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ayloedxa

Repetitions/Strength Endurance

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ayloedxa

Greetings community,

 

I myself just became a coach and it is common practice in most clubs around here to do exercises like rope climbing, push-ups, Hanging L, etc. when it comes to strength training.

The problem I see now having read "Building the Gymnastics Body" is that doing so we are mostly training strength endurance and as Coach Sommer stated:

 

"focusing on metabolic conditioning or strength endurance training is far more efficient if a solid foundation of basic strength has first been established. In my experience, strength always comes before strength endurance and indeed is the necessary foundation from which ALL impressive displays of strength endurance occur."

 


As climbing the rope repeats the action of a pull-up about 20 times, we can all do 30+ Push-ups, hold the Hanging L for more than 20s, etc. it seems that we are not actually gaining a lot of strength (that being maximal strength/basic strength) doing those exercises, is that right?

 

Should we be doing other exercises instead of which we can only do 3-5 repetitions or hold for 3-15 seconds?

 

Why then is it so common to do these exercises all the time, if they do not lead to a lot of strength, which is obviously direly needed for gymnastics?

 

 

I also had a look at the Foundation series, but they seem to focus on a different group of people (not actually gymnasts, rather ordinary adults trying to get that gymnastics strength), as for we are gymnasts aging 6-20. Also in the series you do a lot more reps than just the 3-5 suggested in the BtGB and analogously hold more than 15 seconds. Why in the series do you focus more on strength endurance and in BtGB on pure strength?

 

 

I thank you for your time and would appreciate any help in me understanding what is best for our gymnasts.

 

Alexander

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Jason Dupree

As far as Foundations, I would say that it focuses more on strength. I'm not even sure strength endurance is worked at all after the PE's. It's high rep at first, but that's because there are a ton of benefits for doing that as a 'non gymnast'. Work capacity, connective tissue, etc. I think I remember Coach laughing somewhere on the forum at the suggestion that 15 or 20 reps of push ups was considered endurance work.

 

I think they are so common because they are easy... they can conceivably be done by any fitness enthusiast. I guess it depends on your goals. If those exercises are all you want to do, then keep doing them. If you want to get really freaking strong, throw them in your warm up and move on to harder things.

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ayloedxa

Hello and thank you for your reply,

 

I guess I didn't have a close enough look at the foundation series.

The problem I have with that series is that it focuses even more at beginners, which we are not, but I guess starting around Foundation three or so ought to do the trick then.

 

Especially in the beginning, which might be fair enough for beginners, but also later on, even in Foundation three and four there are some exercises which require a 30 oder 60 second hold for mastery, instead of the standard 10.

For example L-sit and Straddle L has a 30 seconds mastery, which I can partly understand due to the importance of these skills, although it still doesn't seem to be very beneficial for maximal strength.

Other exercises like Elevated Reverse Plank MN/SE10 for 60s and Side Plank SL/PE14 for 30s I don't quite get. I would do those exercises for stabilisation, maybe in warmup, but not as a strength exercise, and not for a minute; is there a reason I'm missing?

 

 

Comparing the FSP and FBE of the BtGB masterpiece with the seven basic exercises of the Foundation series:

 

L-sit - Manna (MN)

Straddle L - Manna (MN)

Manna - Manna (MN)

Back Lever - not covered in Foundation, or did I overlook it?

Front Lever - Front Lever (FL)

Planche - Straddle Planche (sPL)

 

Upper Body Pressing - Hollowback Press (HBP)

Upper Body Pulling - Rope Climb (RC)

Core - Side Lever (SL)

Legs - Single Leg Squat (SLS)

 

Some differences I see is that the Coach put a lot more value in the side lever, as before it was only the oblique part of the core component; is it that much more important than he previously thought? Why would my gymnasts need to spend so much time on that rather than the back lever, which seems to be omitted in the Foundation series, if I did not overlook it?

 

In my opinion BtGB is much better structured and it's easier to understand what you're working at and what you're trying to achieve, although the core-component should have been split further (e.g. Back&Front Pull are more Upper Body than core, HLL are hip flexor work, not abdomen).

