Category Archives: Interviews

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

Interview with Max Shank

Max Shank Rough Strength InterviewAZ: Hey, Max! Tell Rough Strength readers about yourself.

MS: Hi Alex! I own a gym called Ambition Athletics, and I travel around the world as a Master RKC instructor. I enjoy Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu as well as highland games and Ping-Pong.

AZ: How did you get started with strength training? How long have you been doing it?

MS: I got my start when I finished playing soccer around 19 years old. At the time, I couldn’t touch my toes or do even one pull-up. I have been training now for around 6 years.

AZ: Describe your training style. Continue reading

How to Achieve the One-Arm Handstand Push-Up

Convict One-Arm Handstand Push-UpNOTICE: To avoid any misunderstanding (and possible penis reduction in some individuals) by OAHSPU I mean wall-assisted One-Arm Handstand Push-Up (or as many people prefer to call it One-Arm Headstand Push-Up). You kick up into handstand with feet resting on the wall. Take away one arm and lower down until your head touches the floor. Then push back up.

So today’s theme is the mighty One-Arm Handstand Push-Up – the move that many people consider impossible. And only few individuals around the world take all their determination into a fist and are training for it day in day out. Are they out of their mind? Probably. Is it worth it? In my opinion, yes. And that’s not because I’m one of them. It’s worth the time and effort because OAHSPU is like holy grail for me. It matches all my requirements for ultra-heavy minimalistic no-tech upper-body pushing exercise, it resonates with my inner self and its “impossibility” adds some more spice to it. This move undoubtedly requires your full concentration, lots of time, effort and hard work. That’s what lures me to it. Are there better and safer ways to develop shoulder and triceps strength and size? Most definitely. But with all the safety you miss the romance of exploration.

Recently I was lucky enough to contact several people to provide some insights on the move. These people are Paul Wade, Jonathan Ferland-Valois and Logan Christopher. It’s always educating to hear [read] different people’s ideas especially if they are experts in the field (like these guys), so I figured out that it would be interesting to bring them all together and make some kind of a round table. I hope you’ll learn something new from this multi-interview and, of course, I won’t let you go without my own comments.

So let’s get to the questions: Continue reading

Interview with TheSupersaiyan

Vass the SuperSaiyan PlancheRecently I was lucky enough to interview a guy who is a big inspiration for many people around the world, as well as for me. He calls himself TheSupersaiyan. He developed pretty decent levels of strength and mastery in calisthenics. So let’s dive into this interview.

AZ: Hi, Vass! Tell our readers about yourself.

TheSupersaiyan: Hey, I’m 23 years old and I’m great fan of feats of bodyweight strength as you can see from my videos. I love in particular everything related to planche and handstand. Pushing movements are my favorites including all variations of planche push-up, handstand push-up, one arm handstand and so on. However, I also like pulling movements such as front lever, one arm pull up, back lever, and everything that is practiced on gymnastic rings. I wanna be the most multi-purpose as I can be. My goal is to become as strong as I can, to do things that nobody done before and get superhuman strength. Become the legendary supersaiyan :)

AZ: Ok, so how did you get started with strength training? How long have you been doing it? Continue reading

Master Kettlebells and Dumbbells – Interview with Yahont (Part 2)

This is the second part of my exclusive interview with Yahont. Click here for part 1. Enjoy!

So I should bother with dumbbell training.

Yes. If you don’t have a dumbbell, you can buy a handle (or you can find a master who will make a handle for you) where you will screw a pair of bolts into each side. Just look at my dumbbell.

It’s very comfortable. If I use less plates, then I just take shorter bolt. It’s practical. If I need thicker handle, then I just switch handles. I have such set of handles: 37.5 mm standard handle, 50 mm handle and 62 mm or 2.5 inch handle.

So you have a set of handles and just screw bolts in them, and put plates between handle and bolts? Continue reading

Yahont

Master Kettlebells and Dumbbells – Interview with Yahont (Part 1)

I’m proud to present you the first part of my exclusive interview with a strongman and my fellow countryman Yahont in my free translation. This man is inspirational. Now you are able to read his story and to know the principles that lie behind his training. And you know what? The main principles are the same: consistency, determination, perseverance etc. Are you interested? Then read on. Continue reading

Power Bar Talk with Edward of BarStarzz

Edward of BarStarzzLook at this man. This is Edward. He is founder of the Barstarzz. I was lucky enough to interview him this morning (actually, it was deep evening in New York City). He trains exclusively with his own bodyweight. He is strong as he looks. He performs amazing feats of strength, agility, balance etc. How this man was able to build such an amazing physique exclusively with his bodyweight? Because calisthenics work. And he’s not the only one. Look at other BarStarzz’s athletes. They look AND perform totally awesome. It’s not genetics. It’s consistency and perseverance. These things build such great strength and such great bodies. I’m really sick and tired of people that say something like “Oh! I need gym membership to become strong and fit” or “Oh! I don’t have time to train”. Seriously? Forget your excuses and go train! How can you train with your own bodyweight, get superstrong and achieve such amazing body? Read on. Continue reading