The Most Savage Workouts – How To Stay In Shape After Gymnastics

It’s that time of year again and my heart is heavy as I say goodbye to some of my wonderful kids. They are moving on, away from a sport that has given them the kind of strength and coordination that nothing else can and for that reason they need something to keep them going. Hitting the gym 16 hours a week is always going to be hard to replace but there is hope with a little dedication, hard work, and the wealth of workouts that are buried right here in this site.

Where to start?

For a start, the tag cloud halfway down the right side of the page is a great place to find posts that are tagged with bootcamp, cardio etc. Once in a while I will post something like my Frosh Week series or something specific that someone has asked for. But digging through the site is hard to find what you are looking for so I am on a quest to find a better way of organizing things. Until then, I will link a few posts or tags here to get you started.

Basics on how to stay in shape after gymnastics – Some rules to follow, and choices to make

Christmas Countdown. 3 workouts to get you in the festive spirit – Christmas Countdown

Frosh Week workouts – Guaranteed to fix that hangover – FROSH WEEK

Bootcamp 3 tag – Some of the best bootcamp workouts were later in the series – Bootcamp3

If you are familiar with Crossfit here are some WODs I had completed – WODs I HAVE DONE

Here are 20 more basic Crossfit workouts for home that will cause you great suffering – 20 WODs for home


Some additional interesting educational and motivational pieces:

Health and Fitness 101

A special nod to Aly – Stop listening to yourself

Motivation. If this doesn’t get you off your ass nothing will… MOTIVATION

After this you are on your own. I am always available to help with planning and motivation as long as you are willing to listen and work hard. Here is the basic knowledge you need to schedule your own workouts:

The simple rules for any workout program
You were a gymnast, half body workouts are fine
Use your basic skills from conditioning and gym
Legs: Squats, lunges, jumps, 1 leg squat
Arms: Dips, reverse grip chinups
Shoulders: Handstands, HS Pushup, burners
Back: Chinups, high pulls, rows
Chest: All pushups, plank walk
Core: Crunch, situp, vsnap, leg lift, rockers
Cardio: Sprints, burpees, jumps, plank runs
Monday: Arms Shoulders Core
Tuesday: Legs Cardio
Wednesday: Chest Back Core
Thursday: Cardio and flexibility
Friday: Legs Core
Saturday: Arms Shoulders Back Chest Light day
Sunday: Off




E-Type Abs

This was named for Elissa who obviously has a long and illustrious history of asking for Ab workouts. In this case, do 15 of each rest 2 minutes, do 10 of each, rest 2 minutes and do 5 of each. This is a simple and effective workout. 100% me.

e-type abs
hanging straight leg raise
hanging tuck leg raise
arms up in and out
arms up bicycles
full rainbow against wall
side crunch
push up spiderman
Russian twists with weight

I need a harder abs workout :)

So here we go with Cycle 1 of the competitive abs program. It’s part of a larger routine and would usually be done with legs but here is the relevant part. You will need a bar to hang from to do this, there should be somewhere in the house to do this at home or tons of places in the gym.

I also need to add this is a modified version of what we do at gymnastics. It was adapted from it’s original to fit our girls abilities and to follow on from what they were originally doing. This is in no way a reproduction of any existing program.

Level 1 (Plus 1 Core Circuit)

2/25 Situp double twist
2/15 Leg up toe touch
2/15 Butt lifts
2 30s Hollow Hold & 10 Hollow rock arms at ears
2/10 V snaps

Level 2 (Plus 1 Core Circuit)

3/15 Incline bench situps HBH (Hands Behind Head)
3/12 HB Leg lifts strict
3/12 Squat thrust sliders
3/12 V snaps

Level 3 (Plus 1 Core Circuit)

3/15 Incline machine Situp with 15lb
3/12 High bar L lifts (top half leg lift)
3/12 Stalder leg lifts
1 10 Count core
1 Core circuit

Level 4 (Plus 1 Core Circuit and 10 Count Circuit)

3/15 Incline machine Situp with 15lb
3/12 High bar L lifts (top half leg lift)
3/12 Stalder leg lifts (Lift to HB Straddle)

Core circuit

30s Hollow hold
30s Hollow rock
30s Side hollow hold
10 Side hollow roll to hollow (1os hold left, centre, right for 1 rep)
15 V snaps
25 Crunches

10 Count Circuit

10s Hollow hold
10s Hollow shoulders down
10s Hollow legs down
10s Side hollow
10 Side plank hip dip (hip touches floor)
10s Side plank to 10s side plank
10s Side plank top leg up hold
10 Single leg V snap from hollow
10 V snap from hollow
10s Arch hold
10 Arch rock

