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View Full Version : Gymnastics + SS + CF - help with an individualised program?


Jane Michel
04-14-2008, 09:18 PM
After 3 months of being gymless I have access to a gym again. During that time I lost weight (about 10lb) which has been making gymnastics easier. But with that came big strength loss: back squat went from about 62.5kg 1RM to perhaps 30kg 1RM. Conditioning is still alright because I did lots of interval training during those 3 months.

I would like some strength back but am querying whether Rippetoe's programs and CA's oly lifting are the right way to go because I tend to gain mass + fat on them which makes it harder to do the gymnastics stuff. I just started Rippetoe's Practical Programming Novice Program and my schedule is supposed to be like this:

Mon - PP, maybe metcon
Tues - gymnastics, metcon
Weds - rest
Thurs - PP, maybe metcon
Fri - gymnastics, metcon
Sat - PP, maybe metcon
Sun - gymnastics, metcon

PP Novice schedule is like this:
Mon - 3x5 squat, 3x5 bench/press, 3x5 pullups/chinups
Weds - 3x5 squat, 3x5 bench/press, 1x5 DL
Fri - 3x5 squat, 3x5 bench/press, 3x5 pullups/chinups

This week is the second week of PP and my body is feeling somewhat tired even though squat is only 25kg, BP 22.5kg and chinups/pullups at 3 reps BW. Metcon usually lasts 10-15 minutes. I planning to rest on Tuesday and Wednesday this week because of tiredness.

My diet is 90% Paleo. I IF 6-7 days a week about 20 hours each time because it fits with my university schedule (and I think I take in enough cals so am not too worried about that). Recovery is usually hampered by poor sleep (insomnia). If you have read James Fitzgerald's article, I think my two highest BF sites are subscapular and umbilical.

I've read Steven's advice at:
http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=26612&highlight=starting+strength+gymnastics
http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=24494
http://www.powerathletesmag.com/wforum/viewtopic.php?t=1037

and would appreciate any advice on fine-tuning my current program.

Goals: pistols - at least 5 on each leg, planches, front levers, pullups/chinups... (i'd like to include HSPUs but no safe space at the gym to do them and i'm too scared?), muscleups, and to maintain metcon. Am not strictly concerned with squat/bench/DL numbers - anyway I've atrophied *cries*.

Bodycomp goals: 15% BF; don't want to gain mass but rather to be compact

What I can do: 3 bar dips, 3 strict bar pullups/chinups, 5s tucked front lever, 7s L-sits, 5s hanging L-sits, 0s planche, 0 HSPU, 10s supporting myself (straight body) on rings, at least one pistol on each leg, squat 30kg, BP 30kg, DL 60kg, press 25kg, 14 minute helen (12.5kg DB swings, JPUs), 8-minute fran (15kg BB, JPUs).

What days I can work out: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun

Schedule I prefer: mornings for about 1 hour

Specific exercise issues: can't really do HSPUs; am uncoached at oly lifting so would prefer not to go heavy on them

Height: 5'4

Weight: 123lb

BF: 19%

Body structure: long limbs, small joints, hourglass but with broader shoulders from swimming, good flexibility

Available equipment: squat rack, bench rack, free weights, no kettlebells, rings (but the height i can hang them from is too low to do full straight body hangs from them), high up dip bars that might be unsafe to practice planches on (?) (and no paralletes and no means of constructing them either).

Considering all these, how does this program look:

Mon
Squat 3x5
Rings chinups/pullups 3xMax (if >8 then add weight)
Rings front lever isometrics
Light cardio (walking/rowing)

Tues
Pistols
Bars planche isometrics
10-20 minutes metcon

Weds
rest

Thurs
Squat 3x5
Rings dips 3xMax (if >8 then add weight)
Rings L-sits
Light cardio (walking/rowing)

Fri
Bars planche isometrics
10-20 minutes metcon

Sat
Squat 3x5
Rings chinups/pullups 3xMax (if >5 then add weight)
Rings front lever isometrics
Light cardio (walking/rowing)

Sun
DL 1x5
Ring dips 3xMax (if >8 then add weight)
Rings L-sits
Light cardio (walking/rowing)

Garrett Smith
04-15-2008, 06:33 AM
I'd say try out your initial schedule and keep the metcons less than 15 minutes max, preferably even less than 10 minutes.

Steven Low
04-15-2008, 07:04 AM
lol, I just opened this thread when I'm about to leave to go take 2 exams... I'll come back and help you go through it after I'm done (in about 5-7 hrs.. depending on how long one of my labs is).

Greg should be able to throw in something if he feels like it. Depends how much emphasis you want to throw on each of gymnastics/oly really as opposed to SS and/or metcon. Generally, maybe 1-2 short metcons per week should be enough to maintain conditioning if your primary goal is strength + oly/gymnastics

Garrett Smith
04-15-2008, 12:32 PM
Almost forgot, unless you have wrist issues, planche work is "easily" done on the floor (no need for p-bars or parallettes).

