March Madness – Tyler Baker Dispels Common Basketball Myth

After many interactions with numerous basketball players, parents, and coaches, it’s evident that the archaic myth that “lifting weights will wreck your shot” is still widespread. It’s 2016 and it’s safe to say that training has adapted along with the game of basketball. Only doing skill-work may allow the top 5% of naturally gifted athletes to get by (not maximizing their natural ability, but they’ll get by). The other 95% have to supplement their skill work with developing themselves as an athlete, which means “lifting weights” and training.


Tyler Baker is an example of this. His hard work and dedication helps prove this concept and it has opened up doors for Tyler as a student-athlete as well.


At the end of the regular season, Tyler was the leading scorer in the West Michigan. He has one of the best 3-pt percentages around…and Tyler has been lifting weights his entire high school career.


You can read about his success this season here:


It was the fall of 2012 when Tyler Baker decided to get serious. He was a freshman training with his older brother and his friends at PSTS. Like many 14 year-old basketball players who were growing rapidly – he was skinny, inflexible, and lacked the strength and power to create any sort of first-step quickness.

tyler baker

Due to the safe, effective training benefits of sled dragging – Tyler dragged a lot of sleds as a freshman. Within 3-months he went from 6 plates to this 15 plate drag for 20yds.


What he could do was shoot. And under the mentorship of PSTS coach Brian Palmer, Tyler would learn the discipline it took to develop his athleticism along with his basketball skills. Along with Brian, Tyler was surrounded with quality basketball minds with his high school coach Jared Redell ( and AAU coach Jason Martin (Grand Rapids Storm). Both of these coaches are big supporters of their players training and getting stronger. They know it develops a mental edge as well.


“The changes Tyler has made as an athlete can be completely attributed to PowerStrength and coach Brian Palmer. Tyler has dedicated himself to not only changing his body and athleticism, but his overall approach to improvement has changed. He now understands time management, efficiency of workouts, and proper nutrition and rest. These are all areas that are vital for kids to understand as they enter college and are on their own. PowerStrength has done a great job with Tyler as they do with all their athletes.” – Jared Redell, Northpointe Head Coach, Redell Elite Training 


As Tyler progressed through high school, so did his attitude towards training. He really stepped up the spring/summer before his junior year and the results showed – especially when he was finally able to dunk. The strength and explosiveness he was gaining through his workouts was showing up on the court, and he was bought in to the process.

Tyler B Action

Tyler finishing above the rim *Picture approve for use by Lori Melton Photography


As a senior, Tyler now trains year-round. He made sure to get  1-2 sessions each week during the season to make sure his body felt as good as possible while maintaining all the results he worked so hard for.

“Given my body-type I knew I would never have ‘elite’ speed. Being 6’5 my game style was slower and I used my body a lot. PSTS allowed me to get to a strength level that allowed me to maximize my game style and production on the court. PowerStrength got me strong enough to where smaller quicker guards wouldn’t bother me. My speed and quickness level also improved so that slower, bigger players had a hard time staying with me.”Tyler Baker



For someone who started off performing bodyweight squats to a high-box (24” box) because he lacked the foundational strength and technique to use any weight, his best box squat ever is 345 to a parallel box at a height of 6’5.


His bodyweight has gone from 156lbs as a freshman to 205lbs as a senior.


Another myth is that carrying more muscle “weighs you down” on the court. Excess body fat and a lack of muscle is what makes an athlete look like they’re running in water. A well-balanced strength and speed program with the proper mobility and soft-tissue care is what allows for better movement on the court.


Tyler’s standing vertical jump has gone from 18” to 30”. In 3 years he added a foot to his vertical while gaining 50lbs….


The myth that being stronger and more “bulky” must wreck his shot is disproved again. He’s gone from 10pts per game to 24pts per game. Take a look at the progress broken down by year:

9th Grade

BW- 156lbs

VJ- 18”

Squat – Bodyweight to high box only


10th Grade

BW- 180lbs

VJ- 24”

Squat – 205

*able to throw down a weak dunk for the first time


11th Grade

BW-195lbs (body completely transformed, has a 6-pack)

VJ- 29”

Squat – 315×2

*On the court play took off and started to crank dunks. Avg. 10pts a game.


12th Grade


VJ- 30”

Squat – 345×1

*Avg. 24pts per game, set school record with 48 points in a game


Tyler has accepted a scholarship offer to stay home in Grand Rapids and play for the 2015 NAIA National Champs Cornerstone University Golden Eagles. They always recruit disciplined, hardworking players and Tyler will fit right in.

Tyler set the tone and many other area basketball players of all ages have joined our program. In the off-season Tyler is joined by other area hoopers at PSTS who are also getting it done on the court. Upperclassmen like Riley Costen, Nick Dekkenga, and Spencer Peterson.

Coach Brian has slowing been changing the way they prepare off the court – in order to dominate on the court. We are continuing to add to this effective program by building our own private court and hoop. This will allow basketball athletes the opportunity to balance all their types of training under one roof. We’ll see how Tyler and the guys continue to develop in the near future!

Nevermind the mess, the PSTS Hoop is up with the floor being installed soon!

Nevermind the mess, the PSTS Hoop is up with the floor being installed soon!





If you’re interested in learning how to truly prepare as a basketball athlete, click the link below and fill out the contact form. We will be in touch to schedule you a free consultation!