Review of Gold Medal Bodies Floor 1 Training Program

fitness gymnastics

What You Get

GMB divides their training into levels, with each level having three realms: Rings, Floor, and Parallettes (at the moment, only Parallettes goes beyond Level 1). I chose Floor 1 because it puts an emphasis on hand balancing (to master my handstand), includes some leg work, and can be done anywhere with no equipment. All of the programs are decidedly minimalist: Rings 1 only requires a pair of hanging rings and a place to hang them, and Parallettes 1 & 2 require a pair of parallettes (miniature parallel bars), which are portable.

The download came with an introduction, a document on the fundamentals, a program manual explaining the training protocols and programming, the daily workouts themselves as printable worksheets, and tons of videos showing all the movements. This is not like most weight training routines with 3-7 movements. You will learn a lot of new things. There is a movement library with all the exercises, as well as compilation videos showing all the movements for each workout in one sequence, which was really helpful. There are also videos explaining the warmup and the stretches.

Additionally, there are supplementary modules for special skills, like the planche and v-sit. I haven't started those yet because I have enough to do with the core program, but they are available.

The program itself is divided into four phases: Strength building, Skill Building, Flow Acquisition, and Flow Mastery. The first phase develops the strength so you can learn the skills properly. Once you've learned the individual skills, you start learning how to chain them together, in order to learn how to adapt to different kinds of movements on the fly. Once you've learned the sequences of the flow (sort of like a karate form or kata), then you spend time mastering it to refine body control.

It took me a while to figure out where everything was, but that's only because there was so much of it. They make every effort to ensure that you know exactly what to do and how to do it.

If you still have questions (which I did), you have access to the trainers via the web portal. My question was answered promptly. They make themselves reachable.

The Pros

The Cons

Most of the cons are flip sides of the pros; it's generally a really well-designed program.

Based on how great the team is, I'm sure all of the issues I saw with the program could be resolved with a quick e-mail, but I wanted to give a review simply of what you get in the program itself and my impressions.

Final Impressions

So far, I love it! The workouts can move a little slow at times compared to the more dynamic workouts I'm used to from CrossFit, parkour, or my experiments with MovNat, but they are much more engaging and comprehensive than any comparable barbell routine. I've already seen a ton of progress in my mobility, coordination, and balance, as well as integrity in certain positions that used to be very weak for me. I don't think my squat or deadlift have increased (though I haven't tested), but I can already tell I'm gaining strength in more ranges of motion than before, with the result that I'm becoming even more agile, mobile, and adaptable. It's also nice not being wiped out for the entire day by a workout.

And, of course, Floor 1 is just way more fun than the other programs I've done. It combines the expressive movements of gymnastics and yoga with the structure of a barbell program, so I get the best of both worlds. As a fitness program, it blows anything else I've seen out of the water because it focuses on cultivating a connection to your body and moving with integrity and intention; it doesn't just seek to beat you up or make you monster strong with no skill.

It is also a truly innovative program. I think a lot of other programs, including weight-based ones, would benefit by applying the principles in the GMB training methods. Keep an eye out for these guys because they are definitely going to make a big impact on the way people approach movement and relate to their bodies (fitness training seems too narrow an idea for GMB's approach).

I'll report in again with shorter posts (sorry) when I get to the skill and flow phases, and of course at the conclusion of the program.