Hey John,

First off of course, thank you very much for providing the programming for CFFB. It’s proved to be the most effective method of developing increased strength for me and helped me gain the weight I’ve long been unable to gain. I’m a baseball pitcher, 6’4″ 200 lbs and haven’t pitched for over two years because of a shoulder injury that involved surgery to fix a labrum tear. I’m in the very early stages of rehabilitation in hopes of playing again. I have already noticed a difference in my power and strength relative to my throwing. My question is, what should I be careful of as a throwing athlete when continuing to use your programming while pitching, if any? I’ve heard the whole riot act on impingement and not going overhead as a thrower but I’d like your take on this. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much again!

Alberta, Canada


Here are our prerequisites for overhead athletes wanting to go overhead.

  • Stable and healthy shoulders. If the athlete has a lax joint or pain, no sense aggravating it with ballistic overhead movements.
  • Progressively developed technical efficiency with the movements. This includes the barbell press, push press, jerk, and Olympic lifts.
  • They are mentally and emotionally comfortable with going overhead.
If the athlete has healthy and stable shoulders, has developed technical proficiency in the lifts and is confident these movements will benefit him and not hurt him, then he is cleared for hot.
If you answer “no” to any of the prerequisites, then we make adjustments. The adjustment would be to replace the barbell with dumbbells. In many cases, it is very difficult, anatomically, for the human body to manipulate a straight bar overhead. A dumbbell allows a more natural freedom of movement. Depending on the severity of the injury and the shoulder health, we emphasis unilateral vertical pressing, by doing single arm DB movements.
We divide our training into what we call, primal movements. For the lower body, we squat, lunge and step. For upper body, vertical push & vertical pull and a horizontal push & horizontal pull.
Vertical pushing is a primal movement and needs to be the in the program, however, when injuries and the demands of your sport come into play, we need to accommodate our athlete.