Baseball Workouts

JCA Baseball Fall/Winter Workouts

JCA Baseball Off-Season Throwing Program

JCA Baseball Daily Throwing Progression

JCA Baseball In-Season Pitcher’s Routine

Tuesday: Lift

Wednesday: Baseball Skills (BP/Bullpens)

Thursday: Lift

  • Longtoss should be performed three days per week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. You are on your own for Monday and Friday.

Click Here to Access the Daily Plyometric Routine. Our workout is the Advanced Workout found on page 104.

  • 5-3-1 Strength Lifting Routine (Percentages based off of Training Max: 90% of 1-RM).
  • Squat/Deadlift/Bench (Dumbbell Bench on Floor for Pitchers) are our three main lifts.
  • Accessory lifts included in plyometric routine.

Strength Routine

In 5/3/1, you’re expected to train three or four days a week. Each workout is centered around one core lift – the parallel squat, bench press, and deadlift. We will train only two as we begin in the fall.

Each training cycle lasts four weeks, with these set-rep goals for each major lift:

Week 1   3 x 5
Week 2   3 x 3
Week 3   3 x 5, 3, 1
Week 4   Deload

Then you start the next cycle, using heavier weights on the core lifts. And that’s where a seemingly simple system starts getting a little more complicated.

You aren’t just picking a weight to lift five times or three times or one time per set. You’re using a specific percentage of your one-rep max. And not your full 1RM. The calculations are based on 90% of it.

So if your 1RM in the bench press is 315 pounds, you use 285 (90%) as the base number for your training-weight calculations. Here’s how it works:

  Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Set 1 65% x 5 70% x 3 75% x 5 40% x 5  
Set 2 75% x 5 80% x 3 85% x 3 50% x 5  
Set 3 85% x 5+ 90% x 3+ 95% x 1+ 60% x 5  


Let’s walk through the Week 1 workout for bench press. Using the example above, if your 1RM is 315, you calculate all your percentages from 90% of that max, or 285 pounds.When you see 5+, 3+, or 1+, that means you do the max reps you can manage with that weight, with the goal of setting a rep record in each workout.

So you’re using 185 (65% of 285) x 5, 215 x 5, and 240 or 245 x 5 or more.

After you finish the first cycle, you add five pounds to your 1RM calculations for the two upper-body lifts and 10 pounds to your 1RM for the squat and deadlift.

These specific instructions for 1RM percentages and monthly progression are what set 5/3/1 apart from less useful systems.

If it doesn’t have a specific percentage based on a specific max, it’s useless. That’s the hallmark of someone who doesn’t understand basic programming.

Daily Throwing Progression

The backbone of any velocity program is throwing.  You will not throw harder unless you throw more often.  You can’t throw more often if you don’t have efficient pitching mechanics.  The following drills will help take the load off the arm by using the body more and creating a circular, uninterrupted arm path; which allows the arm to accelerate and decelerate more efficiently.  Long toss and the following drills help create muscle memory once they are “blended” into creating a more athletic pitching delivery.  Long toss by definition is anything over 90 feet.  Therefore, long toss is performed daily.  Listen to the arm.  Some days you’ll go to your max distance (300 feet and upwards), some days you’ll stop at 90.  Always perform a pull down phase.  This should take at least 20 minutes.

  • Jaeger Long Toss Program (Massage the Arm; More distance=more velocity):
  • Stride out Rockers, Stride out Figure 8’s
  • Arm Swing Wall Drills, Crossed Hands Arm Swing Drill
  • Step Behinds, Run n Guns, Backwards Run n Guns (Burnouts):  All focusing on moving towards the target quickly and using momentum and creating torque
  • Hook ‘ems: helps develop the feel for leading with the hip and glute toward the plate
  • Balance Point Hops
  • Max Effort Pulldowns:
  • Line drills (concentrating on stride direction)
  • Opposite foot throwing drills/Late Launch feel

