Pro Baseball to Olympic Weightlifting

By: Tim Rawlings
Magazine 17 #4

I was raised in the Chicago area and played baseball my entire life. I attended Augusta State University on a full baseball scholarship where I also studied Exercise Science. During that time I lifted weights periodically, but did very little sport specific exercise. After college I signed with a professional team, the Normal Cornbelters (, where I continued playing baseball until I suffered a career ending torn rotator cuff diving headfirst into home plate.

Tim Beverly Supplements

With my baseball career over, I found my way to Superior Athletic Advantage, a strength & conditioning facility in Barrington IL. I started as an intern studying under former Olympic weightlifters and Division 1 strength and conditioning coaches. Superior Athletic Advantage incorporates Olympic weightlifting as a tool to help athletes develop explosive strength. I really liked the fact that weightlifting, unlike baseball, is an individual sport where you have much more control over your success. The more I learned, the more interested I became in Olympic lifting.


Olympic weightlifters train very different from bodybuilders. For example, I perform squats and a variation of the classical lifts (snatch, clean and jerk) almost every day, where a bodybuilder would typically not train the same body part two days in a row. In weightlifting there is less emphasis on the eccentric (negative) portion of the movements, which causes the majority of muscle damage. This allows Olympic lifters to perform the lifts more frequently. Many Olympians often perform the same lifts twice a day!

I generally will do about 3 weight progressions with 2-4 sets at each weight (6-9 sets total per exercise) and reps ranging from 1-4. Start at 50-60% and add 10-15% each progression working up to about 85-100% of 1 RM.

  1. Snatch
  2. Push Press
  3. Snatch Grip High Pull
  1. Power Clean + Power Jerk: (2 cleans + 3 jerks) for 2 sets, then add weight (2 cleans + 2 jerks) for 2 sets
  2. Back Squat
  3. Clean Grip High Pull
  1. Snatch
  2. Front Squat (pause at bottom)
  3. Good Mornings (Seated)
  1. Power Snatch off blocks
  2. Hang Clean (from just below knee)
  3. Back Extensions
  1. Front Squat
  2. Snatch Pull off low blocks
  3. Jerk from Rack
  1. Power Snatch
  2. Snatch Pull off high blocks
  3. Military Press

In order to move big weights in weightlifting, you have to be able to squat and deadlift a higher percentage than what you are trying to achieve in the classical lifts. This leads to great strength, big legs, a thick back, and monster traps.

My advice to any bodybuilder would be to prioritize heavy compound movements like bench, squats, and deadlifts. Then incorporate variations of the Olympic lifts for higher repetitions in order to achieve more hypertrophy. Performing these lifts will also help your body achieve better symmetry. Also, fast, heavy, compound movements activate more fast twitch muscle fibers, which have more potential for growth. I normally don’t do cardio, but on my lighter days I take shorter rest periods to get my heart rate up.

Diet & Supplements

My main focus is to make sure I take in enough calories. I train at a very high intensity and my metabolism is like a furnace. I try to take in as many good calories as possible. When I have trouble taking in enough calories, I make due with protein shakes and sip on Glutamine Select throughout the day.

Breakfast: 2 cups of oatmeal, 2 scoops of Muscle Provider, 1 cup of mixed nuts

Lunch: 2 chicken breasts and 1sweet potato

Dinner: steak, bag of mixed vegetables with cheese

Supplement Schedule

Upon awakening: Quadracarn, Muscle Synergy, Super Pak

45 minutes before workout: Creatine Select, Up-Lift, Quadracarn, Muscle Provider

During Workout: Up-Lift, Glutamine Select

Post workout: Creatine Select, Muscle Synergy, Glutamine Select

Tim Rawlings lift
My current best lifts are:
  Squat: 235kg (517pounds)
  Clean: 182kg (400pounds)
  Jerk: 173kg (380pounds)
  Clean and Jerk: 170kg (374pounds)
  Clean and Jerk: 170kg (374pounds)
  Snatch: 133kg (293pounds)

Since starting weightlifting

I have been part of three competitions. I placed 2nd twice and 3rd in the other. My goal is to be ranked first in the country.. and after that who knows. My advice to anyone is to keep training hard, keep learning, and surround yourself with people that are going to support you. I am very excited to see where this new sport takes me as it is my new passion in life.

Tim Rawlings at a Glance
Age: 26
Occupation: Sports Performance Coach / Supplement Representative at Superior Athletic Advantage
Current Residence: Barrington, Illinois
Years training (total): Trained periodically for college baseball. I have been consistently training about 2 years.
Height: 6′0″
Weight: 220
Favorite Bodybuilding Meal:
Turkey burger and mixed nut
Favorite Supplements:
Super Pak and Muscle Synergy. I take Super Pak every day with my first meal. I drink Muscle Synergy first thing in the morning and in my post workout shakes. Super Pak helps me run on all cylinders and Muscle Synergy helps with explosive strength and recovery.
On your IPod:
Tool and Skrillex
Most Inspiring Book:
Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within
Favorite Hobby or Interest Outside of Bodybuilding:
Baseball and drums
Words to live by:
Every man dies. Not every man really lives.

 All of my lifting videos can be seen on the Superior Athletic Advantage Facebook Page and YouTube

 Improve Your Bench Press & Deadlift

 Wade Johnson
POWERLIFTERS’ CORNER, Preparing for the Come Back (960 pound squat)