You Need a Repetitive Golf Swing to be a Better Lifter
This is one of my favorite coaching axioms and hopefully you’ll steal it and use it.
Now I don’t claim to be a golfer, or know a ton about the “sport”.
I did however play golf a lot years ago.
Golf is probably the most frustrating activity ever invented, but it’s also a pretty good time.
Pack a few beers in your bag, a cigar or two and 10 cans of Skoal and get outdoors and walk around while hitting things with clubs.
They call golf a sport, but I consider it a highly skilled recreational activity. When I played I was less than highly skilled. In two words, I sucked.
That didn’t stop me from trying to get better at it.
A few of my friends were excellent golfers and I heard the same thing from them all the time, and I read it in the golf magazines (what we read pre-internet for you Millennials):
You Need a Repetitive Golf Swing
WTF does this mean and how does it apply to lifting?
It’s a simple concept.
You let the club do the work.
Your set up to the ball and your swing is the same.
Every time, every club.
It has to do with repetition and consistency.
Repetition builds skill.
Consistency does too.
You see in golf, the loft of the club head dictates the path of the ball, as long as your swing is true.
Different clubs have different degrees of loft, or the angle that the head sits at.
This loft dictates how far the ball goes and how high.
A driver doesn’t have much loft as it is used to get the most distance. Usually between 7 to 20 degrees depending on how fast you swing the club.
Conversely, a 9 iron or a wedge has a shitload of loft, 45-48 degrees for the most part.
The lower the loft angle the more distance you get.
The greater the loft angle the less distance and more height you get.
There are more factors to this, but this article isn’t really about golf.
It’s about lifting.
Anyway, the idea is to let the club do the work. If you only have to hit the ball 100 yards you wouldn’t use a driver, unless you sucked like me.
A smaller club with more loft gets the job done.
If you need to hit it 200 yards, a driver is a better choice with a repetitive golf swing as opposed to trying to smash a 9 iron really hard and using a different swing.
The goal is consistency in your swing with every club.
Let the club do the work.
How does this apply to lifting?
You’ve heard lots of tips before such as:
- Treat the light weights like they are heavy and the heavy weights like they are light
- Be consistent
They are all great cues, but have found that my cue gets through to people, especially beginners (even more so to golfers).
What it means when I say that You Need a Repetitive Golf Swing applies mostly to your set up for each lift, but also to your execution of each rep.
I want you to approach and set up on each lift the same regardless of weight.
I want you to execute each rep the same regardless of weight.
Of course, each lift will have its own unique set up, or waggle as the golfers say.
Let’s use the squat as an example and how I set up, when I was able to squat.
I did the same thing every time. The only difference was whether I was geared and using a Monolift, or raw and walking it out. Using gear requires a slightly different technique than raw as the gear limits your ability to move so you have to adapt.
Let’s go with a raw squat as the example.
It did not matter what the weight on the bar was, my set up was the same.
- Approach the bar.
- Roll it backwards in the hooks as close to me as it would go.
- Grip the bar.
- Tap my heels against the floor (to make sure my feet are all the way back in my lifting shoes)
- Set my feet
- Set my right hand
- Set my left hand
- Stretch my lats out and drop the butt back
- Do a “pullup” to get my lats locked in
- Drop my left trap and slide it in tighter
- Same for the right trap
- Get hips where they need to be
- Get the weight on my heels
- Brace my abs
- Straighten my legs to unrack
- Step back ½ step with the left foot
- Step back ½ step with the right foot
- Top off air
- Pull down and squeeze on the bar as hard as I can
- Begin the squat
Now this seems like a long list, but it isn’t.
You’re probably doing something like this now but don’t even realize that you have a system of doing things.
I did this with an empty bar all the way up to a max weight.
I had a Repetitive Golf Swing
It was something I did not have to think about.
It was automatic.
By having a Repetitive Golf Swing (set up) I was more likely to have success on each lift.
If you approach the empty bar and use shitty form or set up in a different manner than you would with a heavier weight you are much more likely to have to make changes as you go along and you’ll have to think about what went wrong or was different.
Having a Repetitive Golf Swing eliminates a lot of that as you go from set to set.
Years ago we had a guy here who did things totally different with the empty bar and with each warmup weight.
We always tried to help but he said “I’ll use good form on the heavier sets”.
He never did.
He was a terrible lifter and didn’t last long.
He is the perfect example of what I am talking about.
Using the squat as an example, and this applies to other lifts, I’ll say you can make small tweaks to what you do as you are warming up.
I used to take a slightly wider grip on my first few sets until my shoulders loosened up enough to get my hands in the position I wanted to. Usually this took a few sets and by the time I got to 225 I was able to get my hands where I liked.
This is a tweak, not a change.
- So, hopefully you are getting the jist of what I’m saying.
- You’re smellin what I’m cookin.
- Your pickin up what I’m layin down.
Use the same set up and approach to each lift every time regardless of the weight on the bar.
Develop your own set up that works for you.
Make it repetitive.
Do it all the time.
You’ll have less to think about and more success.
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Vincere vel mori