One morning, you wake up and you realize that for the first time in a long time, your stiff and aching back isn’t stiff and achy from JiuJitsu training. Before, it used to take about 5 minutes to roll out of bed and warm myself up before I could start going about my morning. These days, waking up is a lot easier and my body feels more nimble right from the jump.
I first heard of Coach Christopher Sommer almost two years ago. I had long been interested in some type of Gymnastic Strength Training (GST) and finally decided to find out more information. I reached out on Facebook about some resources here in Austin, Texas with regard to a place to do some gymnastic work. All of the research I’ve done has given me a ton of places for kids’ gymnastics and nothing for adults. A friend of mine recommended I check out Coach Sommer and see what I could dig up with regard to training.
I tried and found his Gymnastic Bodies courses. To be honest, the price shied me away a bit and I sought out other ways to prepare my body gymnastically. Of course, I failed, and YouTube never kept me honest. In fact, I never found anything on YouTube to that helped me really understand the basics or fundamentals of GST.
Because I am typically slow to act, it took me about another year before I sought out Coach Sommer again. Being an avid listener of the Tim Ferris podcast, Coach Sommer’s appearance happened to be next in the cue. It was serendipitous. I must have listened to it at least 2 to 3 more times.
I sent some direct messages to friends asking their thoughts on Coach Sommer’s Gymnastic Bodies program and if it was worth the investment. All of them replied with something along the lines of “Yes. Absolutely”. The only caveat that was thrown in was “This is for the long game. You must have patience and you must be consistent with it, otherwise, it will not work. If you’re patient and you do the work, you will see big time results“.
I was sold. I gave it a shot.
Gymnastic Strength Training for JiuJitsu and Mobility: It is Important
Up until this point, I’ve trained JiuJitsu for the last 6 years. My strength and conditioning are good and my technique is solid for the amount of time I’ve been training. What I have really needed, however, are flexibility and mobility with and very close attention to all of the stabilizing muscles in my body that don’t get near enough training. These three areas are very important for warding off injuries. As an athlete and head instructor who also makes money teaching private lessons (ie: using my body for work and play), injuries can be very detrimental to my well-being.
My friends were right. It was slow and after the first couple of lessons, I was disappointed, hoping that it would pan out in the long run. I did the exercises everyday. After a week, I was convinced that my investment was poorly spent. I soldiered on through the exercises and kept the faith thanks to the advice of friends whose opinions I respect.
The Investment Begins Paying Off
After the next week, however, I realized that my body was starting to change and I started to feel differently. Here we are in the second week and my shoulders and wrists are starting to feel better. My hamstrings don’t feel so tight and with particular regard to my JiuJitsu, I was feeling a little more agile and mobile.
The change was noticeable but I was still waiting for my investment to really pay off. A few days into the third of four blocks, it finally did.
Gymnastic Strength Training for JiuJitsu
I train two to three times a day. I’ve had issues with my lower back for over a decade now due to a herniated L5 disc and my L5 and sacrum have already fused together. My spine health has never been great and prior to the program, I would wake up very stiff and sometimes with pain the second I got out of bed. I would have to warm myself up and move myself gently out of bed hoping not to anger my spine.
During my third week of this four week program, my back finally started to feel better. All of a sudden, the price I paid for the program was tiny compared to the improvement in my daily quality of life upon waking up. Every morning, I practice the techniques as shown and I add a few of the other exercises to loosen up whatever is ailing most. My body feels remarkably better and I am looking forward to starting the next program hopefully sooner rather than later!
I’ve embedded this video here from my YouTube channel to illustrate a couple of the exercises that I believe helped out immensely. If you are interested in this program, I strongly recommend clicking the following link and checking it out!
If you need more information, check out some of these podcasts below: