Icelandic Fitness

The Masters

Rory McIlroy, taking the proper rest

The Masters gets under way this week on April 9th and the world’s number one player is taking some time away from competition. Rory McIlroy will have been “off” nearly three weeks before he hits his first drive at Augusta. Like other top tier athletes, McIlroy knows that tapering before a big competition helps reset the body and the mind and puts you in a position to excel.

 

Marathon runners have used tapering for years to give their bodies a chance to rest before pushing themselves during the big race. The idea behind tapering is that coming into an event well rested allows you to maximize the strength and fitness gains you’ve made over the previous weeks or months of training.

 

Of course, McIlroy has not been sitting around. He’s been practicing at Augusta with his dad and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, having fun on the course, getting used to the lay of the land, taking nothing seriously. It’s a mental and physical rest.

Rory and Tom Brady a few weeks ago at Augusta National

Rory and Tom Brady a few weeks ago at Augusta National

 

For some athletes, however, tapering can be difficult, because the decrease in training leaves them feeling antsy and, in some cases, sluggish. There’s a fear of losing your edge, causing some serious pre-competition anxiety.

 

Like McIlroy, keeping your mind and body “in the game” is the key. While he’s tapering, he’s still playing golf. Just not at the same intense level that he’ll undoubtedly be playing during competition. Tapering is the time to refine technique, no matter your sport, and get a good feel for your desired competition pace.

 

Of course, taper length varies from person to person, and depends on the athlete’s preferences and the length of the event. For runners, a taper for a half-marathon might last a week, while a taper for a triathlon might be four times as long. The Masters is kind of a golf marathon, with play stretching out over 72 holes, that’s four complete rounds over four days.

 

For most folks, truly perfecting a taper plan requires a degree of trial and error. If the taper period is too short, you didn’t get enough rest. Too long, you run the risk of losing not only your mental edge, but also your physical conditioning.

 

So, most trainers and coaches suggest that you maintain a consistent number of training days per week. If you usually work out five days a week, continue that during the taper, but reduce volume by cutting training time (or distance) in each workout.

 

Look at it this way- pushing yourself each and every workout, with no rest, is like running a car engine 24/7. It’s only a matter of time before it (and you) break down. Do yourself a favor and build some taper time into your workout schedule.

 

Jason Stone

Icelandic Fitness

Rory McIlroy – Golf’s new piece Masterpiece

The newest April 2015 issue of Golf Digest headed to the newsstands next month features Rory McIlroy on the cover, portraying Michelangelo’s statue of David- wearing a kilt. And, you could say the 25-year-old is a dead ringer for the real thing.

 

Rory McIlroy 2015 April Golf Digest

Rory McIlroy 2015 April Golf Digest

McIlroy has made the transition from a chubby unfit golfer to ripped athlete. Weighing around 170 pounds, with 10% body fat and not quite six feet tall, the golfer often tweets and puts up Instagram pics of his gym routine- one snapshot from last year had him back squatting 280 pounds. Not exactly what you would expect from a PGA Professional.

 

His workout routine is very intense- five times a week, lifting heavy weights for 90 minutes. He  does intense cardio work, sprints,  swims, and bikes. Rory actually never worked out until he strained his back about four years ago. Now, he’s dedicated to staying fit and injury free.  His first trainer noticed many muscular imbalances from a weak lower back to a weak left leg.  Rory’s workouts often include corrective exercises to maintain a balanced body.  Along with the corrective exercises Rory does a lot of single side isolation work.

2rory squat 2rory with 280 lbs

His trainer says they vary the workout every six to eight weeks. That’s important so that muscles don’t get overused and the routine stays fresh so you can continue to challenge yourself.

 

And, the benefits aren’t just apparent in the cover photo. McIlroy is also hitting his drives longer and harder- getting more yardage off the tee. He’s gained about 20 pounds of muscle, which puts more solid mass behind his swing. It’s simple, when there’s more mass, you can hit harder and get results.  It doesn’t hurt too that Rory has incredible stability and balance thru impact.

 

You’d have to guess that just like the clients I work with, McIlroy is feeling pretty good about himself. When you train hard and get results, you gain confidence. After all, look at what he’s achieved.  He’s completely remade himself by getting into shape and becoming the Number 1 player in the world.  Move over Tiger Woods golf has a new fitness freak.

 

 

Rory McIlroy Sample Workout:

5 Minute stationary bike warmup

8-10 minute active warmup and stretch

3-5 Minutes of plyometrics

5-10 Core and Rotational Work

60 Minute Intense Workout

  • Heavy Squats
  • Heavy Deadlifts
  • Single Leg Split Squat
  • Pull-ups
  • Presses

10 Minutes of Intense Metabolic Conditioning

Cool Down

 

Jason Stone

Icelandic Fitness

Golf Sports Performance Specialist