Fitness
December 20, 2019

What it took for Scott Stallings to become the tour's most shredded pro

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For four hours, Scott Stallings demonstrated for our video crew dozens of high-intensity exercises that he routinely uses to maintain one of the most chiseled bodies in PGA Tour history. He slammed medicine balls, swung kettlebells, slung barbells, jumped rope and generally torqued his body in ways that might impress an Olympic gymnast—with virtually no break between moves.

As the video crew was packing up at the end of the shoot around lunchtime, someone asked Stallings what he was going to do with the rest of his day.

“I still have to work out,” he said.

That level of commitment is why Stallings has transformed from a 240-pound “biggun’ ” with 26 percent body fat, to a 185-pound piece of granite with less than 10 percent body fat. Serious concerns about his overall health a few years ago sparked the transformation, Stallings says. Not only was he more than 50 pounds overweight, he was diagnosed with a sleep disorder and discovered certain food allergies also were making it tough to compete on the PGA Tour. “I was exhausted all the time,” he says. But not anymore.

The way Stallings trains depends on if he’s at a tournament or if it’s an offweek, or the offseason. But it’s typically an everyday program going from hard, heavy workouts early in the week to lighter, faster stuff by the weekend. And he doesn’t train alone. At his home gym pictured here, known as The Barn because of its previous use, on any given day you might find professional baseball and football players, mixedmartial-arts fighters and his trainer, Adam Kerley—all getting after it with the same intensity as Stallings. It’s a cult of conditioning.

To be clear, much of what Stallings does to stay fit isn’t what the average golfer should do, at least not without clearance from a doctor and a lot of progression training building to the level of difficulty in his current programs. “What I used to do as a workout is now something we might do as a warm-up,” he says. But if you’re curious, here are a handful of things he does with a kettlebell and a device called a landmine, a barbell anchored to the floor that can be used for exercises in multiple planes of movement. User discretion is advised.

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KB POWER SNATCH

“This is a great hip-hinging exercise that trains you for explosive power in the golf swing,” Stallings says. It starts by using ground force to leverage the kettlebell upward, and it finishes with the shoulder, arm and back supporting the weight as it gets pushed overhead. “Great exercises for golf don’t always look like motions in the golf swing,” Stallings says, “But they do train the body for a good golf swing.” And with this one, there’s a cardio boost thanks to the effort required.

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KETTLEBELL HALO

Stallings starts with a mediumweight kettle, holding it upside down in front of his chest at the base of the handle. He then liſts it to head height and rotates it around his head—like a halo—in both directions. “Shoulder mobility is so important in the golf swing, and this exercise really warms up the muscles and soſt tissue around the shoulder girdle,” Stallings says. “The ability to swing the club on plane, and swing it fast and stop it safely, depends a lot on having good shoulder function.”

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KB CLEAN TO LUNGE

This exercise hits a lot of key areas golfers need to generate power in the swing —everything from the calves to the forearms, Stallings says. “And it requires strength, stability, power and endurance.” The clean is the portion of the exercise where the kettlebell is hoisted from the ground to shoulder height. The forwardlunge portion offers the training bonus of learning to load weight into the legs individually, which also happens as you go from the backswing to the downswing.


“Landmines help you train your body to be stable during a multifaceted movement–just like what you need for the golf swing.”

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LANDMINE RAINBOW

“Any standing exercise where you’re moving an external load in more than one plane of motion is going to benefit your body when you play golf,” Stallings says. “That’s why I like doing these.” This exercise, taking the barbell down alongside each hip in a rotational movement and then back to an overhead position, tracing the shape of a rainbow, is great for strengthening the legs, shoulders and arms—and it helps improve the coordination needed for a functional, ground-up downswing.

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LANDMINE ROTATIONAL CLEAN AND PRESS

Golf is a one-sided sport, meaning you’re swinging in only one direction and recruiting muscles in an imbalanced nature to do so. That’s why it’s smart to train in both directions, and unilaterally when applicable, to achieve better muscular balance. This one-armed rotational clean and press is great for that (switch hands from a pull to a push), and it mimics the look of a golfer finishing a swing—at least from the waist down. “Another move that hits lower- and upper-body muscle groups,” Stallings says.

