Practicing gymnastics is frustrating because it’s hard to notice improvement until you successfully “get” a movement. You either have a pull-up, or you don’t. There’s no in-between.
Unlike weight training, you can’t PR by 5-lbs. This drives you and me to bias our focus and time on a modality that should follow gymnastics, not preceed it.
When a young boy or girl begins training at a gymnastics gym, they are motivated by a leveling system. Graduating from Level 1 to Level 2 indicates progress and is a major motive behind additional strength and skill practice.
These young boys and girls mature into olympians as early as age 15, being able to pull, press, and bend their body in ways we can only dream of.
We practice weightlifting the way olympic weightlifters train. That practice varies by degree (intensity), not kind (we still squat, press overhead, and pull off the ground).
So why do we not practice gymnastics the way olympic gymnasts train?
How to Practice
Your goals for gymnastics will rarely include flips, splits, and holds. Rather, your goals will look more like pull-ups, muscle-ups, and handstands.
But the positions you must master are found in almost all of gymnastic movements. For example, a hollow and arch body position is found in pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, muscle-ups, rope climbs, dips, flips, and many others.
Therefore, you must master the basics of these positions in order to eventually complete these exercises.
Neurological + Hormonal Adaptations
The reason our workouts at RxFIT are so effective is due to the intentional neuroendocrine response they elicit. In other words, I want our workouts to challenge you both mentally (neurologically) and physically (hormonally).
This explains why we practice and train new skills. More specifically, I want you to eventually reach a snatch equal to your body weight. I want you to be able to complete multiple strict muscle-ups on the rings. I want you to be able to walk 25-feet upside down in a handstand.
These complex and advanced skills are demonstrations of your neurological and hormonal capabilities. Developing these will make you fitter.
Gymnastics will certainly challenge more of the neurological component — if you don’t believe me, flip up into a handstand against the wall. Then try moving your hips into a hollow and then arched position. This is very difficult.
A leveling method will practice and train things like this.
In order to practice gymnastics, you need a similar leveling method that artistic gymnasts use. However, this leveling method must be adapted to the movements we use in fitness gymnastics.
We finally found it with Nick Sorrell — a longtime gymnast and now professional crossfit coach. In our RxFIT-Intrepid program, we prescribe to his leveling method which spans from Level 1 – Level 20.
Our in-person and remote coaching is focused on graduating through these levels so that you can eventually reach those goals most important to you.