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Old 10-06-2008, 05:28 PM   #1
Chris H Laing
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Default putting together a rings workout

I am currently putting together a gymnastics workout using the rings.

The goals for the workout are to obtain:
5 sec front lever
5 sec back lever
work on the iron cross (this is an extreme long term goal so no specifics given for timed holds at the moment...I just wanna make progress with the iron cross strength)

Obviously, it is a ring strength routine I am interested in. I have no room to learn swings and dismounts, nor do I particularly care to as I will never be competing in gymnastics.

I plan on using static holds in addition to dynamic exercises like cranks, reverse cranks, ice cream makers, etc. but I do not know many dynamic exercises that can be used to work towards my goals.

If anyone knows any exercises I could use, or has any ideas how to program this workout, or could supply an example template of how the workout would be structured, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:00 PM   #2
Steven Low
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Back lever, front lever and cross ALL correlate well so work on any will help you get there.

Read through Coach Sommer's list of stuff especially the couple on basic strength routines and see if it's something you wanna work on like that.
http://gymnasticbodies.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=892

For front lever the BEST exercise is definitely inverted hang slow eccentric to hang taking approximately 7-10s in maybe a set of 3x3 or so for ~50-60 total seconds. This is VERY hard, but you'll see noticable progress within a couple days and lots of progress within a month.

As far as a routine I would suggest Coach Sommer's basic rings strength. Otherwise, for the rest of the workout you can do piecemeal work like the above exercise.

Any Qs feel free to ask.


P.S. It's nice to go and post on like X many different forums. BUT don't get yourself into the rut of paralysis from too much analysis. At this point you should taking suggestions and DOING. Don't overthink it.
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Last edited by Steven Low : 10-06-2008 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:59 AM   #3
Chris H Laing
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Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
For front lever the BEST exercise is definitely inverted hang slow eccentric to hang taking approximately 7-10s in maybe a set of 3x3 or so for ~50-60 total seconds.
What if I cant hold a full front lever at all at the moment? Should I do these in the progression of the front lever that I am on (e.g. inverted hang in a tuck and slowly lower)? Or should I just go as slow as I can keeping a straight body?

Quote:
As far as a routine I would suggest Coach Sommer's basic rings strength. Otherwise, for the rest of the workout you can do piecemeal work like the above exercise.

Any Qs feel free to ask.
Here come the Q's . I was thinking of doing all the individual work first, and then hitting a rings routine that involved all the elements I worked on. Something like:
Slow inverted hang to front lever
slow inverted hang to back lever??? (would this be effective?)
cranks/reverse cranks
maybe some cross pullouts or something
any other exercises
finish with sommer's ring routine #1 until I get it solid, then move to number 2 and 3

Would this be good in this order, or should I do the routine a couple times first and then move to the assistance exercises?

Quote:
P.S. It's nice to go and post on like X many different forums. BUT don't get yourself into the rut of paralysis from too much analysis. At this point you should taking suggestions and DOING. Don't overthink it.
Are you psychic or something... Or does this mean you're checking out the CF boards again??? but, sadly, it's true that this happens to me a lot...but I'm pretty set on the schedule I've got set up now, and am definitely gunna stick to it for a while. Come to think of it, thats probably what I like best about crossfit, they tell you what to do, when, and how much. That, to me, is so much easier than designing your own plan.
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:23 AM   #4
Steven Low
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris H Laing View Post
What if I cant hold a full front lever at all at the moment? Should I do these in the progression of the front lever that I am on (e.g. inverted hang in a tuck and slowly lower)? Or should I just go as slow as I can keeping a straight body?
Yes sir. Generally, use the progression that is one above your current level. So if you can hold an adv. tuck then do straddle for this progression.

Quote:
Here come the Q's . I was thinking of doing all the individual work first, and then hitting a rings routine that involved all the elements I worked on. Something like:
Slow inverted hang to front lever
slow inverted hang to back lever??? (would this be effective?)
cranks/reverse cranks
maybe some cross pullouts or something
any other exercises
finish with sommer's ring routine #1 until I get it solid, then move to number 2 and 3

Would this be good in this order, or should I do the routine a couple times first and then move to the assistance exercises?
~Skill work first (any type of handstand, L-sit, shoulder stand, whatever non-taxing skill work you want to do.

