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Júlíus G. Magnússon
05-14-2008, 04:23 PM
I just recently got my set of Xtreme rings. Love them. Been fooling around with them. Managed four consecutive (kipping) muscle-ups just the other day, which was a very proud moment for me. Also, I've been trying my hand at ring push-ups and using the rings for ring dips during CrossFit workouts.

I'm 21 years old. Currently I'm CrossFitting, but I'm looking to put more emphasis on gymnastics than CrossFit in the next couple of months. I sought out an adult gymnastics class, but as it turns out, we don't get to do any of the cool stuff (rings, bars) just jumping around on trampolines and such. Which is fine, but I'm very biased towards the strength aspect of gymnastics and not so much interested in jumping around.

I'm going to preface my question with some stats about myself:

Body weight: 70kg (~155lbs), 8% body fat
I can do four consecutive kipping muscle-ups
I can not do a free standing handstand for the life of me
I can do 5 nose-to-floor handstand pushups against a wall
I can do 31 kipping pull-ups on a bar
I don't think I can do anything else at all gymnastics related


So, for my question: What exactly would you have a guy like me do for gymnastics progressions?

Let's say I workout five days per week, with two to three days devoted completely to gymnastics, the other days having room for a gymnastics progressions as part of a warm-up.
And currently this is the list of equipment I have regular access to: rings I can adjust, allowing me to do anything from ring push-ups to muscle-ups, some lightly padded floor room that's usually crowded with people and slanted pull-up handles (and sometimes a pull-up bar).

In what order should I approach various gymnastics moves?
How exactly would I progress towards them?
How should I train? Moves, reps, et cetera?

Help. I'm used to working with weights and I have no idea how to put an effective gymnastics workout together.

Please?

Steven Low
05-14-2008, 05:36 PM
Pick some goals... like I don't know.. front lever, back lever, L-muscle up, handstand on rings, whatever. We'll work you up to those with some progressions.

I have posted extensively on CF about these types of things so you can search there. Also, reading this would be a good idea to start:

http://www.powerathletesmag.com/wforum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1037

There's a couple of threads in the strength section with links to the various CF board threads on how to. So check those out.

Training with weights is almost essentially the same as training with bodyweight except instead of adding weight you use progressions or sequences. I know some people will argue that (that it's not the same), but that's what I've found to be the case.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
05-14-2008, 05:57 PM
I haven't given much thought to my goals, but before I take a look at that link you gave me here are some of the things I want to be able to do:

Freestanding handstand
Handstand on rings
Freestanding handstand push-up
Front flip
Back flip
Deadhang muscle-up on rings
Iron cross

Coach Sommer
05-15-2008, 07:25 AM
Julius,

I recommend:

1) Thoroughly reading through the many fine posts on similar questions in my Getting Started forum:
http://gymnasticbodies.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=18

2) If you do not find the answers already provided, then by all means post this same question in that same forum.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

P.S. I'm pleased to hear that you are enjoying the Xtreme Rings.

Steven Low
05-15-2008, 09:26 AM
Definitely read through Coach Sommer's forum. Tons of good stuff there as well.

Developing the handstand is critical at this junction so focus on working on a straight arm straddle press handstand for pretty much all your skill work right now. Develop the flexibility and such for it as well. Should be some stuff on Coach Sommer's forum about that. By extension, everything that's handstand will come out of that.

Front and back flips.... you should look for gyms in your area that may have adult classes. We want you learning from qualified instructors on things like that.

Muscleups are fairly easy mainly just developing the requisite strength. If you have a training partner this should be simple as you can just assist each other through muscleups to get stronger. If you don't have someone then lowering the rings so you can use the ground for a bit of an assist or a band will work as well. It's mostly about getting the transition down if your false grip and technique are good.

As for cross.. yeah, I wrote something on this for PMenu so check that out. I do not think, however, that you are ready to train for this as it is tough on the elbows and joints. I think it would be more beneficial to do actually just general rings strength including some of the stuff on Coach Sommer's forum first to get your conditioning level up.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
05-15-2008, 01:30 PM
Thanks, Coach Sommer. I actually registered on your forums a few days ago but my account hasn't been activated.

