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Building Gymnastics Power and Speed with Ellie Black’s Strength Coach, Scott Willgress

It’s no secret that I’m a massive fan of Ellie Black, particularly her approach to strength and conditioning programs.

She regularly uses external loading, weights, and “non gymnastics’ type strength programming to compliment what she does with her more traditional gymnastics physical preparation work.

If you follow her #TheGrind series you can regularly see her doing trap bar deadlift jumps, land mine Olympic weight lifting variants, barbell back squats, sled sprints, explosive plyometric work, and more.

I think it’s no secret that Ellie has been massively successful in her career. Not only that, she is someone shattering the mold that 16-18 years old is the ‘peak’ in gymnastics. She is currently 25 years old, and is currently aiming for her 3rd Olympic Games.

I firmly believe that science-based, collaborative approaches to hybrid strength and conditioning models will be the future of our sport for everyone. One’s where gymnastics coaches and strength coaches work together to blend the best of old school, traditional strength work (which is essential) with new school, more general strength work in a periodized fashion.

Scott Willgress is one of the people behind Ellie’s Weight Room success. He is a lead Strength and Conditioning Coach and Exercise Physiologist at the Canadian Sport Center Atlantic. He has been working with Ellie since 2011, and through all of her World and Olympic competitions.

The programming you see on Ellie’s Instagram is most likely Scott’s handy work. So, I connect with Scoot a few months ago and wanted to have him on the podcast. I promise you, this is one you want to listen to. We discuss

  • How Scott got started working with Ellie and other elite gymnasts
  • How he was able to convince Ellie and her coach to do “non gymnastics” strength in the weight room
  • What strength and power exercises he likes to program for elite gymnasts
  • How he approaches making sure gymnasts are not too sore/tired for training
  • His approach to planning the competitive year peaks with Ellie and her coach
  • His favorite programs for building power and speed in gymnasts
  • Where he sees the future of gymnastics strength and conditioning going

You can check it out on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and YouTube below.

Building Gymnastics Power and Speed with Ellie Black’s Strength Coach, Scott Willgress