If you follow golf to any degree, you are probably familiar with Bryson DeChambeau’s unconventional training methods which have attracted significant attention in recent months. It came as no surprise to the golf world when DeChambeau introduced his mission to get “jacked” last October. And within just a few short months, Bryson’s physique was completely transformed with an extra twenty pounds of muscle mass.
Not to mention, his driving game significantly improved. DeChambeau is currently the longest PGA Tour driver, with an average driving distance of 326 yards compared to 302 yards just last year. But how did he improve so much in such a short time? Many believe that his recent improvement is largely due to Muscle Activation Techniques ®. Read on to take a deeper look at Bryson DeChambeau’s unique, yet revolutionary approach to strengthening his golf game.
How MAT® Is Taking the Golf World by Storm
While the media focuses on the results of DeChambeau’s training methods, I am going to walk you through the deeper principles he has used to transform his body and his swing. Muscle Activation Techniques ® has been used in sports like football for some time, but it is still a relatively new idea to the golf world. In the quest for success, many are now following DeChambeau’s lead and, as a result, the technique is rapidly increasing in popularity amongst golfers. Still, out of the endless enhancements he could have added to his training regimen, why did DeChambeau choose Muscle Activation Techniques ®?
Essentially, muscle activation begins with an in-depth range of motion assessment that helps local muscles that require attention based on symptoms of weakness elsewhere. The MAT® process is able to target asymmetries in your range of motion to enhance muscular contraction, coordination, and flexibility without causing the body to overcompensate. Once the target muscles have been identified with an initial assessment, a MAT® Specialist works to effectively re-establish communication between the brain and specific muscles.
The Science Behind MAT®
The human body is a complex system made up of a number of different organs and tissues that all work independently to accomplish unified goals such as movement. That being said, your integrated system is only as good as the function of the parts it’s made of. For golfers like DeChambeau, that means a powerful swing.
The brain serves as the powerhouse that ensures everything is working as it should be by communicating with our muscles through neural pathways. Hence, optimizing muscle function is a two-part process that involves strengthening the actual muscles while also improving the neural pathways. This allows you to not only build muscle mass but also develop muscle memory to help improve performance.
It may help to think of muscle function as a spectrum. Not only do golfers and other athletes need the ability to rapidly contract muscles on demand, but also to generate power in doing so. The assessment procedure enables MAT Specialists to locate the muscles that aren’t contracting properly so that the latter can then be enhanced. Once muscle function has been restored, the next step is to maintain it.
Why Muscle Activation Techniques®
While DeChambeau set out to build strength that would lend him the competitive edge in terms of driving length and speed, he had a deeper motivation. After months of experiencing pain, stiffness, and a lack of muscle strength as a result of a back injury, DeChambeau decided that it was time to make a lifestyle change.
With the help of Greg Roskopf, founder of MAT®, DeChambeau has done just that. Roskopf’s motto is that “you are only as strong as your weakest link” and many golfers happen to share the same one: the obliques. This muscle group helps to generate the rotational force necessary for a powerful swing by turning the torso and hips. That being said, why is it also one of the most commonly overlooked?
Keep this in mind: to effectively improve your performance, you have to optimize every piece of the puzzle. For golfers, this includes the forearm, obliques, gluteus maximus, pectoralis major in the chest, and the latissimus dorsi (the largest muscle in the upper body). Weak muscles can present themselves in a variety of ways, from poor coordination to pain and spasms. Oftentimes, it shows up as the inability to rotate well. Simply put, tight muscles lead to a weak swing and, inevitably, poor performance during the game.
DeChambeau has utilized MAT® to maximize his strength, flexibility, mobility, and balance, all while remaining injury-free over the past few months. MAT® has allowed him to build more symmetric strength in his core through exercises focused on trunk rotation and flexion, side bends, leg flexion, and back extension. More importantly, he has the ability to play without pain coursing through his body.
The Athletic Endeavors Method
With a powerful combination of neurocognitive training exercises and a physical training program that targets muscular asymmetries determined by Muscle Activation Techniques®, you can take your training to the next level just as DeChambeau has.
Whether you are serious about your golf or simply looking to improve your athletic performance, Muscle Activation Techniques® can help you move to the next level. As a MAT® Specialist and experienced fitness professional, I work to create a customized training routine for you, from rotational strength drills to neurocognitive exercises. Athletic Endeavors offers a variety of training environments to private and semi-private clients to suit a range of fitness needs.
Contact Athletic Endeavors at 843-412-1688 today to learn more about my personal training services or schedule your online fitness session.
To Achieving Greatness,
MAT® Specialist & Personal Trainer, Charleston SC