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Row and Tabata class Monday at 8:15 and 12:15
I had a couple of people ask what more advanced movements this basic gymnastic strength and mobility is preparing us for.  In some ways, I don’t even want to discuss this since it’s such a long term endeavor to be able to perform even the most basic gymanstic positions and exercises.  We may be able to strengthen and build muscle tissue relatively quickly, but stretching and strengthening connective tissue takes months.  If we really want to see some significant increase in our bodyweight strength, then we need to start looking at progress over a year, rather than six, eight, or twelve week blocks…  
Having said that, let’s look at where an individual might be able to go with this stuff…  If they were to be committed to 2-3 years of consistent and focused training!
Hollow Rock = Front Lever
Plank = Straddle Planche

Push-ups = Hollow Back Press
Ring Rows = Rope Climb
Tuck-ups = Manna
Russian Twist = Side Lever
Of course, this is with one arm and performed by the legendary John Gill!!!
Deck Squats = Pistols
For those of you who look at this stuff and think “Never…  That just ain’t me!”  I totally understand where you’re coming from.  Being an inflexible 6’3″ 40 year old, I look at things like the manna and my first impluse is “No freaking way!”  But, it doesn’t really matter how I feel right now…  We just train for the positions and do our best.  If I never pull off the manna, then I’ll be okay, but I can still train my shoulders into the best extension that I have the ability to.  I can master the push-up and handstand on the way to trying to learn a Hollow Back Press.  I absolutely have to work on my hip, knee, and ankle flexibility for the rest of my life…  So why not do that with the goal of a perfect pistol even though I have struggled with that movement for well over five years now!!!  
We train like athletes in the gym so that we can go into the amazing playground that we have in our backyard to play hard and then come home safe and ready to do it again the next day.  We work hard day in and day out so that one day we will surprise ourselves when we do something that we previously thought impossible.  
Are hollow rocks fun?  Is eating to support your training easy?  Are ring rows sexy and exciting?  No, no, and no!!!  Do it anyway…
If you have any questions, please ask this 86 year old woman.
1 Minute hollow rock – 30 seconds table
1 Minute forearm plank – straddle reverse hyper, 5 reps 
45 seconds push ups – xiaopeng backward, 5 reps per side
45 seconds incline row – arching lat stretch, 30 seconds each arm
4 Rounds for each couplet
Three Rounds of:
10 Kettlebell snatches per arm
Run 800 meters
Rest one minute between rounds


3 Responses

  1. Lowden

    Here's how I see it. Approach each new segment of fitness this class has to offer with open arms. Just as I first started out in crossfit as a skeptic (as most of us did) I quickly found it works and I love it. I got deep into the scene and even started to compete. I jumped into a 6 month strength/mucle cycle and got much stronger and developed more muscle mass. It was grueling and a long training cycle. There wasn't a day I wasn't sore and if I took a day and pushed to hard, the wear and tear set me back 2-3 more days before I got back in the training. It helped crush wods and the heavier weights weren't at all as heavy as before and I could actually rep a lot of what I couldn't before…. but I was tired and sore a lot. I wanted change.

    Colin recommended gymnastics and calisthenics. I started doing my own and following videos and people on youtube, but still didn't have a set direction to go, or even a solid goal at that. He got me onto the training cycle on what you're all about to go through. I can say this much from a few months of the work I've done. My joints feel so much better, my shoulders can move all sorts of directions now. I can move into positions I only could as a kid. It feels good. It's a totally different kind of strength, but at the same time I can go back to a barbell and not have dropped in that aspect of strength and sometimes even be stronger, because of the physical demands this sort of training does for you.

    I encourage you to stick with this and do everything to your maximum potential. If done right, none of it is easy and its very humbling. Your body will thank you. Besides we should all be strong enough to work with our body weight. Some of the positioning you will find yourself in for the work portion paired with the mobility makes it very hard, yet rewarding. I could go on and on with personal achievements and goals I have doing gymnastics, but I'll stop here and let you decide yours and see for yourself. Peace


  2. G-money

    Yo! About a year ago a group of us in the gym decided to follow the barbells shrugged curriculum, which was basically crossfit open type workouts on steroids. Anyway, about a month into it I was making good gains and building muscle and then… left knee suddenly swelled up like a cantaloupe and…it was over! I didn't really understand what was happening, or why, until Colin turned me on to gymnastics coach Somner on Robb wolfs paleo solution podcast. Basically Somner outlined how futile it is to build soft muscle tissue really fast without first developing joint and connective tissue strength. Duh, it seems so obvious now and lends some insight into why my knee burst into flames under increasingly heavier weight without proper and gradual joint preparation and development. The other side of it for me is how I have observed ostensibly strong buff dudes try to perform gymnastics type movements and…they inevitably shatter like glass. In any case, I am inspired to gain a higher level of physical strength but not get hurt in the process. I think the gymnastics type training and mobility work can do that. What do you think?

  3. Viceroy

    Two things…

    One: Find videos of Jujimufo (Jon Call) doing outrageous acrobatic feats…most of them either amazing or hilarious or both. his best stuff is on his instagram. He is a 230# bodybuilder who can do the splits while standing on two chairs with a 100# barbell overhead. It's worth a look for inspiration.

    Two: Keith! Your knee just swelled up?!?! Call me. Happened to me…twice (as in, both knees). No diagnosis (as in, no visible trauma and no arthritis etc)…so looks like over-use. I'm very interested in hearing your story and comparing to my own. Or maybe I'll just call you…

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