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Building the Gymnastic Body: The Science of Gymnastics Strength Training Paperback – January 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 195 pages
  • Publisher: Olympic Bodies LLC (2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982125305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982125304
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,594,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Aside from that, the book is worse than useless, because it will just confuse most trainees.
C. Salvato
It's a bit of a shame because the book seems well written, the author seems to know his stuff, and the progression seems fun.
Amazon Customer
If you're looking for a book on "the exercises gymnasts use to get in shape" then this might be for you.
Docuemada

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Vegan138 on October 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was a competitive gymnast as a child. I'm much older now and was looking to use gymnastics training to get back into shape. I'm a woman and most of the exercises are geared towards males. So I think, ok I can still use the exercises, I'll just need to go slower with the upper body portion. Then I get the book and read it. It makes so many references to conditioning the joints via another book which doesn't even exist that I became incredibly frustrated. In the very first section titled Fundamental Static Positions, which lays the foundation for the book, the author states "A caveat is required here; training the support static strength positions can be quite taxing on the wrists; especially without an adequate developmental foundation. The wrists consequently require special physical preparation to be able to adequately handle the new training load. As mentioned previously, the wrist specific preparation series that I use with my athletes is quite extensive and is covered in great detail in the Gymnastics Bodies volume, Liquid Steel."

The book Liquid Steel doesn't exist and from what I gathered from the author's website, it may never exist!! So now an essential component of this training program and a good 30 pages of the book are dependent on information that hasn't been provided in the book and which apparently is only available in a phantom volume. Awesome! How ridiculous is that? I am not a professional athlete. I was in gymnastics as a kid and even then I was in women's gymnastics so we weren't doing much in the way of wrist conditioning so I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. The exercises for legs and core are still mostly useful IF I find access to the equipment they require. Overall, I'm pretty disappointed.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am not a kid who dreams of competing in Olympics, I'm an adult who enjoys exercising and getting stronger. The book's introduction makes it seem like I'm the audience being targeted, and there is some effort to include intermediate steps that wouldn't be necessary for young gymnasts.

But a lot of the book is useless, just because one absolutely needs access to a fully-equipped gymnastic gym, and that's basically impossible for most adults. The format of the book is building up strength in order to perform more difficult variations of various exercises. But then one step will require parallel bars, the next step can be performed on the floor, the next step requires Olympic rings, the next step requires parallettes...

The author at the beginning says that one only needs rings. And that is the piece of equipment most often referenced. But even that isn't particularly helpful, because while many of the exercises have the rings hung high, many of the other exercises have the rings hung low or at waist height, or involve exercises that would be dangerous to fall out of and should be done over a mat, or so forth. It is not be practical for home exercisers to set up rings in such a fashion.

Yes there are several exercises that could be done with just the rings hung high and with ground work. But really it's not that many, and you'd be about as well off with just a normal pull-up bar.

It's a bit of a shame because the book seems well written, the author seems to know his stuff, and the progression seems fun. However if one wants a practical guide to bodyweight exercises, this book is pretty much useless.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steely Dan on September 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
such a shame--could have been so much more. Written by a great coach who is a bit of a tyrant on his forum, trashing other respurces, even when they are good. The book itself is slim and misleading: apparently aimed at adults, but full of photos of kids, and largely a workout only doable by people with a gymnastics studio.

Swingandamiss!
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By C. Salvato on February 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Pretty much nothing about this book is good. As an avid amateur gymnast, I was on the edge of my seat when Coach Sommer released this book. I checked my mailbox every day after I ordered it in anticipation. This book was the let down of the decade for me, when I received my copy several years ago.

Most of the information that is in this book is freely available on his website. The DVD set is also a set of short you-tube quality videos that are shabbily thrown together. In many of the progression (e.g. Straddle Planche) the video does not adequately correspond to the description of the movement, which is something only an experienced gymnast would know. Even if the quality of the videos wasn't horrible, the layout of the DVD is. Watching all of the movies in a row is a harrowing task, and there was clearly not much thought that went into the design of the user's experience for the DVD set. It would be better to watch free YouTube videos for most of these movements.

The exercise descriptions are filled with grammatical errors, and, while being exposed to the movements is useful, the programming section does not tell a trainee how to actually progress through the movements. In fact, the programming section was the most disappointing part of the entire book. It was difficult to follow, and his recommendations, when you put them on paper, would mean several days of 5 hour workouts, which I am sure is not what he meant to convey. It is a testament to how little thought went into the programming section all together.

The book is also riddled with references to several other volumes that the author admits will never be written or released, so much of the information in the book is incomplete.
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