Upper Deck Power, Part 8
In the opening sections of the "Upper Deck" series we've gone through exercise choices and relative reinterpretations on how to train for the Baseball Diamond. In the next part of the series, we are going to take a major step forward and apply what we have looked at within the Renegade Concepts of Training to start developing a training template for the early developing athlete within "generalized" work. While we have a number of areas to build up in our analysis, this will serve as a good starting point and provide a great deal of clarification.

Prior to going forward, please pay particular attention to sport-specific needs as noted in " Upper Deck, part 7" . This is an important issue to stress because the training business that surrounds baseball often tries to sell you the notion that you can build a baseball player without skill work. This is false and I want to be very clear that if you intend on excelling on the diamond, you'll need a well laid-out plan that takes into account basic, generalized athletic abilities with skill work. Once a strong foundation of generalized athletic abilities are built, then and only then can we jump into more specialized work.

In the first stages of our training, the structure of our basic daily training will be within mini six-minute "blocks" in descending order. This order should be maintained at all times as, after a generalized "warm-up", we move into the most challenging technical work first with a slow drop off as fatigue sets in.

1.    RED2 for range of motion (dynamic)
2.    Agility
3.    Speed
4.    General Physical Preparation (non-weighted)
5.    Strength (Focus lifts)
6.    Strength (Supplemental and Pre-hab lifts)
7.    DMC for general physical preparation (resistance)
8.    Range of Motion (Static)

Quite naturally for those familiar with my approach to training you will quickly realize we have directly attacked every aspect of the "Renegade Wheel of Conditioning" and allowed for specialized skill work with the appropriate coaching guidance.

Using either hurdle mobility drills detailed in any of my ten books that will be detailed or the early preparatory work found in the RED2 program (as per In Search of Power part 2 and part 5), the athlete's training session will begin with two six-minute training blocks before entering the Agility and Speed section. While dynamic range of motion work is often overlooked, the absence of this training measure is possibly one of the most common flaws in an athlete's development today.

Speed and Agility work is crucial to success in Baseball and will not only be tackled through specific bounding drills (as per In Search of Power, part 7) but also in the resistance exercises used and the manner in which they are used. In a future article we will look closely at agility-specific drills, but in returning to the bounding drills, it should be noted that these are some of the most challenging resistance exercises available and are an absolute must. Despite what many weight-room coaches will tell you, "speed work" cannot purely exist in the weight room and every athlete will need to spend time performing maximal effort sprints. While there are any number of solid sprint routines that I have employed, one of the best for team-wide application is the following:

Sequence A (Monday)
75 x 2, from flying 10-yard start
50 x 2, from three-point start
65 x 2, from two-point start
20 x 2, from three-point start on clap start

Sequence B (Friday)
55 x 2, from flying 10-yard start
25 x 3, from three-point start
40 x 2, from two-point start

The above sessions assume three resistance training sessions per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) along with restorative sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. Both sequences are performed prior to explosive bounding drills and the bulk of resistance work.

Pushing aside non-weighted General Physical Preparation for later discussion, the athlete now moves to the meat of the resistance work. Best detailed in my final book on Football, "Mastery on the Gridiron", work is spread between Focus, Supplemental and Prehabilitation lifts in a balanced fashion which includes the use of unilateral lifts. For the sport of Baseball I heavily encourage athletes to make use of all training mediums, with particular emphasis on Medicine Balls (as seen in Upper Deck part 2).

Renegade Training
Basic table of resistance protocols

 number of
number of sets    total work sets 
per set
Total reps
per exercise

40 - 65 3
80 - 95 2
70 - 75 2

Summary of Resistance protocols

Each weight training session will contain three total "Focus lifts", of four sets of six repetitions for a total of twelve sets and twenty-four repetitions.

Supplemental lifts consist of four total lifts divided equally between "hybrid" and "pre-hab" movements.

Supplemental "Hybrid" movements will consist of two lifts in the 85-95% range of maximal effort each of 1 to 3 reps per set  with rest periods between 45 to 60 seconds.

Supplemental "Pre-Hab" movements will consist of two lifts in the 70-75% range of maximal effort of each of 12 -15 reps per set  rest periods between 35-45 seconds.

Training sessions are also designed with the order of lifts are in a descending nature in a highly specific and unique manner exclusive to Renegade Training for maximal development.  However in the basic form the most complex lifts are done first such as in the example:

Focus Lifts
Split Snatch (hang)
Squat (dead-start)
Deadlift (snatch grip)

Supplemental lifts
Jump Shrug
Glute Ham Raise
Cuban Press
Internal External Rotation

For those not familiar with my use of these terms, "Focus Lifts" are based upon the classic Olympic lifts. These lifts are the most effective route in resistance training to enabling the body to move as a single harmonious unit within a time sensitive manner. While some coaches will avoid their use, complaining of complexity, the problem lays not within the athlete but within the quality of teaching as Olympic lifts are ostensibly quite simple in comparison to any on-field sport skill. Supplemental lifts are broken down into (a) Olympic hybrid /derivative lifts, effectively less "complex" components of the Olympic lift or otherwise strategic concerns (see In Search of Power, part 4) and (b) pre-habilitation movements from the Renegade prehabilitation FIX program.

As with other open areas we will need to delve deeper into exercise selection although the general template that all lifting is either "pushing, pulling, squatting, pressing, lunging or extending" will always be maintained. Choices are the key ingredient to the mix but additionally a Baseball coach or player can choose to use "Med Ball Scoop Throws" as a high quality alternative to a Power Snatch. While anecdotal, in most situations I have found Baseball players gravitate to this immediately and with nearly no learning curve can jump into their training.

In the next of this series we will look at how these protocols are utilized, important variations for Baseball players as well as the development of "rotational power" through the "RAT" system, compliance friendly options through DMC for team wide application as well as beginning to bring in unique sport-specific drills.

Stay tuned for the next in the series of Upper Deck Power!