Spice Up Your Workout

spice up your life
You’ve read the headlines all over the internet. You’ve heard the messages on the radio. You’ve watched the infomercials on television. You are delivered promise after promise, bold statements declaring remarkable success, multiple celebrity testimonials and endorsements, and, of course, you are even told this is absolutely 100% doctor approved. One Tip to Lose 17 Pounds in 30 Days! Weight Loss Experts Can’t Believe This! Burn Fat Quicker Without Exercise or Changing Your Diet! This Miracle Pill Can Burn Fat Fast! Join the New Rave of the Fitness World! Get Shredded Fast!  Try the Secret that Everyone in Hollywood Knows! Incredible New Breakthrough Weight Loss Solution! Get Ripped in 30 Days with this Safe Alternative to Steroids! Wait Until You See the Results! Your curiosity is peeked. You are amazed by photographs depicting dramatic body transformations of men and women. You are tempted by a marketing campaign which targets your particular age demographic with absolute guarantees. You may wonder, “What, if any of this might be real?”
You apparently are looking for something to push you over this last hump. You are not quite ready to hold a press conference to announce that you have met your goal. In fact, at this stage, you have developed an even grander vision of what could be. However, you seem to have been stuck in neutral for almost a month. The reality is that you have just hit one of those dreaded “plateaus”.  There is no need to panic. This is only a temporary shutdown. It is no more than the tiniest of blips on your radar screen. What you are presently experiencing is not unusual at all. I want you to focus on the positives. Can you pause and reflect on exactly how far you have come? You have received many compliments from others regarding your progress. Your improved physique has been fitted with an entirely new wardrobe. Life is great and you’re feeling great. Yet, you are not satisfied. That is a good feeling, because I know that you are not done. In truth, your journey has reached a pivotal point. Will you be patient as I help you reboot your entire system? Or might you be swayed by one of the absurd advertisements which apparently are replaying over and over again between your ears? “People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.”-Frederick Douglass  Remember, that you have been counseled previously about trying to take a shortcut to your journey’s finish line. It will surely not produce the much anticipated result.
Some say that variety is the spice of life. Well, this I know for certain. Variety definitely spices things up in regards to your workout and eating habits. Right now, that it precisely what you need. Your routine is a bit bland at the moment! Mentally, you have grown a bit weary of performing the same routine. Your enthusiasm level isn’t quite what it was a month ago. Usually, this type of thing is almost imperceptible. You have not even noticed that obvious stale taste to your workouts. Most people are creatures of habit. You are no different. You developed a regular exercise routine and you liked it. So, naturally, through your diligence, you were successful. However, quite expectedly as well, you have been a little hesitant to try something new. As strange as this may sound, your mindset towards what has worked so far for you has proven to be your downfall. Hence, you find yourself in a rut. Well, the great news is that you are going to love even a slight modification to your current approach at the gym. Different is better! If I’m not mistaken, Arby’s has used that as their slogan. How about you adopt it as your own personal mantra!
It actually is very easy in theory to break through your frustrating predicament. I want to offer a perfect example to demonstrate this to you. I have a student named Don who I have been training twice a week for three months. On four other days, Don goes to his gym after work and uses an elliptical trainer for an hour. He gives his body a rest on Sunday. Don has eliminated so many of the “junk” foods that previously were staples in his diet. He keeps a food journal. I suggested that it was time for some variety.
Last spice up your lifeSaturday, I met Don at his gym and helped him to feel confident adopting a new plan. Don is now going to add a third day of strength training. He had not even touched a weight machine at the gym. He was surprised how much he enjoyed experimenting with most of the equipment. His body is ready for the extra work. I introduced Don to an Arc Trainer and a recumbent bike. Don found the Arc Trainer to be significantly more challenging than the elliptical which he been glued to for months. So, the goal is that on pure cardio days, Don is going to split his routine into three distinct twenty minute segments. Utilizing the bike, elliptical, and Arc Trainer for a grand total of the same sixty minutes. The change of machines offers a break from the monotony which had been his comfort zone. One reason that I whole-heartedly endorse utilizing multiple cardiovascular machines is that each puts the lower body through a totally unique shape of movement.  The result is less stress on the same areas of the body, hips, knees, ankles, feet, due to repetitive movement and a more thorough workout for your entire lower body.
Don has decided to try to go entirely without eating meat for a month. He already had been consuming more vegetables, nuts, and various beans since I began working with him. I am excited for him because he is so willing to commit to try something new. Don is going to continue to write in his food journal. As always, he still needs to pay close attention to his portion sizes and focus on how he feels in regards to energy after his meals and during his workouts. You do not have to be exactly like Don. But, you do need to do something to get out of this funk! Adding variety, that much needed ingredient, into your healthy lifestyle can be accomplished in so many ways. For more ideas on how you can spice things up, stay tuned. Until then, promise me you won’t pay any attention to all of those bogus advertisements!

