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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 06-20-2007, 09:03 AM   #11
Roger Harrell
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Properly implemented oly lifts clearly help one jump higher. And yes the main reason many gymnasts avoid weights is the fear of excess mass gain. Weights used properly can help build strength without much mass gain. It just has to be done right.
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Old 06-20-2007, 12:36 PM   #12
Tyler Hass
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Also, most gymnastics coaches have had very little exposure to weight training, especially Olympic lifting. In the wrong hands, those lifts can do more harm than good. But Roger is right, properly implemented, there would be a number of benefits to weight training for gymnasts.
As for plyometrics, tumbling is really just a progression of plyometric movements. Whether they know it or not, every gymnast is doing plyos.
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:54 PM   #13
Steven Low
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David -- quote from Coach Sommer on pistol progression:

"Following is the progression on jumping single leg squats that I have my athletes use:

1) Learn a regular Single leg squat.

2) Add a stationary upward jump to the single leg squat.

3) Jumping single leg squat for distance.

4) Jumping single leg squat up onto a small box (approx 18-24").

5) Jumping single leg squat for distance and up onto small box.


We perform these and other leg strength drills four times a week.


Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

OlympicBodies@aol.com"
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:56 PM   #14
Brian Degenaro
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I think my weight training has more than aided my gymnastics ability. My coach says my potential is very high from what he saw in the first few weeks coaching me. I've only been doing gymnatics for a year but I have amazing power from my legs, despite their rather large size compared to other gymnasts. One day he told me to just do roundoffs and roundoff-bhs and rebound as hard as I could at the end of them, on some of the rebounds I was well over 3ft into the air. He said he had never seen anyone rebound so high off a the floor. I've even missed some of my backhandsprings cuz I've rebounded so hard.
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:35 PM   #15
Steven Low
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Big legs can help... but not so much on pommel horse and rings. :-)
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:08 PM   #16
Brian Degenaro
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I haven't had a problem with my pommel or ring work with my legs either. I can hold levers and straddle planches fine on rings. Crosses still need some work but my performance on rings hasn't changed either.
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:45 AM   #17
Blair Robert Lowe
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It does help to get into tumbling with strong legs vs weak legs. That being said, it helps to get into tumbling stronger period as it accentuates the technique. Especially if you want to do any standing flips ( technique helps, but abs and legs sure make it easier ).

That being said, you still do not look very bulky from your picture Brian ( though it could be an outdated picture ). More bulky than Stephen but still fairly light.

I think where lower body weight ( or length ) really musses things up is during planche ( or maltese/swallow training and pommel. Having HUGE legs would be a hindrance on pommel. Again you don't look that bulky in the upper legs.

I do think one of the more prevalent reasons for male gymnasts to go for the big up top, slender down below compared to female gymnasts is simply the time spent on floor ( or balance beam or vault ) related events. Per workout time, men are more than likely doing less overall ground based time compared to the women ( which is probably why you see many of them really bulking up in the lower body besides just natural tendencies and conditioning programs ) due to the higher amount of apparatus work.

Another reason possibly for the lack of weight work is simply time involved into properly in corporating the movements, besides coach education and space/cost and the need to have enough to supply quite a handful of gymnasts all using Oly equipment to condition at the same time ( equipment and space are hard enough to come by as it is ). Oh, yeah, and desire to do it.

I'd love to have my gymnasts doing snatches and cleans, and DL, etc to condition with. OTOH, seeing as they are kids I do not want to be responsible for a slip up of a weight falling ( bare feet/liability for kids [ could it be justified that gymnasts need weights to condition with per insurance? ] ), besides not having the budget or space; and how much time I would have to sacrifice training them ( considering a lot of them would not care in the first place.

My compromise is to use what concepts I can and not lose so much time teaching them the movements ( which means cleans and snatches won't happen, but push press, med ball lifts, overhead work, lunges do fit ) . I just have yet to go beyond looking at the short term time alottment when I don't have enough time as it is, typically.

Given the right gymnasts, older, more mature; and I could foresee it being more successfully incorporated.
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:58 AM   #18
Brian Degenaro
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That is an outdated picture, Blaire. I've gained 15lbs since then, so I weigh 160lbs right now (@5'6"). My legs aren't huge compared to some people's but I've never seen a gymnast with legs anywhere near the size of mine. Most have pencil legs, yet are very powerful.
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:33 PM   #19
Steven Low
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Yeah, my picture is about 2 years out of date, lol. My legs are pretty thin but explosive (~30" vert atm) and my upper body is still gaining mass. Unfortunately, I am out of gymnastics now so I'm probably going to take up Parkour in which case now I have to make my legs stronger and bigger probably, hehe. I'm not really disproportionate because I only started strength seriously about 2 years ago more or less so I haven't put much on my upper body, and I haven't eaten enough to put huge amounts of mass on. I'm at 5'8" 130-135.
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:58 PM   #20
Brian Degenaro
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My vert's up there somewhere, dunno the exact measurement but from a standing jump I can get more than halfway up the net on a 10ft hoop (so that's 30"+? I think) and from a layup I can get an inch away from rim (that's about 36ish?). I attribute it to both gymnastics and weightlifting.

(Message edited by brian_d on June 21, 2007)
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