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The Frost Delay: Building a fitness routine

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#1 zakkozuchowski

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 01:47 PM


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The Frost Delay: Building a fitness routine


By Dan Gedman


GolfWRX Contributor


So I’d better start this out with an admission: I’m a pre-Tiger golfer. While he’s only one year my junior, anyone who learned the game before the aforementioned Mr. Woods took over understands just how different of a game golf used to be.


When I played the majority of my competitive rounds, Nike was a company that made basketball shoes. More than $25 was a lot to pay for a round, and most importantly, golfers didn’t workout.


This came from the top down. The tour was full of a bunch of skinny dudes (Paul Azinger, Payne Stewart, Corey Pavin), the occasional fat dude (Craig Stadler) and one dude who looked like he could beat them all up (Fred Couples). These were not “athletes” in the traditional sense. These were “golfers,” and until Tiger came into prominence, other “golfers” seemed totally cool with it.


In fact, after following a terribly unsuccessful freshman football season with a reasonably accomplished freshman golf season, my high school coach sat me down and had a heart to heart.


“Danny,” he said, “I talked to your football coach. We both agree that you’re never going to be Mike Singletary, and you’d probably be better served to spend your falls pounding range balls than getting slaughtered on his football field.”


Looking back, the man had a point.


However, the second I dropped football, I also dropped any sort of formal strength training — coach’s orders. As far as we knew back then, weight training was bad for a “golfer.” The logic was that the reduced flexibility and added strength would make it harder to maintain a consistent swing. The only strong dude I had ever played golf with was the late Derrick Thomas (who was a member at my country club), and to be honest, his muscles really did get in the way of his golf swing.


Obviously, the game has changed tremendously since then. My attitude toward fitness, however, has not. Don’t get me wrong, I love athletic activities  — I used to ski 40 to 50 days a year when I lived in Denver. And I’ll happily play the Stockton to your Malone in a pick up game of hoops and, if it’s below 90 degrees outside I’d rather walk than ride. But I’d never spent an minute in the gym until last year.


I’m not sure if it was the realization that I was about to go from “a little doughy” to fat, or maybe it was in an effort to keep myself alive for a couple more years, but I the notion of getting my self in a bit better shape became non-negotiable. And to be honest, for the first three months of the year last year, I was really enjoying it. I felt stronger, slept better, tended to eat healthier and had a ton more energy -- all good things for a father of three. But alas, life and work got in the way, and after a couple horrible weeks I fell off the wagon.


Getting back on the wagon


As I’ll be working out toward something this year (a better golf game versus general health), I’m going to separate my exercise into two separate types this go round: The first type is pretty obvious—it’s the kind of general health and fitness we should all seek and it will be the focus of this column. There are, however, some things we should look for as golfers when we design even a general workout. While this isn’t universal, I believe golfers should workout for strength and tone rather than to “bulk up.” This means lifting less weight and doing more reps. I’m sure that there’s an exception for every rule, but I’ve never played with a giant muscle head dude who could
  • Break 80, or
  • Hit the ball further than me at my skinniest

In my honest opinion, I don’t believe that giant pecs and arms that are so big that they can no longer lay static next to your body are conducive to a “proper” golf swing. I made a couple call to some instructors I know, and I didn’t hear anything that changed that assertion.


Now, back to the matter at hand. I consulted with a trainer last year and we settled into a circuit-based workout. This provides a couple of advantages for me: First, I have limited time, and I can generally get one of these workouts in over a lunch break. Second, I have the attention span of a gnat, so long cardio sessions are out for me. By combining strength training with my cardio I tend to keep more engaged and am less inclined to spend my hour at the gym staring at random shiny things.


Here’s my general strength/fitness program:


I start with a 5-to-10 minute warmup. I had a back surgery 15 years ago, so the treadmill tends to tear me up a bit. I’ll generally run one of the “programs” on the bike — usually something that has to do with a heartrate.


I move to the bench machine. I do three quick reps of 10 at 75 percent weight, monitoring my heart rate. The whole point of the circuit idea is to keep your heart pumping like you’re doing cardio.


The next step is the bicep machine. Again, I do three quick reps of 10 at 75 percent. Then I move to the shoulder press machine. Again, three reps of 10 at 75 percent.