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Not Another Practice Swing!

Practice swingDo you ever take three, four, or five practice swings before attempting to hit a golf shot? Does this habit persist for the entire 9 or 18 holes you play? When you are on the golf course and your pre-shot routine for all shots consists of numerous practice swings, this can result in significant frustration. I am not referring to the growing impatience with your ritual experienced by those in the group behind you. That feeling is certainly real, though, and can only make for a less enjoyable golfing experience for all parties involved. But for now, I am specifically addressing you. Your chances of building confidence, making solid contact, and hitting a shot that you won’t require a search party to locate are not increased exponentially based on a higher number of practice swings. May I be so bold as to ask why do you feel the need to continue to include a five minute rehearsal when it has proven to be completely unsuccessful for you? There must come a point when you recognize the truth regarding your current approach. It just doesn’t help your cause. Your golf game will not improve with the quantity, and more importantly, the quality of the practice swings you are presently attempting. I’ve noticed a few problems that I’d be very happy to help you work through. Well, the truth is, I am one of those guys in the foursome waiting behind you and your buddies. I feel for your plight, and as I see it, there are only two possibilities for changing the status quo. You can permit me to provide you and your friends with some valuable advice or my group is going to ask to play through.
I am delighted that you are open to a bit of on-course instruction. It is by no means my favorite method, but since we find ourselves meeting at every tee box, I figure let’s have a go at it. So, the first thing that screams “help me” is your posture. Over the course of the first five holes, I have noticed that you are progressively increasing the space between your body and the golf ball. Unfortunately, this distance I am referring to occurs before you hit the ball. You current setup gives you virtually no chance to make the type of swing that I believe you are capable of producing. I must admit that it takes some kind of talent just to contact the ball in a relatively solid manner with the very minimal application of any pre-swing fundamentals. It is interesting, to say the least, to observe the different manner in which you and your three amigos address the golf ball. While your playing companions, to varying degrees, each stand too upright and crowd the ball, you chose to reach for it with a serious hunched over position. If the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy were standing at the same angle you take at address, it would surely be referred to as the Tower formerly known as Leaning. It would not be much of an attraction completely crumbled to the ground. So, you can begin by imagining the hands on a clock. Your spine angle is reading between 2 O’ Clock and 2:30. I would suggest that you shift times zones to the west slightly and assume a 1 O’ Clock back position. Since each of the members of your courageous golfing fellowship is about the same stature and build, a change to a more appropriate set-up is going to present a pretty similar look and feel for all four of you.
Your newly acquired position over the ball allows for your arms to hang freely from your shoulders out over your toes. For the very first time, your arms will be able to swing a golf club completely unimpeded. Your stance will permit you to use the bigger muscles in your body in concert with the hands and arms. This will help your effort tremendously. You three, who were standing completely upright, were not even rotating your upper torsos. By turning your shoulders, you may eliminate the tendency to break down your lead arm. The common swing error you’ve all been making is overreaching with your arms. This is perfectly understandable when you don’t rotate the body. It seems reasonable to think that if you bend at the elbow and the shaft of the club drops past parallel that you might be able to generate more speed. However, the opposite is true. You will rejoice because soon your swing becomes more effortless and powerful at the same time. This is not a quick fix. Because of the fact that your new found stance is such a dramatic alteration, initially it is going to feel strange. This turning, instead of just going vertical with your hands and arms will feel a bit weird as well. However, with practice, you be ready and poised to begin to swing the club with greater confidence and authority. Allow me to take a few simple “before and after” pictures of you as well as some brief video. Your homework is to study both your posture and the body turn that you are now able to make as a result. I would like you to see the very contrasting images. I want you to feel the incredible difference. Can you visually lock onto the body changes as your stance is reconfigured? Can you physically sense a good type of tension created as you begin to rotate your upper body? When you are able to put together what you see with what you feel, I believe that you are at a crucial point. It’s called making progress. Something clicks in the brain and says, “I get it!”
I would suggest that you practice your posture in front of a mirror at home. Rehearse the torso rotations at home. You don’t need to hit golf balls to improve in the areas. Even just a couple minutes each day will make a world of difference. When it comes to a basic pre-swing fundamental like your posture, practice does make perfect. As it applies to an in-swing dynamic such as the turning of the shoulders, practice builds trust in your ability to perform.
So, now for the remainder of your round, go and do the things which I have shared with you. There is no need to take practice swings. ” A leading difficulty with the average player is that he totally misunderstands what is meant by concentration. He may think he is concentrating when he is merely worrying.”-Bobby Jones   I certainly don’t want you to worry. Save the thinking for your off-course practice time. Check your alignment, pick a target, and swing at it. You are either going to hit the ball well or you’re not! What do you have to lose? Well, maybe more golf balls. But, you have already become accustomed to that. Until you can take a practice swing with a defined purpose, do not bother with one, let alone five!  I know that you don’t enjoy playing poor golf. If you did, you probably have a copy of Leslie Nielson’s “Bad Golf Made Easier” in your bag. You are going to begin to have a lot more fun out here. Best wishes to each of you! Oh, and by the way, we are playing through now. I hope to see you on the course again soon.

