Around the Green

The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.

Back 9 Endurance

As you know, golf is a long duration sport with bouts of power. Great powerful drives start from a stable, strong bent-over posture, a precision windup, then an explosive smash of the club head into the ball after sequencing through a twisting hip and trunk at maximum speed with arms dropping into position, followed by a beautiful post to the finish in great balance. Whew, hitting mighty tee shots is demanding enough, but then you go on to use those exact body parts with calculated force and control for every other shot while walking 5+ miles of mixed terrain.

Each round of golf comprises a large volume of work, and especially so if you’re teeing it up on back-to-back days! Good golf requires muscular endurance to stay powerful and fresh over the long duration. When finishing a round feels hard or when you lose your swing coming down the stretch, it could be due to a lack of muscular endurance.

Muscular endurance is simply the ability to repeat a motion over and over without needing to stop. Building muscular endurance makes hard things, like playing 18 holes on back-to-back days, feel easier. It can help eliminate the back 9 exhaustion and ensure you can repeat your powerful swing even while trekking through demanding terrain. In the big picture of great performance, golfers need to train muscular endurance as a baseline for a repeatable powerful swing.

We’ve all heard the wonders of HIIT or high intensity interval training, but today’s lesson introduces you to HICT or high intensity continuous training. HICT involves training a simple movement using a moderate to high weight for longer periods of time. Your approach to a HICT session requires you to maintain a calm, steady pace with a challenging weight for 10 or more minutes. My golfers absolutely love the benefits HICT brings to their game and oftentimes see hypertrophy gains too. HICT also trains your cardiovascular system to help you recover from more intense efforts such as your powerful swings with the driver.

Today’s session is demonstrated by a Speedgolf World Record Holder, Scott Dawley. If anyone knows about endurance, it’s a speed golfer! Give HICT a try using any compound movement following the bullet points below as demonstrated in the video.

High Intensity Continuous Training

Perform one of the compound movements as follows:

•   Choose a moderate to heavy weight

•   Perform 1-3 reps for each set

•   Rest between sets using short bouts of recovery breathing

•   Focus on steady breathing through the nose

•.  Maintain heart rate close to or below 140 bpm

•   Do as many sets as possible within the allotted time

•   Start with 10 or more minutes for each movement

•.  Adjust your speed and rest period between sets to maintain a steady heart rate

Movement 1 Example: Dumbbell Step Ups – alternate legs as you step up to an 8”-12” box while holding dumbbells. Set the weights down during the rest.

Movement 2 Example: Goblet Box Squats – hold the heavy weight up against your chest just under your chin. Keep your heels down and drop into a low squat while maintaining your spine posture. Set the weight down during the rest.

HICT is a great addition to your weekly training schedule because it gives you a bigger gas tank to fuel the bigger engine (gained from other strength protocols) for more force, over and over, without breaking down. Greater muscular endurance is a much-needed pursuit in the big-picture goal of finishing strong with something left in the tank after playing 18 holes. Expect a lot of sweat and enjoy amazing stamina as you finish strong on the back 9.

Pam Owens is the Director of Fitness for Royal Oaks Country Club in Houston and the owner of Pam Owens Fitness. A three-time Golf Digest Top 50 Fitness Professional, Pam helps golfers all over the world get lean, bendy and powerful with online or in person coaching. For the free Golf Roll-Volution Routines and more resources, click here