Gone are the days of Ruth and Gehrig when baseball players could get away with sub par conditioning. Increasingly, athletes in Major League Baseball are sporting world-class physiques - the result of a more directed focus on training and nutrition. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, in only his second season in the league, is a perfect example. His current stat line of .300-31-86 (average-home runs-runs batted in) used to be considered a dream season. But Braun and his gym-going brethren have raised the bar, thanks be to the weight room and cutting edge nutrition. Here, the 2007 National League Rookie of the Year takes a few minutes out of the Brew Crew's pennant race to fill us in on how he trains and eats to keep in top form throughout a 162-game season.
SNAPSHOT - RYAN BRAUN
Born: November 17, 1983
Birthplace: Mission Hills, Calif.
College: Miami, FL
MLB Debut: May 25, 2007
M&F: How do you feel about your performance as a team in the first half?
Ryan Bruan: I think our performance as a team the first half was really good. We have played well enough to stay in contention and now with the new additions we are even that much better.
M&F: You had a monster first half. What has your approach been at the plate during your sophomore season?
RB: My approach has been pretty consistent. Where I make adjustments is who I'm facing. At this level, adjustments need to be made pitch to pitch but my approach stays the same.
M&F: How do you train and eat during the season to keep up your strength and energy?
RB: I train regularly during the season to maintain my strength. My energy comes from my workouts and my regulated diet. I drink Cytomax during my workouts and Muscle Milk after for recovery, or anytime I need extra protein.
M&F: What is your off-season regimen like? Do you lift heavy? What types of exercises do you perform?
RB: My off season regimen is six days a week hard training with an emphasis on explosive movements, core and flexibility. I do not lift heavy.
M&F: Do you use any supplements like protein, creatine or glutamine?
RB: The only supplements I use come from CytoSport. Amazing products that help me get through my workouts and aid in my recovery.
M&F: A lot of people like to criticize baseball players as being unathletic and that they just stand around for three hours a night. Your response?
RB: Anyone that thinks this clearly does not have any understanding what we go through to play 162 games in 180 days. The preparation not only physically but mentally is extremely difficult. We are at the yard on an average of nine hours a day preparing and then competing. No other sport has our schedule.
M&F: You guys picked up CC Sabathia at the break and are right in the thick of the race in the NL Central. What can we expect to see from the Brewers in the second half?
RB: What you can expect to see from the brewers the second half is a team taking things one game at a time and competing for a goal not only to get into the playoffs but to win it all.
>> For more information on Ryan Braun or the Milwaukee Brewers, visit www.brewers.mlb.com.
>> To read more about Ryan's nutrition, visit www.cytosport.com.