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So You Say You Don’t Have Time to Workout

alarm clock
Do you have the time to work out? I’m sorry to tell you this, but you’ll receive absolutely no sympathy from me if you continue to insist that you just don’t have time to workout.Within a very short radius from your humble abode sit several health clubs, including that one to which you are probably still paying a monthly membership fee. Then, there are those of you who have a nice fitness center located in the very building which you reside. Many of you have spent good money on new or slightly used pieces of exercise equipment for your own home. While others are blessed to have a beautiful park system nearby. So, what is the real problem? The last time I checked there are still twenty-four hours in a day. Your body’s alarm clock has gone off repeatedly. You cannot continue to press the snooze button forever. Everyone, including you, can make some precious time available to take care of his or her body. Ask anyone, including me, for short and long term yields, it is one of the best investments you can possibly make. You don’t have to ramble on about how much you adamantly dislike it. That’s pretty much been well established. The time has come to move beyond that negative mindset and face the inevitable. You can choose to watch the sands of time slip away or you can go and do something today!
You seem to be able to find the time to run home and tune into ESPN for the nine hundred and ninety-ninth game of the week , or swim through the endless channels to locate the premiere of some lame reality show. You squeeze, drop, kick, and misplace your cell phone. After frantically stretching your mind and squatting your body only to discover it was in your pocket, you proceed to hop, skip, and jump from Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest to Instagram and still other social networking sites. You lift your laptop and flex your fingers as they speed walk you to every known internet news outlet so you can cycle through all the top stories from the past week.  But, of course, these activities don’t qualify as exercise. Yet, they seem to be a weighty priority. As you are pushed and pulled in many directions during the course of your day, I ask you to consider if these and other things are really such pressing matters.
Even the obvious statement that something is better than nothing may not be sufficiently motivating to you. So, this is your mission call. You are required to find thirty, twenty, or even just fifteen minutes today, and you will begin the first of many awesome workouts. I am going to offer one workout concept for you which is ideal for your current lifestyle. It is fast-paced and extremely time efficient. You’ll even be able to fit in a warm-up and some stretching because it’s so simple. You are going to focus specifically on multi-tasking exercise movements. You will be using an approach to lifting weights that is sometimes referred to as break-down training. Instead of choosing the usual suspects, which isolate one particular muscle, you will be picking a couple exercises which give you more bang for your buck. A few examples of such moves are a wonderful row exercise, the always challenging lat-pulldown, an upright row, the fan-favorite chess press, the unpopular overhead press, and the familiar leg press. Yes, these engage multiple muscles in one simple movement. The training protocol asks you to begin your strength work with the heaviest weight which you can handle safely. First, perform a reasonable