Brian Gump: Deadline Day

The off-season is a bit of a misnomer; There is very little "off" time for professional baseball players. That's especially true for young players working their way through the system.

Well, it is upon us; November 1st has come and gone. This may not mean much for most people, but for me, that was a deadline that I set for myself to have all my fun and do all my "resting" before I get down to business and commit myself to a few regimens and eating habits. Don't get my wrong, I am still going to enjoy myself, but the number one priority (besides God, family and friends which always comes first) is now school and training.

I have started conditioning and lifting heavier. I am not taking any supplements whatsoever (although I will probably start using protein shakes soon to help get my body the protein it needs to build, I take that back I use a typical multi-vitamin and fish oil). In my first week of my new diet and workout schedule I am already seeing results. I have put on almost three pounds, which is unheard of me for because I have always had trouble putting on weight, maybe my metabolism is slowing down, or maybe my new diet is really working for me. I like to think the latter is true.

I have been eating about five or six times a day. Smaller portions but more frequently and I'm eating good, healthy foods, mostly unprocessed stuff like carrots, tuna, cottage cheese, fruits, legumes, avocados, bell peppers, chicken and turkey, almonds, oatmeal and things like that and more importantly, I am eating them at the right times. The reason I am eating a lot of high (good) fat foods mixed with high protein and high glucose foods(like fruit) is to help me gain some weight. My goal is to get up to around 200 pounds by spring training, which at my current rate should be accomplished in two more weeks. I don't think I'll be able to keep up the three pounds a week pace, though. I'm currently 194 right now if you didn't do that math.

The reason for this weight gaining goal is fairly straight forward for two reasons, A) My junior year in college I was the heaviest I have ever been at about 203 and I really liked the way that I played and felt. I was strong and explosive and felt good all the way around. I worked extremely hard to get to that level (lifting hard four or five times a week and conditioning three times a week). I would really like to show up in great shape and right where I physically want to be. B) I also want to have some extra weight on because the season is long and guys undoubtedly lose weight as the season progresses due to the travel and schedule of playing everyday. It's hard to meet the caloric needs of the body everyday during such a long season, so dropping a few pounds is pretty normal. So I would rather go from optimal level to a level where I still feel good, than go from a weight I feel good at but not great and drop to a weight were I feel light and maybe a little frail.

So, that's where I am in a nutshell when it comes to my workouts and staying in shape. I'll see if I can grab some pictures of our weight room here and some conditioning shots. I failed to mention, my roommate, Pat Rose, is starting to get with me on this through osmosis. He is a very hard working guy too, but I'm still selling him on the eating right part. We try and work out together and condition so we can push each other and compete everyday, which is essential.

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