View Full Version : Importance of speed or power work in gymnastics
08-30-2011, 01:27 PM
I have read numerous articles from coaches both who work with gymnastics exclusively and college and professional athletes detailing the necessity of speed/ or power work within their strength and conditioning programs. Coach Sommers has mentioned how it is not enough to simply get stronger, but being apply to quickly produce force using methods such as swinging dips. Eric Cressey has mentioned similar methods, however he detailed how to use speed work for movements other than squats and dips. He mentioned attaching a band to a dumbbell and around the body to emphasize a more powerful concentric movement.
So with this being said, is it necessary to apply specific speed work, such as swinging dips and the band resisted pull-ups? Or is apply a tempo to emphasize a fast concentric portion of a movement just as effective?
08-30-2011, 03:56 PM
It works well integrated with higher level programming. Specifically in terms of dynamic or lighter days (I prefer not really going below 80% 1 RM or around 10 RM, but you can go down to 40-60% 1 RM depending on the exercise). Westside dynamic days are built around similar concepts.
Accelerated concentric tends to work fine up to a high level though.
Here's a little bit more about that (someone correct me if anything I say is incorrect):
For example, "volume days" tend to be a bit higher repetition and thus preferentially stimulate the muscles a bit more than the nervous system. However, "intensity days" tend to be a bit lower repetition and tend to work towards a 1-3 RM which focuses on developing the neurological aspect of strength. So in effect you are going to alternate focus to allow one system to recover a bit while you stress the other. This tends to lead to good gains.
Therefore, it's pretty much a very "basic" form of periodization. Light/heavy works exceptionally well for those in intermediate and advancing towards advanced type of lifting.
Programming in some respects carries a stigma that it's hard to understand, but in reality it's not really that hard to understand once you see the concepts underlying them.
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