If you’ve ever wanted to have a faster, more powerful swing or hit the ball longer like Tiger, then you are in with the majority of us. But how does one get clubhead speed? Lift weights? That would get you stronger but would that make you faster? Throw medicine balls? Maybe. Pull on rubber bands? Nope. Balance on wobble disks? Exercise on Swiss balls? Not really.
All of these methods will work better than not training at all. But these methods do not obey ALL of the four fundamental laws of training for speed. Canadian researcher Digby Sale found that in order for an exercise to increase speed, the exercise must adhere to the following laws of specificity:
1. Movement pattern must be exact or as similar as possible to the athletic motion involved. Movement pattern is simple to see. Pulling a rubber band will not effectively strengthen one’s swing because the movement pattern is too disimilar. Rubber band resistance has a linear path, whereas swinging a golf club is a circular, rotational movement on many planes.
2. Contraction velocity must be similar to the event. Velocity is easy to see. Turning with or throwing a medicine ball is very slow in comparison to the swinging of a golf club. Yet many golfers in an attempt to increase clubhead speed, do exercises with it. If the exercise is done too slow, how will you move faster during the swing?
3. Contraction force must be higher than the event. Force is difficult to measure without the use of high tech biomechanical equipment. But understanding that one needs to overload somewhat to get a strength benefit is logical. The problem arises when one overloads too much and velocity slows down, which in turn decreases the amount of force. This is the problem with weighted clubs like the Momentus which is so heavy that high velocity cannot be attained. Thus more power is unlikely to be found here.
4. Contraction type must be the same. Contraction type is extremely important since explosive movements use the stretch-shorten cycle. The stretch-shorten cycle is the short, rapid stretching of the muscles prior to a forceful contraction and is present in all explosive movements. Proper weightlifting techniques discourage this type of contraction. Therefore training benefits are minimal for speed.
Thus, given the difficulty of obeying these fundamental laws, experts in exercise science have turned to Dr. Tudor Bompa’s periodization plan. They do months of strengthening, building muscle, and then attempt to convert those strength gains to speed. The problem is, strength is not speed. So how do we get speed?
Vitesse Sports Technologie has answered the question. The answer is a variable resistance device to create a highly advanced plyometric exercise protocol. Variable resistance using proprietary twist link speed chains are the only way to construct an exercise device capable of obeying all the laws of speed training. VST has not only developed a tool but also great new exercises impossible to do with any other device. Here’s how.
1. Our speed chains (speedchain) defy the laws of gravity by creating a resistance that moves and retains its resistance along any angle up or down, side-to-side, curved path, linear, or rotation that the human body can produce. Therefore, the movement pattern of any athletic motion can be trained for any sport. This is essential for training the complex movements of a golf swing. Try obtaining that same type of resistance with a rubber band, isokinetic device, pulley system or free weights. Not possible. These exercises suffer from their inherent linearity and are unable to retain resistance in circular, rotational movements. Or as in swinging a heavy club, the effects of gravity do not allow the user to obtain resistance in the downward direction because gravity is assisting the downward movement. This eliminates any possibility of increasing one's speed/strength during the critical downswing. This attribute is also tremendously effective in training athletes to “groove” correct movement patterns and develop the so- called "muscle memory."
2. Our speed chain resistance can be changed or altered in milliseconds. Simple yet so novel, chains, if modified appropriately, have the ability to present a variable weight load to the athlete with different phases of a swing being weighted differently. But instead of viewing this as a variable weight load as in weightlifting, how about seeing chains as being able to create a variable force load? In traditional weightlifting, the acceleration is nil so the force are ignored. Yet in Olympic lifting, researchers are looking at the forces created during cleans and snatches (force is equal to mass times acceleration). Following that line of reasoning, VST has created devices that take into consideration the amount of acceleration as well as the amount of mass needed to create the right amount of resistance at the different phases of the golf swing.
“How can you do this?” you ask. Biomechanical researchers have studied and calculated the force levels during each of the phases of the golf swing. Breaking it down in milliseconds, they know where the force levels are high or low. They also know where acceleration and deceleration occurs. Armed with this knowledge, VST created a variable force resistance that is light enough to allow for high acceleration and velocity while delivering high resistance where the force levels are high. All in one motion, and only milliseconds apart!!!
To illustrate how this works, the force levels are low during a backswing. Then the force levels rise to a peak during the transition from the backswing to downswing (this is where VST trains the stretch-shorten cycle). Then it dips during the acceleration phase while the arms are creating tremendous club speed. The forces rise to another peak near impact as all muscles are firing to nail that ball.
By complying with the laws of specificity and biomechanical studies, VST has created an exercise device capable of increasing an athlete’s speed/strength very quickly, sometimes immediately. So quickly that some of our testers have increased their clubhead speed by as much as 20 miles per hour in the first five minutes of exercise.