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December 7, 2023 52 mins

Golf fitness expert Mike Carroll joins Shane and Marty to discuss his golf and fitness journey, how to stay sharp during the winter months, common misconceptions about golf fitness and recovery, and strength training vs. speed training.

 

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
The guys from paying They've kind of showed me how
much the equipment matters.

Speaker 2 (00:04):
I just love that I can hit any shot I
kind of want.

Speaker 3 (00:06):
We're gonna be able to tell some fun stories about
what goes on here to help golfers play better golf.

Speaker 1 (00:11):
Welcome back to the Pink Proving Grounds Podcast. I am
Shane Bay and join us always by Marty Jerts, and
we've got an exciting guest today. Marty, a guy that
has spent his life dedicated to fitness and improvement in
terms of golf. Mike, we got a lot of questions
for you today, so hope you're prepared. Mike, Carol, Marty
a buddy of yours.

Speaker 3 (00:31):
Yeah, Mike and I go back a little ways. Is
it kind of helped me along my own personal journey
to get as Mike's brand is fit for golf, so
to speak, but I think more importantly get fit for
life and look forward to chat and Mike.

Speaker 2 (00:42):
Yeah, thanks very much for inviting me. Guys, I'm excited
to chat.

Speaker 1 (00:46):
Mike. How did you get into this world? How did
you get into the improvement world of people's not just health,
as Marty said, but kind of life improvement.

Speaker 2 (00:57):
And I was always very interested in health and fitness
growing up like very kind of sporty and active household.
And I studied sports and exercise science in university in Ireland,
and when that was finished, my kind of thing that
I went into basically was personal training and strength and conditioning.

(01:19):
So for anyone who doesn't know, strength and conditioning is
basically the same thing as personal training, except rather than
trying to help the general population, you know, get you know,
maybe a little bit leaner and in better general shape,
strength and conditioning is how you can help athletes improve
their physical conditioning for particular sport. So I have a

(01:41):
background in bolt which is definitely helpful, and after a
while just decided that I'd try and pursue it down
the Gulf Avenue because it was pretty interesting, pretty niche,
and it wasn't really i guess, being done from what
I could see to a particularly high level, and just
sort of kind of gathered momentum from there.

Speaker 3 (02:03):
Basically, Mike, were you a golfer. I mean, I know,
on your own personal journey, it's been fun to watch
you quote unquote kind of chasing scratch so to speak,
in your own personal golf game. But you talked about
that moment you decided to pursue it in golf. Were
you an avid golfer at that time or kind of
casual golfer and then on this journey you kind of

(02:24):
transition to being more avid, more serious about your own game.

Speaker 2 (02:28):
Yeah. So when I decided to try and go down
let's say the strength and conditioning root for golf as
a coach, it was actually after I'd had a spell
where I played a reasonably serious amount of golf as
a teenager, but kind of my last year of we
call it secondary school in Ireland, it will be high
school here, I actually stopped playing golf kind of out

(02:50):
of frustration more than anything else. But I was also
playing a lot of other sports, so I concentrated on
one of them in particular, called Gaelic football through my
last year in high school, and I played it through
college a little bit with the college, but more with
kind of my home club. And then when I finished

(03:10):
my studies, I started playing golf again. I was now
working full time and you know, didn't have say, studies
taking up my time, so I started playing a little
bit of golf again after about a five year break,
and what was kind of really cool is that even
though I hadn't been playing golf at all, I'd been
training really hard in the gym, Like I put on

(03:31):
about twenty five or thirty pounds in college through strength training,
And as soon as I got back playing, it was,
you know, really noticeable, like how much more speed and
power was there even though I hadn't really been trying.
And then when I started working with basically more people,
some of them just happened to be recreational golfers, and

(03:52):
I started thinking this is something that I'd like to
sort of push a bit more. And then kind of
the I guess the big turning point there was really
two of them. In twenty fourteen, I did the TPI
Level one education course. I traveled to the Belfry in England,
actually with Simon Keealen, whose shamous power is Caddy. He's

(04:13):
a friend of mine home And when I came back
from that, that's when I set up the brand name
Fit for Golf, started marketing basically training services for golfers,
and about a year and a half later I moved
to California to take up a job with Mike Hanson,
who owns a facility called Hanson fitness for golf in Irvine, California,

(04:36):
And funnily enough, it was on Twitter where I saw
he listed a job that TPI retweeted for him, and
I got in touch with him and told him I'd
be interested in Long story short, In October of twenty sixteen,
I moved over to California from Cork in Ireland and
started working for him.

Speaker 1 (04:57):
Mike, we as golfers to get to the winter months.
I know Marty doesn't deal with this in Arizona. I
miss those days for goodness sakes, but you know I
live in Connecticut. I mean, we are narrowing down the
last few days of a golf season, if at all,
and then you focus on kind of doing things indoors.
What's the number one thing you feel like golfers maybe
miss or don't focus on in terms of their fitness

(05:21):
that you feel like is the most important thing golfers
should spend their time on when they're trying to maybe
get better or maybe improve their overall well being.

Speaker 2 (05:29):
It's funny, so because my background is obviously saying physical
training and more, making gym programs and things like that,
people are always assuming I'm going to tell them, like
some exercises like you know, squats.

Speaker 1 (05:40):
Or push ups or whatever, do one hundred crunch, but
you'll be dialed right.

