Most of my strength training is based around gymnastics, but I do love weight training as well. Depending on the day or week, I will lean more towards one or the other. However, as of late I have really been trying to focus on strength based gymnastics skills such as the front lever, quality freestanding handstand push ups, and the straddle planche.
Most people will tell you that mixing up your exercises is the only way to “confuse” your muscles so that you can constantly make gains. While that may be true to an extent, it may not apply directly to skill based training. At least not in the same way. In skill based training progressive overload can either be in the form of adding weight to an existing skill progression, or choosing a more difficult skill progression. An example of this could be moving from handstands on a wall to freestanding handstands.
When I am doing skill work, I use more of a skill progression method, but for general strength exercises like pull ups and dips, I like to simply increase reps or add weight to my body. I try to do both skill work and general strength work all of my training sessions. The template below is what I generally like to use for putting together training sessions. It could include more or less volume, and it can even be entirely different at times, but I almost always come back to this general template. This template does not include other training such as martial arts or parkour, but you can certainly take it and adapt it to other training disciplines.
It is a combination of programming ideas that I have learned over the years from mentors, books and experimentation. This is certainly not the end all beat all, but it has worked fairly well for me. See the template below.
Training Session Template:
I may also do some mobility work afterwards, but most of the time I like to do my mobility work at a different time of day. More often than not I will do a little bit of isolation work too if I’m not too fatigued. Up next I will give you some examples of what this might look like with different training focuses.
Upper Body Sample Session:
Lower Body Sample Session:
This one is a little different for me. I tend to do a little less volume on the main lifts if I am doing a strict leg session. Here is what I typically do.
Full Body Sample Session:
As you can see, there is a good mix of exercises when it comes to the general strength work, but when it comes to skill work I stick with skill progressions until I have the skill and have it clean.
As stated previously, this is not the only template that I use for my training. Mixing things up IS important, but in my opinion, it should be done in a calculated way as opposed to coming to a session with no plan and randomly choosing exercises on the fly. At least not at every training session ;)
At the end of the day what matters most is that you are training, and as long as you are performing the exercises well, do whatever the hell you wanna do :D
Thanks for reading and I’ll talk to ya soon,