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Training Gymnastic Skills

Hey Vic City,

Over the last couple of weeks in the Open we've been challenged with a skill that eludes many of us, or at least is a real speed bump during the WOD. The strict handstand push-up and the bar muscle up are a real milestone for our first one, and with proper training can become easier and easier, and lead to even higher level skills.

Although gymnastics and weightlifting movements look a lot different, they can still be viewed and trained in a very similar fashion. To improve your ability to perform movements like strict handstand push-ups or muscle-ups we need to have proper progressions and work on perfecting various versions of those progressions before expecting to advance in the skill.

For example, if we are looking to improve our back squat we don't load up our 1RM or greater and just try it. The same idea goes for gymnastics. If you don't have a skill, repeatedly going for that skill, is like going for a new 1RM.

Of course, there is a time and place for going for those PRs but everyday or every training session isn't it. The Open or another competition is a good opportunity to push those limits, but the majority of the other times we should be focusing on technique and progressions to 1RM level skills. You don't need to think of progressions as easier or cheating as they are specifically designed to improve your abilities. A progression to achieving a 300 pound back squat, might be doing 5 sets of 5 back squats at 225 pounds.

Everyone is going to be in a unique position when it comes to where they are at in their quest for a muscle up, handstand push-up, or any other skill, just like they are with barbell lifts.

If you haven't been able to get a muscle-up or handstand push-up, don't give up, but don't just keep trying and trying. Figure out where you are missing. Can you do a strict pull-up and chest to bar? Can you hold a handstand? These are just a few of the necessary requirements to reach those higher level skills. Focus on dialling in the basics, and build the strength, your body and your skills will be better because of it.

If you have been able to get a skill, don't be satisfied with just getting one and neglecting to practice until the next Open. You too, can work on progressions and strength work to perform them more, better, and faster.

Bottom line, always work on improving your skills and finding good progressions to help you get better at movements without consistently failing or going for a 1RM effort.

(Gymnastic's class working muscle up progressions with spotters, adjusting body weight similarly like adjusting weight on a barbell)

Also, stay tuned for the 19.4 updated Intramural Leaderboard.



Training Wednesday - Thursday

Warm up: Dowel game - 5 min

Skill: E2M x 4: 5 quick power clean and push jerks, done as single reps

Work in the 50-60% range, good set up for each lift

WOD: Rounder

This is a team wod, in which you will be in a group of three. One person goes for 1 minute then the next person goes.

Rx: 5 intervals each person of: Row 4/8 cals, amrap double unders in the remaining time

FG2: heavy single skips, divide by 2

TG: scaled as needed

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