Make the most of my time at gym

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Oct 19, 2008
New York
Hey guys.

So currently, I go to gym once a week for 1.5 hours. (Twice a week if Im lucky) Since its an open gym style "class" (there's a coach but its not structured) I find my self running from apparatus, to apparatus, and skill to skill, trying to work on everything. But that hasnt been working at all, since I havn't gotten significantly better at hardly anything. :(

So how can I make the most of my time at gym? Currently, Im working on making my back hip circle consistent (STILL), back handsprings, front tucks, front limbers, back walkovers, cartwheels on beam, round offs (STILL), handstands (Im improving), squat ons, and tap swings...UGHHHH.

And i feel like I havn't gotten much better at any of them, because Im trying to work on all of them in an hour and a half (which is really less since I have to warm up and condition). But I feel like if I don't work on everything, I still wont improve since it will be about week until I can come back to gym.

How should I divvy up my time when in the gym (and out of the gym)?

PS. Sorry if that was really redundant..It's just SOOO frustrating to not feel like i'm improving AT ALL, when Im trying sooooo hard to.


Jun 24, 2008
I've mentioned this a few times, but I practice 4-6 hours/week while at college, and I've managed to keep fairly competitive L9 routines by using a few short-cuts:

- Do minimal conditioning at practice, unless you absolutely need a certain piece of equipment to do something. (But make sure you condition extra at home!)

- Always have a plan for practice. I physically can't tumble on beam/floor on consecutive days, so I've worked out a schedule for what events to do on each day. If bars is your weak event, go there on both days (if you practice twice). Floor and beam cross over a lot, so you could probably get away with doing one event one week (or one day if you go twice/week) and then switching the next week. You might want to do some beam basics for balance reasons, though.

- Get there early and start warming up and stretching a little before class starts-- could be as simple as jogging in place while waiting for things to clear out.


hey there,
first off... try not to get frustrated!! i know a lot of people measure their gymnastics by whatever new skills they get, but if you do that, you will always be frustrated and annoyed. gymnastics is hard work, and it takes TIME. i know lots of tiny kids get skills left and right when they're in the gym all the time, but that is just unrealistic and doesn't happen for most people who are a little older who can't spend all of their time in the gym. think of it this way... one time my coach said to me that to master a back handspring you need to do over 3000 of them. that's a lot! i don't say that to discourage you, though. my point is, you need to enjoy the process and have fun even if you're not "getting better" in a quantifiable way. the less frustrated you are, the more fun you will have, and the better you will be.

my advice as far as making the most of your workout, is to have a focus event or 2 each week. when you start practice, do conditioning that will help for each event (writing out some exercises to do beforehand will help you, or you can even bring a list with you) to warm up.

then if you want to just do one event, do drills, and then focus on the skills you are working on. for beam, do lots of passes of kicks and jumps and things to improve your overall beam, and then do your cartwheels and handstands or whatever else you want to do. set some kind of goal, like stick 5 of everything, or stick 3 times in a row. you could stay at that event for a set time, and then move on (to the second event if you wanted to do 2). if you want to do all the events each week, so you don't feel like you're "falling behind" just do a small number of each skill on the other events, but don't get hung up on them or spend too much time on them.

that's my advice... have fun with the process! be patient, don't forget conditioning, set achievable goals, and focus on a smaller amount of things each week. rotate events and spend more time on a different one each week.

i'm sure others have some great ideas! good luck!
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