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Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 -

02:29 pm:
Darryl Lardizabal
Junior Member im mostly sticking to a ring type training routine/bw
Username: darryl_steven training routine with a focus towards the planche and
front lever. but in terms of my legs should i just keep
Post Number: 16
Registered: 07-2005 doing pistols for good measure or should i include
something more.
Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 -

04:41 pm:
Kent Sewell
Junior Member Darryl,
Username: pdpbanks
I think most would tell you besides pistols to include
Post Number: 17
Registered: 06-2005 things like broad jumps, sprints, box jumps, weighted
pistols and jumping pistols to your leg arsenal. But I
Rating: N/A mean, if you have chicken legs then you might as well
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
back/front/overhead squat for whole body strength and

I have ridiculously large legs and am primarily doing

gymnastics and bw strength and conditioning, but I still
squat heavy, I just keep the sets and reps low.
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 -
05:57 pm:
Darryl Lardizabal
Junior Member i mostly cant do squats because i have little if no access
Username: darryl_steven 2 barbells and have kbs but they go up to my
instead of stopping training i rather increase my body
Post Number: 17
Registered: 07-2005 skills so that is why i am sticking with bodyweight until i
reach at least a full planche and front lever.
Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 -

07:32 am:
Christopher Sommer
Advanced Member The majority of our leg conditioning involves various
Username: coach_sommer (usually we use plates, but weighted vests would give a
better center of gravity) weighted single & double leg
Post Number: 199 Page 1 of 8 discussion board: Gymnastic legs 04/01/2007 03:10 AM

Post Number: 199

Registered: 02-2004 jumps, hops, quarter and half squats. We also use
weighted jumping pistols jumping for heigth, for
distance and up onto boxes. As a result, regular pistols
are very easy for my athletes.

Also, on occassion we have added Pavel's weighted deck

squats with a jump to our leg series (haven't used them
with single leg yet). Primarily I find that these stress the
midsection/lower back quite strongly (as the athlete rolls
back forward onto his feet) when heavier weights (25-
45lb plates) are used and the arms remain straight
while holding the weight extended out in front.

Generally, we finish our leg series with a set of 10 single

leg back flips (5 on each leg - jumping off one leg and
Rating: N/A landing on two).
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 -

08:08 am:
Jerry Hill
Intermediate Member Coach Sommer,
Username: jerry_hill
Could you outline an intro program for us mere mortals
Post Number: 80
Registered: 01-2005 so we don't 'jump in' with too much volume and

In Health,
Jerry Hill

Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 -

11:31 am:
Christopher Sommer
Advanced Member Following is the progression on jumping single leg squats
Username: coach_sommer that I have my athletes use: Page 2 of 8 discussion board: Gymnastic legs 04/01/2007 03:10 AM

Post Number: 200

Registered: 02-2004 1) Learn a regular Single leg squat.

2) Add a stationary upward jump to the single leg squat.

3) Jumping single leg squat for distance.

4) Jumping single leg squat up onto a small box (approx


5) Jumping single leg squat for distance and up onto

small box.

We perform these and other leg strength drills four

times a week.
Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer
Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 -
11:54 am:
Garrett Smith
Advanced Member Coach Sommer,
Username: guerilastrength When you say single leg squat, do you mean the same
thing as a pistol? Or something else? Thank you for the
Post Number: 204
Registered: 04-2005 progression.

Dr. G

Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 -

12:43 pm:
Christopher Sommer
Advanced Member Yes, they are the same. It is simply a habit on my part,
Username: coach_sommer I referred to them as single leg squats for years before I
met Pavel.
Post Number: 201
Registered: 02-2004 Page 3 of 8 discussion board: Gymnastic legs 04/01/2007 03:10 AM

Registered: 02-2004

Coach Sommer

Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 -

04:01 pm:
Keegan Yentsch
New member Coach Sommer,
Username: maverik
Is the progression you outlined to be done with or
Post Number: 10
Registered: 01-2006 without weight added? Or, would you suggest
progressing through it without weight added. Then,
Rating: N/A having reached the final progression begin again but
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
with weight added?

Also, do you have your athletes do weighted pistols

before you teach them the jumping variations? If so,
what percent of their body weight added would you
recommend they achieve? I ask because I remember
hearing someone suggest that you be able to do a
double body weight squat before begginning to learn
plyometrics (probably because of joint issues).

Thanks for the progression.

Good training,


Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 -

09:25 pm:
Christopher Sommer
Advanced Member Generally I recommend becoming proficient at the initial
Username: coach_sommer movement, then gradually adding weight to create
overstrength and then moving on to the next
Post Number: 202
Registered: 02-2004 progression with bodyweight only. My most proficient
athletes generally only added 10-15% of bodyweight to
their single leg squat movements prior to moving to the
next progression.

The following is an excerpt from a fine discussion that Page 4 of 8 discussion board: Gymnastic legs 04/01/2007 03:10 AM

Dan John and I once had regarding the "double body

weight squat prior to plyometrics" requirement.

