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Coach Sommer

XR Straddle Planche by a 9 Year Old Athlete

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Coach Sommer

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This is a video of one of my athletes at 9 years old performing a solid straddle planche on the rings for 5 seconds followed by a legs together straight body planche for 2 seconds. This is one of the strongest planches on the still rings in the United States; regardless of age.

Please note the completely straight elbows and extended hips during his planche work. This "locked elbow" strength is essential in order to progress onward to more advanced ring strength elements and must be quite carefully and progressively developed.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Ryan Hutchins

So coach you're saying that no one in the states has this level of strength in a ring planche??? Not one person. that makes me feel better as i am Struggling with ring planches. Please tell me that there are others that can hold this. You posted a video of an upper level ring strength series where a guy was passing thru this position for a second or two. Please clarify.

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gymmie

wow :shock: , all I've gotta say is that was unreal man. I'll like to know what kind of training routine he underwent to attain that solid planche? :)

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Razz

Ryan ofcourse there are stronger planches, just take a look at CJ Maestas for example. Coach didn't say THE strongest, but one of the strongest..

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Sameroney

Of course is Chen Yibings plache better!

But in Regard of that he is 9, i think it may be the best planche in the world doing by a 9 yr old.

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Coach Sommer

My statement was in terms of USA Junior Olympic athletes under 18.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Philipp Hornung

:shock: OMG... I'm so jealous.

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Mats Trane

Very impressive! The Guy defenetly has the right body for gymnastics. Hos many years did it take him to make that?

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Joshua Naterman

Lol, EVERYBODY has the right body for gymnastics when they prepare it properly! That is pretty awesome. It'll be interesting to see what this athlete can do in 5 years!

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Guest Valentin

Hi

Definitely impressive and congratulation to both coach and athlete for a fantastic job well done. I too would be extremely interested to know what training this athlete has gone through. As in strength training, and program (hours etc..). I have to say if you have the right kid, they will learn these strength skills WAY faster then many older athletes, but i have to say that i doubt that you can get many kids learning this fast.

Its interesting that the Russian club Dynamo in the 80's had bunches of kids around 10yrs of age doing crosses and planches and what not, but whatever happened to many of them? Definitely this level of strength is achievable at this age more easily in many ways than as you get older and older. Not to mention that as you get older your are more prone to injury from this such strength elements due to simply weight. Kids with training as able to build up a much better strength to body weight ratio compared to adults. One reason being that kids tend to acquire strength predominantly through neural improvement rather then hypertrophy, or muscle fiber differentiation, or other muscle strength factors.

very cool.. thanks for sharing coach, always really interesting seeing this kinda stuff.

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Coach Sommer
I too would be extremely interested to know what training this athlete has gone through.

His conditioning consists of the GB WODs, scaled for his ability level.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Neal Winkler
Hi

I too would be extremely interested to know what training this athlete has gone through. As in strength training, and program (hours etc..).

From another post by Coach:

What many of you may not know, is that my own advanced athletes do indeed follow the same general daily GB WOD template as presented here in the Workout of the Day forum. However given their much higher levels of strength, there are generally some additional refinements inserted into their workouts.

For example regarding core work, my own athletes follow a rather extensive warmup protocol. Among other things, this warmup will incorporate working 30 sec L-sits, straddle Ls and MSH prior to beginning manna work. This particular part of the warmup is a short but intense block of time which generally varies from 5-10 minutes depending on the quality of their performance for that day.

Also depending on the particular GB WOD assigned for that day, they may follow the GB WOD exactly as posted here (as was the case for this 100520 WOD), or additional work may be assigned to challenge their more highly developed levels of strength. Generally adjustments which I make are to incorporate additional ab work into dynamic push days (alternating push and ab elements), additional lower back work into dynamic pull days (alternating pull and lower back elements), additional bodyline work into handstand days (alternating presses and bodyline elements). Also their dynamic leg strength and ring strength days tend to be dramatically more strenuous than the posted GB WODs.

In all of the above cases, the exercises chosen are generally the same families of movements as assigned in the GB WODs posted here; just scaled for additional intensity.

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Guest Valentin

Hi

Thanks for the super fast reply. Appreciate it.

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Ryan Hutchins

Thx for the clarification. I am still blown away by his level of strength. I really have to focus on getting those WOD's in every week. In addition to the WOD's is static hold strength still done at the end of the training session or are the WOD's enough? Sorry if i have asked a question that has been answered already.

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Mats Trane
Lol, EVERYBODY has the right body for gymnastics when they prepare it properly! That is pretty awesome. It'll be interesting to see what this athlete can do in 5

Ok Slizz, what I ment is that some people are more suited to do gymnastics than others, just like other people would have it easier to do basketball.

