Archives for August 2014

Golf Fitness: Building A Budget Home Gym

Here we outline a budget home gym that can be put together with ease and at low cost. No need to make long commitments and have to drive to the gym to improve your golf fitness. Keep the cost low. Here we outline an option for equipment that will total cost just over $100.

Before we do that, please have a look at this unusual warm up routine done by Carly Booth, professional on the Womens European Tour...Link

Now, back to the budget home gym....including some equipment that is ideal to pack in your suitcase whenever you travel:

  • Resistance Bands: ideal for many stretching and strength fitness exercises and used in many of the golf training exercises by both professionals and amateurs

 

    • Stability Ball: used in a number of balance and flexibility exercises. See how Adam Scott uses the Stability Ball with a dumbbell in this exercise at 2min 25secs to improve his rotation and strength (Link).

    • Dumbell Set: can be used for both strength training and exercises to increase flexibility.

  • Exercise Mat: roll up mat that helps in balance and strength training.

Other:

GolfGym also offer home gym products (Link) as does JoeyD, trainer to Ricky Fowler and other pros (Link)

 

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Measuring Success: Golf Fitness

How do you measure success when you focus on golf fitness and health? How will you know the contribution that focusing on golf fitness and health will make to your game? Here are six measures that could be used as key indicators, 3 physical and 3 golf measures:

Golf Fitness Physical Self Indicators: a) Weight; b) Body fat percentage; c) Body Mass Index (BMI) which measures your weight in relation to your height and tells you if you are underweight, normal, overweight or obese.

Golf Fitness Golf Measures: a) Handicap; b) Distance and c ) Accuracy (e.g. number of greens hit in regulation).

At the start of August 2014, before any focus on golf fitness, here were my starting points:

Physical self:

  • Weight = 202lbs (92kgs)
  • Body fat percentage = 33%
  • BMI = 25.9 (classified as overweight)

Golf Measures:

  • Handicap: I will measure my relative improvement to my handicap at the start of August 2014. We will call this index 100. My handicap has been roughly the same for the last 5 years.
  • Distance: here are the current distances for some of my clubs: PW = 115yds (105 meters), 6 iron = 164yds (150 meters), 4 iron=200yds (181 meters), 5 wood = 210yds (192 meters), Driver=250yds (230 meters)
  • Accuracy: I will start to keep account of number of greens in regulation from now going forward.

 

I will monitor these 6 indicators over the coming months to see the impact that focusing on golf health and fitness has on my game and physical self.

If you have any alternative measures that you think should be used please comment below so we can share the best ideas with other users.

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Food and Nutrition For Golf Fitness

An integral part of golf fitness is food and nutrition: we are what we eat! Studies estimate that your burn approximately 1500 calories during a 4 hour round of 18 holes, walking and carrying your clubs. If you take a golf buggy the calorie burn rate is approximately half, around 800 calories.

If, like me, after 4 hours on the course you feel like to some food such as a burger and fries washed down with a beer then you have just taken in as many calories as you burned (cheeseburger, medium fries with ketchup equals around 1250 calories and a pint of beer is around 200 calories). Add to that anything eaten out on the course and you leave the course after 4 hours ‘exercise’ having taken on more calories than you burned!

To improve golf fitness there is a need to address diet. I am not a believer in strict diets. You could line every golf course in Scotland from the first tee to the 18th green with all the diet books that have been published. I’ve seen so many people make a ommitment to a strict diet, go in with great intentions and after a few days or weeks the enthusiasm waivers, they to go back to their old habits and pile on the weight to increase levels. I am looking for small adjustments to move to a healthier diet. For me, it is more about changing habits, as outlined in the New York Times Bestseller ‘The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business’ by Charles Duhigg. In his book, Duhigg outlines some key tips on how to change habits.

On diet he cites a study done in 2009 by the National Institute of Health in which they took an alternative approach. They asked 1600 obese people to write down what they ate at least one day a week. The participants were not asked to change their diet or start any new fitness regime. Over time, the participants made their entries. By looking at their journals, participants would recognise their own diet and habits. Then they started to change their habits. As an example, some would snack at a certain time each day on unhealthy treats. Recognising this, they would make sure they had fruit to hand to meet the eating urge. Others decided to plan their meals differently, substituting their regular unhealthy meals with planned healthier choices. By asking them to write their food diary (remember, just one day a week or more) changed their entire eating habits. The result? After 6 months people who kept the food journal lost double the weight as other who didn’t. I believe small adjustments can have a big impact.

After a bit of research on golf nutrition this week I will try the following going forward:

  1. Adjust diet. Be more aware of what is healthy nutritional food and aim to cut out unhealthy food options for some days during the week. This short video clip from the Golf Fitness Academy gives some good insight. See from 6mins 40secs to 10mins 40secs. Link 
  2. Quantity: reduce the quantity eaten. In the daily rush of everything, tasting the food is sometimes secondary to shovelling the ‘fuel’ down my throat. It takes approximately 20 minutes for food to hit your stomach and for your brain to register the food intake. By this time my plate is normally cleared and in the dishwasher.
  3. Food journal: one day a week or more to write what I eat. Surely the national Institute of Health study from 2009 is worth to try. If you want to do similar there is a free online service for this at My Fitness Pal where you can electronically write up your food journal and it will even calculate your calorie intake (Link).

Apart from researching the above this week, I have started to do golf fitness exercises every second day for 15-20 minutes. I have have tried some of these basic exercises covering flexibility, balance and strength. I can see and feel I am far away from where those focusing on fitness are! This is going to take some time to get to the level of the guys in these videos after having spent most of my time this week wobbling, falling over and finding muscles that I didn’t know existed. Here are 2 videos I found most useful (I could only do bits of them!):

  1. Adam Scott at the Golf Fitness Academy: Link
  2. Fitness Blender Strength, Balance & Flexibility Exercises for Golfers (tough but worth starting on): Link

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1st Tee: Golf Fitness

This is the first entry on GoGolfFitness.com, a site bringing together key information on golf fitness and health.

Does a focus on golf fitness and health have the potential to significantly improve how you play? We explore and bring to the fore the latest information on golf fitness.

I have played from the same handicap for many years. I have invested in clubs and lessons, not heavily but probably around the level of the average golfer, but have not seen any real improvement in my handicap. While investing in equipment and practice my 'golf fitness' has not been in focus.  Understatement, it has been completely neglected.

As I write this I am 45 years old, 6'2" tall (188cms), weigh 202lbs (92kgs) and have a body fat level of 33%. Last time my doctor weighed me and calculated my BMI she said I was considered obese. Let's say my fitness level could be described as low, playing golf and once a year going to the gym or taking a few short runs. Most time spent at work, on the computer, with the family and eating great food!

As Albert Einstein's said the definition of insanity  is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".  So instead of doing the same thing over and over (lessons, practice, new equipment) I am going to explore something different - golf fitness. I aim to look at how those professionals who are most dedicated to fitness train. I will explore the tips and advice of the leading golf fitness coaches as well as evaluate the different publications and training aids available. Do they positively impact our performance on the course? Let's see. Let's see if my research in to golf fitness will bring an improvement in my performance on the course.

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