Training for baseball, especially for pitchers, used to emphasize aerobic conditioning to the point of exhaustion. The old adage was players should run to build up their stamina and their endurance. As strength and conditioning has evolved, however, more emphasis is being placed on speed and power training rather than steady-state aerobic training.
The reason for this shift in training is due to the fact that we as trainers are becoming more aware of the effects of training the anaerobic components to increase the aerobic. This effect only takes place from anaerobic to aerobic though, it’s essentially just a one-way street; you cannot improve your anaerobic performance by training your aerobic energy systems. So, when baseball players come into Beyond Motion and start training we emphasize training those anaerobic energy systems, the creatine phosphagen system and the fast glycolytic. Being able to training anaerobically while still improving aerobic performance is huge for us, it allows the trainers to make the workouts more interesting and gives us more variety in our programming. With this all being said, ignoring aerobic training completely would be an ill-advised move of course, because to be a strong athlete you have to have balance in your program.
Focusing on these powerful and quick movements relates to on the field movements as well. Baseball is a sport that is short powerful bursts of energy with periods of inactivity, sometimes longs bouts of inactivity. So what we need to do as coaches is train our players for those quick bursts, which could be swinging the bat, tracking down a fly ball, or stealing a base. All of the movements we do in the weight room serve a purpose, gone are the days of lifting like a bodybuilder or running like a marathon runner. Our baseball players train fast and they training strong so they can be at their best on the field.
Rhea, Matthew R. et. Al. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2008. Noncompatibility of Power and Endurance Training Among College Baseball Players