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Jeff Walker

Ring Workout

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Jeff Walker

Im a long time free weights lifter but have been moving more towards bodyweight and weighted body-weight moves lately.  I started doing pull-ups  dips, pushups  here and there - then I liked it so much that I decided to alternate workouts where one time I do free weights then I do bodyweight.  The more I do the bodyweight stuff, the more I am beginning to think it moves give me superior strength gains than free wights and they seem to translate over to free weights very easy.

 

I was nervous and still am about coming off the weights completely - afraid I will lose any size and strength, I do know if thats true or not.  Right now, I usually do the bodyweight workouts with a TRX system but I recently purchased a set of rings and am beginning to think they are they holy grail of strength.  

 

The problem is, I have no idea how to use them.  I was hoping someone has some guides or can provide a workout that would give me good strength and size gains.  I know I want to be able to do the hard moves like Muscle ups and iron cross, planches, etc.  while I want to work towards those, I also want to get a good workout.  I have about an hour to dedicate every other day.

 

Any resources that you can point me to or workouts, etc, Strength Tests etc?

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FREDERIC DUPONT

You are in luck jwalker, Coach Sommer's new edition of "Build The Gymnastics Body" will be available in the coming weeks.

You'll find all you need, and more :)

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Jeff Walker

Thats good but I need some resources to get started now.  any help would be appreciated. 

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Blairbob

http://www.drillsandskills.com/article/17

 

This should suffice in the meantime.

 

Shoot for 5 sets of 5 of the most difficult progression you can do (safely). Skin the cats might not be that easy at the beginning. You can make them a bit easier by bending the arms or with a little swing to initiate the leg lift.

 

Attempt to work up to 60 second holds in hang or support. Be it ring support and inverted hang then L hang and german hang and so forth.

 

Enjoy. Play!

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Jeff Walker

I'm just curious if anyone has given up traditional free weights completely in favor of Rings or Gymnastics lifting?

 

The more I workout with TRX and more importantly Rings, the more I think that There really isn't any movement that I can do with free weights, IE barbells, dumbbells, that I can mimic on the rings.  I'm just worried about giving up free wights entirely and afraid of losing my strength levels on free weights

 

Does anyone have any experience in this regard?  

 

Again, I am not a gymnast, I am just a fitness enthusiast who has, after many years of free weights, realize and am coming to appreciate the difficulty and benefits of strength training in a gymnastic way, ie Rings and Bars aka Parallettes, etc.  So Im especially interested in hearing from other people with a background similar to mine. 

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Stefan Hinote

<blockquote class='ipsBlockquote'data-author="jwalker497" data-cid="93671" data-time="1357745503"><p>

I'm just curious if anyone has given up traditional free weights completely in favor of Rings or Gymnastics lifting?<br />

<br />

The more I workout with TRX and more importantly Rings, the more I think that There really isn't any movement that I can do with free weights, IE barbells, dumbbells, that I can mimic on the rings. I'm just worried about giving up free wights entirely and afraid of losing my strength levels on free weights<br />

<br />

Does anyone have any experience in this regard? <br />

<br />

Again, I am not a gymnast, I am just a fitness enthusiast who has, after many years of free weights, realize and am coming to appreciate the difficulty and benefits of strength training in a gymnastic way, ie Rings and Bars aka Parallettes, etc. So Im especially interested in hearing from other people with a background similar to mine.</p></blockquote>

I stopped the majority of my weight training in favor of gymnastic type training, and have never looked back. My RMs have gone up on traditional weight training exercises when I test them from time to time, and I've gotten bigger.

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Larry Roseman

Personally I don't understand the point of carrying around a lot of bulk if the only thing it's good for is lifting weights that make you more bulky still. :D  I would rather have strength to do things, like handstands, levers, muscle ups, that require more body sense like coordination, flexiblity and balance in addition to strength.

 

For legs, I've started training pistols, and glute ham raises can be used as well. However, people here still do squats and OL. There's nothing wrong with doing weights if you like them. Or doing weighted BW exercises if you care to.

 

I find TRX a little more unstable than the rings - perhaps because they are on one strap. But it's more like insecure than unstable. I find it's better for core stuff than upper body. I would suggest searching for a training guide and videos...

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Jeff Walker

Thanks for the info, anyone else?

