The Gymnastics Course Experience

The Gymnastics Course Experience


Lena Mentyka from Verdant here! These are my impressions of my time at the Gymnastics Course!

Last weekend, at the 2-day Gymnastics Course I attended in Seattle, I kept wishing I could have taken you all with me. Instead you’re going to have to be satisfied with this blog post and I’ll do my best to take what I learned and use it to make your classes even better. 

I appreciate the opportunity to attend seminars like this because I come back reinvigorated as an athlete and a coach. I am always reminded that simple is best and taking things back to basics is where success lies. I love fitness, I get excited by fitness, but sometimes fitness gets complicated in my head. I will occasionally overthink how I’m coaching movements and workouts. The focus this weekend was: do less, better. Let’s learn how to breathe in as many different positions and movements as possible. Let’s do less reps with higher quality rather than rush through more reps. We can make our warm-ups as virtuous as possible and guess what? That’s going to make us better sooner than you’d ever think possible. 

Hmm, she’s not talking about gymnastics. Correct. We did in fact learn a lot about gymnastics strength progressions, cool drills to get athletes to activate their lats, and get lots of practice spotting. You guys are already great athletes though. We coach good movement at Verdant and we have a member base that is very good at moving well. We will continue to coach you all in the best way we know how. But spending my weekend with like minded individuals all looking for ways to get better at coaching good quality bodyweight movement made me realize what really matters: I love what I do, I love where I do it and I love the people I get to do it with.  I want everyone in the gym to love fitness as much as I do. We as humans will spend more time on things we love doing (and things we are good at) so let’s learn to love gymnastics. Let’s have fun with it. If you don’t think gymnastics is fun yet, fine but, you can at least admit that it is funny that we as fully grown adults do gymnastics. Let’s remember that next time we’re all voluntarily doing 1,000 toes to bar or box HSPU until failure. 

I’m writing this not to take away from when you achieve your first strict ring muscle up, or kick up to the wall for the first time. I’m focusing on this because I don’t want you all to be so hard on yourselves when things feel weird or it feels like you’re not getting stronger. Most of us have only been doing gymnastics for a handful of years and we’ve been trying to do it with our clumsy and immobile adult bodies. You guys do some pretty extraordinary things everyday and you do them a lot better than most adults in the world. This is a great gym filled with accomplished people. 

A big takeaway from my weekend in Seattle was that we can never be too strong or too skilled. If you’re frustrated that you can’t seem to figure out a specific movement or feel like your strength has stalled in a certain area, please come talk to us. If every time we had a goal we took just 3 days a week for 3 weeks to work on it I think we would all be blown away by what we are capable of. 

Just so you all don’t riot, here are two little things we can all work on together going forward. WRAP YOUR THUMBS AROUND THE BAR AND SQUEEZE YOUR LEGS TOGETHER. 

If anyone has any questions about the course, gymnastics in general, or if a certain goal has been nagging you for a while, come talk to me! 

Latest Post