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Gymnastics/question about strength


Hi !

I am already twenty years old, and started gymnastics just 4 months ago. I always was quite active and flexible, so I have most of the Level 5 skills by now. As I train in Austria, we have very bad opportunities here and good gyms are rare. Even the best ones often have just one beam. Anyways, I want to improve. I have gymnastics training 3 days a week for two hours, this is the max they offer. Quality of the training can not be compared to the USA! We don't really do a lot of strength and flexibilty, just very few exercises included in the warm-ups. What I want to do now is developing strength at home. I can do 30 good push-ups, about 3 deadhang pull-ups, 5 deadhang chin-ups, 20 V-ups with good form, and an L-Hang for about 15 seconds. My goals are some of the TOPs requirements.

Climbing a rope with no feet in a pike position
15-20 Pull-Ups
20 Leg Lifts
L-Sit and straddle L-Sit on the floor and then press handstand

I have all my splits and working on oversplits and my shoulders and back are rather flexible.

I really don't know how I should train to achieve my goals. I have no one to ask and the training in the gym wil never get me any further with this bad quality! What about doing 3sets of of pushups, pullups, chinups , benchpresses and shoulderpresses as well as abs training and tucked hanging leg raises every other day? How many reps? How long should the workout for the arms be? How long for the abs? Could you give me any tips about training to achieve my goals? Is there atraining schedule for TOPs? How long will it take in general to achieve this gol with proper training and diet? 3 months? 6 months? A year?

And do you think it is a realistic goal to get toLevel 7-8 in about 2 years?

I would really appreciateyourrespond and tips. I love this sport so much and I hope I get the chance to train in the USA one day. I love this sport and there was no single day I have had enough of it!

Yours, Kate

Hi Kate,
It's always refreshing to me to see such enthusiasm for a sport that I have enjoyed for many years.  In my opinion it is your positive attitude and eagerness that will help you achieve your goals.

One great resource you can review for conditioning and training at home (or a park, or anywhere) is  Everyone improves at their own rate, but conditioning is something you can easily measure to keep track of your progress.  

What I would suggest is to have a mix between some exercises you do everyday (maybe a specific warmup routine, what I do daily is the Five Tibetan Rites) and a variety of different exercises that you can pick from however you want each day.  The drills and skills site will give you many ideas for coming up with your variety.

The main reason I stress having a variety of exercises is because it will keep you interested.  Also if you train the same way all the time you will only improve so much before hitting a plateau.

No one can tell you how much time it will take to achieve your goals, but training at home will empower you to have more control over how long it takes. :)


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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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