“I’m not sure there’s a better feeling than hitting a home run, a walk-off. It doesn’t happen too often—home runs in general—so I’ll take it when I can get them,” said Skip Schumaker, fresh off belting a game-ending blast in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Granted, the St. Louis Cardinals, who boast two of baseball’s biggest bats in Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday, are far from home-run starved. But every dog has his day, and Schumaker has the power to go yard when his team needs a clutch game winner.
Schumaker's late-game potency is the product of his complex power training routine during the off-season. “That’s where we superset strength training with explosive movements,” says Todd Norman, owner of Cutting Edge Sports in Irvine, Calif. Strength lifts like the Single-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press produce what Norman calls “excited recruitment of the muscle fibers.” In other words, Schumaker activates his fast-twitch muscle fibers so they are ready to work at full capacity. Performing an explosive exercise, such as a Depth Drop Push-Up, immediately thereafter allows him to increase his explosiveness.
Beyond the physiological and neuromuscular benefits, complex training is more engaging for the athlete. “When you start mixing in explosive movements with the weights, it makes the training more exciting and more dynamic as opposed to just coming in and lifting weights,” Norman says.
However, if this training were easy to perform, it wouldn’t be called complex. Athletes must work their way up to such advanced routines. For Schumaker, the complex training was introduced near the final quarter of his 16-week off-season program.
Build your foundation with workouts like the Dynamic Core Training routine Schumaker uses to lead off his workouts. Then progress to complex power training, as seen in the video below: