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Philip Chubb

Two Strength Questions

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Coach Sommer
He did say it is something some people don't achieve.

He is correct that 'some' won't achieve a full manna :roll:, however as Ido has neither achieved nor taught a manna; perhaps it would be wise to discount whatever opinions he may hold regarding this skill.

Do not be overly pessimistic regarding the manna. As with all things in life, there are many things that not everyone will achieve. Is the possibility of failure an acceptable reason to not begin in the first place?

For the record, in the past I have had approx 75% of my team able to perform mannas with as little as 10 min concentrated effort per day.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Aaron Griffin

Coach, what exactly does "training the manna" involve for most people? Are we talking middle split hold work? Would this be good to work in with a beginner's l-sit and straddle-l work?

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Philip Chubb

Oh of course Coach! I am too stubborn to believe otherwise. And even if I did, it would pain me to not at least try. I will give it my best! Have you ever seen an adult achieve it without formerly being a gymnast?

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Indeep Jawanda
For the record, in the past I have had approx 75% of my team able to perform mannas with as little as 10 min concentrated effort per day.

Just for clarification, would this be training on a daily (7 days a week) basis or training 4x/week as outlined in the weekly programming schedule in the book? I have also read where you said wrist pushups should be performed everyday. Again is this 7x/week or according to ones weekly strength schedule?

Thanks, just wanting some clarity.

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Scott Malin

The manna seems so out there because a good majority of us spend each day training our hips to do the exact opposite thing. This is the primary difference between learning the move as a child versus an adult who has developed disfunction over the years. Is it more difficult for someone who doesn't start at ground zero in terms of flexibility and hip strength? Of course. Does that make the manna any less achievable? No. Difficulty is a reflection of where you are in your physical training relative to the goal, not what's possible for you.

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Brian Li

What are the full benefits of manna anyways? I know balancing the shoulders is one of them.

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FREDERIC DUPONT
What are the full benefits of manna anyways? I know balancing the shoulders is one of them.

You get the girls... :shock: :lol:

...sorry, I could not resist; I think manna is really cool 8), but I don't know the answer to your question.

Fred

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Brian Li
What are the full benefits of manna anyways? I know balancing the shoulders is one of them.

You get the girls... :shock: :lol:

...sorry, I could not resist; I think manna is really cool 8), but I don't know the answer to your question.

Fred

Do girls really like the manna? How many girls do you know get wowed by a manna? lol :lol:

I think the manna looks cool too, but it's so hard to train and attain it. I can do an advanced L-sit on floor no problem, but I get my ass kicked by the first manna progression especially with the hand placement with fingers pointing back. How can one push back optimally with fingers pointing back?

Does the manna really strengthen and stress the rear deltoids heavily?

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Scott Malin
Do girls really like the manna? How many girls do you know get wowed by a manna? lol :lol:

I think the manna looks cool too, but it's so hard to train and attain it. I can do an advanced L-sit on floor no problem, but I get my ass kicked by the first manna progression especially with the hand placement with fingers pointing back. How can one push back optimally with fingers pointing back?

Does the manna really strengthen and stress the rear deltoids heavily?

How long are you able to hold the L-Sit on the floor, and can you do it for mulitple sets? How solid is your straddle L?

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Edward Fraser

Where was Ido's post on Manna, I don't remember seeing it or maybe I just missed it...

Has anyone got the link?

thanks

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nf46
He did say it is something some people don't achieve.

He is correct that 'some' won't achieve a full manna :roll:, however as Ido has neither achieved nor taught a manna; perhaps it would be wise to discount whatever opinions he may hold regarding this skill.

Do not be overly pessimistic regarding the manna. As with all things in life, there are many things that not everyone will achieve. Is the possibility of failure an acceptable reason to not begin in the first place?

For the record, in the past I have had approx 75% of my team able to perform mannas with as little as 10 min concentrated effort per day.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

Do you think it possible for anyone in reasonable shape, even adult beginners then, coach? I don't see why it wouldn't be, but I am sure Ido had some sound reasoning when he said what he said.

Also, you say 75% of your team were able to perform mannas. What then prevented the other 25% from performing them?

