Staying in shape as a former gymnast

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Feb 8, 2008
This time last year I was deep into training for level 7- practice 3-4 times a week, cheerleading 3 times a week, and competition cheerleading 3 mornings a week. I was never the pure muscle, tiny gymnast, but I was happy with my fitness level.

And now I'm headed into the 4th week of my second semester in college and I have escaped the freshman 15- but I think that's only because I've been losing muscle. I've been noticing it a lot lately and I don't like the shape I'm in. I have a pass to the workout center in my dorm, but I don't have time to go workout 3 hours a day like I did when I was in high school. I eat as healthily as the dining halls allow, and I'm making an effort to make it down to the elliptical as many days a week as I can. As for working out I do stuff on the exercise ball and other random conditioning as space allows.

Does anyone have ideas for what more I can do? I just don't have time for such long workouts anymore, as much as I miss them. :(
You know, you aren't the only one who feels this way. I had like this exact same convo with one of my gymnast friends who is a college soph a while back.

I think part of the problem is that your body is really not used to not working out, and it doesn't know how to act. So there is a little adjustment period. Another part of the problem is your brain isn't used to you not working out so much either, and that takes getting used to as well. Unfortunately, its not easy to maintain a gymnast body without working out so much, and the reality is that there just aren't enough hours in the day to have a good college life and social life and work out so much. Remember most gymnasts gave up a good part of their social life in HS to be in the gym, and most people are not as willing to give it up in college.

But to answer your question, I think you need to think about what you want to do that you enjoy doing. Its not easy to motivate yourself to work out just for the sake of working out, which is why something organized might be more fun. The friend I had the conversation with actually started taking martial arts classes, since her school offered that as a PE credit. She loves it and she says it can be pretty intense, but fun enough where you look forward to going. Another option might be to do club sports or IM sports if you have those at your school. Some schools have weight training classes, which i'm sure you'd be really good at. Usually they test you in the beginning and your workouts are based on your ability, so you wouldn't have to worry about it being too easy because you are in better shape than others. And of course you could try some gym conditioning stuff. The great thing about that is that most gym conditioning is just body weight stuff so you don't need equipment, and since you don't have to go anywhere you could always try 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there and whatnot. I find a great time to do stuff like that is during TV commercials. You might get weird looks from your roomie, but I'd rather be in shape than worry about weird looks.

Let us know how it goes and good luck! :D
Taking a strenous enough PE class makes you have to workout vs having the option to. It'll budget the time for you in a sense.

The bulk of gymnastics training is skill practice besides the warmup. Your typical workout can be as short as 30 minutes to up to 2 hours.

Things to look into if you're limited on time are CrossFit (look through it carefully or perhaps only the bodyweight workouts) besides...

You could also look into some of the other bodyweight programs out there like Ross Enamait or something like clubbells or kettlebells. Another is Bodyweight Exercises, Natural Nutrition

There are minimalist programs like P90x or it's siblings like that one called Insanity which is basically just another cardiovascular bodyweight workout.

It depends really if you want to look in shape or be in shape and how much time (and money) you have.

My friend's website, Workout Log Login has a lot of bodyweight workouts you can do in them that include gymnastics. There are also crossfit workouts and such (because they do that too) but you can either pick which workout to do or look at the daily workout or hit random workout.

A simple workout plan could just be 4-5 sets of pullups, pushups, situps/leglifts, and lunges or squats besides
I've REALLY struggled with this the past couple of months, especially as we've had a lot of bad weather which means I can't walk to as many places as I normally would do.

I found swimming is great for toning up, and walking is really good too-I try and walk instead of getting a bus. I also bought one of those daft exercise dvds which is great fun to do at night and only takes an hour.
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