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Gymnastics and bodyweight S&C - supperior to weight lifting

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Coach Sommer
this is a decent start but you have not come anywhere close to answering my question. Firstly all you have described is a victorian hold, this is only the top portion of a reverse fly, how would you perform the entire ROM which as you may know can extend past parallel.

To be quite frank, if you have not already mastered the correct progressions (XR support hold, XR L-sit, XR HS, XR PL, XR Iron Cross, XR Maltese etc) for building the necessary foundation of pre-requisite strength, attempting to simulate elements that you are not yet ready for is simply a fast track to injury.

You will still have to provide examples of how to do the other flys without weights ... Keep in mind that with free weights I can do any of the these flys with palms facing up or down or anywhere in between.

This is not a bodybuilding site.

Many of the more advanced movements cannot and should not be performed simply for the sake of variety. Flys at the various planes of motion are trained when the athlete has achieved the pre-requisite levels of strength necessary to perform the specific elements which the specific flys relate to; not before.

but more importantly, prove that your methods are superior.

As for whether or not gymnastics methodology is superior for building strength in these leverage disadvantaged positions is an answer that is already self evident as high level gymnasts are very powerful in these areas and all other athletes are not.

In the long run, it is always most productive to focus on first things first. In this instance that means a patient mastering of the basics. To achieve success gymnastically, there is truly no substitute for progressive, consistent training.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Liosis

This may be grossly simple but I think it is still interesting...put a weight lifter on the rings and compare his performance to a gymnasts performance in the weight room. I think the difference would be staggering and the gymnast will have much greater "crossover" strength and benefits.

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Timy7

Great discussion guys!

I agree with the above about putting one athlete in the others domain.

While it is true that for absolute maximum development of lower body power some weight training must be included, a very high level of performance can still be achieved through the bodyweight variations.

Curious if anyone could elaborate on ^^^ As I believe bodyweight is the way to go, but feel like I am coming up short in the lower body as I am not sure what would be best used for power/strength/speed as I am used to weights for these attributes.

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Razz

Olifting is probably some of the better lower body stuff out there

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Richard Duelley

1) You do not need a lot of equipment to do gymnastics basic strength training. All you need is a floor and a tree branch to do 95% of it. For a few extra bucks you can either buy rings or make substitutes, and be able to do it ALL. For the floor GHR/NLC you need to be able to stick your feet under something. A car works perfectly. I don't think there is anyone here or anywhere else who doesn't have access to one of those, or a staircase, or worst case a bench somewhere.

When not at the gym I use my living room couch. . .its one of those big ones with the two reclining chairs built in. I just put 2 25 lb plates a 35 lb dumbbell on it and go at it. . . if I dont put the weights on I pick the couch off the floor! If I can find my old body comp video I plane on making a split screen picture when I hit 185 lb. Who said you cant effectively gain mass with bodyweight work!? I know I am having a grand time getting larger and stronger!

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Felipe
Periodizing between gymnastics and weights is not the most functional way to do things. Many gymnastics skills require high levels of tendon and ligament strength to perform, and full ROM upper body weight lifting can not maintain this type of strength. By switching back and forth, you move from an overall superior method of upper body training to an inferior and then back to the superior. That is not a sane approach, though it would be popular in the fitness community today since people think they need to do different things all the time in order to be in shape.

Tendons and ligaments are very sollecitated in Olifting movements and you're right that the extreme pressure the body puts on the joints can be superior in certain incredible movements, but not on the simpler one. I can do some HSPU while training only shoulder press, or supports, muscleups or whatsoever.

I'm not sure about the absolute superiority of bw movements for all fields and goals. As I wrote it's "the most comprehensive way of training" but I do not think it's the fastest way for some of them.

There's not really any such thing as "reserve strength." I will assume that you mean a high level of maximal strength, since that makes more sense. I built much of my strength prior to my introduction to gymnastics training. I don't no for sure, but from the portrayals here of how Big Dave got to where he is and from what I have seen on his youtube channel, he built much of his strength with gymnastics. In either case, our ability to acquire new skills is affected by maximal strength but is primarily a function of our dedication and regular practice.

