Strength Training Programs for Golf

Getting stronger is simple.  You simply lift and repeat.  Then you add some weight and lift and repeat again.  That works for awhile, but eventually the gains slow down and the you’ve hit the trainingdreaded plateau.  Now it’s time to introduce programming.  With 100’s of programs to choose from and everybody offering their own (including me) how do you choose the correct one?  It’s easy.  You dedicate yourself for 8-12weeks and monitor the results, but do you have that kind of time?  However, if you want some honest feedback please read below.  Here you’ll find no BS or jargon about some of the most popular programs.  And yes I’ve included my own program!


Power Bodybuilding

power bodybuilding
Mike O’Hearn’s Power Bodybuilding

Allegedly designed by Mike O’Hearn, this program combines the BIG 3 movements with high rep body sculpting exercises.

Program Details

The Bottom Line:

This is not just a program it’s a lifestyle.  It’s 5 days a week of high volume lifting.  And then throw in your cardio on the same day.  Mike recommends splitting up the lifting and cardio. It’s a good tip considering most of us work 40+ hours a week.  I would not recommend this for a beginner, but in a scaled back version it could be beneficial.  I have run this program a couple of times and it’s yielded good results.  The mistake I made was not adding a recovery week (or 2) into the schedule.  My body struggled to recover in the latter weeks and it started to impact the effectiveness of my training.  This program is best during the off-season as it requires a lot of time and energy.


Wendler 5/3/1

Wendler 5/3/1
Wendler 5/3/1

This program has been around for many years and has many variations.  At it’s core it is a systematic way to elevate your lifts and strength.

Program Details

The Bottom Line:

This is my favorite program during the golf season.  It’s requires 4 training days per week and you can consider golf the cardio work. When I say it’s a systematic approach, I mean the weight and reps are specified.  You’ll want to stick to the prescribed scheme so you can make the required weekly advances.  You’ll want to know your 1-Rep Max for the Deadlift, Bench Press, Overhead Press and Squat before starting. There are all sorts of online calculators you can use to determine your Max based off of repetitions and weight.  The mistake I’ve made doing 5/3/1 is going too fast in between sets.  This is mainly an issue during the main  lifts. You’ll want to allow yourself to fully recover before attempting the next set.  The amount of time is irrelevant, but keep it reasonable.


Blood & Guts

Dorian Yates
Dorian Yates (Blood & Guts)

This is a non-traditional bodybuilding program designed by 6-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates.  It focuses on high intensity over total volume.

Program Details

The Bottom Line:

This a great program to choose during the season.  It has 4 scheduled lifting days and 3 cardio days.  It may seem like a lot, but the cardio days are optional rest days and a round of golf is a great substitute.  While this is considered a bodybuilding program, it definitely isn’t like any you’re seen before.  The workouts take roughly an hour and the total number of sets is relatively low. It’s beneficial to have a training partner for this program as it’s vital to work to failure on the final sets.  I’ve had great success with this program and have run it multiple times.  It’s a great change of pace as you’ll focus less on the pounds lifted and more  on the feel of the muscles.  For more info on this program, click on the video tab above and I’ll walk you through the 4 workouts.