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Goldy49

Weight Lifting and Golf

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All good points here. I am an avid lifter and now at age 47 and after having some serious back problems (from an accident, not from lifting) I completely advocate a total body program that focuses on compound lifts. 

Focusing on the large muscles (legs, back, chest, shoulders) is the best way to create overall strength...and also strengthens your core which is essential.

I would be much less confident not only as a person but as a golfer without the strength I've gained from lifting to stay strong and lean.

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On 3/29/2016 at 10:10 AM, marcharing said:

I do lift weights a lot and I am 56. I am probably about as strong as I have ever been and still manage to occasionally break par. When I lift I go heavy with short duration. I have personally never had any injuries that have adversely affected my golf and I am sure it enables me to maintain good distance. Sorry about the picture. I'm not trying to show off, just illustrating. ;-)

Photo0016.jpg

Ha ha that's classic man:-D

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I think some of the issue comes from a narrowness of thinking. Back in the day, anyone who did weight "lifting" did so because they wanted to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I've never seen Arnold hit a golf ball, but I'm guessing it wouldn't be pretty.

Weight "training" is a whole different deal. If I don't miss my guess, body builders lift less than the maximum that they can, but do it for many more reps, thus building muscle mass. That is not the golfer's way.

Someone earlier mentioned "heavy" lifting. This is lifting the heaviest weight you can, or nearly so, for a limited amount of reps, usually three. This increases the strength and toning of muscles without adding much bulk. And, of course, flexibility must be maintained, so it will be worked on as well.

I've said before that if you go to a PGA event these days, you'll see a bunch of competitors who don't seem to have an ounce of fat on them! You have to be fit to compete these days. Consider the regimen of the WGC Match Play last week. 18 holes on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 36 holes on Saturday and Sunday! 

True, it's match play so the possibility exists that the match might end early, but there's also the possibility that it will go longer if the match ends in a draw! You have to be in somewhat decent shape to last through something like that.

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6 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

I think some of the issue comes from a narrowness of thinking. Back in the day, anyone who did weight "lifting" did so because they wanted to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I've never seen Arnold hit a golf ball, but I'm guessing it wouldn't be pretty.

Weight "training" is a whole different deal. If I don't miss my guess, body builders lift less than the maximum that they can, but do it for many more reps, thus building muscle mass. That is not the golfer's way.

Someone earlier mentioned "heavy" lifting. This is lifting the heaviest weight you can, or nearly so, for a limited amount of reps, usually three. This increases the strength and toning of muscles without adding much bulk. And, of course, flexibility must be maintained, so it will be worked on as well.

I've said before that if you go to a PGA event these days, you'll see a bunch of competitors who don't seem to have an ounce of fat on them! You have to be fit to compete these days. Consider the regimen of the WGC Match Play last week. 18 holes on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 36 holes on Saturday and Sunday! 

True, it's match play so the possibility exists that the match might end early, but there's also the possibility that it will go longer if the match ends in a draw! You have to be in somewhat decent shape to last through something like that.

Agree. We did weight training for track in high school and college. I've kept it as part of my work ever since and I've raced road, MTB and cross in cycling. Studies have also shown that lifting reduces bone density loss as we get older. Proper technique is also a must.

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On 3/31/2016 at 0:33 AM, Mike Boatright said:

Ha ha that's classic man:-D

Outstanding, i changed my program i now focus on high rep less weight.

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I love all the positive reassurance as I just got back into the gym recently and love to life and run...the issue is that I've lost my pw - 3 iron...I literally can't get the ball in the air and if it does it goes dead right.   What is strange is that I'm hitting my driver far and straight (for the most part)   It only started happening after I started lifting again...do I need to stretch maybe?

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Weight training is not bad for your golf game unless you sacrifice flexibility for strength.  I, personally, rely on it to keep my game going.  I always include cardio with my workouts.  

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I can see where weightlifting might be detrimental as you are looking for hypertrophy and that can obviously get you too sore and stiff to swing. 

However, powerlifting has been nothing but positive for me in all aspects, including golf. 

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I was going to start a thread on this very topic. I started lifting again at the start of this year for a variety of reasons, with one being golf. My lifts have increased a ton, but my golf game has either suffered or stayed the same. Interestingly, my tennis game has benefitted immensely... tons more consistency and power.

Somehow my new muscle has screwed up my golf timing or something. Still trying to figure it out.

Edited by bones75

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On 7/12/2019 at 7:28 PM, bones75 said:

I was going to start a thread on this very topic. I started lifting again at the start of this year for a variety of reasons, with one being golf. My lifts have increased a ton, but my golf game has either suffered or stayed the same. Interestingly, my tennis game has benefitted immensely... tons more consistency and power.

Somehow my new muscle has screwed up my golf timing or something. Still trying to figure it out.

Im quoting myself here (mods be kind) as i really was hoping someone may have thoughts to share. I likely didnt write enough in my last post and didnt think this warranted a new thread.

Ive been on a very nice health and fitness routine for almost all of 2019. I lift full body 2x a week (because of work/life sched cant do splits), i stretch almost daily and do kettleball/band/etc golf training routines 2x a week (which i stole from my friend who got it from his TPI trainer).

I was "skinny-fat" and in pretty bad shape (relatively) pre 2019. Now, my flexibility has definitely increased (easy to tell from stretches) and ive got big noob gains in lifting for 6 mos now (4 yr break from lifting). Ive lost about 20 lbs of fat and gained a ton of muscle (again noob gains). Note, im a skinny guy in general, always have been, but during my best years I resembled one of those athletic skinny tennis players.

