Q&A with Mike Trout

The Los Angeles Angel shares his go-to core, speed, and lower-body workouts.

At just 26 years old, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is already one of the best players in the MLB. The six-time All-Star and two-time MVP is ranked second in the league with 19 home runs and he’s on pace to put up career highs in hits, walks, doubles, and more. He also helped the Angels get in a good position to compete for a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

The New Jersey native works relentlessly off the field, training up to six days per week during the offseason and throwing in extra late-night sessions. His routine is a healthy mix of strength, cardio, and agility work, and it’s anything but ordinary. Case in point: He likes to load tires with hundreds of pounds of dumbbells and wheel them across the gym. “It makes my entire body feel strong,” he says.

After winning nearly every award during the first seven years of his career, Trout hopes to add another to his resume this year: a World Series title. With the season in full swing, he spoke with Furthermore about how he prepares for the season, strengthens his lower body, and builds competition into every workout.

What’s your offseason workout routine like?

We’re in the gym almost every day. I love to exercise at night when I can, from about 9 to 10:30. Changing things up is good for your entire body because it means you’re consistently hitting different areas. That strategy has been working for me. Some days I work on my speed and agility with footwork drills, sled pulls, or sprints on the field or the treadmill. I’ll run at max effort for one minute, take a one-minute rest, and repeat that a few times. On other days, I focus more on heavy lifting with hex bar deadlifts and dumbbell curls. I’ll swing my bat on a padded target to build up my forearms. I also like to do kettlebell swings and different kinds of squats, with and without weights. For my core, I do lots of planks, tire rolls, pull-ups, and push-ups. My friends and I do push-ups on a BOSU ball and see who can do the most before losing their balance.

So you’re competitive off the field, too?

I always like to compete in my sessions. I have a few friends and workout buddies I train with and they motivate me to keep going. We’ll see who can do the most reps of a certain lift or movement and who can finish running drills first. No matter what we’re doing, it’s always a competition.

You suffered an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tear in your left thumb last season. Did that injury affect your offseason workouts?

That injury was tough, but I didn’t want to change my routine. My training focuses mostly on my legs and core, so thankfully this tear didn’t affect those areas. I give it my all on every play, and that approach has been key to my success so far. But at the same time, I have to play smart. Finding that balance is crucial for me.

Your speed is one of your biggest skill sets. How do you train your lower body?

I do a lot of 40- or 50-inch box jumps to make me more explosive and improve my acceleration. Sometimes I’ll hold weights while I’m doing them to make them more challenging. I also do a lot of loaded step-ups to strengthen my legs. The stronger they are, the faster I can be.

You do some other really intense workouts. What’s your favorite out-of-the-box exercise?

I like to take a big tire and fill it with dumbbells, then roll it back and forth across the gym a few times. It works all the really important muscles and makes my body feel strong.

How do you eat on game day?

I try to balance protein and vegetables at every meal and make sure I have carbs for energy. I drink BodyArmor sports drinks to stay hydrated and keep me from cramping during the day or during my workouts.

The Angels are battling for the lead in the American League West. What are your expectations for your team?

I think this is going to be an exciting and interesting season for the Angels. We have a lot of new guys ready to contribute. Shohei Ohtani was the biggest addition because he can throw 100 miles per hour and he can hit home runs, making him a huge asset. He’s ready to hit and pitch, which is rare in the MLB. I felt great heading into the spring after my offseason training, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.

Which pitchers do you enjoy battling with?

It’s always great going up against the top pitchers in our league, like Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros, and Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners. They’re all great guys off the field, but when we compete, I try to get a hit and they try to get me out no matter what. It’s always a fun battle. There’s nothing like competing on the biggest stage.

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