Working Hard

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope everyone has had a good first half of the week, and for the younger guys on here a solid Halloween last night!! Helpful hint, pick out your favorite one or two types of candy, save them and get rid of the rest! We don’t need all that candy, it doesn’t help our bodies stay in top shape. The season is a lot closer than you think!  Speaking of which, I thought today would be a good day to write about just that, staying in shape and building for next season.

At the end of the season each Padres player was given an individual username and password to the online strength and conditioning website. We were called in to a meeting with Dan, our head Strength and Conditioning Coach during which we were given our log in information and a goal sheet to help guide our work through the off season. Dan explained to me that when I arrive at Spring Training in February that the club expects me to be lighter, quicker and leaner.  All three of these things were expected, and are necessary changes to help me to progress through the system.  I was told I need to get my weight down to around 200 pounds, while losing roughly 5% of my body fat.  These two changes to my body will in turn help me achieve my lifelong goal of being faster. Working toward a specific defined goal is extremely important because it allows me to create check points along the way and make sure I’m progressing.

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My workout binder. On the left is the active week, on the right my completed sheets. All of them come with our logo in the middle, which serves as a cool little motivator, reminding me what all the hours in the gym are for.

With that in mind, this week is considered Week 6. Our workout program is set up to work Monday through Friday and comes on a nicely set up worksheet. I’ve printed all of the workout sheets out and put them into a binder so that when I go to the gym every day I can track my weights, reps and any other notes about how I’m feeling during the workout.  This week is a long week because all of our sets are either 10 reps, or 8 reps.  Monday is the worst, we start the week off with a workout that gives us a sample of all the fun for the week.  We have a big leg section to kick it off, followed by chest and back and finishing off with a core program.  We cap off the day off with a half an hour of cardio and stretching to keep our bodies loose so we can pick up the next day.  Tuesday we have a conditioning circuit in addition to our lift, but the workout itself is just upper body so it isn’t as difficult as the full body Monday.  Wednesdays are the day that bring one of my favorite terms to life, recovery cardio.  Yes, you read that right. Recover by doing cardio.  It’s one of those terms that coaches use to make things sound a lot better than they actually are, recovery cardio, active rest, or cool down.  Sounds easy, but these can’t be neglected as they do serve an important purpose. Today is another long lift, a different set of full body exercises, a core series with the physioball and as always a half hour of cardio and stretch.  We finish the week with another upper body only workout on Friday and add on our core series and a program to strengthen our hips.  By Friday evening my entire body is sore, but that is a good thing, it means I’ve pushed myself yet again.

The most important thing for me is to make sure this all is done in as enjoyable a way as possible.  How do I do that, given that I’m throwing weights around 4 days a week, doing cardio every day and also making sure I hit as many times a week as I can?  I’m hyper competitive, so I try and make each week a game.  Each week I try to beat my previous best, I go for more weight, a longer distance during my cardio sessions and try to come out of it feeling better than the week before.  I know that if I continue to push myself to beat last week that by the time Spring Training rolls around I will be ready mentally and physically.  I will be ready to attack practices, lifts and games with the same mentality that I attack a 2-0 fastball! I can’t wait to get started, only 150 more days until Opening Day!

Get to work!

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