The purpose of this study was to determine whether a weight/sprint or an aerobic dance conditioning program would significantly change selected body composition (BC), cardiovascular (CV) and performance (PF) variables in baseball players. Twenty-one collegiate baseball players participated in a 10-week conditioning program in addition to their normal baseball activities. Subjects were randomly assigned to either a weight/sprint (WS) or an aerobic dance (AE) training group. The WS group performed strength and sprint training, while the AE group was involved in an aerobic dance program. Pre- and post-training measurements were taken of the following variables: weight, percent fat, lean body mass, lower body flexibility, aerobic power, anaerobic power, throwing velocity and 30-yard sprint time. A repeated measures ANOVA was used to evaluate the data. Significance was established at p <= 0.05. The WS group showed significant improvement in the PF variables. Anaerobic power increased 4.2 percent, while throwing velocity increased 3.0 percent after the WS training. No significant changes in the BC or CV variables were observed. The AE group produced significant differences in the BC variables. An 8.5 percent decrease was observed for percent fat, while lean body mass increased 2.1 percent after the aerobic dance program. There were no significant changes in CV or PF variables in the AE group. There were no significant interactions between the WS and AE groups for any of the variables. Results indicate that a weight/sprint training program will improve PF variables related to baseball, while maintaining acceptable BC and CV components. Based on this information, it is suggested that baseball coaches use weight/sprint conditioning when training their players.
(C) 1992 National Strength and Conditioning Association