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Watch > Episode > Christopher Sommer - Creating Excellence through Gymnastics

Christopher Sommer - Creating Excellence through Gymnastics


Christopher Sommer is synonymous with excellence in gymnastics coaching, carving a niche for himself in the athletic world.

Renowned for his innovative training methods and the ability to shape gymnasts into world-class athletes, Sommer’s journey is one of dedication, expertise, and transformative coaching. In this compelling London Real episode, we explore the life, coaching philosophy, and influential contributions of Christopher Sommer.

Born on February 4, 1958, Christopher Sommer’s journey into gymnastics began at an early age. His passion for the sport ignited during his formative years, laying the foundation for a lifelong dedication to mastering the intricacies of gymnastics. Sommer’s early experiences as a gymnast set the stage for his future as a coach, offering valuable insights into the physical and mental demands of the discipline.

Christopher Sommer’s coaching career took flight when he joined the United States Junior National Team coaching staff in the 1980s. His keen understanding of gymnastics and a commitment to excellence quickly became evident as he worked with young athletes, helping them hone their skills and reach their full potential. Sommer’s expertise did not go unnoticed, and he soon earned a reputation as a coach capable of achieving remarkable results.

In the early 2000s, Christopher Sommer founded GymnasticBodies, an online platform dedicated to providing gymnastics-inspired training programs. Acknowledging the need for accessible and comprehensive training resources, Sommer’s platform aimed to democratise gymnastics training, making it available to enthusiasts and athletes worldwide. The GymnasticBodies programs emphasise strength, flexibility, and skill development, offering a holistic approach to fitness inspired by gymnastics principles.

One of the cornerstones of Christopher Sommer’s training philosophy is the Foundation Series, a structured program designed to build a solid base of strength and flexibility. The series, outlined in Sommer’s book “Building the Gymnastic Body,” has gained acclaim for its systematic and progressive approach to training. It serves as a blueprint for individuals seeking to enhance their physical abilities, whether they are gymnasts, athletes from other disciplines, or fitness enthusiasts.

Sommer’s coaching prowess is evident in the success stories of the athletes he has mentored. His ability to nurture talent and develop well-rounded gymnasts has resulted in the emergence of elite athletes under his guidance. Sommer’s coaching methodology has played a pivotal role in shaping gymnasts who excel at the national and international levels, earning recognition for both the athletes and their coach.

Christopher Sommer’s impact extends beyond the world of gymnastics, influencing strength and conditioning practices in various athletic disciplines. His emphasis on building a solid foundation, mastering fundamental movements, and progressing incrementally has resonated with coaches and athletes seeking effective and sustainable training methods.

Christopher Sommer’s journey from a young gymnast to a renowned coach and innovator exemplifies the transformative power of dedication and expertise. Through GymnasticBodies and his coaching philosophy, Sommer has not only elevated the field of gymnastics but has also inspired individuals worldwide to pursue excellence in physical fitness. As a trailblazer in gymnastics training, Christopher Sommer’s legacy continues to shape the way athletes approach their training and strive for peak performance.


00:00 | Trailer
03:42 | Brian’s thoughts on the episode
06:04 | Brian’s introduction
06:40 | UK Olympic Gymnastics has improved dramatically
09:11 | General public does not take care of their posture, the effect of which shows as they age
09:46 | Significance of healthy natural play combinted with little structure, creating flexible young bodies gradually
13:24 | Competitive gymnastics training is different from the type of gymnastics that Chris currently teaches
16:15 | Advice for those who want to improve their running performance and become faster
19:22 | Chris was astounded at how inflexible adults are
25:14 | Chris wants to see your best effort in the gym as well as you open, honest attitude and desire to continuously learn
33:42 | Best advice he received when it comes to starting a business
35:35 | What it takes to coach and to train an athlete like Allan Bower for 16,000 hours over 12 years
40:30 | Innate talent, without excellent attitude and dedication, will not succeed
44:13 | Using gymnastics as a vehicle to create young men, men of character, with skills for life
46:14 | Winning an Olympic medal is not going to open up a future of opportunities if you are a schmuck
50:00 | What he learned from observing the various training methods of other countries
51:24 | Why females have to work harder than the males
53:05 | In any walk of life, it is the fundamentals or the basics that must be addressed
57:33 | Chris’ views on the use of steroids in sports
1:04:33 | Most injuries do not happen in the muscle, but on the joints
1:07:00 | Mobility is key
1:12:46 | What high rep work consists of
1:14:05 | Chris’ conversation with Dr McGill, following his podcast with Tim Ferris
1:18:15 | Ways to loosen the biceps and pec minors
1:19:29 | Most adults think their body aches and pains are normal, until Chris prescribes corrective exercises
1:21:10 | Chris’ views on CrossFit
1:27:11 | Chris’ views on Yoga
1:28:05 | An article for Pavel Tsatsouline led to Gymnastic Bodies
1:34:49 | Constantly evolving: “My ego is not on being the authority of all”
1:35:38 | What a lot of people don’t know about Chris and Ido Portal
1:39:11 | The natural movement
1:41:24 | Chris’ thoughts on diet and veganism
1:53:17 | What is Chris’ biggest challenge now
1:56:17 | Chris’ daily routine
1:57:20 | Success Secrets
1:57:49 | Honesty with his staff
1:58:43 | Best and worst days of his life
2:01:26 | Who has been the biggest influence in his life
2:05:22 | What scares Chris
2:06:16 | What keeps him awake at night,2:09:37 Phone call to the 20-year old Christopher Sommer
2:12:18 | Best advice he ever received
2:14:53 | Advice to the young person who is watching the interview
2:18:22 | Chris likes that success is hard, that it thins the hard and self-selects
2:21:25 | Final thought-provoking words
2:22:23 | Brian is summing up.


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