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Intensity VS Relaxation.

Many instructors and golfers quickly learn how to intensify their training. most of us just are driven to quickly lift more, lift heavier, shorter rest periods, longer HIIT sessions... all leading to confusing training with working out. Hardly any of us get coached on what it really means to train. I got confused. And maybe you have been too.

When I started to figure out how to train for myself back in 2003, I used to believe relaxation wasn't supposed to be in the equation for becoming stronger. I would not recover or even worse, my daily workouts would be super intense, not adjusted to my body's needs and always be different. I did feel exhausted but my mind pushed me to go harder. In reality, I gave my body had zero opportunities to adapt. Becoming stronger was out of the question.

Until well...the body just STOPS to function. I broke down mentally. And to be really honest with you, I felt ashamed too because I ignored my body. Back then, I didn’t have an experienced mentor who's also a TPI expert to give me the feedback that would help me to make choices that would benefit my situation. Now, years later, as I coach my own students, I understand the complexity of intensity and relaxation and more importantly how to help others in their personal situation. Not because I simply “play golf” but because I’ve dedicated over a decade of my life to researching, coaching and studying the physiology of the body & the demands of the golf game on it. During my own process a few years ago, I read all the books and developed a yoga practice to counter balance the intensity. I was learning to redefine stretch vs negative stress for my body.

Like many of us still today, I was unaware of the need to balance negative stress with rest and believed that applying active recovery would make me weaker as I wasn't "doing anything". But in truth, this is about restoring the body back to neutrality. This in turn creating strength, energy, health and vitality back into all body systems. But the commitment to rest well is as important as the commitment to train well.

We need to redefine a couple of terms that are used rather loosely in the golf community by many instructors and golfers: training and working out.

Training is knocking the body out of chemical balance, it’s stretching the body and applying positive stress onto the body’s systems while providing it the optimal foundation to recover it. It’s exploring the body’s limits, challenge the body’s capacity yet respect it. In essence, the body systems adapt and become stronger, more agile, less prone to injuries and gain the flexibility to adjust to movements and the requirements of life and golf. It's applying both intensity AND relaxation in the right moments, and be committed to them.

Workouts that result in not being able to walk for days on end without recovery is negative stress. This kind of repetitive stress is harmful to us, because no organism was designed with a mechanism with negative effects on the body wen the stress response is turned on with great frequency, and for long duration. We’re headed for some type of breakdown in the body. The body (and your health) live in a state of survival. It's applying intensity to an already burnt out system.

Especially in today’s online society, it has become normal and unfortunately cool to share the immense intense inducing muscle soreness workout one has had. It's the cheap narrow minded short term and ego driven vision of the "workout until I can't walk anymore" hype. It's okay to be there. As long as you keep observing: is this doing harm to my body or am I challenging it, making it stronger?

Intensity & relaxation are not opposites. In fact, they can work together in complementary ways to bring out the best in you and in your performance. They also prevent overuse injuries from occurring and help you to play more effortlessly.

I challenge you to observe where you are stretching your body and when-where you are negatively stressing the body.

Just like I did but also my client Nicole. After our initial 1:1 remote assessment call she quickly realised: with her current training program it was NEVER going to be possible to get what she wanted: more energy on the course while hitting every shot effortlessly and enjoying her journey towards becoming a professional golfer. Above all, she became aware of the fact ‘if I want to reach my goal of professional golfer, my active recovery sessions have to go up’. And so she decided to work with me. Instead of becoming an exhausted injured pro golfer, she is now becoming an energised confident professional.

My client Nicole honestly explains it herself:

“My transformational journey with Liesbeth started a year ago and since the first session it was so valuable. Also through her energy and the applicable tools she provided me with, it worked really motivating to continue taking care of my body which resulted that I was able to take the next step in my game. In the past I would feel ashamed to rest, but she asked me the right questions, helped me to redefine my strategy, focused on my strengths and improved my preparation before competitions. She defined the right times to recover after peak performances and helped me scientifically understand why it’s important for the my body.”

So where do you need to increase recovery in? It could be within your golf game but also in your training session. Are your training sessions only focused on stressing the body continually while already being in a state of survival, making them WODS and workouts?

Do you recognise yourself in Nicole? And do you also want help with these issues? You can book a call with me and we’ll explore which strategy works best for YOUR situation, your goals and your body. Simply send me an email to to confirm your call.

And for me personally the result from my own process in learning about the importance to value my recovery moments is that I enjoy training so much more! As a consequence, I also have become stronger. I still practice to become better at intensity and better at relaxation, because this isn't just a skill you learn once and then forget. It's an art of training.

Driven by the mission to help others achieve their goals, I’m feeling called to pass on the professional knowledge, and expertise I gained over the past decade in effective applicable tools free of charge. So, you can explore everything related to active recovery here on my blog page. If you want to try it out for yourself give this FREE restorative session a go:

Coach Liesbeth

B. Kinesiology, University of British Columbia

Titleist Performance Institute certified

SuperSpeed Level 3 certified

Registered Yoga Teacher

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