Golf has always been viewed as a game of leisure. But today's golfer is leaner, stronger, and fitter.
Until the last few years, golfers didn't know how to go about incorporating exercise or, specifically, resistance training. They have had a vision of going into the local gym and being intimidated by the "muscle heads."
It can also be overwhelming to decide what plan of action to take and if it will be worth the time and effort. To address some of these concerns, I have listed some myths about strength training for golf and the truths about them as well.
Myth: "I will bulk up too much and that will hinder my golf swing."
Truth: Resistance training specific for golf will not result in muscle gain that will alter your swing mechanics. Increasing muscle size involves lifting increasingly heavier weights with lower repetitions, increasing your calorie intake dramatically, and spending a couple hours per day lifting weights.
A golf-specific conditioning program incorporates moderate weight, with medium (12-15) repetitions, and in a time frame of 30-45 minutes. This type of program is designed to improve your golf-specific strength and endurance, not build muscle.
Myth: "I will lose flexibility if I lift weights."
Truth: In fact, the opposite is true! Weak muscles are also tight muscles. When you do resistance training, you are increasing blood flow, working through a functional range of motion specific to golf, and strengthening the tendons and ligaments in every joint of your body. In conjunction with a stretching program, strength training will improve flexibility, not hinder it.
Myth: "Weight training will cause me to lose feel."
Truth: By strengthening your muscles specific to golf, you will have better control of your body. A sport-specific program trains your body specifically for your golf game. When you improve functional strength, you have more control and balance, which will improve your feel. Strength training involves body awareness, muscular control, and coordination. These are all key elements for enhanced golf.
Strength training can be done when you are in your early teens (with supervision), or into your late 80s. I have personally worked with people in their 70s and 80s who increased their strength dramatically. This was partly due to the initial level of fitness being so low. But the point is that it is never too late to start.
Search out a fitness professional or conditioning specialist to design a golf-specific program and you will play better than you ever imagined! Start now!