" . . . I have also heard of the 1960's East German

requirement of a double bodyweight squat before
engaging in plyometrics. While I agree that a strong
level of physical preparation is necessary to benefit from
high-level plyometric (or ballistic) training without injury,
my evidence shows that this was not a universal
Rating: N/A requirement, but rather a recommendation for their
Votes: 0 (Vote!) athletes in general. For their track & field athletes,
weight lifters and other athletes for whom progressive
plyometric conditioning was not an inherent part of their
training, the double bodyweight squat was in preparation
for their doing depth jumps off boxes 36"-42" in height
among other drills.

It was definitely not a requirement for the German

gymnasts, or the Russian or Chinese gymnasts for that
matter, men or women, either prior to their commencing
training or during the course of their training. Many of
these athletes began simple plyometric exercises when
they were only 4-6 years old and certainly were not
capable of a double bodyweight squat.

One Olympic gold medalist from Russia (Vladimir

Artemov, '88 Olympics All Around Champion) mentioned
in a clinic that they were actually forbidden to engage in
any heavy leg work (his coach even included bicycling in
this category!) in the fear that it would reduce their
upper body strength to weight ratio. Yet they engaged in
plyometric training from a young age, continued
throughout their entire careers and developed an
astounding degree of power in the process.

It is, however, extremely important to note that their

plyometric training (for both upper and lower body) was
very gradual and progressive in nature, occurring over
the span of many years. This gives the body time to
adapt to the progressively more extreme training loads
with increased bone density and greater development of
the connective tissues.

Personally, I now believe that extra leg work would have

been beneficial; even for gymnasts. Especially if it was
approached in a manner designed to increase strength
but minimize hypertrophy. My own son trained from 6
years of age up to approximately 13, eventually
becoming the SouthWestern U.S. Champion. At that
time, he left gymnastics to pursue his new dream of
playing football. For the next two years, his coaches had
him on a structured program of mainly power cleans,
deadlifts, squats and bench. When he returned to the Page 5 of 8 discussion board: Gymnastic legs 04/01/2007 03:10 AM

gym later to see his friends and to just mess around,

the increase in the height of his tumbling was literally
shocking (and he had been a very good tumbler prior to
his leaving for football). He had only gained 10-15lbs.,
so for him, the resulting strength gains (160lb power
clean and 290 lb deadlift at 125lb bodyweight) without
large gains in bodyweight only served to increase his
strength to weight ratio. This new strength combined
with his already well developed plyometric abilities led to
a very high level indeed of athletic ability.

Then and now, it makes me curious as to what could be

accomplished by merging the two training
methodologies. . . ."

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer
Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 -
12:36 pm:
Keegan Yentsch
Junior Member Hello Coach Sommer,
Username: maverik
Thank you for the reply.
Post Number: 11
Registered: 01-2006
So 10-15% bodyweight added is a good number to
Rating: N/A shoot for? That's great, because that is actually where I
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
am currently at (+15% bodyweight). So I should be
okay to begin learning the next progression.

That's also good to know about the double bodyweight

squat thing. I honestly have done plenty of plyometrics
in the past, from a very young age. So, I can see where
you are coming from in that it probably isn't essential
for someone who has been healthy and active for the
better part of their lives.

My question for asking in regards to jumping pistols is

due to the extreme amount of stress placed on the
knees during such a movement. On most jumping
exercises the knees don't go below parallel to the floor,
where conversley in a pistol the butt actually goes down
to touch the calf. In one of my college courses we
learned that doing so places exponential amounts of
force on the knee joint. I was simply concerned about
the danger to the connective tissues in the knee joint.

Ok, then at the begginning of my next training block I'll

start working on jumping pistols. One more question;
would you suggest alternating the plyometric
progressions with weighted pistols?

For instance: Page 6 of 8 discussion board: Gymnastic legs 04/01/2007 03:10 AM

Mon- Jumping pistol progressions

Tues- Weighted pistols
Thurs- Jumping pistol progressions
Fri- Weighted pistols

Or would just focusing on the jumping pistols

progressions give better results?

Once again thanks for the reply.

Good training,


Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 -

01:19 pm:
Steven Low
Intermediate Member Yeah, pistols are a good exercise.. except I have bad
Username: braindx knees. I can't go down all the way in a pistol position
without them hurting. Any recommendations for those of
Post Number: 70
Registered: 09-2005 us to increase our leg strength taking into account bad

Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Posted on Saturday, February 04, 2006 -

10:35 pm:
vance newgard
New member What is the biggest guy you have seen doing pistols? I
Username: i_am_evil_homer am 290 and I can do about 1 on each leg. I think I
should start working on them but I'm afraid putting that
Post Number: 1
Registered: 11-2005 much weight on 1 knee in that position will be to
Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 -

09:03 am:
Roger Harrell
Senior Member Steven, I'd recommend just working on your squat until
Username: rogair you can do that comfortably. Really focus on keeping
your technique in line. A properly performed squat or
Post Number: 601
Registered: 06-2004 pistol shouldn't load the knee in a bad way. I've known Page 7 of 8 discussion board: Gymnastic legs 04/01/2007 03:10 AM

Registered: 06-2004
folks with "bad knees" that have learned to squat and
do pistols quite well. It just takes a little more caution
and care.

Rating: N/A
Votes: 0 (Vote!)

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