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Alexander Egebak

Weight training for gymnastics conditioning

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Alexander Egebak

Obviously, this is a heavily debated topic.

But it seems like there is a swing towards weight training for supplemental rings work.

In this link Jake Dalton shows some of the exercises that he does:

Bonus if you spot Allan Bower doing overhead dumbell cross pulls (for inverted cross).

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Alessandro Mainente

For gymnastics purposes the dumbell work has 2 goals and i'm seeing a lot of improvements and less long therms imbalances on my senior gymnastics:

-weights are used as introductory work but as they improve the strength they no longer need them. to say something more I switch over the corresponding bent arm work for conditioning. like the inverted cross, after some SA dumbell work I move over very large grip behind the back military press. this is extremely useful for long therm supraspinatus health. i followed this suaggestion after my physio has seen the inverted cross work and dynamic.

-i implement weight on the long therm goals if the gymnast has the tendency to develop imbalances over the 2 arms, this is due to the dominant side of some skills like pirouettes etc. if the gymnast has no pirouettes which requires a lot of work on a dominant side I tend to do less weight work and more specific work

-instead of use weights for the joint conditioning I prefer to use elastic bands since there are not 'dead-time' where the joint needs to exert strong contraction from zero to 100.

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Daniel Andonov

Also :

And the opposite opinion :

It shows you have to find what works for you.Some don`t need weights, and some can fill the gaps they have.

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Alexander Egebak

Alessandro, do you mind sharing what you believe to the best supplemental weight exercises for a generalized gymnastics approach?

Daniel, thank you for the links. I already watched both videos prior but good to have them refreshed.

Personally, I disregard the point that "just do what works for you".

Weight training is a tool, same as GST. Assuming that both kinds of training are done equally well (good programming, good form) two gymnasts training for the same skill they will respond the same way to weight training, unless some prior training made them very advanced in one field already.

We have to remember that weights are just resistance to the body, similar to the concept of leverage; both provide exercise variations that can help you achieve a certain goal, some which trumps what the other category has to offer. Sometimes weights are better, sometimes pure body weight training is better. That concept is universal, and opinions, whoever may present them, suggesting that either is a superior approach is simply dead wrong. Perhaps the people who have these opinions never really had the knowledge or time to really learn to benefit from the approach which is in opposition to theirs.

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Alessandro Mainente

How to implement the weight depends on many factors:

-body structure

-injuries

-pre existing problem like scoliosis or skeletal problems

-goals

-weak point.

When you know what you need it is fine to add something. from a GST pov weight are very useful for beginner to increase the active mobility, stabilization and so on. beginner should not use weight to improve bio-motor qualities.

On the other side who is more advanced can obtain results from using some weight training but it has to be specific accordingly with their goal. for example it was mare a EMG about the benchpress compared to the iron cross, what they found it is that the benchpress has a 80-85% similar pattern of chest activation as the cross, so in this case benchpress with the correct technique it is good. but I would consider to use it only if the gymnast knows the correct execution and until now i've never seen one gymnast on the web doing a decent benchpress. for this reason if you need 1.5/2 years to define a correct technique maybe it is better to use other tools.

In order to develop a good leg strength and plyomtetrich strenght you need to increase the amount of maximal strength . here depending on your goal you can use weight for sure but NOT with beginner.

To have a recap, i believe in weights use for improve mobility for sure on the beginner group . for more intermediate weights can be introduced in a preliminary phase where technical exercise like bases of snatch , benchpress, swings with KB are implemented. then for advanced a more stable approach can be used.

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Alexander Egebak

Alessandro, why do you believe that you cannot use weights with a beginner for maximal strength training?

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John Kiggundu

The bulk of these videos don't mention a very insightful point that Coach shared with us a few months ago. (Unfortunately, I can't find the link to it b'se I don't recall the forum on which it was.) 

Basically, his point was for us to make sure that the body is in balance as a unit. The question is not whether one should improve strength vs. mobility, but whether there is an optimum balance between strength and mobility. So in case you are deficient in mobility, it becomes a question of focusing on that in order to get the biggest bang for the buck. If your mobility is great, but you lack strength, then strength should be your focus. (For most adults, our mobility is so laughable that it's not even close to understand where our focus should be.)

Lastly, it seems to me that some of the dumbbell movements that Jake Dalton was using—particularly for his shoulders—could be construed as "weighted mobility" exercises, and not "weight training to gain strength" exercises.

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Alexander Egebak

I understand your point.

But assuming that you have relatively good mobility, fine movement patterns and good body awareness... Then why not go with some weight training? Essentially, I am questioning a dogmatic "body weight only" training perspective in favor of using weights; as a way to actually progress faster with body weight training.

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Alessandro Mainente

It depends on your goal, if movement pattern it is the goal then it should be build up step by step adding something more time over time. pure weights conditioning it is a stand alone work used as complement.

As I stated beginner needs tons of general preparation and since weights for me are a complement they do not need it. 