Speaker 2 (05:43):
But I think, honestly, I think where people kind of
missed the boat the most in the winter months is
going months without swinging a club. Because all fitness is very,
very specific to the demands of the activity you're doing.
So if you go months without swinging a club, you're

(06:03):
going to be getting deconditioned to that specific activity or stress.
So then when you come back out as the weather
gets a bit better, which is typically Master's weekend for
most people, you could have five or six months or
whatever of not swinging a club. So even if you've
stayed in generally good shape from you know, whatever type

(06:24):
of workouts you've been doing, it's not the same. You'll
be in a much better state than if you hadn't
been doing anything. But that would be my big thing
to people is try and find some way to keep
swinging the club, even a couple of times per week.
I know that's challenging in certain locations where you know
there's snow on the ground outside or whatever, but even

(06:45):
if it means a shortened club inside, or even if
you need to maybe simulate it, you know, holding basically
anything like a light medicine ball or like I have
a cut down you know, really old club that I've
brought with me traveling a couple of times if I
know I'm not going to be you know, on a
range or playing golf. And it definitely, definitely is the

(07:06):
number one thing.

Speaker 1 (07:06):
I would say, Mike when you talk about timing, I
mean you mentioned speed right, and speed and players improving
club head speed and be able to hit the ball
at longer distances. I mean, it's a big thing in golf,
but I'd say it's a relatively new age thinking. I mean,
you know, I mean you think about what you're doing,
you think about what Marty has done so well with
the stack system. I mean a lot of this stuff

(07:27):
kind of coming together at the right time makes a
lot of sense for somebody like you in this business
because I think twenty years ago, if you'd have been
floating around some ideas of you need to swing it faster,
you would have got instructors coming around going no, no, no, no, no,
you got to hit fairways, you got to get the
ball in play. Those are the important aspects of golf,
and it feels like that's changed a bit.

Speaker 2 (07:48):
Yeah, when I think the person off. It's funny when
someone asks you what I do for work and I'm
explaining it to them, often they'd say, like, it's Tiger,
you have to thank for that, And to a certain extent,
I would say, yes, who actually think I have to
thank more is Mark Brody because he's the one who
was able to put like numerical value on gaining distance.

(08:11):
And once that came out these analytics, there was no more,
you know, really debate about the value of it. And
I think before that it was really easy for people
just to have strong opinions and they could, you know,
bring up examples of well this player doesn't hit it
long and x. But once you know, doctor Brody was

(08:32):
able to put numerical value. And then also when the
PGA Tour got shot link, so now we have like
ball speed metrics, distance metrics, strokes gained off the team.
Well that's really when things you know, you now you
can give like objective feedback to players. Hey, look at
these guys' ball speeds, look at their earnings. Look at

(08:54):
these guys ball speeds, look at their earnings. And when
you can almost like show a player. Hey, this is
like potentially what x amount of ball speed is worth
in dollars per year. That obviously gets people interested.

Speaker 3 (09:09):
You know, yeah, Shane, I think that's Mike brings up
a really good point now that we can just put
those numbers at YE decisions here. So like in our
Pink in Pink co pilot we do that on club fitting,
we could try longer driver relative to more traditional length.
We can use that club compare and apply those strokes
gained metrics with a lot of nuance. It allows you

(09:30):
to get right into the nuance of what's more important
distance accuracy. Mike, I wanted to ask you about your
work with a couple. You work with a couple of
our our tour players Mackenzie who Seamous Power, Stephan Yager.
How do you approach those three players in creating their
individual training programs? And what are some of the different

(09:50):
priorities that you've you've placed with the three of them.
Is it kind of a you know, core strength, is
it speed improvement, injury prevention, injury recover, recovery, maybe a
mix of all three. How have you tackled those three
individual players?

Speaker 2 (10:06):
Yeah, so it depends a little bit on what the
player asks you when they get in touch, because essentially
you're serving them. So you know, even though saying my
area of particular interest is speed, if some if a
PGA TORP player contacts me and says, hey, look, I'm happy.
I'm pretty happy with my speed, but if I play
three or four weeks in a row, the right side

(10:29):
of my lower back starts giving me trouble. Like what's
going on here? That's a slightly different, let's say job
essentially to someone who says, Mike, I'm not one seventy
I need to get to one seventy six or I
can't get to where I want in the world rankings, Yeah,
there's usually a little bit of overlap, like with those
three guys. With McKenzie, it was pretty straightforward in that

(10:51):
he didn't have any injury concerns. He had a pretty
good understanding and background and training, but he felt he
wasn't getting as much out of his training as he should.
He wanted to make sure that the effort he was
putting in to his physical training was going to show
up in speed potential. With Seamus, he is a guy
who had a lot of speed. He contacted me really

(11:16):
because he felt like he was possibly doing too much
training and it was starting to interfere with how much
energy he had for practice and play. It's something that
you need to be careful with as a trainer because
you want to feel like that what you're doing is
making a difference, and it's easier for you to demonstrate
that with improvements in physical training metrics. But if it's

(11:39):
not enhancing the player's scale or their scores, like you're
in trouble. You know, the training needs to stay as
a supplement to their golf practice and play. It can't
take over. And Steven was actually probably the most interesting
one because when I started working with him, he was
two hundred and ten in strokes gained off the team.

