T Nation

Is It Worth Being a Gymnast?

i have been interested in training like a gymnast for a number of years. Mainly to even out my body in the future, both weight training and bodyweight training to create an amazing body to BE FEARED!!!

I went on yahoo answer and just wanted to see how people like it, well it turns out that some have problems…serious problems. I know that weight lifting also has its ups and downs but this looks really horrible. Look at what the people have to say

“i was a gymnast for 10 years. i dont mean to scare you but my body was worked way too much and i have ankle injuries and back problems that even but me in a back brace. the worst part is that i am only 12 and it was on of the worst things i could have done to my body. dont get me wrong gymnastics has been the best thing that has ever happened to me and it has taught me how to overcome my fears. but gymnastics definately has its ups and downs”

"I was a gymnast for 15 years, it was one of the best things I ever did, but I’m starting to regret it. I’m 37 now, and in pain everyday and my doctors all agree that my health problems are directly caused by gymnastics. I see a chiropractor at least once a week and sometimes 3. My back and neck are a total mess and there is no cure. I will be in pain for the rest of my life, just something that you should consider. "

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=ApTOjdzDWx9riZEDYdtglFkjzKIX?qid=20060802140750AASD4pK

people WITH FUCKING GAY COACHES!

Good coaches say take care of imbalances, too many landings you gotta work the opposing muscles to prevent shin splits, you know that muscle that raises the toes?
how Heel walks, dummbbell raises etc.

Bad coaches say" your ankles are fucked? do more toe raises, work throught the pain etc"

you gotta also strengthen your weaknesses because your body will use the bigger stronger muscles all the time(path of least resistance) so weaknesses become HUGE. and little speacilty exercises are needed and most coach don’t know of them, because they are scared of weights.

These people are fucked because, their
Coaching sucks.
to make an exemple for BBers would be.

did you hurt your shoulder benching?
if so work with pain but make more sets and weight.
now you wonder why those guys are BADly injured.

if you work all opposing muscles/movements and do skills you’ll NEVER be injured.

oh ok nice thanks halo…

p.s. u gonna give us your workout info and stuff on your thread…i gotta admit i am impressed.

[quote]Holo wrote:

if you work all opposing muscles/movements and do skills you’ll NEVER be injured.[/quote]

Umm…you risk injury doing any sport.

[quote]cap’nsalty wrote:
Holo wrote:

if you work all opposing muscles/movements and do skills you’ll NEVER be injured.

Umm…you risk injury doing any sport.[/quote]

Q:How hard would it be to get involved in gymnastics as an adult?
A:Very hard, not many people pick up gymnastics so you’d be training with 9 year olds who are more flexible, relatively stronger for bodyweight(with less training), easier to maneuver during coaching and training, etc.

If the reason why you want to train for gymnastics is to look good nekkid, that’s a hell of a lot of hurdles to overcome. The weight room and the food aisle should be more than enough.

personally i want to develope certain skills…like planche and front lever.

also i just always had a interest in the sport.

Guys, there is a huge difference between being a competitive gymnast and a recreational trainee.

If you are just some guy that wants to learn some D-E level skills then you should find a university gymnastics club and get some training in. No way in hell is some ring work and a couple back tucks into a mat going to screw you for life. It’s the exact same as weight training risk wise.

You don’t have to bust your ass till its broken. Just do it for fun. Julius and I train about 2 times per week and You learn stuff fast. Being able to do a flip and a planche will not hurt you. If anything it will help mobility and joint strength.

It’s not the sport that kills, it’s competitive coaches and stupid training that does.

I feel myself getting more banged up in thai boxing than gymnastics, and every body does MMA these days. I think most of them will be ok in the long run.

-chris

well said…

[quote]mrl179 wrote:
personally i want to develope certain skills…like planche and front lever.

also i just always had a interest in the sport.[/quote]

Hi mrl,

First let me say that you don’t have to become a full blown gymnast to achieve a planche and front lever. I’m not a gymnast per se, but I’ve been working on the skills for some time now and have made progress (currently working on straddle front lever pull-ups and Advanced tuck planche push-ups/straddle planche).

The road is definetely not one commonly traveled, and I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it has been easy thus far. But, if you follow the progressions as per Coach Sommer’s recommendations you will see progress.

Personally, at this point in the game I’ve realized that adding muscle mass will help me progress faster/further. So, I’ve begun doing some high frequency inspired training that focuses on the muscles most responsible for the two strength holds (i.e. chest, upperback, biceps, triceps and shoulders).

I still do legs, so don’t think that I’m only doing upper body stuff. But the focus is definetely on the above mentioned muscle groups. So far I’m definetely seeing improvement.

But keep in mind that for a long time I was doing the holds exactly as Coach Sommer suggested and thus built up a good amount of connective tissue strength for the holds. It’s the connective tissues that I think one might have problems with if they tried to progress too quickly.