 

Another thing that has me concerned is how to balance volume.  I normally do a 2 day Split where I train my Torso (Back,Chest,Shoulders), and then, Limbs (Legs/Arms).  My rotation goes TORSO (A), off/cardio, LIMBS (A), Off/Cardio TORSO(B), off/cardio, LIMBS (B).

 

The (A) workouts are done with Free Weights and the (B) workouts are done via TRX/Weighted Bodyweight movements.

 

For example

TODAY = I did TORSO (A) which is free weights.  Bench, Rows, Presses, Pulldowns, etc.  All done with free weights or a machine.

TOMORROW = I will do cardio/Abs.

FRIDAY = I will do LIMBS (A) which is Free weights for Legs and Arms.  

SAT = Followed by cardio/off, then

SUN = I will do TORSO (B) which is done via TRX/Bodyweight.  Ie weighted pushups, inverted rows, pullups, HSPU, etc.

MON = off/cardio

TUE = LIMBS (B) Legs and arms done via bodyweight/trx ie Dips, Chinups, etc.

 

Im wondering how to incorporate the rings into this.  Naturally, I can replace all TRX Exercises with Ring Exercises.  

 

The other idea was to take the Day off and work on the rings but I am afraid that this might be too much training.  Then again, I know gymnasts train every day, so Im not sure if this type of training lends itself to train everyday.   If I do a back/chest/shoulders workout wehether with free weights or rings/trx, then the next day do some more ring work, im afraid thats overtraining.  My goal is to gain size and strength.

 

The other issue is that if I just replace my TRX exercises with rings, I wont have anytime to practive some ring skills like muscleups or L-sits, or levers, crosses, etc.  I only have an hour and I have dedicated exercises to perform like bodyweight curls, weighted dips, tiger pushups, etc.

 

Where can I fit in practicing the Ring Moves.  I was thinking of doing in on my off days which I do Abs and then swim.  Im thinking that practicing the ring skills is lots of ab work and gives me at least some time dedicated to working on these skills, ie handstand on rings, etc.

 

Any ideas on how to best incorporate the rings into my schedule/program?

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Larry Roseman

I'm doing something similar though over 7 days I find 8 day cycles difficult to stick to, although I like the balance of them.

 

If you're willing to replace the upper body free weights with rings, that's the place. The arms and torso are the logical place for the rings training. However, there's nothing to say you can't supplement with free weights.  And of course legs are not trained with the rings so  do what ever you like there.

 

Then you could do skill work on the TRX days. 

 

I find a couple days in a row of rings are ok as long as they aren't identical exercises. 

 

I also have 2 cardio days per week, run an easy 8K one day and a tough 4K the other composed various distance repeats.I don't consider either recovery, and still take at least 1 full day off during the week. For you 4 strength/skill, 2-3 cardio and 1-2 rest over 8 days seems about right.

 

I think it is a mistake though to do a full weight program combined with a full rings/GB training program though. Make one primary and supplement with the other.  Edit: For example, doing rings + bench + squat (every 4 days) make sense to maintain mass. The weights are going to hit areas that the rings won't as much.  OH press could be used until you are able to use HS push-ups as well.  Something like this works for you?

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Jeff Walker
I'm doing something similar though over 7 days I find 8 day cycles difficult to stick to, although I like the balance of them.

 

If you're willing to replace the upper body free weights with rings, that's the place. The arms and torso are the logical place for the rings training. However, there's nothing to say you can't supplement with free weights.  And of course legs are not trained with the rings so  do what ever you like there.

 

Then you could do skill work on the TRX days. 

 

I find a couple days in a row of rings are ok as long as they aren't identical exercises. 

 

I also have 2 cardio days per week, run an easy 8K one day and a tough 4K the other composed various distance repeats.I don't consider either recovery, and still take at least 1 full day off during the week. For you 4 strength/skill, 2-3 cardio and 1-2 rest over 8 days seems about right.

 

I think it is a mistake though to do a full weight program combined with a full rings/GB training program though. Make one primary and supplement with the other.  Edit: For example, doing rings + bench + squat (every 4 days) make sense to maintain mass. The weights are going to hit areas that the rings won't as much.  OH press could be used until you are able to use HS push-ups as well.  Something like this works for you?

