Copyright 2003
Coaching Pitchers
By Michael G. Marshall, Ph.D.

     Chapter Thirty-Three:  Interval-Training Programs

    Training program designers must control all training variables.  They must account for the Specificity of Training Principle and The Overload Principle.  In my training program designs, I also account for my Twenty Percent Principle, my Arterial Blood Flow Principle, my Deceleration Muscle Training Principle, my Relaxation Instant Principle and my Bi-Lateral Training Principle.  Training program designs must have sufficient flexibility to train wide fitness ranges.  Interval Training Principles completely control training and recovery intervals.

         a.  Training Interval

             1.  Neuromuscular Specificity

    During training intervals, athletes perform training activities.  Training program designers specifically describe perfect training interval motor unit contraction and relaxation sequences.  During early training, athletes repetitively perform perfect training interval motor unit techniques.  Until athletes demonstrate perfect techniques, they cannot advance to next training program levels.

    In my pitching interval training program, every exercise teaches pitchers to perform perfect pitching motor unit contraction and relaxation sequences.  When pitchers perfectly practice pitching techniques, they benefit from training against resistances greater than baseballís weight and at slower than competitive pitch velocities.

             2.  Physical Activity Types

                 a)  Aerobic

    For aerobic competitions, training program designers must maintain training interval intensities at slightly higher than athletesí anaerobic thresholds.  Athletes perform constant repetition numbers in decreasing time periods.  Aerobic muscular systems increase athletesí anaerobic thresholds.  After aerobic athletes complete training intervals without distress for four consecutive training sessions, they advance to next training interval stress levels.  With properly designed stress level increases, aerobic athletesí anaerobic thresholds steadily increase.

    Pitchers do not train aerobically.  Nevertheless, pitching training programs should end with aerobic training because aerobic training metabolizes lactic acid accumulations.  Eliminating lactic acid accumulations reduce training stiffness and soreness.

                 b)  Anaerobic

    For anaerobic competitions, training program designers maximize training interval intensities.  Athletes perform increasing repetition numbers over increasing time periods.  During early training intervals, anaerobic athletes master perfect motor unit techniques.  After athletes perfect techniques, they start anaerobic training intervals.  Anaerobic muscular systems function normally at higher lactic acid accumulations.  After anaerobic athletes training intervals for four consecutive training sessions without distress, they advance to next training interval stress levels.

    Pitchers do not train anaerobically.  However, pitchers train above their anaerobic thresholds.  Therefore, during early training, pitchers produce lactic acid.  Thereafter, pitchers should not produce sufficient lactic acid for muscle stiffness and/or soreness.

                 c)  Ballistic

    For ballistic competitions, training program designers require perfect motor unit contraction and relaxation sequences.  Ballistic training economically applies force, decelerates high velocity limbs and perfects motor unit contraction and relaxation sequences.  Athletes practice perfect motor unit contraction and relaxation sequences at increasing intensities.  Neuromuscular brain control centers recognize repeated perfect motor unit contraction and relaxation sequences and realign protoplasm into engrams.  After ballistic athletes complete training intervals for four consecutive training sessions without errors, they advance to next training interval stress levels.

    Pitching is a ballistic activity.  Pitching training programs teach perfect pitching motor unit contraction and relaxation sequences.  Thousands of perfect pitching technique hours create pitching engrams.

             3.  Starting Stress Levels

    Training program designers must carefully control training interval stress levels.  Designers manipulate training intensities, resistance amount and repetition numbers.  Athletes generally start new exercises at one-half maximum intensities.  However, untrained aerobic athletesí anaerobic thresholds are approximately forty percent maximum intensities.  Therefore, aerobic athletes should not start aerobic training intervals at ten percent above anaerobic thresholds.  When aerobic athletes perform training intervals at one-half intensities without day-after muscle stiffness and soreness, training program designers decrease resistances.

    Anaerobic and ballistic athletes have no difficulty starting training intervals at one-half maximum intensities.  Some anaerobic and ballistic athletes may start training intervals at higher intensities.  Therefore, training program designers must require all anaerobic and ballistic athletes to start training intervals at one-half maximum intensities.  Otherwise, their muscles become too stiff and sore to appropriately train the next day.

             4.  Stress Increments

    Training program designers must carefully control training interval stress increases.  Designers control training interval intensities, training interval resistances and repetition numbers.

    Aerobic training programs maintain very high repetition numbers and manipulate intensities and resistances.  Anaerobic training programs maintain very high intensities and manipulate resistances and repetition numbers.  Ballistic training programs concentrate on perfect motor unit contraction and relaxation sequences at maximum intensities.

