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Old 02-07-2009, 02:08 PM   #21
Jake Oleander
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Re: Why doesn't barbell strength translate into gymnastic strength?

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(P.S.: That first picture made my day George.)
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:25 PM   #22
Thomas Bailly
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Re: Why doesn't barbell strength translate into gymnastic strength?

full body tension and maximum contraction ( max nervous pathways stimulation) develop strength, as a non gymnast it looks to me like almost every move requires full body tension, as opposed to weightlifting in its various forms which requires everything from some contraction(BB) to alot /max contraction(OL).
So gymnasts fire the full nervous pathways more frequently and more intensly, more often= more strength.
Thats my theory.
Saying a gymnast only works with bw is not that accurate since if for example he lands a dynamic move on 1 leg he is working with at least 2xbw,or in certain movements where there is high leverage and full body tension one arm may be supporting 130lbs or whatever...I mean yes it is bw but when usedin a leveraged fashion the sum is equal to way more than the parts.....sorry I'm losing my descriptions..hope your following.
Have heard of a 138lb gymnast who on first DL pulled 400lbs.....
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:50 PM   #23
George Noble
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Re: Why doesn't barbell strength translate into gymnastic strength?

I'm the one in green shorts and APT shirt. The evidence suggests barbell strength doesn't carry over. Or at least mine doesn't.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAS25...e=channel_page

Barbell strength:
308 x 10 raw (by Rip's standards, belt and light wraps) squat, 347 raw in IPF competition, 430 deadlift also in competition a few months ago, 154 overhead press done today, 132 overhead squat for 4 reps the first time in months (my hands started to hurt so I dropped it on my neck). Squat PB in the gym a while back, now at 190 for 1

So not exactly good, but better than my gymnastics strength.
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:47 PM   #24
Jason Rambo
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Re: Why doesn't barbell strength translate into gymnastic strength?

Jason, does this observation hold true for all gymnasts, or is it a select few?

A select few. I'm not talking about all gymnasts.
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:28 PM   #25
Steven Low
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Re: Why doesn't barbell strength translate into gymnastic strength?

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Jason, does this observation hold true for all gymnasts, or is it a select few?

A select few. I'm not talking about all gymnasts.
I am willing to say that ALL elite gymnasts are strong. Very strong. Most can probably 2.5x DL on their first try if not close to 2.75-3x. Higher skill movements (Oly) probably not at least with a bunch of skill work. But give them some training and they will be putting up the heavy weights.

Coach Burgener likes working with former gymnasts for good reason... they learn fast and strong (well, high transferrence of strength after skill work as stated).
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:13 PM   #26
Chris Ross
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Re: Why doesn't barbell strength translate into gymnastic strength?

so...

if gymnasts can pull big numbers on DLs and other compound lifts without training them, and they can obviously do the body-weight lifts and holds since that's what they train for...doesn't that suggest that we all should ditch what we're currently doing and start doing gymnastics??!!

Seems like gymnastics is a bit of a cure-all for cross training in any sport.

Can anyone tell me if gymnasts actually do any training that involves external loads, eg. barbells etc, or is it all bodyweight stuff?

(As a side story, I recently heard my BJJ coach [Machado brown belt] talking about a guy that was an acrobat in a travelling circus that had visited the school recently. He said the guy was so freaky strong it was like wrestling an ape, and even with his massive skill advantage he really had to work to submit the guy. Makes you think....)

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Old 02-07-2009, 11:54 PM   #27
Steven Low
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Re: Why doesn't barbell strength translate into gymnastic strength?

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Originally Posted by Chris Ross View Post
so...

if gymnasts can pull big numbers on DLs and other compound lifts without training them, and they can obviously do the body-weight lifts and holds since that's what they train for...doesn't that suggest that we all should ditch what we're currently doing and start doing gymnastics??!!

Seems like gymnastics is a bit of a cure-all for cross training in any sport.
I know you're being sarcastic but...

1. Look at CF's hierarchy. Yes, gymnastics is under weightlifting & throwing and sport...

wfs
http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ-trial.pdf

2. A lot of weightlifting does have some skill component. To get good at something you actually have to do THAT. Therefore, to get good use out of barbells.. especially for the legs.. it is imperative that you actually do them.

3. I do think gymnastics is a "cure all" for UPPER BODY. But that's solely my opinion... Well, anyone who has trained on rings extensively might agree with my assessment here.

Quote:
Can anyone tell me if gymnasts actually do any training that involves external loads, eg. barbells etc, or is it all bodyweight stuff?

