Today we’re going through a full peak strength training session for elite athletes. I recently went through this exact workout with my baseball athletes during their last phase before going off to spring training. Follow along to get an idea of training mindset and what we’re trying to accomplish for the field:

Peak Strength Training Deadlift

What is peak strength training?

Peak strength training should be your focus nearing the end of your off-season training, right before the start of the competitive season. In order to develop peak strength, workouts should ideally consist of lower volume and higher intensity. In other words, low reps and heavier weight.

Peak Strength Parameters:

  • 1-5 repetitions
  • 2 – 5 sets
  • 80 – 100% one rep max

(These will obviously depend on your current ability, personal goals, and the particular exercise). 

Peak Strength Workout

I had my athletes start this workout with a change of direction speed session like this which not only works as a great warm-up before lifting, but also helps to enhance other important skills like agility that you’ll need in tip-top shape come the season opening.

Med Ball Power Toss

Lower Body Strength Set

Our first set was a contrast set for lower body work. I really love being able to elicit potentiation, which means to increase the strength of nerve impulses along pathways which have been used previously, either for the short or long term. We do this to achieve an acute response using dynamic and high velocity movement.

Start with two repetitions each side focusing on loading the movement and increasing the intensity with each set.

1. Trap bar deadlift – this particular variation has the athletes in a staggered stance where the front leg takes on the majority of the resistance to produce more force.
2. Seated med ball vertical toss – this power movement is very similar to a seated box jump but for this variation we’ll add a bit of light resistance in the form of a med ball. The goal is to move the med ball as quickly and powerfully as possible from a dead stop. This drill really works the concentric portion of the movement without the eccentric portion since there’s no lowering.

Upper Body Strength Set

After going through a couple of sets of your lower body work we’ll switch over to our contrast set for the upper body. Since we had baseball athletes in the gym, our first focus is to perform a vertical push with a horizontal element but you can change this up depending on your sport.
Start with two repetitions each side focusing on loading the movement and increasing the intensity with each set.
1. Land mine push press – this is almost a hybrid between a jerk and a push press. Again, you’ll be in a staggered stance and standing on the balls of your feet. Think about generating force from the ground, transferring it up through the trunk. Again we are focusing on low volume but high intensity so you can build up to anywhere between 2 -5 reps.
2. Dynamic shot toss – this movement is the final progression you would work on for improving this like pitching and hitting power. The dynamic shot toss isolates the hips and trunk through rotation. You can work to slowly improve this by increasing the speed and momentum. You can check out a full med ball workout to throw harder here.

Axillary Strength Circuit

Even if you don’t play baseball, this peak strength workout will still be crazy helpful in your training to build strength and overall power no matter what your sport is. To finish off, we added a small axillary circuit consisting of:
– High band rows
– Zotman curls
– Med ball side slams
Check out the full workout I did with my elite baseball athletes here. 

If you’re interested in getting a full offseason training program for baseball or your other sports, be sure to check out the link below for top notch training sure to put you ahead of the curve:


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