By, now we should all know the importance of strength and strength training in gymnastics. Where the strength training equipment is in your gym makes it clear what your commitment to strong gymnasts is. The TOPs program attempts to identify early maturers with high levels of hereditary strength, because it has become obvious that strength is a key factor in high level gymnastics success.
You are Committed to Making Weak Gymnasts into Strong Gymnasts, Right?
I assume that if coaches and gym owners have gymnasts in their program who do not have high levels of natural strength, they are committed to training to improve the strength levels of those gymnasts to, either equalize, or maximize their potential in gymnastics. But in a sport where high level National and International gymnasts are ripped, do you have the systems and equipment for building a gymnastic body?
Just Doing Gymnastics Skills Training and Routines is Not Enough?
And so I ask again. Where is the strength training equipment in your gym? The most common answer I get is that coaches point to the standard gymnastics equipment and say “There it is.” Bill Sands and scientific strength training research have told us that just doing gymnastics is not enough.
What is Your Real Commitment to Gymnastics Strength Training?
I say, “Not good enough. Not committed enough to strength training. If you were really committed to strength training, you would have a special area reserved for strength training, special gymnastics strength training equipment set up all the time, equipment to do and develop each muscle group used in gymnastics. Oh, that is all of the muscle groups. Do you have programs, plans and equipment set up to develop all the muscle groups on all your gymnasts? ”
Weight Training Works! Where is Your Weight-Training Equipment?
It is the rare gym that I see that has a gymnastics strength training area with strength training equipment. Many college gymnastics programs, and even college cheerleading programs, have access to well-equipped weight rooms and use it regularly. How many private gyms in the country have weight machines in their gym for the use of their gymnasts? The science of gymnastics strength, according to Bill Sands and many others, has approved the concept, I believe. And yet, you see few gyms with weight machines.
We Didn’t Buy the Special Weight Training Equipment Designed for Us
AAI used to have a whole line of gymnast-sized weight machines, that they have now evidently discontinued, because not enough gyms, actually virtually nobody, bought them.
Weight Training Equipment Obstacles? Overcome Them!
Weight training machines are efficient, allow the ability to measure strength progress, are safer than free weights and have machines for every major muscle group on the body. Gymnasts too small for machines – Nautilus and some other weight machine companies have smaller women’s versions and lines of their equipment. There are custom weight machine builders that can build any weight machine in any size with any amount of weight you choose (and often for no more than purchasing standard weight machine equipment lines).
Don’t Believe In Weight Machines. Your Loss.
Weight machines have been scientifically developed, over a long period of time, to train athletes of every kind to be stronger. If you don’t use them, you are going counter to what professional strength coaches use and do. But no matter. If you have other professional systems and programs and equipment in place, you can be forgiven.
I Have Questions:
- Where are your always-set-up strength training circuits?
- Where is your “Theraband, every-muscle group station, pre-set up circuit with multiple stations,” each station with a variety of Theraband resistances?
- Where is your strength training circuit set up with specialized equipment?
- What is your program for strength training to reduce ligament and tendon injuries?
- Where is your strength training equipment to reduce ligament and tendon injuries?
- Who (specifically, which gymnasts and programs) does strength training in your gym?
- Where is your TOPs strength training program for every gymnast?
- Where is your TOPs strength training program?
- If you have a TOPs strength program, where your programs for building the strength of your non-naturally strong gymnasts?
- If you have TOPs, what are your programs for building the strength of your non-naturally strong gymnasts?
- Where is your program for strength that TOPs does not test for?
- Where is the equipment for that program?
- What type of periodization do you do for your strength training programs?
- What is your strength program for rehabbing from injuries?
- Where is your strength equipment for rehabbing from injuries?
- Are you committed to giving all your gymnasts a gymnastics body?
- Do you have the programs for building a gymnastics body?
- Do you have a career long plan for strength training all the gymnasts in your gym?
- Where are your different strength programs for younger and older gymnasts?
- Where are your programs to develop specific strengths critical to gymnastics success?
- Where is your tracking program for tracking each gymnast’s strength progress?
- Do you know how strong your gymnasts are right now?
- Where is your scientific strength testing equipment?
- Where, exactly, is strength training’s place in your gym?
I Have Questions. Do You Have Answers?
The next time, when you go into your gym, look around. If anyone was to walk into your gym, what would they see that would instantly tell them what your commitment to strength training is, in terms of strength training areas, strength training equipment and strength programs? If it is not immediately obvious to you, it will certain not be obvious to your gym parents and not obvious to your gymnasts. Look around. Think about it.