For reserve of strength I mean the strength excessing the level you need to practise your sport. So yes, maximal strength. I read the channel of Big Dave too and I'm very impressed now. He is so big, he surely has the Van-gelder-gene :-)

As for switching around between weights and gymnastics being enough for athletes involved in other sports or who don't have much time, it depends on what you mean. For Joe Shmoe the cardio kickboxer, who gets together with his friends at the local gym twice a week to get sweaty and spar a little, in a way his training doesn't matter because he is primarily there for fun, and not to win. However, if he has a given amount of training time, he will ALWAYS be better off using the most effective exercises for developing abilities he needs in his sport. To suggest that it is good enough for an athlete to switch between optimal training and sub-par training speaks poorly of your logical reasoning. The less time he has, the MORE important it becomes that he spend his time doing only the most productive exercises.

For an athlete who is serious about winning, who wants to be the best he or she can be, it is absolutely essential that they do not ever train with less than optimal exercises. For the upper body, these optimal exercises are gymnastics exercises. For the lower body, vibration plates and Deadlift/Squat/Olympic lifts are necessary to obtain absolute maximum ability in addition to the SLS and other gymnastics preparation, but for athletes who don't have to transfer leg power through the spine to an opponent, ie non-contact sports like flag football or soccer( I know, soccer is a contact sport, but you are not laying hands on the other players and shoving them with all of your might. And yes, I am aware some hand-to-body contact occurs, but it is not at a high enough intensity to require the spine-loading lifts be used in training.) the body weight variants may suffice.

My logical reasoning is affected by the information I have, which include rings specialists doing weights, javelin throwers doing gymnastics, a variety of Russian sportmen coming both from one or the other, and many other feats one could use to support very different theories.

Gymnastics is not superior a priori. For health running is the best. For generic fitness maybe gymnastics. For sport related goals, it depends.

An athlete who follows a busy periodization schedule will do very different things. In the GPP he may will do gymnastics, in the SPP he will increase the specific support for energy system and type of movement, which can be anything from running to sleeping, including weight training. My little post wasn't so far from reality.

So you can literally perform over 95% of gymnastics basic strength work with no specialized equipment whatsoever. Of course, you COULD spend 60 bucks and buy rings, and be able to do EVERYTHING.

There is no getting around the facts. They are quite simple and clear:

1) You do not need a lot of equipment to do gymnastics basic strength training. All you need is a floor and a tree branch to do 95% of it. For a few extra bucks you can either buy rings or make substitutes, and be able to do it ALL. For the floor GHR/NLC you need to be able to stick your feet under something. A car works perfectly. I don't think there is anyone here or anywhere else who doesn't have access to one of those, or a staircase, or worst case a bench somewhere.

2) There is no question that for the upper body, gymnastics work is for the most part more productive than weight lifting, and should be the basis for upper body. Proper programming still applies, of course.

3) While it is true that for absolute maximum development of lower body power some weight training must be included, a very high level of performance can still be achieved through the bodyweight variations.

1) I don't have incredible genes, my weight is 64 kg and I can do pullups and dips in large quantity. Rings have some limits if you don't have a minimum height of 3m where putting them since you cant do support from pulling variations, kips, HS or true iron-cross training. As for gym equipment, plyometric floor, springs, elastics, pit holes, ropes, bars and mats were intended, where you can perform the acrobatics exercises the gymnastics is based on.

True that most of it can be done just around the street like bar-barians.

2) But is it the fastest way to maximal strength, power, aerobic? You still need combination of methods.

I will experimenting a mixed method this year and I will report my successes or failures. (For now my goals are 2x squat and planche presses, but some days ago I discovered Biathlon, which is both benching and 2000m running race. Weird enough for me to partecipate)

3) True. But squats are like HS, so good that everyone should perform them (don't quote me for that)

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Timy7

Some good points, but how can you say for general health running is best!?

I can think of so many other activities that are far better for you then mindlessly running.

Also with adjustable rings you dont need 9 feet of height to work. Mine are hanging from about an 7 foot ceiling, I raise them about 4 feet below the ceiling and do muscle up to supports, front and back levers, planche work, shoulder stands, when I want to work handstands, or inverted cross negatives, I simply lower the rings, takes about 20 seconds and voila!

