Last week I wrote a post on a relief pitcher’s in season schedule. Today, I am going to write about my thoughts on a starting pitcher’s in season lifting and throwing schedule. I mentioned this in the relief pitcher post, but too many pitchers think once the season comes, they don’t need to lift much, if at all and they limit their throwing. A college starting pitcher that only throws once a week has no excuse not to get adequate work in throughout the week. In this post I am going to go day by day of what a week would like like for a starter, as well as add slight alternatives depending on what the pitcher needs are during a specific week.
The following week is an example of a guy that starts on a Friday.
Friday (Start Day)
I am not too particular on what a guy does post start. I definitely want my guys doing some sort of recovery work, but it doesn’t need to be over exhausting considering he just threw 100 pitches or so. Stick to some rebounders, upward tosses, and band work. This is also a good opportunity to reflect on your outing and consider the things you did well and what you need to improve for your next start. The night of my start or the next morning is a good time to make a game plan for the week for what you need to improve. Maybe it’s throwing your breaking ball for a strike more or maybe it's pitching inside more frequently. Take advantage of the opportunity to get better before your next start.
Day after a start I have guys get a good lower body workout in. It’s going to be the highest volume and intensity lift of the week. As far as throwing goes I want guys to throw at least a little bit. Throwing after a start can be very therapeutic and help the healing process. Everything will be done at low intensity with plyo work only consisting of reverse throws and optional pivot picks. I often will have guys throw a 7 ounce ball on these days to keep the intensity down as well as peak arm stress. This will be a very high recovery day as far as arm care and mobility work is concerned.
Two days post start I have guys do their upper body lift. They’ll get after it pretty good as far as intensity and volume depending on how they have recovered at this point. Throwing will be moderate on this day. We’ll add in pivot picks and maybe roll ins on this day with the athlete stretching out their long toss to a comfortable distance focusing on the extension phase.
This is the first day I have guys do conditioning. I have two running days a week usually with one focusing more on aerobic and the other anaerobic. The first conditioning day of the week is an aerobic focus doing things like 300 yard shuttle, build ups, and 100 yard tempo runs. For throwing it depends on if the pitcher wants to throw one or two bullpens in between starts. If he wants to throw two than he would throw one on this day. If he is throwing a bullpen he would do the full plyo series we have for him as well as full long toss. If he is not throwing a bullpen he would still do the plyos and long toss and than have the option to do a mound velo series or a short pulldown series.
Whether the pitcher threw a bullpen the day before or not, today is a recovery day. Similar to the day after a start with low volume and intensity. Sometimes guys won’t throw at all on this day, but just focus on the recovery protocols. This would also be their last lift of the week. It would be a much lower volume and intensity lift focusing on the full body.
Wednesday will be a moderate long toss day focusing on the extension phase. This will be a bullpen day no matter which program the pitcher decides to follow that week. With it only being two days before a start, the volume would be moderate to low. This will also be the last conditioning day with an anaerobic focus doing sprint based drills and short burst exercises.
Day before a start I give guys a lot of freedom on what they want to do. I want them to do whatever is going to get them prepared for their start. I do encourage them to at least throw a little bit. This is also a good day just to spin a few breaking balls and throw a few change ups. There is no lifting or conditioning the day before just some mobility work if they choose to do it.
Friday - Start Day/Reflection
Saturday - Lower Body Lift/Recovery Throwing
Sunday - Upper Body Lift/Moderate Throwing
Monday - Conditioning/Bullpen or Pulldowns
Tuesday - Full Body Lift/Recovery Throwing
Wednesday - Conditioning/Bullpen
Thursday - Mobility/Moderate Throwing
Thank you for reading this post and I hope you found it helpful. As with anything there are numerous ways to program lifting and throwing for an athlete. The important thing is to understand what they need to make them successful. At the end of the day it is about the athlete. Continue to learn and understand what is going to put them in the best position to succeed week after week.
As always if you have questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org