My Most Popular Back / Hip Stretch

My gymnastics kids are epically flexible. I have had 2 back surgeries and sometimes feel like I am made of stone but the one thing we have in common is the piriformis stretch. I was introduced to this after my second surgery and the dawning realization that my back issues had for the most part been aggravated by tight hips and hamstrings and glutes. For my girls, having flexible hips is a must for performance of any split jumps and leaps and of course in order to keep their backs flexible for walkovers and so on. I was sent the following infographic (everyone knows how much I love a good infographic) by our friend Jenny over at and I am happy to share their very good post on the piriformis stretch here. It’s a great place to start for anyone with lower back pain or hip mobility issues and certainly with such a wide range of applications it’s something that I believe everyone should be doing as part of their mobility plan. (in case in future the picture won’t load, you can also see it here)

Click the image below, read and go stretch!

TKD, “Real Food” and My Zero Carb Experience

kccosquirrelSo I am over my rest month, my strength is down, when I go to the gym I imagine people sniggering as they walk by me struggling under a 250lb bench. It’s been a tough month, it always is, forcing myself to go low weight and high reps, not allowing myself to hit failure, honestly I hate it. But I have to do it, at my age I can’t keep up the same super heavy regimen all the time, plus change is what causes growth not familiarity. So it’s time for the next thing and this time I will be modifying my diet again to see what works for me.

And that was a month ago.

This always happens. I take a month to wind down which turns into 2 and I get distracted by everything else and end up 10lbs heavier wondering where my motivation went.

I did modify my diet a little. I found that true zero carb was very deflating for me not only physically but also emotionally. But then I made an interesting discovery. I started the TKD which is targeted Keto, it just means that you can have appropriate carbs but only after your workout in the NIMGU window which I talked about a while ago. I bought some Rich Piana Real Food from Bulldog and set about seeing if it was going to work. Well, I was actually very surprised. After about 3 days of using the carbs after working out I was about 10lbs heavier and looked twice the size. I was shocked that only 30-40g of carbs a day would make that much of a difference. So for a couple of weeks I used the carbs after working out however I also wasn’t paying much attention to my total caloric intake and started to gain some size again. Since this wasn’t the goal I have been wrestling with it ever since.

That’s because I have a life changing decision to apply. A decision that has been made over the last couple of years and that is to keep my weight down regardless of if I am bulking or not. I used to fluctuate (in my desirable state) between 240-260lbs. I have since decided it’s probably best if I can keep my weight in the 220-240 range. This has not proven to be easy but only because of my propensity to over feed myself not out of hunger but out of a simple overestimation of what I need. Having spent most of my adult life eating too much it’s hard to understand mentally that what I see on the plate is enough.

I have since gone between the TKD and zero card finding that the days I don’t work out I just don’t need the carbs and since it’s basically every other day that it works out fine. If I feel a bit heavy I will just take a day or two off the carbs and my weight will fall a little. That said, I am not oblivious to the fact that I have less definition than I did and so my bodyfat needs some attention.

Seeing as how October 12 was my last post I think my focus and attention to detail both at the gym and in the kitchen and how it is reflected here needs attention also.

Merry Christmas everyone, I  hope I will be back before Santa comes.

Summer Wind Down (my rest month)

restIts the time of year where I take a bit of time to heal, to let my heavy lifting of the summer get behind me and take some time to do some ancillary work and cardio. I tend to lift pretty heavily during the summer, and almost exclusively certain exercises that eventually leads me to lacking in other areas. I don’t really do it on purpose but I can’t remember the last time I did my calves or forearms… or for that matter did any time on my abs or the StairMaster.

So for the next month or so I am going to be taking 15 minutes out of my 45 min workout to do cardio and I am going to build in some ancillary work. Specifically I need to do some lower back work on the GHD and some hamstring work. I tend to do less hamstrings when I squat and leg press and I feel like that’s a problem. The last time I was at the doctor he commented on my marginally elevated blood pressure so I am hoping that some cardio (and some kettlebell HIIT) will help to bring that BP down. Speaking of KB work I think I am going to get back into doing some of that. I think that since I coach on 3 weekdays and have no time for workouts on those days that a light KB workout when I get home or even in the morning before we go to work would do wonders. I only need about 15 minutes to get some swings in and get my heart going so it’s not a big ask really. It will also help with my abs which have had ZERO work all summer with the exception of the twisting rows that I do for my back. I have been particularly tired the last week or so and I think my body is crying out for a break. It may also be time to think about moving towards mobility and gymnastics skills for the winter rather than heavy lifts. A couple of years ago I pushed really hard towards Christmas to get some of my heaviest lifts in years, but I think I would be just as proud of a 10 second handstand as I was of my 415lb bench.

