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Old 09-24-2007, 06:35 PM   #1
Ryan Christopher Hutchins
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A question for Roger (Harrell)... or anyone qualified

I recently stumbled upon Crossfit. I think that this is exactly what i've been waiting for. If only i had found out about it years ago. Currently i train at a gymnastics gym. I'm 26 but i've had a deep love for all things gymnastics for a long time and now i've been training and conditioning for the events for about 4 months now. I breakdance and lifted weights before so i was a step ahead of most people doing what i do. Now i just want to understand how to put Crossfit , which is probably one of the most difficult and mentally challenging workouts around, and gymnastics together. Basically i wanted to know how a gymnast who is into Crossfit goes about his training and conditioning?
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:05 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: A question for Roger (Harrell)... or anyone qualified

1. Warm up
2. Skill training
3. Strength (low reps, heavy weight)
4. Conditioning (metcon, endurance)
5. Static flexibility
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:49 AM   #3
Roger Harrell
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Re: A question for Roger (Harrell)... or anyone qualified

My conditioning was pretty CrossFit like prior to my exposure to CrossFit. This is a big part of why I was drawn in so readily. I have incorportated the O-lifts substantially into my training as well as utilizing weights far more than I used to. My personal program is still far more upper body and core focused than a generalized CrossFit program would be. I train gymnasts differently than I train other clients. The needs are different. I do the named WODs pretty regularly to set benchmarks and force myself to work my weaknesses, but most of my workouts are my own creation.

Steven pretty much lays out what a day would entail. This is what one of my gymnastics days looks like.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:26 AM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: A question for Roger (Harrell)... or anyone qualified

One of the things I would like to add is that if you're serious about learning different skills and/or routines in gymnastics is that you make rings the staple of your upper body training. Any of the workouts that you do if you can sub it on rings like dips, pullups, and anything else just hop up and do it on there.

Oh yeah Roger I heard you were at Primal like a few weeks ago. Make sure you remind Jesse to call me if you're there. :P
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:36 PM   #5
Roger Harrell
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Re: A question for Roger (Harrell)... or anyone qualified

Sorry to hijack....

Yeah I was at Primal in late Aug. I'll be in the area about once quarterly. I'll be sure to remind Jesse to call you when I'm going to drop by.
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:07 PM   #6
Ryan Christopher Hutchins
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Re: A question for Roger (Harrell)... or anyone qualified

Thx for the reply. Its funny to actually be in contact with you Roger. Its like you're some internet celeb for gymnasts and crossfitters. And thx Steven too. I didn't think you could really jump into crossfit if you were deep into gymnastics. Gymnastics is a serious program in itself. I will do Crossfit from time to time so i can get some variety into my workouts at the gymnastics gym. Although there are almost limitless possibilities for training at the gym. My goal is to do 50 press to handstands, 50 (313) leg lifts with 5 pounds, and 50 circles everytime i step foot into the gym. Plus i am currently training my iron cross which makes my biceps swell to the size of a melon and make my elbow hurt like its going to fall off. I don't know what metcon is but the rest sounds feasible Steven. I didn't really have a solid plan for training but i will definitely use your outline. Could you be more specific as to the time spent on each or let me know where i could go to find out that information? I appreciate the reply.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:39 PM   #7
Steven Low
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Re: A question for Roger (Harrell)... or anyone qualified

Deep into gymnastics has very little meaning really in terms of what you're thinking. Gymnastics itself I would say is a general systematic method of learning more difficult techniques and skill on different events. Now, whether this requires it's own set of strength and conditioning principles.. that's a no. No matter what sport you play or even if you don't even play a sport people are using the same muscles. All physiological principles apply to every other human being. Therefore, if some type of exercise was rated effective and maybe even optimal as a strength and conditioning program we would have to take it seriously. As it turns out, gymnastics requires a great deal of not only strength but conditioning as well because of "long" routines on floor, pommel horse, pbars, rings, etc. of about 30-120s each. Generally, the strength and conditioning that is MOST effective is related to the movements performed in the sport. That's why it's optimal for weightlifters to practice clean and jerks and snatches while it's optimal for sprinters to sprint and MMA to train striking and grappling. Male gymnasts tend to look towards rings for strength. Now, all these other athletes have supplemental exercises like back squats, front squats, and many other hosts of strength and conditioning exercises depending on the needs of the individual athlete in the sport.

