Blog / Must Read / A New Learning Journey – Gymnastic Strength Training

A New Learning Journey – Gymnastic Strength Training May 26, 2015 in Must Read Training by Edwin Chew

images[1]It started with trying out the best way to teach my clients the scapular depression.

The scapular depression is a very important movement before performing any upper body vertical pull exercise. There are many ways to demonstrate the exercise, we can do it with bands, cables or simply just perform a scapular depression movement. However I am a fan of using the gymnastic rings to demonstrate the movement.

One of the advantages of the gymnastic rings is the adjustable height.

Set the rings to the suitable height, hold on to the rings and perform the scapular depression. Your legs need to be straighten with heels on the floor, tighten the core and we have the perfect starting position for the rings pull up.

I find the gymnastic ring a very challenging equipment for upper body training. I was using it and experienced the benefits. I started to read up more and that lead me to the Parallettes and Gymnastic Strength training (GST).

My interest grew and I thought why not spend a few months to learn and practice GST. I bought books, online tutorial and started my self learning journey. I actually got very addicted to it. I was practising GST up to 5-6 days a week. I can say I was quite obsessed with it.

I am completely new to this form of training. At the beginning, it was very tough. Trying to perform a movement slowly with control is totally new to my ageing body.

I never had Yoga or Pilates training before and the thoughts of trying to stand only with my hands sound like an impossible feat.

For the past years, I was training with barbells, trying to be faster and stronger. I was so use to speed and lifting heavy.

I started asking myself why was I so attach to GST?

And I found the answer – GST is a SKILL.

What is Skill?  Skill – the abilities that one possesses!  And Skill means FUN.


Few months into the learning journey, I attended the GST Certification seminar conducted in Singapore.

The course was conducted at Body Tree Gymnastic Strength Training Gym (Great Gym and Coaches. By – Daniel Chan & Guys)

It was an eye opener. The course was taught by Coach Sommer, CEO of Gymnasticbodies.

Many trainees flew in to attend this course, this shows how highly rated this course is. It was a privilege to meet everyone.

Many of my self learning doubts were clear within those 2 days and I managed to apply what I learnt into practice.

Guess what, after months of training, I finally manage some BASIC foundation work.

I fell a few times, had very sore wrist and elbows, finally learn how to work my core correctly, lost a few kilos, got lean and most important of all, I learn a new Skill!!

From my personal experience, let me share with you my thoughts of GST.

- Basic Fundamental exercises like the handstand & L-Sit require Strength, Flexibility, Coordination and balance. You are working on many elements of fitness while doing a simple basic exercise.



- GST exercises make you feel limber; your mobility and flexibility improves. All those stiffness are gone and it feels great.


- Personally I feel a huge improvement on my core strength. GST exercises require good core strength.


- GST keeps you in great shape. Performing all these exercises require some much energy and effort. Now we know why gymnast had such great physique.


- Like I mention before, GST is a skill. That keeps you motivated to train hard and make small improvement every day.

I am glad I took up GST. For the first time in years, I felt like a trainee again. The only advantage I have is that I had decent strength and flexibility due to the past years of training. Other than that, I was very new to it.


I strongly suggest everyone to give GST a try.

There are a few ways you can do it. You can solely work on it or you can add it into your normal training routine.

Some of my clients are starting to work on it.

As for me, I choose to just focus on GST for the rest of the year as I find that working on the basic fundamentals are very important. But I can’t wait to include it into my usual training routine.

From this learning journey, I am even more convince that if you want to be good in something, you need to put in plently of time and effort.

Practice! Practice! Practice!

Remember – Something worth having don’t come easy.

GST is going to be a long  learning journey and I am just aiming to be better every day.