Ari Kestler
04-15-2008, 01:23 PM
Can one do isometric work on a daily basis? i.e. practicing planche and levers?

Steven Low
04-15-2008, 01:35 PM
Goals: pistols - at least 5 on each leg, planches, front levers, pullups/chinups... (i'd like to include HSPUs but no safe space at the gym to do them and i'm too scared?), muscleups, and to maintain metcon. Am not strictly concerned with squat/bench/DL numbers - anyway I've atrophied *cries*.

Bodycomp goals: 15% BF; don't want to gain mass but rather to be compact

What I can do: 3 bar dips, 3 strict bar pullups/chinups, 5s tucked front lever, 7s L-sits, 5s hanging L-sits, 0s planche, 0 HSPU, 10s supporting myself (straight body) on rings, at least one pistol on each leg, squat 30kg, BP 30kg, DL 60kg, press 25kg, 14 minute helen (12.5kg DB swings, JPUs), 8-minute fran (15kg BB, JPUs).

What days I can work out: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun

Schedule I prefer: mornings for about 1 hour

Specific exercise issues: can't really do HSPUs; am uncoached at oly lifting so would prefer not to go heavy on them

Height: 5'4

Weight: 123lb

BF: 19%

Body structure: long limbs, small joints, hourglass but with broader shoulders from swimming, good flexibility

Available equipment: squat rack, bench rack, free weights, no kettlebells, rings (but the height i can hang them from is too low to do full straight body hangs from them), high up dip bars that might be unsafe to practice planches on (?) (and no paralletes and no means of constructing them either).

Considering all these, how does this program look:

Mon
Squat 3x5
Rings chinups/pullups 3xMax (if >8 then add weight)
Rings front lever isometrics
Light cardio (walking/rowing)

Tues
Pistols
Bars planche isometrics
10-20 minutes metcon

Weds
rest

Thurs
Squat 3x5
Rings dips 3xMax (if >8 then add weight)
Rings L-sits
Light cardio (walking/rowing)

Fri
Bars planche isometrics
10-20 minutes metcon

Sat
Squat 3x5
Rings chinups/pullups 3xMax (if >5 then add weight)
Rings front lever isometrics
Light cardio (walking/rowing)

Sun
DL 1x5
Ring dips 3xMax (if >8 then add weight)
Rings L-sits
Light cardio (walking/rowing)

You can probably add more... If you can do CF workouts at least half decently this is probably fairly light work to do even with 1 full rest day. I do think that it's better with 2 full rest days.

Do your skill work before your workouts... L-sits and handstands it looks like it's gonna be. Primal Fitness has a pretty good L-sit workout you can do that's 15s Lsit every minute on the minute for 10 mins.

To be honest I'd try to hit up about 4 upper body exercises per day (preferably on rings; 2 push and 2 pull) for about 5 days a week or so. Keep the reps between about 3-6 and make your progressions hard. Your strength will shoot up FAST. Throw in false grip pullups instead of regular pullups if you're doing them on rings... will help faster towards muscle up. Try to increase ROM in the pullups each time.

I really want you to try a week out first and see how it goes before making anymore changes. Then it can be adjusted as necessary.


Can one do isometric work on a daily basis? i.e. practicing planche and levers?

It is generally recommended that you do them ~3-5 times a week. Coach Sommer likes a M,Tu,Th,F schedule. I personally don't really care although I generally consider the more frequency you can get the faster progress you'll have (without significant overreaching of course).

Garrett Smith
04-15-2008, 02:35 PM
Ari,
My only thought on daily isometric work would be that it isn't taken to failure, that would likely retard progress quite a bit.

Alicia,
Definitely take Steven's suggestion and see how you do on whatever program you decide on. My own program, while still containing the same elements I started with, has been re-organized through the week to better work with my schedule and recovery ability. Your goals look very gymnastics/bodyweight-oriented, so always lean your program design towards that.

I'm doing metcon once, maybe twice a week now, trying to keep it around or under 10 minutes. I haven't really noticed much dropoff and I'm looking forward to them. Both good signs to me, as I am not a huge metcon fan and they are low priority in my programming right now.

Jane Michel
04-16-2008, 05:27 AM
Everyone: thanks for spending time reading my long long post and giving advice!

Garrett: what does your program look like? And how has your progression been on it?

Steven: how were the exams? :D

To be honest I'd try to hit up about 4 upper body exercises per day (preferably on rings; 2 push and 2 pull) for about 5 days a week or so.

Are these the useful push exercises: pushups, dips, press, HSPU;
and these the useful pull exercises: pullups, chinups, rows?

