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Dynamic Workout Structure

Guest jhgym2

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I think this was originally posted in the wrong forum, please take a look any help is always appreciated:


I've been working on establishing arm strength exercise groups for which I will include in our new conditioning program for my gymnasts. 2 sets, 5 reps max, cycle of 8-16 workouts. Each exercise group will have variations of exercises progressively getting harder (ROM, angle, etc.).

The exercise groups are Overhead Pushing and Pulling, Front Pushing and Pulling, Downward Pushing and Upward Pulling.

Where I'm running into trouble is listing out the order of exercise variations to follow for each group. I am finding that the exericises are becoming more and more complex and even end up on different apparatus. It seems I may be getting away from the original purpose, building maximum strength. Let me give an example and hopefully I can get some input as to if I'm headed the right direction.

Exercise category: Downward Pushing (Dips)

Order of Variations:

Floor, Hands Elevated (Reverse Pushups)

Parallettes, No Elevation (Reverse Pushups)

Parallettes, Elevate Feet to Knees (Reverse Pushups)

P-Bars, Support Feet at Hip Height (Reverse Pushups)

P-Bars, Support Feet at Shoulder Height (Reverse Pushups)

P-Bars, Support feet on Bars (Reverse Pushups)

P-Bars, Elevate Feet to Elbow Height (Reverse Pushups)

P-Bars, Dips

P-Bars, Dips in Tuck Sit

P-Bars, Dips in L-Sit

Rings, Support Feet at Hips (Reverse Pushups)

Rings, Support Feet at Shoulders (Reverse Pushups)

Rings, Dips

Rings, Dips in Tuck Sit

Rings, Dips in L-Sit

Am I getting way off base here? Should I stop these progressions at simple Parallel Bar Dips and just continue to add weight via weightvests?

Also, I'm having a little trouble getting my head around when the athletes should upgrade the variation. Should they only do this at the end of a cycle (say by 10 workouts they have mastered their current variation for 2 sets, 5 reps with great form), or should I have them move up a variation every workout and base a wave cycle around this?

Any help is always appreciated; this forum has been a great resource for me but I think it's time I asked for a little guidance. Thanks.


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(IMO) you're overthinking it. Find out what your athletes level is and then challenge them. It doesn't necessarily have to be "we're going to do downward pushing and downward pulling then X."

Dip progressions are good but ultimately get them on rings doing turned out dips. Perhaps add weight if they're stronger. Concurrently, do multi-plane movement work such as dip swings building up to handstand as well as perhaps different rings strength sequences like Galimores.

Single exercises are nice and yes they work, but your ultimate goal is to get them to be able to use this strength for their routines. Think about developing their strength and conditioning levels to the point that they will be (1) prepared for their current level by competition time (so if they're struggling with some strength work in their routines you may focus on that) *AND* (2) starting to prepare for the next couple years -- so if they're moving up to level 8+ or whatever you should be working on developing some of the rings isometric and strength sequences.

Sometimes the best strength work is to work on weaknesses.

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