The World Series of baseball gets underway soon with the postseason scheduled to begin on October 3 and a potential Game 7 of the World Series due to be held on November 4.
With crunch time rapidly approaching and the World Series odds narrowing, baseball stars at the top franchises will be doubling down on their training routines to ensure that they are in fighting form for the postseason action.
Have you ever wondered what training goes into making an elite baseball player match ready and fighting fit? Well wonder no more as below we’ve compiled a typical training routine along with a meal plan that you can replicate to get yourself just as fit as Mookie Betts and co.
The Professional Baseball Meal Plan
There’s little room for error when it comes to nutrition for MLB players. To play at the top of their game they must get the right balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats and tailor what they eat and when they eat to differing demands.
The day of a game a player will eat their last meal around 4 hours before a game and will have a plater made up predominantly of complex carbohydrates to give them the fuel and energy they need to get through the game.
At around this point they will also begin to focus on hydration, ensuring they drink enough water as well as drinking electrolyte beverages to minimise the risk of cramping during the game. Head into the locker room of any professional sports team after a game and you might be shocked at what you see in terms of nutrition.
Pizza, burgers, fries and other high fat fast food option will usually be set up in the middle of the room as it’s important for players to refill after expending so much energy and calories out on the field and fast food provides the best way to do this.
Away from games and cardio training days, baseball players spend a lot of time in the gym strength training. On these days it’s important that they focus on a protein rich diet to maximise muscle growth and recovery.
Here is what a standard training day meal plan for a MLB player might look like:
- 1 Cup whole grain cereal
- 1 Cup almond milk
- 2 Slices 100% whole wheat bread
- 4 ounces lean turkey
- Whole-wheat pretzels
- 5 Ounces grilled chicken
- 2 Whole grain tortillas
- 2 Cups of grilled peppers and onions
- 1 Cup of salsa
- 8 Ounces low-fat yoghurt
One of the fundamental elements of a MLB player’s training routine is strength/resistance training to improve their striking and pitching power and also to help minimise the risk of injury. Typically players will focus on improving muscle mass in areas that your usual gym goer would often overlook.
Those are the smaller muscle groups like the shoulders, forearms, wrists, inner groin, hips, calves and glutes although every workout would include one of the major muscles. A typical day lifting weights in the gym for an MLB player might look something like this:
- Barbell squats
- Weighted lunges
- Weighted calf raise
- Inner abductors
- Outer abductors
- Tibialis raises
- Sled pushes
- Sled pulls
Shifting focus away from legs and on to an upper body workout, the following day might look something like this:
- Barbell bench press
- Incline dumbbell bench press
- Dumbbell shoulder press
- Wrist curls
- Towel pull ups
- Wrist pronation
- Lateral raises
Finally to one of the most important aspects of a MLB players training routine – their cardio fitness. To play baseball at the highest level you have to have an incredibly high level of cardiovascular fitness which helps them to perform short, sharp bursts in games.
Here is an example of a killer cardio routine that MLB players use to maintain their cardiovascular fitness.
The Treadmill Killer
This one sounds simple and you might think you could do it easily in the gym but if you were to try it you’d be screaming in pain after no more than three rounds. The routine consists of getting on a treadmill, setting the incline to 12 and completing 15 high intensity sprints.
One round consists of running at 18 speed for 20 seconds and resting for 40 seconds. To put that into perspective, Eliud Kipchoge is running at a speed of around 13-14 during his record breaking marathons and that’s not at a consistent incline.
Give it a try and comment below how many rounds you lasted.