T Nation

Any Big Guys Using Rings?


I am a 290 pound olympic weightlifter. My dad got me gymnastics rings for christmas. I've been pretty good at moving my own bodyweight. I do a lot of parralett training including HSPUs, L-holds into handstands etc.

But I used the rings for the first time today and they kicked my butt. First I hooked them to a football goal and it bent when I got into the support, so I hooked them up to a soccer goal.

I can bang out sets of ten dips on parrellel bars but I couldn't do one on the rings. Even with my heels on the ground they were tough. So I did pushups, pullups and body rows.

The hardest part for me is actually the support not the pushing. I have some jumpstretch bands on the way which I think will help. Am I the biggest idiot who is trying to use these things?


I haven't used them, but i'd imagine they'll be harder than dips on parallel bars because of all the extra stabalizing your body needs to do.

It may take a bit to get used to them, but I wouldn't give up on them... Hell, look how big those Gymnasts are who do rings are.


I don't believe your an idiot, well some might think so. Just like people think I'm an idiot for flipping a tire or pumping out sandbag drills at 5:00 in the morning on Christmas and almost every Wednesday & Saturday for a few months. So, more to you...Merry Christmas!


You mean the guys that weigh like 135 lbs?


Thats them, they're also 4' 3" and eat three pieces of lettuce a day. Gymnastics will never make a guy hyooge, but I look at them as I do free weights, or using a tire, or anything else that utilises your muscles in unfamiliar ways, and recruits more stabilizers.

I know gymnastics transfers well to MMA from experiance, and I think it would also transfer to olympic lifting [just my theory of course].


I don't exactly have rings but something almost like it, blast straps from eliteFTS. It'll take a bit to get used to it, but you could just keep doing push ups, rows and supported dips with you feet straight out in front of you on the ground like dips off a bench.

It took me a few weeks to work my up to 8 reps on them. As a frame of refrence I'm 6'3" and 228lbs.


Yeah, those gymnasts are pussies, I bet you could kick his ass.

3 pieces of lettuce a day?

Give me a break and get a clue.


Calm down bro, I was being sarcastic in response to a guy who was saying they are 135lbs. By saying they eat 3 pieces of lettuce a day I was illustrating the massive cutting / maintennance diet they are all on [the smart ones anyway] as being big is a huge hinderance to them. I further went on to say there was massive transferance to MMA and speculated that there would be solid transferance to O-Lifting - in fact giving props to their training effectiveness.

Oh and as someone who practices MMA, and has more direct power then a guy half my weight, yes I could kick their asses, especially with their complete lack of fighting training, you ass.

Give me a break and get a clue.


Yea, well my dad could beat up your dad.


Thank you for that picture. =D


I too focus on the olympic lifts. I also read Louie Simmons'stuff. Louie has his power lifters doing push ups in the rings to build stability strength in the bench. I'm planning on getting some rings for dips and push ups. Sounds like they do build some stability strength. Cool.


Same here.
Got them too for Christmas in fact. Make a deal to get our the front lever first ? :wink:
I'm around 225 at 5'8 right now, and I'm having trouble as hell balancing myself ... You do get strong as hell on them though.
I was able to do 51 bodyweight dips on parallel bars and one with 195 on a belt, on the rings you quickly humble ... first time 5 at most, and my arms were shaking like hell.


just got mine for christmas, have tried them once before, and they are hard. i dont see how they couldnt benefit anyone who trains, especially with all the stabilizer work. ill report back in a few weeks, and see how its going, ps i'm around 5'11 and 230.


Evil homer -

You can press from L to handstand on paralletes, at a bodyweight of 290 pounds?

That is certifiably bad-ass.


Have any of you guys used "Blast Straps" by EliteFTS? I have a pair and have always wondered if you can do as much with them as you can with rings. From my experance I can do most exercises with blast straps (chins,dips, L-sits ect.) that you can do with rings ...But I cant get a muscle up yet......
Any opinions?


The ultimate exercise on the rings is the muscle up, basically a pull up to a dip. The transition point between the poull up and dip is at the moment for me impossible. The muscle up is the hardest exercise out there
A good site with some exercises and tips on is


The crossfit gym I train at has rings and I love them. I am 5'11" about 220-225 say 15-20% BF and they are a great tool for workingout. The one thing I have noticed is that they hit the connective tissue very hard on me. If I really work hard on them ie practicing muscle ups (rings at head height and jump a little), skin the cat, back levers, pullups and dips make my shoulder and elbows a bit sore. The soreness is reducing over time, but you have to be carefull at first.

You are not an idiot for adding them to your toolbox, they are a great way to increase your connective tissue strength and stabilizers strength. They also teach you to use your entire body. To do a front or back lever you have to keep your entire body tense and that is a skill I had never really been good at. I would tighten my legs then relax my abs or back. This trainging has definetly taught me to use my entire body.

Good luck with the rings and have fun.


I love using the rings and do muscleups and dips as a regular part of my workouts. This is an interesting blurb on training on the rings from the Crossfit website.

--The rings and slackline are inherently stable. The shaking all beginners? first experience is essentially brain-noise finding free expression in a frictionless plane. Calming these tremors, quieting this brain-noise, improves balance and strength, i.e., control, in any environment.--

Semper Fidelis


If that's true and not just new-age, marketting BS ... then that is so frigging cool. Brain-noise, haha, i am going to try to work that into a conversation this week


I don't think it is BS, it seems reasonable to me. I'm sure it has to do with the muscle-brain connections becoming more efficient. I'm sure the author's locker room could explain it much more intelligently.