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Tiger's Fitness Regimen

You know I was feeling good about that extra five minutes I put in on the stairmaster yesterday until I read this unbylined AP story previewing an upcoming Men's Fitness story revealing Tiger Woods' workout regimine with trainer Keith Kleven.

The routine is built around stretching up to 40 minutes before each session, core exercises, endurance runs of 7 miles and speed runs of 3 miles, along with weight training. But while Woods is competitive on the golf course, he said he doesn't have an ego in the weight room.

"I've never, ever hurt myself lifting," Woods said. "I hear people say, 'I hurt this' or "I hurt that.' I don't even know what that feels like. I've been sore, but I've always been able to function and do whatever I wanted to. ... Some people let their ego get in the way. You have to listen to your inner self. Your body knows when it can be pushed and when you just need to back off a little bit."

Woods opts for high repetitions and smaller weights, although Kleven said he is "off the charts" with how much he can lift.

"His endurance and strength allows us to do more reps at high levels than normally seen in a golfer," Kleven said, without disclosing specific weights. "His resistance for high reps is extremely high."

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Reader Comments (14)

Yeah that's nuts..I am lucky to find 40 minutes to work out let alone stretch for 40 minutes. I guess we will see how much of that he can keep up with a new child in his life.
06.28.2007 | Unregistered CommenterGlyn
Since physical conditioning is a part of his job, I think he'll maintain the routine. It's just another aspect of his workday. The stretching is particularly important in preventing many golf-related injuries, especially to the back.

I was surprised to learn that he is using lighter weights/higher repetitions. That's great for toning (even has aerobic benefits), but not as beneficial for bulking up. And Tiger looked pretty bulky on Sunday at the US Open.
06.28.2007 | Unregistered Commentercardinal
All athletes break down with age, and if you look at _some_ of them, you get the feeling they breakdown faster than the rest of us. All of that pounding through the years takes its toll.

Is there anyone out there who thinks that today's fitness craze--as evidenced by Tiger's amazing regimen--could possibly be overdoing it?
06.28.2007 | Unregistered Commenter86general
86general: I think Gary Player demonstrates that an emphasis on physical conditioning while young carries great benefits into later years. He hasn't had many body parts replaced, unlike some of his notable peers.
06.28.2007 | Unregistered Commentercardinal
If Tiger's doing what he says he's doing - listening to his body, not lifting a lot of weight, and doing a lot of cardio - I don't see how there could be a possible downside. When I had a chance at golf school, I did a pretty serious routine for about eight months - sounds very similar to Mr. Woods, actually. Unbelievable benefits, physically and mentally. Gary Player was on to something, for sure.
06.28.2007 | Unregistered CommenterReverendTMac
Now if Lumpy can catch that fitness religion.
06.28.2007 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Blabbie
We are here to PUMP YOU UP !!!
06.28.2007 | Unregistered CommenterHans and Franz
By doing lots of reps, Woods is developing endurance strength. He is not developing power strength, though. For that, he would have to lift heavy enough that he could only do 3 to 5 reps.

I guess he has enough power. And less chance of injury by lifting lighter.
06.28.2007 | Unregistered CommenterJohn M
My understanding of fitness and training suggests that most of what we know about it pertains to the very short and intermediate time frames. I am in no way questioning the short and intermediate term benefits of strength, flexibility, and endurance training for golfers. I think it helps them immensely, and extends their period of prime effectiveness--i.e., Vijay Singh.

In other words, we know quite well how to make someone stronger or more flexible or more durable, or whatever, right now or over the next year or 2, or even 5 or 6.

I am not so sure that we know, however, in an even semi-quantitative way, what all of this training does to a body over a long period--say 30 or 40 years.

I'm not talking about general fitness, such as light exertion and modest levels of participation in sports like golf, tennis, walking, maybe running, and watching one's food intake to maintain a healthy weight and body fat. These things almost certainly have long term benefits in terms of quality of life with advancing age. I would put Gary Player's fitness practices in this category, as I don't think, for all the talk about him, he was as hyper and intense about all of it as today's players are. I might be wrong, though. Anyway...

I am talking about these involved, in some cases very intense, hyper-fitness regimens that produce these Greek-god/goddess bodies. The amount of time Tiger spends on fitness is staggering.

We know from looking at some older athletes in other sports (especially football and basketball players) that the pounding of some sports can have very severe, negative long term effects. I know there is a difference between football and golf, of course, but we don't know, for example, if _all_ the long term effects in football players are from the hitting, and whether some could be due to the intense strength training.

I think it's at least possible that we could, someday, find that some of these highly ambitious, extreme fitness regimens have negative long term effects.

I knew an internist who didn't exercise, and I asked him why. He said, only _half_ joking, "your body only has so many heartbeats in it. Don't use them up too fast."
06.29.2007 | Unregistered Commenter86general
Jack Lelane's body still seems pretty tone.... at 90!
06.29.2007 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Cummings

You're right about LaLane. But I think his body is primarily from relatively light, calesthenic-type workouts, coupled with very strict dietary guidelines.

There was a study in one of the medical journals a few years back showing that ultra-endurance athletes like marathoners were something like 2-3 times more likely to develop certain kinds of cancers. One theory was that the breakdown products from all of those workouts and runs could be toxic in some way, leading to cancers.

I'm not trying to discourage fitness or sound like a moron, just trying to stimulate discussion.
06.29.2007 | Unregistered Commenter86general
86, I just wish I had enough time in the day to work out that long and take my chances. I've been working with an Egoscue trainer for the last 3 months after throwing my back out in February (1st time with any low back problems ever). The static groin stretch alone takes 50 minutes. . . and that's without a little blue pill! My back feels great, and if I could just get rid of this golfer's elbow, I could start practicing again.
06.29.2007 | Unregistered CommenterSmolmania

I have golfer's elbow. I also have foot problems. Be happy you don't have this.

I'm surprised how much just icing my elbow after playing helps. If you don't do it too often, a steroid injection works wonders, too.
06.29.2007 | Unregistered Commenter86general
86, in April I had it in my left elbow, and my chiroprator referred me to an orthopod. Problem was, I couldn't get in to see him for 2 months, and when I finally did, the arm was much better and I didn't need the shot. 10 days ago, the right arm. This is brutal. I can't practice, and I'm actually hitting it pretty good. If I could lose some of this rust, I might actually get my handicap back down to a nice number. 1 celebrex in the am, and lots of motrin during and I struggle with this elbow. Getting old is not fun. . .
07.1.2007 | Unregistered CommenterSmolmania

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