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Kiyoshi

Weightlifting exercises that compliment Gymnastics

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Kiyoshi

I always thought that the added mass from weightlifting would be bad for gymnastic training, but Ive heard otherwise recently.

So what are some of the best weightlifting exercises for gymnastics in general?

and specifically the planche

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Neal Winkler

With the exception of pre-hab/rehab, weights are not necessary. Of course I am not counting added weights in the form of weight vests or ankle weights to BW exercises as being "weights."

Some gymnasts use dumbbells for training maltese.

The Chinese have added full back squats to their program, and as far as I know, Coach Sommer has not finalized his position on whether or not this will add anything to the training of gymnasts. I'm sure he will let us know when he does.

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Blairbob

The tricky thing about Olympic Weightlifting or Basic Barbell lifting (Press, Squat, Deadlift) is the tendency to be hip dominant and building lots of hypertrophy there. Gymnasts do not need any more hypertrophy in their hips than is necessary. Having a big butt will not help you on Pommel or Rings or any other event though powerful hips can be useful for vault and floor exercise. Many females will develop a lot of hypertrophy in their hips and thighs due to the amount of time they spend on their legs/feet (BB,FX, V, and dance).

Of course there is also a safety and logistics issue when it comes to some gyms. And the big "I" question of whether it would be insured. And then you have to be knowledgeable enough to teach them to youths.

Gymnasts typically do not start or land as low as the 1st or 3rd pull landing. Sometimes they do land so low except on big dismounts for the men where you may see them land in a deep squat. During a punch on floor or rebound, their hips and knees and ankles will flex a bit and then stretch open but you need to slow down the camera to typically see it at a high level.

Some female college programs (I haven't heard from if they do it in any MAG college program but I can think of possibly one) and the OTC will use the basic lifts in their S&C though I haven't heard if they also clean and snatch. In fact some of our coaches, who competed in college were recently whining about how their athletic teams were required to do so and thought it was because the trainers were of the "football" mindset. To note, I think the girls from GeorgiaTech had a video done where they were in the weightroom.

There has been some documented success of OlyWL with female programs. To note, one of the women's national team coach husband is a trainer who found some use for them for her girls. I know of another program that was at that level that had some success with their girls as well but this gym did not have any girls competing at the L10/elite level AFAIK.

Gymnasts would benefit from the ability to open up the hips in the 2nd pull from a closed to open position. As well, it would probably work their lower back musculature which sometimes are an issue for the girls.

However, I think this can be lacking due to program design in many WAG programs.

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Chris Hansen

I've been wondering about this.

Gymnasts do not need any more hypertrophy in their hips than is necessary. Having a big butt will not help you on Pommel or Rings or any other event though powerful hips can be useful for vault and floor exercise. Many females will develop a lot of hypertrophy in their hips and thighs due to the amount of time they spend on their legs/feet (BB,FX, V, and dance).

How about for someone who isn't a gymnast but uses gymnastic exercises as a form of strength training and also wants to run faster, jump higher, kick harder, shovel snow easier, etc?

Would there be a place for other forms of external resistance like kettlebells, clubs, and sandbags? Or less common exercises like get-ups, and bent press?

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Blairbob
How about for someone who isn't a gymnast but uses gymnastic exercises as a form of strength training and also wants to run faster, jump higher, kick harder, shovel snow easier, etc?

Would there be a place for other forms of external resistance like kettlebells, clubs, and sandbags? Or less common exercises like get-ups, and bent press?

Sure. It's definitely old-school out of Sandow's time. Too often, my focus tends to lean towards a POV for my gymnasts and my upcoming gymnastic season. Personally I like heavy lifting and throwing things around and other stuff but my gymnasts my focus is their gymnastics.

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Ryan Libke

If the goal is general physical development and conditioning, both olympic lifting and gymnastics offer great benefits. However, there is the very real issue of time, and it both endeavors require some dedication. Eventually most people will need to to focus on one or the other, even if they do not aspire to greatness in either. Even a person who has ample time and can handle a large volume will be limited in how much they can do. I respect the Crossfit approach, to some degree, but my goals became more gymnastic oriented as I went on. While I used to do weightlifting exercises regularly, and enjoyed them very much, I just found myself doing it less and less in favor of gymnastic style strength training.

