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Gymnastics/Competitive conditioning


Hi Robert,
I have a 9 year old daughter that has been training since 4. She does 21 hrs a week and competes level 7. Her coach wants her to move up to 25 hrs a week and I'm concerned about the schedule. He wants her to cross train- run laps outside from 7:30-9:30 Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri then go back to the gym to train from 12:30-4. Wednesdays are a regular train from 7:30-10:30. What is your opinion on aerobic training incorporated into gymnastics training for this age? Another concern I have is that  her body type is super lean. She weighs 62 lbs(26kg) and is 140cm. I feel that she may become burned out.
I look forward to your response.

Hi Mick,
I remember having a similar schedule during the summer months (off season) while I was a college student, except we only did 10 minutes of cardio as a warm up for weight training in the mornings.  

Cardio in general is beneficial for anyone, but 2 hours of running at a time is not something I would do nor recommend for gymnasts, as it seems like way more than what is needed.  When I was younger we would run about a mile around a nearby lake and then do sprints up a hill next to a dam as part of our Saturday practices, and even now I often do some running to warm up, but never more than 15 minutes or so at a time.

One thing I would encourage you to do is to make sure your daughter is eating well, especially right after workouts (after every one, if there is more than one per day) as that will help speed up recovery time.


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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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