Have you ever tried to accelerate an electric golf cart down a hill and the speed suddenly plateaued? That’s because most golf carts have a governor on their engine. A governor restricts the top speed of the cart. Golf courses install them to prevent accidents on the course. The cart has the horsepower to go faster, but course management doesn’t trust you to operate them at top speed.
There’s a similar phenomenon that happens in your body with regards to how fast you move. Your muscles are able to fire faster than they do, but they are governed by your central nervous system (CNS). This affects you in any sport or activity where speed is at a premium, including golf. You have the physical capability to swing the golf club faster, but your CNS just won’t let you. The key to increasing your club head speed is removing your governor.
The most powerful tool for accomplishing this in golf is a training aid from SuperSpeed golf. The SuperSpeed Golf Training System has become extremely popular among professional golfers, and for good reason. Their weighted clubs and six week training program are so effective that the company guarantees a 5% increase in club head speed. How do they do it? The key is something called “overspeed training.”
SuperSpeed coined the term overspeed training in golf. They define it as a training strategy that makes the body move faster than normal during a known movement (e.g. the golf swing) in order to reset the normal neuromuscular reaction speed of the body. Essentially, overspeed training overrides the body’s current abilities in order to teach the athlete to move faster when the training aid is removed.
Here’s SuperSpeed CEO Mike Napoleon describing how overspeed (and overload) training works at our booth at Demo Day during last month’s PGA Show.
When many golfers think about training for power in golf they think about getting stronger in the weight room. Building muscle will work, but it can also take months. As SuperSpeed has demonstrated, some of the most effective and most immediate speed training is accomplished by targeting the CNS, not the muscles.
By training the CNS you can achieve HUGE gains in one session. Sound too good to be true? Watch our own Jake Newman go through the SuperSpeed protocol.
You may have noticed SuperSpeed’s Mike Napoleon encouraging maximum effort from Jake in this video. Training with high intensity – often referred to as “max intent” – is a critical element for maximizing speed gains.
One of the values of pairing the SuperSpeed training system with a tool like Rapsodo is the ability to monitor intent in successive swings. Not only does this validate your effort, research suggests that it actually encourages your effort.
Using immediate feedback in power training is a strategy that has been widely used in various sports or training environments. In the strength and conditioning world, velocity based training devices are commonly employed to evaluate effort in a lift. Here’s a graph from a blog by PUSH (a popular VBT device). The circles indicate reps that were measured using immediate feedback and the squares indicate control (no feedback). Not only the did the feedback produce greater effort across the entire set, the athlete overcame fatigue more successfully.
If your speed has reached a plateau, it probably has as much to do with how you train and how you swing. Using tools like SuperSpeed and feedback from the Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor can remove your speed governor and maximizing your training intent.
You might not jump from Champions Tour speed to PGA TOUR speed in one session like Jake did, but with the right protocol and right feedback you’re certain to see gains.