~Strength/power next. I would advise doing them in this order -- cross, cranks, front lever, back lever.

What you have right now is ALL pulling. Cross, cranks, front lever and back lever are all pulling work. You need to add in some pushing. It's waaaaaaay too much to do all of that.

2-3 exercises (probably 1-2 with the routine) are MORE than enough IF you're training 4-5x a week.

~Conditioning if you wanted to do any -- metcon/tabata/HIIT/circuits/etc.

~Static flexibility

Quote:
Are you psychic or something... Or does this mean you're checking out the CF boards again??? but, sadly, it's true that this happens to me a lot...but I'm pretty set on the schedule I've got set up now, and am definitely gunna stick to it for a while. Come to think of it, thats probably what I like best about crossfit, they tell you what to do, when, and how much. That, to me, is so much easier than designing your own plan.
I still check the boards occasionally.. and make fun of stupid questions to people I still talk with. I just don't post. But you did say you were crossposting once so I figured that you would be anyway (even if I didn't check).

Also, once you figure out your goals... CF may not be the best for you. But if that's what you enjoy hey go for it.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:11 PM   #5
Chris H Laing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
~Skill work first (any type of handstand, L-sit, shoulder stand, whatever non-taxing skill work you want to do.
I am actually planning on doing handstand skill work as part of my warm up for every workout I do, working towards a consistent 10 sec free standing.


Quote:
What you have right now is ALL pulling. Cross, cranks, front lever and back lever are all pulling work. You need to add in some pushing. It's waaaaaaay too much to do all of that.
Crap... What other pushes are their on the rings for gymnastics besides HSPU and planche, as I am not at a level where I can do either on the rings (can't even do a full rom HSPU on the floor)

Quote:
2-3 exercises (probably 1-2 with the routine) are MORE than enough IF you're training 4-5x a week.
I would only be doing this rings workout once a week, so 3 exercises it is. Also I was thinking about taking the routine off the end and instead doing the 50% max hold for reps up to 60 sec for the front/back lever...and I guess a planche progression on the rings, or maybe just a support hold since I dont think I have the strength for a tuck planche on the rings.
If it makes a difference as to how many exercises I should do I do not have a ME upper body day, so this ring workout is acting as the ME upper body, but will occasionally be switched out for weighted ring dips/pull-ups.

Quote:
~Conditioning if you wanted to do any -- metcon/tabata/HIIT/circuits/etc.

~Static flexibility
I will be doing crossfit two days a week on my schedule to cover conditioning, and I will have either a short stretch or foam rolling session after every workout

Quote:
I still check the boards occasionally.. and make fun of stupid questions to people I still talk with. I just don't post. But you did say you were crossposting once so I figured that you would be anyway (even if I didn't check).
Then you've noticed all the people who constantly say "too bad Steven isn't on the forums anymore...he has great advice"

Quote:
Also, once you figure out your goals... CF may not be the best for you. But if that's what you enjoy hey go for it.
I'm starting to find that this is true, but I still like the way a good, grueling metcon feels, which is why I'm still including them in my program. But now I am becoming more focuses on strength and gymnastics, and would eventually like to get into Oly lifting.

My basic schedule would be a 3-1-2-1:
Gymnastics - Lower body ME - CF - rest - Total body ME - CF - rest
The gymnastics is what I' m trying to figure out now.
The Lower body ME is alternating back squats and front squats on changing rep patterns of 5x5,5x3,5x1 or working up to a 1rm
Total body ME is deadlifts and power cleans, alternating and on the same rep scheme as the Lower body ME.
For crossfit I will be going to crossfit fairfax, my local afiliate, so i will be somewhat following their programming. On days when I would go to workout there and they have a ME scheduled, I would do a girl or hero that I haven't done in a while.

...and sorry for the longest post ever written...
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:43 PM   #6
Steven Low
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris H Laing View Post
I am actually planning on doing handstand skill work as part of my warm up for every workout I do, working towards a consistent 10 sec free standing.
Good.

Quote:
Crap... What other pushes are their on the rings for gymnastics besides HSPU and planche, as I am not at a level where I can do either on the rings (can't even do a full rom HSPU on the floor)
Rings dips and pushups, negative HSPUs, planche progression work and pushups, bench press, overhead press, etc. There's lots of stuff.

