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Tavis G

Gymnastic bodies book vs convict conditioning?

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Ian Legrow

I am jsut shocked honestly. I was 120lbs over a year ago, then ic ame across this website. iwas skeptical hoenstly, but found it to be legit. Not only have i gotten much stronger then i ever did body building, but in have gotten so much bigger that my family is in shock, and i don't even train for hypertophy. Coach not only has Created a book, provided rings, and DVDs, he also puts videos on youtube. On top of that, I have sent him PM's for advice from time to time, and he always get back to me. Where else can you get that?? A lot of us can tell anyone who questions coach's credentials that we have all seen progress in leaps and bouds since we started. I have gain 16 lbs since starting this a little over a year ago, why? Becasue of the nutrition thread. Why are my HS so decent? becasue of the HS thread, ever single thread has something to offer and quite frankly if you don't think coach has enugh credentials, then go look elsewhere for your fitnes advice. ALl ofus live by what he says and he is patient with everyone here. There are no other systems ihave found that are as effective. None. SO why are some people still being so ignorant?

just my opinion

-Ian

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Guest Ragnarok
That's a little bit like saying a calculus text written by a PhD professor isn't as good as an algebra book written by a grade school teacher because you can't understand it.

I think many people are living in a fantasy world where things that take many years to do should somehow be done now. Putting this program together isn't like popping a TV Dinner in the microwave.

I like the BtGB book and all, but you are simply wrong. It really was poorly written in many areas.

Just take a look at this forum. How many threads are there asking about SSC, statics hold time, programming, etc. etc.?

If the book took care of all this, there wouldn't be any threads asking those things.

For a book that is supposedly for the general audience, fitness enthusiasts, whatever, it sure was poorly written.

If you're gonna publish a book you better make sure you do it right. Even more so one about gymnastics.

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Scott Malin
That's a little bit like saying a calculus text written by a PhD professor isn't as good as an algebra book written by a grade school teacher because you can't understand it.

I think many people are living in a fantasy world where things that take many years to do should somehow be done now. Putting this program together isn't like popping a TV Dinner in the microwave.

I like the BtGB book and all, but you are simply wrong. It really was poorly written in many areas.

Just take a look at this forum. How many threads are there asking about SSC, statics hold time, programming, etc. etc.?

If the book took care of all this, there wouldn't be any threads asking those things.

For a book that is supposedly for the general audience, fitness enthusiasts, whatever, it sure was poorly written.

If you're gonna publish a book you better make sure you do it right. Even more so one about gymnastics.

It doesn't matter if you try to answer every conceivable question in a book, there will always be people asking the same questions. The reason for a second edition isn't due to lack of quality content in the first, but rather because the fitness level of the general population is so poorly suited for GST. Movements that ought to be basic to the human body have become totally foreign due to imbalances in training, the media, some bad reccomendations from academia, and commercial gyms prioritizing profits.

It's easy on the Internet to treat it as a level playing ground where everyone has equally credible say. But put yourselves in Coach's shoes: if you'd spent thirty plus years producing high level athletes, spending time to learn from the best of the best, it would seem silly for someone to come along and claim they know better without any athletes to show for it, and using ideas that are at times contrary to what the best coaches in the world use. It isn't about ego it's about not seeing people waste time when there is a system that works and produces exceptional results in the athletes he trains (both elite and non elite).

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Coach Sommer
I like the BtGB book and all, but you are simply wrong. It really was poorly written in many areas.

Just take a look at this forum. How many threads are there asking about SSC, statics hold time, programming, etc. etc.?

If the book took care of all this, there wouldn't be any threads asking those things.

For a book that is supposedly for the general audience, fitness enthusiasts, whatever, it sure was poorly written.

If you're gonna publish a book you better make sure you do it right. Even more so one about gymnastics.

I always find it interesting how everyone became an expert in GST; AFTER I published BtGB.

Is BtGB perfect? No. Was it utterly unique in being the first book to ever bring high level GST to the fitness market? Absolutely.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Guest Ragnarok
It doesn't matter if you try to answer every conceivable question in a book, there will always be people asking the same questions. The reason for a second edition isn't due to lack of quality content in the first, but rather because the fitness level of the general population is so poorly suited for GST. Movements that ought to be basic to the human body have become totally foreign due to imbalances in training, the media, some bad reccomendations from academia, and commercial gyms prioritizing profits.