(12:02):
He was losing a full stroke around and he probably
won't mind me saying it, but on our first phone call,
I can remember him saying to me, Mike, I'm short
and crooked, which is no good out here. He said,
I might as well try and hit it further and
if I stay crooked, it's better. But Marty, is you

(12:24):
kind of you know? I think would be in agreement
with And I've noticed with players of different skill levels
oftentimes when players are short and crooked. There's a lot
of constraining going on. There's maybe some mental baggage where
players are. You know, if it starts going sideways, we
can start to rein it back in because we're worried
about where it's going. And it's almost like a vicious

(12:45):
cycle because it can get worse the more and more
kind of scared you get. So his big thing was like,
I want to try and get faster and how do
I do this? So what was interesting with Steven is
that I would say that the let's say Jim side
of things that we did was way less important than
just the practice he did with driver, focusing on essentially

(13:09):
getting into the mindset of I'm not holding back and
I'm going to hit it further. And like we talked
about the value of metrics, like if you're practicing with
the launch monitor and you're getting feedback on literally every
single drive in terms of strokes gained from your rounds
very quickly, you can see how the trends are going.

(13:31):
And what's been amazing with him And this wouldn't happen
with every case for sure, but he's about one point
one strokes per round better off the tee since we
started working together and he's he's gained about five miles
an hour in ball speed and he's actually hitting slightly
more fairwis And as I said, it wouldn't happen with everybody,

(13:53):
but it was literally a case of let's start swinging
faster because I'm already crooked. And I think it was
because there was you know, some probably like mental baggage
maybe when things aren't going well. Then as he started
swinging faster, started hitting it straighter, then a confidence goes up.
You start swinging harder again because you're like, man, this

(14:13):
is awesome. And that was a big turnaround for him.
And then with McKenzie and Seamus, like gaines haven't been
as sudden and as big, which is more what you'd
expect because Stevens example was you know, pretty kind of
I would say exceptional in terms of how quickly it
went up. With McKenzie, what's been interesting is we've had

(14:34):
some kind of like valleys and lows where there's been
periods where the speed has been going really good and
then it might come back down. And that's where it's
a little bit say tough as a trainer, because you
don't want to be overstepping bounds in terms of like
what type of input you're giving because you're kind of
getting away from the physical training realm. But what you're

(14:57):
kind of trying to make sure of I guess is
are they in the place physically where they want to be.
And the two big ones there are that they're comfortable
with where there, let's say speed is, and also that
they have plenty of energy to practice and play and
they're not dealing with aches and pains. And that's probably

(15:19):
the most I would say stressful or challenging part of
the job is if players are picking up aches and
pains and injuries. That's almost it's part and parcel of
pro golf because they practice and play so much. But
that's when you feel like that you might be failing
at your job. Like if I'd much prefer for one
of the players to say, Mike, my speed is down

(15:40):
three miles an hour, what's going on? Like are you
sure this is the right training program for me? That's fine,
Like you'll be able to kind of tweak things there,
have a discussion through it. But if one of the
players is telling me, like hey, like man, my shoulder
or my hip is sore, like I can't practice. You know,
that's when you feel like, okay, this is this is

(16:01):
not where we want to be. Let let's review here, Mike.

Speaker 1 (16:04):
It's so much information to process on your end. I mean,
you get a player coming your way and they're saying,
I want to improve X, Y and Z, or I
want to change my workout, or I'm not sure why
my back's hurting. I mean it feels like, as you're
discussing this, it feels like you're the trainer, but you're
also a bit of a doctor, and at times you
might be a psychiatrist. I mean, this is a lot

(16:24):
of things that you're having to kind of deal with
when you're kind of taken on a high level athlete
like this to figure out the perfect setup for that person,
because not every setup, not every plan, you know, not
everything you're writing out is going to be the same
player to player.

Speaker 2 (16:40):
Yeah, it's a really good point, and I think it's
where there's actually room for maybe even top level golfers
to get better. No, obviously I don't have insight into
on all of the top guys are doing, but you know,
I've had maybe like four or so years experience of
kind of being honor around the PGA Tour with with

(17:02):
players and you know, talking to caddies and managers and
coaches or whatever. And something that I kind of brought
up a couple of times is that, like, let's say,
if you come out of college as an exceptionally good
baseball or basketball or football player, and you sign a
professional contract with whatever franchise, like you're brought into the
ecosystem of that franchise where like somebody's job is going

(17:25):
to be let's say, high performance manager, where they're monitoring like, Okay,
what's Shane doing like this week in terms of on
field practice, gym practice. Is he going sitting down with
the sports psychologists or whatever? You know? But if you
turn pro in golf and you get a PGA Tour card,
like there's there's no necessity or there's no let's say

(17:49):
set system that all these players follow.

Speaker 1 (17:52):
It's on them, Mike. I mean, it's on them to
to track it down. I mean, you're talking about like
Victor woman Yama right now, who's obviously been kind of
the story of the NBA. There are I'm assuming employees
of the San Antonio Spurs that's job is to make
sure Victor is eating, working out, resting, flying, whatever the
case may be, properly and if you're Ludvig Aberg and

(18:14):
you turn professional, there's nobody that's just being assigned to
You have to go track that down yourself exactly.

