Tag Archives: bodyweight strength training

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

10 Tips for Mastering the Perfect One-Arm Push-Up

Perfect One-Arm Push-Up by Alex ZinchenkoThe Perfect One-Arm Push-Up – many claim to be able to perform it, still there’s almost no video proof to back up those claims. Why so? Firstly, everybody has ego. And claiming that you can do such complex skill like the Perfect One-Arm Push-Up [POAPU] boosts that ego like nothing else. There’s no harm in bragging, unless you cannot back up your words. Secondly, it’s surprisingly easy to get trapped in improper technique with this skill. You can see lots of videos of One-Arm Push-Up but 99% of them are half-assed-twisted-body-feet-wide-pseudo-push-ups. That’s not what we’re discussing here. That exercise has almost nothing in common with real One-Arm Push-Up and is walk in the park comparing to our beast. Many people push this shitty technique as POAPU, but don’t be fooled. They just don’t have the patience to gain strength required for this move. Thus, they can forget about achieving anything great. Also lots of people don’t believe POAPU can be done the proper way, but that’s not true. It definitely can be achieved, but the process will require lots of time, hard work and patience. So let’s get closer look to what the hell that Perfect One-Arm Push-Up is? Continue reading

Are Calisthenics Optimal for Building Muscle?

Arnold Using Calisthenics to Build MuscleBodyweight strength training was a revelation for me. I was quite ignorant for some time and thought that weight training is a must if your goal is to gain strength and build muscle. When I was introduced to progressive calisthenics, my world turned upside down. It was a golden gem. Now I have solid experience with this kind of training and here’s the question I want to discuss today: is bodyweight strength training optimal for building muscle? Continue reading