The Need for Speed
Velocity-based training can help you hit the longest drives of your life
f you’ve ever wondered how someone short and slightly built, like Rickie Fowler or Rory McIlroy, can consistently drive the ball past golfers who look like Super Rugby players, it’s certainly not because they’re stronger. And it’s not necessarily because they have better technique.
A key ingredient in their distance prowess is the amount of power they can generate. It’s one thing to be strong. And it’s another to be fast. But when you’re strong and fast, you have the ingredients to really bomb it. That’s the concept behind a type of training rapidly gain-
Iing popularity with athletes in all sports – even golf. It’s called velocity-based training, or VBT. Instead of focusing on how much weight is moved, VBT focuses on the rate of speed for each repetition of any mobile exercise.
VBT improves muscle coordination, timing and, most important, swing speed, says Golf Digest tness advisor Ben Shear, who works with PGA Tour pros Webb Simpson, Luke Donald and Russell Henley. According to Foresight Sports ball- ightsimulation models, increasing the average amateur’s swing speed from 144 kilometres per hour to 160 kph o ers the potential of 30 more metres ( see
on centre-face strikes. “I’ve introduced it to many golfers,” Shear says, “and I think it will one day become a training norm for most athletes.”
Technological developments allow gym-goers and trainers to monitor power output. Innovations include the Push Band ($289, trainwithpush.com) and Beast Sensor ($199, thisisbeast. com). These products are computerised arm bands that sync to a smartphone wirelessly. They