Quote:
I would only be doing this rings workout once a week, so 3 exercises it is. Also I was thinking about taking the routine off the end and instead doing the 50% max hold for reps up to 60 sec for the front/back lever...and I guess a planche progression on the rings, or maybe just a support hold since I dont think I have the strength for a tuck planche on the rings.

If it makes a difference as to how many exercises I should do I do not have a ME upper body day, so this ring workout is acting as the ME upper body, but will occasionally be switched out for weighted ring dips/pull-ups.
Why only once a week? To progress you NEED to do work at least 2-3x a week minimum. For rings you should be at least getting on them 5-6x a week if not just do to some support holds, L-sits, inverted hangs, skin the cats (all skill work by the way).

Quote:
I will be doing crossfit two days a week on my schedule to cover conditioning, and I will have either a short stretch or foam rolling session after every workout
Good.. can be added after strength session so you don't have to waste a separate day on it. Or it can be its own day. Your choice.

Quote:
Then you've noticed all the people who constantly say "too bad Steven isn't on the forums anymore...he has great advice"
Yep.. but it's not like I care about praise or accolades or anything. That's not why I help people.

Quote:
I'm starting to find that this is true, but I still like the way a good, grueling metcon feels, which is why I'm still including them in my program. But now I am becoming more focuses on strength and gymnastics, and would eventually like to get into Oly lifting.

My basic schedule would be a 3-1-2-1:
Gymnastics - Lower body ME - CF - rest - Total body ME - CF - rest
The gymnastics is what I' m trying to figure out now.
The Lower body ME is alternating back squats and front squats on changing rep patterns of 5x5,5x3,5x1 or working up to a 1rm
Total body ME is deadlifts and power cleans, alternating and on the same rep scheme as the Lower body ME.
For crossfit I will be going to crossfit fairfax, my local afiliate, so i will be somewhat following their programming. On days when I would go to workout there and they have a ME scheduled, I would do a girl or hero that I haven't done in a while.

...and sorry for the longest post ever written...
Hmm, I could significantly tweak ths.. then again depends on your goals.

IMO you should do something like:
full body, CF, full body, rest, full body, CF

Gymnastics skills ALL days ~15-30 mins (it does work as active recovery). Plus, it also acts as a nice warm up.

Pick your 2-3 exercises for the full body days. Might end up something like one day:
1. DL/powerclean, inverted eccentric to hang, cross pullouts, planche statics, HSPUs negatives

2. back squat/front squat, front lever statics (or back lever), cranks, planche progression pushups, weighted dips

3. pistols/sprints, etc.

It doesn't necessarily have to look anything like this but this is just to give you an idea. Unless you're severely time limited doing ME lower body and ME upper on their own days are going to be a HUGE waste of productive training time each week.

Ultimately, when programming something like this you'd want to see someone doing this 4-5x a week... because the progress will be immensely faster (I mean.. 3x a week is nice.. but 5x a week you get 2 extra sessions = much quicker gains). But that's your prerogative.

P.S. You going to the Mid Atlantic hopper this Sat? I'll be there (spectating) after I get off work and drive up.
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Last edited by Steven Low : 10-07-2008 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:08 PM   #7
Chris H Laing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Rings dips and pushups, negative HSPUs, planche progression work and pushups, bench press, overhead press, etc. There's lots of stuff.
Haha I didn't even think of the simple stuff...ring dips...I need to think more before I ask questions. Maybe I could do some maltese holds with my feet on a box, and pseudo planche push ups for the chesticles.

Quote:
Why only once a week? To progress you NEED to do work at least 2-3x a week minimum. For rings you should be at least getting on them 5-6x a week if not just do to some support holds, L-sits, inverted hangs, skin the cats (all skill work by the way).
I only planned to do the gymnastic workout once a week because I would have to do it at the gymnastic center which is a good 20 or 30 minutes from my house, so it would be hard for me to get there more than once a week because I have school til 2 and then work from 430 til 8 on most days. This is why I wanted to try to address all the gymnastic moves in one day.

Maybe I could do my static holds on ME days, just to keep the gymnastics elements going throughout the week...like rotate through front and back lever, planche and l-sit. I think that's a decent balance of push vs. pull.

Quote:
Good.. can be added after strength session so you don't have to waste a separate day on it. Or it can be its own day. Your choice.
Again, I put the CF and ME days separately because, I would be driving another 30 min to get to the affiliate in my area, and there is a separate gym about 5 minutes from my school that I would go to after school and be done before going to work.

