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Hayden.M.

Olympic Weight Lifting + Gymnastics = ?

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Hayden.M.

hi all

i was wondering if doing olympic stlye weight lifting such as the deadlift, the snatch and the clean and jerk, would supplement gymnastics training very well? I remember reading an article a while back stating that in the year (something) they did an experiment on which athlete could do the highest verticle leap and the fastest 60 yard dash, and guess who won both? thats right, the olympic weight lifters. they could jump higher, from standing, than basketball players and high jumpers, and they could run that 60 yard dash even faster than sprinters! so maybe if you combined this type of activity with gymnastics conditioning, what would be the results?

any replies greatly appreciated,

Thanks

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Tarun Suri

There have been numerous threads already on this topic.

Search is your friend.

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Richard Duelley

If your goal is to compete in gymnastics than its a mixed bag. If your goal is to get as strong as possible than, in my opinion, the big compound lifts are GREAT! If your body can take it deadlifting (and the others) is an amazing movement.

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Neal Winkler

Olympic lifting won't help you be better at gymnastics because it will make your legs too thick. Also, combining the two methods is difficult on recovery.

If you goal is to just be an overall badass, then cautiously combining the two is warranted.

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mikey88

I have been practicing gymnastics for the last couple of years (recreationally as an adult) and have been primarily bodyweight strength training.

As an experiment I started doing weightlifting 2 months ago (santches, C+Js, squats & deads). I found found that the height of my tumbling has really improved from this which I have found really helpful.

If your a natural tumbler obviously rebound & technique is what essentially does it. But for less gifted athletes such as myself I really alot on strength for my tumbling. Therefore I have found doing weights really helpful.

On a side note while my handstand pressups & straddle press handstands havent improved. Anything to do with holding straight handstands or jumping on my hands (basically a small range of motion) has been improved most likely from the top part of a snatch or Jerk.

To manage the fatigue I try and do little and often.

Normally 3 sets of low reps 3-5

2 lifts per session - 1 olympic lift and alternating between the dead & squat

I try and do this about 2-3 x per week - usually 2 x per week (sometimes only 1) is enough for excellent carryover - especially as far as stimulating the nervous system. I have noticed a small amount of weight (muscle gain) but I dont think that hinders my tumbling as im not a high level athlete.

Also if your worried about putting on weight watch your diet and keep your repetitions low so that shouldnt be too much of a problem

Mikey88

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cccp22
I have been practicing gymnastics for the last couple of years (recreationally as an adult) and have been primarily bodyweight strength training.

As an experiment I started doing weightlifting 2 months ago (santches, C+Js, squats & deads). I found found that the height of my tumbling has really improved from this which I have found really helpful.

If your a natural tumbler obviously rebound & technique is what essentially does it. But for less gifted athletes such as myself I really alot on strength for my tumbling. Therefore I have found doing weights really helpful.

On a side note while my handstand pressups & straddle press handstands havent improved. Anything to do with holding straight handstands or jumping on my hands (basically a small range of motion) has been improved most likely from the top part of a snatch or Jerk.

To manage the fatigue I try and do little and often.

Normally 3 sets of low reps 3-5

2 lifts per session - 1 olympic lift and alternating between the dead & squat

I try and do this about 2-3 x per week - usually 2 x per week (sometimes only 1) is enough for excellent carryover - especially as far as stimulating the nervous system. I have noticed a small amount of weight (muscle gain) but I dont think that hinders my tumbling as im not a high level athlete.

Also if your worried about putting on weight watch your diet and keep your repetitions low so that shouldnt be too much of a problem

Mikey88

*********** From what i understand the Russians were really high on gymnastics as "gpp" and "active rest" for their Oly lifters.

Brandon Green

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Blairbob

There is a lot of crossover between gymnastics and OL in the Eastern Blok. Especially at earlier ages of training.

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Neal Winkler

My answer above wasn't nuanced enough. Context matters.

There comes a point that extra leg girth will impair gymnastics skills. If you are a skinny kid who has chicken legs then adding leg size probably isn't going to be an issue in the near future. If this is your case, then careful administration of olympic lifting could certainly be beneficial for enhancing tumbling skills. Or, if in the beginning of oly training you improve mainly neurological factors that help jumping ability, you're not going to see any detriment from oly lifitng.

The best benefits will be seen in the rank and file beginners who are so far from their genetic ceilings that they don't tap into their recovery abilities enough to be harmed by combining both methods or who have chicken legs.

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mikey88

I think thats exactly what I have found. As ive only started weight lifting again very recently - used to do it recreationally before as part of general training but not for at least 5 years then im getting the definit neurological gains.

