how to keep cool in a hot gym

A good discussion on the Gym Chat forum:

The temperature was nearly 92 degrees outside and there was no chance of any air conditioning units being turned on in the Gymnastics Revolution gymnasium on Francis J. Clarke Circle.

Gymnastics Message Boards – Gym Chat :: View topic – how to keep cool in the hot gym!

How hot is too hot?

At what point is a hot gym dangerous?

A hot, humid environment seems to be good for the musculature, I feel.

So long as the athletes have good hydration the temperature could be very high before I would start worrying about any health or injury risk.

On the other hand, you could always do as they do in Santa Monica, California. Set up a water slide IN the gym.

more photos – flickr – Wordsmith from Nantucket

Amaro and Spray champions USA ACROBATIC GYMNASTICS

At Championships 2007 we spent plenty of time close to the Acrobatic Gymnastics venue and were able to watch this much misunderstood sport often.

The first confusion is the name — now Acrobatic Gymnastics — not “Sport Acrobatics”, not “Acrosport”.

Whatever it’s called, this is currently my favourite acrobatic sport of them all. Check the video highlights of Worlds to see why.

Acrobatic Gymnastics is fantastic. Why is it not more developed in the USA and Canada?


SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 18, 2007—Julian Amaro of Pleasanton, Calif., and Tyler Spray of Livermore, Calif., earned their third consecutive U.S. all-around title in senior elite men’s pair, and the trio of Mariah Henninger of Walnut Creek, Calif., Ally Kidd of Livermore, Calif., and Tisa Penny of San Leandro, Calif., defended its senior elite women’s group title in acrobatic gymnastics competition at the 2007 Visa Championships in San Jose, Calif.

Amaro and Spray earned a total score of 84.440 in men’s pair. Henninger, Kidd and Penny posted a total score of 84.040 in women’s group, while Savannah Shields and Mallory Henthorn, both of Blue Springs, Mo., won women’s pair with a score of 75.810.

In mixed pair, the duo of Andre Solodar of San Jose, Calif., and Xiau-Ling Wee of Monte Sereno, Calif., earned the all-around gold medal with a score of 83.860.

… The acrobatic gymnastics all-around is a sum of three routines: balance, dynamic and combined.

Acrobatic gymnastics, previously referred to as sport acrobatics, combines the beauty of dance with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Gymnastics skills add excitement to the exercises, while intense acrobatic balances show grace, strength and flexibility. Routines are choreographed to music and consist of dance, tumbling, and partner skills. At the elite level, each pair or group performs a balance, dynamic and combined routine. Pyramids and partner holds characterize the balance routine, while synchronized tumbling and intricate flight elements define the dynamic exercise. The combined routine unites elements of balance and dynamic.

An acrobatic gymnastics pair consists of a base and a top. A women’s group is comprised of a base, middle and top partner, while a men’s group has a base, two middle partners and one top partner. Bases generally are older athletes who display strength and balance and top partners generally are younger athletes who display flexibility and agility. Middle partners often are required to show a combination of all attributes.

News: Amaro, Spray win third straight U.S. acrobatic gymnastics men’s pair title

Hamms debut new look competitive uniform

Check out the “new look” high neck singlet top being promoted by Paul and Morgan.


Morgan Hamm, of Team Chevron, competes in the pommel horse at the U.S. gymnastics championships in San Jose, Calif., Friday, Aug. 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

ESPN – Gymnastics Photo Wire

More examples of possible new uniform designs for competition –

Kyle Shewfelt on eliminating self-doubt

Kyle is the 2004 Olympic Floor Champion and a sports celebrity in Canada.

He’s training towards Worlds in September and his 3rd Olympics in 2008.

Having known Kyle since he was 6yrs-old, the first statement I would make is that he has been as successful under pressure as any gymnast I can recall.

Yet even Kyle has self-doubt at times.

From his new blog:

… (sport psychologist Dr.Hap Davis) asked me if I ever drive away from my house, but turn around a couple of blocks away to make sure I put the garage door down…I hate to admit it, but I do this at least once a week (If not embarrassingly more!).

He asked me if I ever drive to the gym, start walking away from my car, but then stop and turn around and walk back to my car to make sure I locked the door. I do that! I really really do…I think I might have a bit of OCD, maybe more than a little! I always have that little voice in the back of my head saying, “did you do this?”. That voice is so annoying and I think I would call it “Self Doubt”.

Hap said that I am probably doing the same thing with my gymnastics. Doubting myself and my ability to do something when I want to. He actually said that after 19 years as an athlete, one has to start being really creative in their ways of self-doubt because everyone has it and many have already exhausted most “normal” forms. My creative way is to completely stop trusting myself, think totally random thoughts and to start questioning things that I have been doing fine for the past 10 years. Not cool.

So here is the challenge:

I have to make a conscious effort everyday to get out of my car, shut my door, point my keys at the door, say to myself, “I am locking the door”, push the button, and walk away knowing and trusting that my door is indeed locked. How do I know it is locked? Because I consciously locked it. Sounds easy enough.

Here is the comparison:

I have to treat my performances or turns in the gym like my car door. Before I go I have to make a conscious effort to be focused. No random thoughts. I have to say something positive to myself like, “I am going to do a great routine”. This will make me present and give me some clarity right before I go. I have to trust myself and my declaration. I have to know that when I say I am going to do something good then I am going to put forth a great effort to do it good.