It's easy on the Internet to treat it as a level playing ground where everyone has equally credible say. But put yourselves in Coach's shoes: if you'd spent thirty plus years producing high level athletes, spending time to learn from the best of the best, it would seem silly for someone to come along and claim they know better without any athletes to show for it, and using ideas that are at times contrary to what the best coaches in the world use. It isn't about ego it's about not seeing people waste time when there is a system that works and produces exceptional results in the athletes he trains (both elite and non elite).

I didn't say it needs to answer every conceivable question. I meant only the basics of the basics. If you're gonna publish a book and leave out the very most basic stuff, then you shouldn't be publishing a book in the first place.

Like for example the so-called pre-requisites: not a word is found about them in the book. This was "secret stuff" from the seminaries and only recently have they "spilled the beans" on them. What gives?

Or how you should first have a 60s l-sit before beginning any planche work, well supposedly that is. Or how you should get some FSP's before others. This isn't in the book either.

Or how only certain progressions should be taken up to 60s and some to 15s only.

To name a few.

This is "about not seeing people waste time". Yeah, sure.

In case you don't know, which obviously you do, all that does is nothing but waste time.

But then you could say "oh, that's why the forum is there, all your questions are answered there". But are you supposed to read the forum along with the book? What about someone who doesn't have access to the forum but only to the book? As far as im concerned there is no instruction to read the book together with the forum, because you shouldn't be supposed to.

I always find it interesting how everyone became an expert in GST; AFTER I published BtGB.

Is BtGB perfect? No. Was it utterly unique in being the first book to ever bring high level GST to the fitness market? Absolutely.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

To say that no one had any idea of GymnasticsStrengthTraining, or how to achieve planches, crosses or front levers before BtGB is, at the very least, laughable.

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Joshua Naterman

Ragnarok:

Before BtGB came out, there was no marketed gymnastic strength and conditioning program that was in any way progressive or well-thought out in existence. No one was teaching it publicly. You either went to a gymnastics gym and hoped they had solid progressions for what you wanted to learn, had a friend who was a gymnast and hopefully knew how to help you learn, or were basically screwed and left to fend for yourself. BtGB changed that.

As for the pre-requisites, Coach didn't intentionally exclude them. He didn't realize we wouldn't be able to tell that we needed to maintain a hollow... this isn't something you have to tell a gymnast. It is hard to remember the very basic things... it would be like if you asked a question to a Ph.D. in molecular biology, they would have a hard time thinking "hey, this guy might not know what a molecule is." That's the kind of basics we're talking about, and the basics have been publicly released here to make up for that short-coming. There is a lot of unpublished stuff that will be in 2nd ed. in addition to that info, including a complete reorganization of training to address the issues people have with SSC programming.

How was Coach supposed to know that people couldn't or wouldn't do basic math or be unable to figure out that doing billions of sets of every exercise would be a bad idea?

All of this is easy to say when you aren't the author, who has an extremely full life as it is without this forum. Being a full time student with a job and a girlfriend that I spend a good bit of time with, while trying to compile what will be the gymnasticbodies nutrition guide, is proving to be very difficult. It would be even more difficult if I were in his position. I am quite sure that there will be issues and that it will have to be revised a number of times, and even then we won't know the true issues until the first presentation. That's how this goes... none of it is as easy or straightforward as it appears to be. I thought much the same as you a few years ago, and now I know better.

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FREDERIC DUPONT
(...) If you're gonna publish a book you better make sure you do it right. Even more so one about gymnastics.

Great, I'll be looking forward to your book than. :)

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Daniel Burnham

I think this thread has probably gone on long enough. Coach never said he was the first to have an idea of how to achieve a planche the levers or other gymnastic strength moves. There are several (I hesitate to say many) coaches who have had this knowledge but it was always located in their gyms and was really only known to gymnasts or those who interviewed gymnastic coaches. It was not knowledge that was known by the fitness community.

Coach has done an incredible service. He has made public the progressions that he uses to achieve elite gymnastic strength.

He has released a systematic way to gain this strength without injury.

He has created a community that has some of the best aggregate knowledge of all things fitness.

