I was recently golfing with a fellow strength and conditioning coach and had a fun little statement about what is going on with my swing. Normally, I am long with my irons. This isn’t to toot my own horn, it’s simply because I swing out of my shoes and throw a little extra bicep curl into the swing. Here’s the problem: I was falling way too short. I was making great contact with the ball and everything looked the way it was supposed to (to my own standards), but I was way short.
I know that my infrequent visits to the golf course are part of the issue. However, I have also not worked on any piece of the spectrum of lifting except strength for the last few months. A little bit of bench, some accessory work, maybe sit on a bike and think about cardio for a few minutes, call it a day.
In the world of strength and conditioning, personal training, physical therapy, etc. there are some potential short-comings. With PT, the general consensus is to get them long, get them strong, then get them fast. That’s great, but you can’t really do that with your athletes efficiently. Especially if you’re only going to see that athlete for 12-36 weeks.
If you want to be the biggest dude to walk the planet and still not be able to pick up a spare tire for your car, go get your pump on. If you want to move a house, go lift the heaviest things you can. But, if you want to be fast and explosive, you better train that too.
Traditionally with strength and conditioning and personal training, you would train absolute strength to develop a base to build off. True. But most people coming in off the street have some strength. Quite the assumption I know. Most athletes, believe it or not, can already jump or run. The idea is to make them jump higher or run faster. Program plyometrics, speed-strength, strength-speed, and power (not all in the same day perhaps) as well as your strength. This way you’re a little more efficient with your programming.
You can allegedly hold 98 per cent of your strength for a month of not training it. But, those numbers drop much more significantly with power where you can hold roughly 98% for about a week before you see large drops.
Don’t throw the kitchen sink at your athletes. Still program intelligently. But make sure to train some expression of power even if that isn’t your emphasis. This will allow you to not swing a golf club like a nana.
Some of the speed-strength/power exercises that I like to use with my programming include: olympic lifts, kettlebell swings, kettlebell snatches, loaded jumps, loaded bounds
You can also place an emphasis on speed with the tempo of the lifts that you are comfortable teaching or that you’re already using. This would simply require that athlete to explode through the concentric portion of the lift. I like to remember the “do no harm” phrase here.
I would love to hear what other coaches are using out there. Please share if you have a different philosophy.