number of repetitions to fatigue. Then, lower the weight, or “break it down”, and continue the lifting and lowering motion through a full range to complete exhaustion, once more. Finally, try another effort at decreasing the resistance, and once again without any rest period whatsoever, work to absolute muscle fatigue. You have essentially packed three sets into one! Am I endorsing this as the only method that you should use for the rest of your life? No, I am not suggesting that you never again change the training protocol. But, is this method fast-paced? Absolutely, it is! Does this fit your criteria of being time efficient? Yes, that’s a no brainer! Will you discover that it is intense? Well, yea! That’s the idea. Could this provide the wake up call your body needs? I think it just might do the trick for you. So, experiment with this approach. It believe that you’ll be more inclined to make the time for a workout if you understand that you can feel great about a quick visit to the gym.
If you need a quick refresher course regarding options, don’t hesitate to ask. It is just amazing what a little bit of knowledge and a healthy dose of encouragement can do for you. If I teach you seven or eight different ways to perform the same basic exercise movement, then you’ll never hit a “dead end” in your lightening fast routine. Unfortunately, some of you may have limited yourselves by never venturing out of your comfort zone. There may have even been an occasion or two in the past when you abandoned your workout because someone was using your machine or monopolizing your favorite area of the gym. This is a non-issue when you broaden your horizon by learning to use resistance bands, dumbbell exercises, a cable cross-over apparatus, a smith machine, to name a few, along with your standardized strength training machines. With a fuller repertoire at your disposal, no longer can you use the excuse that the gym is too busy. You will have multiple back-up plans. I want you to have complete faith in your ability to be totally competent at the gym. Regardless of the size and experience of the crowd, you will stand out. You exude confidence!
Before you rush to the gym to get this party started, let me make one more suggestion. Don’t be afraid to mix it up with the exercise ball. You can multi-task until your heart’s content with those stability balls sitting in the corner of the room. How about performing various upper body exercises at the same time you are engaged in a series of wall squats with the ball! Chances are that your arms or shoulders may fatigue before your legs, but that just signals for you to begin a different upper body movement. Throw in an abdominal and lower back exercise on the ball while you are having fun, and lo and behold, you are done. Once again, you can be through a fifteen to thirty minute routine without having to concern yourself with the clock. The hourglass indicates that you are right on schedule. Best of all, you came, you saw, and you kicked its behind!

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What does your fitness report card say?

So, thank you for permitting me to look at your exercise log. I see that you have been diligently keeping track of your work in theworkout card gym for the past two months. Congratulations! No, I am not giving you three cheers for your accuracy. Rather, I am expressing my excitement for your commitment to yourself. Reaching the two month point is a milestone for you. As far as the record keeping is concerned, I do need to ask a couple questions and make a few observations.

