Week 16

Calendar Number
Week 32
Year 2019


How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 0
Tue 1.5
Wed 0
Thu 0
Fri 0
Sat 0
Sun 0
Total 1.5


What did I work on?

Working on my normal routines. Static holds, bodyweight exercises and etc


What did I struggle with?

Holding the planche progression effectively.

Stupidly, I've been training on a weak wrist as I didn't want to miss out on a training days. I am now paying for it. Every time I hold the PL progression, my wrist feels like it is on fire. I need to ease back on this, or perhaps, even stop working on it entirely until I've regained strength with my wrist.

I'm in no rush to attain the movement, nor do I want to inflict more damage to my body. So I've decided to stop aggravating my wrist with unnecessary movements and focus on everything else.


What went well?

Hollow body holds.

I realise that the hollow body hold is an important hold that needs to be perfected in order to progress with any gymnastic movement. My core is weak and working on this hold should strengthen it. I can feel the affects already.

The goal is to hold a 1 minute hollow body hold with perfect form. I've got a long way to go.


How can I improve for next week?

Work on other movements whilst I'm resting the wrist.

I won't be resting it entirely, but not putting the same amount of pressure that I have done in the past. I'm going to gauge it throughout the pain and decide if I need to dial it back even further. I don't want to damage my wrist permanently.

Week 15

Calendar No.
Week 31
Year 2019


How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 1.5
Tue 0
Wed 1.5
Thu 1.5
Fri 1.5
Sat 1.5
Sun 1.5
Total 9


What did I work on?

Getting back to my normal routine.


What did I struggle with?

I struggled slightly with holding a few of the static holds, especially the planche progression. I did however find the front lever quite easy to hold now.


A goal to work towards for next week?

Focus on the fundamentals of the hollow body hold position. I realise how this position is so important to master. If I have a strong core, I'll be able to channel that strength into every other position in gymnastics.


Further thoughts

I realised that for the past 3 weeks I've not been able to work on my this particular skill. I think it's best to start over and reset my check-in dates, this might mean that it'll take a little longer in order for me to see progress, but I started to realise why am I trying to rush it?

It's more important for me to get the foundations strong, regardless of how long it'll take.


Visual Progress

Week 14

Calendar Week: 30

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 0
Tue 0
Wed 0
Thu 0
Fri 0
Sat 1.5
Sun 0
Total 1.5

What did I work on?

When I finally got back from Europe trip, I managed to get a little workout out in.


What did I struggle with?

Working out whilst on the road.


What went well?

Getting at least one work out during the week.


How can I improve for next week?

Get back to the regular program.

Week 13

Calendar Week: 29

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 0
Tue 0
Wed 0
Thu 0
Fri 0
Sat 0
Sun 0
Total 0


What did I work on?

Nothing. I was on the road travelling around Europe. I found it difficult to set time aside to workout. I knew this could happen, so I prepared myself for it.


What did I struggle with?

Finding the time and energy to workout whilst on the road travelling around Europe.


What went well?

Nothing.


How can I improve for next week?

I know this is going to be the same for next week as I'll still be travelling. I guess I just have to deal with this and get back to work when I get back home.

Week 12

Calendar Week: 28

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 0
Tue 0
Wed 0
Thu 0
Fri 0
Sat 0
Sun 0
Total 0


What did I work on?

Nothing. I was hosting a few friends this week, so it was difficult to find the time.


What did I struggle with?

Having my own time to workout.


What went well?

Nothing.


How can I improve for next week?

Get back into the routine of working out.

Week 11

Calendar Week: 27

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 1.5
Tue 1.5
Wed 1.5
Thu 1.5
Fri 1.5
Sat 1.5
Sun 1.5
Total 9


What did I work on?

This week I started to include foundational bodyweight exercises (FBE) again.


What did I struggle with?

I failed the second FL check-in date. This time I had ended 10 seconds earlier, not sure why I'm getting weaker. I believe I need to engage the core more.


What went well?

I started the new BL progression. It's tough, but I know in a few weeks I'll start getting stronger with the progression.


How can I improve for next week?

Be consistent with working the core and back. They're important muscles in the body that I've been lacking.


Visual Progress

Week 10

Week Commencing 24/06/19

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 0
Tue 1.5
Wed 1.5
Thu 0
Fri 1.5
Sat 0
Sun 0
Total 4.5


What did I work on?

Tested my static max holds for the BL, SL and LS. After 9 weeks of somewhat consistent work, I wasn't able to gain enough strength in order to hold the BL progression for over 1 minute. I wasn't able to do the same for the SL or LS, but they've increased by 10 seconds each.

I guess my strength varies with each position, but either way I'm still making progress, which is great to see.


What did I struggle with?

My handstands. I realised that my core is too weak and I should be focusing building up my core strength through hollow body holds.


What went well?

Holding the BL progress max hold for over 1 minute. It's great to see progress, now I have to repeat the same process for the new progression. I've got a long way to go.


A goal to work towards for next week?

I need to focus on the foundations and build up my core strength with hollow body holds. If I can incorporate that consistently into my workouts it should help with everything else. The same can be said with my back flexibility through bridge exercises.

First, I need to do more research with this.


Visual Progress

Week 09

Week Commencing 17/06/19

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 1.5
Tue 1.5
Wed 1.5
Thu 0
Fri 0
Sat 0
Sun 0
Total 4.5


What did I work on?

Apart from the usual exercises, this week I had to test how far I have progressed with my max hold for each static position. I was unable to test 4/6 positions this week, but I managed to test the planche and front lever progressions.