If you look at the guys that took the top 3 spots i rings at the Beijing Olympics there is not one of them that is taller than 165cm.

Yes it will be very interesting to see what he can to in 5 or maybe more Interesting 7 years when he has gone through his puberty.

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Cole Dano
Thx for the clarification. I am still blown away by his level of strength. I really have to focus on getting those WOD's in every week. In addition to the WOD's is static hold strength still done at the end of the training session or are the WOD's enough? Sorry if i have asked a question that has been answered already.

I'm also wondering how to incorporate statics into the WOD's.

Is it just via the embedding in the WOD's? Is it effective to also work on some statics seperately? Before the WOD or after?

After the discussion from the seminar, it sounds like a wise choice to get back to the WOD's but it does feel like working on a select few statics could also be of beniefit.

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Joshua Naterman

Coach's athletes do a lot of the statics as part of the warm up. They are typically separate from conditioning, which is the WOD. You should consider static work "skill" work, even though it does in fact take strength to do.

You may very well want to take a separate session for your statics, because as you probably know they can be temporarily draining. Alternatively, you can work your upper body statics on days when WODS don't directly involve those muscles. A swinging dip day might be a terrible choice for planche work, for example. L-sit, Straddle-L, and Manna work should really be done right after the warm up, because you should be working on long holds. Your progress will be much more efficient, as well as less draining, if you concentrate on building a specific hold up to 60 seconds before moving on, and instead of trying to go straight from step one of the L-sit progressions to step 2, just extend as far as you can while still maintaining at least a 30 second hold. Keep that same extention until you hit 60 seconds again. Continue in this fashion! This is how you will build the ability to hold a 60 second advanced L-sit. It will never happen if you are constantly doing sets of 10-15 seconds. The long holds ensure that you are working well within the regenerative abilities of your connective tissue, which is what will allow 4+ training sessions a week, which in turn is what will contribute the most to your long-term progress.

Planche should be approached in a similar manner. The longer holds provide better conditioning for your joints. You MUST remember that statics ARE NOT STRENGTH WORK and should not be approached with the mindset of "I'm really going to work at the maximum progression I can today!" This high-intensity approach to the statics, which seems to be the inclination of most people since we try to do our best all the time, is what causes injury. Let the maximal and dynamic strength WODs take care of your muscular strength needs, and let the static work take care of the connective tissue conditioning,

I hope that helps!

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Cole Dano
I hope that helps!

It helped alot!

Thanks for the reply, now things make much more sense.

Its been my experience with the statics that working just the way you suggest has actually given me unexpected gains. Sure i can manage an advanced l sit for a couple of seconds, but when i just started consistenly working the low l for time i saw gains right away in most of my yoga floor work, so there's something going on for sure.

Armed with this info and the static work i'm doing, i think i'll start adding the WOD's (or whatever version of them i can muster)

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Joshua Naterman

Cool! A lot of you don't realize that the WODs are not random. They are organized in a very specific training cycle. I did not know this either, until Coach showed us at the seminars. They are not just random workouts thrown together as busy work for people who can't plan on their own! The WODs are the exact format that Coach uses with his athletes. Follow them, and if nothing new is posted that means it's a rest day and you should just do some stretching, jogging, etc. Easy, active rest.

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Ryan Hutchins

thx for the speedy reply and info. i wasn't looking at the statics in this way before. With planche work i've been trying to max out on stationary objects and haven't really made progress. While on rings i've been pretty steady with my holds. This sheds light on the issue. I'll definitely stay where i am and continue to advance my strength with the WOD's and cement that strength with the static holds. Not build upon it.

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Neal Winkler
Coach's athletes do a lot of the statics as part of the warm up. They are typically separate from conditioning, which is the WOD. You should consider static work "skill" work, even though it does in fact take strength to do.

You may very well want to take a separate session for your statics, because as you probably know they can be temporarily draining. Alternatively, you can work your upper body statics on days when WODS don't directly involve those muscles. A swinging dip day might be a terrible choice for planche work, for example. L-sit, Straddle-L, and Manna work should really be done right after the warm up, because you should be working on long holds. Your progress will be much more efficient, as well as less draining, if you concentrate on building a specific hold up to 60 seconds before moving on, and instead of trying to go straight from step one of the L-sit progressions to step 2, just extend as far as you can while still maintaining at least a 30 second hold. Keep that same extention until you hit 60 seconds again. Continue in this fashion! This is how you will build the ability to hold a 60 second advanced L-sit. It will never happen if you are constantly doing sets of 10-15 seconds. The long holds ensure that you are working well within the regenerative abilities of your connective tissue, which is what will allow 4+ training sessions a week, which in turn is what will contribute the most to your long-term progress.