So for the time being it’s increase the cardio, reduce the weights and find some variety in my workouts to give myself a break.

I would say get more sleep too but I think we all know that’s not going to happen…

If You Want Change… Change.

It’s been a while since I have posted here, and probably a big reason why I feel like I have stalled in my progress. Not being accountable even to strangers on the internet is a liberating and damning situation. I have said before that going to the gym at LA Fitness is making me bored and predictable in my workouts and I really want to change that but I am so comfortable in that situation that it’s hard to try and implement change.

But now is the time. It’s the last day of coaching for the year, and next week we start on a new season, new kids and new responsibilities. Since there are major changes in the off, I figure I may as well just do everything at once and handle the changes together. The question is what? What am I lacking right now? I think the obvious answer is Olympic lifts and the WOD style workouts that I enjoyed at home the last 2 summers. Not only that but the lack of HIIT work has made me deficient in the cardio department and I need to fix that also.

After browsing through the last couple of summers on here I have come to the conclusion that only adding home work will be the solution. Not only because I will now be coaching MTWR during the summer leaving only FSY to do actual hour long gym workouts but also because the only way I can add WOD or HIIT to my schedule is to do it at home. Typically HIIT isn’t really something you want to do at a regular gym. I could of course go whole hog and try crossfit again since the crossfit Ark location has a summer special again this year but it’s still expensive especially when I have the equipment and the knowledge already.

I would like to get some KB workouts back into my arsenal, something I can probably do at least once a week with the gym girls for their 30 minute conditioning. I would like to start doing full cleans again, something I haven’t done since I felt a twinge in my left side of my back (the opposite side from normal) and I would also even like to start doing some heavy bag work since I bought a bag last year and have hardly used it, I should actually hang it on the back deck and use it out there, it would be a great cardio workout I could actually do in the morning before work.

I am definitely going to do something at the gym once a week with the new kids, they have a great conditioning program but I think they need some of my work to really make them understand what I mean by hard work. So my schedule at a minimum would be Fri Sat Sun at the gym and one day cardio / bootcamp / KB at gymnastics. That’s still only 4 days a week which means I would have to add a cardio workout before gymnastics or if I can get a day during the week where I am off or able to get home early then squeeze a cardio workout in before coaching.

I can sacrifice my shoulders and arm days at the gym since I will be getting lots of shoulder work doing HIIT / WOD work. That leaves only chest, back and legs for LA Fitness. My schedule then would look something like this… However it is suspicious in the way that I don’t have a day dedicated with enough time to do HIIT I am actually just waiting for a day off or some spare time which isn’t ideal. Looks like I will have to rethink this.

Monday – OFF
Tuesday - Bootcamp at coaching
Wednesday – Morning HIIT or OFF
Thursday – Morning HIIT or OFF
Friday – Chest LAF
Saturday – Legs LAF
Sunday – Back LAF

The Problem Is Lack Of Focus

focusI am not sure why.. Probably because I am not on a schedule and have no specific goals in mind which is why my logging and writing has dried up. Maybe it’s time for something completely different, or maybe I need to develop (and actually stick to) some goals. If I look back to this time last year I was feeling the same thing as I am  now, restless and in need of a change given the imminent arrival of summer.

Here are a few things I have mentioned before but still not actually managed to work on…

Handstand hold
Front planche / lever
Back planche / lever
Handstand pushup
Splits front and middle (never done this)
Cartwheel (I can actually do this but it needs fixing)
Roundoff (same)
Muscle up on bars or rings (did this once)
Kip on low bar (this may be a step too far)

Having read back my experience with WOD30 I am now thinking that maybe that would be a good idea. I haven’t done anything like WOD work for quite some time and to be honest I am getting a bit bored with the gym. The thought of loading up the bar and doing cleans and pullups and wallballs makes me all tingly… I will think about this tonight and maybe see if I can break out my schedule from my first WOD 30 and see if it’s worth duplicating.

The bottom line is I need something to aim at, something to work towards, something I can document and see results. I’m probably benching and pressing the same weights every day at the gym, I am not interested in building massive numbers any more, just staying slightly higher than most of the other people there 🙂

Stay tuned. Something is going to happen.


Also I changed the name of the blog since it’s been a VERY long time since I did any P90X or Insanity…. Which I probably should do again now I have a better floor… Hmmmm