MELBOURNE, Australia – Bryson DeChambeau didn’t need his trusty compass or any scientific formula to figure out when to go to bed on his flight to the Presidents Cup.
“I looked at the clock in Melbourne and tried to figure out how long I had to stay up until it was like 8:30 or 9 and I did that,” he explained. “So when I woke up on the plane, it was 8 a.m. I’m like, okay, perfect. I have a couple more hours to do whatever till we landed and it felt like a normal day. I was able to go to sleep at ten o’clock last night and woke up at 6:30. Just trying to figure out how to acclimate the best way possible.”
Trying to figure out the transformation in his physique was like listening to Dr. Bruce Banner explain why he subjected himself to high levels of gamma radiation to trigger his transformation into the Incredible Hulk.
DeChambeau, 26, has gained 25 pounds of muscle to 220 pounds after following the training regimen of Greg Roskopf. It’s called Muscle Activation Technique and it is re-making DeChambeau’s 6-foot-1-inch frame to protect himself against future injury.
“I actually had to get my wrists stronger,” DeChambeau said. “I had to train, do farmer walks, 70 pounds in each hand and move them like that when I walk to get my grip strength up. Did a lot of pull ups with just the fingers, holding on with the palm, just doing a couple other things, inflexion, flexion stuff, internal, external rotation of the wrist.”
“He’s a big dude,” said U.S. teammate Xander Schauffele, “I don’t even know what size he is. I think Lacoste had to customize a shirt for him. I have no idea. It might be a double XL, triple XL, I have no clue. He’s quite a specimen right now.”
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When a male member of the media squeezed his right bicep, DeChambeau smiled and said, “That’s a little weird.”
In short order, DeChambeau has become golf’s version of Lou Ferrigno, the original Incredible Hulk. DeChambeau looks like he could flex and his rip through his golf shirt.
In fact, the Presidents Cup wardrobe of uniforms DeChambeau was measured for in May at The Memorial no longer fit. He checked his phone and reported that his chest size has increased from 52 to 54 inches, his neck from 17 1/2 to 18 ½ inches, his waist from 34 to 37 inches and he’d still like to add another 10 pounds.
That shouldn’t be hard to do with his eating habits. DeChambeau said he’d already consumed four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a ham sandwich, a protein shake and two protein bars, eggs, bacon, and electrolyte solutions.
“I mean, he just, he’s always eating,” Schauffele said. “I call him skinny.”
DeChambeau, who already was one of the Tour’s longer hitters – ranking T-34 at an average of 302 yards in 2018-19 – is chasing more distance. He says he’s inspired by reigning World Long Drive champion Kyle Berkshire, whose clubhead speed has reached 155 mph.
“How amazing would it be to rein that in?” DeChambeau mused. “That’s Happy Gilmore stuff.”
He inserted a 4.5-degree Cobra Superspeed driver into the bag and said he’s added 15-20 yards off the tee. Some have questioned the timing of his decision to re-make his body so quickly – the opposite of Brooks Koepka going on a crash diet to lose weight for the ESPN The Magazine Body Issue – but DeChambeau downplayed its effect on his game.
“I’m getting comfortable with it really quickly,” he said. “Today was the first day where I felt like, wow, I’m okay, I’m back to where I was a year and a half ago in regard to ball-striking.”