How to build strict strength and become efficient with high volume gymnastics in your workouts, without spending an extra hour in the gym
Do you spend hours on Instagram planning out which accessory exercises you’ll do for your weaknesses tomorrow?
All the options with training videos have gotten really out of control lately. It’s time to go back to the basics of building strict strength.
With functional bodybuilding concepts, you only have to do two things. Do your accessory work with purpose AND intention, spending no more than 20 minutes after your workouts, and you’re good to go.
Now I’m guessing for a lot of you this is probably not your first look at a training program. The first thing I want to mention is that if you’ve failed at sticking to a program in the past, it’s not your fault. There’s a lot of information out there for competitive athletes, and it can be confusing. Many times that information overload and overwhelm keeps you from success. It’s okay.
These programs are designed for two types of people.
For those who are beginner-intermediate, you’ll get an idea of how to go from 0-1, 1-4, or 4-9+ repetitions, with the gymnastics skills you’ve been wanting forever.
For more experienced athletes or coaches, you’ll get a ton of tools that will help you refine the fundamentals (which should be looked at as cyclical, something you’re always revisiting).
- The ONLY WAY for you to become efficient at high volume gymnastics in workouts is through building a reserve of strict strength.
- The ONLY WAY to build strict strength, is through functional bodybuilding concepts.
How’d I figure this out?
I was a burnt out athlete trying to be a successful coach. In this process, I felt like my gains had withered away. I no longer felt the connection of moving fluidly. Even if my body did it, my mind didn’t feel that way.
I wanted to connect mind and body through functional bodybuilding to see if it would transfer to gymnastics skills and barbell movements in high intensity workouts.
I wanted to see if this would change how I moved because ultimately that meant I could use it to help my athletes — who all wanted muscle ups, handstand push-ups, and to become more efficient with gymnastics based skills in workouts.
I was feeling like a failure as a coach. Because I was so burnt out that I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching.
The problem was that I committed and figured out a way to put in 90 minutes of work, 5 times per week. But my athletes didn’t have that kind of time.
I knew from previous experience that if I overloaded them with work, they’d die off after a few weeks into the program.
All of these athletes were doing daily class workouts that took an hour. And they had lives outside the gym, so even an extra 45 minutes was out of the question.
I was at a point in the program where I felt the connection I was searching for.
The Light Bulb Moment
One day I jumped into a class workout that had Handstand Push Ups and Pull-Ups. I figured this was a great chance to see how things were going.
Not only was I able to do multiple sets of 5 HSPU and 10 Butterfly pull-ups unbroken — I felt great doing them. My upper body felt so connected and engaged. And the funny part is that it had been months since I had done any of those two movements.
I NEEDED to try this with my athletes.
I decided I would condense these concepts down to 20 minutes of accessory work. I had a diverse mix of experience levels, so it would be a great way to test and validate if this actually works for what they needed.
It had been a few weeks and I hadn’t heard any groundbreaking stories. I was scared that I had failed my athletes with this new functional bodybuilding obsession of mine.
Was it selfish? How could I be wrong? Did I overpromise?
We were approaching the 8 or 9 week mark. Being a coach, I know strength development takes time. But still, I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had screwed up.
Then the messages came in.
My advanced athlete was performing over 3 strict muscle ups with ease! She reported her shoulders feeling amazing during workouts. My beginner-intermediate athletes reported how their shoulders felt strong and stable. They were noticing differences in HSPU and Muscle Ups during their workouts. The acute pains they would get from kipping or lack of awareness was going away.
“It’s crazy how good my shoulders feel. In the past when we had a lot of pull work programmed in a week I’d get horrible rotator cuff tendinitis. Lately nothing. It’s fantastic. The pain used to keep me up at night it was so annoying.”
“I think the coolest thing about this workout was that last year if this came up I would’ve scaled because 95lb was my 1RM and I would’ve maybe gotten one. Last night I hit 15 reps at 95lb, with 2 misses, and every one of them felt awesome. Just wanted to take the time to say thank you for all your help, without you this wouldn’t have been possible!”
Then she also tried her hand at Strict HSPU after all the functional bodybuilding work we had done and I woke up to this email:
“So this just happened… not 1, but 3 HSPU!!! Don’t think I can say thank you enough for helping me reach this goal!! Next stop: Deficits”
“At first I was super focused on trying to up my weights all of the time, but I laid off of that, and have really been focusing on the movements themselves. I think that alone, is making me much stronger.”
I was able to prove to myself and to my athletes how important body awareness and mind-muscle connection is. I started off wanting this connection so I could improve my own movement quality.
I realized that by getting my athletes to experience this feeling, they could apply it to whatever they want. They may have started off wanting more pull-ups. But suddenly they noticed TTB, C2B, Muscle-Ups, and even barbell movements starting to improve.
You’re probably thinking how in the world would functional bodybuilding work for gymnastics, right?
Layering the explosiveness, speed, and high reps comes only after you’ve built a strong base. It’s kind of like piling up a ton of books on a table with a leg that’s about to fall off. You can keep it up, but for how long?
You’re probably thinking strict strength won’t help you magically get butterfly pull-ups, right?
Well, you can’t fake strength. No matter what technical gems and progressions you learn to acquire the skill you want, the limiting factor roots back to strength. Whether you’re going from 0-1, 4-9, or 10+ repetitions.
You’re probably thinking functional bodybuilding is just a fad or a gimmick, right?
