Dave Durante: Current State of Men’s Gymnastics, The Power of Progression, and Why Gymnastics Skills are Fundamental

Dave Durante Gymnastics Skills

Dave Durante
Current State of Men’s Gymnastics, The Power of Progression, and Why Gymnastics Skills are Fundamental

Dave is a multiple-time USA Gymnastics National Champion and was part of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Team. Dave has coached gymnastics teams to multiple National Championships, was a lead coach for the CrossFit Gymnastics L1 Course where he developed the CrossFit Gymnastics Advanced Course. Dave is the co-founder of Power Monkey Fitness where he travels the world delivering world class knowledge and coaching to those looking to improve their movement quality and longevity by ensuring they have the proper foundation in place to always strive towards their highest capability.

We get into everything from youth development, the state of gymnastics in America, to why everyone – including middle aged big guys like Kelly – should care about gymnastics skills.

For more info about Dave, go to the Power Monkey Fitness website, follow him and Power Monkey on Instagram, and definitely check out the new App!

Gymnasts, Weightlifters, and Runway Shows mentioned in the episode: 

05:30  Dave joined us from Portland but he’s a relatively new transplant from the east coast
06:00  Portland is a very fit city and people love to be outside; it’s also home to Nike and adidas’ HQs, and Under Armour’s global innovation hub
07:50  There’s much more integration in training nowadays – outdoor athletes are doing strength training in the gym, and indoor athletes are training in more diverse environments
08:25  Dave has two daughters (6 and 2 at the time of this recording)
09:05  Dave likes to make the clarification that he was on an Olympic Team Member in Beijing, not an Olympian as he didn’t compete
09:42  Dave runs us through his history of sports – he did it all – baseball, basketball, wrestling, soccer – which is unusual for a young gymnast
10:30  Historically female gymnasts peak at a younger age than boys which led to female gymnasts starting and specializing early
10:50  There is a skewed view that starting early leads to success with disregards the large number of athletes that start early and don’t succeed
13:00  Dave was a gymnast at Stanford
13:30  The sport of collegiate men’s gymnastics is dying – only about 14 programs still exist
14:36  Women’s gymnastics is thriving and is a revenue generating sport
17:11  Being a skilled gymnast is like being a superhero
18:40  Dave and his Stanford alumni group peers have created an endowment to help men’s gymnastics continue to have a presence at the school
19:40  Juliet learned while at Cal that the men’s rowing team has the largest endowment of any school
20:22  Dave’s role at Power Monkey is primarily to raise awareness and interest around gymnastics
21:20  Dave blew out his knee 6 months before Beijing and didn’t tell anyone (aside from his coach), so upon his return promptly had surgery at the OTC
21:30  Post-surgery, Dave headed back to Stanford to start a coaching job
21:45  Dave found CrossFit while rehabbing his knee and coaching at Stanford
22:43  While CrossFit has introduced many athletes to gymnastics it is not producing athletes that could compete at a high level; Chad Vaughn
25:40  Dave defines gymnastics for the general public as “body weight competency”
26:48  The fundamentals of gymnastics
27:45  The shapes most associated with gymnastics are the hollow and the arch
31:13  One his first day of school at Stanford, Dave blew his knee out, but his coach helped him use his rehab time to get strong and perfect his handstand
32:45  High level vs. elite athlete; Rich Froning
33:55  There is a great myth that situps are the only way to a strong core
34:40  The origin of Power Monkey Fitness starts at the 2010 Victoria Secrets runway show; Shane Geraghty
35:56  The origin of the Ring Thing
36:20  After existing company, Power Monkey Fitness helped produce the Ring Thing, they sold the first three to Julie Foucher

Julie Foucher – Precision Medicine, The Jump from CrossFit Games Athlete to Family Physician, and How Health Habits are Contagious

37:20  Power Monkey expands the business into Power Monkey Camp; Jason Leydon at CrossFit Milford
37:45  Camp takes place at a kids gymnastics camp that Dave had been going to for years in Tennessee owned by two Olympians, John Macready and John Roethlisberger
38:50  Camp is heavily skewed toward the CrossFit community but backgrounds are diverse and it caters to the beginner and intermediate level
40:46  Olympic lifting and gymnastics are very complementary disciplines
41:35  Weightlifters are the second most mobile athletes in the Olympic games next to gymnasts
42:05  The coaching staff at Camp have created synergy between the disciplines; Cheryl Haworth; Chad Vaughn, Mike Cerbus; Vanessa McCoy
44:15  People that don’t have an athletic background seem to be scared of two things: barbells and handstands
45:55  Training the endgame through progression
50:48  Gymnasts are very good at knowing how to move their bodies but tend to lack other skills if they weren’t able to train in multiple sports during development
52:38  Gymnastics (not competitive gymnastics) is an incredible foundation to good movement for kids
54:29  San Francisco CrossFit was lucky to have 3 amazing gymnasts – Lisa Warren, Carl Paoli, and Courtney Walker
54:40  Juliet and Kelly got a nice pair of parallel bars from Adrian Bozman that lived in their garage for years and was the ultimate playground for their kids
55:45  Power Monkey has just put out the Power Monkey Training App
56:45  Dave’s socials

Full Transcript


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