- Paperback: 195 pages
- Publisher: Olympic Bodies LLC (2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0982125305
- ISBN-13: 978-0982125304
- Package Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.1 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Building the Gymnastic Body: The Science of Gymnastics Strength Training Paperback – 2008
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* Exercises selected are great at showing how they would be used by a professional gymnast
* The exercises are broken down into progressions which are very well explained. Summer is able to explain exactly when and how to move on, including tips on how to ease the progression between the two exercises. He will even identify other exercises (weights or kettleballs for lower back strength) to help improve progression of an exercise. This really is a major strength of the book. You are told exactly how to develop exercises, where to build strength and reasons you may fall.
* Clear pictures on how to perform the exercises
* The writing is accessible and easy to digest
* I feel like this needs an editor. Some of the introductory stuff is a bit of waffle. Summer knows his gymnastics and can expertly describe positions, but when it comes to other stuff. It's a bit so-so.
* Summer references several other books. They are yet to be released. According to the forums, it's been about three years waiting. It may be never. This is annoying as some sections directly reference these texts for advice e.g. wrist strength or hand stands
* You will need equipment for about half these exercises. It's a gymnastic book and to be expected. Although if you are weak and brand new to gymnastics, you can hold out buying the rings and push up bars. It doesn't teach handstands (another book) and rings require some serious strength.
* I don't understand the appendix. Seems pointless. Just sayin.
This book is definetly worth a purchase. I have also purchased Overcoming Gravity: A Systematic Approach to Gymnastics and Bodyweight Strength and while it is much better at builidng a gymnastic exercise routine, some of the exercise descriptions are poor. This is where Building The Gymnastic Body excels. I feel confident about what I am doing in exercises and know when I am putting myself at risk of injury. If you are starting out then buy this book combined with Overcoming Gravity. GymnasticBodies.com sells the book in PDF for half the price FYI.
Chris Sommer is an experienced coach who trains national youth gymnastics but that doesn't mean he is an especially good teacher (unless he is standing over you in person forcing you to exercise).
The title of this book is misleading for a start, it is not about building the gymnastic body at all, all it is is a series of chapters describing some of the positions and exercises involved in gymnastics.
Not only is Chris Sommer a shoddy teacher, his book shines through with gimmickry, every couple of pages and chapters or so are references to his website, products, adverts etc. etc. I checked his website and forums and instead of defending his teachings all he does is rant and rave about how bad other books and gymnastic teachings are, which is very unprofessional. He refers to his history of training youths in real life, which still doesn't mean he can write a book about building a gymnastic body, which he can't.
Chris Sommer is a numskull, he is able to teach like a parrot what has been taught to him over the years and that is Gymnastics in person to children, but when it comes to try to write a book for the general public he completely fails only being able to regurgitate what he has been taught and teaches in real life in book form.
Rather than adapting to the general public and creating a book that is accessible to enthusiasts or progressive he simply dangles a carrot of what his young gymnasts can do and then has a load of references to other products that he may or may not offer in the future.
Also if you expected to read something actually scientific about gymnastics like you would with lets say "Stretching Scientifically" by Thomas Kurz you will no doubt be disappointed and enraged as I was.
This is a poorly written book written by a very unintelligent trainer who is literally doing a poor job of trying to dupe you into buying more of his products for extortionate prices, products that are literally repetitions of what he teaches rather than adaptations and routines for the general public .
$1000 for a 2 day seminar? No thanks not me. I'll be trying some other gymnastic books instead, Overcoming Gravity or Gold Medal Bodies next (both slammed by Chris Sommer) at least I won't have to put up with the authors poor attempt of trying to commercialise his very basic information.
In much of the book, I felt like I was reading an advertisement for other products/books by the same author. If you're looking for a book on "the exercises gymnasts use to get in shape" then this might be for you. If you're looking for how to personally implement those exercises into a coherent personal program, look elsewhere to build *your* gymnastic body.
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Here's an extract from my review of "Overcoming Gravity" by Steven Low
Building the gymnastic bodies by Christopher Sommer.Read more