Everything about me feels fitter and stronger and more flexible. But my club distances are the same (at best) as pre 2019, and im more inconsistent than before.

Without the intimate details of my swing, i dont expect to hear conclusive advice about my predicament, but would love if anyone had any similar stories. I love my swing coach and will continue to take lessons regularly.

I find it really peculiar, as i mentioned previously, that my tennis game has completely turned around (ive always played near equal parts golf and tennis). Every part of my tennis game is materially better. Im faster, more consistent, better conditioned, and have a crap ton more power.

What the heck is up w my golf swing. Pretty disappointed to be frank.

 

Edited by bones75

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4 hours ago, bones75 said:

What the heck is up w my golf swing. Pretty disappointed to be frank.

Are you spending more time in the gym and less time on the range due to your fitness goals? Have you increased muscle mass in a way that interferes with your normal swing? Or maybe your muscle growth has changed your kinesthetic sense in your golf swing? What kind of lifts are you doing?

I'm just throwing some things out there because I truly don't know. I started working out again this year and it has positively affected my golf game (specifically, I'm swinging a little faster due to increased core strength). But my workouts don't compete for practice time because I work out at a time when I can't practice anyway.

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@billchao  My 2x a week lifts are full body, big lifts being squat, dead, bench and cleans, then an assortment of other stuff. I do abs on those days as well. Additionally I do core/explosive exercises 2x a week w/ kettlebells/medicine balls/bands etc. I don't have a golf fitness trainer, but I stole a routine and bunch of exercises from a friend of mine who had great success with a TPI trainer. I haven't gotten calipered since ~April, but I believe I've gained at least 15 lbs of lean muscle mass since Jan (noob gains). I'm on top of my nutritional macros like a mofo this year too!

As for golf, I am actually playing 50% more this year than the last 2 years,.. average play or practice 1.5x a week (mostly partial rounds or range, w/ about 2-3 full rounds a month). I'm also playing slightly more tennis. Until about early march, i thought I was seeing gains in my golf long game, but for the last 4 months, it's gotten worse. My scoring is about the same, but its because my short game has improved with my increased practice time this year, but I'm losing more strokes in my long game now (again, same or less distance, and more inconsistent). 

One theory of mine was simple over training and perhaps general fatigue. But if that were the case, I'd figure it'd also show in my tennis game. And my tennis game is on a whole new level now.

 

Edited by bones75

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1 hour ago, bones75 said:

My scoring is about the same, but its because my short game has improved with my increased practice time this year, but I'm losing more strokes in my long game now (again, same or less distance, and more inconsistent). 

There's also the possibility that lifting and your swing issues are unrelated. During the course of a season the quality of your ballstriking may ebb and flow, maybe you're just in a slump or something?

In the end, I have never seen your swing and know nothing about your game. Maybe your swing depends on timing compensations and the perception of your body has changed due to changes in physique and your timing is off. Maybe strengthening some muscles you previously neglected has affected your sequencing.

Ultimately I don't know if there's a good answer and the solution may not be an easy one.

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Being fit will only help any athletic activity. That said, if you are sore, muscles tight or recovering might have an impact on your swing. Getting a stronger body might change how the swing feels and you might have changed the swing unconsciously. 

 

Having more flexibility should improve your swing until you allow the range of motion to take you out of good positions. If you have more flexibility but it isn't in the right proportions you could be making a longer swing but one that is now out of balance.

No way to know why without a swing video.

Edited by criley4way

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I’ve lifted weights for years, long before I ever played golf. I can only assume it helped because I always get complimented on my power. I hit it further than anyone I play with (just not straight lol)

I weight train for strength and size primarily 

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6 hours ago, Nail said:

I’ve lifted weights for years, long before I ever played golf. I can only assume it helped because I always get complimented on my power. I hit it further than anyone I play with (just not straight lol)

I weight train for strength and size primarily 

so did I - was the classic gym rat with the weights before taking up golf.  Lots of power not too much precision in the beginning.   Over time I've changed workout routines to still get in strength work with weights  but I've incorporated  lots of body weight work, cardio, and flexibility work.   As a result (and I'm sure golf equipment advances help)  I'm tons more accurate.  had my best drive over the weekend that measured 320 in the heat and firm conditions.   I usually carry about 280.   In all I've been working out since I was 26, I'm 56 now.

So I think weights should be a part of an overall fitness plan

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On 7/16/2019 at 11:18 AM, criley4way said:

Being fit will only help any athletic activity. That said, if you are sore, muscles tight or recovering might have an impact on your swing. Getting a stronger body might change how the swing feels and you might have changed the swing unconsciously. 

Having more flexibility should improve your swing until you allow the range of motion to take you out of good positions. If you have more flexibility but it isn't in the right proportions you could be making a longer swing but one that is now out of balance.

No way to know why without a swing video.

Thanks, these were the general types of thoughts I was fishing for. Wasn't asking folks for a fix, just experience sharing and random thoughts.

(I'm very happy w/ my swing coach, thus haven't done the swing vid thing because of the too many chefs in the kitchen thing)

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I find that incorporating weight lifting is crucial for preventing injury. You need stronger muscles to handle the stress of swinging a club over and over again and not break down. Speaking from experience. I was hitting the gym consistently last year (minimum of 3 times a week) and not once did I experience even a minor injury while participating in numerous sports (soccer, basketball and golf). This year I fell off around spring time and, wouldn't you know it, I injured my intercostal muscle while practicing about a month ago. There is no doubt in my mind that had I maintained my training regimen I would not have gotten hurt. I've already begun incorporating strength training as part of my rehab and already feeling much better.

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