While being a master of the barbell is essential to your success at the “Sport of Fitness”, you also need to be a gymnastics assassin to be considered a well rounded athlete.

So how can we effectively build capacity in these movements?

I’d like to share the basic paradigm I learned in my journey throughout the OPEX Coaches Certification Program (CCP).


Stage 1 – Accumulation

In the first stage of building capacity, the athlete accumulates volume of repetitions outside of fatigue-based scenarios.

We will use “kipping toes to bar” for our example.


For the athlete who struggles with the actual skill of stringing multiple reps together effectively, this stage allows the athlete to practice the skill without concern for how other movements might cause premature fatigue.   When creating accumulation pieces make sure that the combination does not tax the grip excessively. (In relation to toes to bar).

An example of accumulation over a 4 week window of time would be as follows:

Week 1

Day 1

A. Toes to Bar, 15-17 reps
X5 Rest 90 seconds. (75 – 85 reps)
B. Hang Power Clean, 3

X6 Rest 1 minute. Up to 85% 1 RM Power Clean.

Day 2

A.Toes to Bar, 15-17 reps
x5 Rest 90 seconds. (75-85 reps)
B.Wall Walks, 4
X5 Rest 1 minute.

Week 2

Day 1
A. Toes to bar, 17-20 reps.
X5 Rest 2 minutes. (85- 100 reps)
B. High Bar Back Squat; 30X1, 5
X5 Rest 30 seconds.

Day 2
A. Close Grip Bench Press; 30X1, 5
X5 Rest 2 minutes.
B. Toes to Bar, 25
X4 Rest 1 minute. (100 reps)

Week 3

Day 1
A1. Ring Dips; 30X1, 5
X4 Rest 30 seconds.
A2. Toes to Bar, 20-25
X5 Rest 90 seconds (100 – 125 reps)

Day 2

A1. Pendlay Rows; X1X1, 5
X5 Rest 30 seconds.
A2. Toes to Bar, 20- 25
X5 Rest 90 seconds (100 – 125 reps)

Week 4

Day 1

A. Deadlift; 40X1, 5
X5 Rest two minutes.
B1. Glute Ham Raises; 31X1, 10
X4 Rest 30 seconds
B2. Toes to Bar, 25
X5 Rest 90 seconds. (100-125 reps)

Day 2
5 min AMRAP Accumulation Tester
Toes to Bar

Once you have accumulated enough volume and practice (this period can range from weeks to months, even years, depending on the athlete’s current fitness levels and time line to achieve goals), it is time to start introducing the movement in a setting that involves more fatigue.

Stage 2 – Density

In this stage of the game, the athlete work to accumulate volume while being taxed by other movements.

An example of a 2 week progression of density work would be as follows:

Week 1

Day 1

20 Cals on Rower
40 Double Unders
20 Toes to bar
x4 Rest two minutes. Increase intensity on each set.(80 reps)

Day 2

10 minute EMOM
8-10 Toes to Bar (80-100 reps

Week 2

Day 1

10 Thrusters (115/85)
15 Toes to Bar
10 Thrusters (115/85)
15 Toes to Bar
x4 Rest two minutes. (120 reps)

Day 2

10 min EMOM
Odds: 15 toes to Bar (75 reps)
Evens: Row 15 Cals

In some cases overall volume of work will be lower than the accumulation phase, but you are learning how to perform reps while fatigued.

Once you have progressed through adequate time in the accumulation and density stages, now it is time to put yourself through more challenging fatigue settings.

Stage 3 – Fatigue

In this stage, you are now implementing your skills and capacity you gained during the earlier two phases. You will be performing the movement in the most challenging fatigue state.

Examples of  workouts would be as follows:

4 Rounds for Time
21 Cals Row
15 Toes to Bar
9 Hang Power Cleans (155/105)


8 min AMRAP
8 Bar Facing Burpees
5 Deadlifts (315/205)
10 Toes to Bar

Becoming more efficient and enduring at gymnastics movements revolves around how effectively you control volume and the setting of fatigue in which you practice the movement.   Build general volume early on in your season and then slowly introduce more fatigue based settings as your progress through your year’s training.

If you have questions about how to improve your gymnastics capacity or other questions about programming and training, please fill out the form below and someone will contact you within 24 hours!

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