Gymnastics WOD

Yesterday I talked about core work, and a couple weeks ago I talked about calisthenics (bodyweight gymnastics movements).  Today, I’m going to let you in on a little secret about how the two of those come together…and it’s called Gymnastics WOD.

GWOD is a website based on the premise of sharing one gymnastics-based workout each day.  The workouts all vary in length, difficulty, and focus (skills, strength, metabolic conditioning, flexibility), and the site also includes all kinds of other resources and tutorials for gymnastic/calisthenic training.  The chief of badassery is Carl Paoli, who spent 15 years competing internationally in gymnastics and now runs his own practice – Naka Athletics – and coaches at San Francisco CrossFit. (He’s also coached Annie Thorisdottir, who has twice claimed the title of “fittest woman on earth.”)  Most recently, he wrote Freestyle, a book aimed at maximizing physical performance in any realm through the mastery of four basic human movements (pistol squats, burpees, handstand push ups, and muscle ups).  Needless to say, Freestyle is at the top of my reading list.

Although I first found GWOD back in the winter, I didn’t even consider using the workouts until last month.  Finally it occurred to me that GWOD might be a perfect complement to my training, so I gave it a shot…and, well, I have yet to look back.  Some of the workouts I’m unable to do or have to modify, due to not have access to gymnastics equipment like rings.  But I do what I can, and I love it a little more each time.  What I love most about the workouts from GWOD is that they’re challenging but not overly intimidating.  Tough, sure, but they’re (for the most part) shorter than a full workout and almost always present an exciting challenge.  I think of it as an “appetizer” or “dessert” in addition to whatever training I’ve got on my menu for the day.

If you’re interested in gymnastics/calisthenics or just looking to try something new, I’d suggest trying Gymnastics WOD!  Two of the workouts I’ve enjoyed most are this core workout (utilizing a pull up bar…if you don’t have one, this is a great option to use at home) and this workout based on L-seat holds and handstand holds.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think!


Do you ever do gymnastics-style training?

What’s your favorite gymnastics/calisthenics movement?

What gymnastic/calisthenic movement(s) are on your fitness bucket list? –> I’m working on mastering a freestanding handstand and muscle ups!  An iron-X is next on the list…

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