RPP Baseball TJ Strength Training Program

The following strength training outline is designed to be used as soon as 2-4 weeks post-op and in conjunction with the Alan Jaeger / Randy Sullivan throwing portion of the program.


Getting back in the gym “as soon as possible” post-op is crucial in order to:

    • Attenuate De-Training – Stop the “de-conditioning process” before it starts
    • Address Movement Dysfunctions – Improving mobility / movement that could be negatively affecting mechanics while adding to the residual stress of throwing
    • Re-Introduce an Athletic Environment – Early activity is key for morale as well as keeping the player continuing to “feel like an athlete” during the rehab process
    • Re-Ignite Caloric Intake – Strength training instills better appetite and eating patterns, great for putting on lean body mass

 Concepts and Concerns

    • Nothing training-wise until 2-4 weeks to allow for a reduction in swelling and / or reduction of pain medications as directed by orthopedic
    • Be as aggressive as possible without going over the safety threshold
    • The use of Safety Squat Bars (SSB) in the early stages is recommended to eliminate the use of front and/or back squat arm positions. This helps eliminate provocative positions and helps keep heavy loads out of the hands of the repaired arm while healing
    • Strength training is usually prescribed 3x / week, while 4-5x / week can be implemented with the addition of 2 recovery / movement days

The Training Phases

Phase 1 (3-7 weeks)


    • Optimize alignment, single leg stability / balance, cross-education strength work to injured arm (hormonal balance)


    • Maximize full body mobility (excluding the dominant arm)
    • High volumes /low load (70-75% 1RM) of lower body and single leg strength training (No SSB work yet)
    • Low Volume/High load (80-85% 1RM) of single arm eccentric (4-0-0 tempo)
    • Training with good arm creates “cross-education” to injured arm
    • No med ball work yet
    • Build aerobic base (zone 2)
      • HR 130-160 bpm 20 min/day for recovery

Sample Exercises / Volume:

    • Lower body – 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
    • Breathing drills, Sl. Board leg curls, 1-arm (non-dom) cable row, RFESS, rev sleds (with belt around waist), dead bugs

Phase 2 (8- 11 weeks)


    • Continue to safely increase athleticism, introduce light strength training to injured arm (only if cleared by PT or Ortho)


    • Start to integrate more lower body loading and low level plyometrics
    • Light strength training (50-60% 1RM) on injured arm (if cleared by PT or Ortho)
    • Begin med ball rotational work on non-dom side only, shovel pass only, no side throws
    • Begin low intensity sprint work (only if cleared by PT/physician)

Sample Exercises / Volume:

    • Main lifts: 3-4 Sets of 6-8 reps @ 75-85% 1RM
    • SSB Split Squats, SSB rev lunges, med ball shovel pass, 1- arm cable row (both sides if cleared), Airdyne / Assault bike sprints

Phase 3 (12- 16 weeks)


    • Continue strength training and introducing mid-level plyometrics for power
    • Note: In most cases, use of the athlete’s dominant arm should be cleared by now


    • Continue gradual progression to “in-hand” loading
    • Introduce light power development

Sample Exercises / Volume:

    • Main lifts: 3-4 Sets of 6-8 reps @ 75-85% 1RM
    • DB SLDL, DB floor press, incline t-row, light 4 lb. med ball shovel pass (if cleared by PT), higher intensity plyos

Phase 4 (17- 20 weeks)


    • Introduce light power development
    • Note: In some cases, athletes may be cleared to throw by now


    • Rotational Med Ball moves to both sides
    • Introduce OH med ball work (slams)
    • Introduce light trapbar deadlift (50-65-% of 1RM)
    • Increase volume of sprint work

Sample Exercises / Volume:

    • 6 sets of 3-4 reps @ 50-65% 1RM (power)
    • Lighter load trap bar deadlifts (50-65% 1RM)

Phase 5 (21-24 weeks)


    • Progress power development
    • Strength work should complement Jaeger/Sullivan throwing program intensity-wise
    • Note: Throwing should have begun by now


    • Move to normal strength intensities (75-85% 1RM) on all exercises
    • No grip work yet
    • Med balls get heavier (6-8 lbs.)

Sample Exercises/volume:

    • All Strength training exercises can be used at this point with the exception of OH pressing movements

*** Note: As with any exercise, all athletes should be cleared by a qualified professional Doctor or Physical Therapist prior to embarking on any strength and conditioning program.

Related Article

For more information on strength training after TJ surgery see below:

Nunzio Signore (Owner at RPP Baseball)

All training and programming is developed and overseen by Nunzio Signore, owner and operator at RPP. Nunzio, an MLB Consultant and TPI Certified, is a certified strength and conditioning coach. He is also a member of the American Baseball Biomechanics Society (ABBS).

For the past 10 years, he has been one of the most in-demand strength and conditioning coaches in the New York and New Jersey areas, working with players from the Minnesota Twins, Anaheim Angels, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Seattle Mariners, to name a few.

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