Whereas the Foundation series seems to be a specific training plan using BtGB plus some new, easier exercises for beginners, but losing the structuredness of the BtGB.

 

If I consider both the BtGB and the Foundation series to be correct, just different, then I would prefer working with the BtGB, but if you say that it is more beneficial for us to be working on the seven Foundation Exercises rather than the FSP and FBE, then I guess I would need be befriend myself more with the Foundation series. Thoughts?

 

 

Lastly Sommer stated that he always has his athletes do a lot of Rope Climbing (7x) for warm up, but surely if the goal is maximal strength, then that is not the way to go, rather he will be doing it because of other reasons, like stability, strength endurance, or what not I haven't thought of, right?

 

 

I would appreciate any feedback and thank you for taking your time to read thought my concerns.

 

Alexander

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Coach Sommer

If you don't already have a manna, front lever, planche, side lever, rope climb and hollow back press; you are a beginner.  Intermediate level work begins after these beginner milestones have been accomplished.

 

I now consider BtGB to be intermediate level work and inappropriate for beginners.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Léo Aïtoulha

Why would my gymnasts need to spend so much time on that rather than the back lever, which seems to be omitted in the Foundation series, if I did not overlook it?

Back lever is covered in Ring series. It is not covered in Foundation series because it is too stressful for distal and proximal biceps tendon for beginners.

If you don't master the seven fundamental GST exercises, the probability that your connective tissue is not ready yet to benefit from BL training is very high. Prematurely training BL often leads to biceps tendon injury (shoulder and elbow joints).

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Coach Sommer

Back lever is covered in Ring series. It is not covered in Foundation series because it is too stressful for distal and proximal biceps tendon for beginners.

If you don't master the seven fundamental GST exercises, the probability that your connective tissue is not ready yet to benefit from BL training is very high. Prematurely training BL often leads to biceps tendon injury (shoulder and elbow joints).

 

Couldn't agree more.  Very well stated.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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ayloedxa

Thank you for all your replies.

 

Back lever is covered in Ring series. It is not covered in Foundation series because it is too stressful for distal and proximal biceps tendon for beginners.

If you don't master the seven fundamental GST exercises, the probability that your connective tissue is not ready yet to benefit from BL training is very high. Prematurely training BL often leads to biceps tendon injury (shoulder and elbow joints).

Considering we have a lot of experience in gymnastics, even if we don't have a lot of strength, aren't we experienced enough in all the different movements that training the BL shouldn't be harmful? I don't know if the exercises we are doing is preparing us for the BL or not. I won't be doing the BL with the younger, less prepared gymnasts then for sure, thank you.

 

Alex,

 

I think you are getting too caught up in thinking that everything is being built for "maximal strength", which it is not. A 30-60s L is hardly maximal work for the core. 6 rope climbs for warm up is just that.....for warm up.

 

You have to realize that MOST people doing BtGB or Foundations are not only adults, who are poorly conditioned in all aspects of GST, but also completely new to anything gymnastics related.

 

Foundations is programmed to be as it sounds: a base upon which future skills are based on.

I would consider a 30-60s L just as much warm up as 6 rope climbs and yes this might very well be an excellent exercise for warm up which you might want to do every training, but as an exercise for increasing strength, I would call it not.
 
I understand that for people that are not only adults, but also are new to anything gymnastics related, the Foundations are an excellent program to go by, but none of us are in that group of people.
 
 
So again, forget using the term "maximal strength" and thinking the series is programmed around it. The elements are loosely broken down into being programmed for strength, conditioning/endurance, range of motion, and tendon/joint prep. 
The Foundation is, yes, but in our training we are doing joint prep in warm up and we have a seperate programm for stretching/improving the ROM. Strength endurance we either train during training by for example doing 50 pommel circles or not at all, as I am trying to set the main focus on gaining maximal strength, which we are lacking a lot. Our best gymnast can do a tripple twisting back somersault (FX) and can also do some flight elements (HB), and so on, but can't even get close to holding a planche, merely managing to hold it in tuck position. We never put any focus on gaining strength, but I think that we need to change that, hence I was looking around and found the book by the Coach, of which at least the BtGB focused on maximal strength, even if the Foundation puts a lot of focus on other aspects aswell.
 

