How to Keep Yourself Motivated?

How to Stay Motivated?Oftentimes when we start any endeavor, it is really fun at first (well, unless someone makes you do it). You are all over the place with all kinds of ideas. You can’t wait to improve what you are doing. You are obsessed. But time goes, you are getting better, more mature and seasoned, and once interesting affair becomes dull and monotonous.

This is true for a lot of things including strength training and nutrition. You are not progressing that fast in strength with time. Constant hunger and cravings can break even the strongest dieter. Discipline, hard work, and consistency – these things will make difference once the journey gets into the intermediate-advanced stage. The main issue here is to know how to stay motivated to continue this endless battle? Here are several ways to do so. Continue reading

Why Do You Fail at Fat Loss

Rough Strength Meal

I always struggled with losing bodyfat. There are people that are ripped from the day they were born and I am definitely not one of them. I was never obese either. I have an average metabolism. You know, the skinny-fat type. I gain fat easily and drop it slowly and painfully.

The topic of fat loss always fascinated me, but the reason I haven’t written much here on Rough Strength about it is because I was still experimenting with different approaches and numbers. Finally, I feel that I nailed it right and I want to share my experience.

NOTE: I won’t give you any pictures here because I want to save them for the big transformation article. If you read Rough Strength for a long time, then you know that I NEVER talk bullshit. If you are still in doubt, then go fuck around somewhere else.

Why Did I Fail at Fat Loss?

Well, this is complex question, but I will try to answer it simple. I failed at fat loss in the past for 2 connected reasons: Continue reading

Heavy. Light. Medium.

Franco Columbu Bench PressSo, if you think that this post is about all kinds of cigarettes, I’m sorry to disappoint you. It is not. It is about a simple and smart way to add more weekly training volume for a certain skill/exercise without compromising your limited recovery. It is called the Heavy-Light-Medium approach or simply HLM. I use it a lot and find it really effective if you want to concentrate on a limited amount of exercises instead of using variety of them.

Let’s take a closer look at it.

What is the Heavy-Light-Medium Approach?

You already know that your body’s recovery abilities are limited. Basically, I came to conclusion that you can’t train really heavy more frequently than once a week (well, maybe once in 5 days in several cases, but that’s if your recovery is ultra-awesome and your lifestyle revolves solely around sleeping, training and eating). Continue reading

Some Thoughts on Coaching

Some Thoughts on Coaching

This blog post will be different from others because instead of exploring strength training methods I will share here my experience with coaching people. I do this for a living, so I guess I have a thing or two to share with you. If you have no interest in this topic, then feel free to skip this article.

In comments section to this article, my long-time reader and good friend Gabri asked to write something on coaching. So, I thought: “Why not?” What you can read here is the result.

Coaching is a very wide theme. You can write a lot on this. Therefore, I asked Gabri for a list of questions that bothered him. As a result, this article will be some sort of improvised interview.

Let’s get to the questions.

1/ How did you start training clients online? Continue reading

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