I've been thinking of how to hit 4 upper body exercises 5 days a week without overdoing it and can only think of something like:

Mon - false grip ring rows, ring pullups, ring dips, HSPUs, DL
Tues - false grip ring rows, ring pullups, ring pushups, press, squat
Weds - rest
Thurs - false grip ring rows, ring pullups, ring dips, HSPUs, DL
Fri - false grip ring rows, ring pullups, ring pushups, press, pistols
Sat - rest
Sun - false grip ring rows, ring pullups, ring dips, HSPU, squat

This is assuming there is enough time at least?!

Ari Kestler
04-16-2008, 06:18 AM
How are you planning to accomplish the muscle up? I'm planning to go about it like this...but not sure if this is logical

first accomplish the ability to do 3x12 ring pull ups/dips... I can do about 8 pull ups in set but the dips are severely lacking, after that, I plan on adding weight and seeing how many I can do, hoping to reach around 3x5-8 range... I plan to keep adding weight and work on technique and then I assume that Ill just be able to get it one day...

Ari Kestler
04-16-2008, 06:19 AM
The HSPU is much more difficult imo, but it might be because I don't really have mats and I'm worried about killing myself if I practice in my tiny apartment... for now I'm just trying to practice handstands and raise my legs as high as possible with pushups....

Jane Michel
04-16-2008, 06:37 AM
Hey Ari, yeah same method as you with muscleups - probably try and get 3x12 ring false grip pullups/dips first then try a muscleup. That's a long way off for me though!!

HSPU - same problems. What I've been doing at the gym is assisted HSPUs on the back extension cage with just half body as vertical as possible.

Garrett Smith
04-16-2008, 07:05 AM
Alicia,
The basics of my program are thus:

M - SS-inspired, Squat variation, Weighted Pull-ups, Ring Dips, DL variation

T - Active Rest, joint mobility + stretching

W - AM: SS-inspired, Squat variation, Weighted Chin-ups, Press, Clean variation
PM: Adult gymnastics, no set schedule (rope climbs, muscle-ups, handstands, whatever!)

Th: Rest, sleep in

F: SS-inspired, repeat Monday

Sat: Hilly walk (no rush) with some hill sprint(s) thrown in, short 5-10 minute metcon that includes rowing

Sun: Parallette and core workout (beginner level from American Gymnast.com), hilly walk, maybe a hilly 35 min. bike ride

SS-inspired workouts simply keep repeating/alternating.

That's the gist of it so far...it has been a work in progress as the pieces are falling together!

Steven Low
04-16-2008, 02:58 PM
Everyone: thanks for spending time reading my long long post and giving advice!

Garrett: what does your program look like? And how has your progression been on it?

Steven: how were the exams? :D



Are these the useful push exercises: pushups, dips, press, HSPU;
and these the useful pull exercises: pullups, chinups, rows?

I've been thinking of how to hit 4 upper body exercises 5 days a week without overdoing it and can only think of something like:

Mon - false grip ring rows, ring pullups, ring dips, HSPUs, DL
Tues - false grip ring rows, ring pullups, ring pushups, press, squat
Weds - rest
Thurs - false grip ring rows, ring pullups, ring dips, HSPUs, DL
Fri - false grip ring rows, ring pullups, ring pushups, press, pistols
Sat - rest
Sun - false grip ring rows, ring pullups, ring dips, HSPU, squat

This is assuming there is enough time at least?!
Exams were ok. I know I got a B on one of them though and I hope A on the other. Although I should still have an A in both classes.


The other exercises you can do that are:
push - planche variations and their pushups
pull - back lever, front lever variations and their pullups (assisted if necessary), inverted pullups

There's actually some more but you'd be start to work harder progressions on rings.. so I won't really list anything. Coach Sommer has some excellent ones that you might have seen him post in the gymnastics portion of this site if you wanna check them out what you could be working up to later.

I do think that specific routine is doable though IF you keep the volume extremely low at first. Something like 2x5 with the 5th rep close to failure. That would only be 20 reps total for pulling and 20 for pushing.. and then one or two leg exercises. Even at a high frequency should not be enough to elicit an overreaching state. If it does, just dump one day and then you have 4 days + 3 days where you can do active recovery. Even though I doubt you will need to do this you should be able to build up to 5 days a week within a couple weeks at the very least.

If you go over 5 reps on some of the exercises then add weight or use a harder progression. If it's 3-4 reps just add another set. If it's 1-2 RM I would suggest making the exercise easier.

If you're going to use HSPU since you don't have parallettes I'd suggest that you start with rings pushups and have some sort of block you can elevate your feet on and start working towards a rings HSPU. Make sure you know how to do a forward roll on rings first though.

Kick one of the DLs and add another squat. DL is too CNS intensive especially if your conditioning level isn't very high.


Anyway, that's just what I would recommend. Try finding something that works for you even if you're starting off slow.

Jane Michel
04-17-2008, 05:45 AM
Thanks Garrett! I got some ideas from your program.

And thanks Steven! I've tweaked the program a little and will start off slow.