“Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.”
― James Cook

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Living off Your Blubber: Another Reason We Don’t Run Poles

Saturday morning I woke up early and did 4 pitcher assessments at The ARMory.

My wife, Kathy, and middle son, Ryan (age 18) helped with admin and videography (Ryan is a video whiz).

Two of the pitchers were new guys in whom we found multiple significant opportunities for improvement.
I always get a kick when I see a player’s eyes light up with the realization of a plan to get better.

The other two were quarterly reassessments.
Both of these guys were initially assessed at the beginning of this year.
Both have cleaned up their deliveries significantly but still have some work to do.

Cody, a 17 year old has improved his velocity from 83 to 91mph.
Josh, a 15 year old has gone from 73 to 80mph and is ready to have a huge breakout.

After the assessments, I stopped on the way home to get a haircut.

I don’t go to hair stylists.
I only go to places with a barber pole.
My haircut has been the same since 1983.

Number 2 on the sides, a little off the top and front, rounded and tapered in the back, and trim the eyebrows (Kathy added that last part about 5 years ago).
Its simple, and I usually fall asleep in the barber chair.

This time, however I was still jazzed from the excitement of my morning at The ARMory, so as the barber buzzed through my standard coiffing, I watched some news on the TV.

A report came on about an unfortunate Target Online ad that had the PC police up in arms. When I got home, I looked it up.
“Target has apologized after shoppers in Brooklyn discovered a style of plus-size dresses sold in “manatee gray.”
The dress was sold in “dark heather gray” in smaller sizes, the New York Post reported.”

I guess large people don’t like their garments to be referred to as “Manatee Size”. That’s cool. I get it.

Stories like that usually elicit, simple “Ok, who cares?” response from me, but this one reminded me of a funny story I thought would help illustrate another reason we don’t run poles at The ARMory.

When Ryan was about 5 years old I was lying on the living room floor one evening doing paper work for my PT practice.
Ryan is a really funny guy and has always been the one to keep us in stitches with the things he says.
The TV was on the Discovery Channel, and Kathy was in the kitchen preparing dinner.
The show was about whales.

Out of nowhere, as only a 5 year old can do, Ryan pops out with,
“Dad, I’m glad your fat, cause if you ever got stranded without food, you could just live off your blubber like the whales do.”

He actually said that out loud!!

I was stunned and speechless.

Before I could formulate a response, Kathy, who heard the whole thing said, ”Time for dinner.”
But she could hardly get the words out through he uncontrolled giggling.

After a brief pause I said, “No thanks. I think I’ll just live off my blubber.“

Listen, no offense to anyone who is carrying a few extra lbs (this is a no judgement zone) but I AM NOT FAT! I have no idea where that came from.

I am 5’11”.

Ok 5”10 ¾” but I stand on my tip-toes for ALL family photos, so I look a lot taller.
My typical weight vacillates between 175 and 185lbs.
It varies because about every 2 months Kathy brings home a tub Blue Bell Banana Pudding Ice Cream.
She just puts it in the freezer and laughs.

Have you ever had that?!
It’s really unfair! I
Its like an all-star team of the two best things ever invented.
Its like the Lebron James and Dwayne Wade of desserts.
Ridiculous and irresistible! It’s a weakness for me. I am not ashamed!

Anyway, I graduated from college at 175 lbs, so overall I’m not doing to bad.
I will confess that the current poundage may have been (ahem) redistributed.

So in a circuitous way that brings me to the point of this newsletter.

(Get used to it, It’s how my brain works.
Hey look! A shiny thing!)

Recall from last week’s “Born To Run” newsletter,


We only do short duration, high intensity exercises.
We always want to train the energy system specific to a baseball player’s needs.
The ATP/CP system.

Another reason for this approach lies in the physiology of the muscles we are working to improve.

Everyone is born with 3 basic types of muscle fibers.
The simplified explanation is that we all have fast twitch muscle fibers for explosive activities, slow twitch fibers for endurance functions, and intermediate fibers.
The intermediates are able to convert to either fast or slow twitch functions based on the demands on the athlete.

Think of them as republicans, democrats, and independents.
The majority of our fibers at birth are intermediate fibers. They ultimately become fast or slow twitch based on how we behave or train.

Our workouts directly target these intermediate fibers.

We want to create fast twitch athletes, by converting the maximum number of intermediates to fast twitch muscle fibers.

Pitching is an explosive activity. Each pitch lasts about 2 seconds from start to finish.
To throw with high velocity you must be able to move very fast. You must have an abundance of fast twitch muscle fibers.

If you want to move slow, train slow.
If you want to move fast, train fast.

We don’t want to train our guys to be whales,
or manatees
or elephants..
or any other slow moving creature.

We want to train our guys to be Cheetahs!

We only train to move fast.

So, if you’re bored with running endless poles, and tired of moving like a sloth.
Set your aim for The ARMory and we’ll turn you into a lightning fast rocket launcher!

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