Baseball Wraps Fall Training

Jan. 11, 2010

IOWA CITY, IA – The University of Iowa baseball team finished up a successful fall semester of training with assistant strength and conditioning coaches Rusty Burney and Dan Hammes. The Hawkeyes completed a battery of athletic performance testing during the week of November 16th. Weight room testing included a one-repetition maximum on the Power Clean, a three-repetition maximum on the Back Squat, and a five-repetition maximum on the Bench Press.

The team also concluded the week after Thanksgiving break with a conditioning test consisting of 16 50-yard shuttles (25 yards down and back) with 40 second rest. After a five minute break, three 300-yard shuttles (50 yards down and back) were performed with three minutes rest in between. All members of the team passed and will be required to pass again upon return for the spring semester in January.

Power Clean
Position Players
Tyson Blaser – 303 lbs
Trevor Willis – 270 lbs
Kurtis Muller – 264 lbs

Patrick Brennan – 264 lbs
Michael Jacobs – 259 lbs
Kevin Lee – 253 lbs

Back Squat (Projected Max)
Position Players
Tyson Blaser – 396 lbs
Zach McCool – 385 lbs
Trevor Wills, Dallas Burke – 374 lbs

Michael Jacobs – 418 lbs
Brennan, Nick Brown, Kevin Lee, Zach Robertson- 374lbs
Phil Schrieber – 352 lbs

Bench Press (Projected Max)
Position Players
Zach McCool, Phil Keppler, Ryan Durant – 275lbs
Keith Brand, Kurt Lee – 264 lbs
Corey Glieden, Trevor Willis – 253 lbs

Nick Brown – 297 lbs
Patrick Brennan – 253 lbs
Zach Robertson, Phil Schreiber – 242 lbs

Senior Ryan Durant returns to the Iowa outfield after earning all-Big Ten honors in 2009.

Q & A with Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Rusty Burney
How do you feel about the Iowa Baseball team’s fall semester?
RB: It was a very successful semester of preparation and performance. We put together a very solid 14 weeks of structured workouts as well as two weeks of voluntary workouts and then we sent the guys home with their own personalized program for the break. The team improved not only in terms of individual physical improvement, but also in terms of team intangibles like mental toughness and team togetherness. When you work out 3-4 days a week at 6am in the morning, you either go through the motions, or you make positive choices and lifestyle decisions to get a little bit better every day. My hat is off to the baseball team for the quality work they put in.

In addition to the weight room workouts, what other kinds of things did you do to enhance performance from a baseball playing perspective?
RB: We started our Tuesday and Thursday workouts with speed and agility sessions. Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Dan Hammes spent forty-five minutes by breaking down our guys running technique and then building it back from the ground up. He was a tremendous asset to our training this fall and made a huge difference in getting our baseball players faster by improving their speed, explosiveness, technique, and efficiency.

Our Friday morning workouts combined a lot of variety in conditioning, ranging from anaerobic running to strongman competitions . In addition, we took a few of our Friday mornings to utilize the bubble facility for several different tests related to baseball athletic performance, including broad jump, vertical jump, various med ball throws, 60-yard dash and agility testing.

What kind of training will the baseball team be doing inseason?
RB: The sport of baseball is characterized by high powered movements followed by a good amount of rest. It’s very important that a baseball player maintains his strength and power during this time. We keep the intensity very high, 80-90% of max, and the repetitions low in our foundational lifts until the last third of the season when we focus on explosiveness and staying fresh for the stretch run of the Big Ten season. It is very important to realize the stress that the baseball season has on the throwing shoulder during this time period. We do not do any pressing with barbells during season, limit overhead work, and minimize Olympic lifting as well. It is very important inseason to pay extra attention to all areas that will affect rest and recovery. Proper rest, nutrition, soft tissue work and stretching will help keep the player regenerated and prepared to go just as hard the next day.