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Alexander Castiglione

GST and Oly Work?

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Alexander Castiglione

Hey Everyone, 

 

Ever since finding out about GST and Gymnastic Bodies I've been on a tear looking up all of Coach's interviews. I listened to Robb Wolf's podcast Episode 213, and at the very end, Coach alluded to something about looking into mixing GST and Oly work. 

 

Does anyone know anything about this? I'm a mediocre lifter at best, and am loving the challenges while doing GST solely with just some cardio, but I am kind of missing the barbell (i took the forum's advice and stepped back from cycling Wendler while doing GST) - has anybody employed this approach? 

 

Coach maybe you can comment... 

 

I'm thinking about just the snatch and C+J specifically, but I'm aware we need to be very, very careful about blowing out tendons and connective tissue. Since I found this modality of training, I've been super-strict about my rest days (where I do nothing except maybe take my dogs on a walk). 

 

For the forseeable future - GST all the way, maybe one day a week I'll OHS, snatch, or C+J - but thats a big maybe and only if I feel really good - not smoked in any way and def not on a deload week. 

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Coach Sommer

I very much like the combination of GST and OLY.  It is most productive however after F2 has been mastered.

 

Until then, I would continue with the OLY one day per week as you have already been doing.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Alexander Castiglione

Great thanks, Coach! 

 

I was going to hold off until I got to a F2 level of proficiency before I ramped up anyway, but I feel much better hearing it from you. I'll stay with C+J or OHS + Snatch work 1x a week (and only if I feel greatuntil I achieve that level of mastery.  

 

However, I've heard conflicting stories regarding barbell work - should I do this before or after GST? My gut tells me before to avoid neural fatigue since they can be complex lifts, but I feel like I've heard people say do barbell work after GST for some reason... 

 

Thanks again! 

 

PS Loving GST- and ironically enjoying checking my ego and going thru progressions. Thanks so much for all your advice and work with us. 

Edited by Stigz

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Coach Sommer

Great question.  I schedule them on completely separate days, although I do include a normal GST pre-strength warmup on OLY days.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Alexander Castiglione

Great! (And I've been using GST warmups before I do anything physical since they are so effective) Thanks so much for the rapid response! 

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Joshua Chan

Coach, 

 

Two months ago I started OLY.  I broke it down into days focused on technique with just the barbell and a PVC. The other days I focus on squatting: Back squats and fronto squats. 

 

Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do my regular gymnastics warm up then I move on to my OLY and then my GST. 

 

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: I squat and then I do my core strength and Press HS work. 

 

At the beginning of the cycle i was not tired but I felt my strength levels were lower. Planche holds seemed much harder and body did not respond as usual. This lasted for two-three weeks and then, boom, gone. I was back at my regular performance level. I also felt much stronger on the Planche and Back Levers. I believe it came from an increase in my lower back strength due to the squatting and OLY technique work. 

 

Also, my OLY coach mentioned that most beginners always have much much better back squats than front squats, due to lack of core control and tight weak shoulders. This was not my case, the discrepancy between my back and front squat is only 15 lbs. 

 

People that want to transition and start OLY with a gymnastics have a HUGE advantage. The technique comes faster and easier. At this point people will be tempted to start adding weight to the barbell, do not. Work for months on the barbell and develop your squat and overhead. 

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Farid Mirkhani

Great question.  I schedule them on completely separate days, although I do include a normal GST pre-strength warmup on OLY days.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

What is pre-strength? And please don't say it's above my level. :unsure:

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Coach Sommer

What is pre-strength? And please don't say it's above my level. :unsure:

 

It's above your level.   ;)

 

Pre-strength is basically using Foundation Four as a warmup for the day's workout.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Julian Aldag

 

Pre-strength is basically using Foundation Four as a warmup for the day's workout.

 

:facepalm:  Thanks coach. I was having such a good day until I read that!   :P

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Tomas Hajdu

Is there going to be an OL program integrated into your product portfolio at any point coach? I remember Naterman mention it on a sub reddit that it was in the agenda?

I cant imagine how it could be illustrated. They're so technical and recommended to have coaching with to notice subtle cues. Though I could definitely see them as a seminar bonus.

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Coach Sommer

Is there going to be an OL program integrated into your product portfolio at any point coach? ... They're so technical and recommended to have coaching with to notice subtle cues ...

  

By a world class gymnastics coach's standards, the olympic lifts are relatively straight forward.  

 

For example, in comparison with the olympic lifts even a relatively common skill like a double layout on the floor (two somersaults in a stretched body position) is several orders of magnitude more technical and far more intricate.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Mark Collins

I am looking forward to the pre-strength workout.

