I wanted to share a little insight into any of our gymnastics series. The programming is created around three main principals: 1.) Volume 2.) Time under tension 3.) Resistance level.
If you have taken one our gymnastics series, you know that it voluminous. To maximize the strength gains and muscle growth we need to maximize training volume, which is why there is “homework” prescribed outside of the class times. Also, the homework should not be combined with current CrossFit training. The idea is to replace a CrossFit class with the gymnastics homework. There is a limit to the amount of volume before you hit a wall of diminishing returns. Ideally, we would like to see 2-3 gymnastics sessions per week including the class to elicit a favorable response. Volume in the training can and will come in many forms such as higher reps, more difficult exercises, and longer isometric holds.
Time Under Tension
This is such an important concept in gymnastics / bodyweight training. The more time the muscle is placed under stress, the more potential for hypertrophy. Time under tension (TUT) training is the most eye opening for many of our members due to its difficulty. We will train TUT using a variety of eccentric and concentric tempos as well as isometrics holds. Why? By taking our time, we are activating an immense amount of muscle tissue for a prolonged time. The other benefit of TUT training is the ability to spend more time in the “transition” of a movement. The more exposure you have to the full range of motion of a movement the better for strength development. For example, what is better for strict pull up development: 1.) Using TUT principals such as tempo training, negatives, and isometrics or 2.) Skip the transition and kip to the top of the bar.
The beauty of gymnastics / bodyweight training is that its very scalable to a novice or advanced athlete. Obviously, the main source of resistance is your bodyweight, which depending on the person is too much, too little, or just right. We want to use the right amount of resistance to progressively overload a muscle group with good form. If pullups are easy then add weight using a vest or belt. If pull ups are too hard, we can perform Australian pullups or ring rows. If rings rows are too easy, we can elevate the feet or place weight on the body. As you can see, there are a lot of ways to scale or modify exercises that will still follow similar movement patterns. The other benefit to using bodyweight as the primary source of resistance is the ancillary muscle stabilization in the core, glutes, and hips required to perform many of these movements. This type of training requires you to activate your entire body for the duration of a movement. These skills and mind-muscle connection will carry over to the majority of your strength training.
- Coach Shaun