Brooks Koepka Is One of the Fittest Guys in Golf – Here’s How He Does It
Brooks Koepka is one of the fittest guys on the professional golf circuit, but he also knows how to relax and enjoy life. That’s why the U.S Open Champ, who won for a second year in a row on Sunday, was featured in a Super Bowl ad for Michelob Ultra, a low-carb, low-kilojoule beer that’s branding itself as both “fit” and “fun.”
Koepka is in phenomenal shape, even South Africa’s own, Louis Oosthuizen who placed 16th in the tournament, could learn a thing or two from the American. Koepka’s off-the-green work isn’t exactly what one would expect from a golfer — logging countless hours in the gym, building up strength and endurance and making nutrition an integral part of his training.
“In an average day, I’m spending about four to five hours just on my body,” Koepka told Men’s Health in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. “I think any professional athlete has to (take care of their body).”
That time is split up by a bout of cardio, a lifting session focused on a certain area of his body, and lots and lots of smart recovering, including stretching, massaging, and icing.
Golfers have traditionally avoided hitting the weights too hard for fear of how it may impact their game — namely, that a big change in strength could mess with their stroke they’ve spent years perfecting, or that it could mess with their much-needed flexibility. “Whenever someone says that increased strength makes you less flexible, I always point out gymnasts,” he says. “They’re all incredibly strong, and obviously extremely flexible. It’s all about how you take care of your body.”
While the perception is that golfers don’t need to be physically fit to perform, Koepka insists it’s what is giving him an edge over his opponents. “After four weeks of tournaments, and it comes down to that last Sunday, I know I’m more physically fit than most.”
Koepka says that when he heads into long tournaments, the benefits of taking care of himself extend far beyond the physical gains. While he says glute and core strength really help in instances when he has a bad lie in the rough, the mental gains of taking care of his body definitely are profound, and play a big role in his golf game. “A lot of it is mental, obviously, and I mentally feel good when I’m healthy. It gives me an edge, I think.”
Related: Expert Tips For a Better Golf Game
Koepka attributes much of his mental strength to his diet, which he says consists mostly of whole, clean foods. “I know it sounds weird, but I travel with a chef,” he says. “He cooks me really healthy meals.”
Another thing Koepka says keeps his mental game strong is giving his mind and his body a break. He says his favorite way to unwind—surprise!—is grabbing a few beers, his girlfriend, and some friends and heading out on his boat.
“Staying fit is fun, but you have to have a good balance in your life,” he says.
So take it from a pro: Part of living a healthy lifestyle is, well, taking time to enjoy life. So go ahead, and crack open that cold one.
Originally published on menshealth.com