My final upper body station is the lat bar. I tend to alternate between lat pulls and tricep push downs, each 10 at 75 percent.


Abs are next. I hate sit ups and crunches — I mean I seriously hate them. I find them both boring and miserable, so I tend to do less of the more difficult inverted situps. If it’s a day where I’m doing legs as well, I’ll generally do them to burnout (which is generally less than 50 if the bench is steep enough). Afterward, I do my leg excercises, and then do my abs to burnout again. If I’m not doing legs, I do them to burnout, give myself a minute, and do it again.


As I mentioned before, sometimes my schedule works out better to do a full workout three days a week, and sometimes it works out better to do six shorter workouts (alternating between upper and lower body with abs being the only constant). In the case of the latter, I’d hop back on the bike, ride it 5-10 more minutes, stretch and hit the shower. If it’s the former, we move on to legs.


I start out on the leg press. Back to the three reps of 10 at 75 percent.

I move on to the quad machine. Three of 10 at 75 percent.

I move to the inner thigh machine. Three of 10 at 75 percent

I then move to the hip flexor machine (this one beats me up for some reason). Three of 10  at 75 percent.

I finish with leg curls. Three of 10 at 75 percent.

I then cool down with 5-10 minutes on the bike, and finish with a five-minute general stretching session.


A couple additional notes on this workout:


I’m certain you could do a full circuit workout with free weights, and I’d be very surprised if you couldn’t do it all kinetically. I personally don’t like free weights (I’m always nervous some chic next to me is going to be lifting more) and don’t understand enough about the kinetic thing to have any advice on it, so this is what works best for me. Your milage my vary.


Sometimes I mix it up -- I’ll do more weight with less reps, or less weight and more reps. I can’t tell you this is for any important reason other than sometimes I have a little less/more time and sometimes I just get bored.


Finally, it’s critical to let your muscles rest, as strength is essentially built by tearing up your muscles and letting them heal stronger. If you want to workout every day, you’ll need to either alternate from upper to lower body or one day of full-body and one day of cardio.


With all this being said, an exercise routine is a lot like a golf swing. Sometimes it’s cool to learn stuff on the Internet, but often it’s better to enlist the help of a professional (or in this case a trainer). I’d highly suggest at least a fitness consultation before starting a new workout program.


Next column: Golf specific flexibility and using training aids to increase “golf” strength.


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#2 ladahl

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:32 PM

Okay, and

I was looking forward to this one, but was hoping for an "at home" routine.... Not a gym rat either
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#3 Hattori Hanzo

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

It's probably a good thing that you hate sit-ups and crunches, as they seriously aren't the best core workout for golf. It's better to focus on things that strengthen the abs while elongating them (i.e. planks, leg lifts, etc.), as opposed to tightening them up (i.e. sit-ups, crunches). That way you get the best of both worlds with strength and mobility.
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#4 Hawkeye77

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:13 PM

For a golf specific workout, at home, with all parts of the swing/appropriate exercises, etc. well explained and illustrated, read Cindy Reid's "Get Yourself Into Golf Shape".

I plan on really following this winter, maybe after Christmas . . . . or Easter.

#5 KILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGE

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:22 PM

Another well thought out Golf specific workout is Joey Diovisalvi's (Vijay Singh's former trainer) Fix your Body, fix your Swing .

Strength, flexibility, balance, and nutrition all in a easy to do at home setting. It works.


#6 SpenceT47

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:57 AM

For the people who like at home workouts, the TRX suspension trainer (or any brand, thats just the one I have) is probably one of the best fitness tools around. Its portable, forces you to use your core as a stabilizer the way its meant to be used, its versatile, and is great for stretching. There are hundreds of youtube videos for workouts with it as well. It is 189.00 brand new, but sometimes you can find an alternative brand or one on the bay. Its worth it and most respectable golf fitness trainers incorporate them.