If you don't already have a manna, front lever, planche, side lever, rope climb and hollow back press; you are a beginner.  Intermediate level work begins after these beginner milestones have been accomplished.

 

I now consider BtGB to be intermediate level work and inappropriate for beginners.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

The BtGB shows progression towards the skills like manna, front lever, planche, ect..

If you are able to do the above, then there is no need in using that book at all, now is there?

I agree that the book isn't really adequate for begginers, but nor would I say that we are beginners, merely not yet Intermediate.

Both the Foundations Series (ending at 4) and the BtGB end up with a similar level of strength, for example both conclude with being able to hold the front lever, holding a manna, ect..

 

There are fewer progressions in the BtGB book, and they are much more direct and do imply a higher standard of basic strength than most adults have, but even in BtGB the first progression in most cases are fairly easy (Frog->adv Frog->Tuck Planche and most of us can hold a tucked planche) and there is no exercise where we are unable to perform at least the first progression with relative ease.

 

In my opinion the Foundation series goes through the pretty much same skills, just with a lot more progressions (starting easier) and with added joint prep and stretching exercises. The additional exercises in join prep and stretching will be useful in the other parts of our training, but as for the gains of maximal strength don't really benefit us.

 

The problem I have is that the difference in strength levels between the different skills are huge, for example I can climb a 16' rope with straight straddled legs (parallel to the floor) not with ease, but it's not too challenging either, but I can't even hold a flat tucked planche. HLL on the other hand again are relatively easy for me. The other gymnasts have a similar imbalance. Going by the BtGB I can use different progression for each skill, choosing a progression of which we can do between 3-5 reps or hold between 3 and 15 seconds. Hence I would strongly prefer working with the BtGB book and using some additional progressions of the Foundation series if ever then next step of the progression is too hard to perform.

 

Obviously you can't stop me from doing that, but I am telling you this so you can understand where I am coming from so you can tell me whether this approach is okay or if I'm thinking about something the wrong way and doing my gymnasts more harm than good.

 

Also concluding my slightly long post in the BtGB book the Coach stated "Proficiency at Back Levers will greatly accelerate future Planche development.", yet he then removed the BL from the exercises, as they are too hard to late beginners, as I understand. But with the above statement he implied that he works at the Planche and at the BL simultaneously, if not works on the BL before the Planche.

Is that right, or did he simply change his mind about the BL overall?

 

I hope I'm not troubling you all too much with my concerns and would as always greatly appreciate any input you guys have.

 

Alexander

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Kevin Conley

Love topics like these. ^_^

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Alessandro Mainente

Well Alex, Coach Sommer has the opportunity to work around the world with ATHLETES  and AMATEUR gymnast especially adults. 

Both of these contribute to increase the cognition that the same approach for these separate classes it's not the best way to do.

A gymnast respond unlike an adult who is new to this type of training and for definition a beginner. Coach Sommer stated for a long time after the publication of BtGB that it is not a book for recreational or amateurs or beginners but for intermediate people and moving around the world the recognized that there are no intermediate level people who can afford to work at this level. 

in fact NOW BtGB should be a good reference only for those who have previously completed foundations 1-2-3-4.

 

what you are saying about back lever this is valid BUT on the correct context. back lever is awfully stressing on the elbows. The problem is that the elbows of an adult gymnast are well trained, the elbows of a young gymnast respond  differently than an adult (due to the property of  connective tissue) and finally the elbows of a beginner adults could respond disastrously (and good example of this is adam raw who broken his bicep tendon with a back lever).

the statement that back lever "accelerate" is that it could help but this thing does not conflict with my previous words.

 

C sommer changes his pov of gymnastic depending on the context. I'm one proof of this reasonable change. as a adult a premature approach of straight arm training had brought me to a elbow tendonitis. about 2 years and half ago I've switched my mind over foundations courses and i've followed this new approach completely restructured for ADULTS. now i'm pain free since 2 years and half. that's not a coincidence.

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