Should You Bulk Like Bryson?

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Bryson DeChambeau has been the talk of the town after winning the 120th U.S. Open about a week ago.  Now you might be wondering, should you bulk like Bryson to improve your golf performance?

My answer to this question is….

Maybe.

Honestly, it depends on what your goals are.  If you want to add some muscle mass and weight to your frame, then by all means, bulk up.  But know that bulking up is not the key to Bryson’s success.  He’s been working on his improvement plan for years and it’s finally starting to pay off.

So, what can you do to model Bryson’s success?

Increase Your Strength

First, he has definitely been working on his strength.  I don’t know his full routine, but I know that he’s been working on his lower body, his back, and most likely his chest.  Increasing your strength will allow you exert more force from the ground onto the golf ball.  This means hitting bombs off the tee!

Another benefit is that it improves the strength of the tendons and ligaments around the joints that you’re working.  This will mean you have a decreased risk of injury to those areas!

To improve your strength, I recommend doing compound lifts (squat, deadlift, row, bench press, overhead press) with good form for 3-4 sets of 3-6 reps.  You should be performing these lifts with 8-9/10 difficulty in terms of resistance.

Guy squatting with a barbell

Improve Your Power

Let’s first discuss the difference between power and strength.  Strength is how much weight you can move, irregardless of time.  Power is how much weight can you move and how fast can you move it.

Why does power matter?  Because the golf swing is all about exerting as much force as you possibly can in less than 2 seconds.  That’s what power is all about.  That’s why anyone who is trying to improve their golf performance, should have power exercises in their routine.

Again, I don’t know Bryson’s actual routine, but I can guarantee his trainer had him move weight as quickly as possible, so he can improve his power output.

To improve power, I recommend doing various jumps and medicine ball throws.  This includes vertical jumps, broad jumps, sideways jumps, medicine ball chest pass, rotational medicine ball throw, etc.  The key with these drills is that you perform them with maximum intent on every rep.  Otherwise, you’re not getting any benefit out of them.

You should do these drills in sets of 3-4 for 3-5 reps.  They should also be done at the beginning of your workout after you’ve warmed up.

Maintained His Mobility

Bryson, like most of the PGA Tour pros, have optimal mobility in the right areas.  He most likely continues to work on maintaining his mobility in those specific areas so he can swing how he needs.

In the golf swing, the rotational centers require the most mobility.  The rotational centers include the mid-back, hips, shoulders, and neck.  These areas are vital in the golf swing.  If you lack mobility in any of these areas, you may be compensating elsewhere in the body, which can eventually lead to an injury and/or pain.  You can take a look at the playlist of 4 videos below to test yourself on these specific areas.

If you didn’t pass 1 or more of those tests, you can reach out to me at joe@puredrivephysio.com to get specific drills to improve exactly what you need.

Work On Swinging Fast

This has been well documented on Bryson’s social media accounts, but he has been working on swinging fast.  It’s been documented that he got up to 145-147 mph of clubhead speed.  He obviously doesn’t swing that fast in actual play.  But can you imagine what a 120-125 mph swing feels like when your max is 145-147 mph?  Probably like you’re on cruise control!

The big caveat here is that increasing your strength and power will help you move faster.  Not only will they help you move faster, but they will decrease your risk of injury while working on swinging faster.  I’d highly recommend that you make sure you have enough mobility in the rotational centers and a good base of strength and power before you start working on swinging faster.

You’re probably familiar with this type of training, which has been popularized by SuperSpeed.  This type of training basically works on training your nervous system to move faster than it normally does.  You don’t necessarily need to follow or buy the SuperSpeed sticks to do this.

Just grab your driver and swing fast.  Of course make sure that you warm-up first!  You can hit a ball while doing so, but you shouldn’t care where the ball ends up.  This is about training your body to move quicker than it normally does.  It’s not about where the ball goes.  And don’t worry, this isn’t going to change the typical pattern of your swing path.

I’d recommend doing 2-3 sets of 5 swings only 2-3x/week.  Again the big thing is to make sure you swing with maximum intent on every swing.

guy swining a driver on golf course

Surround Yourself With A Team

If you didn’t catch the short interview that Golf Magazine did with Bryson after his win, HERE it is if you want to check it out.  Essentially Bryson talks about surrounding himself with a team that helped him achieve his goals.

Almost every professional golfer these days surrounds themselves with a team.  More often than not, this includes a swing coach, fitness professional, and medical professional at the very least.  I’m sure there are pro’s that also have a dietitian and mental coach on their team as well.  That could also be the minimum of people who are their team that help them succeed.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, I don’t need, nor can I afford a team of this magnitude.

I’m not saying you need all of these people to improve your performance on the course.  But I will say if you’re serious about improving your golf game, investing in yourself will pay off.

Getting a swing coach is key.  They can help to figure out any issues that are plaguing your swing and give you the right drills to help you succeed on the course.

Having a medical professional on your team can also be very helpful.  If your healthcare provider understands the golf swing, they should be able to help you get into the right positions that your swing coach is trying to get you in.  They can also help keep you pain free throughout the season, which means more rounds of golf and time out on the range.

Lastly, a fitness professional will be able to help you improve your performance with everything that was mentioned above.  They should understand you as a golfer and exactly what you, as a golfer, needs in a fitness program.  They should be able to determine exactly what you need in terms of mobility, strength, power, or speed and develop a program based on those findings.

Ideally, all 3 of these professionals will be collaborating together so that everyone is on the same page in terms of exactly what your goals and needs are.

So, Should You Bulk Like Bryson?

Again, that’s ultimately not what led to his success on the course.

Did it help?  Without a doubt it helped to contribute to his success.

But, I will say without a doubt, bulking was only a small part of his success.  His success mainly came from what was discussed above.

However, what ultimately led to his success was developing a plan, sticking to that plan, and making changes as needed based on how he was responding to the plan.

You have to evaluate what you want to do on and off the golf course.  Again, if you want to add some muscle mass and bulk like Bryson, then go for it!  Is it going to help your golf game, possibly.  I’d argue that doing what was mentioned above will be much more beneficial as a standalone or in addition to bulking like Bryson.

Was This Helpful?

Hopefully this was helpful in learning what ultimately led to Bryson’s success this year and what you can do to model his success.  Don’t forget to share it with your friends so they can improve their golf game too!

If you need some help determining exactly what you need to help improve your performance, whether that’s mobility, strength, power, speed, or maybe you just need to get out of pain, don’t hesitate to reach out at joe@puredrivephysio.com or you can sign up for my newsletter below.

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