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Jon Douglas

I am looking forward to the pre-strength workout.

Not bloody wrong!

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Blairbob

Wendler and weight training are NOT Weightlifting as in the sport of Weightlifting. Squats, Presses, and Deads besides all their accessories are far less complicated than the SN and CNJ. They also can be far more taxing because of loads capable of being trained at the start.

I will definitely agree with Coach Sommer as to the technical proficiency of the Classical WL movements (Snatch, Clean, Jerk) compared to Artistic Gymnastics. Pretty much something I've always thought as I originally did WL before Gymnastics (very badly mind you) in HS and college then switched to gymnastics for some years eventually not doing any WL for about 5 years and no serious WL for about 10 years (though I muddled around with them for a years in CF whenever they came up). Most adult gymnasts can pick up WL very quickly. This can be shown by the number of National Team members in the US who are former gymnasts including other WLers from other countries who were former gymnasts (Zygmunt, coach at the OTC. Zoe Smith in the UK) and a gagillion ex gymnast females getting into CF. Perhaps the Sn&CnJ are about as complicated as compulsory level elements. Except that in the WL world they are mastered to utter perfection for years upon years to produce satisfactory results (SN 200kg as a HW/SHW or CJ 3xBW as a midget lifter).

1) It's very common for people to want to do both and end up giving up one for the other. Weightlifting is kind of all encompassing time suck that way besides being addictive. Faster learning curve which is probably why my friend below became more interested in WL than gymnastics (especially on her own).

 

a) This is referenced because back in 2011 I thought I would switch to a more WL/GST focus and probably within 3 months slowly was pretty much only doing WL. This also happened with my friend who came to me wanting to do both and she mainly does WL now besides about as much gymnastics as I do now (at home in her spare time).



2) I think it would be preferable IMO to do gymnastics first then WL than the other way around. I have a bit of a gymnastics bias here but I've never felt good doing gymnastics post WL and even among those who I have seen do it (fitness enthuasiasts, CFers).

Whenever I try to do some HS work after a strenuous WL session, my ability to maintain core tightness is far, far less sometimes. Done before, it never really has seemed to effect my SnCJ work that much except perhaps weaken the shoulders a bit if upper body work was done.

Of course, that's probably because Squats and CnJ pound you into dust. Snatch not so much.

3) It pretty much gets down to personal desires and if you want to get better at Gymnastics or WL. If you are fine with just lifting on occasion as a part of a holistic fitness program, then once a week will probably suffice your desire for the Iron. If you ever desire to Snatch 100kg, CnJ 137 or lift at the Regional or National level...well, you're gonna have to lift more than once per week. 

 If you'd rather work on solidifying the A level gymnastics skills and towards B level skills, that will need to be a priority rather than WL 3-4x/week. 

 

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Douglas Wadle

Because of people's innate tendency to do more of what's easier for them, there is the risk of doing more WL and less GST over time.  The mobility and the difficult progressions of GST make it harder and more of an ego hit.  So I agree with getting a good background in GST before WL becomes a major component of training.  I focus mostly on DL and various Squat exercises (cossack + weight, SLS + weight, FSq, BSq, etc).  I did not do this, however, until I completed the SLS progressions through F4.  

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Blairbob

 I'm not sure it's merely a matter of what's "easier."

Snatching and Jerking is fun. Cleaning, umm well regular cleaning usually sucks and cleaning with a bar isn't much better and it's a lot of work and ya might feel like death warmed over standing up a heavy clean if your legs are shot or it's, umm really heavy. 

Tell me what's more fun? Doing basic holds or skills on apparatus. Progressions for flipping on tramp and swings in support or hang?

Personally, I think it's fairly tough to struggle with gymnastics skills on your own. Which is probably why my friend pretty much gave up. Difficulty of learning curve and WL was a bit easier on her own (though not much by comparison).

There is just something with popping up a weight overhead. It's empowering, it's awesome. There is an adrenaline rush and happiness from a made lift (seriously watch lifter's expressions at competitions when they realize they made a lift).

 

For the record, burgeoning WLers in China master rudimentary gymnastics before they really start focusing on WL as much. There is old training footage of the Polish Weightlifters doing tumbling.

So there is definitely something to be said about building a base of fundamental movement of one's own self before implements. This is also echoed in various martial arts though weapon based systems often teach the body how to move by moving the implement. 

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Ray Regno

I wish this post had been around 3 months ago when I finally formally following Foundations 1. I had been dabbling in elements of it for over a year and then decided I wanted to get serious with it. 

