The Planche: So, How Can You Achieve It?

Top-Planche-on-Pedestals

The Planche is easily one of the most impressive bodyweight skills out there, if not the most. Maybe it is not the hardest gymnastic position, but for an average fitness enthusiast (especially if he/she wasn’t competing in gymnastics since childhood), holding a Full Planche for 5 seconds is a great achievement by all means.

The Planche is the skill that requires nerves of steel and infinite determination. You won’t achieve it overnight/in 4 weeks/for some individuals even in several years. Patience is your biggest friend in this affair, not ego.

The Planche is also one of the most unforgiving skills out there. Move to a harder variation too soon and you will most certainly win a jackpot of wrist and forearm injuries, lack of progress and frustration.

Furthermore, the Planche, as any other advanced gymnastic skill, has its clear and unquestionable technique points:

- Your elbows should be completely locked during holding the position.

- You should maintain a so-called hollow body position. Your lower back should not arch compensating the lack of upper body strength.

- Your scapulae should be protracted as much as possible.

If you don’t meet any of these requirements, I’m sorry to frustrate you, but it wasn’t a real Planche on that video you posted on YouTube.

Finally, I like the Planche because it requires no equipment and seems to question the gravity.

OK, I’m done with this unexpectedly long intro. Two minutes of your life spent on reading it are gone. Deal with it. On the bright side, what you can read below may be exactly what you were looking for.

Just recently, I was lucky enough to interview several calisthenics experts on the theme of the Planche. I am quite pleased with the result and I believe you can benefit from this information big time. My goal with this improvised round table was to gather different opinions on training the Planche. You will be able to see how different people approach the process of obtaining the same skill, which I find educating. Read, absorb, and use the information below.

Here is the full list of participants (in no particular order):

- Yuri Marmerstein;

- Ryan Hurst;

- Alessio Proietti;

- Steven Low;

- Alan Thong;

- Al Kavadlo;

- Max Shank;

- And of course, I couldn’t possibly leave you without my own answers. So, yes, you will have to read that stuff that Alex Zinchenko finds funny and relevant to the theme (writing in third person about yourself makes everything much more serious).

Without further ado, let me present you the Rough Strength Planche Round Table. Enjoy!


1. Introduce yourself. Tell us about your training experience. Continue reading

Singles to Doubles to Triples

How to Progress to Heavier Kettlebells

NOTE: this article is a sequel to these two:

Increase Your Strength with Double Progression

How to Progress Effectively in Bodyweight Exercises


So today I would like to share with you my favorite method of progressing from singles to triples and beyond. It fits calisthenics and kettlebell strength training perfectly because they both have huge jumps in intensity most of the time. I am talking about those moments when you were having fun with a pair of 24 kg kettlebells and can’t even move 32 kg ones in the same exercise. Or when you can do 10 reps in regular Wall-Assisted Handstand Push-Ups, but fail to perform even a solid negative in a “diamond” version. If you trained enough time using bodyweight or kettlebells, you know what I mean.

In both articles at the beginning, I shared some methods of progressing in such unforgiving circumstances, but I wasn’t too specific on this particular solution. I think it deserves a full post and you will be able to benefit from learning it.

The Method Continue reading

How to Incorporate Static Exercises into Your Training Routine

The Only Way to Perform Static ExercisesSo you want to take your strength training to another level. You are certain that lifting weights is not your limit and you definitely need some cool statics like the Handstand or the Planche in your routine. Here comes the tricky part: how to incorporate both static and dynamic exercises into a sound training program without sacrificing too much of a progress?

Well, this article will help you to answer this question.

What Static Exercises?

You probably know and have seen the cool stuff like the Human Flag, but are bodyweight statics your only options? No. There are tons of static exercises you can perform with heavy weights. Let me somewhat classify them: Continue reading

“Everlasting Challenge” Training Routine

Everlasting Challenge Training RoutineLately I have been really puzzled with coming up with a new theme for an article. After shuffling all the possible ideas, nothing still seemed to resonate with me. The solution came rapidly as always. Some time ago an interesting idea regarding structuring a training routine popped up in my mind. The only reason I didn’t want to share it yet was the fact that I was still testing it. “But why not?” – I thought.

Therefore, enter the “Everlasting Challenge” Training Routine.

The Approach

If you are impatient, here is the actual approach without unnecessary long intros: Continue reading

6 Lessons in Effective Strength Training

6 Lessons in Effective Strength Training

Do you remember school lessons? Good. This article is not about them. It is rather about life lessons you learn the hard way. Throughout the time I spent training, I’ve acquired a couple of them, and I believe it will be beneficial if I share them with you.

Be prepared for reiteration though. “There is nothing new under the sun”, right?

Lesson 1: Experience beats studies and opinions of other people (anytime)

A lot of coaches and trainees agree on obvious subjects like progressive overload or compound exercises. I’m yet to find an intelligent individual with solid experience in strength training who doesn’t think that progressive resistance matters. However, when it comes to debatable themes like low-carb diets, protein, high reps vs low reps, etc., there are wars. In reality, people just can’t perceive a simple fact: Continue reading

Does Time Under Tension Matter? + A Natural Remedy for Your Joints

Time Under Tension Principle

As you can see, it is another article with completely illogical combination of subjects. What can I say? I’m just good at this stuff. In all seriousness, these two topics are the result of my recent experimentation. And while the first one is somewhat predictable, the second one may surprise you.

With no further ado, let us get to the first part.

Time Under Tension

I was introduced to the principle of time under tension [TUT] by the works of Charles Poliquin. As I understand, he is the biggest proponent of using this variable in strength training.

The idea behind the TUT principle is simple yet reasonable. Continue reading

The Last Implement You’ll Ever Need for the Upper Body Development

Today I would like to share my thoughts on the ultimate upper body strength training implement. What do you think it is? Barbell? It is cool and effective, but it requires lots of additional equipment like plates, squat stands, and possibly a power rack and a bench, as well as it is not quite mobile. What’s else? Sandbag? While it definitely does the trick, you are limited to the size of your bag and the amount of filler you need. Kettlebell? Not really. Again, it is mobile only if you have a car, and it is definitely limited to the heaviest one you have (unless you know this).

So what is it? Is it your bodyweight? Close enough. In my opinion, gymnastic rings are the ultimate upper body strength developer. How come? Let’s find out. Continue reading