A lot of people have a negative perception of strength training. Many also see the benefits of it.
One population of athlete that always sees the benefits are the lean/skinny/underweight. Use whatever term you see fit.
I actually had this conversation with a friend on Christmas Eve. One of his family friends has a son that is 16, 6ft tall, throws 89 MPH, and has no weight on his frame.
- Throwing 89 is impressive for a high school kid
- 6ft tall means a good frame to build on
- His father is put together pretty well
- GET THAT KID IN A WEIGHT ROOM
We are bringing Josh Heenan’s 90 MPH Formula to Evolution in February. The theme of that program is to build the physical capacity to not only throw 90, but to withstand it.
My friend’s example is perfect about the durability aspect. He is close to throwing 90 and will probably get there. My only concern becomes durability.
- Lightweight athletes tend to be more injury prone
- Strong athletes are better at resisting injury
- Someone that lacks weight and strength needs to address those for long term success
I didn’t get a chance to talk with his father but I told my buddy that the kid needs to start lifting and eating. The hard part is done. He can almost throw 90 without a great deal of strength and weight. Now he just needs to be able to handle it.
These athletes are easy to convince that they need to train. They view their smaller stature as a limiting factor.
This does not need to be exclusive to this group of athletes, it is just easier for them to see the need.
Athletes that want to perform at a high level and withstand doing it need a great deal of strength.
Muscular strength is the best way to provide joint support. Tendons and ligaments can only get so strong. They are small and hard to strengthen. When we place force on a joint it is spread upon tendons. ligaments, bones, and muscles. I want the muscles to take as much of the force as they can.
I also need to mention that these types of athletes need to eat. Sometimes they have a tough time eating or they don’t realize how little they eat.
When someone tells me that they eat a ton but can’t gain any weight, something is going awry. My most recent case of this claimed to eat a ton but really wasn’t eating much at all. On top of that, the choices weren’t great either.
The main take away for athletes that need to gain weight and strength is to eat and get in the weight room. Those are the two best ways to improve performance and durability for the skinny athlete.
It is important to address these things at a young age because it is better to be early to the party than late. Being late can mean injuries and a lack of performance. To keep the baseball trend going, some injuries take a loooong time to come back from.
Build the proper foundation as early as possible.