 

 

Can you explain what you mean by '....."For example, doing rings + bench + squat (every 4 days) make sense to maintain mass. The weights are going to hit areas that the rings won't as much"

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Hernandez C

OP you should be careful with doing too much volume on strength training, especially on rings since it can quite overkil for a beginners tendons and joints, and on the topic of losing your strength in relation to free weights, the magic of physics and manipulating leverage can produce loads of force and torque in all planes on motion, and also gets your body into a high degree of muscular tension from the stabilizing action of many gymnastic skills.

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Jeff Walker

Future - Id be interested in hearing you provide an example.  

 

I guess what I am trying to figuere out is how I can fit all this in.  I agreee the logical place to do the ring work is in place on a TRX/Ring Workout but I guess im not sure how to make it a workout per se.   You have to understand that Im a weights guy and I think in terms of Sets, reps, etc.  How do I get an effective ring workout.  

 

On the TRX bodyweight days, I would do weighted pushups, Weighted Dips, tiger pushi, etc.  I guess Im afraid by removing these exercises, I would be losing a day of stregth training.

 

But I still want to work on skills on the rings becuase I dont think I will be able to do a muscle up by just doing dips and pullups - at some point I need to attempt the move or at least begin doing negatives for the move.

 

This is my dilemna.  It also doesnt help that I also sprint, swim, etc.  I just wish there was a way I can fit it all in.  

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Larry Roseman

Yes, i agree with HZ that you do have to watch your volume and intensity with the rings. 

 

Honestly, I had a lot of questions coming into this, and still have some. But I found that starting and feeling my way through it provided the best answers for me. No one knows your body, your capacity and your training like you, right?

 

I thought originally that you were trying to angle towards predominantly a bw / rings routine but still wanted to retain mass - in the event you *might* lose some. Several people responded that you won't. I didn't (but was not a weightlifter beforehand). I don't know your body but lets say your concern is founded. In that case I think you should keep 2-3 mass building weightlifting exercises going perhaps every 4 days. Squat (for posterior chain), bench or DB press (for chest). Those hit areas that are generally less worked out on rings.

 

You could do the dips and pushups on the rings. Could be on your TRX days for sure, but then you are planning to do arms on other days too right? If you can handle it fine but do be wary. 

 

Or you could cut out some of your weights and replace with rings and skill training on the arms and torso days. Usually you can do skill first then strength both in the same session. Certainly on leg and trx days. Basically though in rings you are training movements not muscle groups. So it's hard to compare to weights 1:1.  

 

First I did warmup and statics that had more pre-req corework. That you can do before almost any workout.

 

For sets, I initially started with the rings high and did what I could do with them there. Hangs and Pull ups. Move the rings partly down and can practice front/back lever. Further down and get support, dips and tick-tocks. Further down and get rows. Farther down and get pushups. Did that for 2-3 sets of each. That's one way that I started. It's not the best way necessarily but it worked well enough for me. Basically a full upper body workout that would cover arms, shoulders and torso - top to bottom. 

 

Sets of 5-8 usually work best. Do you have BtGB (book)? When you can do more you look for a harder variation or exercise. Of course somethings like pullups and pushups we like to do more of anyway. 

 

Another approach would be to say have 2 full body weight sessions per week or 8 days , perhaps alternating squat and deadlift on each of those 2 days. Then have 2 rings days - 1 in lieu of the TRX - merging TRX onto a ring day. The BB split isn't needed. You do warmup, statics, skills and strength on each of the ring days. That's 4 days strength per week, 2 of which are partly skills. You could go lighter on some of the days as you find out what volume and intensity allow you to work best.

 

There are other people who integrated the two. Search for those. And keep reading stickies for ideas. 

No workout plan is perfect. Start slowly, integrate gradually I would suggest. Start with the prereqs. Just supporting on rings, especially with them turned out is hard and can be enough of a challenge. Drop those weighted exercises which are less effective and keep those that are more effective. Then you'll have something that works best for you.

 

Hope this helps  :huh:

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Jean-Rene Losier

I trained with weights for almost 3 years straight before jumping head first into doing ONLY GB training. I haven't lost any mass, in fact, I've gained mass in areas I'd always had a hard time gaining muscle before using only weights. Plus, all of my lifts that I used to do on my weights routine have increased whilst only having touched weights 2 times since starting 6 months ago. So really, stop being afraid you'll loose strength if you jump into bodyweight training, it's quite the opposite if you do it correctly from my experience.

