Lets get gymnasty.15 June 2015
You cannot kip your way off a rock face.
When we think of a gymnast, the general image that comes to mind is that of a tiny, creepily flexible, tight bun sporting, usually Russian female thus creating a further disconnection between ourselves as CrossFit athletes and the movements of the sport itself. Uh, what do you mean STRICT Ring Dips? The Pull Up, Hand Stand, Dip, L-Sit and Muscle Up are all basic gymnastic elements that make an appearance frequently in your programming and from my experience at CCF, these are some of the movements that many of you have on your list of goals to smash this year. So why not perfect them and strive to become gymnasts? Whether you are aiming to get your first Pull Up or Muscle Up, the methodology and plan to get there would be the same as if you wanted to put 5kg on your Back Squat. What do we do? Well we run a strength cycle. So what can you expect from our gymnastic program these next couple weeks? DING DING DING - Yup, we are are gonna make you stronger using strict gymnastics. You may have noticed that we are currently doing a lot of strict, negative work on the bar and in the rings. The eccentric training (that has left you all feeling pretty stiff) is a really successful tool to build concentric power.
"Eccentric training (ET) tends to produce greater & more rapid increases in muscle strength & hypertrophy than concentric training. ET is also more metabolically efficient. For example, if the same external force is exerted concentrically & eccentrically, fewer muscle fibres are activated while the muscle lengthens."
Chris has also been chucking in some tempo training (those cryptic 32xo numbers that have been making an appearance). These put you in time under tension, helps you develop body control and movement quality, it makes you stronger and can increase your work capacity and stability in these movements.
Although these are as sexy and fun as tempo squats (I kid, I kid) ;) We are pretty sure our progressions are going to lead to to many firsts or increased capacity in your gymnastic movements.
But why all these gymnastic basics? I just wanna lift all the heavy things dammit! With the risk of sounding like a stuck record, basic gymnastics helps develop body awareness in space, stabilisation, strength and focus (have you ever been in a set of rings and not called upon the power of all these elements to help you maintain good positioning?).
Learning the nuances of your body and how to manipulate them in degrees is an invaluable tool whether you need to get your hip higher in your bar muscle up of to reach that triple extension in the Snatch.
So, lifting heavy stuff is cool and always something to strive for, but we also know that you want to be the coolest Dawg in your circle of friends or a Super Hero to your kid. And frankly, telling them you can Back Squat 200kg may sound impressive, but doing a strict tree branch muscle up in your back yard is a pretty dope party trick and will ensure your Super Hero status is 100% legit...
PS. A lot of our athletes are currently getting homework prescribed from our coaches in their Goal Getting sessions, why don't you schedule one as well and get one designed for your individual needs as well?
Coach Tash is our gymnastic ninja expert and doesn't only have a love for these movements, but can also help you build your own progressions towards mastering your own body - give her a shout if you want to set up some time to work on your hollow position.