Speaker 2 (18:21):
And where I think golf is probably in a maybe
a time where things are shifting a little bit, is
that like there's no question that you can now and
definitely in the past be a world class tour level
golfer without doing anything for your physical training, because we've
seen that down through the generations. But as the sport

(18:42):
evolves and everything gets more professional, there's bigger money, there's
a bigger pool of athletes trying to make it. These
smaller margins make, you know, become much more important. So
kind of what I've noticed maybe that's lacking in even
at the PGA tour level is almost just like organization
and management. For example, Like let's just say if a

(19:04):
player gets injured, it's like who is he going to
for advice? Like, like who's whose job is it to
make sure that like he's sent to let's just say,
the right people for an examination and diagnosis, Because like
an example is like there's a there's a physio truck
on the tour, right, So like these guys are great,

(19:27):
but like they're busy. They've got one hundred and fifty
six players in an event. And if Marty you go
into them on a Tuesday and you're like, hey, you know,
tom My back is sore, they might be thinking like,
I've never met Marty before. I don't know if he's
going to come back. All I know is that he
wants to tee it up on Thursday. Whereas if you have,
you know, a manager that you're reporting this to, and

(19:49):
their job is okay, like what are we going through
here to make sure all the right protocols are ticked?
And I think you can apply that to basically, like
every element of performance. If you get back to, like Shane,
what you were saying about, you know, the NBA franchise
having these different departments where basically things are monitored and
managed at a pretty big level. Because you need to remember,

(20:12):
like these golfers are like the world's best at what
they do, and if something means even slight improvement, or
it means that an injury doesn't take quite as long
to recover from, or they're not out for quite as
long you know, that's more chance to say, playing events

(20:32):
where you can build up FedEx points. And you know,
we know from watching a golf season how granular at
the end of a year things can be in terms
of different cutoffs for keeping cards or getting into particular events.

Speaker 3 (20:45):
Yeah, definitely might.

Speaker 2 (20:47):
So to answer your question they're shaeing. What that probably
means is like one of my jobs is when I
get information from players, is sometimes telling them I'm not
the guy to answer that question, like I don't know
exactly why your backer risk is sore and what I suggested.
You know, it's been dragging on for too long. Now
you need to go and see a specialist in this area,

(21:10):
like find out where in your city who the best
guy to go to is, or I find out who
that person is and try and send them there basically,
but that wouldn't happen if I was working for a
basketball organization. You know, that would be all in house
and taken care of. So I think that's where things might,
you know, have room to improve over time. Mike.

Speaker 3 (21:30):
I think one thing fun about about your your journey
is we've talked about your work with PGA Tour players,
which has been sounds like quite fun. You've learned a
lot there, but you have through your app Fit for
Golf App, the ability to connect design programs for any
golfer out there, which is quite fun and I think
it I kind of like in it a little bit

(21:51):
to what I try to do at ping is. Yeah,
we work with the tour players, but we need we
need to pass along our solutions to the everyday golfer.
Tell us a little bit about what that looks like
in terms of, you know, your your golf community that
has had success training with your app. What are some
differences there between training the tour player, which we just

(22:13):
talked about in the everyday golfer. You know, they don't
have as much time available. How much time do they
need to get on one of your programs? What's the
minimum amount of time per week? What does that look like?

Speaker 2 (22:24):
Mike? Yeah, So kind of how the Fit for Golf
app came about was from training people for basically multiple years,
you kind of start noticing patterns like these people coming
in are of very similar profiles like you have. Let's
say you're you're older golfers. You might have your kind

(22:45):
of busy working moms or dads, and then you might
have your aspiring golfers, and while there is definitely some
individual differences, there's a lot of similarities. And if you're
trying to work with people in person all the time,
I'm like, you can't. You can't deal with you know,
thousands of people. So sort of my idea was, why

(23:08):
don't I build out these templates that I tend to
work off day in and day out for the last
number of years, and try and make them accessible to
basically thousands of golfers that they can use in their
own time because a lot of these golfers they don't
have access to, you know, a professional in their area

(23:29):
that can basically provide them with that service, and to
be honest, if they do, it's often very expensive. So
how I started was essentially just I would write a
program and for each exercise in the program, just trying
to think of regressions and progressions. So, like Shane Menson say,

(23:50):
like squatting earlier as an offseason exercise, like it's that's
something that I would say is pretty universally good for
people to do. Barrings some you know, a major injury
that doesn't allow them to do so I'm probably gonna
want most golfers I work with to squat or something
similar because it's really good for lower body strength and power,

(24:11):
which is beneficial for producing speed and potentially reducing injury.
If I have somebody who's never worked out before, is
maybe carrying a lot of excess weight and they have
some reservations about exercising, they might be doing a squat
where they're holding onto a countertop to assist them going

(24:31):
down where they can use their arms to offload themselves
a little bit. Or you might see people doing it
holding like a TRX strap or something like that, so
like they're not even squatting against all of their body weight.
Whereas if it is a D one college golfer who's
just had four years of working with a strength and
conditioning staff and they're like, Mike, I'm at one fifteen speed,

(24:56):
but I think if I can get to one to
twenty one, like I'm gonna have a huge advantage. Well,
now you're starting to deal with things where you know,
you might be squeezing the sponge a little bit more dry,
and you're probably still going to have them do some
sort of squat, but their squat might turn into like
they might be doing a squat jump, holding fifty pounds,
dumbels or something like that. You know, so very similar