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LANDMINE THRUSTER

Golf-fitness trainers and swing coaches are in strong agreement on the importance of training the lower body to push into the ground at the start of the downswing. Using the ground this way creates a lot of power that can then be redirected to hitting the ball harder. This explosive exercise of thrusting a barbell upward from a squat position gets the key lower-body muscles primed for better golf. It should be a staple exercise for any golfer who wants to get longer off the tee, Stallings says.


THE 50 BEST GOLF-FITNESS TRAINERS IN AMERICA

If you’re interested in getting “golf fit,” you’re in the right place. After closely examining hundreds of applicants, a panel of 10 of the most respected experts in golf fitness (see below) have selected the top 50 trainers in the United States. (They actually selected 52; there was a three-way tie for the last spot.) Unlike our first fitness ranking in 2017, which included professionals in all aspects of wellness, this list focuses solely on trainers. That means you can get a workout from anyone listed here. (It also means some top trainers were omitted as they work almost exclusively with tour pros.) “We wanted this list to be about the trainers in the trenches, the ones who can and sometimes do work with tour pros, and can make a 65-year-old with spinal stenosis play and feel better,” says Golf Digest fitness advisor Ben Shear.

—RON KASPRISKE

WEST


JANET ALEXANDER

Pacific Fitness & Health

Encinitas, Calif.  /  pacificfitnesshealth.com

EVALUATION $200 HOURLY $200


BRIAN BRADLEY

The Egoscue Method

San Diego.egoscue.com

E $0 H $185


MILO BRYANT

Milo-Limitless Fitness

Del Mar, Calif.  /  milostrong.com

E $1,050 H $250U


BRIAN CHANDLER

Elevate Sports Performance

Las Vegas  /  elevatevegas.com

E $500 H $150


SEAN COCHRAN

Sean Cochran Sports Performance

San Diego  /  seancochran.com

E $175 H $125-$175


ANDREA DODDATO

Shape and Sport

Los Angeles  /  shapeandsport.com

E $250 H $175


SHAWN FARMER-SESE

Golfletica Sports and Rehab

Bellevue, Wash.  /  golfletica.com

E $175 H $70


JENNIFER FLEISCHER

Fleischer Tour Fit

San Francisco  /  fleischertourfit.com

E $250 H $200


LANCE GILL

LGP Remote Training Protocol

Oceanside, Calif.  /  lgperformance.com

E $0 H $400


MIKE HANSEN

Hansen Fitness for Golf

Irvine, Calif.  /  hansenfitnessforgolf.com

E $200 H $120


MARK SMITH

The Sports Club/Mission Hills

Rancho Mirage, Calif.  /  docsmith.org

E $415-$625 H $125


DEE TIDWELL

Colorado Golf Fitness Club

Greenwood Village, Colo.  /  coloradogolffitnessclub.com

E $125 H $125


ROBERT YANG

RYI Performance and Nutrition

Encinitas, Calif.  /  robertyang.net

E $600 H $300


SOUTHWEST


ANDREW HANNON

Premier Fitness Systems

Scottsdale  /. premierfitnesssystems.com

E $115 H $115


MANNY HERNANDO

ChiroSport Specialists of Dallas

Dallas  /  chirosportspecialists.com

E $200 H $125


CLINT HOWARD

Golf Fitness Systems

Tulsa  /  golffitnesssystems.com

E $250 H $95-$110


GREG MCLEAN

Premier Fitness Systems

Scottsdale  /  premierfitnesssystems.com

E $150 H $115


PAM OWENS

Royal Oaks Country Club

Houston  /  pamowensfitness.com

E $325 H $125


SPENCER TATUM

Tatum Human Performance

Scottsdale  /  ignitethp.com

E $300 H $200


