Principles of a Golf Fitness Training PlanNov 15, 2021
The offseason has arrived. Are you happy with your performance on the course this year? Maybe the answer is yes and you want to pick up right where you left off when next season opens. Maybe the answer is no and you're wondering what you can do now to score better next year. No matter how you feel about your past performance, the offseason is the time to work on your fitness to get a jumpstart on your future on-course performance and overall health.
Principles of Golf Performance Training
There are 6 components of any good sports training plan. At Empower U, we apply those general principles to create golf specific performance training plans. In today's post, we'll take you through each of these components and how it applies to your golf game.
WHAT: Fitness and performance improves through movement patterns and intensities of a specific task and fitness type (strength, power, endurance, or flexibility).
HOW: Incorporating specific tasks of a sport will cause your body to adapt to improve the overloaded muscle groups. Training should be directed at improving the fitness or performance of a sport’s distinct key components.
GOLF: For a golfer, this means focusing on improving necessary mobility and stability areas as required for the golf swing. Work on golf specific movements with and without the golf club in hand to improve your nervous system’s motor control of your golf swing.
WHAT: The exposure of tissues to greater than accustomed-to training stress.
HOW: Challenge the body with the right amount of load (typically weight or volume) to see change.
GOLF: Most likely these are the exercises that aren’t as sexy or look as "golf like" due to the amount of weight or volume, but they are the building blocks of a strong foundation. These may include typical lifts like deadlifts, squats, bench press, or any other power lift.
WHAT: Gradual increases in training stress to maintain tissue overload and provoke continued training adaptation.
HOW: As fitness and performance improves with training, training variables (like frequency, intensity, and volume) must increase to continue adaptation.
GOLF: These progressions can include more weight, different/harder exercises, change in your reps/sets, and so many other things. To the golfer, this typically means adding in more speed and power training once a strong foundation is built.
But be mindful - the rate of progression is important. Progressing too rapidly can result in injury, while progressing too slowly will delay goal attainment. This is where individualization comes into play.
WHAT: The modification of training to account for an athlete’s unique capacity for, and response to, training.
HOW: A training program must align with your current training capacity. Your current training capacity is affected by many things, including age, current fitness level, training history, effort, nutrition, and genetic factors.
GOLF: We must meet each of our athletes where they are at now! A simple "one approach fits all" does not work for golf performance or any training program. This is where a Titleist Performance Institute Fitness Assessment is necessary.
Assess, don't guess! We can all guess our greatest limitations in strength and mobility, but it would be just that, a guess. It's often a surprise to many people what their true areas to address actually are.
WHAT: The planned variation of a training program over time.
HOW: A constant cycling of training variables (activity, rest, frequency, intensity, duration) within a training program aims to maintain optimal training stimulus, address changing goals and individual variability, and avoid overtraining, injury, and burnout.
GOLF: In addition to progression, your program must have varying loads and periods of de-training (or relative rest weeks) to allow your body periods of physiological and psychological recovery. The current demands on your body due to the time of year (i.e. golf season vs offseason) should also be taken into consideration.
Most of your gains will be attempted in the offseason. In season, your program will focus on maintaining previous offseason gains while keeping your body in golf shape and golf readiness.
WHAT: The observation that withdrawal of tissue loading results in loss of beneficial fitness and performance adaptations
GOLF: This means you should continue to exercise year round - during the golf season and offseason. We see this as a critical error made by most of our golfers. When they’re not golfing, they focus on their body, but once the season returns they only focus on the swing. It is critical that we focus on the elements of golf performance year round, with periodization taken into consideration.
At Empower U, our goal is to not only help you when pain and injuries pop up, but to keep you from injury in the first place. We take all of these principles into consideration when creating a customized golf fitness program for our clients so they can Feel Better, Move Better, and Score Better.
Thanks for reading!
- Dr. Dan & Dr. Trevor
Feel Better. Move Better. Score Better