    Training program designers should gradually increase training interval stress levels.  Athletes should barely notice the increments.  However, athletes must stress their physiological systems sufficiently to stimulate physiological adaptations to meet training overloads.  Muscles require little training interval stress to initiate physiological adaptations.  Smaller stress increments succeed much, much better than larger stress increments.  When athletes argue that they want larger stress increments, answer, "What are you going to do tomorrow?" If they accomplish everything today, then what will they have to accomplish tomorrow? Athletes should always finish wanting to train more.

    Athletes train every day.  More than thirty-six hours without appropriately stressing desired physiological systems and regression sets in.  Athletes always practice with perfect motor unit contraction and relaxation sequences.  Only perfect practice makes perfect.  Therefore, training intervals never fatigue perfect motor unit muscle fibers.

    When training program designers overload physiological systems with weights, they maintain repetition numbers in fixed time periods and gradually increase weight.  When training program designers cannot or do not overload physiological systems with weights, they still maintain repetition numbers, but they decrease time periods.  In this way, designers use time as overload.

             5.  Sets

    Training program designers must carefully control numbers of training phase sets during training sessions.  When training activities have general applications, designers use one set per training session.  When training activities are highly complicated motor skills, designers use three to six sets per training session.  When training activities are uncomplicated motor skills and require physiological adaptations, designers use eight to twelve sets per training sessions.

             6.  Final Stress Levels

    Training program designers must carefully control final training stress levels.  Athletes have physiological limits.  However, designers should never set limits.  When athletes cannot perform training intervals at required stress levels for four consecutive training sessions, they demonstrate their final stress levels.  When athletes cannot perform training intervals at required stress levels for four consecutive training sessions, they should return to their last successfully completed stress levels.  Those stress levels are their final stress levels.  Because athletesí psychological limits are lower than their physiological limits, wherever possible, athletes should not know the stress levels at which they are performing.

             7.  Frequency

    Training program designers must carefully control training session frequencies.  Athletes train daily.  However, when athletes tear connective tissues, they should not train daily.  When endomysium connective tissue tears, athletes increase urinary hydroxyproline excretions.  Body building training programs frequently increase urinary hydroxyproline excretions.  Sport activity training fitness programs should not tear endomysium connective tissues.

    Some researchers argue that anaerobic athletes cannot train daily.  They claim that daily anaerobic training depletes FTG muscle system muscle glycogen and depletes the liversí muscle glycogen reserve stores.  However, anaerobic athletes should only deplete their FTG muscle glycogen stores during competitions.  Anaerobic training intervals should not deplete FTG muscle glycogen stores.  During anaerobic training, athletes train to tolerate increased lactic acid accumulations, not to deplete muscle glycogen stores.

    Aerobic training never depletes STO muscle glycogen or muscle tri-glyceride stores.  During aerobic training, athletes improve oxygen transport and decrease the time to muscle tri-glyceride metabolism.  During competitions, aerobic athletes maintain blood volumes.

    Daily training maintains perfect motor unit contraction and relaxation sequences.  Ballistic activities demand perfect motor unit contraction and relaxation sequence practice every day throughout the year.  Ballistic athletes do not benefit from a detraining day.

             8.  Maintenance

    To maintain physiological adaptations requires less daily training stress than to achieve increased physiological adaptations.  Maintenance training stress must stimulate physiological systems, but not require physiological adaptations.  In general, to maintain the fitness levels that they have achieved, while athletes need to continue to train every day, they should reduce the number of repetitions to one-half of the base training number and reduce the intensity at which they train to three-quarters of their maximum training intensity.

         b.  Recovery Interval

    After training intervals, athletes need recovery intervals.  Athletes must completely recover from training intervals before they start their next training intervals.

             1.  Anaerobic Recovery Intervals

    Anaerobic training intervals produce lactic acid.  Lactic acid accumulations cause oxygen debts.  Therefore, anaerobic athletes heavily breath to transport sufficient oxygen to mitachondria to metabolize lactic acid accumulations.  Consequently, mild aerobic activities during the first one-half of recovery help STO muscle systems to metabolize lactic acid accumulations.  Metabolizing lactic acid decreases the time athletes require to recover from anaerobic training phases.  Anaerobic athletesí breathing and heart rates should return to normal for several minutes before they start another anaerobic training interval.  Anaerobic recovery intervalsí time periods should be at least six times the anaerobic training intervalsí time periods.

             2.  Aerobic Recovery Intervals

    Aerobic training intervals produce carbon-dioxide and water.  Aerobic athletes activate oxygen transport systems and metabolize muscle triglycerides.  Other than fluids that all athletes should replenish during recovery intervals, aerobic athletes require nothing.  Nevertheless, aerobic athletesí breathing and heart rates should return to normal before they start another aerobic training interval.  Aerobic recovery intervalsí time periods should be at least three times the aerobic training intervalsí time periods.



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