(As a side story, I recently heard my BJJ coach [Machado brown belt] talking about a guy that was an acrobat in a travelling circus that had visited the school recently. He said the guy was so freaky strong it was like wrestling an ape, and even with his massive skill advantage he really had to work to submit the guy. Makes you think....)
Depends on the program. A lot of gymnastics is specific to events though so generally it's best to do strength on parallettes or rings for example and some type of plyometric work for reactive ability on floor/vault.

However, weights can be employed effectively.. so it's not out of the question. You just have to know what you're doing.
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Last edited by Steven Low : 02-07-2009 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:18 AM   #28
Brian Degenaro
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Re: Why doesn't barbell strength translate into gymnastic strength?

Just something I figured I'd throw out there since I've been involved in gymnastics for 4 years and just took up weightlifting.

Now obviously most weightlifters aren't going to be busting out crosses and planches but surprisingly there is a ton of balance required when stabilizing a heavy load overhead. After not doing any gymnastics for about 2 months I noticed a marked improvement in my handstand balance, which I attribute towards heavy clean & jerks. I'm pretty sure that most weightlifters could hold a good handstand if they tried simply because of being able to stabilize heavy loads overhead. It's also funny but I've put on over 10lbs and I find planches easier now than prior.

Anyways, I just figured I would throw that into the pot for discussion.
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:38 AM   #29
George Mounce
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Re: Why doesn't barbell strength translate into gymnastic strength?

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I am willing to say that ALL elite gymnasts are strong. Very strong. Most can probably 2.5x DL on their first try if not close to 2.75-3x. Higher skill movements (Oly) probably not at least with a bunch of skill work. But give them some training and they will be putting up the heavy weights.

Coach Burgener likes working with former gymnasts for good reason... they learn fast and strong (well, high transferrence of strength after skill work as stated).
I am willing to speculate that we'd need to just put a gymnast of elite stature through a CFT and see what comes out. End of this debate maybe.

No "stories" about them doing such and such. A video is what we really all want to see.

So a 135# elite gymnast needs 848 (i'll give into the 132 weight class).

3xBW DL for that guy is 405 leaving 443. By most people who do roughly 100# less on the squat that is a 305 squat followed by a 138 press. Entirely possible...but I'm not buying at this point the gymnast is better because you can go look at CrossFitters who can elite level lift who have never done anything gymnastic. They just took a different path.

I know gymnastic stuff builds crazy strength, don't get me wrong, but they build their strength for their purpose and it transfers well. Not everyone wants to take that path to that strength, many rather use a barbell and have no interest in doing an iron cross.

Now, if the debate is "are gymnastics a better path to strength?" I would say yes, and I actually would like to see more gymnastic type things incorporated into CrossFit, rather than being really cool things you can do on your own time.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:31 PM   #30
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Why doesn't barbell strength translate into gymnastic strength?

1. We would need to find a former elite men's gymnast. Don't expect the same out of an Elite female gymnast. Now to find an elite men's gymnast that would be interested. Obviously, we have some former men's gymnast of some caliber. Rog, Russ, Danny, Boz, Steve. Nadia and Gillian and Kallista bring it in for the gals. None are elite but they are close. There were a few more of yesteryear that I'm probably not remembering.

2. Steve - no ****, Sherlock. It's like I haven't coached females from the ground up till optionals. Oh wait...I have and have been around elites in the gym. I've long said the gals develop a lot of hypertrophy in their legs due to how much time is spent on them compared to the guys because of floor, beam, and vault besides dance. Derr. You is smart. One can still work front lever and dips and planche on a single rail

3. Acrobats could be equal to an Elite gymnast. Seriously, these guys are awesome and are typically former elites or really good national gymnasts.

4. Btw Steve, would you state an Elite female be able to DL compareable to an Elite CF gal? Something similar to Jody?

5. Getting strong with gymnastics takes far more time than getting strong with a BB. It's just more technically complex.

6. A BW press would be cake to an Elite Men's gymnast. There are several former gymnasts who could press BW+ without really a problem.

7. Chinese National Team gymnasts are required to hit a 2xBW BS. This is something that Coach Sommer was talking about recently since a surplus of maximal strength can be detrimental.

8. There is quite a bit of gymnastics incorporated into CF. Mostly strength. Are you talking about gymnastics skills? One of the problems is time, safety and knowledge besides the price of equipment. Even simple matting is expensive. One of the affiliates in SC or South Bay did make a nice homemade set of Parallel Bars that could probably be used to swing to handstand on. If a High Bar structure is secure enough you can do a lot of HB elements on them except you don't get the flex of the bar to help you. However, HB is the least strength involved apparatus ( unless you want to count BB or V, maybe FX ).

9. Brian, I remember Coach Sommer talking about doing Overhead BB BW shrugs as an assistance exercise back in his day toward maintaining good HS. We've done OH shrugs ( not BW ) with the kids for strengh training before.
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