As far as injuries go, yeah, I’d agree with Holo. That’s mostly due to poor coaching, not the nature of the sport itself.

Good training,

Sentoguy

The answer to “is it worth it” is going to depend on the person. Just go check it out. Most gymnastic centers will have an open session for adults of all skill levels. Find one, go, see if you like it.

I did that this summer, and I had a blast. Even at 37 (and surprisingly I wasn’t always the oldest person there).

[quote]cap’nsalty wrote:
Holo wrote:

if you work all opposing muscles/movements and do skills you’ll NEVER be injured.

Umm…you risk injury doing any sport.[/quote]

Exactly. Is it worth it to powerlift or run a marathon?

I think you are going to be majorly disappointed if you’re thinking about doing gymnastics for the physique. Just like bodybuilders, gymnasts do not sprout muscles overnight.

And it takes even longer for gymnasts to grow as much as a bodybuilder because training does not focus solely on hypertrophy. I was a gymnast for 10 years and some of these women around here training for 3 years have more mass than I ever had. I had more relative strength but that doesn’t matter to people that aren’t having to do skills.

I guess my point is, don’t start gymnastics if learning it doesn’t make up the majority of motivation behind it. If you want a gymnasts body, it would be better use of your effort to study what muscles are the most hypertrophied and train around that.

indeed, nastics isn’t a hypertrophy cure all. The reason a lot of those dudes are huge as is because they have been training for so long. By the age of 20 many of them have 10 training years. If you did anything strength related regularly for that long and went through puberty along the way you would be a beast.

It’s best just to add it as part of your training and have fun. Don’t get disappointed when you don’t balloon up. Be happy that you can do a muscle up or something and most everyone else can’t. neener neener!

nastics is about learning to fly more than getting huge.

But put some time in on the rings and you will see huge progress in many other upper body exercises. Shit since I started front to back skin-the-cat levers I can hold more on the front squat for longer because of the extra core stability. Those levers blast your pooch, lower ab area, belly button to infant-like penis area… whatever you call it. It’s hard to hit that section of rectus abdominal with other shit.

Put your power cleans to use, learn back tucks (flips). learn to fly.

-chris

[quote]texass wrote:
I think you are going to be majorly disappointed if you’re thinking about doing gymnastics for the physique. Just like bodybuilders, gymnasts do not sprout muscles overnight.

And it takes even longer for gymnasts to grow as much as a bodybuilder because training does not focus solely on hypertrophy. I was a gymnast for 10 years and some of these women around here training for 3 years have more mass than I ever had. I had more relative strength but that doesn’t matter to people that aren’t having to do skills.

I guess my point is, don’t start gymnastics if learning it doesn’t make up the majority of motivation behind it. If you want a gymnasts body, it would be better use of your effort to study what muscles are the most hypertrophied and train around that.[/quote]

Can we say “paralysis by analysis”?

Try it out already.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
i have been interested in training like a gymnast for a number of years.

Can we say “paralysis by analysis”?

Try it out already. [/quote]

Sometimes coaches are hard to find but good point. buy some rings and hook them up to a tall SQ rack.

That’s what I did with oly lifts. I couldn’t find a good coach so i said “fuk it, it can’t be that hard to learn.” and in the end I’m sure I’ll live. I think I found a coach for next semester though, yippee.

-chris

I bought myself rings(www.ringtraining.com)a few years ago, and they were an awesome addition to my training.

Learning the basic floor exercises aren’t hard either(depending on your bodyweight and flexibility, but still).

Do note I said as an ADDITION. If it’s first and foremost muscle you want, do heavy weight training.

yea i am thinking of getting the rings, i mean i never wanted to train like gymnast for hours and hours, i just wanted a tast of their training. I feel that the rings will help me.

But generally i was thinking that i might find a gymnastics gym, and train there about 2 times a week, and have my normal weight training 3 times a week. Best of both worlds.

Coach Sommer is supposedly in the final stages of editing a book on gymnastic strength training. Keep on the look out for that if you’re still interested.

i know i have been waiting for the books since he first anounced them. I just hope he tells us on tnation when he is done, it will be amazing the knowledge gymnastics skills and workouts right in the palm of both your hands.I hope he has a flexibility part in it.

Find a club that offers adult gymnastics or private lessons. Or, better yet, open gym time with some available coaches to give you pointers.

The reason many gymnasts experience severe joint problems later in life is:

  • Imbalanced conditioning

For instance, the guy who owns the club I work at has shoulder pain from internal rotation from doing so much planche work to the exclusion of everything else. Pile that on top of 3-5 hours daily training for many years… well, no shit your joints hurt.

For the best physique results I recommend combination weights + gymnastics. Squats and deadlifts hit a majority of the muscles that basic gymnastics conditioning will not, and if done heavily they help with tumbling power a LOT (in my experience, at least). It’s also good to throw in some upper body stuff if you need to add some size. Everything helps everything else out - all training is complementary.