Lifting heavy weights should be a priority in our training.
WHERE SHOULD I START?
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FIRST, A CRITICAL DISTINCTION
Heavy is relative.
My heavy is different than your heavy.
My collegiate offensive lineman's heavy is WAY different than my heavy.
When I say we need to be "lifting HEAVY weights," this is a relative phrase.
Every exercise I discuss below can be regressed or progressed based on what "heavy" means to you.
To me, all "heavy" means is that we are moving an external load that is challenging our muscular system to the point of fatigue... this may be a 15 pound dumbbell, a 315 lb barbell, or simply your bodyweight.
But overtime, the goal for EVERYBODY is to INCREASE the external load we are moving.
WHY SHOULD YOU LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS FOR HEALTH?
I am not even talking about the sport of golf... we'll get there.
You should be lifting heavy weights to simply BE HEALTHIER.
I have three primary reasons that EVERYBODY should be lifting weights:
First, grow muscular strength. Greater strength gives our bodies more resilience from injury both on and off the golf course.
Secondly, muscle mass is one of the first things we lose as we age. In order to counteract this, we need to stress our muscular system with external loads which will damage the muscle.
Upon recovery, this damage will turn in to greater strength and hypertrophy.
Thirdly, if we are trying to lose weight, strength training is necessary to maximize muscle protein synthesis and maintain/grow muscle mass while burning off that stubborn fat.
WHY GOLFERS SHOULD LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS?
For all of those reasons above, but ALSO the following...
First, your golf swing creates and requires you to ABSORB tons of force. Because of this, we need to prepare our bodies and muscles appropriately.
Second, lifting heavy weights IMPROVES YOUR MOBILITY. The golf swing moves joints through large ranges of motion, which we need to be able to control and have strength within. Lifting heavy weights will help improve your mobility and, more importantly, your strength within those large ranges of motion.
Lastly, hit bombs. The stronger you are, the more force you can create and apply to the golf club... which will lead to greater speeds!
Now, OF COURSE there is more to the creation of clubhead speed than lifting heavy weights - but it's nonetheless important.
HOW DO I LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS?
Quite honestly the best advice I have is: Start lifting heavy weights.
Just like anything else, experience is the best teacher.
I could write an entire blog post about "how to play golf" but until you actually start playing, you won't get better at it.
Lifting heavy weights is the same way.
Secondly, start VERY regressed if you are new to training. Bodyweight and light dumbbells is all you need to produce that "heavy" stimulus.
Start completing strength-based exercises such as:
Apply as much external load as you feel comfortable.
Thirdly, slowly progress the weight you are lifting.
Next time you step into the gym, increase the load or complete an additional rep each set.
Do that again next time you step into the gym.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I BE LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS AS A GOLFER?
I recommend at minimum strength training twice per week, and at most 4 days per week.
If you only have time for one workout per week... DO IT. Once is WAY better than none.
Also, if this is you using the "I don't have time" excuse, read this article I wrote.
UPPER / LOWER BODY SPLITS or TOTAL BODY?
I am a firm believer in total body workouts, as opposed to focusing on solely the lower body or upper body.
This is because by doing so we can increase the volume and quality of training we are applying to each bodily segment as we have additional recovery time.
Therefore, within every training session you should be mixing in some lower body and some upper body exercises.
WHEN SHOULD I LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS?
If you are training on a day you're golfing, I recommend lifting AFTER golf.
However, in an ideal world, I recommend training on the day after golfing to maximize your recovery time before your next time playing.
If you play golf on Sundays and Wednesdays, I recommend lifting on Mondays and Thursdays to maximize recovery time and limit soreness and fatigue while on the golf course.
The goal of this blog post was to provide a general overview of lifting heavy weights.
I wanted to answer some questions such as WHY, HOW, WHEN, HOW OFTEN, and WHAT?
If you are interested in reading further, check out the following articles on STRENGTH TRAINING FOR GOLFERS:
ALSO, if you want to get stronger, gain some muscle, and play better golf... JOIN THE SCRATCH GOLF TRAINING CREW
Founder and Head Coach SCRATCHGolfTraining.com - And Part-Time Looper
Carter is a strength and conditioning coach out of the Milwaukee area working with athletes, in-person and virtually. Having helped hundreds of athletes, ranging from the middle school to the professional level and beyond, Carter brings a breadth of experience and knowledge to every athlete he works with. He launched SCRATCHGolfTraining.com in the summer of 2021 to help empower golfers to greater performance and longevity.
Carter believes ALL golfers are athletes, and they should be training accordingly.
Become a SCRATCH Athlete today, and start training like the ATHLETE you are!