He has hosted seminars to allow those enthusiasts to better understand his training techniques.

He works answering questions and clarifying those things that were not included in the book.

He works to release a second edition that fills in the gaps that the first may have left out.

Anyone who thinks that what he has done isn't enough then follow the other training systems. Ignore the advice of someone who consistently develops elite athletes with little injury along the way. I hope you do not have the same frustration, pain and stalling that I have seen others have.

I for one can't wait for the september seminar. I have recently received coaching by several olympic gymnasts who have competed in past, and still I refer to coach sommers progressions because they are so well thought out and are known to lead to progress without pain when done correctly.

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FREDERIC DUPONT
(...) I always find it interesting how everyone became an expert in GST; AFTER I published BtGB. (...)

QFT!

I have become an expert too! :D

Look out for my new book: Siberian Strength: Cold therapy, log carrying and gymnastics secrets that made the men in the GULAG strong on cabbage soup and birch bark!

Credentials: The author, FredInChina, lived in Siberia for years, read the BtGB book, & is an active member of the forum... Joshua Naterman knows him!

:lol::lol::lol:

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Mats Trane

Just think if all the time that was spent on this thread, instead was spent on training! Stop wasting time guys!

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FREDERIC DUPONT
Just think if all the time that was spent on this thread, instead was spent on training! Stop waiting time guys!

It is just planned recovery :roll: 8) :D

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Quick Start Test Smith

@Fred, where can I pre-order your book? Siberian strength sounds way better than this GST people keep talking about... is the birch bark strictly necessary? :lol::facepalm:

Joking aside, I agree with Mats. Books get updated and refined all the time; there's no reason to get bent out of shape about whether it means the first edition was bad or whether the 2nd edition will just be that much better! Go train :D

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FREDERIC DUPONT

The final title is Siberian Strength for Suckers - the forum is at SSSR.com :D:lol:

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Mark Weaver

I didn't have any problem understanding BtGB or how to develop a program after reading it. I thought everything was well laid out, and a fantastic resource. Also, it seems like a major principle of the book is adapting the workout to your situation and strength, i.e., flexibility. For anyone still struggling, just follow the WOD and use the book to help adjust the exercises to your level.

Add the ideas and clarifications from this forum, and it's worth way more than Coach charges, especially when you factor in all the time he spends responding to posts on the forum.

Have been recommending the book, this site, and Xtreme rings for nearly 4 years now to friends and family or anyone I meet interested in fitness.

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Ryan Libke

I would note that many excellent instructional books come out with second, third, etc. editions. Anything that is written can be improved upon. With the internet, the feedback an author may have is much more immediate, but the time and effort that goes into writing is unchanged. Many other authors use the internet as a medium by which to offer additions or corrections in the interim. The fact that new information is provided is not a fair argument against the original work. Coaching or teaching via books should be a dynamic process, and the practitioner is benefitted by post-publication commentary.

A student of any art will consider various different sources of information or guidance, hopefully employing critical reasoning skills to determine which sources are credible and useful, and those which are not. There has been a proliferation of information on Gymnastic Strength Training™ of late, but, as the above posts reflect, Coach Sommer was one of the first persons, if not the first person, to distribute a workable method for training non-gymnasts to the general public. Having been attracted to this kind of training for decades, and being somewhat older than some of the practitioners here, I can tell you this kind of information simply was not available to most people. I wish I could have been doing this years and years ago.

After reviewing a fair amount of the material that has come out recently, I have found other sources besides BtGB that I like, and some that I do not. Ultimately, though, I have found BtCB to be the superior source, and the most consistently useful, workable, and productive. It is difficult, if not impossible, to impart a physical culture entirely through the media of books, video, and the internet. In the martial arts, such media can supplement one's study, but never replace live instruction and training with live partners. Remarkably, I have been able to take the information presented here and in the book and translate it into real results. I can do a workable front and back lever, as well as a quick straddle planche. The proof is in the pudding, as it were.

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Gerald Mangona

I can see that emotions about this are riding high on all sides of this. I'll keep it short and sweet:

- Coach has a platinum level of authority in speaking about and teaching his craft. Very few of us have the talent and drive to do anything at the olympic level of competition in any aspect of our lives. The fact that he has taught many speaks volumes.

