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Gymnastics/Strength training program


Dear John,

As you see, I am from Austria and here I have no possibility to train for more than 6 hours a week in a gym. Gymnastics in Austria is soooo bad, we do not even have a real gym here. Anyways, I started about 2 months ago and now I am level 4. I am quite skilled as i did ballet for a long time.
I want to get really good and develop fast. I could spend 15-20 hours of training a week, because I am a student and there is nothing I like more than my sport! But I just can train 3 x for 2 hours in the gym, that's the maximum they offer. We do not do any strength excercises, just very very few at the warm-ups, my gym just does tumbling, a little bit of bars (we just have 1!) and beam. In the 2 months I did vault for 10 minutes!

What I want to do now, is develop a very good strength at home. I have my splits, and can do about 30 push ups and 40 V-ups in a row, but can't do either one leg-lift nor one pull-up.
I also try round-offs and walkovers at home to have a faster progression in the gym.
So I want to add about 1-2 hours of training every day of the week at home, progress fast, then do a demi-pair or student's year in the USA, train hard and learn a lot and when I get back I will be one of the best gymnasts of Vienna! (Vienna is very very weak in Gymnastics)I really want that and it goes well with my studies as I am studying sports.

Have You got any idea and tips fpr home training? If I do 3 sets of 20 push ups, 5x1 pull up, dips ad handstands I feel exhausted for a short time but revover very very quick and I am not sore. The same with my core. I often do 20 V-Ups, 20 tuck-ups, 20 straddle ups, sit-ups, crunches and plank but don't feel a lot. I am really frustrated as aI just can get better when I am strong, but I do not know how to train?
Every day 10 min arms, 15 min core, 15 min legs? Or better every other day half an hour of each? What should I do? How many repetitions? How long is the perfcet training?

I would appreciate it so much if you could give me tips!

Thanks, Kate

Hi Kate,
It's good to hear about your excitement for gymnastics.  The great thing is that you can train most of the time at home and still improve when you get to the gym.  That's how I train personally, since I have a family and other commitments to keep at the same time.  

There is no perfect training for everyone, you'll need to learn what works for you.  But there are many resources online that will give you ideas of exercises to try.  I recommend you pick a few exercises to do everyday and then try something new everyday as well.  

There is a website at which has lots of exercises you can do at home, and on my Lifetime Gymnast blog I have a few videos that might help, like pull up bar exercises and free standing handstand pushups.


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Robert Davis


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 to tell me what you want help with!


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 ( After almost a 10 year hiatus I've returned to competition, see


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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