Weighted Ball Throwing Routine

Weighted balls are extremely controversial, but when done correctly with proper form they can lead to huge velocity gains.  In reality, this is a shoulder rehabilitation program.  The premise is overload balls contribute to arm strength, while under load balls contribute to arm speed.  The heavy balls (2 lb. and 1 lb.) help develop a more efficient arm path.  These are basically back shaping and pronation drills.  They take the load off the medial side of the elbow.  Think of throwing a football, which is essentially an overload ball in baseball terms.  When the throwing athlete comes to understand late pronation and staying behind the ball (which is easier to do with heavier loads), the muscle memory transfer to a 5 oz. regulation ball can lead to significant arm path and velocity improvements. The below prescription of repetitions varies depending on the athlete. Contact me for suggestions.

Weighted Ball Progressions
For ages 14+ only, and only for those who complete the 4-week on-ramping program plus consistent “long toss” or power throws into a net.
First throw at every new weighted baseball is done at 80% to feel it out.

First four weeks:

  • 3 sessions every 14 days, plan accordingly:
    • 4 throws with 6 oz
    • 2 throws with 5 oz baseball
    • 4 throws with 4 oz
    • 4 throws with 3 oz (or Tennis Ball)

Record best velocities in the last workout as well. Make sure to space out three recorded “velocity” days within two weeks. Don’t perform max effort velocity throws without generally three-four days rest in between testing days.

Second four weeks:

  • Normal spread is +/- 2-3 MPH for every ounce the weight of the implement is beyond a baseball. 90 MPH 5 oz throw = 87 MPH 6 oz throw. If there are discrepancies here, address it in the program. Do more throws if a velocity is lagging. For example – 90 MPH throws with 5 oz ball and 90 MPH throws with 6 oz ball but 91 MPH throws with 4 oz ball. Underload training is more important. Reverse is true for overload. Here are some sample over/regular/underload programs to use.
  • NORMAL PROGRESSION (no major discrepancies in velocity):
    • 4 throws with 6 oz
    • 2 throws with 5 oz baseball
    • 5 throws with 4 oz
    • 5 throws with 3 oz
  • OVERLOAD PROGRESSION (overload throws are too slow). Heavy Ball plyo routine will increase
    • 10 throws with 6 oz
    • 2 throws with 5 oz baseball
    • 3 throws with 4 oz
    • UNDERLOAD PROGRESSION (underload throws are too slow). Heavy ball plyo routine will decrease.
  • 5 throws with 6 oz
  • 4 throws with 5 oz baseball
  • 5 throws with 4 oz
  • 5 throws with 3 oz
  • 10 throws with no ball/just hand

Perform the weighted arm care in this order: Jaeger Bands or Wrist Weight Holds, Plyo Care Throws, Regular catch to long toss with regulation size ball, then finish with the Overload/Underload baseball throws. In season perform the J-Bands or wrist weight holds and the plyo care throws, while skipping overload and underload throws. Over/under is for off-season work only.

Mobility Workouts

Use a baseball, lacrosse ball, or tiger tail massager to roll out tight areas, including:

  • Top of the hips between abs and pelvis
  • Calves
  • Pecs
  • Glutes
  • Forearms
  • Triceps
  • Back of Scap (RC attachments)
  • Teres Major (armpit area)
  • TFL / IT Band (outside of upper leg)
  • Hip Flexors (inside of upper leg)*

A foam roller or PVC pipe works well, too.


Keep things interval-based, generally.

  • Twice per week, interval training:
    • Tabata-style 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, 8 rounds
    • Example exercises include C2 rower, kettlebell swings, front squats, burpees, push-ups
  • Once per week, mid-distance training:
    • Shouldn’t be low intensity, but doesn’t have to be high intensity
    • Good examples include: 1000m C2 row, 1 mile run at fast pace, 4x400m runs with 2 min rest in-between, 5 mile bike ride at fast pace

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