I passed the planche 60 second test, but only held the front lever for 50 seconds. Even though I failed to reach the 60 second mark, I was impressed to see that I increased my max hold by an additional 35 seconds.


What did I struggle with?

Working out during the second half of the week. Since a friend came to visit from another country, exercising wasn't a priority. In cases like this, I don't mind missing out on a few workouts.


What went well?

Reaching a 60 second hold for the planche progression.


How can I improve for next week?

Commit to more hours.


A goal to work towards for next week?

Start working on my flexibility as well. Gymnasts have great flexibility and are mobile. I need to start working on this element as well.


Visual Progress

Week 08

Week Commencing 10/06/19

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 0
Tue 2
Wed 1.5
Thu 0
Fri 1.5
Sat 0
Sun 0
Total 5


What did I work on?

Still keeping up with the training routine that I have given myself. After missing out a week travelling, I'm slowly getting back into the swing of working out on a regular basis.


What did I struggle with?

Being consistent with my workouts. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to protect my training time, I'll need to do better for next week.


What went well?

Although I missed out on a complete week of workouts, I feel that I've not lost a lot of my strength. I've still got a long way to go, but it's nice to know that I've not taken a few steps backwards.


How can I improve for next week?

Try and get back to training on a consistent basis


Further thoughts

Next week will be the first time I check in to see how much I've improved with my static holds. I will be testing each position to see if I can hold each progression for a maximum of 60 seconds. If I can't I'll have to give myself an extra 2-4 weeks before I retest myself.

I hope I'll be able to complete each one!


Visual Progress

Week 07

Week Commencing 03/06/19

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 0
Tue 0
Wed 0
Thu 0
Fri 0
Sat 0
Sun 0
Total 0


What did I work on?

Absolutely nothing! I had spent this week overseas visiting my newborn niece, so I don't feel too bad missing out my workouts. I wonder how much this will affect my progress.


What did I struggle with?

Allowing time for the workouts


A goal to work towards for next week?

Get back to my weekly workouts.

Week 06

Week Commencing 27/05/19

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 0
Tue 1.5
Wed 1.5
Thu 0
Fri 0
Sat 0
Sun 0
Total 3


What have I been struggling with?

I wasn't able to dedicate a lot of time to this project this week.


What has been going well?

For a split second I thought I was holding a handstand with good form. Even though it lasted for only a second, I was ecstatic to feel an improvement.


Visual Progress

Week 05

Week Commencing 20/05/19

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 1.5
Tue 1.5
Wed 1.5
Thu 1.5
Fri 1.5
Sat 1.5
Sun 1.5
Total 9


What have I been struggling with?

I managed to tweak my wrist slightly, most probably when I was working on my handstand.

The issue is, should I rest my wrist and delay my workout plan? Or power through? Because I'm not patient and I'm an idiot I'm going to consciously make the decision to carry on, but if I feel that I can't carry on I will shut it down.


What is going well?

I can clearly see and feel an improvement in my strength. In just a little over a month I can hold my static positions easily.

I'm looking forward to seeing my progress in another month.


Visual Progress

Week 04

Week 04

Week Commencing 13/05/19

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 1
Tue 1
Wed 0
Thu 0
Fri 0
Sat 1
Sun 0
Total 3


What Did I struggle with?

I wasn't able to commit as much time to this project this week. Hopefully I will be able to bring back the hours next week.

Week 02

Week Commencing 29/04/19

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 1
Tue 1
Wed 1
Thu 1.5
Fri 1
Sat 1
Sun 0
Total 6.5


What did I work on?

The static positions. Nothing much to update you on, except that I'm struggling with holding each position with good form.


What did I struggle with?

Holding good form.


What went well?

Completing all the workouts


How can I improve for next week?

Continue the workouts


Visual Progress

Week 01

Week Commencing 22/04/19

How many hours did I work on my skill?

Day Hours
Mon 1
Tue 0
Wed 1.5
Thu 1.5
Fri 1.5
Sat 1.5
Sun 0
Total 7


The beginning

Exercising is nothing new to me. Before this project I had spent years at the gym lifting weights. Deadlifts, benchpress and squats were my go-to exercises, yet I would struggle to hold a handstand; don't even get me started with holding a front lever.

Gymnastic movements were always a spectacle for me and their movements were hard to attain. I came across Christopher Sommer's Book, 'Building the Gymnastic Body' and I was inspired.

Using the information from Sommer's book, I've decided to work on my gymnastic strength using the various static positions that were outlined. Using his steady state training cycle, I shall figure out my baseline for each position and work from there.

This process can take up to 2 months before I can move onto the next progression and a few years until I master it entirely. I've got a long way to go, but I'm willing to commit to the project. Hopefully, I will see some progress as time goes on.

My training workout

Using the steady state training cycle suggested in the book, I've figured out my workout plan for the next two months.

There are 6 static gymnastic positions that I'd like to perfect in this project. They are:

  • Front Lever
  • Back Lever
  • Planche
  • Straddle
  • L-Sit
  • Handstands

Apart from the L-Sit and Planche, I am starting from the first progression. For the next 8-12 weeks I will be including the following to my workouts:

  • Progression: Straddle L - PB Low Sets: 5 x 12 seconds

  • Progression: Planche - Advance Frog Stand Sets: 7 x 9 secs

  • Progression: L-Sit PB Low Sets: 5 x 12 seconds

  • Progression: Front Lever - Tuck Sets: 7 x 9 seconds

  • Progression: Back Lever - Tuck Sets: 5 x 12 seconds

Starting point

Keeping a visual document of my progress is important, this will allow me to understand if my form is poor or if there are clear signs of improvement.

This is my starting point: