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  1. Alvaro Antolinez

    How the stretch series saved my back

    Hi all, it's been a long time since I last posted, I connect now and then to check, but mostly I concentrate in training following the courses. My level is still low, and I usually don't think that I can't help with my replies. But now I think my case may help people out there that have the same problem, and as a testimony of the quality and effectiveness of the GB system created by Coach Sommer and his team. It all started August 2014, I spent the summer Apnea diving (free diving) in the small beach close to the flat where we spend the summer. I don't fish and spend most of my diving time cleaning subaquatic garbage between 5 and 15 meters of depth. I started feeling back pain while sleeping. During August and September a dull pain in my lumbar region, grew to the point that I had to sleep bended forward. At wake up I had a difficult time getting upright, and had to wait some minutes till my muscles warmed up. It was like being 80 years old. I work as a pilot and most work days involve staying seated for 12 hours straight, with just some time to go to the toilet and walk around the plane to perform the preflight checks. I started using small pillows to support my lower back in the cockpit seat, and I was constantly readjusting my position to try to lessen the pain. More than a pain was a severe discomfort that kept me from seating or standing for longer than 10 minutes. For months I thought that I had strained my back while diving. I use long flippers and some times swim using the dolphin kick (which can be a bit hard on the lower back if not performed correctly). But as I continued the normal training in September( I didn't feel pain at all during training) the pain just became grew. I had started training again after buying the GB courses that same Spring. I was getting to grips with the training and looking for ways to escalate the already basic levels, and adapt them to the equipment on my gym. Unfortunately I had been postponing the stretch series, till I started mastering the basic movements, this has proved to be a big big mistake as you'll see. Also I had started running and biking in the gym, building very slowly time and performance as well as trying to improve my technique. Still my main focus is GB training, and if I have to cut the training I cut it in the aerobic part. I tried osteopathy, it had worked great for other back, shoulder and wrist problems in the past. But it didn't work this time. My wife who is a rheumatologist, insisted in making a spine X-ray. It took me till March to accept it. It showed a discopathy in L3 (if I recall correctly). But there is little therapy that can be done, beyond taking some anti-inflammatory. One day a co-worker who competes in different distance running and bike races, told me that it was probable that I had tight psoas and quads. I didn't know what the psoas was or how it worked. I started to browse the internet for information and different stretching techniques, and they worked somehow. This was encouraging but I never reduced the pain more than a 30% or so. Then after one week looking for different stretches, I recalled the stretch series. I must confess that I should have thought about the forum and the stretch series much much sooner. But I was fixated in the idea of being a strain, and then worried about the discopathy. Also I thougth that the price was a bit steep at first when it came out, so I always made an excuse to delay buying it, I was not that tight after all huh? I opened my browser and bought the whole stretch series, 5 min later I was stretching. As soon as I started doing the split stretch series, I saw the light. At first in form of all kind of continuous cursing and crying during the 50 min of stretching, then immediate pain relieve (up to an 80% the first session). This relieve lasted 6 days, then my back remembered me that it was time to stretch again (just like a little Coach Summer's voice inside me). After 3 weeks the pain and discomfort were gone for a 95%. After 6 months I´m pain free, and sometimes if I delay too much my stretching series, I have a slight discomfort in my back, but nothing serious. My wife is impressed, and even she is doing the stretching with me sometimes when she has lower back pain. And of course my flexibility is steadily improving each week. Sometimes during the next months I would like to take another lumbar X Ray to see how the discopathy has evolved. I think I've learned the lesson, next time I have a problem I'll come immediately to the forum to ask, and look for a GB course to correct my problem!. And about the price, few things have been cheaper in my life than the stretch series, they just freed me of my back pain in a single hour!.
  2. Lee Trew

    Giving Thanks

    I'm looking for the part of the forum where we get to give thanks to Coach Sommer and the amazing gift of his knowledge! I have always been into training. (I've lifted weights, done martial arts, yoga, climbed rock and trees. When I was a teenager I followed the Canadian Airforce exercise program. Which is laughable compared to Foundation 1) I always followed a boom and bust cycle in my training - I'd go super hard for a week, then be hopelessly overtrained and need a week or three to recover my appetite for more. I couldn't maintain progress without overtraining or injuring myself. When I got the Building the Gymnastic Body book a couple of years ago, I tried to follow the steady state training method, but didn't know what holds to train, or where to start and it all felt a bit random. That said, I went from only tuck front lever to brief front lever holds in only a few months and was really pleased. I'm four months in to Foundation One (and Handstand One) and I am SO pleased with the results! For the first time in my life I am training regularly and consistently. I have a structure to follow that makes so much sense, and has so much experience behind it. I have yet to miss a training day, and I look forward to each one. At 32 years old I have never felt so strong, so mobile and so happy in my body. (I've even started at the local gymnastics gym learning basic tricking skills) It's having other ripple effects - I'm finding I want to stretch, just because it feels good, I'm getting regular cardio because I can feel how much my body needs to 'keep the juices flowing' in the recovery days following a workout. In other words, my body is HAPPY. I just really wanted to let you guys at Gymnastic Bodies, and especially Coach Sommer, know that your training program has made a real difference to my life. I can only imagine how many others feel the same way. My cup floweth over with gratitude - F1 and HS1 are rocking my world! I'm looking forward to training in the system for the rest of my life. My commitment is to going slow and steady, reaching mastery and immaculate form at each level before I move on. I started at the beginning for each exercise, because I wanted the maximum time for each mobility component to do its work. And it feels so GOOD! You rock, Coach Sommer! Through your dedication to excellence, and to sharing the fruits of your quest for knowledge, you are bringing a whole new level of awareness, quality and effectiveness to the training of bodies around the world. My body thanks you - and so do I :c) (And I really look forward to attending a seminar next time you guys are in Australia)
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