Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

Fitness

Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

There has been a lot of coverage lately in the media and on social media about golf fitness and the training that certain tour players complete. Some of the comments made have been negative towards fitness training for golfers and I thought I would outline some of my thoughts on the topic.

I feel that it is important to understand a few things about training for golf and to make sure that you get the best possible advice when you are setting up a training program. Some of the common questions I get asked are answered below.

Is all physical training good for golf?

Different sports have different physical components and, therefore, need different training to ensure the needs of the athlete playing the sport are met. A football player would not train the same as a gymnast as these sports require different physiques and have different characteristics. It stands to reason that a golfer would need to train in a way that maximizes their ability to play golf. This would involve an analysis of their body’s strengths and weaknesses, their goals and the time they have available. From this analysis a program can be designed to assist the golfer in achieving their goals and improving their performance.

Should I train like a tour player?

The simple answer to this question is no! As I mentioned before you need a personalised program designed by a qualified golf fitness trainer who understands you and your goals. You should not be training like Tiger, Rory, Jason or Jordan as they have their own strengths and weaknesses and have a personalised training program.

Will lifting weights as part of my golf fitness routine make me look like Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Again, the short answer is no! It takes a special type of training the genetics of Arnold to build a body like his and if you are training correctly for golf you will not build this kind of muscle.

Will lifting weights make me lose flexibility?

If you have a well designed program and are including a good stretching program as part of your training you should have no issue with flexibility. Obviously, if you neglect your stretching you may lose some flexibility but the same rule applies if you neglect your strength training. To put it simply, use it or lose it!

These questions are the most common ones I get about golf training and below you will find the key pieces of advice I give all my students.

  • Find a qualified trainer who you trust and understands golf
  • Make sure they perform a thorough  screening prior to undertaking any training
  • Make sure your training program is tailored to your needs, goals and physical capabilities
  • Ensure your trainer teaches you to use correct form and technique on all your exercises
  • See your trainer on a regular basis to check your progress and adjust your program as needed
  • Be consistent with your training to see the best possible results

These are some of my thoughts and common questions I receive. If you have any other questions or comments please feel free to use the comments section to ask me.

Until next time,

Brent Davis
Training & Education Coordinator
PGA Centre For Learning Performance
Melborne, Victoria, Australia

http://www.brentdavisgolf.com
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Brent Davis

Brent Davis

PGA Professional

Training & Education Coordinator
PGA Centre For Learning Performance
Melborne, Victoria, Australia

Email: brentdavis@pgamember.org.au

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Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

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Golf Fitness, Is It For You? There has been a lot of coverage lately in the media and on social media about golf fitness and the training that certain tour players complete. Some of the comments made have been negative towards fitness training for golfers and I...

read more

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Using The Body’s Three Energy Systems For Golf

Fitness

Using The Body’s Three Energy Systems For Golf

The human body needs energy to move and do things. The human body has three energy systems that are used to generate the energy used by the body for different daily activities. It is important to note that these energy systems are not used exclusively and most activities use a mixture of all three systems. The three systems are known by a variety of names but the most common ones are the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) system, anaerobic system (also known as the glycolytic system) and the aerobic system. I will explain these below and then we will talk about how they relate to your golf and training.

The ATP system uses the energy that is stored in the muscles themselves and, as this is a very low level, can only be used for a very short time with the energy obtainable being very limited. The energy available via this system would be completely exhausted between around six to ten seconds and takes a few minutes of rest to replenish itself. This system is used as a first energy source for things such as jumping up to answer the phone, run away from danger or to catch a falling child. This system kicks in immediately but, as mentioned before, the payoff is the small amount of energy that is able to be accessed by this system.

The second energy system available to the body to use is the anaerobic system and this system kicks in once the ATP system has used up its stores. This system will keep you moving for around an extra minute or so before it also runs out of fuel. Use of this system will lead to a build up of hydrogen ions in the body which creates that familiar, and painful, burn we feel when we run 400m at close to maximal effort.

The third and final energy system to be used by the body is the aerobic system. This system, as the name suggests, utilises oxygen and, in fact, needs oxygen to actually work. This system is fuelled by fat and glucose and is the system that keeps us moving after the other two systems have failed. Although the oxidative system is continuously active and produces loads of energy, the process of converting fat into usable energy can take a while. Once it gets started, though, it’s your body’s most reliable engine over long periods of time. In a 10-second sprint your aerobic system is able to kick in only about 13 percent of the necessary energy; on an intense four-minute run, however, that figure rises to 80 percent.

So how does this relate to golf? The obvious answer is that we need to know which energy systems we use when playing golf and how we should train them to make them stronger and more efficient. Working out which energy systems we use should be obvious enough. As golfers we utilise the ATP system when swinging the club and the aerobic system for the majority of the other time during the round. Basically, our sport is slow activity interspersed with a number of maximal efforts (swings) so it makes sense for golfer to train both the ATP and aerobic energy systems.

To train the ATP system you need to be using close to your maximal effort for short periods of time with adequate rest between exercises. Medicine ball throws, short sprints and golf specific exercises (i.e. golf swings) can all be used to train the ATP system. The effort phase needs to last between eight to fifteen seconds with enough rest between efforts to fully recharge the energy system. This type of training can be dangerous for inexperienced people so I suggest you see a qualified trainer prior to undertaking this type of training.

The aerobic system is a little easier to train and you can start to train this system by moving more. Walking more in your daily life can help improve this energy system so I would encourage you to get outside and move more as often as you can. A more formalised way to train your aerobic system is interval training. This can be easily done on your favourite cardio machine in the gym or walking or jogging in your neighbourhood. Three to six one to five minute medium-high efforts with one to five minutes rest between sets is a nice simple formula to begin with and will see you on your way to improving your aerobic fitness.

