The Best Balanced Golf Workouts: Cam Smith's Routine

When it comes to  working hard or hardly working, both can be true for the PGA stars of the competitive golf world. Events can wind down as quickly as they can cluster all at once.

Cam Smith, for example, can work events anywhere from 1-4 times a month while on tour, moving all over the world. This can make a consistent workout schedule challenging. Instead, he needs something that's adaptable and customizable to his workload. There's no one-size-fits-all regime - there's only what works.

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When He's Hardly Working:

Touring certainly looks different these days with Covid-19, amongst other varying factors - with work gaps often creating unique opportunities to do training that can otherwise be too risky during the on-season.

The typical conundrum, in this case, is that strength training would be highly beneficial to performance, but isn’t always suitable during high-volume event months due to: 

  • Muscle soreness/stiffness that doesn't subside before game time
  • Exhaustion from competing
  • Jet lag
  • Different training facilities and resources.

Muscle soreness is the most daunting aspect. In order to access the benefits of strength training without the added conflict of stiffness, soreness, and tension during an important game, a gap of at least a month is needed. This is enough time to build up the muscle consistently and surmount the initial adaptation pains.

Luckily, such periods aren't unheard of in the golf world and it's our pleasure to share Cam Smith's 3-month training block during the off-season! This training centers on the following goals: 

  • Muscle mass increase
  • Resilience to soreness
  • Power increase
  • Strength increase
  • No-stress recovery time.

It's led by his trainer Nick Randall and the Golf Fit Pro app.

The Regime

This regime works because touring/work is slow or non-existent, allowing for high volume, intense workouts. An ideal time to implement it might be in a 3-month rest leading up to touring.

The entire regime consists of 3 stages (each 4 weeks); easing into the intensity (yet still starting more intensely than regular year-round training), peaking in the second month to its most demanding phase, and finally tapering down to a more manageable balance before heading back to the tournament play.

Stage 1 - Balanced Hypertrophy Focus

This stage centers muscle mass increase as its main objective and eases in with 3 sessions a week. Each session has a different focus to get a balanced momentum building so that soreness isn't overwhelming and gains are even. The breakdown looks like this:

  • Duration is 4 weeks
  • With 3 sessions/week=
  1. 1 x lower body focus (legs, glutes, and core)
  1. 1 x 'push' focus (chest, shoulders, triceps, and core)
  1. 1 x 'pull' focus (back, biceps, and core)

Over the 4 weeks, the volume/weight is gradually increased (more reps and sets to failure).

  • Sets: 3 - 4
  • Reps: 8 - 12
  • Tempo: 2:0:2 (2 seconds up: no pause: 2 seconds down)
  • Weight: around 70% of max
  • Rest: 60 seconds, but this can vary when pairing exercises together in supersets or mini circuits

Catch him doing some impressive banded back squats!


Stage 2: Lower Body Hypertrophy Focus 

Now in this stage, for Cam, leg-day picked up an extra shift and the volume increased, making the workout lower body focused for muscle mass increase and upping the ante. The second month block looked like this:

  • Duration is 4 weeks
  • With 4 sessions/week
  1. 2 x lower body focus (1 x quad-focused workout and 1 x hamstring/glute- focused workout)
  1. 1 x push focus (chest, shoulders, triceps, and core)
  1. 1 x pull focus (back, biceps, and core)

As the weeks pass, the volume (reps, sets, and weight) increase. The lower body hypertrophy training now makes up 50% of the regime.

  • Sets: 3 - 4 
  • Reps: 8 - 12
  • Tempo: 2:0:2 (2 seconds up: no pause: 2 seconds down)
  • Weight: around 70% of max
  • Rest: 60 seconds, but this can vary when pairing exercises together in supersets/mini-circuits

It's around this stage that growth is noticeable and many areas of soreness are subsiding, with new sensitivities emerging. 

With no tournaments in this time, pushing boundaries is necessary to really optimize the opportunity, so that the following return results in championship trophies.


Stage 3: Power, Speed, and Agility Focus

The program now takes on a new direction as a power-focused regimen. This is so that the muscles can have some catharsis and speed can be prioritized. Cam needs speed and easy mobility to regain range of motion and power through his swing action. The soreness and stiffness have to begin to diminish entirely before tournaments begin again. 

To achieve this the program moves back to 3 days and is like so:

  • Duration of 4 weeks 
  • With 3 sessions/week
  1. 1 x lower body focus (legs, glutes, core, and grip) 
  1. 1 x upper body focus (chest, back, biceps, triceps, core, and grip) 
  1. 1 x combined focus (legs, glutes, shoulders, core, and grip) 

The volume (sets and reps) begins the same and eventually lowers slightly, while the intensity increases over these last 4 weeks, prioritizing weight and speed in the main lifts.

  • Sets: 4 - 5 
  • Reps: 3 - 5 for main exercises, 8 -12 for accessory exercises.
  • Tempo: X:0:1 for main exercises (as fast as possible in up or effort phase: no pause: 1 second down).

2:0:2 for accessory exercises.

  • Weight: around 85% of max for main exercises, around 70% for accessory exercises.
  • Rest: 90 seconds, but this can vary when pairing exercises together in supersets or mini circuits

Some extra grip work also gets added because Cam has noticed that with the muscle and strength gain, and the weight-lifting itself, his grip was failing on key lifts (not such a bad problem to have!)


When He's Working Hard

When Cam is too busy being one of the top golfers in the world to risk the aftermath of intense muscular workouts, he sticks to very consistent and controlled regimes that he can memorize, master, and complete quickly.

Cam is all about sticking to what works - on and off the green.

He does warm-ups and stretches every single day, followed by stability/postural training, then strength/power training, and finally some core/mobility work, 3-4 times a week. Catch him doing some rotational speed reps with resistance bands or doing some squat jumps (the fun stuff as he calls it)!

Originally he wasn't very impressive in the strength, mobility, or posture departments but with help from his trainer and the Golf Fit Pro app, he improved significantly in all those areas. He is now one of the most precise and technically intentional golfers around.  

Cam's training block is much more forgiving during touring, but the light-to-heavy schedule balance creates a balance in the body's intensity-rest cycle. It sure seems to be working for Cam Smith!

Learn more about supportive training tools and other stars here!

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