#7 CallawayLefty

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:43 AM

I appreciate you taking the time to write this, and believe me I know how hard it is to go in and out of fitness routines and "get back on the wagon" etc.  I struggle mightily.  I would make only one suggestion - a routine like the above has "boredom," "loss of interest," "lack of results," and "quit" written all over it.  EDIT: It's also just got a real look of the spagetti approach of throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks - it's got no focus or direction, or really goal (other than just doing something other than nothing).  It might take you a month or two out, but I'd be surprised if you could keep that going for a sustained period of time.  And that's what the real goal should be - i.e. how do you achieve and maintain some base level of fitness for years to come that serves both your general health and golf game (if those are your goals).  I think you also are perpetuating some broscience myths - most notably that lifting anything other than significantly submaximal weights in a circuit will make you into a bulky meathead.  Believe me, if muscle just flew on that easily, the current fitness/supplement/magazine/personal training industry would be deader than a doornail.  I would just leave it with this - take some time, even time while you are doing the above-noted routine - to research what comes next.  Guys above have posted good suggestions.  They are voluminous others out there.  If you do that, you might have a chance of keeping this going for some period of time other than the two months a year when it's cold and you can't play golf.

Edited by CallawayLefty, 30 November 2012 - 10:47 AM.


#8 lenny318

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:51 PM

Super Flex bands........there are great!

#9 Another80

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:37 PM

View PostCallawayLefty, on 30 November 2012 - 10:43 AM, said:

I appreciate you taking the time to write this, and believe me I know how hard it is to go in and out of fitness routines and "get back on the wagon" etc.  I struggle mightily.  I would make only one suggestion - a routine like the above has "boredom," "loss of interest," "lack of results," and "quit" written all over it.  EDIT: It's also just got a real look of the spagetti approach of throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks - it's got no focus or direction, or really goal (other than just doing something other than nothing).  It might take you a month or two out, but I'd be surprised if you could keep that going for a sustained period of time.  And that's what the real goal should be - i.e. how do you achieve and maintain some base level of fitness for years to come that serves both your general health and golf game (if those are your goals).  I think you also are perpetuating some broscience myths - most notably that lifting anything other than significantly submaximal weights in a circuit will make you into a bulky meathead.  Believe me, if muscle just flew on that easily, the current fitness/supplement/magazine/personal training industry would be deader than a doornail.  I would just leave it with this - take some time, even time while you are doing the above-noted routine - to research what comes next.  Guys above have posted good suggestions.  They are voluminous others out there.  If you do that, you might have a chance of keeping this going for some period of time other than the two months a year when it's cold and you can't play golf.

I'm the writer of this, and I would love to chat further about these thoughts as I think you're absolutely correct...IMO, the most critical section of the article is, "With all this being said, an exercise routine is a lot like a golf swing. Sometimes it’s cool to learn stuff on the Internet, but often it’s better to enlist the help of a professional (or in this case a trainer). I’d highly suggest at least a fitness consultation before starting a new workout program."

This is a workout designed more for me (and my glitches, limitations, etc.) than anyone else, and I'm certain I handicapped my trainer when describing those glitches. I happen to like the instant feedback of the machine workout (being able to add weight as I get stronger, etc.) and the inability to cheat the proper motion on them--they feel a bit more robotic to me, which in my case is a good thing. I was looking for short burst of activity that I couldn't screw up. Long term, however, there's no doubt in my mind that you're right about this type of workout leading to boredom in most people.

Ironically, my dream is very different than my goals. My dream would be to actually enjoy a lifetime of exercise as much as I enjoy activities (whereas now I dread exercise but relish activity--skiing, fly-fishing and of course golf). My goal, however, is to get in better shape over the winter.

Hopefully, by accomplishing a goal, I can then continue to work with a trainer towards the dream. It'll be an interesting journey to say the least.

Anyways, thanks a ton for the thoughts of those who have commented. I'm very much considering a follow up article in the near future as these comments prove what I already knew: I may have a single-digit handicap in golf, but I'm a 36+ when it comes to the world of fitness. Here's to getting better...

