5 reasons you’re golf fitness program isn’t working

1. You’re not eating enough

No doubt you’ve all heard the one about how your gains come while you’re out of the gym not actually whilst you’re training. Adequate recovery is an essential part of making progress on any strength program and recovery begins with providing your body with the nutrients it requires to adapt. Here are some good baselines for food and drink consumption that will keep your body happy and your progress in the weight room going:
– Eat 1.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight
– Drink 0.6-0.7 ounces per pound of bodyweight or 39 ml per kg of bodyweight
*An interesting fact for you: Hydration is the greatest determinant of strength. A drop of 1.5% in water levels translates in drop of 10% your maximal strength*
– Fish oil and multi-vitamin are musts for most
– Carb intake should suit your goals. But broadly speaking the goal on this site is performance and golf performance, we need carbs to fuel our workouts and our play on the course as well as help us recover for the next one.

2. Not enough consistency in exercise selection

Here’s the thing, personal trainers who should know better and the P90x disciples will tell you that you need to constantly vary your training program so as to stop your body becoming adapted to the exercises and prevent plateaus. This is where the idea of ‘muscle confusion’ has developed. Muscle confusion is a complete myth. Yes we do need SLIGHT changes to the exercise to keep progressing but these changes should be made to the intensity of an exercise (lifting more weight), modifying set and rep schemes, or variations on the lifts such as a sumo deadlift as opposed to a conventional deadlift or a narrow grip bench instead of wide grip, NOT wholesale changes to your routine every 4 weeks.
Let me give you an example; olympic weightlifters are some of the strongest, most powerful, guys on the planet. These guys will typically only do about 6 exercises in a entire year of training (and these guys are training 6-8 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week) so as you can imagine they are repeating the same exercises a lot!
Bottom line is if you want to get stronger you need to repeat exercises on a session to session basis; otherwise who do you know you’ve actually got stronger!? Pick a few basic, multi-compound exercises (if you’re thinking squats, deadlifts and presses then you’d be right) repeat them on a session by session or week by week basis, and get really strong at them!

3. Not enough variety in exercise selection

Okay yeah this is the exact opposite of the last point so how does that work!? In reality there is a sweet spot between repeating the same exercises and adding slight variations we talked about above that varies from individual to individual depending on various factors such as strength level, recovery ability and training experience.
This is where an element of skill, knowledge, experience, intuition even art (okay maybe I’ve gone a bit to far now, but you get the point) comes into planning strength programs, but generally beginners will not need much if any variety, but as the athlete progresses and becomes stronger repeating the same exercises will lead to decreased adaptation and stalling progress and more exercise variety is required to stimulate new adaptation and progress.

4. You’re not using progressive overload

Progressive overload is the key stone of all good strength training programs. Progressive overload simply means doing more over time, adding 2 pounds to the bar each workout may not sound much but repeated for a few months and you are a hell of a lot stronger than you were! However you need smart programming to be able to continually exploit progressive overload, especially as you get stronger. Please take a look at this article 12 (well 13 actually) ways to use progressive overload for some smart ideas on how to program progressive overload.

5. You’re not following the rule of specificity

Specificity is a topic that really needs of a few thousand word essay to cover, but I’m guessing you probably don’t have time to read that (hell, I don’t have time to write that at the moment) so I’ll do my best to condense it down to a nice readable paragraph.
Take those aforementioned olympic weightlifters, they do the same six exercises because they have the most carryover to their performance. And you can bet your bottom dollar most of the time they’re doing clean and jerks and snatches as these are the skills of their sport. What does this mean for you golfers? The golf swing has one of the highest power requirements of any sport, as such  it makes sense to place a heavy emphasis on training power. Take a look at the article linked to see my go-to moves for training power in golfers. Additionally, the golf swing is a complex, multi-plane movement, but it’s main components are a lateral motion (i.e. weight shift) and a rotational motion (i.e. shoulder and hip turn). Golfers should be training with lateral and rotational movements to really get the benefits of specificity in their golf fitness program. Please check out the article linked for ideas for exercises in lateral and rotational planes.

2 thoughts on “5 reasons you’re golf fitness program isn’t working

    1. nickbuchan Post author

      Thanks Brian. I think having challenging yet realistic short and medium term goals are key to keeping you motivated. A lot of times people have goals but they are so far in the future they don’t have much bearing on motivation levels today! From a training stand point adding in slightly more variety in exercise selection than strictly necessary to drive progress is useful in keeping things interesting as is setting aside some time at the end of a few training sessions just to mess about a bit and do want you want to do and not necessarily what you need to do.


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