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Get To Know Auburn Strength & Conditioning Coach Michael Shumaker

Dec. 18, 2012

Michael Shumaker was named an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Auburn in September following a two-year run as the Director of Strength and Conditioning at Radford University. In this Q&A, get to know 'Shu' a little bit better. Give us your background as a strength and conditioning coach.
Michael Shumaker: I worked at Mississippi State University as a graduate assistant strength coach for over two years. In that period of time I worked with football, baseball and track and field.
After I left MSU I became the head strength and conditioning coach for one year at Biloxi High School in Biloxi, Miss. I left Biloxi and moved to Radford, Va., where I was the head strength and conditioning coach at Radford University for two years. In the two years at Radford I designed and implemented the strength and conditioning programs for seven sports including baseball, softball, men/women's basketball, etc.... Who are the people that helped shape your strength and conditioning philosophy?
MS: Ben Pollard was the head strength coach while I was a GA at MSU. He has been by far the most influential person in my coaching career. He taught me how to be a good coach not only in the weight room but at life itself. What are some of the core lifts all baseball players should focus on?
MS: My philosophy for training baseball players is really simple. When they are playing they will use their whole body, so when we train we train the whole body every time. I am a firm believer in squats and preventative exercises. Baseball players in my opinion should do some type of lower body lifting every time they lift, we also train a lot of rotation and shoulder work. I have different upper body workouts for both the position players and the pitchers because there are several lifts that I do not let the pitchers do so they will do a ton of push-up variations. I have played baseball my whole life and I was fortunate enough to play at Mississippi State for only a short time but that experience has helped me understand exactly what these guys go through both mentally and physically throughout the year. Break down your weight-lifting philosophy when it comes to fall ball vs. spring season? What are the guys focusing on when they are not with you (summer and winter breaks)?
During the fall we will lift at least three days a week if not four days. At certain times during the fall we will do a lot of heavier lifting but at the same time will do a lot of plyometric and agility work. The fall is the time to really build as much strength as you can because once the season starts we will try to maintain as much of that strength as possible.
Once the season starts we will only lift two times a week and we will stay between 70-80% of maximal strength. The volume will decrease and the intensity will decrease slightly (especially late-season). My main goals during season are keeping them strong at the same time keeping them healthy and on the field.
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