Train Like a Gymnast

Train Like a Gymnast

With a silver medal proudly slung around her neck, Charlie Launder recounts her three month training plan in the hands of the Lomax Fitness Team leading up to the British Gymnastics Championships…

Back in August I came to Lomax in search of some help with my gymnastics training. I have been in artistic gymnastics since I was young but after a couple of years out of competing I needed some help getting back into shape and ready to compete again.

I decided to enter the British Championships and gave myself a mere three months to prepare for it. After undergoing a Fitness MOT with Jonny so he could assess my current level of fitness, he and a few other PTs came up with a training plan. I knew it was going to be a challenging three months but I was excited to get going. Each week was planned so that I had a leg day, a cardio day and an Olympic lifting day as well as my gymnastics training and rest days.

Jordan was in charge of leg day. He stripped my squat back to bodyweight so he could ensure I had the correct technique before progressing. Some weeks we worked on volume with a slightly lighter weight, and others we concentrated on increasing the weight with less repetitions. I progressed from a 50kg squat to a confident 75kg.

Cardio sessions were high in intensity, completely exhausting but lots of fun. Jonny and Danny were responsible for creating circuits that pushed my whole body using interval training to increase my stamina and boost my metabolism. I really enjoyed these sessions and noticed a huge difference in my fitness and stamina over the three months.

The part of training that was the biggest challenge to me was Olympic lifting. Olu introduced me to this type of training. He showed me how important it was to improve my hip extension to increase my gymnastic ability. I was amazed at how quickly I progressed once I grasped the technique. I still have plenty to learn but I really enjoyed the challenge and Olu was great at making the sessions varied and fun.

Not only did I notice a huge improvement in my physical ability but my body completely changed shape over the three months. I made sure I kept my diet as clean as possible and I actually increased my calorie intake to make sure my body was appropriately fueled for training. I saw my body fat levels drop and a huge improvement in posture.

The competition day came around fast and before I knew it I was in my leotard ready to compete. Nerves were high on the day but I felt very prepared and knew I had a great support team behind me. I had a great competition and in a category with over 40 gymnasts, I finished 6th overall and became a national silver medalist on vault. I am thrilled with my results and in typical fashion, have already set my goals for the next competition so I better get back in that gym!

For more information about sport specific training programs at Lomax, email thelomaxway@lomaxpt.com or call 08715 120 770.

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  • Alex Martell

    Were you encouraged to change your diet and if so how did you find this helped in your day to day life?

    • Charlie Launder

      Hi Alex. I was actually encouraged to eat more than normal which was a challenge but I found that I was burning off so much energy in training that I needed it. I increased the amount of protein and ate as fresh as I could, cutting out as much processed food as possible. I felt great, and full of energy and it really helped me realise that eating more isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as it’s more of the right foods!

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