As an aside, when I was more focused on martial arts, such as judo, in which the ability to move an external object is helpful, I did more barbell and weightlifting moves. As my interests shifted to acrobatics and tumbling, where I needed to move my body, I reduced the weightlifting and barbell work. I didn't feel it was helping me much relative to my newer focus. [that is not to say that moving one's own body is not important in judo or other grappling, but there is a different quality]

Its all good.

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Joshua Naterman
I always thought that the added mass from weightlifting would be bad for gymnastic training, but Ive heard otherwise recently.

So what are some of the best weightlifting exercises for gymnastics in general?

and specifically the planche

You are still looking at the planche from a strength perspective. That's going to get you hurt.

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Joshua Naterman
I've been wondering about this.
Gymnasts do not need any more hypertrophy in their hips than is necessary. Having a big butt will not help you on Pommel or Rings or any other event though powerful hips can be useful for vault and floor exercise. Many females will develop a lot of hypertrophy in their hips and thighs due to the amount of time they spend on their legs/feet (BB,FX, V, and dance).

How about for someone who isn't a gymnast but uses gymnastic exercises as a form of strength training and also wants to run faster, jump higher, kick harder, shovel snow easier, etc?

Would there be a place for other forms of external resistance like kettlebells, clubs, and sandbags? Or less common exercises like get-ups, and bent press?

The best bang for your buck, so to speak, are deep squats (ass to ground), KB swings, clean pulls, get ups, bent press (both pressing with the arm AND pressing with the body, which I think was called a triangle press), and bent-back carries. Bent back carries are when you hold a sandbac, log, or barrel of some sort at your chest with your forearms under it, similar to a fork lift. This forces your upper and mid back to bend around the object, which is normal and natural and healthy. Hold for time, carry for distance, whatever.

Obviously there are a lot of other things you could do, but for someone who, as you say, uses Gymnastics as just another form of exercise and who doesn't care about the difficulties added by having a highly developed lower body these are the best things for strength. If there was one more thing I'd add it would be deadlifting. As long as you're hitting all of those once every 8-10 days, especially when you're doing the WODS here, you're going to make fantastic progress with everything.

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Kiyoshi
I always thought that the added mass from weightlifting would be bad for gymnastic training, but Ive heard otherwise recently.

So what are some of the best weightlifting exercises for gymnastics in general?

and specifically the planche

You are still looking at the planche from a strength perspective. That's going to get you hurt.

No, but you all said that the guy in the video was able to progress so quickly because he did weightlifting for a while. And in the book by coach sommer he also says that kettle bells compliment the planche pretty well. Ive seen other videos of people who did weightlifting able to do planches easier as well, thats why im looking into it. It seems to prove useful for others and it might be something I want to invest my time in.

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Kiyoshi
If the goal is general physical development and conditioning, both olympic lifting and gymnastics offer great benefits. However, there is the very real issue of time, and it both endeavors require some dedication. Eventually most people will need to to focus on one or the other, even if they do not aspire to greatness in either. Even a person who has ample time and can handle a large volume will be limited in how much they can do. I respect the Crossfit approach, to some degree, but my goals became more gymnastic oriented as I went on. While I used to do weightlifting exercises regularly, and enjoyed them very much, I just found myself doing it less and less in favor of gymnastic style strength training.

As an aside, when I was more focused on martial arts, such as judo, in which the ability to move an external object is helpful, I did more barbell and weightlifting moves. As my interests shifted to acrobatics and tumbling, where I needed to move my body, I reduced the weightlifting and barbell work. I didn't feel it was helping me much relative to my newer focus. [that is not to say that moving one's own body is not important in judo or other grappling, but there is a different quality]

Its all good.

nice I do Judo too

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Neal Winkler
I always thought that the added mass from weightlifting would be bad for gymnastic training, but Ive heard otherwise recently.

So what are some of the best weightlifting exercises for gymnastics in general?

and specifically the planche

You are still looking at the planche from a strength perspective. That's going to get you hurt.

No, but you all said that the guy in the video was able to progress so quickly because he did weightlifting for a while. And in the book by coach sommer he also says that kettle bells compliment the planche pretty well. Ive seen other videos of people who did weightlifting able to do planches easier as well, thats why im looking into it. It seems to prove useful for others and it might be something I want to invest my time in.

I don't think it was the weightlifting per say that helped those people do the planche faster, but the fact that they had already put in years of strength training. Also, just because they could do the planche faster doesn't mean that their joints were ready for it. Of course someone who has strong weightlifting background will get skills faster than someone who is starting out at square one with anything.