#10 Bluefan75

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:24 AM

View PostCallawayLefty, on 30 November 2012 - 10:43 AM, said:

I appreciate you taking the time to write this, and believe me I know how hard it is to go in and out of fitness routines and "get back on the wagon" etc.  I struggle mightily.  I would make only one suggestion - a routine like the above has "boredom," "loss of interest," "lack of results," and "quit" written all over it.  EDIT: It's also just got a real look of the spagetti approach of throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks - it's got no focus or direction, or really goal (other than just doing something other than nothing).  It might take you a month or two out, but I'd be surprised if you could keep that going for a sustained period of time.  And that's what the real goal should be - i.e. how do you achieve and maintain some base level of fitness for years to come that serves both your general health and golf game (if those are your goals).  I think you also are perpetuating some broscience myths - most notably that lifting anything other than significantly submaximal weights in a circuit will make you into a bulky meathead.  Believe me, if muscle just flew on that easily, the current fitness/supplement/magazine/personal training industry would be deader than a doornail.  I would just leave it with this - take some time, even time while you are doing the above-noted routine - to research what comes next.  Guys above have posted good suggestions.  They are voluminous others out there.  If you do that, you might have a chance of keeping this going for some period of time other than the two months a year when it's cold and you can't play golf.

Yeah, I've heard stories that Woods has/had gotten his bench up to 315, and I don't recall anyone saying he bulked up too much for golf.  It's not that easy to get huge.  once you've reached a certain point, you've also created an engine that just burns calories, so you need to eat even more to gain the muscle.

Although I will give the OP credit for publicly admitting using one of the good girl/bad girl machines.


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#11 Stryker

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:51 AM

View Postladahl, on 29 November 2012 - 07:32 PM, said:

Okay, and

I was looking forward to this one, but was hoping for an "at home" routine.... Not a gym rat either

Kettlebells, go to dragondoor.com. Get Pavel's "Enter the Kettle" plus the DVD and a 35 pound kettlebell. Cannot believe the workout I can get in 45 minutes and this includes stretching. Screw the gym, I will never go back. Less time, better workout, and more time for golf practice.

#12 tofur99

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:03 PM

View PostStryker, on 04 December 2012 - 09:51 AM, said:

View Postladahl, on 29 November 2012 - 07:32 PM, said:

Okay, and

I was looking forward to this one, but was hoping for an "at home" routine.... Not a gym rat either

Kettlebells, go to dragondoor.com. Get Pavel's "Enter the Kettle" plus the DVD and a 35 pound kettlebell. Cannot believe the workout I can get in 45 minutes and this includes stretching. Screw the gym, I will never go back. Less time, better workout, and more time for golf practice.

amen!  I will never go back to a gym either, I have no use for it.  Kettlebells are fantastic.  Add in the "perfect pushups" thing-a-ma-jigers, and an iron gym pullup bar that fits on any doorframe, and some trx style suspension thing-a-ma-jigers and you can get in serious shape from the comfort of your own home.  If the 35lb one gets too easy, bump to a 45 lb one, that will keep you going awhile, then up to a 50-something pounder, that will keep you going even longer, and onward.  Once you hit 75 pounds your strong as an ox.

#13 KILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGE

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:13 PM

Be very very careful starting a workout with Kettle bells. Just one wrong move with a heavy bell and your finished doing any workout for a long time. I am going to go as far as recommending a personal trainer to get you started with these.

#14 Stryker

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 12:30 PM

View PostKILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGE, on 04 December 2012 - 12:13 PM, said:

Be very very careful starting a workout with Kettle bells. Just one wrong move with a heavy bell and your finished doing any workout for a long time. I am going to go as far as recommending a personal trainer to get you started with these.

A personal trainer is preferable and the site has a list of certified kettlebell trainers. However, if you are like me, no where near any of them, Pavel's book and dvd are an excellent substitute. I literally went a month before I attempted a full workout with my kettlebell after receiving it. The books and dvd's contain "mastery steps" for each exercise. Practiced for a month and now I'm in full swing. :)

I never knew I could love an exercise as much as I love Turkish get ups.

#15 tofur99

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:14 PM

View PostKILLEDBYASHANKEDWEDGE, on 04 December 2012 - 12:13 PM, said:

Be very very careful starting a workout with Kettle bells. Just one wrong move with a heavy bell and your finished doing any workout for a long time. I am going to go as far as recommending a personal trainer to get you started with these.

yeah I was taught how to use them by a friend.  youtube has good instruction video's, but the key is to start with a light enough weight and really focus on the basic form.  Pavel's book is very good at explaining things too.  I haven't injured myself yet though, I don't think they are really dangerous or anything, they definitely open up the door to injury more than a standard machine type lift, but you get way more out of a kettlebell so there's a trade off.

Edited by tofur99, 04 December 2012 - 01:16 PM.





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