CF happens to be a good source of metabolic conditioning workouts (see the named workouts in the FAQs and on the front page... usually rounds for time) which are very good at increasing muscular endurance and decent for strength gains. It's not that it's contrary to a gymnastics program at all since they focus on different areas, but you can synthesize different parts of programs to focus on the areas of need for athletes. As said before, gymnasts happen to need a fair amount of strength as well as endurance, and the endurance for routines can be gained through metcon like CF.

I hope that's a decent explanation.

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My goal is to do 50 press to handstands, 50 (313) leg lifts with 5 pounds, and 50 circles everytime i step foot into the gym.
Decent goals.. but not very well directed IMO.

What exactly is your goal for gymnastics? To put together competitive routines or just learn as much as you can or what? Do you have favorite events that you want to work on more? What exactly are you trying to accomplish?

That's what you should ask yourself before setting anything like that.

P.S. Make sure your technique on cross is good. Straight arms the whole time. It's hard to relearn the move if you've practiced with bent arms. Don't push too hard either.. it's easy to get tendonitis especially for newer people.


I would also suggest reading this (w/f safe) and then getting back to me if you have any questions on some type of routine:

http://www.bodyweighttraining.org/fo...opic.php?t=794
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:54 PM   #8
Frank C Ollis
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Re: A question for Roger (Harrell)... or anyone qualified

Steven,
One thing that has always interested me is how similar the conditioning demands are for gymnastics and wrestling. An old Coach of mine used to say that training for wrestling was like working out in molasses. Every plane of movement has to be developed because the sport is so dynamic.
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Old 09-29-2007, 02:47 PM   #9
Ryan Christopher Hutchins
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Re: A question for Roger (Harrell)... or anyone qualified

Thx Steve....

I have some answers for you questions. Sorry about the ambiguity of deep. In view of the fact that i'm 26 I basically decided to become the best gymnast I can be given that i have no future in the sport really and can only do fun meets. My insane goals when i go to the gym are only in the pursuit of short term goals. I.E. i want to improve my press to handstand so i really focus on them. I should mention that i teach gymnastics as well full time so i'm there for 10 hours sometimes. I would like to learn and do as much as i can with the sport. I feel that if you can do gymnastics then you should be in the best shape of your life due to its intense demands physically. My goals is to approach the sport like any other gymnasts and try to meet the competitive guidelines for the individual levels. My favorite event is the rings. The physical and mental strain while swinging and transitioning in and out of holds is intriguing to me. Next would be the pommel horse which is why i do the circles. I'll go to the link you left and get back to you with more questions i have. In the meantime i have one about the iron cross.

Quote:
P.S. Make sure your technique on cross is good. Straight arms the whole time. It's hard to relearn the move if you've practiced with bent arms. Don't push too hard either.. it's easy to get tendonitis especially for newer people.

I started from the beginning of my training with straight arms. Now i can lower myself into the cross position after 2 weeks of using the cable pulleys in the gym, and lowering from support to the cross and holding the cross with help. The only problem is the strain it puts on my elbow joint. The bone on the bottom when you hold the cross hurts more than the strain of holding the cross!!! What should i do with this pain? Is it normal. Will the joint get used to it? Thx for the info and patience.
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:21 PM   #10
Steven Low
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Re: A question for Roger (Harrell)... or anyone qualified

Joint pain in the elbows is normal as they have to be conditioned to the shear forces on the elbow (maltese and inverted too if you work up to that). You may want to press through it but be VERY careful because it's an easy way to get tendonitis. Ice and rest are the best medicine. Generally, it seems you have to start off pretty slow with it (1-2x per week) and then work up to greater volumes of work.

Cross is a pretty interesting concept. I've written a guide on how to work up to it... which needs a bit of revising actually so maybe I'll do that soon.
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