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Jeff Walker
This is all good info guys and I really appreciate the encouragement and help!!  I did my first ring workout over the weekend.  It was awesome yet pathetic.  I Really need some guidance on what I should be doing.  I did exercises like pushups, Inverted Tucked Rows, Inverted Shrugs, Dips, Practiced some moves like skin the cats, rolls.  Im not sure how to do these moves and exercises do I work them like tabatas or traditional sets and reps. 

Can anyone give me a sample beginner routine to developp strength.  Also, I realized that Bar training is also important like HSPU on bars tucked pushups etc.  Any ideas there?

 

Thnaks.  

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Jeff Walker

somehow I accidentally quoted myself - sorry.

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Jeff Walker

Ok how does this sound!

Day 1 - Upper Body (Ring exercises and skills)

Day 2 - Lower Body + Sprints and swim

Day 3 - upper body (free weights)

Day 4 - Lower body + swim and sprints

Repeat day 1

I will take rest days as they come via work/life etc

With this plan i will get to the rings every 4th day, is this roo much time between ring workouts?

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Stefan Hinote

I wouldn't necessarily say it's too much time as you'd still be getting a good workout, but you may be limiting your progression, or at least substantially increasing the time it takes to progress to the next move.

 

Are you doing any of the fundamental static positions on any days?

 

Muscle Ups will require pullup and dip strength in combination with working the transition movement, and false grip.

A planche won't be trained on the rings at least until you can do one on the floor. L-sit->planche progressions.

Iron cross has many prereqs: rings -> support hold -> L-sit -> BL -> FL -> HS -> press to HS -> planche

 

So if your not working the progressions for planche, BL, FL, and HS work several times a week than I find it hard to believe for anyone to eventually achieve such goals as an iron cross or planche--or perhaps they would, but it would add years to the traditional average time frame. I'm probably not "spot on" on everything I pointed out, but it should suffice.

 

This is what I've put together for my training after reading the forums and BtGB: http://beta.stefanhinote.com/routine/

 

Others will follow the WODs, or kilroy template, but for whatever reason I never felt comfortable trying to follow either. Perhaps once I'm stronger and don't have to figure out the lesser progressions for the WODs than I'll do those.

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Jean-Rene Losier

Well if you're goal is to simply be fit then yeah, that's a good enough routine in my opinion.

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Jeff Walker

Future thanks for the info. I will look into the link i appreciate that but at first glance it seems like another language.

When u said i might be limiting my proflgress what did you mean.

If i hit the rings every 4th day for an hour is this enought time on the rings to get better at skills and build strength. If not what do you reccomend?

I dwitched my workouts ro be upper and lower to better accomodate ring work but still not sure if its enougj and still not quite ready to drop weights altogether

I really appreciate the link. I have about an hour

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Joshua Slocum

I would just get rid of the free-weights. Unless you are a competitive weightlifter or a bodybuilder or you need to isolate a specific muscle group, there's no good reason to do free-weight training at the same time as bodyweight training. 

 

The primary issue is that many body-weight exercises require not just power, but also skill and control. Free-weight exercises will build power, but not much skill or control. If you want to learn skills like handstand push-ups, planche push-ups, front-lever pull-ups or a manna, you simply can not gain the requisite balance, coordination and form from free-weight exercises. So if you're working those sorts of skills once a week, your level of skill will not keep up with your level of strength. The free-weights will just hold you back.

 

With regards to losing strength or mass: this is a reasonable concern to have, but it doesn't play out that way in practice. In terms of strength, the carryover from body-weight training to free-weight training is very impressive. There are multitudes of stories of people who, after achieving a high-degree of body-weight strength, found that they could lift huge amounts of weights. Few and far between are the stories of weight-lifters who one day found they could perform an iron cross. 

 

In terms of mass, hypertrophy (muscle growth) is independent from the type of exercise you're doing. If you want to focus on gaining muscle mass, you do more reps at lower intensity (8-12 reps). If you want to focus on gaining strength, you do less reps at higher intensity (3-8 reps). All advanced body-weight athletes are phenomenally well-built. Unless you're hoping to gain the physique of a body-builder, standard body-weight training will serve you just fine. 