- When Coach first wrote his book, I'm quite sure he was not picturing me or others whose need for ultra- ultra- low level progressions were paramount. For example, in the section marked "Curls", I am not at the level where I can do even the easiest of progressions. In fact, I've seen Josh Naterman's video and am not even at the level where I could do those. Using some basic knowledge and scaling I finally found a progression that I've been running on SSCs for 18 months that started with doing only negative reps for a 6-second count.

Surmising what I can from Coach's writings about the many progressions leading to the Iron Cross, it's clear that his concern about injury and injury prevention supersedes any of our ambitions that skip through progressions. The fault -- if any -- of the first book is that its intended audience did not include those of us who are so novice at this that we needed much more basic progressions. And so here I sit, inspired by the path laid out, but ill equipped to forge ahead until I meet a few criteria first. That is not anyone's fault. It's a function of forging ahead and the creative process.

This is not a microwave meal; it's still a work in progress. But even my amateur eyes know that it's a stellar work by any standards and is incomparable to anything else on the market.

- I have read Convict Conditioning. One thing that it does is offer extremely basic programming. It encourages a 2x per week schedule and extremely basic movements that are scaled to levels for even the most de-conditioned. Could somebody look a the BTGB book and scale those movements down? Of course. Though, the problem is that the people who are likely to need those movements to be scaled down so much are also the people who have the least experience to know how to do that.

I'm sure that when the 2nd edition of BTGB arrives it will completely and totally blow Convict Conditioning out of the water.

- The last thing -- totally aside from the CC question -- is that the GB forum which Coach oversees and others moderate is far and away the best online community of which I've ever been a part. The people on this forum value expertise over ego, are patient with questions, and write with a tone that is focused more on building others up rather than putting themselves on a pedestal. This is FREE. And is like a diamond in the rough as far as online communities go. This is in large part because of Coach's moderation and should not go unmentioned. It's filled with people who are mature student/athletes in this craft at many different stages of life and athletic development. We should all be grateful for its existence; I am.

I look forward to both the 2nd edition of BtGB as well as flying out for a seminar sometime in 2013. At first, I was reluctant, but when I've added up the reduced costs of my cancelled gym membership, I'm sure that experience will be worth every dollar.

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Rik de Kort

I'm sure that when the 2nd edition of BTGB arrives it will completely and totally blow Convict Conditioning out of the water.

The first ed. already does.

But for people who need lower progressions, don't be afraid to ask! We've got quite a few creative people here.

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Gerald Mangona

I'm sure that when the 2nd edition of BTGB arrives it will completely and totally blow Convict Conditioning out of the water.

The first ed. already does.

But for people who need lower progressions, don't be afraid to ask! We've got quite a few creative people here.

Correction...

I'm sure that when the 2nd edition of BTGB arrives it too will completely and totally blow Convict Conditioning out of the water. :)

p.s. on the seminars do I get to meet all these forum veterans? That would be a blast as well.

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Larry Roseman

There's no comparision between the two books really. CC is just a fun book with a few useful ideas.

GB is a much larger in conception and reflects a life's work. It is both broad and concise at the same time.

It requires some guidance to use at times, and perhaps that will be addressed. But it's not uncommon for

great books to require further explanation to be fully understood.

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FREDERIC DUPONT

Here is a little help guide for wannabe coaches....... er ....... marketers... :lol:

writing-for-fitness.jpg

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Ryan Libke

How much is that?

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yuri marmerstein

http://www.goldmedalbodies.com/

here is another ripoff of GB, featuring some guys with unimpressive skills and physiques, but apparently with an eye for marketing

Notice the cuts they make in the video everytime one of them does a bent arm press

The thing is that any one from this forum can own all those guys, but they may have a certain appeal to the "average" person due to them not being particularly strong or muscular. Plus that most average people don't have the drive to really pursue something to be good at it, which is a shame

I can see how there are times someone like me may scare people off, even though I use clear cut progressions from the beginner onward.

It's a shame to see these ripoffs, but by statistics they have to exist so that a program as great as GB can be around

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Mats Trane
Plus that most average people don't have the drive to really pursue something to be good at it,

THIS is what its all about!

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anhkun

is this a troll post? cos we havent seen one response from OP

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