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Alexander Egebak

I am in a situation where I cannot train many gymnastics positions with loaded wrist flexion, both ways. Therefore I maintain current strength with weight training, and while I have not tested my gymnastics positions yet (obviously) I suspect my strength has improved. I even hypothesize that some of the weight exercises creates better stimuli for the muscles involved and therefore have potential for better strength development compared to the body weight exercises.

I do want to underline the fact that I have drilled the basic pelvis, shoulder positions and mobility again time over time, and therefore I am 100% certain that my form and movement patterns are in check. The later would not be true have I been very tight, had injuries or poor body awareness.

Experiencing the actual strength developments I plan to cycle weight training with GST later on when I am well again.

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Alessandro Mainente

The problem concerned with this approach it is that "the brain has no eyes, it is completely blind" this means that it learns what you practice and not what do you think could help him. sad reality but extremely true.

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Alexander Egebak

In my experience the difference between weight training and the body weight training is not that big. You use weights as resistance instead of leverage. The body position is not that different. Just by a little practice one can implement the strength gained from weight training into gymnastics (assuming that you had perfect form, full range of motion and good mobility).

This can however not be done if you have very poor connective tissue strength, poor wrist strength/mobility (for elements like handstands and planche it is impossible to recreate the stress on the wrists) or have no experience from basic body line and body awareness work.

To plan in this I have thought about switching between two cycles; one is replacing the other at the start of every month. One cycle with primarily weight training as strength workout, one cycle with gymnastics positions as strength workout. To maintain proficiency in each one can do warm ups with the opposite approach. Body line work and straight arm work need to be fit in to weight training cycle, somehow.

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Daniel Taylor-Shaut
58 minutes ago, Alexander Egebak said:

In my experience the difference between weight training and the body weight training is not that big. You use weights as resistance instead of leverage. The body position is not that different. Just by a little practice one can implement the strength gained from weight training into gymnastics (assuming that you had perfect form, full range of motion and good mobility).

This can however not be done if you have very poor connective tissue strength, poor wrist strength/mobility (for elements like handstands and planche it is impossible to recreate the stress on the wrists) or have no experience from basic body line and body awareness work.

To plan in this I have thought about switching between two cycles; one is replacing the other at the start of every month. One cycle with primarily weight training as strength workout, one cycle with gymnastics positions as strength workout. To maintain proficiency in each one can do warm ups with the opposite approach. Body line work and straight arm work need to be fit in to weight training cycle, somehow.

Are you that advanced? To where you have perfect form, full ROM and good mobility?

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Alexander Egebak
52 minutes ago, Daniel Taylor-Shaut said:

Are you that advanced? To where you have perfect form, full ROM and good mobility?

Good question. That accounts for what I prefer to call "basic" GST exercises; push ups, hollow holds/rocks, body levers, planche leans, arch holds, wall handstands, chin ups, rows, shoulder extensions...

But I have had approximately 1 year to really drill the basic due to a wrist problem which is persisting to some degree to this date. Anyone good get there with the time I have had.

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Daniel Taylor-Shaut

So, TL; DR, yes, you are that advanced, haha.

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Coach Sommer
On November 1, 2016 at 2:53 PM, Alexander Egebak said:

I understand your point.

But assuming that you have relatively good mobility, fine movement patterns and good body awareness... Then why not go with some weight training? 

Hi Alexander,

Simple.  Because if that was the case, the student would already be doing intermediate level work; not beginning.

No one ever said that there would be no supplemental weight training involved at advanced levels of GST.  What I am saying is that as beginners, your plates are already full and at this stage of your training weight training is merely a distraction.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Daniel Taylor-Shaut
On 11/5/2016 at 8:12 PM, Coach Sommer said:

Hi Alexander,

Simple.  Because if that was the case, the student would already be doing intermediate level work; not beginning.

No one ever said that there would be no supplemental weight training involved at advanced levels of GST.  What I am saying is that as beginners, your plates are already full and at this stage of your training weight training is merely a distraction.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

 

So, when would be a good time to begin implementing weight training alongside R1 or thereabouts? Also would it be more of an assistance style training or more geared towards Olympic lifting? No, I have no intentions of dropping GB -- I posted a comment saying as much elsewhere, am just curious for the purpose of conversation and dialogue. 

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Coach Sommer
1 hour ago, Daniel Taylor-Shaut said:

So, when would be a good time to begin implementing weight training alongside R1 or thereabouts? Also would it be more of an assistance style training or more geared towards Olympic lifting? No, I have no intentions of dropping GB -- I posted a comment saying as much elsewhere, am just curious for the purpose of conversation and dialogue. 

R1?  LOL.

More along the lines of R3. ;)

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Daniel Taylor-Shaut
6 minutes ago, Coach Sommer said:

R1?  LOL.

More along the lines of R3. ;)

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

 

A-ha! Duly noted. But wait, so then.... R3 exists?! :o Lol. Just going to have to suck it up and keep training then until I master Foundations. Rings 1 doesn't seem TOO daunting (once one has finished F4). But I'll just go ahead and eat those words, in the likelihood that I'm wrong.

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