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When it comes to Bryson DeChambeau you can't help but admire and respect the output of work he has done to get to this stage in his career. This is shown by his desire to overpower the course by hitting the ball as far as humanly possible.
In the 2019/20 PGA Tour season, the big-hitting American broke the 17-year-old PGA Tour driving distance record, averaging 322.1 yards per drive. The following year, he surpassed it again, averaging 323.7 yards.
For 2022, the 28-year-old plans to go even further, already vowing to overpower Augusta with his new driver that will have less spin and more control, something he's counting on to be a "huge asset" when he next plays.
Not only will the American have a new driver to hand, but also something which he describes as a "secret weapon", something that "he has never experienced before in his entire life." All of this in the pursuit of distance...
Bryson DeChambeau hits a sensational 417-yard drive off the tee! 🤯Absolutely incredible! 🔥🔥pic.twitter.com/hnQVxfRoTySeptember 24, 2021
You may be wondering what I am on about, well, thanks to DeChambeau and the Founder of Muscle Activation Techniques, Greg Roskopf, we can get an insight into what the American's "secret weapon" will be for the upcoming year.
For those who are unsure what Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) means, it is simply a method that activates muscles in order for them to provide stability to joints and keep bones in proper alignment. This increase in stability enables the muscles to function more effectively, which in turn, improves muscle strength and mobility, enabling a pain-free lifestyle.
As shown by DeChambeau, this method can be extremely effective, with the American able to gain multiple yards of distance without risking injury. Watch the video of DeChambeau and Roskopf below, where the duo go through a training session and explain the philosophy behind MAT.
Throughout the video, Roskopf compares the method to jump starting a car battery. "You can turn the key to the ignition all you want, but until you jump start the battery, that car isn’t going to move or start," says Roskopf. "So, in the same way with these muscles, you can do all the exercises in the world, but you're going to shorten the range of motion, and it will start adapting and compensating other muscles."
This analogy is shown in the video, when Roskopf tests DeChambeau's hip flexion. He finds a weak spot that apparently "blows the circuit". After doing repetitions on the machine, Bryson's flexibility is tested and, although the American is strong in one area, Roskopf finds a spot that is weak. This results in the whole hip area weakening/short circuiting with the whole process needing to be reset and completed again.
As a result of the MAT method, DeChambeau has seen his swing speed go from 117mph to consistently over 140mph. It also saw the American finish eighth at the World Long Drive Championship.
"With Bryson, everything we have done has increased his range of motion. This is done by increasing stability and strength through those ranges of motion", says Roskopf. "Most of the time, Bryson comes in strong and we do struggle to find weaknesses, but we then challenge thresholds. We put him on the exercises, we know the weights he can lift and find the exercises that cause him to exceed his tolerance level.
"If he doesn’t exceed his tolerance level, then all of those muscles will go weak and we have to reset that series of muscles. So, the idea of this process is movement by movement, muscle by muscle, we are making all the isolated movements and parts strong and raising the integrity of the nervous system in each movement.
"This means that when he does an integrated movement, like a golf swing, the integrated system now says I have no weak link so bring it on, I can do what ever I want! That’s why it’s showing up in his clubhead and ball speed.
“I went through his numbers around four to five months ago and every movement he has done in the body has doubled from the first point of when he started doing the exercise programme. He has no weak link in the chain, you’re only as strong as your weakest link and when you perform at the optimal levels and try and produce the force, club and ball speeds that he is producing, then your weak links are going to show themselves.”
"I’ve been in professional sports for over 25 years and I do not see these type of strength changes happening in any other sport, or with any other athlete, and I have seen athletes on steroids! To see these type of changes, which are pure and with no steroids, just validates the whole process of what we have been doing."
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
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