Week 28 Update
Performance Testing Follow-Up
Welcome Players! It’s been 6 months since starting Project Par, and 4 months since taking my baseline performance metrics. Now that we’re halfway through the year I went back and re-tested those performance metrics to objectify if my training was actually paying off the way I hoped it would. We’ll break down the improvements and see how they inform my decisions for what to do for the second half of the year!
Training Week in Review
Training Week in Review
Big week this week!
Officially past the half-way point for the year-long endeavor of Project Par, I took back to the gym to re-test my performance metrics that I am using to guide my training plan.
I also tried to play a round of golf, but was thwarted by the signature summer thunderstorm.
We’ll go over the usual this week, as well as a special section breaking down the changes in performance from four months ago to now and a glimpse at how those numbers are going to influence my training moving forward.
Have been doing really good with getting my hands on a putter and carpet chips at home, some days more than others but its the daily consistencies of putting the club-face on a ball that will continue to pay off.
Resistance Train (Gym): 2
Conditioning (Road Bike): 1
The narrative continues of the weather being difficult to both ride the bike and play golf, so we’re leaning into gym training for the time being.
It actually kind of worked out this week since I did my performance testing follow-up, the extra resistance sessions are certainly a welcome boost.
Miami Summer’s continue to disappoint. This time we got rained out on the 4th hole.
We tried waiting it out but after 20 minutes of pouring rain the course was just about unplayable.
That’s just the way it goes!
Now for the good stuff!
I did my initial performance evaluation on March 10th.
Now four months later (+ a week), I did my half-way point follow-up testing.
Before we get into the numbers, I was really happy with how my progress showed on paper.
If you’ve been following along you know my attitude week-in and week-out has been progress over perfection, one step at time.
While I believe that’s a crucial mindset to have, it is nice to get some objective validation of my hard work paying off. It’s important to celebrate the wins like this just as much as it is to stay focused on continuing to move forward.
Ok, into the numbers! Here’s how to read this chart.
From left to right you’ll see: Category, Test, Date, Difference from Worst test, and then a Best/Average/Worst score for each test.
Some notes: I take 3 trials for each test and score it as the AVERAGE of those 3 per testing date. I do this because I’m looking for directional changes to my performance, not absolute changes.
With that said, if I were to take the absolutes (absolute worst trial vs. absolute best trial) of each test the difference would be even greater! It would also make my improvement look even greater but I find that by using the averages its a more accurate reflection of true change.
This second chart shows a month-by-month testing of my weight and muscle mass (as measured by an InBody machine.
Now, a disclaimer here, how much value you place in these numbers for your own Project is entirely up to YOU!
I made a big emphasis on gaining weight this year, as I have a typically very lean body type and it’s been historically difficult for me to put on and maintain mass. I just don’t eat enough and have a smaller stomach so get full rather easily.
So, I’ve been measuring my weight and muscle mass to see how much of my training is A) contributing to actual muscle gain and B) to keep me accountable for continuing to eat and keep my weight up.
Weighing at 171 this is the most I’ve ever been able to maintain in my life!
I’m really happy with this. It’s quite simple. Because I’m extremely active and because I work out hard, the more mass/weight I have the greater my abilities will be. That’s it.
If I weigh more I’ll be able to produce more total force which will help when I start training for swing speed / distance.
The more I weigh the more muscle I’ll also be able to put on which means my strength gains will continue to compound.
And finally the more I muscle I have the more power I’ll be able to produce with my legs on the bike leading to faster speeds and greater sprint performance.
I should also mention here that at a body fat of 12.5%, this is honestly a very ideal composition for me.
A body fat % too low and it’ll be difficult for me to maintain endurance training without negative side effects. It’s also very difficult for me to eat enough clean* food in order to keep my calories up so I’m actually OK with a body fat of up to 14% in my case.
Any less than 10% and that’d be a problem for performance.
And finally this last chart shows what my pre-selected Key Performance Metrics were when I set them at the beginning of the year. Although I haven’t taken my golf-related-performance metrics again (I’ll have to do that soon), the improvements in every category is a great sign.
It’s also motivating to know that I exceed every one of my Q1/Q2 goals!
A nice pat on the back for myself.
So what’s next?
Continue to improve! A lot of work goes into planning, measuring, testing, tracking, and modifying my project plan.
I don’t like to rush and need the extra time to sleep and think about how to continue to move forward.
Here’s where I’m at:
I’m about as strong as I hoped to be at this point, maybe even more. I haven’t done any power-type training, almost exclusively focusing on strength, stability, and control.
It’s paid off huge dividends to my golf game as I’m extremely comfortable over the ball and in uneasy situations. I don’t get tired on the course or during practice (thanks to my conditioning) and don’t have to worry about hacking the ball out of deep rough.
My golf scores are starting to improve, but was hoping to be shooting sub-90 by this point. I didn’t factor in the summer weather to be such a hindrance to practice and play, and will continue to face these problems in Miami for the next two months, possibly even longer if this hurricane season is particularly wet.
I am undoubtedly playing better golf though, hitting more GIR, more Fairways, taking less penalty strokes, and making more Par’s and less triples.
My putting is getting much better, but I’m still having too many 3-putts and not enough 1-putts.
My ball-striking is night-and-day, and distance off the tee-box isn’t a problem for me. But I also play the tees comparable to my distance so there’s an equalling effect there where if I played back a tee I would certainly run into more trouble.
Consistency-wise my habits and routines are definitely my greatest strength.
Aside from when I travel, I’ve been extremely disciplined with training, both resistance and conditioning on the bike. I’ve been very good about chipping and putting at home almost daily, save for a few poor weeks a few months ago.
I have not been great at getting out to the driving range to practice, but in my defense the brutal weather here is just something I’m not willing to endure.
I’ve been able to play about as much as I could expect, although who wouldn’t want to play more.
With work, personal life, training, and family there’s only so much time I can commit to athletic development and to be honest I’m very happy with how I’ve balanced it thus far.
I have no intentions to commit any more time than I already do. I believe a balance in all areas of life is important in order to maintain happiness.
So, what’s next?
I’m not sure right now to be honest.
I’ll need to spend this week reflecting on the first 6 months of this Project and see where the greatest expected value of my time should go to if I’m to hope to shoot in the 80’s and eventually 70’s by the end of the year.
Some initial reactions is that I’m training too much and practicing golf not-enough, but I’ve written before that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for the sake of longevity in my life outside of this project.
If I train any less than I train (3-5 trainable sessions a week) it will be next to impossible to get the kind of progress physically that I’ve been making. So if my golf improvement slows because of that, so be it. At the end of the day I’m not a professional golfer (yet), so my long-term health and happiness is a higher priority than the Project’s goals.
On the golf side though I do need to spend some financial resources to upgrade my putting practice. Rolling putts on my carpet at home with no tactile feedback on a good/bad strike just won’t cut it any more.
My next investment will be a putting mat with proper distance and a cup so that I can work on building a consistent, repeatable putting stroke that will carry over to the course with me.
After that it will just be continuing to play more often, limit mistakes and the penalties that mistakes bring with them, and improving course management to start to shoot lower without performing any better.
I won’t start training for power/swing speed until I believe that those attributes are either the greatest ROI for my time or the largest limiting factor for me performing better.
All in all, I’m happy and proud of my progress thus far. I enjoyed the victory yesterday, and after I finish writing this I’ll forget all about it and re-align my focus as to what I can do to get better this week.
Back to one step at a time.