A workout journal can serve a wonderful purpose. Whether produced by a computer program which is connected to each machine in your gym or the old fashioned way, with a pencil, it matters not. On one hand, these records in printout form or handwritten notes provide a certain sense of accountability. You’ve been here and done that! This proves that you clocked in and out for the fun fitness part of your busy day. On the other hand, it tells me a little bit about you. You are definitely a goal oriented person who has a desire to see progress. Initially, that sought after progress may be reflected not in the mirror, but rather in the accumulated data you see in your journal. This can be very satisfying. In the early stages of your journey, you can make great strides. I should be able to quickly locate areas of improved strength by searching the numerical progression for various exercise movements which you have been faithfully engaged in for the better part of sixty days. Oh, bother! Something on your chart immediately catches my eye. In fact, I must tell you it is a clear red flag. Because of it, I know without a shadow of doubt that you capable of pushing yourself harder!

The first question that I have for you is this: Why do I see the same exact number of repetitions recorded for every exercise you have done since you have begun to workout? The second question: Are you really performing three sets of each of these strengthening moves using precisely the same amount of weight? Question three: How much of a rest period are you taking between these sets? The final question, number four: Are you focusing on correct breathing or just counting? Of course, I already know the answers because I have reviewed countless report cards from the gym over the years.

I repeat what I have already stated. You receive an A+ for attendance! Don’t laugh or dismiss the significance of this accomplishment. However, I have to be honest. Your grade for overall performance is but an average C. Don’t be disappointed. I will give you a little tutorial that will help you change that letter to something more pleasing. Despite the fact that some continue to perpetuate this silly notion, there is no magic number of repetitions that you must perform for any strength training exercise. Some report cards are filled with seemingly unending rows of 10s. Others are chock-full of 12s. Still more contain a boatload of 15s and nothing else. Though you have never been absent from a workout, what has been missing is uniqueness. I want to see something quite different from the collage you’ve created using the same number pattern. I need to see some degree of difficulty which would manifest itself in an odd assortment of numbers. So, please forget what your friend told you about that specific figure. I don’t even care if one of the trainers at your gym prescribed your current routine and said, “Give me ten of each, now!”

Your homework assignment is to work with an amount of resistance that will allow you to perform a reasonable number of repetitions to the point of complete failure. In your fitness classroom, failure equals success. However, if the term failure has you a bit concerned that I might demote you to Kindergarten, then I will use the phrase momentary muscle fatigue. This literally means the point at which you can no longer perform even one more repetition of an exercise without having to compromise the good form that is necessary for your safety. So, a reasonable number of repetitions may be anywhere between 8 and 15. Once again, there is no one number that you will be stopping at for each exercise. It is not possible for you to entirely fatigue each muscle or group of muscles by the same number of repetitions. You are engaging in different movements, which engage different muscles, which have varying strength capacities, and you are utilizing a different amount of resistance. So, does it make any sense to stop at 10 repetitions if you haven’t reached failure? Sorry, momentary muscle fatigue! If you do, which your record indicates, then you obviously have not worked hard enough yet. Consequently, your muscles do not need a rest period. You have not even finished a “set”. When worked to the necessary point of exhaustion, if you are going to attempt to perform multiple sets of the same exercise at the same weight, your muscles require a one minute break. After one minute has expired, your muscles have regenerated 75% of the energy which they expended in working to fatigue. That is sufficient to lift the identical resistance and perform another reasonable number of repetitions to exhaustion once again. A full two minute vacation is called for to reboot your muscles completely so that they are operating at 100% of their capability. Let me repeat myself, since repetition is the first step in learning. The point here is that if you are just camping out on a chest press machine after doing your favorite number of repetitions and then commence the movement again after some 30 seconds or so… you did not need to stop in the first place.

