You’re big, I get it. Yes gymnastics is going to be more difficult for you. I’m not denying that. But is it really that bad? Anyway, you have 3 simple choices …
- Change your mind set and get over it.
- Stop doing gymnastics related activities.
- Lose weight or cut your limbs in half (disclaimer: please don’t do the latter!!)
First of all understand that being “big” doesn’t automatically make you bad at gymnastics, particularly not at the skill level that we look to obtain in Jacked Gymnastics or require for say Crossfit or whatever you’re doing. It’s the straight arm stuff, in particular static holds, that get more difficult. But perhaps the reason you’re bad at planches is just because you’ve never done them before and not necessarily just because you’re big. The bent arm pressing /pulling like muscle ups, handstand push ups etc. will be tougher but not as bad as you think. As you get stronger and develop better endurance, these movements will continue to get better regardless of weight gain (assuming you’re putting on lean muscle).
There are 3 distinctive categories for the bigger athlete …
- You define big as 5’10, with lots of lean muscle weighing around 225lbs.
- Unless you’ve only packed muscle on your lower body and none on your upper body and your arms are like match sticks (unlikely) then honestly you’re making it out to be a bigger deal than it is. At the moment you’re struggling because you haven’t built a foundation / maintained your bodyweight movements as you’ve increased your weight so now your body isn’t used to being able to lift and control 225lbs.
- I’m not saying it’s not more difficult and it will take some time but this really isn’t disastrous at all. Remember that everything is proportional. You’re heavier. You’re also much stronger than your old skinnier self. When I started Crossfit I weighed 68kg. I know weigh around 85kg. Would I be better if I had stayed and trained at 68kg … yes, probably … but I much prefer walking around at 85. I’ve gained strength and endurance , and I’m much more powerful. Besides, this is Jacked Gymnastics. We’re greedy. We don’t just want to be good at gymnastics, we also want to be big and strong.
- You’re overweight.
- If you’re just simply overweight then yes, it is and will always be a problem because your weight doesn’t provide you any strength and endurance benefits but instead just increased bodyweight through fat so yes, stating the obvious, this isn’t good for gymnastic activities. But actually this isn’t good for many things. Work on your nutrition and adapt your training plan.
- You’re tall, or worse you’re long limbed.
- Yes, some movements are going to be more difficult. Unfortunately, you are more in the pool of get over it or consider doing something different that doesn’t involve gymnastics. Emphasis on SOME movements are going to be more difficult though. Having long arms might make handstand push ups more difficult but it certainly doesn’t impact your L-sit.
- All I would say here, well re-iterate here, is that generally the bigger you are the more impressive it looks when you nail a skill. So consider that before you give up.
In summary …
Most big guys find it difficult because they haven’t got the right foundations. If you’ve never done a pull up and you weigh 225lbs+ then of course starting now is going to be more challenging because you have all that extra bodyweight that you’ve never trained yourself to be able to lift / control so at the beginning it’s going to be more difficult than if you were to weigh 155lbs but give it time, it will click.
Remember that were not just looking at gymnastics, we’re also trying to get bigger and stronger, and build a safe and healthy body so remember that for every weakness you also have a strength and that every small guy wishes he could lift your numbers.