If you are like me, your golf season is coming to a close in the coming weeks (maybe we'll squeak out another month). While it's always a little sad to say goodbye, I try to look forward to the offseason and see what kind of productive work I can do on my game. If you are going to make a change and add new habits, this is a great time to do it.
I want to make a case for one of the most time-efficient activities I have ever found - resistance training. I have re-dedicated myself to lifting weights for the past few years, and the results have been pretty dramatic. I've increased my swing speed, have more control over my body, am more flexible/mobile, and almost eliminated all nagging little pains from playing golf.
Like many of you, I avoided weights for years because I was worried it would interfere with my swing. And I have found the complete opposite. Building up my strength in the offseason and maintaining it during the golf season has helped me play the best golf of my life. Don't be afraid of it! Every top fitness professional I respect in the golf world recommends weightlifting.
Additionally, you would be shocked at how small of a time commitment you need to see actual results. You can accomplish a lot if you commit to doing 2-3x full-body strength workouts a week that last only 20-30 minutes.
I find a lot of golfers are intimidated by weights and feel like they need a gym membership or an advanced routine. This also isn't true at all. If you stick to basic exercises like:
- Chest Press
- Shoulder Press
- Bicep Curls
You will pretty much cover all of your bases. You can accomplish all these movements with a basic set of kettlebells or dumbbells at home. YouTube is also a phenomenal resource to help you learn how to do exercises correctly.
But I want to stress that you don't need to do anything fancy. Stick to some or all of those movements I listed in most of your routines, and you can't go wrong. A good basic full-body routine is two upper body movements and two lower body movements. Over time, you could increase that to three.
You can do each exercise 2-3 times with 6-12 reps. Slowly add weight over time (progressive overload), and you will see amazing results. You will thank me for it later.
Last but not least, all of the latest research is showing just how powerful resistance training is for health. Doctors are legitimately prescribing it at this point because it helps prevent the aging process, is good for your heart, and can help prevent chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer. It is the best "bang for your buck" regarding time invested and results.
For bonus points, you can combine it with cardio workouts, and the health results are profound. I try to walk (an excellent cardio exercise) for 30-40 min almost daily and do a few bike sessions weekly during the winter.
It is never too late to get started, and no amount is too small, even if you started with 5-10 minute routines a few times a week to get your feet wet. After a few months, I firmly believe you will see dramatic results in your body having a better quality of life and self-image. And don't forget about the benefits to your golf game!