Christopher Sommer – Creating Excellence through Gymnastics

Coach Christopher Sommer is a world-renowned gymnastics instructor and long-time US Jr National Team Coach with nearly 40 years’ experience at Regional, National and Olympic level. He is known for building his athletes into some of the strongest, most powerful gymnasts in the world.

Coach Sommer is the founder of Gymnastic Bodies, a hugely popular gymnastic strength training system. His book, Building the Gymnastic Body, is a groundbreaking training guide designed for non-gymnasts to improve their strength and mobility with routines used by world-class athletes.

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. 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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TomMichael PolitoKoosklooster558info991Andrew Recent comment authors
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Wonderfully enlightening and wonderful entertainment too.Thanks for putting it all together. Tom

Michael Polito

Aamazing inteview, Brian Christopher is a very intersting, knowledgable person. He seems very approachable, and a real gentleman. Great work on this one, as well as many others. Love to see you have Ido back also. Peace. Infact, have both Christoper and Ido in the studio at that same time. That would be amzing.

Michael Polito

Aamazing inteview, Brian Christopher is a very intersting, knowledgable person. He seems very approachable, and a real gentleman. Great work on this one, as well as many others. Love to see you have Ido back also. Peace.


This has everything for me, EVERY THING, when it comes to all the physical in the world, and therefore also largely mentally too. Down to the basics, it is simple but that doesn’t mean it is easy. The thing I will take from this the most is not to be afraid to fail. Fear of failure has inhibited me so much and created anxiety and depression. Learning from mistakes, actual real life experience and rising from the ashes is the way to frame “failure”. And again, I realize it won’t be easy for me to change, but it is simple.… Read more »


” Should have done it 30 years earlier….” – It would be great to get the blue print from Coach Sommer on that advice.


Will have to rewatch this at least 10 times!