Table of Contents

Off-Season Training for Junior Golfers

Why it's Important:

The off season is the most important time for development in a junior golfer. There are usually less tournaments to be played which leaves more time for developing strength, power and stamina. But how should a junior handle the off season?

One way to handle the off season is to start a strength training program. This is a great way to increase your distance and clubhead speed for the next season. Whether you are continuing a program from the season or starting for the first time, an offseason program will follow a similar progression throughout. The only difference will be the first few weeks of the program. If you were on an in-season training program right after the season ends, you will go into a “deload” phase. This phase is for recovery from the season and will have lower volume workouts or less reps and less weight. A set and rep scheme would look something like this:
3 sets of 5 reps at 60% intensity.

If you are new to strength training, the first phase you will go into is what I like to call a “build up” phase. This phase is designed to allow the junior to learn movements as well as learn what kind of weight they can handle. A set and rep scheme for a build up phase would look something like this:
3 sets of 5-6 reps at a varying intensity.

After the deload or build up phase is when the programs will start to look similar. There are 3 parts to an off season program, Hypertrophy, strength, and power. Each part will last around 3-4 weeks depending on the length of the juniors off season. Each phase will be followed by a one week deload phase to prevent overtraining and will follow a similar scheme as the one above.

P4S Client, Jennifer Chang, T10 Finish PGA Major

Phase 1: Hypertrophy

Hypertrophy simply put is increasing muscle size. Increasing muscle size is important for increasing mass which allows for better strength and power development as well as help with injury prevention. A hypertrophy set and rep scheme will be something similar to this: 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps The higher rep range allows for greater time under tension which leads to muscle growth. The intensity or how much weight you should use should be between 50% and 70% of your 1 rep max weight. For someone who is new to strength training and might not have a 1 rep max, the weight should be light to moderate weight, you should be able to complete every rep with perfect form. A way to gauge this is, if you finish your last rep and feel like you could have completed 2-3 more reps you are using the right weight, if you could have completed 4 or more reps, you should increase the weight 5-10lbs for the next set.

Phase 2: Strength

The strength phase is exactly what it sounds like, gaining strength. Gaining strength is important because it allows the ability to develop more power later on. A strength phase set and rep scheme would look something similar to this: 3-5 sets of 4-6 reps. You might be wondering why you are doing less reps in this phase, that is because you are going to start using heavier weight. In a strength phase you will use a weight that is between 70% and 85% of your 1 rep max. For someone who is new to strength training, you will use a moderate to heavy weight and just like before if you finish your last rep and feel like you can do 2-3 more reps you are using the correct weight. In this phase, you will begin to incorporate a few quick movements such as medicine ball throws and jumps.

Phase 3: Power

This is the last phase of your off season, this phase should lead up to your first tournament where you should start to transition into an in-season program. The power phase is where you will start to notice gains in distance and clubhead speed. Your power phase should include a combination of heavy lifts and quick, explosive movements. A set and rep scheme for a power phase should look something similar to this: 3-4 sets of 1-3 reps. The weight you will use should be 85%-95% of your 1 rep max. For beginners, the weight should be heavy but not so heavy that your form and technique are compromised. For power, once you finish your last rep you should only be able to do 1 or 2 more reps. You should also have medicine ball throws, jumps with light weight and jumps without weight to maximize your power output.

Conclusion:

Another way to handle the off season is to pick up another sport while doing an off season training program. Playing multiple sports while young is incredibly helpful in developing other skills, working other muscle groups, and getting a mental break from the long golf season. Tons of elite level athletes played multiple sports while growing up, LeBron James played football, Patrick Mahomes played baseball, and even Dustin Johnson played basketball just to name a few and I am sure all of them would attest that playing other sports helped them develop in their main sport.

Just to recap, an offseason strength training program is an excellent way to gain size, strength and power before the next season starts. Developing all of these helps increase distance and clubhead speed greatly. The program should have 3 main phases that follow either a deload or build up phase. Those phases are hypertrophy (gaining muscle), strength, and power. Each of these should last 3-4 weeks and the power phase should lead right up to the season.

Author-

Alex Shirazi

Golf Performance Coach

Christopher Finn Sports Physical Therapist Morrisville

Founder, CEO

Chris Finn

Par4Success
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