Gymnastic exercises for strength

BodyTree Gymnastic Fitness

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What is your inherent athletic potential? What is the best version of yourself that you could possibly reach? What kind of progress could you make?

The questions in “Beginners with the Best Coaching Dominate” by

Read Leo’s story. Leo has been consistently practicing gymnastic strength training for over 18 months.

I met Leo in March 2014, when we attended the 1st seminar in Singapore by Coach Sommer. (Leo in blue top, me in  bright green top)

GB Seminar Singapore

Leo was doing weight training before he switched to gymnastic strength training (GST). After 18 months as a GB Athlete, see the gains he has made.

What’s amazing – he self trains.

(The video shows gymnastic exercises for strength and mobility)

I have been following him on Facebook (not stalking…) and I asked Leo to share his experience and insights.

How long have you been practicing Gymnastic Strength Training?

I found out about in 2011 and tried to do their GB workout back then without any proper training. Started doing foundation one in 2013. I wasn’t consistent in my GST until the start of 2015.

What was your fitness program before Gymnastic strength training?

Weight training

Why did you switch to Gymnastic strength training?

It was an old injury from childhood that resurfaced. I had osteochondral fragments in my left knee.

The doctor said I needed an operation but it was too expensive. So I told my mom that I will train my leg for 6 months and if it doesn’t get better then it’s time to operate.

I did bodyweight training and GST and it slowly got better and stronger.

Around the same time, I attended a lecture at the AsiaFit Convention in Bangkok. It was then I decided that I wanted the physique of a gymnast and the superhuman strength to do those awesome skills/feats.

I also realized after doing some research that, however strong your muscles, if your joints, ligaments, tendon and soft tissues can’t support your muscles then you’ll probably get injured at some point. Weight training won’t strengthen your joints, ligaments, tendons and soft tissues as much as bodyweight training and or gymnastic strength training and as we grow older, these will help to slow down the deterioration.

What are the biggest improvements for you?

Strength. (wait a minute…did he just say strength, and Leo did weight training before?).

I’m not that strong before switching to GST. For a 5’8 1/2″ weighing 165-170lbs my squats, deadlifts, bench press and military press weren’t that impressive. My body was as tight as a tin can. (haha…an interesting way to put it)

What is your Gymnastic strength training program?

I tried all kinds of programming from 3x per week to 7x per week. My training hours per day ranges from 1-6 hours depending on schedule and work. I usually warm up super long, lasting up to two hours. (Say    that   againmake haste slowly). The more I warm up, the more confident I am in my training.

(That’s dedication)

Do you train alone? Or in a class with others? If alone, what are the challenges?

I’ve been training alone for the longest time and found out a lot about myself. How I respond to training.

Challenges when training alone: no one is there to critique your form, no one is there to encourage and motivate you, no one will push you to your limits and no one will be able to assist you/spot you in the other drills that require such. (The level of persistence…)

It’s much more fun to train with other people. To be able to help others reach their goals is fulfilling. Training in a class/group will hasten your progress.

(The reason why BodyTree GST conducts group classes)

What is your advice to beginners of Gymnastic strength training?

My advice for beginners of GST is to keep on going. Consistency is better than intensity. You are never alone because somewhere out there is someone like you, training and pushing to become a better person of himself.

You recently lost weight (see picture). Tell us more.

weight loss


My weight stayed the same at 165lbs and I was not on any diet. I needed to recover fast so I ate as much as I could and didn’t do any cardio work.

Just recently, in April 2015 I took up dancing, my main objective is to learn how to breakdance since it’s bodyweight movements.

My friend told me that since I don’t have dance experience that I should take hiphop classes first. Boy, I never would have thought dancing would be so hard. In my opinion, it is harder than my gymnastic strength training.

It was a challenge, but now I am hooked and I use it as a form of cardio. I lost weight from 165lbs to 152lbs.

It also helped me in my GST because of the coordination and since I became lighter, some GST moves are easier to execute than when I was at 165 pounds.

Anything you want to add about Gymnastic strength training?

GST is a continuous refinement of movement. When in doubt, go back to your foundations because you can never go wrong with it. The most basic of movements will unlock your true strength. Do not underestimate foundation one of GymnasticBodies.

What is your favorite quote?

 “You are all over thinking this. If nutrition was 95% of the issue, then all of the healthy-eating non-athletic people in the world would look like Olympic gymnasts. However, they don’t, so let’s move on” – Christopher Sommer.

Leo is a freelance personal trainer in Planet Infinity Gym in Manila, the Philippines.

Here’s what he has to say about himself.

I am strong, when I am well warmed up.

I am stronger with my coffee. (iced quad expresso or more)

I am stronger with my music.
I focus all the negative energy to my training.

Respect GST.  (Oh yeah…)

Training is sacred. It is the fountain of youth.

Cross-training Gymnastic Strength Training with Dance made me progressed faster.
(Dance classes I tried: Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, hip-hop, Breakdance)

I love to eat anything. (Rice is my carbs)
Sleep is a big factor if you want to maximize training.
I use multivitamins and a LOT of VITAMIN C!
I am a nurse by profession but aspiring GB Coach by heart.
I feel stronger now at 30 years old
I love playing video games
I like watching movies
I drink occasionally
I’m already married and has a son….

Sounds like the lyrics of a song… Leo’s song? He is seldom seen without his earphones and music.

Leo demonstrates the power of taking actions. Check out his Facebook.

Edge of limits

Written by Lay Yong

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