One thing you have to keep in mind is that Coach Sommer produces the most bullet proof gymnasts in the US. There are other gyms who have kids that can compete the same skills as Coaches kids, but those kids do not have the same level of resistance to injury.

Same thing with people that lift weights and get gymnastic moves faster than someone who does not have a strength training background. They may get the move faster because they have the muscular strength, but their time weightlifting has been insufficient in building the straight arm connective tissue strength necessary to keep them injury free.

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Patrick McDonnell

I can't speak to weightlifting that complements gymnastics, but I can attest that I haven't lost anything in basic weightlifting by switching exclusively to bodyweight/gymnastics based training. My 16 year old 240 pound Offensive lineman son challenged me to a bench press competition on my 44th birthday. Even though I am only 170 pounds, I easily bench pressed 250, or 80 pounds over my body weight, and I haven't benched in about 18 months. If I had to max out, I probably could have put up close to 270. He stopped at 235 complaining that he had lifted the day before, so I didn't want to hurt myself trying to max out after not really lifting for that long. Basic Ring Strength 1 (almost 2 if I can get the muscle up after the forward roll), static planche and front lever, muscle ups, bulgarian dips and pull ups, tuck and straddle pull ups, one armed negatives, HSPUs, pseudo planche push ups, all seem to be getting the job done. Plus, I am getting these freaky muscles even where I never knew you could develop them. My forearms look completely different, and I have a bulge right below my elbow, and the No 2 CoC is getting pretty close to full closed.

I am also a cyclist so I don't want the extra mass that weightlifting seems to bring, but these basic gymnastics exercises are making me freaky strong compared to the 20 years or so that I spent in the weight room, and I am still staying light on the bike so that I don't suffer carrying all that mass up the hills. Xtreme rings, parallettes, and the Coach's book and this web site is powerful medicine--even at my middle age. And the efficiency is amazing. 20-40 minutes goes a long way. Unless you are really lifting to improve lifting, I am not sure how much more it can give you if you are looking for pound for pound strength.

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Joshua Naterman
I always thought that the added mass from weightlifting would be bad for gymnastic training, but Ive heard otherwise recently.

So what are some of the best weightlifting exercises for gymnastics in general?

and specifically the planche

You are still looking at the planche from a strength perspective. That's going to get you hurt.

No, but you all said that the guy in the video was able to progress so quickly because he did weightlifting for a while. And in the book by coach sommer he also says that kettle bells compliment the planche pretty well. Ive seen other videos of people who did weightlifting able to do planches easier as well, thats why im looking into it. It seems to prove useful for others and it might be something I want to invest my time in.

Yep, Coach said was that one of his athletes performed much better in the Planche after doing swings to rehab his back. The swings are great, and that's because the shoulder is stressed near the same angle as the planche is performed. THere is a lot more going on than just the lower back. The shoulder experiences a fast and violent loading during the swing, which teaches the nervous system to fire more motor units at the same time. This leads to a number of effects, one of which is increased shoulder strength. Of course, the same happens for the lower back.

What I want to make sure you DON'T do is make the mistake of thinking weightlifting itself is responsible for rapid increases. Prior conditioning is. People who spend two years doing gymnastic work make much, much faster progress in the weight room than a newbie will. Why? Because they have already built strong muscles. Just because it wasn't done on a bar doesn't matter. In the same way, lifting weights simple builds strength. When you have more strength, you learn these FSP faster. If you spend two years building strength in the weight room, you will still not catch up to where you would be if you had spent those 2 years on the WODS and proper FSP work.

Another thing to consider is that this guy in the video was a bodybuilder. He does long sets with high reps at a fairly slow tempo. Lots of time under tension. This is exactly how you build up the biceps tendon! This means he absolutely had far better bicep tendon conditioning than your average person. He had been bodybuilding for a loooong time. That high level of conditioning, PLUS a fairly light bodyweight, PLUS using the least demanding hand position, is what allowed him to achieve success in such a short period of time. Also, his form on straight PL is not that great. Not a straight body. I'm not trying to insult the guy, but it is what it is. Whether it was a lack of strength or a lack of coaching that caused this is anyone's guess.

hZ6D2GTdNso

Clearly, he is far more interested in the push up than the hold. His form is pretty terrible. Impressive strength, but that probably translates to either a very long advanced tuck in the correct position at the least or a very short straddle planche in correct position. Perhaps both, usually that's how it goes.

