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Lift heavy weights to improve your golf game...

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Putting myself out there a little bit on this one; I'll bet my workout routines look a lot different from most of the folks on these forums. Mark Rippetoe is a prominent strength coach, and had Jay Livsey (who has been on some of the smaller tours I believe) on his podcast talking about how the best way to get fit for golf is to be really strong. Apologies (and warning) in advance, coarse language in the video. And Mark in general is a pretty abrasive personality. But I do think there's a lot of truth here, and am curious to hear some of y'all's perspectives on the video!

Also, you can skip the first 10 minutes, you won't be missing anything.

Summary of his argument:

1. Training is different from practicing. You train to get your body more fit, stronger, etc. while you practice the specific golf movements to improve technique.

2. All else being equal, a stronger golfer is better than a weaker golfer.

3. The best way to be a stronger human being is to weightlift, specifically squat, deadlift, bench and press.

Edited by ncwoz
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PRO TIP - skip the first 10 minutes of each podcast, the "comments from the haters" has got to be the most useless segment I have ever heard on a podcast. 

I think he has some valid opinions around lifts that use the kinetic chain, like deadlifts and their carryover benefits to other activities. People who work at a desk all day would derive more benefit from these lifts that target the posterior chain compared to those in more active jobs. I interpreted some of his comments to mean that rotary power/speed training is of no benefit which I think would be fairly easy to debunk and is contradictory to the entire SuperSpeed model and hypothesis which is used in multiple pro sports based on research. His basic theory was higher strength = higher power but there is a probably a quicker way to increase speed than just increasing weight alone by incorporating speed training. 

Most people would see improvement in club head speed if they added medicine ball throws into their workouts or got on the SuperSpeed protocols even if just to improve coordination from moving through these ranges of motion and weight shifts in higher repetitions other than solely when on the golf course.

There are multiple places that use vertical leap and various med ball throw distances as key performance indicators with high correlations to club head speed. Getting more experience rotating quickly and transmitting force is an easy way to increase swing speed for people that have never done advanced training. 

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@BMart519 Great points.

I agree with you that SuperSpeed's effectiveness seems to be a direct counter-argument to Rippetoe's stance. I do think you could make the point the SuperSpeed workouts may fit into the "practice" category as opposed to "training" (according to Rippetoe's definition of the two), but I can see it going either way.

I'm a little torn myself on strengthening rotational motion.

When I rotate slowly and focus on what muscles are creating the movement, it's a lot of my left glutes/hamstrings, right hip flexors, and abs. If, by squatting and deadlifting, those muscles are stronger I'd have to believe you'd be able to create more force in rotation.

Then again, I'm sure there's plenty benefit to actually performing the rotation and teaching your muscles to sequence and fire in a way to optimize the movement.

I guess my curiosity, specifically with SuperSpeed/medicine ball rotations, is if the benefit is that it's helping you get stronger or if you're more just teaching your body to optimize the current muscle structure you have?

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The big muscles can only move so fast. The arms, wrists, hands move faster. 

Building strength will help overall but training the fast twitch muscles and sequencing will help add speed. 

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22 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

The big muscles can only move so fast. The arms, wrists, hands move faster. 

Building strength will help overall but training the fast twitch muscles and sequencing will help add speed. 

I was coming here to say the same thing.  Training the fast twitch muscles to fire quicker and in proper unison will provide better results than just being big and strong.  Dead lifts, med ball throws, squat jumps, burpees, clapping pushups, jump lunges, and KB swings are all exercises that I work into my routine.  Anything that trains those muscles to fire quick with more power is what *I believe* to be most beneficial to adding speed to the golf swing.  

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On 8/22/2019 at 10:08 AM, ncwoz said:

I guess my curiosity, specifically with SuperSpeed/medicine ball rotations, is if the benefit is that it's helping you get stronger or if you're more just teaching your body to optimize the current muscle structure you have?

A little of both. You certainly do get "stronger" in that there is a definite muscular soreness and adaptation period when beginning SuperSpeed. But a lot of it is neurological as well, which is one of the reasons why the workouts are structured from light to heavy and then back to light to help reinforce the new speed and neurological pathways. 

(Similar to stretching, I'd suppose. If you were knocked out under anesthesia, someone could easily manipulate your arms or legs in ways not possible while conscious. More flexible people have better trained the brain to allow for the flexibility.)

I've run 5x5 or some variation of it several times in the past decade. This offseason I'll be probably doing the Fit For Golf program that a few others are doing here on the forum. I know it has squatting and deadlifts in it, combined with a lot of other exercises and stretches specifically targeted for the golf swing.

The one thing I'm sure we can all agree on - no matter your age or goals, strength training is ridiculously important in a healthy lifestyle. Especially as we age. Sarcopenia is no joke. My wife and I are constantly telling my father-in-law he needs to lift weights. He's lost a ton of muscle mass over the past few years as he's gotten nearer to 70. He'd probably start hitting the golf ball further, too!

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40 minutes ago, edingc said:

The one thing I'm sure we can all agree on - no matter your age or goals, strength training is ridiculously important in a healthy lifestyle. Especially as we age. Sarcopenia is no joke.

True that!!

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