I have done ALOT of ring work from one of those doorway pullup bars as well and those are prolly 6 feet from the ground. Just takes a little imagination.

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Guest Ido Portal
For health running is the best.

This statement alone is so flawed it tells your whole story. Care to back that up?

Ido.

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braindx
For health running is the best.

This statement alone is so flawed it tells your whole story. Care to back that up?

Ido.

Sprinting is pretty dynamic. :P

If all you ever did was training gymnastics and sprinting I think you'd be well off albeit not complete. ALthough hard to be complete anyway.

Once I get back to working out I'm pretty much going to be upper body rings, lower body deadlifts and sprinting.Throw in some Parkour or other movement variety and it's pretty good

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Joshua Naterman

Yea, but Ido's pointing out how wildly ridiculous Felipe's statement is. Which, of course, it is. It's honestly not even worth posting in this thread anymore, he's a bit beyond hope or reason.

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Felipe

Slizzardman, you can't judge my conclusion "wildly ridiculous" without proofs of the contrary. And even if you provide proofs of that, it is still an opinion like mine was, since no medical books where written on a single sentence like "sport x is best for health and that's all".

I will provide some points since it seems that being open minded and talking peacefully is not an option. I'm not searching for flames. I will probably not provide other opinions, large posts require too much time.

First, the word "health" is not for stronger or faster, or more coordinated (the things most of us are in search of), but it means, according to the World Health Organization, "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity".

So, increasing health is increasing quantity and quality of life.

If for someone being capable of doing a HS (or squatting 2xBW) is necessary -fine, but I would doubt that skills like that are useful in the everyday life (and even for consuming jobs like farming or carpentry).

An objective point of view would include evaluating someone increases in health using a general body checkup and bloodtest:

Heart volume and capacity and rpm, metabolic efficiency, capillarity, HDL levels, glycemic index, blood pressure, endorphins and stress hormones, fat levels, all of that are more important since you use your regulating system 24h a day. These are the parameters you would look to improve for healthier life.

While all sports have some effects on them, running is one of the best activities for all of them and I would choose it if my goal was ONLY of superior health in the long therm. It's simple and easy, and most of the effort required is in increasing speed or distance, according to how much time do you want to spend on it.

Countless studies support the benefits (http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/conten ... 68/15/1638 is just the first I googled, don't have time to make a comprehensive list).

Gymnastics doesn't improve the heart so much, neither weightlifting or similar power related sport focus on that (of course you can do tabata and such, but it's not the typical exercise someone focus its attention on when involved in the sport). Team or precision sports include a lot of specific work, witch the health-only interested man would not appreciate.

These, as always, are mere scientific opinion, but still opinion.

And no, I'm not saying that running is the best thing out there and we should throw away gymnastics.

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Edward Smith

Running the healthiest? Bullshit!

Running provides health benefits, but what about GH (growth Hormone) release? Resistance (weights or bodyweight) training far outdoes running in this regard. Increased bone density? Running does not help, there is a minimum load requirement to produce increases in bone density, and I have heard/read about loss of joint integrity due to running though that was in reference to marathon-like distances. Muscle mass and strength, do I even have to ask? Power can be trained with running, however it's restricted to lower body. The heart is always beating, assuming your alive, so it's working at a low-intensity constantly. Does it really need any more low-level stimulation?

Then there's things like flexibility, mobility, stability, joint integrity, muscular coordination, body awareness and many more that are all part of your quality of life.

I could also go on about your arguments of bodyfat and stress hormones, but I'll save that for another time.

Ed

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Emil Brannmark

Show some good studies made on the effect of weight training or gymnastics on these variables. These things are hard to study and there are few applicable high quality studies done. This does not mean that running is superior. IMO logic and a lot of anecdotal evidence supports the notion that strength training improves quality of life as you age to a much higher degree than LSD.

Also it should be noted that there is increasing evidence that mortality is in fact increased in long term diabetics starting to exercise (and that exercise will generally be some kind of LSD). Clearly the benefits of exercise for longevity are incompletely studied.