Planche should be approached in a similar manner. The longer holds provide better conditioning for your joints. You MUST remember that statics ARE NOT STRENGTH WORK and should not be approached with the mindset of "I'm really going to work at the maximum progression I can today!" This high-intensity approach to the statics, which seems to be the inclination of most people since we try to do our best all the time, is what causes injury. Let the maximal and dynamic strength WODs take care of your muscular strength needs, and let the static work take care of the connective tissue conditioning,

I hope that helps!

Slizzle-my-nizzle,

So, leg days would be a good day to incorporate extra lever work, in the fashion of 50% intensity sets? Also, are the embedded static days supposed to be 50% intensity or close to max?

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Coach Sommer
So, leg days would be a good day to incorporate extra lever work

No, this is incorrect.

At your level, BL & FL will receive sufficient stimulation on your embedded static WOD days and your ring strength WOD days. Building up to 3x30sec of L-sit work on the floor as a part of your daily warmup is however a good idea.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Joshua Naterman

My following recommendation is based on a combination of the recent research on the longer static holds I have been reading, my personal experiences, and information from the seminars regarding early static work. Like coach is saying here, the goal of 3 sets of 30 seconds L-sit is an important goal that should be accomplished before you try moving on to focusing on harder stuff. 3x30 seconds is the goal for the advanced L-sit on PB, by the way. For the really early progressions your goal should be 3 sets of 45-60 seconds. Coach's athletes end up doing those sets with no rest eventually, which is far beyond what nearly any of us are capable of. Don't forget, there should be one warm up set of each earlier progression to the one you are working.

Your work sets really shouldn't ever be less than 15 seconds, but you should shoot for 20+ seconds. If you remember, the work sets are supposed to be at half of your max hold. If your max hold is less than 30-40 seconds, you're working a bit too close to the limit of your connective tissue's regenerative capability. That's why until your max hold gets up to that point, you really should not be moving forward and trying a more advanced progression.

There is one other way. Work at that max hold until it gets to 60s. Screw work sets at half time, if you can hold for 35 seconds do it. There are two ways to progress with this method. One, you could do 5-7 sets. Shoot for a total of 3-5 minutes. You should find that every week or two your first max hold is a little bit longer. The second method is to do your max hold, take 5-10 seconds rest, and continue with whatever holds you can manage, even if they are just 5 or 6 seconds for 4-5 minutes. Either way, this works more directly on your connective tissue. Extended holds are what you need for optimal connective tissue development. It is NOT the only way, but it is a very, very good way. You will be forced by the nature of the work to stay well within your capabilities. If you start off with sets of advanced tuck and find yourself only able to hold it for 2-3 seconds at some point you can drop down to tuck planche. You will find that your times improve with most workouts. The basic concept of underloading still applies: Once you get to a 60s hold maintain it for 3-4 weeks with the same work, before trying to move on. It's worth it to ensure your safety, and you will keep getting stronger as well. At that point, you need to re-evaluate your new 30-40 second limit. Keep repeating that until you reach your goals!

Whether you choose to work your sets at half your max hold time or use the alternative method I mention here, do NOT use work sets on a progression you can't hold for at least 20-30 seconds until you have mastered (consistent 40+ second) advanced tuck. Once you start training a straddle you'll be using higher threshold fibers and you should be able to hold at least a 15 second straddle planche before training it directly as work sets. That's going to be a looong time, my friends. Focus on the NOW, not the future.

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Joshua Naterman

BL work is pretty rough on the elbows, as is planche, so trying to do extra BL work is probably a bad idea until you've at least gotten a solid flat tuck of 20 seconds or better. Even then, be careful.

For FL, I really am not sure what is best. FL is mostly a strength move and does not rely anywhere nearly as much on connective tissue development as planche does. I have yet to injure myself with FL at 230 lbs, whether I have been hitting it 2 times a week or 4 times a week, but I would say that if you are really hitting the WODs hard then you won't need additional FL work for a while, at least until you have a solid flat tuck once again. If you do anything extra, do body lever holds for time or hollow holds. That is going to be your main sticking point with FL, not the pulling part. The pulling strength will come.

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Blairbob

I've been thinking of playing a bit with the L and straddle-L with hangs instead of supports. Mainly because coupled with the support planks it is just crushing my lil guys even with adjusted volume. It will take time, but I can't have them crushed before we hit events.

As well, a hanging L is critical for bar work. If I were training girls, I'd be more concerned about the hanging straddle-L but I prefer all glide kips are piked unless the gymnast is basically weak and I need to get them some success. Straddle glide is a momentary compromise IMO, there.

The fact that the GB WOD has a cycle was amazing. I need to look at the WOD's and see how it matches.

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