18SP 057: Charlie Weingroff | Real Training = Real Changes

What does it take to make your workouts and golf game 18STRONG? Join us as Charlie Weingroff shares his expertise in the world of sports performance, strength training, and physical therapy for golfers.

Charlie is a world renowned physical therapist, athletic trainer and strength coach.  Charlie has worked with elite athletes and professionals all over the world.  He has worked with the NBA, the US Marine Corps Special Forces, and athletes from just about every sport on many different levels.  In this episode, Charlie shares the foundational principles for making real changes in your performance, whether that be strength, power, speed, technical skill, etc.  There is a definite recipe.

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Charlie Weingroff’s Background

  • SIlver MedalCharlie is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Certified Athletic Trainer, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  
  • He is currently a Physical Therapist and Strength & Conditioning Coach at Drive 495 in Manhattan, NY and Fit For Life in Marlboro, NJ.  
  • He also is a member of the Nike Executive Performance Council and serves as the Physical Performance Lead and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Canadian Men’s National Basketball Team.  
  • He was the Director of Physical Performance and Resiliency and Lead Physical Therapist for the United States Marines Corps Special Operations Command in Camp Lejeune, NC.    
  • He graduated from Ursinus College with a degree in Exercise and Sports Science in 1996, and went on to earn an MSPT in 1999 and DPT in 2010 from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New JerseyHighlights from this Episode

Highlights from this Episode

  • Charlie shares his background working with the NBA, the Marine Corps Special Forces,  and his current work with Drive 495 and Fit for Life.
  • We discuss how an individual can go about changing their fitness level and technical skill level, and that there are certain rules that apply to making changes in the body.
  • General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS): there is a predictable way that the body responds to stress.
  • There are 3 stages of the GAS:
    • Alarm Stage: When the initial stressor is introduced and shocks the system
    • Resistance/Adaptation Stage:  If the stressor continues, the body makes adjustments to adapt and improve.  Rest is critical.
    • Exhaustion Stage: Occurs when the long-term stress is not removes and the body starts to break down.
  • Here is an article that further explains the GAS
  • Charlie explains how developing a skill is much like improving strength or speed in the fact that we must use these basic principles.
  • Golf is not different from any other sport! (although there are a lot of trainers, therapists, and golfers themselves that for some reason think it is).
  • Charlie explains his approach when working with a golfer.  There are basic functional qualities and guidelines that he looks for in regards to how the body and joints move (TPI screen) and determines what skills this person may need for their sport.
  • At it’s most basic level, to gain or improve a skill we must introduce:
    • A drill that imposes a barrier of limitation
    • The drill must deliver some sort of improvement
  • In order to do this, the drill has to be something that you can perform on your own, and you need to be able to achieve a high level of success (in other words, it has to be just beyond your reach to start, but attainable with repetition, which means it has to be measurable in some way).
  • Charlie discusses the importance of using
    • Block Practice: rehearsing the same skill over and over until improvement is seen
    • Random Practice: practicing multiple skills or movements in random order
  • When asked what most golfers should be focusing on in their strength training/conditioning, charlie suggests that most golfers do not have a high enough training age (experience in the gym with high level training) where it is necessarily beneficial to do anything sport specific.
  • At this level, most would benefit simply from a program that highlights general preparedness, which should include:
    • Pushing
    • Pulling
    • Squatting
    • Hinging
    • Twisting
    • Locomotion (like pushing a sled, dragging a weight, throwing a ball, etc)
  • Initially the primary focus should be on whether you can move properly throw a bodyweight version of the exercise without pain.
  • Charlie discusses who should actually be doing sport specific training sessions, and most likely it ain’t the golfer!
  • Charlie questions much of the “golfish” training out there and proposes that there is definitely a better way to make a golfer stronger and more skilled.
  • 2 of my main takeaways from our conversation are
    • Most people do not have a high enough training level that they need to even worry about specialized training for their sport (which means you will benefit more from simply working on the top 6 movements that were mentioned above, DON’T OVERCOMPLICATE IT!)
    • In order to make changes, get stronger, acquire a new skill, etc, YOU MUST CHALLENGE YOURSELF!  You can’t just go through the motions.  If you want to get stronger, you gotta lift heavier things.  Simple as that.

CaddyShack or Happy Gilmore?

Happy Gilmore

If You Could Ride in a Cart for 18 Holes with Anyone, Who Would it Be and Why?

Arnold Palmer.  Charlie would like to bounce some of the concepts that we talked about in this episode off of him to see what some of the “old school mentality” golfers think these concepts/principles of strength training and adaptation are so FOREIGN to them.

What are you excited about in your near future?

He is always on a quest for filling the gaps in his knowledge base.  He’s constantly looking to learn as much as he can through continuing education and get better at his craft.

Where to Find Charlie Weingroff

Website: CharlieWeingroff.com

Twitter: @CWagon75

Facebook: Charlie Weingroff


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