Verlander hangin' around the gym this winter

It appears Justin Verlander has turned his offseason workout program on end, at least for a day.

With the new year arrived and Spring Training six weeks away, Verlander got into the workout photo trend Monday with his first such Instagram of the winter. But the photo had nothing to do with a bat or a ball. 

Verlander has been a noted workout fiend ever since he broke into the big leagues for good in 2006. He also has been meticulous about his workouts, taking note of how he feels physically as each season goes on and then adjusting his offseason program to address changes. Part of that comes from his parents, who used the daily routine to channel his energy in school.

"As you know, I'm a creature of habit," Verlander said near season's end, "so I'll stick with my routine."

Verlander's attention to detail helped him harness his ability and become not only one of baseball's most dominant pitchers, but one of the game's most durable arms, throwing in the upper 90s well past his 100th pitch of an outing. Still, as Verlander ages -- he'll turn 33 next month -- he also has new challenges as he strives to get back to the form that won him an American League MVP Award and Cy Young honors in 2011.

With no health issues, Verlander has been able to focus his workouts on strengthening and improving. And after just 133 1/3 innings last year between an season-opening DL stint and an early end to the season with no postseason play, Verlander hasn't had to worry about the workload on his arm.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.