How Golfers Can Add More HIIT In The Gym

Are golfer’s sprinters or endurance athletes?

Some people think that golf is more of an endurance sport and that we need to train our golfers like endurance athletes. This could not be further from the truth. To hit a golf ball the golfer needs to fire muscles in the correct order at maximal velocity.  Golfers actually share much more in common with a sprinter than a marathoner.  A sprinter operates at maximum intensity, relying on powerful, coordinated contractions.  Much more similar to golf than steady state cardio.  Sure you walk between shots, but being a great walker isn’t what differentiates great golfers from their competition.  Power is one of the key factors that set better golfers apart and, it turns out, power pays.  

The most powerful golfers in the world use more fast twitch muscle fibers than the average golfer. Fast twitch muscle fibers can be trained using sprinting and ballistic training techniques.  

Search “jogging” in the exercise section of the TPI site.  Of the thousands of exercises in the database, none involve jogging. 

Now search sprinting.  Dozens of exercises, from shuttles to skips, that involve sprinting.

Most avid golfers already have fairly capable endurance systems.  Golfers walk between four and six miles during an average round so their aerobic cardio needs are being met just by playing golf and don’t require additional sessions.

Training like a sprinter

Interval training has been proven to reduce fat, increase cardiovascular capacity while increasing speed and power. Using a training method called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) can help your golfer accomplish all their cardio needs while enhancing their ability to fire more fast twitch muscle fibers in their golf swing. HIIT training involves short bursts of 90-100% intensity exercise followed by full recovery.  It's something that TPI instructor Dr. Mark Smith covers in detail during advanced TPI Fitness seminars, especially Level 3.  Generally speaking, your work to rest ratio should be in the area of 15 second to 1 minute of work followed by 30 sec to 2 minutes of rest. (1:2 Work: Rest).  If you were to add up all the work done in a week you goal should be around 10 minutes of high intensity interval training. 

PGA TOUR joined Patrick Rodgers and his trainer Dr. Troy Van Biezen in the gym and broadcast it on Facebook Live during the week of the Memorial.  Check out his workout.

Skipping Challenge

One of my favorite HIIT workouts is skipping.  Skipping could be one of the best exercises ever invented in the history of mankind. I’m not one for making bold statements so I won’t go over the top on this one, but, simply put, skipping could be the cure for diabetes, cancer, delayed onset loneliness and the plague. Okay so now you know I like skipping but why, Jay? 

Skipping is a self limiting exercise which means that you will stop skipping once you are fatigued or you lose your form. This makes it a pretty safe activity for all ages and income brackets. Skipping elevates the heart rate and can be used as a HIIT or using different tempo and cadence it can be performed for longer more moderate cardio bouts. It is fantastic for developing timing, rhythm, athleticism, agility and coordination. Skipping can also enhance power outputs in jumpers or any athlete using their legs as a source of power. It is plyometric in nature and can help you develop cannon ball calves that look like 4 litre jugs of milk hanging from your knees. 

I like to add 30sec to 1min skipping bouts in my circuits or any time in a session I am looking to crank up the heart rate. I developed a Skipping Challenge for my athletes to encourage them to skip as fast as they can while developing various skipping skills.  The challenge is to perform the following sequence of skips as fast as you can. The 30 Second Skipping Club is a very small group of super star skipping phenoms that have completed the entire sequence in under 30 sec. Want to be a part of this elite group? Video tape your Skipping Challenge and post it on your social media with #30SecSkipClub #BeatTheCoach

Here are the Skipping Challenge Elements: 

20 High Knees/Freestyle

20 Side Skiers

20 Forward & Backs

20 Twisters

10 Double Unders 

More on skipping from the Coach Glass Podcast.


Jason Glass

Jason Glass BHK, CSCS, TPI Advisory Board @jasonglasslab Host of the Coach Glass Podcast on iTunes Website:

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