Sunday, 7 August 2016

Gymnastics – Strength Endurance and more Volume.

I’m going to follow on from my last post reviewing theGymnastic Bodies courses and look at part of the course I struggle with an how I have overcome it/ am currently over coming it.

Something I didn’t explain in my last post was the structure of the training and the method behind it. In foundations each section of a workout is separated into two parts – The strength component e.g. a push up and its integrated mobility component. These are done like a super set with no rest. The idea here is to force the trainee to work on mobility and to test whether they have adequate mobility to continue with the program. Early in each section the reps are quite high (60, 20, 15, 10) depending on the exercise, once these are mastered more difficult exercises move into a lower rep range (10’s and 5’s). The idea behind this is to prepare the joints for the more difficult work. As I said in the last post this strength endurance range is something I really struggle with. Below I’ll outline three different methods I am currently using to get passed the strength endurance phase. The idea for this kind of approach I got from

Extra strength work

This method seems to help me the most in being able to meet the rep requirements of the strength endurance phase. For instance when working on push ups I added bench dips into my workout week. Push ups were on Monday so on Thursday I added sets of bench dips. These were slightly more strength biased, and lower reps (but not too much lower). This allowed me to work a higher strength level, slightly lower rep range to round out my strength and feel stronger when doing my push ups. On another occasion I used a 70kg bench press for sets of ten, which also helped increase my push up strength endurance. The goal is to find a slightly harder exercise for slightly less reps to work on in a second workout each week. I wanted the exercise selection to be similar, but not the same, i.e. not weighted push ups. I think this helps to round out my strength, but I suggest experimenting to find what works best for you.

More volume

This method works well for me, those not quite as well as the extra strength work. I added extra volume in two ways. One is that straight after my prescribed number of reps and sets, I would add one more max set. Often I can only manage an extra 5 or so reps, but it all counts. I find this can assist me in adding 1 more rep to my last work set next week. It’s not much but slow progress is progress.

The other way I add more volume is at the end of my workout after all my planned exercises is to add 3-4 sets or 10-15 reps of whatever exercise I’m struggling with. So currently that means 3-4 sets 10-15 reps of extra decline ring rows. Again this just adds to my total extra volume within a range I can recover from.

Keep doing the basics

This last method doesn’t help with passing a section, but it forces me to maintain it. If I stopped doing the higher rep sets I quickly lose that level of strength endurance so when I have passed a particularly hard section (push ups) I keep it in my weekly workout as a staple. For me that means doing the top rep level of push ups, plus some extra volume every Thursday. This maintains my strength endurance and likely assists my work on my difficult exercises (at the very least is doesn’t harm it).

I have found these methods really helpful with getting over strength endurance roadblocks in the Gymnastic Bodies foundation course but you can also used these ideas in your own training to get a little extra strength endurance work and a little extra volume.

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