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Question
Could you please advise me on what you think is the best time to do strength training during an every day training session?
 What % of the training session do you think should be dedicated to pure strength alone?
 During what part of the training session would you recommend a flex program be done?
 What is your reasoning for why 'rope climb' should be in a strength program?
 I have been coaching for over 20 years and feel I have more of an instinct from my experience to what works and what isn't so flash. Due to gym space we often, as a competitive group, get warm up for 1/3 of our time in the gym, thus being first third. During this time it is expected that we will do warm up, stretch, strength and flex (staying off the apparatus). From there we get 1/2 hour on each apparatus when the junior classes have cleared the gym. I think my gymnasts have adapted to this and train well due the conditions. I do not find that my girls get tired due to this. I coach in the way of give me 100% of 5, not 10-15 reps of 50%. I program as much in put into the mental preparation as to the physical prep when learning a new skill. My team is always conditioned to do the skills they are being requested to do or that are compulsory through strength, flex and drill progressions.
My fellow coach feels this is not the best way and does most of his strength at the end of his training session as to reserve 100
% of his gymnasts energy for  apparatus training.

Do you think running 2-3km for warm up is detrimental or could be beneficial from my team who train 10 hours per week, the run takes 15-20 min?

Answer
Hello BJ,
I can tell you've thought about these things for a long time. :)  

I'll copy your questions so I get them all addressed:

>Could you please advise me on what you think is the best time to do strength training during an every day training session?
For general conditioning, the beginning is good to make sure you are warmed up before doing skills, but for intense "burn out" strength training it makes sense to do that at the end, or better yet a different time of the day.

>What % of the training session do you think should be dedicated to pure strength alone?
In my opinion it is better to do strength training at a different time (like in the morning) so when you are on the equipment you can focus your energy on the skills and not feel like you need to save your strength for conditioning at the end.  As for the percentage of time, it depends if a competition is coming up or not.  Off season much more time can be spent strength training but when a competition is imminent it is important to spend more time cleaning up routines.

>During what part of the training session would you recommend a flex program be done?
After 10-20 minutes of cardio to warm up, stretching is good before getting on the equipment to improve safety.  Then after workout more stretching is useful to help cool down and keep the muscles from tightening up.  I'd also recommend another round of stretching at home to help improve flexibility, as the other stretching is really just enough to keep up with the strength training to maintain flexibility.

>What is your reasoning for why 'rope climb' should be in a strength program?
In my opinion it is a personal preference for which exercises are done, but variety is good.

>Do you think running 2-3km for warm up is detrimental or could be beneficial from my team who train 10 hours per week, the run takes 15-20 min?
I think a 10-20min jog is a great way to warm up before a workout.

Regards,
Robert

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Robert Davis

Expertise

I can answer questions about technique, strength and endurance training, healing from injuries, and competitions. I can also answer questions from parents of gymnasts, as I have six children of my own now. I plan to write a freely downloadable ebook or guide soon, go to www.LifeTimeGymnast.com to tell me what you want help with!

Experience

I competed in gymnastics for 16 years, from age 8 to 24, the last six of those years on the Arizona State Men's Gymnastics Team (www.sundevilgymnastics.com). After almost a 10 year hiatus I've returned to competition, see www.lifetimegymnast.com.

Publications
http://www.lifetimegymnast.com
http://www.goodfeelingplace.com
http://www.wilycode.com

Education/Credentials
I have a BSE and MS in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University. During those 6 years I was a member of the Arizona State Men's Gymnastics Team as well.

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