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Tomas Johansson

How Far Will "foundation One" Take Me?

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FREDERIC DUPONT

It should be this month :)

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Larry Roseman

FiN, unless your form is particularly horrible the best thing to do would be to focus on foundation 1 and then maintain your current abilities with whatever your minimum training investment to actually maintain those abilities is. 1-2 sets per training day is probably plenty.

 

That allows you to keep what you have, and spend the bulk of your time and energy on the foundational work.

 

What we are getting with Foundation is the preliminary training that all gymnasts get. It is THAT training that makes them exceptionally strong, and leaves them prepared for learning all the cool stuff we all want to do! 

 

You know what they say about building houses, the foundation is everything.

 

Thanks for thinking about my situation Josh. I don't disagree that it might be best for my gymnastic development to start foundation 1. 

 

However I've decided to back off from it for now, because I don't feel that I'll be able to handle it, mentally perhaps as much as physically. The scope and duration of it is overwhelming to me.  And multiply that by 5 times (including handstand)! If these preps were always standard practice for gymnasts why are most of them just now presented? Some of the progressions in 1 will be easy but some I can see I will be stuck on for a long time. It's just not what I want or can deal with right now.  Perhaps in a few months I will revisit it.  I just don't want to start anything new unless I am able to fully commit to it for the duration...

 

Wish anyone who has started it the best success, of course!

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Matthew Kinnaman

I think this F1 is the building block i needed to get further in this training. The mobility exercises are priceless to me. This was very humbling and exciting and i hope everyone enjoys it as much as i do!

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Adam Williams

I think the mobility instruction, on top of the rest, is what has made me decide to buy the foundation series and give it a shot. I've been primarily following training advice from coach Sommer's book and all the excellent contributors here at these forums for the past 9 months, but this may well be my first post (heh...). So hi, everyone :) . There's so much information here, that most of my questions are already answered...especially questions I didn't even know to ask. Of course, I've also had to get a lot of information from other sources, so I'm very intrigued by what the Foundation series says it offers.

 

Then again, "had to" is too strong of a phrase. I think it's always a good idea to pull information from multiple sources if you can find it. But I sure wouldn't mind a single, well-structured, detailed program from a trusted source also! There's still plenty of questions I don't know to ask, so I want all the knowledge I can get my hands on.

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Larry Roseman

If one has the strength already to perform the basic foundation move, and assuming the foundation move does indeed help one perform the goal move, does having more endurance to perform the foundation longer or more times assist in performing the goal move any more than one is capable of already?   

 

More reps/time doesn't increase maximum strength - it may increase hypertrophy but strength increases require progressive overload.

 

To make an analogy in running, shorter distances such as 100m and 200m are almost entirely anaerobic, and other than for recovery purposes there is little benefit in these events to develop a runner's endurance. If my goal is to perform 5 seconds of FL, how does being able to perform minutes of a lower-level foundation move help me?

 

In lifting, would I lift a 50 pound bar 100 times in order to double my strength to to lift 500 pounds once?

Powerlifters use short sets to increase strength - and that was the theory of using reps of 5 with the original

GB approach as well I believe.

 

If I'm going to put in the time into this (which I still may) I would really like to understand the theory behind

this...

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Connor Davies

The line between strength and endurance is fuzzier than you might think.  High rep/TUT work does an excellent job of preparing the connective tissue for greater gains.  What you are essentially doing is preparing your body to handle more intense work later.

 

And I have to ask, why are you hesitant to start on a long program?  You were planning to be a few years older anyway right?  Why not be able to do manna, straddle planche etc when you get there?

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Jon Douglas

You think? I would've thought adding more (perfect form) hold time for things like front lever and straddle pl would be the goal, as it leads onto pl pushups and fl rows, as well as other transitions like 360 pulls and galimores. And that's without taking into account the strength developed by the holds themselves.

My perspective is more like wanting those holds to be relatively easy so that I can focus on the movement goal. Just my 2c.

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Joshua Slocum

If one has the strength already to perform the basic foundation move, and assuming the foundation move does indeed help one perform the goal move, does having more endurance to perform the foundation longer or more times assist in performing the goal move any more than one is capable of already?   

 

..................................................

 

If I'm going to put in the time into this (which I still may) I would really like to understand the theory behind

this...

 

The simplest answer is that you want to build up a good enough base of endurance that fatigue will not be a limiting factor when you are training more advanced movements. Training more difficult movements requires volume and intensity; in order to train at a reasonable volume with a consistently high intensity, you will need that endurance.

