How to schedule your training
Like in all other sports, your training should be designed so that you peak for competition. Unlike most other individual sports such as athletics, tennis or boxing, you need to peak every weekend. During the off-season, it is a bit easier to get some extra training session in. In season you have to deal with the high demand for skill as well as competitions. This means you are going to need a different strategy for in and out of season training that won’t have a negative effect on your performance or practice.
The off-season is easier to plan for and also when you will get the biggest physical adaptations. You have fewer or zero competition, and depending on the level you play this can free up between 1 and 4 days per week. From there you can plan your week with additional training sessions with no interruptions in your programming. You can, for example, train heavy legs in your gym session and it won’t affect your putting practice that day.
You can do an upper body session with your chipping and do your long game practice as part of your training or on your day off from the gym. Bear in mind that hitting the driver and the long irons are still maximal and are demanding on the central nervous system. You should also know the date of your first competition the following season, this means you can plan every session and periodise your reps/sets/weight, ready to peak at the right time.
In season is a little more tricky. Firstly you will have restricted gym time. Not only that, what you did the day before will determine what you can do. This means fitting everything in, is more difficult. This may seem strange coming from a fitness professional, but you have to prioritise skill. So 2 gym sessions a week is enough. This should give you enough time to keep the gains you made over winter and keep you in good condition to perform every week.
A simple way of doing this for a 2-day competition would be. Day 1 – (after comp) active recovery and mobility/short game, day 2 – heavy lifting/, day 3 – no gym, on course practice, day 4 – dynamic lifting/full swing work, day 5 active recovery and mobility/short game. This is a fairly demanding schedule. You will need a very good diet and recovery protocols. You may also need to adapt your training from week to week and put change some sessions to light and moderate days depending on how you perform. This is where a conditioning coach really earns his money, being able to look at an athlete with a hectic schedule and see what they need to perform better, it isn’t always a beasting.
The priority with all training is recovery. You have to earn your recovery though. A golf specific gym session will replicate the muscles, joints, nerves and energy system demands that golf does. If it doesn’t you would be training for and making adaptations for something else.