Thursday, August 28, 2008

Get Ripped - Gymnast Style

The Olympics have come and gone, and along with some amazing record breaking performances we have also been witness to some truly outstanding physiques.

And the one example that always stands out during every summer is that of the male gymansts.

These guys are truly physical specimens, but before you start dreaming of being built like a gymnast there is something you need to know.

It takes an unbelievable amount of work to build a gymnasts body.

Most gymnasts train up to SIX days a week.

Not only do they train frequently, their volume is exceptionally high.

Some athletes train for as much as SIX TO SEVEN HOURS broken into two sessions (one in the morning and one in the evening).

So how do they manage such a high degree of volume and frequency with their workouts? Well, they do this by managing and altering the stress of these workouts..often called the intensity.

Much of their exercises are bodyweight exercises, mixed in with routine work, skill work and some weight training.

So if you want to be built like a gymnast, you need to manage a healthy balance between volume, frequency and stress, with the goal of slowly increasing the amount of work you can do in a week without becoming over-trained.

You can do this by mixing and matching as many different types of training as possible. Try using kettle bells, bodyweight exercises, weight training and cross training with different sports as a way to prevent overstraining while still training with a high amount of overall work.

Add a little more work each week, but always make sure you balance your high stress workouts (like heavy duty weight training) with lower stress workouts (like a moderately difficult bodyweight routine) to allow your body to adapt to this new workload.

It's important that you don't kill your muscles with each workout session and every workout session doesn't have to be long.

A 20 minute workout in the morning and a 40 minute workout in the evening, each with different intensities could be handled my most experienced lifters.

And of course, if you want to be lean like a gymnast you have to eat less calories then you are burning..and a good way to accomplish this is by following a nutrition plan like Eat Stop Eat.


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Wazzup said...

SO if I want to look like a gymnast and do it the gymnast way, I have to train 6 days a week, 6 hours a day, for say 12 years, and even then I get the look that's only seen in the genetic elite (those who survive this massacre of training and qualify for the olympics) ....

hmmm... call me lazy, but I choose for a shortcut (say 3 * 45 minutes a week :))

Brad Pilon said...

I have no problems with doing 3*45 minutes in the gym, but then also adding in the occasional 20 minute kettlebell workout some mornings, or a ten minute bodyweight workout in the evenings just to get a little extra work in!

Kind of like stealing from the powerlifters...they have a set workout that is very specific, but they also arent't afraid to throw in an extra workout now and again.

keeping it simple is best, but we shouldn't be afraid to do a little extra.


Anonymous said...

Please post a sample weekly workout.