Peaking at the Right Time
Getting in shape for golf requires as little as two 15-20 minute exercise sessions per week.
As your condition improves, however, your exercise time and effort can be progressively increased and integrated into a periodized training program in which you emphasize different conditioning components for various time periods throughout the year.
Periodization training simply organizes your training for achieving a projected goal. More advanced, periodized training is not difficult to implement and should further enhance your physical development.
The success of any training program is based on how you are able to control, modify and manipulate two key variables: volume and intensity. The two components of periodization in essence state:
As intensity increases, volume decreases. As volume increases, intensity decreases. Always keep in mind that an increase in one factor requires a decrease in the other.
The key to manipulating these variables successfully is to listen to what your body is trying to tell you. To minimize your risk of injury, take a thorough medical, structural and functional assessment before engaging in any exercise program.
Begin formulating your golf program by finding the weak link of your swing and focusing on how to develop that area through joint flexibility, muscle strength, postural stability or motor learning.
Determining your weak link might require self-evaluation or an assessment by a teaching pro or medical professional.
Most competitive golfers have planned training periods of preseason, in-season, postseason and off-season. Professional players typically need to be at their very best at least four to five times per year, such as at The Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.
Like you, top players focus their programs on aerobic capacity, flexibility, power, strength, motor learning and skill practice. Certain aspects of their exercise program are emphasized during some periods, however, and others during other periods.
In season, for example, a competitive golfer will want to focus on maintaining strength, power and stabilization training while improving golf-specific skills on the course. A typical in-season training schedule for a competitive golfer might include three workouts per week:
Day 1: Strength training performed first day after tournament.
Day 2: Power training performed one to two days before or after tournament. The number of reps and weight of the medicine ball would be dictated by the time of year and the day of the week.
Day 3: Posture training using the stabilization ball and tubing program. Work out on the day you play a morning round.
The recreational golfer, on the other hand, is likely to rely less on program design. We recommend recreational golfers participate in strength and flexibility exercises no less than twice per week:
Day 1: Strength training and power training.
Day 2: Posture training with stabilization.