MIDWEST


SCOTT BARTHLAMA

Gleacher Golf Northwestern University

Evanston, Ill.  / wildcatgolfacademy.com

E $175 H $125


LINDSAY BECKER

Buckeye Performance Golf

Dublin, Ohio.  /  buckeyeperformancegolf.com

E $150 H $100


BILL GLEGOROFF

Get Fit Pro Golf Performance

Chicago  /  getfitpro.com

E $325 H $150


NEAL HAUSCH

Golf Fitness Plus

Akron, Ohio  /  golffitplus.com

E $200 H $100


JEFF PELIZZARO

Empire Fitness Academy

Brentwood, Mo.  /  18strong.com

E $200 H $100


CHAD ODAFFER

Altered Physique

Indianapolis  /  alteredphysique.com

E $125 H $75


CORY PUYEAR

P.U.R.E. Golf

Northfield, Ill.  /  pure-golf.net

E $325 H $130


NORTHEAST


KIRK ADAMS

Athletic Edge

Scotch Plains, N.J.  /  athleticedge.net

E $150 H $115


KEVIN DUFFY

FieldHouse

Sudbury, Mass.  /  coachkevinduffy.com

E $75 H $125


BRANDON GAYDORUS

Greenwich Office Park Fitness

Greenwich, Conn.  /  bggolfandfitness.com

E $0 H $100


ALI GILBERT

Metabolic Golf

Greenwich, Conn.  /  metabolicgolf.com

E $500 H $250


JASON MEISCH

Peak Golf Fitness

Rockville, Md.  /  peakgolffitness.com

E $600 H $150


MATT PALAZZOLO

Golf & Body NYC

New York City  /  golfbodynyc.com

E $400 H $250


KAITLYN SHARPLESS-PIMENTEL

Felix Fortis Golf

Narragansett, R.I.  /  felixfortisgolf.com

E $450 H $150


BEN SHEAR

Ben Shear Golf

Scotch Plains, N.J.  /  bensheargolf.com

E $395-$695 H $250


SOUTH


TREVOR ANDERSON

Better Every Day Performance

Orlando  /  bettereverydayorlando.com

E $250 H $125

ALEX BENNETT

PGA Tour’s Performance Center at TPC Sawgrass

Ponte Vedra Beach  /  tourperformancecenter.com

E $100 H $150


ASHLEY CAMPBELL

Performance One Golf at Golf House Tennessee

Franklin, Tenn.  /  performance1training.com

E $300 H $175


RYAN BLACKBURN

Orlando Golf Performance

Orlando  /  orlandogolfperformance.com

E $0 H $60-$80


JOHN D’AMICO

Golf Fitness Edge

Naples, Fla.  /  golffitnessedge.com

E $300 H $100


JOEY DIOVISALVI

Joey D Golf Sports Training

Jupiter, Fla.  /  joeydgolf.com

E $750 H $275


DAVID DONATUCCI

Florida Institute of Performance

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

floridainstituteofperformance.com

E $150 H $150


CHRIS FINN

Par4Success

Raleigh, N.C.  /  par4success.com

E $190 H $185


DAN HELLMAN

H3 By Dan Hellman

Fort Lauderdale  /  h3bydan.com

E $500 H $250


DAVE HERMAN

Dave Herman Performance

Winter Garden, Fla.  /  davehermanperformance.com

E $185 H $100


DARIN HOVIS

Par 4 Fitness

Naples, Fla.  /  par4fitness.com

E $200 H $120


KEN MACDONALD

Lifetime Performance

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

lifetimeperformancepbg.com

E $200 H $130


LENNY MELLO

Pillar Health & Sport Performance

Louisville  /  pillarsport.com

E $250 H $80-$100


RANDY MYERS

Sea Island Resort

Sea Island, Ga.  /  randymyersgolf.com

E $750 H $350


KAREN PALACIOS-JANSEN

Trump National Golf Club Charlotte

Charlotte  /  kpjgolf.com

E $225 H $120


MITCH SADOWSKY

Coastal Performance

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.  /  mitch11strength.com

E $150 H $150


SCOTT SHEPARD

Driven Sports Performance

Lake Mary, Fla.  /  drivenspt.com

E $250 H $100


KOLBY TULLIER

Joey D Golf Sports Training

Jupiter, Fla.  /  joeydgolf.com

E $750 H $275


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