(25:17):
movement pattern, very similar let's say adaptation you're looking for,
but you just meet them where they are. I guess,
kind of like club fitting Marty. You know, it's like
I have a kind of picture of what I want
this person to be able to do, but like this
driver is going to work for you know, your kid

(25:39):
that's just after finishing college, whereas this might be for
grandad kind of thing. You know, it's basically the same
idea and just just scaling from there. And I think
where people especially I would say, like with it's hypocritical
because like my business is on social media and my
job is to try and garner people's attention so I

(25:59):
can sell my programs. But I think it's become more
common to try and convince people that they might have
problems that are unique to them that other people don't have,
and as a solution, there's some very highly specialized exercise

(26:20):
or program that's perfect for them, which I just don't
really agree is the case. Even if you go through
as thorough a screening or assessment protocol as you want,
like training is still really a little bit of trial
and error getting started. You basically just start on the
conservative side with something you think is probably a little

(26:41):
bit too easy. Was that okay, yeah, perfect, Okay, let's
try the next level? Was that okay, okay great? And
after doing that a couple of times, it's sort of
like a Goldilocks principle. You get into the sweet spot
where you want to be, and then from there it's
just slowly progressing. And then what's been a big part
of it is like literally replying to people's questions that

(27:03):
they send in through the app, like hey, like, how
do I modify this exercise because I fell skiing last
week and my knee is killing me? Or this where
I work out doesn't have this piece of equipment, like
what can I do instead? You know, That's that's kind
of where I would say, like the individual individualization has

(27:23):
come as just answering questions for people.

Speaker 1 (27:26):
Mike, what's a big misconception people have about fitness and golf?
What's something that when you talk to newbies to the gym.
What's something that you feel like most people maybe don't
understand or almost always approach you that's wrong.

Speaker 2 (27:39):
What's the time limit on this podcast?

Speaker 1 (27:41):
We can go. We got we got plenty of times.

Speaker 2 (27:44):
I don't have to pick up my kids an hour
and a half. Let's it go. I think there's two
that stand out like above all else. Number one is
that lifting is going to hurt you, Like there's definitely
an assumption out there in some circles that like lifting

(28:05):
equals injury, and I think it's it's like any other
type of physical activity. If you do too much too soon,
literally if that's walking, if you build up your steps,
if you build up your step count too quickly, like
you're gonna get healing achilles pain. I promise you, like,
go go on a hiking trip unprepared or a long

(28:26):
walking trip unprepared, and the most basic of activities you
will start to pick up an injury. It's the same
with weaight training. But we know from like as much
research as you want to look at, it's one of
the best things that we can do for maintaining or
improving our physical function as we age. And to be honest, like, yeah,

(28:48):
I love helping golfers improve their speed, but most let's
say recreational golfers, like who really cares if they're at
ninety eight versus one oh one miles an hour to
a certain extent, but if they're able to be in
way better health and physical condition long term, maybe they
can maintain that ninety eight miles longer for seven or

(29:10):
eight years more in their golfing life. And that's where
like strength resistance training becomes really important. And then the
other one is probably that like strength training or lifting
weights is going to lead to reduced flexibility. And people
have you know, the image of the gigantic bodybuilder in

(29:32):
their head, bulging with muscles, saying that you know that
guy couldn't rotate or couldn't scratch his back, which if
you ask them so, they actually probably could. It just
doesn't look that way. But there's that like if you
think of doing a let's say, strength training exercise through
as big a range of motion as you can in

(29:54):
that particular movement that's essentially a loaded stretch, like you
you can improve your mobility and strength at the same
time with resistance training. And they're the two I would
say that people are most worried about is that, no,
I don't want to get stronger, I just want to
get more flexible. Any adult that doesn't lift weights, I

(30:16):
would say actually probably does need to think about getting stronger,
because if you're not, you're just gradually losing muscle mass
and that ends up catastrophic for health over the course
of decades. And the added bonus is that you can
do both at the same time. You can improve flexibility
and strength through strength training. And in terms of the

(30:37):
other one getting hurt. Sure, you can get hurt lifting weights.
You can get hurt from doing anything, and you can
get hurt from doing nothing. People wake up with aches
and pains, or they hurt themselves picking up the kids'
school bag or whatever. You know, they're probably the two
biggest ones. There's some more that you could dig into.

(30:58):
It's a long list, and to be honest, I think
the reason it's a long list is something that you
touched on earlier is that this is quite new in
terms of being a thing in golf, and it makes
it quite interesting for say, trying to research and learn
from people who are more experienced and let's say, smarter
than you. And I'm by no means saying that I'm

(31:21):
the smartest or most experienced or best trainer in golf,
but there's very few people have been doing it for
a long time or have really been applying like their
whole careers to it. So we almost need to go
and look for other look to other sports for guidance,
and I think in golf by far the best places

(31:43):
we can go our track and field because those sports,
the coach's job is they're given feedback by a tape
measure or a stopwatch, and those sports were also in
the Olympics. And if a sport is in the Olympics,
it's major political bragging rights, which sounds kind of off course,

(32:06):
but it means that there's tons of resources pumped into
them by countries governments, which means that you get exceptionally
good coaches, you get lots of research and studies. And
if you combine that with the fact that the athletes
are getting objective feedback about hey, how much further did
you throw the javelin from this from this training program