Well, these concepts have been around for a very long time. I didn’t invent this by any means. It’s been used for decades by top strength & conditioning coaches. But for the first time, we’re recycling this new information in a way that’s applicable to the needs of exercisers today.
So let me ask you a question.
Are you excited about what we just talked about?
This is NOT what functional bodybuilding is going to help you do.
Instead, it will help you develop the attention to detail LIKE a gymnast so you can move with purpose in your workouts.
When you join ANY of the following programs, you’ll get:
- 12 weeks of structured programming
- Proven gymnastics progressions
- 20-30 minute sessions, 5 times per week
- Logging and tracking your workouts through Fitbot
- Demo videos for all exercises
- Support and questions answered by your coach
- Email reminders for each workout to help you stay accountable
- Seamlessly integrate workouts into iCal or Google Calendar
The following are four different options that you can choose based on your #1 weakness right now:
This focused on blending skill-specific progressions while preparing the structures necessary for efficient pull-ups. This will also trickle into any other bar gymnastics like TTB, C2B, etc.
This focuses on blending skill specific progressions for HSPU while preparing the structures necessary for pressing strength.
Muscle Ups, Pull-ups, HSPU, Snatches — you name it. All of these things require strong and stable shoulders. This is focused on preparing the structures of your upper body overall. It’s not aimed at improving a specific gymnastics skill.
This focuses on improving single leg strength, squat mobility, and overall hip stability. Pistol Squats are a challenging movement, yet it’s something that every human should be able to perform.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need accessory work?
It allows you to individualize YOUR weaknesses, not everyone else’s. If you do class workouts or follow a group program, how much time are you really spending honing in on what YOU need?
Can you give me a basic rundown of the functional bodybuilding concepts and what it’s all about?
We can get really deep and technical, which I LOVE doing. You might want to listen to this conversation for a more in depth discussion. but here are the cliff notes:
- Unilateral work – single arm/single leg working on Left vs Right asymmetries
- Moving in different planes of motion – getting out of the sagittal plane
- Tempo work to emphasize isometric and eccentric contractions
- “Time under tension” for gainz
- Mind-muscle connection
- A good balance of variance and progression with exercise selection
- Promoting good movements patterns with sustainable sets for squatting, hinging, pushing, and pulling
- Promoting balance, coordination, control, and focus
- A lot of carrying as well — can’t forget the carries
Who is this for?
Both coaches and athletes will benefit from these accessory programs. It is for the individual looking to gain an edge.
Coaches – You will learn a variety of exercises that you can add to your toolbox to help your clients while also improving the intricacies of your own movement. Your learning never ends. Coaches need coaches too.
Athletes – Regardless of your experience level (although you should have a grasp of moving with decent technique), you will rediscover and reconnect with mind and body. Part of your fitness journey involves you learning more about your own body and the way you move. This program is a vehicle to help you achieve that.
Apply it back to your daily class workouts, current strength program, or whatever your training focus is right now. May the power be with you.
What about scaling?
You may scale as needed. There are notes in each workout for scaling recommendations, when applicable. At any point, feel free to message me within Fitbot if you’re unsure about something.
What equipment will I need?
Most of what you will need is accessible at a typical CrossFit affiliate. You can also perform a lot of these movements at a global gym as long as you feel comfortable. Here’s a brief list to give you an idea:
- Pull-up bar
- Resistance bands
Where do I go for questions?
You can reach out through Fitbot with questions or comments. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I miss a workout?
The way Fitbot works, you will get an email if you miss a workout. It’s great for accountability 🙂 But you can make this up at a later date if needed.
It is highly encouraged to make the commitment and block out this time before or after your workouts. After all, it’s only 20-30 minutes.
Can I access the programming through my phone?
Yes, Fitbot is optimized for most mobile devices. You’ll simply go to Fitbot.com and login. Bookmark this page or save it to your home screen.
How many days a week will I be working out with this programming, and how long will it take me?
This is a 12 week program that requires 5 days per week. Each session consists of 20-30 minutes. Depends on how chatty you are during training 🙂
Can I do more than one of the programs together?
I don’t recommend it, but if you have a special scenario, email me at email@example.com and I’ll point you in the right direction.
Will I be able to view the programming after the program is over?
Yes, you will have access to workouts that are sent through email.
How much is the cost of the program?
Each program is currently a one-time payment of $97. This is an absolutely STEAL for 12 weeks of programming along with all the perks. I can assure you that it will not stay this low for very long. Get on it.
If I don’t like it, can I get a refund?
Absolutely. I never want you to end up with something that you don’t like. I might ask you why so I can use that feedback to improve, but you can get 100% of your money back within the first 30 days of the program.
I’m on a quest to mastery, and part of that means that I never stop learning. I believe it’s my responsibility to continually refine my craft to be able to provide YOU with the BEST programs and coaching.
I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 5 years soaking up everything I possibly can. Even though I work with athletes remotely, I coach athletes on-site to keep my skin in the game and stay connected to all experience levels.
- OPEX’s coaching education is my source for technical knowledge.
- Experience is most important to me. That’s why I picked up and moved across the country to be a coaching intern at Invictus Fitness.
- The podcast gives me an excuse to learn from some of the top coaches and fitness professionals in the industry.
You get access to the best of the best without having to filter through all the nonsense being thrown at you on a daily basis.
This program isn’t for those who aren’t going to put in the work. But if you’re ready to grind, let’s do this!! I’m honored to be apart of your fitness journey.
If you need help choosing which program is best for your needs, just email firstname.lastname@example.org.