Golf

Bryson DeChambeau’s Trainer Explains Exactly How the Golfer Bulked Up and Broke Tiger Wood’s Driving Record

2020 has been a rough year. Many people have resorted to ordering food, drinking more, and gaining the “quarantine 15.” Bryson DeChambeau had his own quarantine weight gain, adding pound after pound to his frame. However, the golfer did this entirely on purpose. Working with trainer Greg Roskopf, DeChambeau seized an opportunity that quarantine offered.

The golfer transformed his body into what just might be the new look for the best on the PGA Tour. When someone’s health routine helps them break a Tiger Woods record, the competition tends to notice.

Why Greg Roskopf designed a demanding routine for Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau
Bryson DeChambeau looks on from a practice area | Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Roskopf is often credited simply as DeChambeau’s trainer. His actual role, which includes advising the Denver Broncos training staff, goes well beyond that. The Guardian reports that his background is in biomechanics. If there’s anyone capable of transforming an athlete into a hulk still capable of a smooth, masterful golf wing, Roskopf is the man.

DeChambeau’s determination to transform both his body and his approach to golf started with a back injury. With an academic background in physics, he applied an analytical mind to his recovery. It led to a remarkable comment on his diagnosis and recovery.

“It was because my quadratus lumborum wasn’t working, my iliacus, longissimus thoracis, they were all kind of overworking, if you want to get technical on that,” DeChambeau told Golf Digest. “But they weren’t working very well and I overworked them.” After reading that, it’s clear how Roskopf came to invest two days every two weeks with DeChambeau. He couldn’t ask for a better subject for his complex approach to health.

Roskopf’s progressive program has undeniable results for DeChambeau

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After DeChambeau’s injury, the first step was to focus on his diet. He needed to rebuild tissue, build muscle around it, and attempt to be even more flexible than before. That meant quickly building up to consuming over 5,000 calories per day. One might encounter a demanding diet like that when reading about a Hollywood star bulking up for a film; DeChambeau was determined to apply it to golf.

DeChambeau outlined the other half of his program — at least, the parts of Roskopf’s proprietary exercise routine he was willing to share with the public. “So, every day there’s a core workout, and then I’ll do upper body or lower body,” he told GQ. “That takes me at least an hour to an hour and a half a day.”

Roskopf himself revealed slightly more about his Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) to GolfTec. For DeChambeau in particular, the program focuses on spinal strength and mobility. The full MAT plan covers 43 movement patterns, but different body types and health situations call for different focuses among that selection. For DeChambeau, it mainly involved spinal rotation, spinal side-bend, spinal extension, spinal flexion, hip extension, and hip rotation.

How DeChambeau’s newly bulky, flexible frame helped him break Tiger Woods’ driving record

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Following Roskopf’s MAT plan meant slowly ramping up the difficulty of each exercise. For example, at the start, the program called for spinal rotations for five reps at 90 pounds. Today, DeChambeau does his five reps at 165 pounds, reinforcing muscle growth while increasing his flexibility.

The big goal was to drastically increase his clubhead speed. A quick, powerful strike obviously moves the ball further, at greater speed, and DeChambeau accomplished unbelievable feats thanks to MAT. The Golf Channel reports that DeChambeau has topped out at 205.7 miles per hour, compared to an average PGA Tour speed of 168 miles per hour.

It already paid off in a big way. Golf Digest reports that the hulked-out DeChambeau now holds the title for longest driving distance in a PGA Tour win. His 350.6 yards edge past Tiger Woods’ 341.5. It was once seen as an insurmountable feat. But a combination of Rothkopf’s science and DeChambeau’s dedication might have set a whole new standard for a generation of young golfers, and this is just the start.