As with all physical training, you should consult a qualified professional prior to starting any exercise program.

Until next time,

Brent

Brent Davis

Brent Davis

PGA Professional

Training & Education Coordinator
PGA Centre For Learning Performance
Melborne, Victoria, Australia

Email: brentdavis@pgamember.org.au

 

Fitness Archives

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Fun In Your Fitness Training If you have been following my blog posts on this website, you are probably getting the message that fitness training for golf is important. Well, I will emphasise here again that it is very important, both to your golf and your general...

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Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

Golf Fitness, Is It For You? There has been a lot of coverage lately in the media and on social media about golf fitness and the training that certain tour players complete. Some of the comments made have been negative towards fitness training for golfers and I...

read more

TEAM MFG BLOG

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Providing golf junior and adult lessons, golf instruction and coaching to Metro Detroit, Wixom, South Lyon, Troy, Novi, Northville, Walled Lake, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Commerce Township, Milford, Birmingham, Brighton, Sterling Heights, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and the surrounding areas of Metro Detroit Michigan.  Best golf teacher in Detroit, Michigan Best Teacher, Golf Coach Michigan Teacher of the Year

Recovery Strategies

Fitness

Recovery Strategies 

In my last post I spoke about the often overlooked part of a golf training program, recovery. Four areas were mentioned in the post and I promised that I would give you some strategies that you could use for each area to give you the best possible chance of including effective recovery as part of your golf training program. The four areas that need to be addressed in a recovery program are hydration, fuelling, physical and psychological recovery. Below you will see some easy to use approaches that you can use in your own golf training.

Hydration is arguably the most important area as just a 1% drop in your hydration levels will negatively impact on your golf performance. Replacing the fluid lost during a round of golf is extremely important if you are playing several days in a row so it needs to be part of your recovery program. A simple way to monitor your fluid levels is to check your weight prior to and after your round of golf. Every kilogram of weight you have lost during the round is 1 litre of water you need to replace after the round. You need to replace a little more than what you have lost during the round to allow for urination so as a general rule you should replace 150% of what you have lost during the round. This means that a golfer who weighs 80kg prior to a round and 78kg after a round needs to drink three litres of water after the round to ensure they are fully hydrated for the round the next day.

Fueling is the next part of recovery and as golf is not as physically taxing as some other sports and is played at a pace that allows for snacking to occur on the course this is not as large an issue as it may be with some other sports. That being said it is important that you eat a balanced diet and fuel your body with healthy meals prior to and in between rounds. Lean protein and vegetables are a great evening meal between rounds to refuel carbohydrate stores as well as being easy to digest. It is important to ensure you plan your meals as it is easy to get caught in the fast food trap, especially if you are traveling for an event. Make sure you have access to cooking facilities and appropriate sources of food to avoid unhealthy choices.

Physical recovery is something we all can relate to as we have all finished a round at some stage and felt stiff, sore and tired. The easiest way to deal with this soreness is with massage and a qualified masseuse can be very beneficial in aiding recovery between rounds. Unfortunately, we can’t all afford to have such a person on call so there are a variety of self-massage techniques you can use. You can access self-massage strategies using foam rollers by clicking here or spikey balls by clicking here. Massage can also be used in conjunction with hydrotherapies such as hot and cold immersions to ensure a well-rounded physical recovery strategy is maintained. By alternating between a hot shower for one to two minutes and a cold burst for 30 seconds you will assist the recovery process. The shower also provided an ideal environment for self-massage.

The final area is psychological recovery. This is an area that is often unknowingly completed by golfers but it is often done very poorly. Most golfers will finish a round and retire to the clubhouse with their playing partners to relive the round and talk about all the shots that got away and the bad shots that they played. This discussion is a good thing but the focus on the bad shots is only going to make it easier to replay the same shots during the next round. A golfer needs to debrief after a round and “complete” the round from a psychological point of view. This can be done very effectively by using a debriefing work sheet (click here to find an example of one that I use). This sheet can then be used to start a conversation with your coach, playing partners or other friends. Once this conversation is over the player needs to get rid of the sheet (sometimes I have players rip them up!), focus on the positives of the round and refocus on the game plan for the next round.
Hopefully the above information gives you some help when you are next facing a tournament with golf on several consecutive days.

Until next time,

Brent Davis

Sources:  TPI, Brent Davis Golf, Perform Better

Brent Davis

Brent Davis

PGA Professional

Training & Education Coordinator
PGA Centre For Learning Performance
Melborne, Victoria, Australia

Email: brentdavis@pgamember.org.au

 

Fitness Archives

Fun In Fitness Training

Fun In Fitness Training

Fun In Your Fitness Training If you have been following my blog posts on this website, you are probably getting the message that fitness training for golf is important. Well, I will emphasise here again that it is very important, both to your golf and your general...

read more
Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

Golf Fitness, Is It For You? There has been a lot of coverage lately in the media and on social media about golf fitness and the training that certain tour players complete. Some of the comments made have been negative towards fitness training for golfers and I...

read more

TEAM MFG BLOG

Subscribe

Never miss a new post, article, or video!
Subscribe to our newsletter Chip Shots!

Providing golf junior and adult lessons, golf instruction and coaching to Metro Detroit, Wixom, South Lyon, Troy, Novi, Northville, Walled Lake, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Commerce Township, Milford, Birmingham, Brighton, Sterling Heights, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and the surrounding areas of Metro Detroit Michigan.  Best golf teacher in Detroit, Michigan Best Teacher, Golf Coach Michigan Teacher of the Year

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