Also, does anyone have an example of an adult beginner who achieved manna?

Thanks in advance :)

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Coach Sommer
... but I am sure Ido had some sound reasoning when he said what he said ...

Why would you assume someone had sound reasoning for giving advice regarding a skill that they themselves had never achieved nor successfully taught?

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Joshua Naterman

I know, seriously.

I think it's important to realize that for us adults the Manna is a much longer term goal than an Iron Cross. Not because it requires more strength or anything, but because it requires a combination of completely unfamiliar movement patterns, unfamiliar flexibility, and unfamiliar strength.

The vast majority of what we do here, even the really hard stuff, is nowhere near as different from our normal movements. Sure, the leverage in planche is lower but I'm pretty sure we all know how to press ourselves off the ground on a basic level. I think we have been doing that our entire lives, even if it is just getting up from a chair or rolling out of bed.

How many of us push behind us with your hands? How long from birth did it take our nervous systems to learn to walk? 1-2 years? To jump efficiently? 5-7 years, and that is with constant training in the case of the young Wu Shu kids. And that was without bad habits to unlearn. Without strong, tight muscles and joints to loosen and re-educate. Without that one weak link (long head of the triceps) that just takes forever to strengthen from zero to being able to lift our adult bodies.

We are talking about essentially uncharted territory as far as I am aware, but there is no reason for this to not be possible for a reasonable number of people. Like other high level bodyweight skills, being lean and having advantageous leverage will help but that ability to press the body up is really the trick. That requires 60-70 degrees of shoulder extension, which is actually the ideal NORMAL range of shoulder extension. That's right, it isn't some freaky thing. I'm holding my athletic training book right now, and the normal range of shoulder extension is 30-60 degrees. That's what we should all have in terms of active flexibility without training for it. Now me, I don't even have 20 degrees I don't think. Haven't actually measured with a goniometer but I remember our teacher looking at me during lab and shaking her head when I tried :)

Now, a high manna, or even crazier lifting up into a handstand? That's a bit different. There comes a point where certain things do have to happen in childhood and sometimes special genetics are required for one to accomplish certain feats, but seriously we are not talking about any of those here. That is the realm of contortion for the most part.

Whether any of us achieve Manna or not will depend on our willingness to write out a 10 year training plan to achieve it and follow that. That may be a slight long shot, but for me personally I don't think so. I think for someone with my flexibility and body size that if manna is possible it will take about that long unless someone has serious physical gifts. Obviously as you get smaller you don't need as much absolute strength, and that will shorten the timeline somewhat but no one actually knows how much.

If it makes any of you guys feel somewhat hopeful, Dillon started gymnastics when he was 15. His flexibility sucked, it was about as bad as mine is now which is awful. Worse in some ways... we have joked about it before, especially regarding shoulders. I can now do inlocates on rings, so I can tell you that there is a lot of room for improvement. Anyhow, at almost 20 he almost [pressed into a manna last year! Surprised all of us, including Coach and himself. He had no idea, never thought he would get that far.

Yes, he's young still but seriously he's a young adult now just like many of our members. It IS possible. It will require timeless dedication, meaning that we must do what we need to do without worrying about how quickly we progress, because there are just so many things we have to build and fix and learn in order to do the Manna.

Get comfortable, grab snacks, and rent an apartment... we're all going to be here for a while. That is the only way we are going to achieve the Manna.

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Philip Chubb

Thanks for that write up Josh! I get a similar feeling. How many people want to train a skill that they'll make .1 percent increases in at a time? Oh well. It's the journey not the destination. And training it will be better than the people who aren't right off the bat.

Just out of curiousity and because it's so hard to find, what exactly is so genetically particular about a high manna? Do the shoulders need to be taught that range of motion early on? Kind of like ballerinas who have to turn their hips out when they are young?

