Born to Run? Not at The ARMory!
Some people take their Springsteen way to serious!
After yesterday’s post about my first concert and the Bernstein principle I received some vitriolic responses.
“Hey knucklehead don’t you know his name is spelled Springsteen, not Springstein?”
“Hey! The name of the song is “Born to Run”, not “Tramps Like Us”
“Oh yeah? Well he’s still the Boss!”
That’s an impressive argument. What are we 12 years old? Very mature.
To my cyber critics who are also apparently card carrying members of the Bruce Springsteen Fan Club:
I have 2 things to say:
The first is something I learned from a writer friend in the mainstream media.
“Never ruin a good story with facts.”
(Read that again and say it like a sassy 7 year old girl….That’s how the voice in my head sounded when I wrote it.)
See, just like grand master chess champion, Bobby Fischer
–before he went crazy, became a radical anarchist and blamed the 9/11 terrorist attacks on US imperialism–I’m always thinking several moves ahead.
I knew if I inserted a few intentional minor errors, the responses from the content police would provide a nice segue for today’s topic–another scientific guidepost of the The ARMory Power Pitching Academy:
WE TRAIN THE CORRECT ENERGY SYSTEM
We believe the longstanding tradition of pitchers running long distances “to develop endurance” is archaic and ineffective. The practice at its best is wasteful, but it could also be inhibitory to a pitcher’s development
WE DO NOT RUN POLES!!!
We do only short duration/high intensity exercises.
There are 3 basic energy systems in the body.
1) The ATP/CP system is responsible for the initial fight or flight mechanism, and it utilizes the ATP and Creatine Phosphate stored in the muscles. This system is exhausted after about 12 seconds and is utilized by sprinters, cheetahs, and baseball players.
2) The second system is called anaerobic and aerobic glycolysis. It burns the glucose in your blood to create a slightly greater amount of energy than the ATP/CP system. This second system kicks in after 12 seconds and expires after about 2 minutes.
3) The third system called the oxidative phosphorylation is for more long
distance/endurance activities. It uses oxygen to convert fats stored in the body into energy.
Here’s an excellent description from Ron Wolforth, of The Texas Baseball Ranch
Think of the three energy systems as:
A thimble full of jet fuel, for immediate high intensity missions
A mason jar full of unleaded gasoline, for the intermediate trips
A 55-gallon drum of diesel fuel for the long distance journeys
We only train the jet fuel.
In baseball, the longest possible play lasts about 14 seconds, and the only guy running that long is the one who hit the inside the park homerun.
Most baseball plays are less than 4 seconds long, and every pitch occurs in less than 2 seconds from start to finish.
Yet, we constantly see coaches and players training the intermediate and long distance endurance systems. It makes no sense at all!
At The ARMory we only train the ATP/CP system. All our drills and exercises last less than 12 seconds. We vary the timing standard between 5, 8, 10, and 12 seconds. We never allow our athletes to be out of breath before starting a new exercise. Fatigue is fine. Shortness of breath is not, because it means you’ve entered the wrong energy system.
We believe you train one energy system at the expense of the others, so we only work on the energy system most applicable to baseball.
One common theory for running long distances after pitching is to “flush the lactic acid from your arm”. That idea is simply garbage!
The current research in exercise physiology shows virtually no lactid acid in a pitcher’s arm after as much as 7 innings pitched.
The soreness after pitching is due to microtrauma to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is NOT due to lactic acid buildup.
According to Ericcressey.com, “Jogging to flush the arm of lactic acid after a start is unnecessary and not supported by the literature, especially since we learned all the way back in 2004 that lactate was not the cause of muscular fatigue ; even the New York Times reported on this in 2007! A lot of coaches simply haven’t caught wind yet – in spite of the fact that exercise physiology textbooks have been rewritten to include this new information.”
Another coach I spoke to recently, made this point. “All those hall of fame pitchers ran distances, so it can’t be wrong.”
Really? A bunch of them also smoked cigarettes in the dugout and drove around in cars with no seatbelts. Should we just blindly follow those traditions as well?
IT’S CALLED PROGRESS PEOPLE!
Just a heads up–In baseball, old traditions die hard. Be prepared for some resistance from old school coaches who refuse to acknowledge the current research.
So here’s a plan.
If your coach insists you run poles or long distances
Sprint for 10 seconds. Walk until you’re back in breath. Then sprint again. Repeat until all your poles are done.
If the coach won’t go for that, try this technique as a last resort:
When he says, “Go run your poles!”
Turn around sharply to face him.
Stomp your right foot on the ground.
Throw your hands on your hips.
Rapidly turn your head to the side,
Find your sassy 7 year-old girl voice again.
“YOURE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!”