I think most people on the forum are your weekend warrior types so a bit of muscle gain will probably not do much to hinder their gymnastic abilities. If your really worried about muscle gains, stick to singles and drop (not lower the weights). Although if your a high level competitive athlete this may be an issue, but like I said it probably doesnt affect the majority of people on this forum

Also if you stick to low reps & sets it shouldnt fatigue you too much to interfer with regular gym training.

cheers

Mikey88

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Joshua Naterman

I'm a big guy, so my experience may be different from the smaller guys here. I've found that gymnastic work is fairly intense, since I am 226 lbs as of today. I train 3-4 days a week, but never more than twice a week for a muscle group. I've found that I make the same gains on my big lifts when I do them once every 10 days or so as I do when I am lifting more often and doing less gymnastic work, but of course my gymnastic work suffers when I do that. I do think that deadlifting, C&J and snatching can be beneficial, but I really only need to work on it once or twice a week in low volume to get pretty much the same gains as a dedicated program if I'm doing gymnastics training as well, and everything progresses nicely.

You have to try and remember that the body loses strength very, very slowly compared to how fast it recovers, so frequency for strength building doesn't have to be high.

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Blairbob

Yeah, the body doesn't really lose strength; it loses neural efficiency, unless of course your strength:weight ratio changes for the worse.

Thanks for clearing that up as my statement was very broad and crude.

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Joshua Naterman

HAhaha, the body definitely loses strength. Just not quickly. It takes somewhere around 3-4 weeks to lose the strength gains from one workout. You START losing them after 3-4 days, but it takes 3-4 weeks to return to baseline according to both my own experience with people and the large number of studies referenced throughout many books, including Thomas Kurz's Science of Sports Training. That's why, when training for strength, infrequent programs tend to have better long-term results. When I say infrequent, I mean infrequent in the sense that specific muscle groups and movements are performed infrequently (which is somewhat subjective, but typically not more than twice a week and often less than that).

So when you're only working PPP once a week, don't think that you aren't going to be making gains. You will. Depending on your bodyweight you may even make better gains with a once a week program than if you work more frequently than that. I definitely fall squarely into that category.

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Seiji

This is only partially related: (any my opinion)

I think deadlift is better for jumping that squats. A deadlift technique is more similar to actual jumping than the squat technique. I was watching a video of myself and I noticed that it looks like a deadlift when you go down to jump back up. The back doesn't need to be straight and you normally throw up your arms, but it's basically the same. For me, that is. I don't really know what to compare one legged flips with... Definitely not pistols.

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Blairbob

To note, I began gymnastics and found myself powerful enough to quickly gain skill in tumbling besides having a really high backflip early on. I attribute this to the fact that I had been lifting and oly lifting for a few years prior. I didn't have spectacular numbers in my O-lifts because of a lack of technique but I was BS around 350 for around 5 reps@ 150ish (didn't do DL as I worked heavy jump shrugs).

I had a pretty high standing back in those days or so I was told by my fellow coaches though none were really that advanced of gymnasts.

It may have led to me being heavy for my size (5'1ish) but honestly since I was basically learning on my own with a few meager resources it wasn't like I ever got very far nor really had dreams of doing so, it was just fun. As well, the extra size was something I liked since I was always short. There is a big difference between being 5'1 and 120's and 150's or 170's (though this wasn't really a lean weight as I prob ran quite a bit of BF then from southern food and it's where I am now and probably with a BF level of around 15% I think, which was far higher as I was around 7-9 with calipers when I was 150ish).

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Richard Duelley

Fatbar deadlifts and heavy front squats are my plan for today, followed by some other stuff if I feel up to it. After my 45 min or so hand balancing practice that is 8)

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Joshua Naterman

Ah, the fat bar. I have been neglecting mine. I probably won't be doing the same weight I used to hahaha! *cries*

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Richard Duelley

Banged out 2 sets of 10 and then 2 sets of 5 (just couldnt hang on!) with 165 pounds. . . o ya! 8) A little hand adjustment was my only break in the sets of 10 (I sweat a lot lol!), I gave myself 2 minutes between sets and then 30 seconds between the last 2 sets of 5. I wanted to front squat as well but the ONLY rack in the gym was taken. . . by a guy doing. . . get this. . . high pulls . . .wtf! With only 135 and he was a built dude!

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Joshua Naterman

Probably doesn't know what the hell he is doing. That's why I bought my own rack!

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Jason Stein
...esides having a really high backflip early on.

Hey Blair, do you have any idea of your vertical then/now? Just wondering.

jason

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BigSig91

Do you add gymnastic work on the days you lift heavy?

i mean if we consider 3 sets of heavy deadlifts as enough for one workout there is still a lot of time left

or is it even some plyometric lower body work?

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Blairbob

I prefer to dedicate some days to strength work and other days for plyo/speed work when it comes to lower body. Aka some days I will DL or SLS and others I will sprint or do plyo series.

Then, probably about 30 inches. Now around 24 inches.

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Joshua Naterman
Do you add gymnastic work on the days you lift heavy?

i mean if we consider 3 sets of heavy deadlifts as enough for one workout there is still a lot of time left

or is it even some plyometric lower body work?

