John,

First off, I would like to thank you for the great programming CFFB provides! I am a huge fan and have been following CrossFit Football programming with a buddy for over a year.  I am a college baseball player with dreams of draft day but realize that I will need to make up for my lack of height with speed and power, but its the power part I am having trouble with.  I am a 180 lb, 20yr old, 5'10'' left fielder and have trouble gaining weight, retaining the mass and my speed.  I've been a thin guy all my life but have had great success with CFFB as I now weigh the highest in my life and lift a lot heavier than I did in high school.  I follow a fairly strict zone/paleo diet with dairy mixed in; take whey protein post-workout and casein protein nightly.  I have tried creatine but found it to make me feel too bloated and I shed the weight within the first 4 weeks in-season.  I am tired of being the skinny guy and want to put on around 15 pounds this off-season.  I have never really contacted anyone like this before but any insight that you could give me would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks,

Heath Steele
Oklahoma Christian University

UNDATED Pete Rose The Enquirer/Ed Reinke Scanned February 9, 2007.
Heath,

You are right, to play in the majors you need speed and power. When I played in Philadelphia, I would head up to Bronx to see the Yankees play and hang with friends on the team. Those guys were all big, strong and on the field, had the ability to generate force. It comes down to coordination and starting strength.

Starting strength is defined as, your ability to begin a movement with a high level of strength, and velocity. The stronger you are, the faster you will overcome resistance, whether it be your body weight, gravity or the bat.

Lifting heavy weights will build that starting strength. Doing dynamic, ballistic movements like power cleans, power snatches, barbell lifts at 50%-75%, box jumps (and not the 20” box jumps for 300 reps), reaction drills, medball throws, sprinting, fly starts and plyometrics will increase your explosiveness.

Sub-maximal efforts over long duration, are not going to assist you in building the needed starting strength, max velocity and explosiveness.

If you want to gain weight, the only thing I want you to count is protein. Don’t count almond, no could blocks, just count protein, 1 gram per pound of body weight. I want you to supplement your meals with fat and carbs. I wrote an article a while back called; “Just tell me what to eat”…click on it.

Personally, I have problems with casein. I always thought it was whey that upset my stomach, but once I found a whey protein that did not have casein, I was fine. For me, casein is a gut irritant. I would mix up a shake before bed of whole milk, 2 scoops of whey and 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil.

I would mix creatine with 10 grams of BCAA, high in leucine. Start at 2.5 grams of creatine and work your way up to 5 grams, just in your post workout shake. I feel like some people bloat on creatine if they do not slowly load it and let their body acclimate.

If you want to gain weight and play at the next level, start eating and training like it.

Good luck and I love to hear when athletes are using the training for their sport.

John