(32:27):
or what exercises had the biggest correlation with this jump height,
there are things that can be really really informative, whereas
when you go into field sports or sports that have
a lot of let's say more external and variable factors involved,
it gets really tough. Like even for example, the NFL
combine does a bad job of finding which players are

(32:50):
going to be the best on the field because there's
just there's just so much more to sports where there's
millions of things going on. You can't boil down to
you know, jumping and you know, sprinting around cones and
things like that. But if we take the main thing,
I would say that you can improve in golf as

(33:10):
a trainer, Like it's I think I think for performance
why it's like if you take away like, Okay, we
don't want them to be injured, we want them to
be able to make the swings that them and their
coaches want to do. But after that, it's really like
how much speed do you have? Like it really is
the way things are going. And when that's the case, well,

(33:33):
then like we're using speed as our feedback test, and
now how are our training programs basically enhancing that as
long as we're keeping the other things lined up?

Speaker 3 (33:45):
Basically, Mike, there was so much in there that was
so good and so interesting. I think one one of
the regrets I've had in my life is probably spending
too much time practicing fifty yard web shots when I
rarely have that shot on the course, And the other
one is static stretching. I think if I had to
go back in time, nowadays, I love doing like Jefferson

(34:06):
curls and kettlebell windmills, and my hamstring flexibility is improved
dramatically and I feel great. What are some other exercises
there that you can take to end range to improve
your flexibility that you like?

Speaker 2 (34:21):
Yeah, So a good point there i'm stretching is that
most people think that let's say, lack of mobility is
because of like tissue, let's say muscle tissue tightness, and
they think that by stretching they're going to elongate that tissue,
which doesn't really happen. Like muscle and tending and connective tissue,

(34:45):
it's just too dense and too strong essentially for that
to happen to to a great extent. And usually what's
more commonly the reason for a range of motion being
restricted is it's something from your brain nervous system saying hey,
I'm not comfortable here, Like let's put on the brakes here.

(35:05):
This doesn't feel so good. I've never been here before,
I have no strength here before. And don't even think
about asking me to do it at high force or
high speed, because that's not going to go help. So
if you're trying to improve range of motion in a
certain area, I would say, try and do things as
much as possible where you are actively moving through that

(35:28):
range of motion. So, for example, one a simple one
that I think that I think is great, like is
one of the biggest, let's say, complaints you get from
golfers is that they're losing flexibility as they get a
little bit older and their swing is getting shorter, and
they show you these various stretches they're doing, maybe lying

(35:49):
on the ground, they might have a towel pulled over
a certain part of their leg or something like that.
Whereas something that I think is perfect for that is
give them a club or a weighted club and tell them, Okay,
you've got sixty seconds on the clock, and gradually, I
want you to make practice swings where you go longer
and longer each time. I want you to get uncomfortably

(36:11):
slightly uncomfortably longer with how far you're turning, how far
your hands are going, And all of a sudden it's like, okay,
this is way more specific to the demands of the
activity that I'm actually trying to get better at, and
your brain is also involved, like you have to contract
the muscles that you need to contract to get back

(36:33):
to those positions, You need to be in control of
all the various joints that are involved, and you're also
just getting more comfortable doing it. It's not that there's
anything inherently wrong with doing static stretching at all. It'd
kind of never discourage someone from any form of exercise,

(36:53):
But all choices we make in training basically are a
series of trade offs. Like we have a limited amount
of time, and as soon as we have a specific
let's say goal or activity that we're trying to work on,
then just the question as well, how much is this
transferring to what I'm trying to improve based on my

(37:15):
opportunity cost basically based on the other things I can
be doing. And if you think of what the golf
swing is, it's a one second activity. It's standing on
our feet, it's happening very quickly, like static stretching is
is tough to give let's say, a lot of recommendation
for when we consider some of the other options that

(37:37):
we have, like even something as simple as like if
you stand and uprate let's say, in like baseball posture
or something and hold a four or six pounds medicine
ball at arm's length in front of you. Practice rotating
as far as you can in each direction, do something
like ten or twelve reps each side, trying to go
as far as you can do that a couple of times. Like,

(37:59):
I think that's going to be way better than you know.
We see the classic stretch of kind of somebody putting
their foot up on a bench and trying to touch
their toes or you know, dragging their arm across their chest.
It's like, hold on a second here, like that's that's great.
I know it's what everybody has done forever. But let's
actually think about what we're what we're trying to improve here,

(38:19):
you know.

Speaker 1 (38:20):
Mike, that was something i'd written down to ask you.
Was I mean, we all love the idea of showing
up an hour before our tea time and hitting balls
and rolling some putts, but the reality is most of
us show up fifteen minutes before our tea time. And
I was going to ask you if you had ideas,
because you know, what used to be a popular warm up,
if you will that I feel like's kind of gone away.

(38:40):
Was they you know, guys would pull out two clubs
and swing two clubs like a doughnut on a baseball bat.
And I feel like, now it is a lot more
of that. I'm going to bend over, touch my toes
and try to get ready. Do you have things people
could do when they only have ten to fifteen minutes
to prepare for a tea time and they can't go
to the range and hit sixty golf balls.