 

I am a CrossFit coach  that has been focusing mostly on weightlifting for the last year. I consider myself to be a pretty proficient weightlifter. I'm on staff with Coach Burgener and help coach his weightlifting seminars. I also teach the CrossFit Level 1 Seminars.  I tried to do Foundations and HS 5 days a week in conjunction with a weightlifting program from Catalyst Athletics and basically wrecked myself after about 6 weeks. 

 

Coach B recommended I take 3 weeks off completely and I'm about 2/3 of the way through. 

 

DEFINITELY do what Coach Sommer suggests about backing off the weightlifting. At least for now. The progressions are more taxing than they look on paper and under recovering is no joke. It got to the point where my elbows literally refused to turn over on cleans at even as light as 60%. CNS was fried, shoulders were cooked. 

 

When I start up again, I plan to start back at square one on most of the progressions. The pieces I can successfully test out of, I will, but I'm planning to take it slow. I'm going to lift once (MAYBE twice depending on how I'm feeling) a week and otherwise maintain my positions with light PVC drills. I was pretty mobile before, but the iMs have been absolute gold and have skyrocketed my mobility even further. 

 

Respect the progressions. Looking forward to getting back it. 

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Matthew Hill

Loving foundation 1 at the moment. I apologise if this has been addressed elsewhere but I was wondering why everyone advises supplementing GB with olympic lifting over standard weightlifting (squat, bench, rows, press etc). Is there something that makes olympic lifts more beneficial? 

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Blairbob

 Because it's fun. And they are awesome.

What would Ilya Ilin Do?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlsZWYJ_xas

 

Also, Coach Sommer isn't exactly fond of Powerlifting. Find me a Powerlifter who can still move well versus being very stiff. Especially with some baloney ROM rules and geared lifts.

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Matthew Hill

Thanks Blairbob,

 

That video was pretty persuasive, it does look like a lot of fun. Also, I had never heard of geared lifts before. Crazy. I'm not sure I understand what you mean regarding the differences in flexibility between the two. I'm guessing that if olympic guys have more flexibility it is because of stuff they do outside of the lifting itself. I mean is it a cultural thing or the dynamics of the lifts that affect flexibility? Are you saying that there is something inherent in the two forms of lifting that affect ROM? 

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Alexander Castiglione

Hey Everyone - thanks for the replies. I have to say, I took coach's advice and concentrated on GST and dialed back immensely on OLY lifting. Last week I finally did a WOD - for the first time in a few weeks - and I have to say GST helped immensely with some OLY movements - in this case cleans. Weights i could handle before starting GST - but were kind of cumbersome in high reps - i was slamming around unfazed. 

 

Point being, static strength and increasing load gradually through progressions and body positioning worked wonders - not to mention the flexibility and neural conditioning aspect. 

 

For me at least - i'd say step away from the barbell for a few weeks, try some GST with flexibility work, and watch weights that used to be a bitch seemingly float into position. 

Edited by Stigz
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Nicholas Sortino

Thanks Blairbob,

 

That video was pretty persuasive, it does look like a lot of fun. Also, I had never heard of geared lifts before. Crazy. I'm not sure I understand what you mean regarding the differences in flexibility between the two. I'm guessing that if olympic guys have more flexibility it is because of stuff they do outside of the lifting itself. I mean is it a cultural thing or the dynamics of the lifts that affect flexibility? Are you saying that there is something inherent in the two forms of lifting that affect ROM? 

Olympic Lifts are specifically the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk, which both require extensive mobility compared to the big 3 powerlifts (Squat, Bench, Deadlift). 

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Matthew Hill

Interesting. I am moving to a new town soon and am hoping they have some quality classes I can attend. Have been reading other forums and didn't appreciate how this is it's own very separate (and very controversial) conversation. Sorry for the derailment, everybody. 

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Jon Douglas

Heavy squat, bench and deadlift infamous for inflexibility. Deadlift is probably the least so of the three.

Whereas olympic lifts require superb shoulder mobility and good lower body too-- full squats fast and under load vs powerlifting style huge loads over short roms. Both will certainly make you very strong; one is more complementary to gymnastics strength :)

Others will have more depth in answers.

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Giovanni Garcea

I have a question stemming from my immense ignorance. Would olympic lifts need to be continuously progressed, or after reaching some benchmarks based on height, weight, etc... there's no reason to progress further in order to optimally benefit GST?

 

This has nothing to do with me specifically as I'm at the beginning of F1, I'm just curious.

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