As far as plyometrics go, they shouldn't even be part of your program until you're pretty darn strong. minimum 5x5 SLS and 15 push ups, both done with a 2120-3131-ish tempo. That means true perfect form, no deviation at all. Essentially, if you haven't become able to handle your bodyweight slowly and under control, with perfect form, you have not developed the muscular strength or joint integrity to be a)safely performing plyometrics or b) getting a lot out of them.

You've got to use a little discretion when you combine your work, I mean if you're DLing heavy then for one thing you're burning through a LOT of energy fairly quickly, so your body's going to already be working hard just to replenish energy stores. I'd probably concentrate on planche/manna/L-sit related gymnastic work on a DL day, unless you're doing it in a separate session. Don't be afraid of doing multiple workouts per day. The less you do at one time the less damage you do, and the less overall recovery your body has to do, even from a similar total workload. You don't deplete energy stores as severely, etc etc. If you ARE going to do just one session, you're going to need to concentrate your gymnastic work on areas unaffected or least affected by the day's heavy weight lifting.

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Coach Sommer
As far as plyometrics go, they shouldn't even be part of your program until you're pretty darn strong. minimum 5x5 SLS and 15 push ups, both done with a 2120-3131-ish tempo. That means true perfect form, no deviation at all. Essentially, if you haven't become able to handle your bodyweight slowly and under control, with perfect form, you have not developed the muscular strength or joint integrity to be a)safely performing plyometrics or b) getting a lot out of them.

Very good advice, however it is actually even more complicated than that.

In addition to having a solid foundation of basic strength, it is also important to begin with the proper plyometric progressions. Then on top of the proper progressions, great care must be taken to monitor intensity and volume.

I have seen very strong lifters injured by over enthusiastically performing the intro plyo series that I use with my brand new 4-6 year olds :?. The reason? While strong, their low joint mobility and otherwise lack of exposure to free form athletic movement (e.g. spontaneous jumping, running with shifts in direction etc) had caused a loss of elasticity in the joints.

These deficiencies can be addressed, but it must be done with reasoned and patient work.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Joshua Naterman
As far as plyometrics go, they shouldn't even be part of your program until you're pretty darn strong. minimum 5x5 SLS and 15 push ups, both done with a 2120-3131-ish tempo. That means true perfect form, no deviation at all. Essentially, if you haven't become able to handle your bodyweight slowly and under control, with perfect form, you have not developed the muscular strength or joint integrity to be a)safely performing plyometrics or b) getting a lot out of them.

Very good advice, however it is actually even more complicated than that.

In addition to having a solid foundation of basic strength, it is also important to begin with the proper plyometric progressions. Then on top of the proper progressions, great care must be taken to monitor intensity and volume.

I have seen very strong lifters injured by over enthusiastically performing the intro plyo series that I use with my brand new 4-6 year olds :?. The reason? While strong, their low joint mobility and otherwise lack of exposure to free form athletic movement (e.g. spontaneous jumping, running with shifts in direction etc) had caused a loss of elasticity in the joints.

These deficiencies can be addressed, but it must be done with reasoned and patient work.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

Thanks for the additions! It really is complex, because as you say, what is fine for a kid may not be fine for adults. Part of the problem, in addition to the lack of exposure to free form athletic movement, is body weight.

The bigger we get, the more prepared we have to be and the more careful we have to be with intensity and volume, and especially exercise progression. Some movements just aren't a good idea for really big people, period, and even if you're big because you're muscular like me, you gotta keep in mind that the forces are so high even for seemingly simple things like Wheels that guys my size should not start out trying them. I know this first hand lol!

It can be frustrating, but I've found that getting away from a specific timeline and only focusing on where I am at now has produced much better results. I really can't even explain how much my knowledge and understanding of physical culture has grown from being here and having the opportunity to learn from both a forum full of active and intelligent people and one of the top coaches in the sport, so I just have to say thank you!

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Coach Sommer
Part of the problem, in addition to the lack of exposure to free form athletic movement, is body weight.

I would also like to point out that in addition to increased bodyweight, there is also a consistent lack of overall physical movement.

It is important to understand that as children or young adults, all of our structured athletic training occurred within a matrix of already very high physical activity. Basically we were physically active from sun up to sun down, stopping only long enough to gobble down some lunch before heading out once more. Running, jumping, chasing, biking, swimming etc, were day long, spontaneous activities that started and stopped sporadically; not something that we engaged in for highly structured 15 min intervals or specific intensities.

Later, layering structured, higher level athletic training upon this already solid base of healthy physical movement provided us quite satisfactory results; however we mistakenly attributed all of our progress to the structured athletic training and gave little or no thought to all of the benefits of our simply having been a great deal more active at the time.

As we get older and our performance levels decline, we usually attribute this to improper programming when in reality it is also compounded by too much desk or couch patrol; e.g. driving to the grocery store, rather than walking a block or two. Our lifestyles, and hence our bodies, are lacking the essential volume of physical movement (recreation) that made the structured athletic training of our youth so effective.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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