever you call him, Charles's methods are ahead of their time and quickly produce serious results.

Visit Charles' site below and grab your 5 FREE videos that will show you how to literally FORCE your body to build muscle, lose fat and gain strength with "Escalating Density Training," Charles' revolutionary, time-saving approach to lifting that focuses on performance NOT pain.

Click to read more about Staley's effective EDT program for baseball weight training, Escalating Density Training

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So, there you go, and most of the baseball weight training preceding article is addressing max strength, which Charles Staley says to use a 4RM & 2RM weight...this is a little heavy for swing purposes, what I use is a 10RM weight (so a weight where you're failing at repetition 10) for your "A/B Splits," and striving for 5 reps per exercise set.

Some sample baseball weight training splits...

*Day 1 - Monday
(15 minutes)
Split A1: Single-Arm Snatch
Split A2: Front Squat to Press (AKA Thruster Squat)

(15 minutes)
Split B1: Dumbbell Flat Bench Press
Split B2: Bent Over Single Arm Dumbbell Row

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*Day 2 - Wednesday
(15 minutes)
Split A1: Single-Arm Dumbbell Split Snatch
Split A2: Alternating lunges

(15 minutes)
Split B1: Plyo (Power) Pushup
Split B2: Pullups

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*Day 3 - Friday
(15 minutes)
Split A1: Dumbbell Power Clean (Single-Arm works too)
Split A2: Single Leg Bench Squat

(15 minutes)
Split B1: Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Split B2: Reverse Pullups

Rest 3-5 minutes between baseball weight training splits, and you're also free to add a third split if you like. Stick to multi-muscle group lifts, and add in some core strength stuff, which will be added into the 30 Day Albert Pujols Inspired Bat Speed Challenge shortly, so stay tuned!

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