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Gymnastics For The Insane

Nov 06, 2013

In November 1860 Dio Lewis, exercise revolutionary and women's rights advocate, wrote an article entitled, "Gymnastics for the Insane". His article was in fact detailing his work at an Asylum but to me the title seemed to perfectly describe gymnastics for Crossfitters.

Two weeks ago I started teaching a weekly gymnastics class at Crossfit Canuck, an awesome gym in Scarborough, run by Tavia Ferreira and Sue Ann Van Damme, winner of most awesome name ever (2007-2012). Tavia is the perfect kind of coach; passionate about programming, insistent on good technique, enthusiastic at all times and an amazing athlete who wholeheartedly practices what she preaches. I asked Tavia if I could teach this class at her gym and to be honest I didn't know too much about Crossfit except that Bob Harper is their leader and when you join they have a ceremony and they sacrifice a goat. A grass-fed goat that has lived a healthy, happy life. Due to my ignorance of Crossfit I spent some time reviewing Tavia's program and thinking about what gymnastics skills and exercises would be most beneficial to complement their existing program. I also added a few things that were just too fun not to include. I created the "Gymnastics for the Insane" syllabus. Then at the weekend I discovered there's an actual Crossfit Gymnastics course so I thought it might be fun to see how the two compare.

I think there are a lot of similarity in the programs, although it is impossible to really compare without having taken their course. I basically looked on their website at the course description. They clearly have more ring and parallette work which may be lacking in mine due to the fact that I'm a girl and never trained rings or parallel bars. They also do levers and muscle-ups on bars which again I never did in gymnastics so didn't add to mine. I would love to learn to do these so I can teach them in my program. Also kipping makes me cry so I refuse to teach it. The main things I see missing from their program are bridge and falls which I think are fairly important. I have also added a whole bunch of stuff to my program which isn't really gymnastics but which I love and think would be really beneficial and fun for anyone to learn, particularly the insane. So while I like my program better I can definitely incorporate some of the skills from the Crossfit site, however, I will never incorporate loud, thumping dance music, long socks or acronyms that no one else understands!

Tomorrow I'll explain the rationale behind my program and tell a story about how my ego almost killed me.

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