Golfers: Doing Stuff versus Training

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Golfers should be training like most other athletes.

There really is no difference in the general idea that golfers need to be in shape to handle the demands of the sport. What is different is the needs of golfers.

Golfers must be able to produce a ton of force in a short amount of time and repeat it throughout the round. 

In its bare essentials that what golf is. Now it starts to get complicated.

Being able to swing a golf club rapidly is influenced by both strength and power. Strength is the ability to produce force and power is the ability to do it in a short amount of time.

The golf swing itself has mobility and stability requirements. We need mobile ankles, hips, upper back, and shoulders. We need stability in the knee, low back, and shoulder blade.

The strategy we use to get to meet those goals is where it starts to really get interesting. The specifics are not as important as the overall program. If the big picture is not clear then the specifics do not matter.

There is a difference between training and just doing a workout. A workout is a one time thing. A training program is a long term strategy to meeting your goals.

If you go into the gym and just do things that have no rhyme or reason then you are just working out. Golf programs should have a couple of components that have worked for all athletes that have wanted to improve their performance.


A good program needs to have different phases designed to accomplish certain goals. Basic phases are:

  • Hypertrophy- used to increase the cross sectional area of a muscle. Allows the muscle to grow to stack strength on top of it.
  • Strength- increasing the force production of a muscle
  • Power- rapidly producing force

There is a whole art and science to periodization but the point I want to make is that there has to be a point to what you are doing.

There should always be a why for a given exercise and rep range. A good training program should be something that is very deliberate in the make up of it.


As more training takes place, the program needs to progress. Progression is an increase in demand of the exercises. This can mean more advanced exercises or moving into a different pahse. But it all depends on what the goal of the phase is.

A really basic progression of exercises might be a goblet squat, followed by a front squat, and lastly a back squat.



Overload is really similar to progression but it usually means more weight, reps, sets, or speed. Increasing these things can make very beneficial changes to a program.

Reps can move from 8 to 6 to 3 when going from hypertrophy to strength to power.

Doing 6 sets instead of 3 will give more volume.

Moving the bar faster can provide more power production.

Doing the same thing over and over is only going to provide some benefit and then maintenance. And no it isn’t because of muscle confusion or some other dumb shit.

Workouts are short term exercising bouts that do not follow the principles above. Just because the physical demands are not the same as football (for example), it does not mean that golfers cannot follow the same rules.

The tactics or specifics change but the overarching theme stays the same.

So are you working out or training?

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