Healthy Living -- 5 Tool Baseball Workout
By Jeff McGaw, MSBLNational.com
Mark Cibrario of the Kenosha Kings is one of the best players in the Wisconsin State League – a high-octane summer semi-pro baseball league for 20-something college–level players.
He was the league's most valuable player, and its leading hitter, in 2007 and again in 2010. In 2011 he was among the five best hitters in the league and was named first-team all-conference for the fourth time in the past five years.
Cibrario's on-field accomplishments are noteworthy, but what really makes them spectacular is the fact that Cibrario is 47 and is currently in his 29th season with the Kings.
He was a veteran on the team before some of his current teammates were potty-trained. Nearly three decades in he is more like a wise old sage -- only instead of a white beard and horn-rimmed glasses he carries a golden glove, cat-like quickness and the ability to turn on a good fastball.
For the past seven seasons he has also played in the Chicago North MSBL with guys a little bit closer to his own age. He played with the 25-and-over Mariners and the 35-and-over Blue Jays from that league.
|So how does a 47-year-old guy play so much
baseball, and how does he compete at a competitive level usually only achieved by guys half his age?It's all about fitness -- especially baseball specific fitness -- and that is Cibrario's forte.
Cibrario is a certified professional fitness trainer. He's owned The Trainer's Club in Northbrook Ill., since 1993. Men's Journal called him one of the country's top 100 trainers, and the Chicago Sun Times has recognized as one of the best in the business in the Chicago area.
Cibrario practices what he preaches and, now, he has turned what he preaches into an on-line fitness video series for baseball players and rotational sport athletes called "Five Tool Player Training”. His goal is to help players to optimize their abilities through training and conditioning.
The Five Tool series is compilation of 16 video libraries with over 9 hours of video and a 15-week start up program design model with plenty of variety. The diverse libraries cover carefully thought-out progressions specific to: screening, corrective exercise, pre-game warmup (self massage/flexibility, run-ready drills), speed training, explosive med ball and plyometric training, and four strength libraries. One of the keys that sets it apart is that the user can perform a self-screening of the functionality and movement quality of all of their joints and improve lost mobility of joints and flexibility in the major muscle areas.
The series, which features nine hours of baseball-specific information, was created with the baseball/softball athlete in mind, Cibrario said.
Cibrario averages about seven client hours per day training his customers. He works with everyone from patients on the mend and in need of corrective training to professional athletes who need high performance training -- and everyone in between.
The idea for the Five Tool series, however, really took root when Cibrario started playing in the MSBL.
|Cibrario observed first-hand how time
Cibrario demonstrates one of his many drills
and lifestyle wore people down. "I was watching guys in every age bracket within the MSBL, studying and watching movement quality and seeing how it deteriorates and watching that quickness waste away,” he said. "Guys start to lose that explosiveness,” he said, adding that running strides get shorter and choppier. "It might take 30 steps to get to first when it should really only be 15 or 16,” he said. "They lose that quick first step,” he said. "They're more tend to run more vertical after hours and hours of sitting without proper stretching and key buttocks strengthening. And when they throw you see that lack of thoracic spine rotation. Guys are a little more rounded in the upper back. They're kind of slumpy and they lose that ability to extend and rotate,” he said.
"It really hit me playing in the MSBL,” he said. "I'd be the Q and A guy,” he said, adding that teammates would approach him with various questions. "They'd say ‘hey, I've got this going on in my shoulder or my hip or my feet.' My thought was that I'd really love to do something that is geared toward the guys continuing in this game after college.
A lot of guys join gyms, and jog, and do the elliptical, and maybe the P90X program – good programs he said for burning fat and looking good in the mirror. "But it's not specific to baseball,” he said. "It's being in shape versus being in baseball shape,” he said.
Cibrario believes a good fitness regimen that is sport specific can help stave off the deleterious effects of age. In the old days of pro baseball players in their late 30's were old. As the world became more aware of fitness and nutrition, "their careers started to end around 40. Now we can see guys starting to push those 40's more than in the past.
I want to help you move, feel and play better,” he said.
For the guys who think they're too old, too arthritic, and generally too banged up and worn down to take on a serious fitness program, Cibrario says "think again. We know with our knowledge now of how to restore lost function.” The program is designed, he said, to take your deficiencies into account and to start from a place that makes sense and reverses tightness and imbalance.
Click here for a related note from MSBL founder Steve Sigler.
|"I have to work around injuries every day,” he said. "Double knee
hip replacement, stiff ankle joints, arthritic knees. I have provided a 15 week program designed to really hit the areas of weakness with prevention of injury as a focus. It's good for the masses.
The cost of Cibrario's program is $80 and includes PDF document support. All videos can be downloaded onto smart phones, IPads and other such devices. That entire program costs less than one personal training session with Cibrario which costs $85.
Additionally, Cibrario offers a discount on personal consulting to players registered in the MSBL.
The days of the abdominal crunch and fitness club machine circuits are over, Cibrario said. That's old school. "There's a better way to approach training for the game and a better way to get yourself truly strong, stable, mobile and flexible,” he said. "Taking a run to the flag pole before the game and playing some catch ain't doing it either. It's a whole new ball game when it comes to getting game ready.”
Editor's Note: To visit the Five Tool Web site click on the following link: http://www.fivetoolpt.com/
You can check out the site and see samples of all 16 video libraries. Also, by entering the username-bat and password-ball, you can get free access to the self-massage and healthy shoulder routines.