Quote:
Yep.. but it's not like I care about praise or accolades or anything. That's not why I help people.
Not saying it is why...just that you helped a lot of people over there and people miss it, but they can always come here to get it i suppose

Quote:
Hmm, I could significantly tweak ths.. then again depends on your goals.

IMO you should do something like:
full body, CF, full body, rest, full body, CF

Gymnastics skills ALL days ~15-30 mins (it does work as active recovery). Plus, it also acts as a nice warm up.

Pick your 2-3 exercises for the full body days. Might end up something like one day:
1. DL/powerclean, inverted eccentric to hang, cross pullouts, planche statics, HSPUs negatives

2. back squat/front squat, front lever statics (or back lever), cranks, planche progression pushups, weighted dips

3. pistols/sprints, etc.
I just realized that my whole schedule was based around school and work, which is why its hard to do something like deadlifts and inverted eccentric to hangs on the same day, because I would have to go to the gym to deadlift, and then drive all the way back home or to the gymnastics facility for the inverted eccentrics.

Basically I wanted a workout to do on the rings, that would be a complete upper body workout, as I do not have a ME day for upper body. I will probably still be able to mess around with the gymnastics stuff on rest days, but it will not be nearly as intense as its just for active rest.

Quote:
Ultimately, when programming something like this you'd want to see someone doing this 4-5x a week... because the progress will be immensely faster (I mean.. 3x a week is nice.. but 5x a week you get 2 extra sessions = much quicker gains). But that's your prerogative.
I would love to have the time to get on the rings 4 or 5 times a week, but I don't think its in the cards for me right now. Maybe in the summer when I don't have school...or maybe if I get fired

Quote:
P.S. You going to the Mid Atlantic hopper this Sat? I'll be there (spectating) after I get off work and drive up.
Nah...not this time ...but I need to get to a crossfit event soon and see how the hardcore people do it. Why aren't you competing? I'm sure you'd wreck any bodyweight movement biased workout.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:08 AM   #8
Steven Low
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris H Laing View Post
Haha I didn't even think of the simple stuff...ring dips...I need to think more before I ask questions. Maybe I could do some maltese holds with my feet on a box, and pseudo planche push ups for the chesticles.
Whatever floats your boat. Just make sure it's geared toward your overall goals. If you're confused if something is or isn't just ask.

Quote:
I only planned to do the gymnastic workout once a week because I would have to do it at the gymnastic center which is a good 20 or 30 minutes from my house, so it would be hard for me to get there more than once a week because I have school til 2 and then work from 430 til 8 on most days. This is why I wanted to try to address all the gymnastic moves in one day.

[...]

Again, I put the CF and ME days separately because, I would be driving another 30 min to get to the affiliate in my area, and there is a separate gym about 5 minutes from my school that I would go to after school and be done before going to work.

[...]

I just realized that my whole schedule was based around school and work, which is why its hard to do something like deadlifts and inverted eccentric to hangs on the same day, because I would have to go to the gym to deadlift, and then drive all the way back home or to the gymnastics facility for the inverted eccentrics.

Basically I wanted a workout to do on the rings, that would be a complete upper body workout, as I do not have a ME day for upper body. I will probably still be able to mess around with the gymnastics stuff on rest days, but it will not be nearly as intense as its just for active rest.
Ah, so you don't have access to a pair of rings then constantly. That still would not preclude you from doing this stuff. I assume there is a bar at the place where you're using the weights (any pullup bar will do). You can still do front lever work and inverted hang eccentric to hang. I'm sure there's a dip bar where you can do planche work and weighted dips if need be.

At the gym when you have access to rings, you also have access to a floor where you can do sprints, pistols, etc. So mainly this day might be work on mostly bodyweight exercises for full body.

IMPROVISE with what you have available. ME upper/ME lower is pretty inefficient especially with only 2 exercises (if you're not doing anything else beyond skill work).

Quote:
Maybe I could do my static holds on ME days, just to keep the gymnastics elements going throughout the week...like rotate through front and back lever, planche and l-sit. I think that's a decent balance of push vs. pull.
Too little frequency. Coach Sommer's planche/front lever article is meant to do planche and front lever BOTH 4 days a week.


