Coach Sean Velas had the opportunity to compete at the American Open in 2014. Coach Charles Bennington caught up with Sean for a quick interview:

CB: This should be short and sweet. Give us a couple quick thoughts on the experience of going to the AO:

What is the biggest area of transfer that you see between coaching gymnastic movements and coaching weightlifting?

SV: Body awareness is a huge deal breaker in both sports. I see that a lot of gymnast have so much body awareness that it is usually easy for them to learn the oly lifts.

CB: What is the biggest area of transfer that you see as an athlete between your gymnastics and weightlifting?

SV: Ever since I started working more on planches and front levers i have noticed a huge difference in my core stability. That has helped tremendously in my Olympic Lifting. I feel more stable and tighter in my bottom position in a snatch.

CB: Have you seen progress in your gymnastics and weightlifting moving forward together or have you noticed a specific crossover point where one modality has to drop off a bit for the other to progress?

SV: Sounds crazy but the better I get at gymnastics, the stronger I feel in my lifts. It’s basically a win, win situation for me right now. I thought all the squatting would make my legs heavier for all my gymnastics but Ive been feeling stronger in all my movements.

CB: If you could recommend 3 gymnastic movements for weightlifters to use as accessory work, what would they be?

SV: Front lever progressions, Hollow/Arch Rocks and Holds, and Planche progressions

CB: Any closing thoughts for the gymnastic or weightlifting athletes and coaches out there?

SV: It’s never to late to work on gymnastics or olympic lifting. I think one of the greatest things about me working for the Crossfit Gymnastics Team is the fact that I was NOT a gymnast. One of the greatest things about making it to the American Open is the fact that I am NOT a full time weightlifter. Get a goal and stick with it. You guys will be seeing me in the next American Open. I promise you.

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