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Breaking a Speed Plateau


If you’re interested in swing speed, this is for you‼️

I have been training for a long time, so it’s rare to see big jumps in performance.

Over the last couple of weeks I noticed my Stack System espeed had gone up about 3-4mph. That is a lot.

I was actually wondering if my PRGR Radar was acting up, and the increase wasn’t legit.

I hadn’t done a speed session with a driver for a couple of weeks, as I’d been focusing on some other technique work that needed to be done slowly. Usually, I do some speed work with drivers every Monday morning.

I got back on it today and was honestly blown away at the Trackman numbers.

For the past few months when I’ve been hitting drivers reasonably hard (a little harder than on the course, but not completely going nuts), I was in the 119-122mph club head speed and 177-180 ball speed range a lot (for whatever reason, I don’t register more then 1.48 smash factor in this simulator, topic for another day, but smash is a “noisy” number.

For a couple of months, my goal was to push past 123mph and 180mph.

As soon as I started hitting driver today, I knew that was going to happen. I ended up hitting 50 drivers with a lot of them 123-126mph. Now to be fair, the intent did increase slightly compared to usual, as I was getting so excited. But I was hitting 123mph and 181-182mph easily, which was a surprise.

It was clear my Stack System numbers really had gone up, and the driver was moving faster too.

When something like this happens, I want to know why!

About 4-6 weeks ago, I was thinking of exercises I should make a focus in my training, and see if anything happened speed.

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The exercises in the video are the ones I choose.

1) Med Ball Pull Downs: I have been doing this for 8 sets of 5 reps, 3 x week, with a variety of balls ranging from 4 to 12lbs. Hitting side only.

2&3) Lead Arm & Trail Cable Transitions: I have been doing this for 5 sets of 6 reps, 3 x week, with a weight that feels hard but that I can still move with the motion I want. Hitting side only.
(I think the lead arm ones are more valuable)

I workout in the gym 3 days per week so this means I just did them in every workout.

Obviously it’s hard to know for sure what the impact of these exercises were, but it’s the only variable I can think of that’s changed.

These exercises are an example of “specialized” exercises. It’s gotten common to say there is no such thing as “sport specific” training, which is sometimes an excuse to just not put enough thought into what you’re trying to get from training.

Specificity is on a spectrum, from less specific to more specific. The only thing truly specific is the sporting action itself.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to note these are “more specific” to swinging a golf club fast speed than leg extensions or shoulder presses.

Adaptations to training have a large element of velocity and movement pattern specificity. If you want to increase your force output in something, make sure to include exercises that tackle some or all of these elements.

This doesn’t mean don’t get strong in more general movements. Those have value too, but you shouldn’t put all your training time and energy into trying to get 10lbs more on the hex bar or bench if swing speed is your goal. Especially if you’ve already gotten strong, and further strength gains are very hard.

Can you see how improving output in these two exercises might help with swing speed?