Bryson DeChambeau has put on a significant amount of weight in recent months. So what can we learn from that? Sports nutritionist Phil Holmes explains

You may have noticed Bryson DeChambeau grabbing headlines for reasons other than his golf. So how did he get so big so quickly?

We don’t know his exact numbers but if DeChambeau hits the weights and, as an example, uses 3,500 calories of energy daily then he must eat more than 3,500 calories to gain mass – 500 calories extra per day leads to around 1lb of weight gain per week. 

Gaining 45lbs in the time DeChambeau has been away from tournament golf shows that he has been substantially increasing his food intake. This would also point to the weight he has gained not being entirely muscle, as it’s not possible to only add lean muscle when gaining this much weight this quickly. But it will certainly have a positive impact on his aim of increasing his body mass to aid his ability to hit the ball further. He may, therefore, be consuming around 4,500 calories per day.

What are the foods he will have focused upon?

In a recent press conference, DeChambeau said he was eating carbohydrates to protein at a ratio of 2:1. If true, and with a full macronutrient breakdown of 50% carbs and 25% protein, thus allowing for 25% fats, he would be consuming 280 grams of protein a day.

This is far in excess of the amount his body can absorb and use for muscle gain, and the surplus will leave his body when he goes to the toilet or be stored as fat.

But what can we, the mere mortals, learn from this?

Young golfers looking to make the step from decent junior to elite adult must remember DeChambeau was phenomenally skilled before the weight gain and we must all focus on golf skills to improve our games.

If you hit the gym, then carbohydrates are vitally important as they provide the energy in high-intensity workouts.

Protein must be consumed regularly throughout the day, but only at a rate of 20-25g per meal or snack. And you cannot eat protein and gain power without breaking your muscles down via regular resistance training.

DeChambeau is 26 years old which puts him at the optimal window for gaining mass as he has reached full physical maturation. Younger athletes will not gain mass as readily. Also, DeChambeau is a millionaire athlete with no distractions. He doesn’t have other sporting commitments, or school exams, or a part-time job. He has tour exemptions allowing him to take time out of regular play. A European Tour rookie doesn’t have this luxury.

Be realistic but also be aware that DeChambeau’s recent body change is a purposeful move by a highly intelligent professional who has identified the one area in his game where he couldn’t match the world’s elite.

What he eats fits his programme, so don’t blindly copy this. Instead, plan your best way forward with a good support team. Golf is an individual sport and you need to work to what is best for you as an individual.

If you have any golf nutrition questions for Phil you can get in touch via his website or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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Phil Holmes

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