Do you want to hit HIGH. NASTY. STRAIGHT. BOMBS? Bryson DeChambeau is doing it, but the question becomes, do we need to follow his lead?
Now that golf has resumed after the initial wave of COVID-19, we finally got the chance to see Bryson’s weight gain experiment play out. He is crushing the hell out of the ball and continually finishing in the top 10 week-in and week-out; including a win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
We currently don’t know if the increased club head speed (CHS) will increase his risk of injury, only time will tell, but we can learn a lot from DeChambeu’s experiment today.
Tiger, Brooks and Bryson have all shown us that strength and mass can help us hit bombs. This isn’t anecdotal, this is backed by research and basic exercise physiology principles.
What Does Strength Training Do For Us?
- Improves Resiliency
- Improves Club Head Speed
Strength training improves resiliency by improving the amount of force we can create and absorb. This helps us better tolerate the high levels of force that act upon the body during the golf swing.
It also helps to increase power. Force is part of the power equation, which from a physics perspective is the amount of force that can be produced over a given period of time.
So when it comes to the golf swing, the more force you can produce the faster you can move your club head.
Where does weight gain play into all of this?
If we look across all sports, weight can give a person a distinct advantage over their competition. In baseball it’s the bigger players that hit the furthest balls, in MMA they have to create different weight classes to even the playing field. When it comes to the rotational power sports in track and field such as shotput and discus throwers, they have an advantage when they have more mass to them.
If you want to know why this is the case, we can look to physics again:
Force = the mass of the object X acceleration
Being that our bodies are practically a part of the golf club when we swing, our weight can make a difference when it comes to club head speed.
I personally think that Bryson has made the game a little more fun and exciting. The age-old question still remains, do you really need to gain weight like Bryson?
The short answer is no.
Weight gain and weight loss, in my opinion, are based on a person’s goals. Since your weight has a direct aesthetic component to it, I will never tell someone they HAVE to gain weight.
On the flip side, most golfers are relatively undertrained in the first place. So starting here should precede any form of weight gain. Improving one’s movement patterns, strength, and power production should be the place every individual starts.
Years ago, I had undergone this same weight gain experiment myself, but instead of focusing on golf outcomes, I focused mainly on strength outcomes.
I put on 26 lbs in 6 months. I went from being 160 lbs in January of 2013, by June I was 186 lbs. At that point, I was the strongest I had ever been. My strongest deadlift, squat, and bench all happened when I was 186lbs, and they were all 30 lbs personal records.
Had I been playing golf back then to any serious degree, I would have loved to have seen what that would do for my CHS and performance.
The moral of the story is simple. If you want to hit high, nasty, straight bombs don’t underestimate the benefits of getting stronger. As long as you maintain your mobility levels (which is easier than you probably think) and you are smart about your workout intensity and playing volume, you can keep your injury risk low while gaining a competitive advantage over your peers.