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Coach Sommer

Josh is being vastly over dramatic; 3-4 years with correct training should bring the majority of people reasonably close to at least a partial manna if not an outright full manna. Josh is struggling with skills of this type as he has only recently become serious about attending to his flexibility needs.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Aaron Griffin
If it makes any of you guys feel somewhat hopeful, Dillon started gymnastics when he was 15. His flexibility sucked, it was about as bad as mine is now which is awful. Worse in some ways... we have joked about it before, especially regarding shoulders. I can now do inlocates on rings, so I can tell you that there is a lot of room for improvement. Anyhow, at almost 20 he almost [pressed into a manna last year! Surprised all of us, including Coach and himself. He had no idea, never thought he would get that far.

Any examples of people in their late 20s? I was pretty much sedentary (and a smoker) until around 26-27. Started getting serious about working out in the last 1.5 years. I'll be 30 in a month.

Is there any hope? :| :| :|

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Joshua Naterman
Josh is being vastly over dramatic; 3-4 years with correct training should bring the majority of people reasonably close to at least a partial manna if not an outright full manna. Josh is struggling with skills of this type as he has only recently become serious about attending to his flexibility needs.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

You are probably right :) I am, however, no longer afraid of long timelines! I have learned that if I make something a 5-10 year goal it seems to progress much faster because I am no longer in a hurry! I think that is the single most important thing I have learned here. I'm much further along in my rehab than I thought I would be because of that.

My flexibility is pretty poor because as you have said, I am literally only now starting to deal with it. It's harder when you wait until 30 but it still comes with time :) All I can say to everyone is don't wait... At the very least, work on pike, bridge (this includes thoracic mobility), wrist flexibility and shoulder extension. It sucks to have the strength of a gorilla and the flexibility of a 2x4. :oops:

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nf46
... but I am sure Ido had some sound reasoning when he said what he said ...

Why would you assume someone had sound reasoning for giving advice regarding a skill that they themselves had never achieved nor successfully taught?

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

Firstly, thanks for the reply, Coach.

I was simply going on previous experience. On the internet, it is often hard to know who to listen to. Since Ido's posts were pretty much always full of sound reasoning on bodyweight strength, and he primarily deals with training adults, I can only assume that he had some reason for saying this. No disrespect meant here Coach, but how many adult beginners have achieved a manna with the GB program yet?

Also, going back to an earlier post, what do you feel are the benefits of manna?

Thanks in advance for any replies, Coach or otherwise. :)

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Joshua Naterman

Performed properly, Manna helps maintain shoulder mobility (mostly scapular movement at the AC and CC joints, as well as the various muscles) by keeping the anterior tissues from shortening due to way too much hollow work, which even back lever and 360 pulls require at the shoulders. Manna also keeps the posterior shoulder girdle in balance with the anterior shoulder girdle. Just as you have to have some pretty extreme anterior strength to perform a full planche, you are going to need some pretty extreme posterior strength to perform a full Manna.

I hope that helps.

As for accomplishing the Manna, you should know that it is very similar to old time strongman feats of strength in that it is a long term process that the vast majority of people simply do not follow faithfully. If you asked anyone today whether a 205 lb man at 6'1" could squat down and curl a 112 lb kettlebell to his chest while holding an additional 336 lbs overhead (after getting it there fro the ground with one hand in the form of a barbell), then stand up with it all, press the kettlebell and hold it all overhead they would look at you like you're crazy. Then ask if this could be done without steroids. Welcome to Arthur Saxon, who did this in 1898 at the age of 22. This is actually a historical fact and a matter of legal record due to a legal dispute with Eugene Sandow over the lift.

If you want to talk about this lift, open a new thread in the Community section.

The purpose of me mentioning this is that every single person here should realize that it would take us many years to be able to perform this lift. The manna is very similar, because it takes a lot of skill and balance as well as strength, except that there are moments where you can't see your progress for long periods of time. There are long periods where it seems like you will make no progress. Even Dillon seemed to run into a wall for over a year.

Do you, any of you , any of US, have the will and the patience and the faith to practice something for a year or two after progress seems to stop? If not, we will never achieve the Manna. This may not happen to all of us, but in BtGB Coach clearly states that once you get to the horizontal middle split, you can expect to spend about a year there. For those of us who are heavier, expect longer.

Without extreme patience, diligence, and consistency none of us will achieve the Manna. It is impossible to say who can actually do it and who can't, but I think that in many ways it is a lot like ring strength: Take it slow, be consistent, and don't try to speed things up. You will get there.

