June 11, 2014

Cardio for Golf! Improve your Game

Improved stamina will lower your scores!



While cardiovascular training is not at the top of the list when it comes to performance training for golf, there are some benefits to it.  Many juniors and college players are playing 36 holes in a day carrying their own bag.  This can be very fatiguing over time and when fatigue sets in we can see lapses in judgement, loss of swing speed, and inconsistent focus.  The goal of this section is to show you how to get more out of your cardio workout by putting in less time on the treadmill, bike or elliptical.  Recent research has shed light on the dark days of long steady state cardiovascular training.  As you have probably read in fitness magazines by now, the recent trend towards HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) conditioning is beginning to replace the old school thought of spending long hours on the treadmill.  Essentially HIIT means doing short bursts of higher intensity exercise followed by longer break periods.  A typical work to rest ratio is about 1:3.  An example of this would be sprinting on a treadmill for 15 seconds and then jumping off and resting for about 45 seconds before repeating again.  This would typically last for about 8 rounds equaling 2 minutes of intense all out running.  Doesn’t sound like a lot, but the benefits can be even better than what are attained through a steady dose of jogging for a half hour.  Of course for most of you sprinting is not an option but this type of training can be done on a stationary bike, the Cybex Arc Trainer or even walking on an incline.  The key is to make sure the intensity for the 15 seconds is high, but that it also matches your fitness level.  This means that the workout is going to be hard, harder than what you are used to, but it takes less than half the time. 

Research has been done comparing long steady state cardiovascular training with HIIT and the results are surprising.

1.  In a case study done in Canada at McMaster University researchers compared the effects of 20 minutes of high intensity interval training (30 second sprints followed by 4 minute resting periods) with 90-120 minutes long steady state training in the heart rate zone.  Subjects got the same results in oxygen utilization in both programs but the amazing thing is the interval training group actually only did 2 minutes and 30 seconds of actual work.

2.  In a more famous study known as the Tabata study, researchers found that by using an interval of 20 seconds of high intensity work and a rest period of 10 seconds for a total of 4 minutes participants were able to achieve higher V02max(aerobic capacity) and a faster heart rate recovery when compared to the group who did moderate intensity endurance training.

In summary HIIT has been shown to improve the following better than long steady state training:

1.  Cardiovascular Endurance
2.  Anaerobic Threshold
3.  Heart Rate Recovery
4.  Lower Resting Heart Rate
5.  Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption (increases caloric burn at rest)
6.  Fat Loss

If you are a beginner to this type of training you may want to start with LIIT (Low Intensity Interval Training) or you may become nauseated…same idea just keep the intensity a little lower.

HIIT Recommendations:

1.  Make sure you drink plenty of water and eat about 1.5 hours before you do it.  
2.  Perform the interval training after you do your strength training or you may be too tired to lift.
3.  Only do this type of training 2x’s a week as it can be strenuous.

Here is an example of a progression we use with our treadmills and bikes:

Week 1
Day 1 & 2:  2 min warm up: 15/45 x 5

Week 2
Day 1 & 2:  2 min warm up: 15/45 x 6

Week 3
Day 1 & 2:  2 min warm up: 15/45 x 7

Week 4
Day 1 & 2:  2 min warm up: 15/45 x 8

Week 5
Day 1 & 2:  2 min warm up: 20/40 x 6

Week 6
Day 1 & 2:  2 min warm up: 20/40 x 6

Week 7
Day 1 & 2:  2 min warm up: 20/40 x 7

Week 8
Day 1 & 2;  2 min warm up: 20/40 x 8

*In Week 1-4 the 15 is the amount of seconds you work…the 45 is the amount of seconds you come to a complete rest.  Same idea for weeks 5-8 except we increased the work time to 20 seconds and decreased the recovery time to 40 seconds.  The speed of the treadmill varies from 8mph to 12mph depending on the fitness level of the client.  We like the incline set to 5%.

This may be a better approach to follow if you do not have a heart rate monitor. Please understand that this is a difficult workout so start easy.  For you, jogging may be a high intensity workout so you don’t need to put the speed on the treadmill up to high levels for your work interval.  If you have a history of cardiovascular disease in your family or you have had heart complications in the past, make sure to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.  

Make sure to check out our website, www.lifetimeperformancepbg.com, for more articles like this one.

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