Quote:
I would love to have the time to get on the rings 4 or 5 times a week, but I don't think its in the cards for me right now. Maybe in the summer when I don't have school...or maybe if I get fired
Don't have like 50-70 bucks for a pair? Or a place to mount them (such as a tree)?

Quote:
Nah...not this time ...but I need to get to a crossfit event soon and see how the hardcore people do it. Why aren't you competing? I'm sure you'd wreck any bodyweight movement biased workout.
Knee precludes me from doing airsquats at the moment although I am close to working then again.
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
Chris H Laing
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Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Whatever floats your boat. Just make sure it's geared toward your overall goals. If you're confused if something is or isn't just ask.
Thanks, I'll definitely be coming to you when I have questions regarding gymnastics and basically anything about training.

Quote:
Ah, so you don't have access to a pair of rings then constantly. That still would not preclude you from doing this stuff. I assume there is a bar at the place where you're using the weights (any pullup bar will do). You can still do front lever work and inverted hang eccentric to hang. I'm sure there's a dip bar where you can do planche work and weighted dips if need be.

...

IMPROVISE with what you have available. ME upper/ME lower is pretty inefficient especially with only 2 exercises (if you're not doing anything else beyond skill work).
I do have access to rings, I just don't think I have a place to hang them that is high enough for some of the moves like invert eccentric to hang that use the full rom of the rings. Also surprisingly no dip bars...I guess I'll have to work up to a planche on the rings...or bring in my paralletes

Also I'm gunna try and work out some way that I could due your suggested full body-cf-full body schedule because I really like the idea of heavy deadlifts and cross pullouts on the same day.

For this would you suggest having a pool of movements for each day and cycling through them to keep up the variety?

Quote:
Too little frequency. Coach Sommer's planche/front lever article is meant to do planche and front lever BOTH 4 days a week.
In addition to other front lever and planche training?

Quote:
Don't have like 50-70 bucks for a pair? Or a place to mount them (such as a tree)?
I have the elite 2 rings, but not trees with branches low enough at my house. I'm currently trying to figure out a way to hang them from my deck . I'm thinking some eye bolts screwed into the wood and some caribiners.

Quote:
Knee precludes me from doing airsquats at the moment although I am close to working then again.
That's a shame. What did you do to your knee? Also, are you a Terp, because I was thinking about applying to Maryland.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:51 PM   #10
Steven Low
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Originally Posted by Chris H Laing View Post
Thanks, I'll definitely be coming to you when I have questions regarding gymnastics and basically anything about training.

I do have access to rings, I just don't think I have a place to hang them that is high enough for some of the moves like invert eccentric to hang that use the full rom of the rings. Also surprisingly no dip bars...I guess I'll have to work up to a planche on the rings...or bring in my paralletes

Also I'm gunna try and work out some way that I could due your suggested full body-cf-full body schedule because I really like the idea of heavy deadlifts and cross pullouts on the same day.

For this would you suggest having a pool of movements for each day and cycling through them to keep up the variety?
For invert eccentric it does not have to go all the way to hang. You can go to a little below front lever and still get most of the benefit. About 45 deg below the eccentric loses a lot of its tension so if you can do something to there it's fine.

Uhm, I prefer working a move at least 2-3x a week if possible. You can cycle them in, but ultimately you want to get stronger at a certain move because that's where the strength comes in. Neural learning (CNS) is a part of strength hence why you squat a lot on SS. If you want you can keep rotating stuff in but don't expect to see as good progress.

I prefer to work on 1-2 goals per pulling/pushing/posterior chain at a time. I find it's not too much and not too little.

Quote:
In addition to other front lever and planche training?
Yes. If you're gonna do the pushups and pullups for planche and front lever then I'd suggest cutting down the static time some (to maybe like 20-30s).. but otherwise yes. High frequency.

Quote:
I have the elite 2 rings, but not trees with branches low enough at my house. I'm currently trying to figure out a way to hang them from my deck . I'm thinking some eye bolts screwed into the wood and some caribiners.
Yeah, find somewhere fast.

Quote:
That's a shame. What did you do to your knee? Also, are you a Terp, because I was thinking about applying to Maryland.
Not gonna talk about my knee AGAIN; it's in my log if you wanna look it up.

Already graduated from Maryland, but I do go down and help out with Gymkana a couple days a week.
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