Speed sticks are all the rage right now in the golf fitness and clubhead speed training worlds.
As they should be!
They're massively effective.
They will hep you improve your golf performance.
However, don't think for a second that a speed stick program ALONE will maximize your potential on the golf course.
It needs to be properly balanced within a holistic strength and power development program.
The two biggest brands of speed sticks are SuperSpeed and the Stack System.
Both excellent and I highly recommend both of them to all golfers.
But I have one issue with them...
They're fairly expensive.
Summary of the Article...
Here's what you are in for within the rest of the article:
First, you'll find a video of me highlighting my speed training day from earlier this week. Within in it, I discuss a brief overview of why we should use speed sticks, how to make your own, and how I incorporate them into my own training.
Secondly, I'll go into more detail into the WHY behind the sticks.
Thirdly, we'll discuss the pros / cons of the more expensive speed sticks, as well as the DIY ones I use weekly.
Lastly, we'll talk about structuring your training and THREE MUST-HAVES in your speed program.
Let's do this!!!
My Speed Session.
Why should I be swinging weighted (or unweighted) sticks?
The training principle behind these sticks is that we can develop our rotational power by applying a slightly different loading stimulus to the swinging motor pattern.
Power is made up of force and velocity.
It is, quite literally, force * velocity.
As one of these characteristics goes up, the other one tends to go down.
Think about it this way...
You are completing a hex bar jump. Your force production is massive! But you're moving it slightly slower because it's heavy.
Oppositely, you are completing a band assisted squat jump. Now your force production is smaller as we took away some external loading, but your velocity is massive because you can move fast! Even faster than normal, thanks to the band!
As force goes up, velocity goes down (or vice versa)... see the image below.
Now, if we can find a way to push this curve outward, as shown in the picture.
If we can find ways to apply a stress to the body that will both:
Increase force, AND
We will find ourselves generating MASSIVE amounts of power.
By swinging a slightly heavier stick than our driver we apply an overload stimulus to the pattern. An overload stimulus will increase our force production ability within that pattern (similar to the hex bar jump).
By swinging a slightly lighter stick we apply an overspeed stimulus to the pattern. Now we are tapping into the velocity end of that curve (similar to the bodyweight squat).
Apply both the overload and the overspeed stimuli and watch the clubhead speed gains grow!
Why The Expensive Sticks are Beneficial...
Your driver probably weighs somewhere between ~300 grams.
The more expensive speed sticks like the SuperSpeed and Stack System will be engineered to perfection, giving you the ideal weight range... Usually they'll give you sticks with weights of ~250, 300, and 335 grams.
Thereby accomplishing what we discussed earlier: Overspeed and overload stimulus.
Swing the 250 gram one to tap into an overspeed stimulus.
Swing the 335 gram one to tap into an overload stimulus.
But here's the thing...
You can get nearly ALL OF THE BENEFITS by going to your local Home Depot, grabbing a PVC pipe, cutting it down to 40 inches and swinging away.
Here's what I recommend if you are going with this DIY option...
Buy a 1/2 or 1 inch PVC pipe, cut it down to 40 inches... this will result in a weight of about ~425 grams.
This is now your overload stimulus.
Then, grab your normal driver.
This will be your overspeed stimulus.
I know what you're thinking... but it's the same weight!
No doubt, in an ideal world we would have something a few grams less than our driver, but I believe that you can get nearly the same benefits of a lighter stick by taking your current driver and swinging AS HARD AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN.
By swinging your current driver without a ball at max effort you will create a clubhead speed 5-10+ mph over what you normally swing your driver at.
Which is the exact goal of an overspeed stimulus!
Moving faster than you normally do at full speed.
NOW, we have the tools that we need to apply both the overload stimulus to our rotational pattern as well as the tool needed to apply an overspeed stimulus.
And, it was under $10.
The Last Important Part
External feedback is critical (not 100% necessary, but I feel it's important).
You need a way to give yourself and your swing immediate feedback into how fast you are swinging your club/PVC pipe.
This is critical because it provides an objective measure of how fast you are swinging.
I use this guy (as seen in the video)... Clubhead Speed Tracker which is $120.
We can now use the external feedback we are being provided to consistently set records and also provide us information.
If one day you just aren't swinging very fast, we can ask the question of why?
Well, maybe you are extra stressed at work this week. Or maybe your boss was being a jerk. Or maybe you have been feeling a little sick. Maybe your sleep has sucked recently.
All of which could negatively impact our performance in speed training!
Structuring Your Training
You saw earlier in the video what one day looked like for me... feel free to use that structure and apply it to your own training!
Below, I am going to provide a slightly different generalized daily structure, but know that there are tons of ways to do this successfully.
The biggest thing is you NEED three things to improve clubhead speed and rotational power using Speed Sticks.
Swing as hard as you possibly can. You will not see results if you are going 90%.
Adequate rest in-between training days and within the training session (in-between swings). You should feel 100% (or super close to it) every time you swing the club.
Pair your speed training with a strength development program. Speed training alone will not help you achieve the results you want to on the course. It will play a role, but it needs to be fit within a proper strength development program.
Quadruped T-Spine Rotations... 1x10e
Quadruped Hip Circles... 1x10e
Bodyweight Squats... 2x10
Downdog Push Ups... 2x10
Band Pull A Parts... 2x10
Bodyweight Split Squats... 2x5e
Squat Jumps... 2x5
WRAP IT UP
Speed stick training SHOULD be a part of your holistic athlete development program if you are serious about picking up clubhead speed on the golf course and shooting lower scores.
The more expensive brands like SuperSpeed and the Stack System are awesome!
My at-home solution will work just as well (and save ya hundreds $$$)!
Reach out with questions.
Let's go low.
Carter Schmitz, CSCS, TPI
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