What's the Rush with GST Results?
Coach Christopher Sommer, the founder of GymnasticBodies and former long-time U.S. Junior National Team Coach, likes to tell the story of a young man who had expressed some training concerns to him on the popular GB Forum. Gymnastics Strength Training™ was the single most important activity in this young adult's life, so he said. Unfortunately, he also vented frustration about the lack of progress he had been making recently. Naturally, Coach Sommer asked the athlete how old he was and how long he had been training. His response? 18 years old, and he had only been training GST™ for 2 weeks! What's all the rush for?
This story comically highlights the folly of youth. It also exposes a dangerously immature approach to training that many of us have gone through. We want things now, not later, and we expect our physical training to yield virtually immediate results. "I did one stretch session yesterday," so this viewpoint goes, "so why don't I have my front splits yet?!" Put in such simplistic terms, the foolishness of this argument is very clear. Let's dig a bit deeper, however, and see how this faulty line of thinking might be hidden in how we approach our training.
Consistency Builds Champions
When the average person goes to see a world-class, jaw-dropping performance such as Cirque du Soleil or the Olympics, their first thoughts typically go to how incredibly talented and exceptional the performers are. There is certainly an aspect of truth to this. However, there is also another truth about these high-achieving people. They have put in years, if not decades, of consistent hard work. When you watch the male gymnasts compete on the rings this summer in Rio de Janiero, think back. Where did each and every one of those athletes begin in their gymnastics career? More likely than not, they put in the time learning mastering the basics like the rest of us!
The difference between those who excel and those who do not. It is in the hours upon hours of consistent effort at mastering the basics and fundamentals. There's another analogy that Coach Sommer often recounts. If you were to write a page of a novel each day, you would have 365 pages in a year! Each individual page is almost invisibly thin and seemingly lacks progress. But when taken in at the end of the year, you would have a full-sized, thickly-bound book in your hands. This illustrates the point that no single workout is going to win you a gold medal. Rather, it is the compounded experience and adaptation that takes place over weeks, months, and years.
Direction is more important than speed.
So let's bring this discussion back to how it applies to your training now, on a day-to-day basis in the gym. Many students new to GB often express frustration at how their progress seems to be limited by mobility or core strength. They want to be able to immediately start working on Handstand Push-ups, Rope Climbs, and Side Levers. After all... that stuff looks cool! What they have yet to fully realize, however, is that attempting to skip ahead and bypassing the body's natural rate of progress and adaptation is simply asking for future issues in the form of injuries and plateaus.
Want a Handstand Push-up? Great, then first master your push-ups and dips. Along the way, commit to fixing all the mobility deficiencies in your shoulder girdle. Shave off years of desk work and misuse. What use is skipping the basics if you are going to have to come back around to them in the long run? Why focus solely on strength now at the expense of mobility if your elbows ache, your shoulders are tight, and you cannot touch your toes? Focus on first things first, emphasize mastery and virtuosity of the fundamentals, and your progress will skyrocket.
GymnasticBodies Training reinforces important physical training ideologies like quality over quantity, so get started with the best now!