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Chris Hansen

The best bang for your buck, so to speak, are deep squats (ass to ground), KB swings, clean pulls, get ups, bent press (both pressing with the arm AND pressing with the body, which I think was called a triangle press), and bent-back carries. Bent back carries are when you hold a sandbac, log, or barrel of some sort at your chest with your forearms under it, similar to a fork lift. This forces your upper and mid back to bend around the object, which is normal and natural and healthy. Hold for time, carry for distance, whatever.

Obviously there are a lot of other things you could do, but for someone who, as you say, uses Gymnastics as just another form of exercise and who doesn't care about the difficulties added by having a highly developed lower body these are the best things for strength. If there was one more thing I'd add it would be deadlifting. As long as you're hitting all of those once every 8-10 days, especially when you're doing the WODS here, you're going to make fantastic progress with everything.

Thanks for the tips.

I've been doing mostly deadlift and SLS variations for the legs and I've started doing barbell military presses after handstand work.

Where would you put get-ups, in the warm up or in a separate workout or just stick them in an existing workout?

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Ryan Libke

Why do barbell military presses after handstand work? Handstand push ups will be a better compliment to handstand training. If handstand push ups are part of your handstand training, and you still need to do barbell work afterwards, then try a more difficult version of the handstand push ups.

Don't get me wrong. Military presses are a great exercise. But handstand push ups are better for improving the handstand, I would venture to say.

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Chris Hansen
Why do barbell military presses after handstand work? Handstand push ups will be a better compliment to handstand training. If handstand push ups are part of your handstand training, and you still need to do barbell work afterwards, then try a more difficult version of the handstand push ups.

Don't get me wrong. Military presses are a great exercise. But handstand push ups are better for improving the handstand, I would venture to say.

I enjoy the military press but I have to go out to the garage to do it so I want to take advantage of the warm weather. I plan to do plenty of handstand push-ups during the winter though.

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Joshua Naterman

The best bang for your buck, so to speak, are deep squats (ass to ground), KB swings, clean pulls, get ups, bent press (both pressing with the arm AND pressing with the body, which I think was called a triangle press), and bent-back carries. Bent back carries are when you hold a sandbac, log, or barrel of some sort at your chest with your forearms under it, similar to a fork lift. This forces your upper and mid back to bend around the object, which is normal and natural and healthy. Hold for time, carry for distance, whatever.

Obviously there are a lot of other things you could do, but for someone who, as you say, uses Gymnastics as just another form of exercise and who doesn't care about the difficulties added by having a highly developed lower body these are the best things for strength. If there was one more thing I'd add it would be deadlifting. As long as you're hitting all of those once every 8-10 days, especially when you're doing the WODS here, you're going to make fantastic progress with everything.

Thanks for the tips.

I've been doing mostly deadlift and SLS variations for the legs and I've started doing barbell military presses after handstand work.

Where would you put get-ups, in the warm up or in a separate workout or just stick them in an existing workout?

I would put them in a pull workout, if you have such a thing. I know, that sounds weird. Here's the thing: Get- ups are a coordination exercise. They are not for maximal strength, nor are they for power. To do a get up you have to be very coordinated, especially if you are using a 7 foot bar. Knowing that, I wouldn't want to do them at the end of a hard pressing day. A second option would be at the end of a lower body day, but if you do lower body and core together that could be problematic. I guess it depends. If you were to put it at the beginning of a workout, I'd put it at the beginning of a legs/core workout. I really don't think these need to be a separate workout, they honestly aren't taxing on anything but shoulder stabilizers. People can say differently, but that's because they have unbalanced conditioning and the get=ups will show you exactly where you are weak, just like many of the exercises here will. WIth a balanced body, get-ups are not a big deal in terms of fatigue.

As long as you don't wear out your shoulder stabilizers before pressing, you should be fine no matter where you put them! Warm up is not a bad idea, but you would want to skip them or go pretty light on pressing days.

As for why do military press, the only good reason I can see aside from getting good at moving external loads is that they will work the shoulder girdle differently than the HSPU or handstand work, and because of that the combination should enhance handstand training. I certainly wouldn't want to do that more than once every 7 days though. More like every 10, for me at least.

