Mike Trout on How He Trains, Proving People Wrong, and His Dream Face-Off Against Nolan Ryan

Mike Trout
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Since making his MLB debut in 2011, all Mike Trout has done is prove he’s one of the best players in baseball history. The Los Angeles Angels outfielder has earned seven All-Star appearances, two Most Valuable Player Awards, and six Silver Slugger awards, all while putting up numbers that compare to—and are better than—some players in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

And it looks like 2019 is going to be a continuation of that trend. After just one week of games, Trout ranks in the top five in Major League Baseball in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage, and RBIs. He leads the league in on-base percentage and walks—and he also hit a home run in four straight games.

Not bad for a guy who just signed a record-setting 12-year, $430 million extension with the Angels.

We caught up with Trout to talk about his training routine, the best advice he’s ever received, and the legendary MLB pitcher he’d most like to face off against.

Mike Trout
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Men’s Journal: How much has your training changed since coming into the majors?

Mike Trout: I’ve kept the same routine I’ve used over the last few years. In the off-season, you want to get bigger, stronger, and faster. So I like to do a lot of full-body workouts—squats, deadlifts, bench press, and hardcore lifting. And during the season, you obviously just want to maintain it. I’ll do lighter weight but more reps. I try to be explosive in all my workouts no matter what type of training I’m doing. I try and hit as many areas as I can, because that way you’re consistently working out your entire body.

What’s a typical training session like?

Some days I’ll be working on my agility and quickness by doing footwork drills, sled work, or sprinting. I also like to do stuff on the treadmill where I’ll just max out for one minute, rest for another minute, then go back and forth a bunch of times. Other days I’ll work on heavy weightlifting by doing hex-bar deadlifts. Using kettlebells has been really helpful in my workouts, too. I’ll do squats and swings. When I’m working on my core, I like to do planks. To help with my leg strength and explosiveness, I do box jumps. Sometimes I’ll hold some weights to make them tougher to do.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received—and how have you used it in your career?

The best advice I ever received is to never give up and always try to prove people wrong. I think growing up in the Northeast, people say it’s a disadvantage for guys who play baseball. And for me, I’m just trying to prove them wrong.

What are some of the ways you stay on top of your diet during the season?

My weight fluctuates throughout the full season, but I try to be consistent in what I’m eating and try to eat healthily. [My priority] is just checking my weight all the time and being cognizant. I also always make sure I’m hydrated and drinking what I need to prevent cramping and I love BODYARMOR for that. That keeps me feeling strong. BODYARMOR is coming to a point where every year, there’s a new flavor or something new coming out whether it’s their SportWater or LYTE (sports) drink. It’s all natural and for me, I’m always using it during workouts so it helps me prevent from cramping up. So for me, it’s been something that’s been helping me throughout my whole career to this point.

Mike Trout
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How should a person handle failure? 

Generally, in baseball, you’re going to fail majority of the time. Staying positive and continuing to have that positive mindset is key and it helps me through the tough times.

If you could face off against any pitcher in baseball history, who would it be and what stadium would you choose?

Probably Nolan Ryan. It would be coolest to face him at Angels Stadium, given all the haters, the history, and his career overall. It would definitely be a challenge, especially because he once was an Angel and our stadium is an incredible one to play in.

Here’s a workout example of something that’s similar to what Mike Trout does sometimes (feel free to adjust reps for your skill/workout level):

  • 10 pullups
  • 10 medicine ball pushups
  • 10 Bosu push-pulls
  • 10 incline pushups
  • 10 decline pushups
  • 10 wall pushups

Rest: As needed between, but try and complete a circuit (can adjust reps for your workout level)