Does it take a little experimentation to find an appropriate weight to lift for the various exercises you will continue to perform? Yes. However, it is a simple, if not painless process. You should not be using the same amount of resistance and counting out the identical number of repetitions for a row movement as you do for a triceps extension. You are certainly not going to be as strong on the shoulder press as you are on the leg press. So, don’t fret about how many reps, but concentrate on perfect execution while lifting a challenging weight. If you can only do a couple of completed reps, then you need to lighten the load. If you find that you have strayed beyond the established reasonable range, don’t panic. Just work to fatigue, and add more weight for the next attempt. In any one day’s workout session, you may continue to perform 2 or 3 sets of the exercises you select. Only now, you will actually be doing a greater overall workload. Consequently, your muscles are going to thank you. Don’t expect extra credit points from me just yet. This should have been your approach to strength training from the start. But, that’s all water under the bridge.

In conclusion: Your muscles are not smart. They cannot count. Remember, you are working to a very specific feeling, not a very specific number! That feeling, which you will become very acquainted with, tells you when to stop. That feeling, which will lead to a bit more soreness, indicates that you have completed your job. So, just breathe out and lift, breathe in and lower, and lift again. Don’t stop breathing! You know how to do it. I hope that you have been taking notes, because I will quiz you on this subject tomorrow. I look forward to seeing your report card next month. Best wishes for straight A’s in your workout!

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Grip it and Rip it

long drive

U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Ryan Hixson, 28, of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, wins his fourth consecutive Military Long Drive Championship

Have you purchased a new driver recently? Have you had your existing driver reshafted with a pricey, high-performance golf shaft? Have you changed the shaft flex or had your driver lengthened? Have you opted to try a super-light weight shaft? Have you chosen the largest clubhead size available with the biggest sweet spot on the market? Are you “dialed” into the latest technology which allows you to experiment with degree of loft and face angles on your driver? Have you tried a driver head that is non-conforming by USGA standards? Or, have you switched golf balls this season? Have you been trying a different model by your favorite manufacturer or a completely new brand of golf ball altogether? If you’ve answered in the affirmative to a couple of these questions, then clearly you are desperately seeking distance. I am not picking on you, for you definitely have company.

I am quite certain that since the very inception of the sport, there has been this quest by virtually every participant to hit the golf ball with extreme length off the tee. The Scottish lay claim to be the inventors of the modern sport of golf. However, historians do debate somewhat concerning its true origins. Perhaps, it was the Dutch predating the Scotts by a century or two, who played some version of a club and ball game. Nevertheless, I find it particularly noteworthy that some of the earliest references to golf have to do with banning people from playing. As early as 1457, the official word was that members of the Scottish military were neglecting their duties, one of which was archery practice, to smack the little golf ball around. My guess is that the majority of these individuals couldn’t hit a ball as accurately as they could shoot an arrow. It might be a stretch to blame these early hackers, these military men, for the grand obsession with crushing the golf ball as hard as possible, but I think I will. They knew more than enough about the importance of executing perfect form to release an arrow directly at a target. If I were a betting man, I’d say that they abandoned all reason when they picked up one of the earliest golf clubs. So much for focusing on a target. Out the proverbial window went the precision with which they were trained and patience which they practiced in respect to archery. They surely ushered in the shouts of “Fore!” as they sent balls flying every which way but straight. Not surprisingly, we are told that in Scotland there were more bans on golfing issued later in 1471 and also in 1491. I speculate that it was not due to military personnel nor anyone else golfing while “on company time”, but rather such a ban must have been instituted in part due to the incessant chatting and boasting with those whom they usually enjoyed keeping company. Let me explain. What the official decree probably stated was that it was very troublesome that many were partaking in an activity which caused them to behave in an manner unbecoming of a true Scottish gentleman. I believe that it was these golfing pioneers who began the annoying tradition of bragging about how far they hit the golf ball. Competitions ensued, tempers flared as egos were deflated, and a few colorful metaphors were uttered. These long drivers littered the beautiful Scottish countryside with the covers of countless golf balls as they swung out of their kilts in the most ridiculous of fashions, all in the pursuit of outdriving their fellow countrymen. How despicable! I support King James II of Scotland for implementing the initial ban. Parliament thought they put an end to this childish practice by putting in place yet another ban under the direction of King James IV around 1500. However, he was deceived. Apparently, one of these fanatical golf addicts purchased a set of golf clubs and golf balls for His Royal Majesty. You can probably guess what happened. He may very well have gotten hooked himself. “FORE, RIGHT! FORE, LEFT! Play on, that’s my ball!” Um, King, your ball went over into that gallery of peasants.