Steven, thanks. I guess I'll try to start kicking up into a handstand whenever I can. I'm thinking I might be able to convince one of the instructors at my adult gymnastics class to spend some time on regular front and back flips, too.

I'm still wondering, though... What are some of the moves I should be working on at this stage? Should I be trying for a front or back lever, skin-the-cat or some other moves?

Like you said with the iron cross, it may be way out of my league at this point, but what are some of the moves that are in my league and I might be able to do or begin working towards?

Thanks.

Garrett Smith
05-15-2008, 02:24 PM
Skin-the-cats and ring supports (5 sec. at a time) would be good starts, as would hanging leg raises, tuck front/back levers, and ring dips full ROM.

Steven Low
05-15-2008, 04:42 PM
Start to chain together moves you can do into routines as well.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
05-15-2008, 06:04 PM
Thanks for the input, guys.

I printed this article (http://www.drillsandskills.com/article/17) out and I'm taking it with me to the gym tomorrow morning, going to try some of those moves to see where I stand.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
05-17-2008, 07:52 AM
So I tried some of those moves last night...

Managed a couple of skin-the-cats, muscle-ups to supports (with palms facing forward), L-sits (palms towards the body), pull to inverted hang, inverted pull-ups (that didn't feel like full ROM).

What I couldn't do was a back lever (kind of disappointed at that one) and front lever was way off.

Other moves looked like I'd end up breaking something if I tried them.

So, with that in mind, how would you construct a one-hour-or-so ring workout for me?

I figured I would work on the ring support with palms forward (since it feels a bit unstable), back lever progressions (one legged tucked) and muscle-ups.

But what else? Is there a benefit to inverted hangs and skin the cats? Should I do reps of those two? Is there something else I should be doing? It sounds like I'd overwork myself trying just these few months for a whole hour, or should my workouts maybe not last that long on the rings? (It's kind of a hassle to bring them to the gym and hang them up, so I'd like to make the most of it once they're up.)

I'd appreciate any input.

Steven Low
05-17-2008, 10:28 AM
Do skill work like support holds, L-sits on your rings, moving from hang to inverted hang to skin the cat and out and such in like the first ~10-20 minutes. Then structure your workout around (1) sequences of moves like a routine done multiple times and/or (2) specific work on strength moves like back lever and muscle up and accessory exercises for about 40 minutes.

1 hour of rings.. like any workout is not gonna kill you or anything. You're more likely to overreach with deadlifts in your program than with rings. Couple months ago I did 8 workouts in 5 days of pure strength work on rings, and I didn't feel as bad as when I was doing DLs with only 5 workouts per week.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
05-24-2008, 06:43 AM
Do skill work like support holds, L-sits on your rings, moving from hang to inverted hang to skin the cat and out and such in like the first ~10-20 minutes. Then structure your workout around (1) sequences of moves like a routine done multiple times and/or (2) specific work on strength moves like back lever and muscle up and accessory exercises for about 40 minutes.

1 hour of rings.. like any workout is not gonna kill you or anything. You're more likely to overreach with deadlifts in your program than with rings. Couple months ago I did 8 workouts in 5 days of pure strength work on rings, and I didn't feel as bad as when I was doing DLs with only 5 workouts per week.

Thanks, Steven.

I've been structuring my workouts like this for a few workouts. Starting with hangs, skin the cats, inverted pull-ups, dips and L-sits, followed by Coach Sommer's Beginner's Ring Strength Series (http://gymnasticbodies.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=351) sequence. Working the progressions for front and back levers instead of the levers themselves... (Still kinda pissed that I can't get the back lever.)

I can feel my improvements with every single workout. It's awesome. Not necessarily in the form of being able to do new moves, but rather how stable I am on the rings and how straight I manage to keep my body through the moves, et cetera.

This and Coach Sommer's planche progressions should keep me busy for a while.