An Olympic Gymnast Trained His 50-Year-Old Dad for 30 Days


British artistic gymnast Nile Wilson won a bronze medal for Team GB in the 2016 Summer Olympics, becoming the first athlete from the United Kingdom to place in the horizontal bar event. Since then, he has been busy running his own gym and YouTube channel, where he regularly challenges bodybuilders to tests of mobility and agility by putting them through grueling gymnastics workouts.

In his latest video, Nile explains that he has been coaching his own father, 50-year-old Neil, through a month-long gymnastics skills program, which has seen him lose weight and tone his physique, and showcases the results of the 30-day transformation in the form of conditioning testing.

And while Neil is unable to do the splits, he demonstrates considerable improvement in several bodyweight exercises, including pullups (his max has increased from 3 consecutive reps to 10), and dips.

Neil originally started training as he was already in the gym every day working, and he decided to set himself the goal of mastering the muscleup.

“It was all to do with the specific skill,” he says. “I had no goals about body, weight loss, diet. Over a period of time, my body started to change. Part of the whole change is training every day, even if it’s a small amount. I do my exercises every day, some stretching every single day… It’s completely different to resistance training with weights, and people’s desires about muscles and bulking up, this has changed me in ways no training in a weights gym could. It’s unbelievable.”

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Neil also describes the way that his mindset has rapidly changed throughout the month, to the point where he was prioritizing his gymnastics training over indulging in Christmas treats.

“It’s an amazing sport, it’s amazing for your body at any age,” he says. “The changes you can see on a personal level, in terms of achieving goals and things you were aspiring to do… There was a lot of pride, passion, and determination.”


Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues.

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