 

 

Also, keep in mind that the purpose of the foundation series is to guide you through mastery of the seven fundamental body-weight exercises. Take a look at the mastery templates. Do you see a 1x2reps or a 1x3s hold template? No. The mastery standards with the lowest volume are 5 sets of 5 reps, and 5 sets of 10s holds. Do you think you already have the endurance to do a full-lay front-lever set at 5x10s?

 

 

Finally, there's just the matter of efficiency. Greater endurance lets you train more in less time because you need to rest less.  

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Coach Sommer

I am going to be firm here.  This conversation has moved on from a single question to what is now becoming merely an endless series of nitpicking; not based on fact but simply due to the answers you are receiving not fitting neatly into your preconceived notions of what F1 should be.

 

If you were already as strong as a gymnast, then you would be in a more reasonable position to be constantly critical of each recommendation made here.  Until then, you would be better served with more training and less conversation.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Erik Bowling

If one has the strength already to perform the basic foundation move, and assuming the foundation move does indeed help one perform the goal move, does having more endurance to perform the foundation longer or more times assist in performing the goal move any more than one is capable of already?   

 

More reps/time doesn't increase maximum strength - it may increase hypertrophy but strength increases require progressive overload.

 

To make an analogy in running, shorter distances such as 100m and 200m are almost entirely anaerobic, and other than for recovery purposes there is little benefit in these events to develop a runner's endurance. If my goal is to perform 5 seconds of FL, how does being able to perform minutes of a lower-level foundation move help me?

 

In lifting, would I lift a 50 pound bar 100 times in order to double my strength to to lift 500 pounds once?

Powerlifters use short sets to increase strength - and that was the theory of using reps of 5 with the original

GB approach as well I believe.

 

If I'm going to put in the time into this (which I still may) I would really like to understand the theory behind

this...

Given the rep schemes of Foundation 1, and I presume the follow up volumes, it clearly goes from maximal strength training, to muscle gaining to endurance. Further, the rep schemes of the mastery level of each exercise appears to falls between strength gains and pure muscle gain. Considering that the point of the GB Foundation Series appears to be strength and conditioning training for fundamental gymnastic skills, I don't really see what the problem would be with the way the courses are presented. This conclusion is based on my understanding of rep schemes and their relationship to work volume, ie 3-6 reps for strength gains, 6-10 muscle gains, 10+ typically hypertrophy.

 

To be frank, if you're looking for pure maximal strength gains and more regular overload than you would probably be better off with standard barbell training doing the basic lifts (bench, back squat, deads, rows). I would argue that gymnastic training is better for the upper body, especially once you've progressed to ring work, because of the use of unilateral training and having to work with unstable apparatus.

 

The best thing you can do is ask what you're goals are and decided how you want to achieve those goals from there. Once you've done that you'll know if GB is for you or not.

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Larry Roseman

Given the rep schemes of Foundation 1, and I presume the follow up volumes, it clearly goes from maximal strength training, to muscle gaining to endurance. Further, the rep schemes of the mastery level of each exercise appears to falls between strength gains and pure muscle gain. Considering that the point of the GB Foundation Series appears to be strength and conditioning training for fundamental gymnastic skills, I don't really see what the problem would be with the way the courses are presented. This conclusion is based on my understanding of rep schemes and their relationship to work volume, ie 3-6 reps for strength gains, 6-10 muscle gains, 10+ typically hypertrophy.

 

To be frank, if you're looking for pure maximal strength gains and more regular overload than you would probably be better off with standard barbell training doing the basic lifts (bench, back squat, deads, rows). I would argue that gymnastic training is better for the upper body, especially once you've progressed to ring work, because of the use of unilateral training and having to work with unstable apparatus.

 

The best thing you can do is ask what you're goals are and decided how you want to achieve those goals from there. Once you've done that you'll know if GB is for you or not.

 

Thanks for your suggestion. I'm working that out. Am hoping for a reply from Coach regarding one question, sometime in between his preparing world class gymnasts and dealing with lots of happy, new customers  :)

 

It's all good and I don't have anything against endurance or hypertrophy. I've been doing GST for over a year, and made good gains and improvements, using it to avoid upper body weights mainly  ;) However, after a time of just using it for intense strength training it became interesting on its own. Then I started getting interested in doing certain moves, for which a certain, greater level of strength was required.

 

It's easy to go from zero to some gymnastic strength, but not so easy to go from some to a lot, and gather that others struggled with that too and that is why Coach came up with the Foundations program.  

