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Old 08-18-2009, 10:20 AM   #1
Jason Ashman
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Building the Gymnastic Body (Chris Sommer) question

Was wondering if anyone has used this book, Building the Gymnastic Body: The Science of Gymnastic Strength Training by Christopher Sommers, and whether or not its recommended.

I've gotten a fair bit of info on progressions from the Crossfit boards and journal, but I'm looking for a way to develop better core control. I'm a bigger guy (6'3", 230lbs) with more of a power background, so I'm hoping to use it to be able to "lighten the legs" so to speak, and move with greater agility. The ability/strength to support a handstand (and eventually a handstand pushup) could come in handy, too.

The book looked like it might be a helpful, but I'm not dropping $50 without getting some reviews first.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:41 AM   #2
Matt Thomas
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Re: Building the Gymnastic Body (Chris Sommer) question

Well this is my honest oppinion.

It's great if you're looking for a book that details a ton of gymnastics exercises with pictures and different progressions.

As far as programming advice, it was fairly minimal and nothing you couldn't find online IMO. There's deffinately very little in the amount of specific program advice. From what I remember (don't have the book right in front of me) it's mostly "well this is something you might try, or a template might look like this." Nothing so details as PP. Like I said, it seemed to be mostly a library of movements and their progressions.

I'm also wondering if there are other books out there that are supposed to go with this one? I tried to look on the gymnastics bodies website, but couldn't find anything, but in the book, for example in the section about handstands it will say something like "you could also utilize this, which is covered more in depth in the ultimate handstand guide." I'm paraphrasing because I don't have the book in front of me, but it says stuff like several times, however I haven't been able to find these books/manuals/tutorials/whatever mentioned anywhere. Anybody have any word on that?
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:54 AM   #3
Steven Low
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Re: Building the Gymnastic Body (Chris Sommer) question

Like Matt said... if you want to know the progressions and such it's good.

Programming detail is a bit lacking, but there are people you can talk to on the web for that.

He's supposed to have more books out in the future.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:19 PM   #4
Donald Lee
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Re: Building the Gymnastic Body (Chris Sommer) question

I think the programming is fine. He puts out two main ways to program the workouts. You can't ask for much more in a book that's not about programming.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:37 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: Building the Gymnastic Body (Chris Sommer) question

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I think the programming is fine. He puts out two main ways to program the workouts. You can't ask for much more in a book that's not about programming.
No one really knew what it was going to be about until it pretty much came out.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:56 PM   #6
Matt Thomas
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Re: Building the Gymnastic Body (Chris Sommer) question

Plus, nobody said it was a bad book. Just that if Jason is looking for a book that goes in depth into programming this might not be what he is looking for.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:46 AM   #7
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Building the Gymnastic Body (Chris Sommer) question

Ido Portal was the first one to review the book and wrote about it on his blog. I wrote a review and posted it here under equipment and on DrillsandSkills and on GymnasticBodies. There probably about a dozen other reviews on other fitness boards out there if just do a google. This tells me you didn't even use the damn search function on this board, much less google.

While the book doesn't list a set program of this and that and voila, it does state a lot of varying principles. It makes you think and determine what are your goals. Too many come into GB and have way different goals and time allotments.

If you go to the forum, you'll see a lot of different programs and everybody comes up with a routine they want people to look at every damn day. Coach Sommer also favors a program created by a user named Killroy70 as well or you can do the GymnasticBodies WOD posted MTuThF. It in itself will give you an idea of GB programming.

The website also has some of the articles of BtGB besides articles covering future topics such as the Handstand Chronicles, Liquid Steel ( mobility, prehab and prevention ), Advanced Ring Strength, and whatever the book on training for explosive power is called ( I can't remember it ).

Again, it's nice to have a thorough reference guide versus having to have printed out stuff from across the web and forums into a huge stack that is a boar to go through. Not a bear, a boar.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:01 AM   #8
Jason Ashman
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Re: Building the Gymnastic Body (Chris Sommer) question

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Originally Posted by Blair Robert Lowe View Post
This tells me you didn't even use the damn search function on this board, much less google.
Actually, I went through some of the reviews via google.

Problem is, I've no idea who anyone reviewing the book at those sites are. I deal with a fair and broad amount of literature in my travels, and I've run into several occasions where people will simply plug their own books- or books of their friends/colleagues- across a wide variety of outlets in hopes of selling more. Not saying that this is the case here, but I've run into it enough with small-circulation/niche market books to want reviews that will help me decide on a purachse to come from more reliable sources.

Plus, I'm looking for something more akin to Crossfit's "bastardized" gymnastics/gymnastics for facilitating movement rather than a true gymnastics program- i.e. something that I can incorporate in my program rather than something to base everything around. Looking on gymnastics sites will likely get me a bunch of reviews from people who are focused on gymnastics, and who review the book with that focus in mind. Very helpful for gymnastics folks, but not so much for me.

And no, I didn't use the search function on here- I went back a bunch of pages, and found nothing, so I posted. And, even if I did, I wouldn't have found it- I was looking in fitness- the wrong section.
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