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Stefan Hinote
Future thanks for the info. I will look into the link i appreciate that but at first glance it seems like another language.

When u said i might be limiting my proflgress what did you mean.

If i hit the rings every 4th day for an hour is this enought time on the rings to get better at skills and build strength. If not what do you reccomend?

I dwitched my workouts ro be upper and lower to better accomodate ring work but still not sure if its enougj and still not quite ready to drop weights altogether

I really appreciate the link. I have about an hour

If that was directed towards me than all I'm saying is that the goals you've listed that you want to one day achieve don't come overnight, and only training the progressions every fourth day is going to substantially lengthen the time it takes to achieve such.

 

You also seem to equate ring work as the progression or means to accomplish your goals (iron cross, planche, muscle up, etc), but are disregarding the basic prereqs and FSP/FBE that occur on the floor.

 

I highly suggest reading the "getting started" section of the forum, BtGB book, and truly define what your goals are.

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Jeff Walker

I Dont have any goals like doing specific goals, other than getting stronger.  I believe the rings are the most efficient tool to build real strength and so thats why i"m getting into it.  Of course, I'd love to be able to perform impressive skills like iron cross, levers, hSPU on Rings, Levers, Muscle ups etc.  But those are secondary goals and I feel like they will come with time as my strength increases.

 

So right now, I just designed a workout to perform on rigns that mimics my free weight routine.  Instead of doing bench press, I will do pushups on rings, instead of barbell rows, I will do tucked inverted rows on rings.  Then at the end of this upper body workout, I will try to work on some skills.  Some days I might do the skills before the workout, etc. 

 

Either way, Im hoping that since this is all new to me, the more I do these basic exercises the stronger I will get and hopefully I will be more proficient and the close to accomplishing the various skill moves.  

 

I go to the gym every day in the morning and I have about an hour.  Right now I am going to do the following split

 

Day 1, Upper Body (free weights)

Day 2, Lower Body (Squats & Spritns/Swim)

Day 3, Upper Body (Ring Workout)

Day 4, Lower Body (Deads & Sprints/Swim)

Repeat.

 

I plan on taking a day off as they come or as I feel I need them

 

Im hoping that by being on the rings every 3rd day, thats a good balance between frequency and recovery.  

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Larry Roseman

Every 4 days is ok to start.  I personally started out doing about 2x a week,and I found that was enough. 

 

When I cut down to once every week or ten days for a while because of focusing on other things, there was definitely a drop in ability when I returned.  Now I'm starting up again. 

 

However, I wouldn't neglect the pre-reqs and the statics that include a lot of core work.

They can be used as a warm-up on almost any day.

 

Personally also I did have better results with rings for upper body than weights, but that in my case is because I was more regular and worked harder with the rings because there are objectives I'm shooting for other than just lifting "more weights".It also involved more of my whole body even working just the upper body and that made it more interesting for me.

 

The lower body programming looks good to me.  You could possibly train SLS/GHR as accessory movements.

 

Don't neglect the rest, really making it a 5 day cycle with a  5th day of rest / mobility may be worth considering.

 

Swimming easy? If it's hard, like team training, it might be too much after rings/weights. Personally I can only do easy swimming the day after. 

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Jeff Walker
Every 4 days is ok to start.  I personally started out doing about 2x a week,and I found that was enough. 
 

When I cut down to once every week or ten days for a while because of focusing on other things, there was definitely a drop in ability when I returned.  Now I'm starting up again. 

 

However, I wouldn't neglect the pre-reqs and the statics that include a lot of core work.

They can be used as a warm-up on almost any day.

 

Personally also I did have better results with rings for upper body than weights, but that in my case is because I was more regular and worked harder with the rings because there are objectives I'm shooting for other than just lifting "more weights".It also involved more of my whole body even working just the upper body and that made it more interesting for me.

 

The lower body programming looks good to me.  You could possibly train SLS/GHR as accessory movements.

 

Don't neglect the rest, really making it a 5 day cycle with a  5th day of rest / mobility may be worth considering.

 

Swimming easy? If it's hard, like team training, it might be too much after rings/weights. Personally I can only do easy swimming the day after. 

 

 

Thanks I appreciate your feedback.  

 

What are the pre-reqs and statics you mentioned?   Also unsure what this means SLS/GH?  

 

Thanks!

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