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Chris Hansen

I would put them in a pull workout, if you have such a thing. I know, that sounds weird. Here's the thing: Get- ups are a coordination exercise. They are not for maximal strength, nor are they for power. To do a get up you have to be very coordinated, especially if you are using a 7 foot bar. Knowing that, I wouldn't want to do them at the end of a hard pressing day. A second option would be at the end of a lower body day, but if you do lower body and core together that could be problematic. I guess it depends. If you were to put it at the beginning of a workout, I'd put it at the beginning of a legs/core workout. I really don't think these need to be a separate workout, they honestly aren't taxing on anything but shoulder stabilizers. People can say differently, but that's because they have unbalanced conditioning and the get=ups will show you exactly where you are weak, just like many of the exercises here will. WIth a balanced body, get-ups are not a big deal in terms of fatigue.

As long as you don't wear out your shoulder stabilizers before pressing, you should be fine no matter where you put them! Warm up is not a bad idea, but you would want to skip them or go pretty light on pressing days.

As for why do military press, the only good reason I can see aside from getting good at moving external loads is that they will work the shoulder girdle differently than the HSPU or handstand work, and because of that the combination should enhance handstand training. I certainly wouldn't want to do that more than once every 7 days though. More like every 10, for me at least.

Thanks!

I tend to do full body workouts. Right now I'm experimenting with alternating between a horizontal push/pull, thigh dominant day and a vertical push/pull, hamstring dominant day. Maybe I'll stick a few get-ups in the beginning as a warm up, they seem to be good for a shoulder issue I have.

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Joshua Naterman

I have definitely heard many people talk about how get-ups have helped their shoulder issues. I hope it keeps working!

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Blairbob

If you follow the GB program of MTuThF, that leaves 3 other days for stuff like bent presses and TGU, etc.

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Jason Stein
If the goal is general physical development and conditioning, both olympic lifting and gymnastics offer great benefits. However, there is the very real issue of time, and it both endeavors require some dedication. Eventually most people will need to to focus on one or the other, even if they do not aspire to greatness in either. Even a person who has ample time and can handle a large volume will be limited in how much they can do. I respect the Crossfit approach, to some degree, but my goals became more gymnastic oriented as I went on. While I used to do weightlifting exercises regularly, and enjoyed them very much, I just found myself doing it less and less in favor of gymnastic style strength training.

Wolf,

It's interesting you mention this, because my thoughts on Crossfit is that over time (1-2 years) people will self-select out of the generalized approach to take a specific approach, usually either powerlifting or O-lifting, although now Coach Sommer has provided a resource for a gymnastic-specific training.

I have played with pairing gymnastics and some of the slow lifts but with a shifting of my priorities I've been following the GB WODs exclusively.

I've incorporated weights for some assistance exercises. What has worked best for me is to focus on one weighted accessory movement per cycle, which for me is 3 weeks, 8 workouts on/4 workouts 30-60% off.

This cycle the accessory work is an attempt to balance out anterior/posterior shoulder girdle, so for example I am performing 3X8 muscle snatch or "Cuban pull" on either Ring, Conditioning Pull or Press, and Embed days.

Next cycle I am considering Trap 3 or Powell raises.

I don't have the energy — or even just interest, for that matter — to spend on incline presses or back-squats ... I'd rather spend that time on my hands, you know?

Also, Jim Bathurst wrote an article for Performance Menu regarding weights + gymnastics, specific pairing of exercises as well as programming. It might be worth seeking out.

best,

jason

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Joshua Naterman
If you follow the GB program of MTuThF, that leaves 3 other days for stuff like bent presses and TGU, etc.

See, this is where I think people fail. If you take a good, focused look at the GB WODs you will see that each training day happens only once every 8-13 days, depending on what it is. Despite this massive infrequency we get rapid gains. Do not make the mistake of creating a "weightlifting day" on a rest day. Instead just do like I said, and throw in one exercise that is unrelated to the muscle groups. Do your bench press, bent press, whatever upper body weights you do (if you do this sort of thing) on a Friday. You only need a few sets if you're doing it properly, it's not a big deal. Do your squats on a handstand day. Skill lifts like get ups should be done as a warm up or after the WOD portion of a leg day, whether it is dynamic or not. That's honestly the best way to integrate weights into the WODs. I'd stick to maybe 3 upper body weighted exercises per lifting session and switch things up each week. For example, week 1 could be bench, weighted pull ups, and military press. Week 2 could be weighted dips, weighted chins, and maybe that's it. 3 hard work sets is plenty. More than that will hurt, not help. For the lower body work, the only things that are really going to be worth the energy investment are full ROM (ass to ground) squats and deadlifts. You should alternate these from one week to the next. Additionally, you should probably put one swinging or explosive exercise in here as well. Kettlebell swings are great, and so are clean pulls (snatch pulls could be put in here as well). That's about it in my opinion. Why these exercises? They generalize well to all the specific work we do. I'd do 2-3 sets of each of KB swing and clean/snatch pull, and 2-3 sets of either full ROM squat or deadlift. Let your body be your guide!