I'm not trying to be a cheerleader or a hype man that wants you to jump off a cliff to certain death. I am trying to help you understand that few if any adults have accomplished this because few if any adults have actually followed the correct process. This is no different than many other things, including ring strength.

Stop worrying and start training. If you are worried about failure you have already failed.

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nf46
I hope that helps.

Indeed it does, thank you :D

Stop worrying and start training. If you are worried about failure you have already failed.

Well said. :)

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Coach Sommer

nf46,

Good questions. Please excuse me if I come across rather direct and frank in addressing them.

1) Why is it hard to know who to listen to?

You have one of the world's leading experts in Gymnastic Strength Training™, a trainer of national champions and a long time USA Jr National Team Coach providing you with training advice and you are wondering whether to listen to him or the latest johnny come lately self designated fitness "expert". Honestly?

Fitness enthusiasts would make much more rapid progress if they would learn how to separate being entertained from being educated.

2) The assertion that the GymnasticBodies program is only effective for children is simply smoke and mirrors with no basis in fact. Attending any of the GB Seminars around the world will allow you to see for yourself the efficacy of the GB Program for adults. In the interim, you should also review the seminar photos available in the media section of this forum.

4) Training the manna is necessary to build extension strength in the shoulder girdle and to balance out the anterior delt emphasis of high level ring strength elements.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer"

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Ryan Libke
If it makes any of you guys feel somewhat hopeful, Dillon started gymnastics when he was 15. His flexibility sucked, it was about as bad as mine is now which is awful. Worse in some ways... we have joked about it before, especially regarding shoulders. I can now do inlocates on rings, so I can tell you that there is a lot of room for improvement. Anyhow, at almost 20 he almost [pressed into a manna last year! Surprised all of us, including Coach and himself. He had no idea, never thought he would get that far.

Any examples of people in their late 20s? I was pretty much sedentary (and a smoker) until around 26-27. Started getting serious about working out in the last 1.5 years. I'll be 30 in a month.

Is there any hope? :| :| :|

I did not start gymnastics style training until my late 30's, and at age 40, I feel I am making reasonable progress on the manna, while balancing :?: a profession, marriage, kids, dogs, cats, housework, cancer, shakuhachi, gardening, Wii, etc. Luckily, i brought some flexibility with me from doing martial arts during my formative years. Frankly, I really don't care if I actually do the manna; I am enjoying the progressions nevertheless.

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Nic Branson

Well said. Enjoy the journey, that is the part that matters.

We're lucky to have the advice we get here. Both from coach and others. Please do not take it for granted.

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Brian Li
Do girls really like the manna? How many girls do you know get wowed by a manna? lol :lol:

I think the manna looks cool too, but it's so hard to train and attain it. I can do an advanced L-sit on floor no problem, but I get my ass kicked by the first manna progression especially with the hand placement with fingers pointing back. How can one push back optimally with fingers pointing back?

Does the manna really strengthen and stress the rear deltoids heavily?

How long are you able to hold the L-Sit on the floor, and can you do it for mulitple sets? How solid is your straddle L?

I haven't done L-sits in a very long time, but I just tested it today at the gym and I can do about 15 seconds advanced L-sit on the floor with shoes on, I don't know how long I can do a regular L-sit. I did 2 sets 5-8 minutes apart both having about the same time before the gym was closed. I'm sure it was longer back then when I actually did some advanced L-sits in training and still had my full front lever. Oh and I think the reason my L-sits gave out is because my quads were cramping pretty badly. As for the straddle L, I never really did those before, but I tried them a few times before in the past and could only do them with a very narrow hand placement and with fingers facing back due to low flexibility in the straddle or opening of the legs and low flexibility in wrist extension.

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nf46
nf46,

Good questions. Please excuse me if I come across rather direct and frank in addressing them.

No problem Coach, I appreciate the reply.

I would like to add that I am tremendously appreciative of the time and effort that goes into the GB program, both on your part, and on the part of every person who contributes to the forum. As a previous poster said, this is a great resource.

Enjoy your training guys :)

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