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Joshua Naterman
... since no medical books where written on a single sentence like "sport x is best for health and that's all...

An objective point of view would include evaluating someone increases in health using a general body checkup and bloodtest:

Heart volume and capacity and rpm, metabolic efficiency, capillarity, HDL levels, glycemic index, blood pressure, endorphins and stress hormones, fat levels, all of that are more important since you use your regulating system 24h a day. These are the parameters you would look to improve for healthier life.

... And no, I'm not saying that running is the best thing out there and we should throw away gymnastics.

See, this is why what you said is ridiculous. You made a claim that running is the best thing for health. Not "one of the" or "a good thing" but "the best." Now you say that , as I have quoted, no medical book says any one thing is best for health.

Then you attempt to rationalize the statement you have just invalidated. That, my friend, is worthy of ridicule. Running can certainly improve one's cardiovascular conditioning and reduce numerous risk factors for various health problems. No one is trying to say it doesn't. We are, however, pointing out that what you said is completely invalid. It is a personal opinion, unfounded and unsupported. Furthermore, to get more objective, you have to take a look at the overall systemic changes that take place with running, and compare them to other activities. You will find that there are other activities that have the same effect, like jumping rope, circuit training, sprinting(which should be distinguished from running continuously for distance or time), floreio(sorry if I misspell Ido!), and, despite your incorrect statement, gymnastics.

There should also be qualifying statements, since if you don't work hard enough on any of these then you will not get the benefits. I can guarantee you that Coach's students are building their "health" to at least the same degree as a runner. I don't think you're stupid, and I haven't a clue why you continue to make statements without any support.

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Gregor

"Gymnastics doesn't improve heart so much" :arrow: So why the hell I had 30 bits per minute at complete rest (Sport doctor tested)?

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Razz

Holy frikkin moly thats proof enough all i gotta say. That would however be gymnastics and not only Gymnastic Strength Training™ just to clear that up :D

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Felipe

because you're a pro beast! :D

I never hear or read of induced bradycardia by gymnastics, can you tell us if it's a common thing among elite athletes? Surely this would be a great advantage to gymnastics training (but I doubt that my 5h/week training would improve that compared to your 30h/w).

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Razz

When I was in gym i had about 50-55 pulse at rest (measured after school dunno if that makes a difference) and I have astma.

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Coach Sommer

When I am in reasonable shape, my own BPM is 49.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Sternford

Mine used to be over 100, but I just checked it now and it's around 60. Yay gymnastics!

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Joshua Naterman

Hahaha :) It's good to hear everyone's in good health :)

I haven't got a clue what mine is anymore. I checked at the store one night while I was shopping on one of those blood pressure/pulse cuff chairs, and it said 63.

Any kind of intense exercise, whether it is running or not, will lower resting heart rate. That's just how the body works. You get more efficient at using energy sources. The heart only pumps in response to a need for more oxygen. If you get more efficient, no matter what exercise causes the change, you don't need as much blood, so your heart slows down. At least, that's what the ACSM is teaching in the cardiopulmonary classes at GA State.

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Neal Winkler

Plenty of studies show that resistance training alone is good for the heart.

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Longshanks

If you’re talking about health then that just means the absence of disease and is a very subjective term. I've got an interesting fact for you from a blood scientist. Any amount of exercise of any kind causes in an increase in the white blood cell neutrophils which are the first line of defense against any infections. They're kind of the shock troops who just barge in there and bomb everything foreign with toxins. However this is only directly proportional up to a point (such as overtraining) where the body runs out of nutrients to make more toxins because they're all being used trying to repair damaged muscle/tendons etc.

I'd have to agree with most of you that although running has great cardiovascular benefits, I don’t know many people (other than very short people) who manage to keep it up long term due to injuries. Runners seem to be very predisposed to problems like patellar and achilles tendonosis and varicose veins.

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Blairbob

I think it is on Dr. Squat's web page (one of the founders of ISSA and a prominent PL besides WL who also did some gymnastics to what degree I don't know) that he was tested for heart function and it was found his was superior to many elite distance runners. Something to do with how much blood his heart could push at one given moment which was probably due to his WL training. I think he had a 900BS and totalled over 2k.

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