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Posts Tagged ‘gymnastics’

The best upper body workout on the planet

It’s 7.00am on a summers morning on the Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro.

There’s a stream of people on the sand, exercising with kettlebells, bodyweight exercises and yoga.

These people are moving their bodies in their surroundings.  Their feet are connected to the earth, the sun is shining down and they’re taking in gulps of fresh air.  They’re wearing nothing but speedos and bikinis so more sun, water and air can nourish them.

What a great thing to do for your physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

After finishing their workout on the beach they might want to try this:

If they find a good sturdy overhanging branch or monkey bars in a nearby park, they can attach some gymnastics or trx rings to it and start to do upper body exercises.

Nothing can beat the rings for upper body development.

upsidedownonrings

 

Mastering gymnastic movements on the rings gives incredible strength, great balance and magnificent control of the body (obviously people start with easier moves).

It’s a different level to even a big bench and shoulder press, so much more functional.  There’s just a lot more that goes into 3 dimensional movement, controlling our own bodyweight at all sorts of different angles and leverage points, not to mention all the extra muscles that are used.

Therefore, the development is greater.  After those people in Rio work out on the rings or the monkey bars (the rings are more difficult), they can go back to the beach and cool down with a swim.  What a perfect start to the day…  and it doesn’t have to be in Rio!

I mention Conor McGregor a lot, because I admire his training so much.  If you saw his fight in January 2015 against a Russian-German called Denis Siver, you’ll see what happens when someone who is mastering their bodyweight meets a weights trainer.

Speed, fluidity and unadulterated power against a strong, but stiff and slow opponent who can’t control his body at angles.  There’s only going to be one winner, and by a landslide!

Gymnasts don’t use reps, sets and 3 days a week routines

I’m all for knowing a lot of the science behind getting the most from your training, but it’s not the most important factor.

The most important factor is just training, a LOT.  If you do that you’ll know what works for you and why anyway.  Then you can start to read a few books and educate yourself.  You can try things out and see how it goes for you.

When you are starting though you just need to get going, try just about anything.  See what effect it has.

When gymnasts train they just do the moves, and do them for hours everyday.

gymnast

Trainers nowadays are chronically afraid of overtraining, but that’s often due to doing ridiculous things that you know you shouldn’t be doing anyway.

It’s hard to overtrain using bodyweight exercises, and that’s not to say they don’t get to extremely high resistance, because they do with using one arm or difficult leverage points like handstand push ups etc.  The more natural the training the better because involving all the smaller muscles, skill, coordination and balance engages the brain more, which hugely improves results and also recovery.  Static contractions, kettlebells, bodyweight exercise, some weights exercises and playing sport are ‘natural training’.  The body is amazing at adapting to hard and regular training after a few weeks, especially if it is a sport or natural types of training.

If you just commit to training everyday or almost everyday, over time, you’ll work out how much and how hard to train.

You can also read up on sets and reps and try things out.

My point here is that a lot of people are getting caught up in the how and forgetting the main factor is to keep taking action.  The person who just keeps doing the training and improving his/her strength (even if they do it ‘wrong’) will end up getting way better results than the person who does all the reps and sets to a tee, but doesn’t push hard enough to improve regularly and turns up sporadically.

Those fellas that exercise on the monkey bars just go and train every day or every second day and do the best they can.  They aim to get better, and do so regularly.  They usually are training 6-12 months before they show any interest in the science of it, if they ever do.  Either way, they end up with amazing strength, athleticism and ripped muscular physiques.

So I’m going to break down for you what is really important:  Train a lot, train as naturally as possible and aim to improve at it regularly.  That’s it.

The rest of it is just fine tuning.