Speaker 2 (38:59):
Yeah, so like two sides of the spectrum. When the
pro guys you brought up are professional golfers, their warm
up is in the gym for about twenty minutes. They
go through what's usually termed as like a dynamic warm up,
where they'll be doing some exercises for loosening out their hips,
their spy and their shoulders, their neck. Then they might

(39:21):
do some let's say pretty easy body weight exercises like squats, lunges,
toe touches, but all for reps, no holding positions. Gradually
tried to go a bit further getting warmed up, and
then they'll finish their warm up with some what I
would call like explosive or powerwork. For example, they might
do a series like three sets of five vertical jumps

(39:43):
eight medicine ball slams and eight medicine ball throws off
a wall or something like that, and they feel like
that when they go down to the range they could
take out driver and be at full speed on their
first swing. The other reason I like that is if
they're playing let's say five rounds a week, when you
include practice rounds or whatever in pro ams, that's also

(40:07):
a little bit of mobility and power work before every round.
That adds up over the course of months and over
course of seasons. Recreational golfers don't have time to do that.
What I do I play first thing in the morning,
so like first light, I'm not going to the course
early to hit balls. I do like a ten minute

(40:30):
mobility routine at home where I basically go through what
I just said there. I'm doing some like hip mobility,
some spy mobility, some like squats lunges, some torso twists,
and then I take honestly about twenty practice swings on
the first tee with my driver, like two sets of ten.
I might do a set at ten that's pretty easy,

(40:52):
then I do a set at ten that's pretty hard,
and then I'll take like you know, I'll make sure
that I have, say like a minute or two to
get heart rate back down to normal. Then I'll take
like one or two let's say, normal practice swings when
it's my turn to hit, and like, honestly, that feels fine,
Like I get more out of those swings than I

(41:13):
think I would do in like any stretches on the
first t to be perfectly.

Speaker 1 (41:18):
Honest, Mike, do you have that on your website? I mean,
is that is that a part of part of the
side of people who're gonna download it and subscribe them
that you have?

Speaker 2 (41:26):
So yeah, it's it's it's the main like daily mobility
slash warm up routine. I have tons of free like
shortened versions of it on my Twitter or Instagram, and
I think on my website there's actually a pop up
where if you enter your email address you get like
a free five minute golf warm up. And it's one

(41:49):
that's simple to do with the course because you're standing
for all of it and the only equipment you use
as a club things like leg swings back and forth,
some like helvis twists, some Torso twists. Yeah. The most
important thing I would say for like a good quality
warm up is think about think about moving like gradually

(42:11):
moving through the activity you're about to do, less less
thinking about stretching out, and more thinking about moving through
the movement that you're about to do, gradually building up
the speed. Like, for example, if you're going to do
a forty yard dash, I don't want to see you
standing on the side of the track stretching your hamstring.

(42:32):
I want to see you do fifteen forty yard runs
going from slow to medium to fast like. That's how
you prepare for it.

Speaker 3 (42:42):
Mike for the listener here, I've thought a lot about
this topic and study this topic just the can you
and I know this could be its own podcast in itself.
But the difference between strength training and speed training, you know,
the high level as simple as you can make it.

Speaker 2 (42:59):
Yeah, so that is that is definitely like a loaded question.
It's honestly one of my favorite areas to try and
dig into and I guess get more knowledge in. If
we think of someone who wants to be able to
develop the ability to swing faster, okay, we want them
to have big and strong, fast twitched muscle fibers, and

(43:24):
we want them to be able to apply the strength
they have very quickly. And if you look at those
two things, it gets pretty simple why you want to
have let's say heavy strength training and light load speed training.
When we're lifting heavy weights, let's say a weight that

(43:44):
we could lift for five reps or less, doesn't matter
what the exercise is, because that weight is challenging relative
to our strength level. We recruit all of our muscle fibers.
There's none that we don't use because we need them
all to kick in to help us move the weight.
The harder we try and accelerate the weight, the more

(44:07):
of our fastwitched fibers that we recruit. And one of
the beneficial adaptations to heavy resistance training is that we
get better at recruiting these fastwitch fibers. And one of
the biggest elements of maximum strength is the size of
our muscle fibers. So with heavy strength training, we learn

(44:31):
how to recruit our fastwitch fibers, we learn how to
produce more maximum force, and these fibers also get bigger.
With speed training, something that we get a lot better
at is how quickly we can send the signal from

(44:51):
our brain to the muscles and get those muscles to contract.
And that's why having the balance of both of them
is very very ben official. The kind of ven diagram
of what you want to be really good at is
you want to have big strong muscles from heavy strength training,
particularly big fast twitch muscle fibers. But they're the ones

(45:14):
that tend to grow from strength training anyway, and we
want to be really really good at our muscles applying
that force very quickly, which is why, honestly, the most
important ones to do for golf are specific like speed
training with swings, because that motor unit firing frequency or

(45:36):
ray coding, I think is quite specific to a task,
to a movement pattern. So if we can do it
through swinging, are things that are similar to swinging, it's
definitely beneficial. And then kind of over time what gets
important is that when people start strength training, they'll notice,

(45:59):
like all al most a linear increase to clubhead speed.
Like if you get someone and you get them in
the gym and they just start like squatting, benching, pull ups, whatever,
the usual stuff like the five by five programs that
are super common and things like that. One hundred percent
those people, as their muscles are getting bigger and stronger,
and just as importantly, they're getting better at recruiting these

