Supersetting Lifts With Ring Training

I'm going to tell you about a trick I use in my training.

So, what is it? I take a heavy lift (think deadlift, bench press, squat or clean and jerk) and pair it with a gymnastics movement I want to improve. 

Here is what it looks like:

The basis here is that lifting heavy stimulates hormone production and activates your nervous system like no other. So, by pairing a heavy lift with some gymnastics movements that you want to get better at, you get the benefit of activating the nervous system and the whole session seems to come together better. A lot of CrossFit workouts pair lifting with gymnastics (think "Diane", "Nate", "Fran" and many others) because it works. The only difference in what I'm saying here is to NOT do the workout for time. Instead, try and go heavier or hold better form and go slower on the weights and do the same with the gymnastics. Essentially, bias the workout to be more about strength vs. time/speed.

Here's how to superset lifting with gymnastics (specifically ring training) for max benefits:

1. Take a heavy lift, either a heavy pull (e.g., deadlift) or a heavy press (e.g., bench press).
2. Superset, meaning alternate going back and forth, with 1-2 pushing or pulling body weight movements such as ring push-ups, ring rows, pull-up/chin-ups, GHD sit-ups etc. 
3. Get a great workout and maximize your time in the gym.
Ultimately, this is what I'd recommend to someone looking to build their pushing and pulling strength for the muscle up. Instead of just doing the gymnastics work alone, I'd recommend pairing it with some lifting such as this 1-2 days per week. I think the progress will be much quicker this way.

Here are two workout combos I recommend. 

Workout A (see video above):

  • Heavy deadlift, 3-5 reps
  • Ring or regular push-ups, 8-10 reps
  • KB swings or snatches, 10-15 reps

Workout B:

  • Heavy bench press, 3-5 reps
  • Ring rows or pull-ups, 8-10 reps
  • Sit-ups, GHD sit-ups or L-sit hold, 10-15 reps/20 sec hold

Again, these types of sessions are done for quality - not speed. Keep all reps as perfect as you can and challenge yourself with the weights.