Dead Lift – work up to 85% of your current 1 RM and perform:
Want to feel like a slacker…read the following Wall Street Journal article.
By JEN MURPHY
South African golfer Gary Player earned the nickname Mr. Fitness in the 1950s because of his impressive dedication to exercise.
Today, at age 75, the nickname still fits.
Gary Player builds upper body strength using free weights.
One of the greatest golfers in the sport’s history, Mr. Player has won more than 160 tournaments over the past five decades. He is one of just five golfers who can claim a grand slam title, and he is the only golfer to have won both an international grand slam and a senior international grand slam for players age 50 and over.
When Mr. Player was just starting his career, exercise regimens and personal trainers were an anomaly in the professional golfing world.
“People said weight training was detrimental to golfers,” recalls Mr. Player. “I was squatting 325 pounds the night before I won my first U.S. Open in 1965. Today, the players have traveling gyms.”
In his younger years, his routine emphasized core, leg and forearm strength exercises. “I did very little for my chest. You cannot play golf with a big chest. It restricts your turn on the back swing,” he says.
As he’s aged, Mr. Player says he’s even more serious about staying fit: “Winning a grand slam title after the age of 53 meant keeping my body lean and mean.”
“I still do 1,000 sit ups and push ups every morning,” says Mr. Player. “You can do that anywhere in the world.” He exercises for about an hour, five to six days a week. He warms up by stretching and then moves on to weights and cardio.
Mr. Player at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England, July, 2011
At his house in Jupiter Island, Fla., he will spend 30 to 45 minutes jogging on the treadmill in his home gym. At his ranch in Colesberg, South Africa, he had almost 200 stairs built into a hill and he alternates between walking, jogging and taking two steps at a time.
“I like to mix it up so my body doesn’t know what’s happening, but no matter what I choose, my legs burn at the end,” he says. He also has a pool at both homes and will swim for about 20 minutes just using his legs to kick while holding onto a paddleboard. “I’m even out there in the South African winters when it’s minus-five degrees.”
For strength, he does three sets of 20 to 25 repetitions of lunges and squats and then another three sets while holding light weights. He does his 1,000 sit ups on a stability ball or on the floor with a dumbbell on his chest. He also does back extensions to keep his lower back strong and flexible.
Mr. Player performs wrist curls, rolling a 20 pound dumbbell down to his fingers and then back up while curling his hand upward toward his forearm.
He also meditates for 20 to 30 minutes every day. “I think it’s important to work on strength of mind, patience and gratitude,” he says.
Mr. Player believes that the future of fitness lies in what people eat much more than how active they are. “Nutritionists will be the new trainers.” he says. “Diet is 70% of the fitness puzzle.”
In his early golf days, Mr. Player says most pros, himself included, didn’t think twice about their diet. For the last six years, Mr. Player has followed a mostly vegetarian diet. He says he has much more energy since he’s cut out meat.
After sinking a putt at the Jacksonville Open, March, 1971
“I need less sleep, my cholesterol is lower, and my stomach works way better, if you understand what I am saying,” he says.
Today, Mr. Player tries to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible and avoids animal fats. He also tries to eat half the portion size he used to. Mr. Player likes to try different types of chocolate when he travels. Once every two months he indulges with a beer or a whiskey. His weight has been consistent, averaging 155 pounds when he was in his prime playing days. He’s now 144 pounds. “You need to be thinner as you get older,” he says. “Though most of my friends seem to follow the opposite philosophy.”
At his home in Florida he has a small gym with a weight bench, free weights, exercise ball, dumbbells, treadmill, stationary bike, and stretching bands. He estimates a total investment of $10,000 in all of the gym equipment. “It sounds like a lot, but I think it’s sad people invest more in their car than in their bodies,” he says.
“If you work a sedentary job and are in an office building take the stairs,” Mr. Player says. “Climb them every day even if you’re on the tenth floor. Start with one flight and then the next week two and do it for a month and eventually you’ll be climbing all 10. It becomes part of your day.”
Stretching, Strengthening for a Stronger Stroke
Black Knight InternationalMr. Player does 1,000 sit-ups with a 100-lb. weight on his chest.