(46:19):
fast twitch fibers. They'll be at the range and they'll
be like, man, this is sweet. I'm going to be
ten miles an hour faster in no time. I'm only
lifting three weeks and I'm like four miles an hour up.
This is awesome. Then all of a sudden, the lifting
gains stop or massively slow down, and so does the
transfer to speed. And one of the reasons why that

(46:41):
happens is that there is what's called a specicificy element
to strength training, and what that means is that the
transfer that we get from one activity to the other
isn't perfect. Something's transfer more, something's transfer less. And as
are let's say, percentage of our potential changes and we

(47:03):
get closer to our genetic potential, the amount of transfer
we get from things starts to slow down, and that's
when training kind of needs to change a little bit
if we want to keep improving. Yeah, Like let's just say, Martie,
like you've been told the hexperre deadlift, Like you said,
I know you've done a lot is really good for
helping increase speed potential, but you're af forgetting to a

(47:24):
point where you can. You've spent years developing it. It's
hard for you to get stronger at it. And let's
say your max is four hundred pounds, Like, think of
how much time and effort and fatigue you'd pick up
to bring that to like four forty. That might take
six months, and during that period you're never really going

(47:47):
to be fresh where you can do speed training sessions
or high higher speed exercises that are more similar to
the swing and might have higher transfer. And if we
just said, Marty, this strength for now is fine, good enough,
we've noticed that, like it's not really causing much transfer,

(48:10):
but hey, you've spent very little of your training time
working on things like swinging your driver as fast as
you can for x number of reps three times per week.
And that's a shift in training that like, I guess
I've been seeing more of or trying to think about
more of lately, because what's become clear is that like

(48:32):
the training that works at first does not work forever.
And also if you're as you get more advanced, you
can't improve at everything. At the same time, the beginner
can crush themselves trying to get better at let's say
they're heavy strength training, and they can also get better
at their faster light stuff but then, if you know,

(48:55):
go to the other end of the spectrum where it's
somebody who's been training for five or ten years. This
is where like the term say like periodization gets important
because I don't want anybody to listen and be like, no, Mike,
say that we should stop working on strength, we should
work on speed. Well, like no, maybe where you are
in your training, let's say career, you should keep working

(49:16):
at both of them. And that's what a lot of
beginners need to do. But let's, for example, you and
Shane are like, Okay, you've just played a golf season,
and this happens with the pros and amateurs all the time.
So both of your strength levels are probably down relative
to where they have been in the past because you've
been busy practicing and playing. But now your off season

(49:37):
just started, so I might say, hey, Marty, we can
get your strength levels back up to where they were
in like six weeks. No panic, So let's prioritize strength
for six weeks. We'll still keep working on your speed
so that you're not completely getting away from it. But
then for the six weeks before the season when you
want to be getting faster because you don't care how

(49:59):
strong you are in season, you care how what your
ball speed is.

Speaker 3 (50:02):
Yep.

Speaker 2 (50:03):
So now let's transfer to where we put more of
an emphasis on speed. That's where we ramp up the volume.
We'll just do a tiny bit of strength to make
sure you don't get weaker now the season starts. Competitive
golf is your priority, We'll put both of them on maintenance.
And then what we're hoping is, if I'm working with
you for two, three, four seasons, is that we're on

(50:27):
like a stepways progression where you are now starting next
season's off season at a slightly higher point than you
were for the same time last year, and we're just
building on it. And then when we go into your
speed stuff, you're at a slightly higher level hopefully than
you were at that time last year, and that's kind
of the goal you're looking for.

Speaker 1 (50:47):
It's so fascinating, Mike. I mean again, I feel like
this is like scratching the surface level stuff with so
many people in terms of fitness. But you've mentioned your
socials a little bit. Obviously, you've mentioned you know, the
app everything, but could you fill people in on where
they can follow you, where they can check out everything
that you're doing. Subscribe to Fit for Golf. Can you

(51:07):
just kind of clue people.

Speaker 2 (51:08):
In and all that. Yeah. So the two social media
platforms are Instagram and Twitter, probably a lot more on Twitter.
The handles are the same at fit Underscore for Underscore Golf.
My website is Fit for Golf Dot app, and the

(51:29):
app is also called the Fit for Golf App. Something
important about the app is that for the last seven
or eight months, I've been getting a new app built
that will be released in January, so there'll be some
changes coming there, but anyone who signs up to the
current app will transfer to the new one if they

(51:49):
if they.

Speaker 1 (51:49):
Don't want to wait, Mike, I know what I'm gonna
do after the call. I'm gonna grab my stack system
and just go swing in the garage right now.

Speaker 2 (51:55):
Just make sure just make sure you warm up, warm up.

Speaker 1 (52:01):
We appreciate this. We got to have you back on
at some point and maybe dive into you know, getting
into the season or mid season things like that. I
love what you said in terms of postseason recovery and
trying to maybe figure out plans for the next year.
So we'll have you back on soon and maybe chat
about a different time of the year, but very fascinating stuff.

Speaker 2 (52:19):
We appreciate the time. My pleasure. Thank you very much.

Speaker 3 (52:21):
Jane, Yeah, thanks, Mike.

Speaker 2 (52:23):
My pleasure. Marthee, thanks a lot.

Speaker 1 (52:25):
So interesting, Mike, so much stuff to consume and like
I said, time to go swing it outside. This is
the Being Proving Grounds podcast
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