There are a few reasons I say this is the 'best' way.

1) Full range, high intensity work requires a lot of recovery. Work should be done with the most weight that perfect form can be maintained for 5-7 reps. 2-3 seconds eccentric, explosive concentric. That makes 30s the absolute maximum for each set. This approach keeps exposure within the limits of most people, meaning that this should not have a negative impact on the WODs. Some of you may need to keep it to 2 sets per exercise. That's fine!

2) By selecting these days, you avoid hitting either the upper or lower body too hard near a maximal GB WOD for the trained muscle groups, and also has enough rest between high intensity WODs and the lifting to let you perform close to maximally. The relatively low number of exercises, combined with the emphasis on strength development, will keep you from exhausting yourself. You should not be tired after these workouts! They should seriously take less than 20 minutes.

3)By only lifting once a week, you have PLENTY of time to be ready for the next lifting day.

4)By switching exercises but still targeting similar muscle groups you will avoid CNS fatigue.

5) The work selected generalizes the MOST to human physical ability. This lifting is nothing but a tool that will improve strength acquisition, it is not a goal in and of itself. You will get stronger in these workouts, but don't start focusing on specifically pushing as far as you can go in them. That is not the purpose and WILL work against you in your quest for more gymnastic ability.

You can try forever to do better than this, and you will fail. I think that the only "improvement" would be the slow addition of weighted inverted sit ups. This is trickier to program in, and not entirely necessary but I DO believe it would help.

A final note, should you choose to lift: DO NOT WEAR A WEIGHT BELT FOR WORK SETS OR WARM UP! EVER!!! They cause your core to relax because they provide abdominal pressure instead of the core muscles doing it. This will make you WEAK and will teach your body to relax under heavy loads. You need to teach it to be TIGHT and CONTRACTED under heavy loads! Belts make you easier to injure and directly un-learn proper body tension! DO NOT USE BELTS!

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Chris Hansen

See, this is where I think people fail. If you take a good, focused look at the GB WODs you will see that each training day happens only once every 8-13 days, depending on what it is. Despite this massive infrequency we get rapid gains.

This is a concept I've been struggling with.

I grew up on Pavel's material and I'm used to the idea of deadlifting 5 days per week or "greasing the groove" several times per day. The idea of waiting almost 2 weeks between deadlift sessions makes me uncomfortable. I'm sure you're right but it's a different idea than that of frequent practice improving the skill of strength.

The other thing is that, if there's something I'm trying to improve on, my tendency is to want to do more of it.

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Coach Sommer
... I grew up on Pavel's material and I'm used to the idea of deadlifting 5 days per week or "greasing the groove" several times per day. The idea of waiting almost 2 weeks between deadlift sessions makes me uncomfortable. I'm sure you're right but it's a different idea than that of frequent practice improving the skill of strength.

The other thing is that, if there's something I'm trying to improve on, my tendency is to want to do more of it ...

There are far too many components of Gymnastic Strength Training™ which need to be addressed for such an approach to work here. This is one of the primary reasons why when people transition to the GB WODs from their own programming, they often discover a multitude of areas which they have undertrained or neglected all together that they were not even aware of.

Also many of the Gymnastic Strength Training™ components are inter-related and training one tends to have a synergistic effect on several other components also; even though those components may have not been directly trained that day.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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gymrob
The other thing is that, if there's something I'm trying to improve on, my tendency is to want to do more of it.

Hansenator,

If you feel a weak link needs working on, you can fit this into your periodization. In most cases, when specializing it is better to increase the number of sets for that particular movement whilst having other training at more of a maintenance volume. Look up Ido Portal's posts on the forum for more information on this. It has been said numerous times: try and achieve everything in your training and you get nothing. Emphasise certain elements of your training whilst maintaning other abilities.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean "Oh I really like handstand press ups so that's all I'm going to focus on". Instead, try to find out what is your limiting factor in your development and then target it. Hint: for upper extremities, for most people it is external rotators of the shoulder and trap 3. This comes from a course I recently did from Charles Poliquin. You can find out more about structural balance via google to give you an idea of targetting and assessing weak links.

Hope this helps,

Rob.

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