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Old 10-02-2009, 08:43 PM   #1
Troy Kerr
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 248
Default Gymnastic Routine Update

I developed my own gymnastics routine and have been following it strictly for the past month. It had some positive points about it, and some other parts of it were questionable. I would like some input on the routine to help improve upon it. Also, if anyone has any suggestions for how to improve it for my next 4 weeks that would be great.

In this program that I designed I was attempting to create a gymnastic/weightlifting hybrid, geared towards developing gymnastic skills. In it I work monday, tuesday, thursday, and friday. The goal of the program was to help develop my back lever, elbow lever, and handstand.
While following this program I was able to progress in my back lever fairly well. I can lower myself into the lever position while in a tuck, then extend into a lever for 8-10 seconds.
I can get into an elbow lever position for 2-3 seconds fully extended. However I am fairly gased after 10-20 seconds of work on this skill. My elbow lever seemed to develop with my dips and back lever.
I can stay with a 5x5 HSPU well. However the last 2 sets are a struggle. I can also hold a handstand off the wall for 2-3 seconds depending on my energy and focus.


Monday:
-Back Lever Progression: Tucked lever, 60 seconds of work.
-Pull-ups 3x of as many as possible, or no pull-ups at all.
-Dips- 5x3
- Possibly another pushing movement such as bench

Tuesday:
- Handstand Push-up: 5x As many as possible
- Overhead Press: 3x5 or 3x3
-Squat: 5x5 or 5x3
- Maybe lunges 5x5 depending on energy.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday:
-Elbow lever- Elbow lever x 60 seconds
- Maybe bench press- 4x5
- Weighted pull-up: 4x5 or 4x3
- Bent over row: 4x5 or 4x3
- skin the cat- 4x3

Friday:
Deadlift: 5x3
Headstand to press: 10x1
Push-press: 5x5

Saturday & Sunday : Rest

My questions for this routine is as follows:
General:
Regarding volume, sets, and rest, for assistance and primary movements, how does it look?
Opinions on my movement selection?
The levers:
-Should I only work back and elbow levers once a week?
- For the days I am alternating which lever I am emphasizing, am I following the right amount of assistance exercises? What about their volume?
Handstand Push-up:
- Is working the HSPU twice a week sufficient enough work to develop a free standing handstand?
- By throwing in assistance movements such as a press, that require one to execute a full ROM, is this full ROM necessary?
- Will throwing in headstands, and headstand to press, have a sufficient carry-over to the HSPU?
Legs:
My goal is to progress to a pistol squat. However my current squat needs work, primarily flexibility strength in the bottom position. Is there anything more I could be doing besides squats, and deadlifts?

While following this routines recovery was not that big of an issue. I was sore some days but nothing unbearable. I ate a 16 block paleo-zone diet. I am 5"9, 178-180, and I would guess around 12-13% body-fat, possibly less.

I appreciate everyones time and effort while answering this, hopefully I can get some answers.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:48 AM   #2
Blair Lowe
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the only way to improve your free standing handstand is to work the free standing handstand. some supplementary exercises are the wall HS and wall runs/hand shifting. other than that it's pretty much kicking up to HS and feeling it out.

headstands teach the proper body position for the handstand and basic coordination and awareness. they do build very rudimentary upper body strength but nothing grand at your level. Doing headstand to handstand is of course a great tool for press strength, especially free from the bottom and connected (which require a free HS).

elbow lever? i don't get it. it's cool to show off but why not work the planche for any gains. elbow lever to handstand or back is good for upper body strength. elbow lever requires the midline strength of the BL and enough upper body bent arm strength to hold (just like shoulderstand on rings or PB require some bent arm strength unlike the headstand). it does exert bent arm strength but, well I just dunno. it can turn into a lot of neat tricks and holds in breakerdom and capoeira

I am very defensive about the back lever, i believe it's one of the basic things you need to train like L-sits. when you have mastered it, perhaps you can train it seldom just to maintain, 1x a week and perhaps once in a ring series. it's not a huge deal if you can't train it because of equipment but it is very useful for a lot of reasons people skip. honestly though, I don't really train L-sits except as a start position for skill work or transitory position. also it tends to be more painful to train than front lever.

the pistol or SLS is a skill, imo. It isn't so strength related as it is necessary to build the coordination and flexibility. I have had very weak gymnasts and I'm not talking about just the weakest team kids but young recreational or beginning gymnasts get the SLS with a very small amount of leg strength. However, they had the basic flexibility with just enough strength and coordination and balance.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:58 PM   #3
Troy Kerr
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I that the BL and EL would be a great choice for to obtain basic gymnastic strength. So based on what you said, what would you recommend in a training routine? I have my own set of rings, and a spot to mount them so equipment is not really an issue.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:39 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Okay,

1. You need to be working your handstands everyday. At least put 5-10 minutes into it. Get a perfect handstand and you will be surpirsed how fast your skills will come along. You can put this before your workout routines because it's skill work.

HSPUs will not develop a freestanding handstand, although correct handstand and handstand press work may develop you a freestanding HSPU.

2. Base your reps on how hard exercises are. Don't make them "set in stone" before you're going in unless you know you can only push out that many reps. Try to stay 1 rep short of failure, especially earlier in the routine.

3. like Blair said... drop the elbow lever for planche. Practice your elbow lever after your workout if you want or at other times during the day.

4. errr, go with what Blair said for everything else.

Aim for 1-2 push, 1-2 pull, and 1-2 leg exercises each day besides the handstands
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:53 AM   #5
Neill Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Okay,

1. You need to be working your handstands everyday. At least put 5-10 minutes into it.
What would 5-10 minutes of daily handstand work look like?
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
Troy Kerr
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Neill- Probably something along the lines of hold a handstand as long as you can, then rest.

Steven & Blair- I appreciate your input considerably. With this information, would you suggest still following a mon,tues,thur, friday work week. If so, how would you recommend going about the exercise split?
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:59 PM   #7
Steven Low
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No, you only hold your handstands until your form deteriorates. Don't hold them after it starts getting broken. Avoid the bad habits.

When you first start you may only get ~5-10s each time you do it. Accrue as much time as you can in that 5-10 minutes. BUT only with good form. Usually rest a minute between sets. As you get better, you can go longer and take shorter rests.

Technique = Stomach facing the wall, hands as close ot the wall as possible, shoulders all the way open, slightly hollow position with only toes touching the wall.

---------

As I suggested aim for:

1-2 push, 1-2 pull, and 1-2 leg exercises each day besides the handstands

M,tu,th,f works to start.
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