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FREDERIC DUPONT

(...) It's easy to go from zero to some gymnastic strength, but not so easy to go from some to a lot (...)

 

Good point. I think this is true for all sort of strength work, not just GST. :)

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brianmerrill

Are stall bars needed for foundation one? 

 

If not, Is there any equipment at all needed?  My current equipment is pull up bar with rings hanging from it.   

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Coach Sommer

- While you can certainly find substitutes that are sufficient for the short term; for the serious GST student stall bars are an irreplaceable piece of equipment.  

 

My athletes use the stall bars everyday.  GB Seminar students also spend a great deal of time on the stall bars.  In the past I have had as many as 12 stall bars in the gym.  My current facility only has room for four stall bars and I dearly wish I had room for eight.

 

- You can build your own for as little as $75 following plans from the Equipment section of the forum, or purchase stall bars from a variety of vendors on the internet.

 

Regardless of which direction you go, in the long term stall bars are as essential to GST as rings.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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brianmerrill

I understand that stall bars are of utmost importance but I live in an apartment and cannot install stall bars in it sadly.

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Joshua Slocum

It is entirely possible to build a free-standing set.

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Guest PLO8

I understand that stall bars are of utmost importance but I live in an apartment and cannot install stall bars in it sadly.

Is there no place to put them, or are you afraid to damage the wall?  If latter, it's pretty easy to repair and paint over when you move out.  

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Philip Chubb

If you live near a gym, you can use the squat rack and safety pins as a sort of adjustable stall bars.

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Stewart Whaley

As coach said, a few of us have posted our DIY stall bars in various threads.

Mine could easily be done in an apartment and secured into wall studs with a few screws.

That is how mine is secured to a garage wall.

Repairing the holes wouldn't be any more difficult than dealing with ones left from hanging pictures.

I have never had an apartment charge me for leaving picture frame holes. Ever.

Still, a couple bucks of putty and paint solves the problem and saves your security deposit.

Hell, back in college I filled them with toothpaste a couple of times when the paint was white and the wall had some texture.

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FREDERIC DUPONT

(...) back in college I filled them with toothpaste a couple of times when the paint was white and the wall had some texture.

 

HAHA! That was you! :angry:

 

 

:D

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seiyafan

I have a question about F1. There are seven fundamentals but If I just want to achieve let's say planche and front lever, can I just do the movements for only these two in F1 and subsequently F2, F3 and F4, and not bother about the other five? Or do all seven, in some way, compliment each other?

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Scott Malin

I have a question about F1. There are seven fundamentals but If I just want to achieve let's say planche and front lever, can I just do the movements for only these two in F1 and subsequently F2, F3 and F4, and not bother about the other five? Or do all seven, in some way, compliment each other?

They very much compliment each other. The Foundation series is about building athletes to a higher standard, not just getting a cool move or two. In order to achieve forum ranking (and benefits that will come from that) it will be necessary to demonstrate mastery across the board.

That said, no one will force you to do it that way. You can choose to focus, but our recommendation will always be to master everything given. Whatever you do, just make sure you always give your personal best every time to it.

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Arto Ratilainen

They very much compliment each other. The Foundation series is about building athletes to a higher standard, not just getting a cool move or two. In order to achieve forum ranking (and benefits that will come from that) it will be necessary to demonstrate mastery across the board.

 

What are these benefits from forum rankings?

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Joshua Slocum

I have a question about F1. There are seven fundamentals but If I just want to achieve let's say planche and front lever, can I just do the movements for only these two in F1 and subsequently F2, F3 and F4, and not bother about the other five? Or do all seven, in some way, compliment each other?

 

Doing so would be a very bad idea for several reasons. First of all, you need to make sure your workout is very well rounded; that it targets your body all over instead of in just a few areas. Failure to do so will result in structural imbalances that can impede progress and lead to injury. Second of all, the program is designed on the assumption that you will be working on all seven movements at once: each progression is not necessarily self contained, and may depend on strength or skills you were supposed to have gained in another movement's earlier progressions. Thirdly, you need to ensure that you're incorporating enough bent-arm work into your routine, to act as joint pre/rehab. Skipping RC and HBP would be a bad idea for that reason.

 

Fourth of all, you'd then be missing out on tons of quality programming that you already paid for. If you're already going to go through the trouble of working out 4 times a week, why not take an extra 20 minutes each time to do the other foundation exercises as well? 

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seiyafan

How does it take for an average person to perform all 7 movements each day, including rest time?

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