I applied this theory today at the gym. Before each turn I thought to myself, “Lock the door”. I pictured the feeling I have when I have consciously locked the door and the trust I get from doing it and knowing that I have done it.

I had an amazing training and I haven’t felt so present and strong in a long time. …

No more opening doors…it’s all about truly knowing they are shut and LOCKED!

Kyle Shewfelt – blogspot

This is very much a Buddhist philosophy. Living in the moment.

Kyle with Olympic Gold medallist Clara Hughes

Jack LaLanne – fitness legend

At USA Championships it was an honour to meet one of the pioneering gurus of fitness in America.

Jack LaLanne

Between 1951 and 1984, LaLanne presented fitness and exercise advice on television. “The Jack LaLanne Show” was the first ever television program devoted to exercise.

Critics said the show would be off the air in six weeks, but it lasted 34 years. He has also published books and videos on fitness and nutrition, appeared in films, recorded a song with Connie Haines and marketed exercise equipment, a range of vitamin supplements, …

At age 92, he continues to work out every morning for two hours. He spends one and a half hours in the weight room, and half an hour in the pool. LaLanne and his wife Elaine (80) live in Morro Bay, California.

When interviewed by Katie Couric on NBC’s Today show, LaLanne declared that his two simple rules of nutrition are “if man made it, don’t eat it” and “if it tastes good, spit it out.”

He often says, “I cannot afford to die, it will ruin my image.”

Jack LaLanne – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Once again, fitness of the general public was an important theme of Championships.

Ron Galimore and Steve Penney were leading by example in San Jose, up and exercising at 6:30AM.

Have you seen USA President Steve Penney lately? He has lost a lot of weight and looks great.

another awesome day at USA Gymnastics Congress

Sadly I was too busy to attend even a single session of Congress 2007.

A testimonial from the forum:

I realized today while listening to a panel given by Beth Gardner (Heart Of Texas Gymnastics) that almost all of the codes, guidelines, tricks, tips, aces and techniques I use in my daily classes have come from her lectures in the past.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to congress, and it was a real flash back to hear her teach again. The class was titled, “Organized Chaos: Preschool Class Management”.

She talked about how to deal with troubling situations, how to plan efficiently to be ready for bad things and how to hopefully avoid them all together. Congress is such a blast! There is nothing like a room filled with a hundred hungry, excited people just like you, being led by preschool gymnastic geniuses giving you invaluable knowledge to really put a spark under your butt and get you motivated to run home and improve your program every possible way you can.

Anyway, point being…it made me realize that so far all of the articles I’ve written for this site have been largely if not completely influenced by what I’ve learned from Beth in the past. If you ever get the chance to see her speak I highly recommend it.

“Attitude is 95% of life.”

Another Awesome Day At Congress – Preschool Gymnastics Discussion Forum

off-season CAMP getaway at Woodward West

Got a chance to catch-up with Don Eckert of Woodward West Camp at USA Championships.

As the intense summer camp season wraps-up, coaches should be aware of the opportunity of off-season visits to Woodward (and the other big full-time camps, I expect).


You can sometimes get Woodward West to yourself during the off-season. And prices are great compared with summer.


If you are looking for a fun, productive getaway for your Team. Or perhaps getting together with another Team in a training camp format, contact Woodward West for details.

USA Men’s Team for 2007 Worlds

Good luck to Ron Galimore, Ron Brant, Yoishi Tomita and the entire Men’s Program working towards Olympic qualification at Worlds in Germany.

It was not easy selecting the Team. Many hours of discussion were needed to piece together the contributing scores necessary on each of 6 apparatus to achieve the highest score.

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 18, 2007 – USA Gymnastics has named the U.S. Men’s Team that will compete in the 2007 World Gymnastics Championships, Sept. 1-9, 2007, in Stuttgart, Germany.

The six members of the team are: Guillermo Alvarez of Denver, Team Chevron; Alexander Artemev of Morrison, Colo., Team Chevron; David Durante of Garwood, N.J., Team Chevron; Sean Golden, Camden of N.J., Team Chevron; Jonathan Horton of Houston, University of Oklahoma; and Kevin Tan of Fremont, Calif., Team Chevron. Sho Nakamori of Albany, Calif./Stanford University, is the team alternate.

“I’m confident these guys can get the job done,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “They showed what they are capable of at last night’s competition.”

The 2007 World Championships is the qualifying event for the 2008 Olympic Games. The top 12 teams advance to compete in Beijing. The men’s team was named following the conclusion of the men’s competition at the 2007 Visa Championships in San Jose, Calif.

News: USA Gymnastics names U.S. Men’s Team for 2007 World Championships

Sean Golden – official website

Valeri Liukin – great coach

I really admire Valeri Liukin as a coach.

Despite some very tough setbacks for his WOGA gymnasts and his daughter over the past week, he remained open, honest and forward thinking.

I rate Liukin one of the very best few coaches in the World today.

Nastia Liukin, right, waits to compete on the floor exercise as her father and coach, Valeri Liukin, left, looks on during the U.S. gymnastics championships in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, August 16, 2007.

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

ESPN – Gymnastics Photo Wire