This pursuit clearly encompasses all players of all ages and skill levels for all time. I suppose that is what makes it worthy of commentary or laughter. This pursuit causes a universal problem, over-swinging, shared by every golfer. Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Michelle Wi, Lexi Thompson, and Laura Davies are some headliners on what would be a lengthy list of current tour professional who are known to swing “out of their shoes” on occasion. The up to date statistics for the PGA tour indicate that the average number of fairways hit is just 61%. The lady professionals are far more accurate on average than their male counterparts. This is not too surprising. But no one is immune from momentarily being inflicted with the craving for “taking it deep” and finding the wrong fairway. I have observed tour professionals on the driving range numerous times. They are amazing. They all can hit their drivers straight as a Scottish arrow! I am convinced that most could hit virtually every single fairway of every single round in every single tournament they play in if…here is the big if… they could control that urge to swing just a bit harder to pick up a few extra yards. So, if the world’s best struggle with this dreaded sickness, how are the rest of you to inoculate yourselves from this condition. Good luck finding the answer to that one! Ask the old King of Scotland. I don’t hold in my hand any cure, but I do have some advice. This doesn’t involve you being banned from the golf course.

Golf is not meant to be a long drive competition. So, don’t turn it into one. “Keeping up with the Jones'” never is a good idea in any endeavor. It seems pretty obvious to me that most who swing for the fences with their driver are also guilty of over-slow downswinging with every club in their bag. I don’t get excited when someone tells me, “I can hit my pitching wedge 155 yards.” I truthfully think that too many of you are wrapped up in stats of your own. Numbers, numbers, please don’t give me numbers! Can you hit it straight? That is all that matters. Period. It does not matter if you hit a 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 iron or a hybrid or fairway metal into a green. Just find the green and then we can talk about that other game called putting. Here is some food for thought: swing as hard as you can while maintaining perfect balance throughout the entire action. That will slow you down for sure! Try it. As you have hopefully discovered, with the manner in which golf clubs are constructed today, you do not ever have to swing overly hard. The ball just flies off the clubface if you strike it solidly. Yes, it goes as far as you need it to. Your timing is invariably off when everything is moving too rapidly. So, once again, I beseech you to slow it down.

If you want to hit the ball longer, relax your grip pressure. Squeezing the life out of your driver is a power killer. You need to avoid tension in your wrists, forearms, shoulders, etc. in order to potentially blast the ball out of sight. Do your rotate your upper torso sufficiently? If you can turn behind the ball so that your front shoulder and your chin make contact, then that should mark the top of your backswing. Do you create enough resistance between the upper and lower body at the top? If your back leg is not solid but rather collapses creating too much hip movement, you are going to be yelling “FORE” an awful lot. If you sway off the ball with your lower body, you are probably going to be yelling at yourself. Do you create and sustain a significant amount of lag with your trailing wrist in your downswing? If you don’t utilize this vital power source correctly, you are simply not going to be able to generate as much speed through the hitting area as you would like. Do you setup with your head positioned behind the golf ball? You must not move your head forward of its start position during the swing. Is your ball position too far forward or too far back in relationship to the width of your stance? So, if your investment in new driver technology still leaves you frustrated and wanting for more, I have shared with you a few questions to ponder.

Yet, I suppose the big question still remains, “Would you rather launch it long or stripe it straight?” I am convinced that the majority of you realize that with a few fundamental adjustments, a little compromise on the part of your ego, and good practice sessions, you can have the best of both. But, Oh, how tempting it is to simply “Grip it and Rip it”! Have a safe drive!

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