Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Advanced Bodyweight Programming. AKA; following your own path

For my final entry in my programming series I'm going to talk about programming for advanced bodyweight athletes.

So when should you consider yourself to be advanced. Well, by the time you have put in enough dedication and hard work to get to an advanced level of bodyweight proficiency, you should have things pretty well figured out for yourself. So you don't need this article after all. Good Job! I'm going to go do handstands in the grass now.

Just kidding. But not really. The truth is if there are a million elite athletes in the world then there are a million different training plans all following their own individual path to greatness. No at that level no two programs are going to be exactly the same because everybody responds differently to stimulus. By the time you get to an advanced level you should know pretty well what works for you and where your strengths and weaknesses are.

"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the wise; seek what they sought" -Matsuo Basho

My good friend and Wbff Pro Bodybuilder Adrian Veinot didn't get to his level by following programs he got from muscle magazines or internet "fitness gurus". He dedicated his life to carving his own path and finding what works for him. Now he is truly a master of his craft.

By the time you reached an advanced level chances are you have applied almost every type of training philosophy from every idol you've had. Applied it, discarded some of it and kept what works for you.

Please bare with me here and don't think this article to be a cop out. The point i'm getting at is eventually you will have gained enough experience and wisdom that you will have developed your own training. Just don't be in a rush to get there, enjoy the process.

“Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.” -Bruce Lee

Im my own unique journey in search of bodyweight mastery (I'm not there yet) I have spend countless hours studying the methods of my idols. The people I consider masters of my craft. Ido Portal, Steve atlas, Ryan Hurst, Hannibal for King, Frank Medrano This list is extensive. I have watched hundreds of hours of hand balancers, Encho Keryazov, Andre Moraru, Dima Shine, Yuval Ayalon, Yuri Marmerstein.  At some point or another I have tried to emulate each and every one of them. The more I learn form observing these masters, the more bits and pieces I have to apply to what is ultimately the evolution of my own creation.

Ido Portal is one of the greatest movement masters of our time
Now I can't leave you to go away empty handed. Hopefully I have inspired you to begin carving your own path to athletic greatness. But I promised some insight into advanced level programming so I am going to outline what my training currently looks like and explain some of the philosophy behind it.

I am no where near the levels of most of the people I described above, but I train hard. I have learned a lot in the past three years and every bit if it has been self taught. Every day I see the gap between us narrowing and I am elated to say that today, some of them have become my peers.

I have spent some time deliberating as to weather I would use my programming as an advanced template. I never really considered myself to be advanced at all. To be honest I really only consider there to be two levels, master and student but no matter how good we get, we are all still students. The more I learn and the better I become, the more I realize that I am only scratching the surface.


Without further Ado 

I train 6-7 days a week but usually take Sundays off. Three of those days are Strength days and three are skill days. I try not to be in the gym for more than an hour a session.

A typical week looks like this:

Monday: Handbalancing and flexibility. One handed handstand work followed by different entries and exits into and out of a handstand. One arm elbow lever

Tuesday: Push Day - Handstand push ups Planche push ups. Some advanced dip version such as Russian dips or Bulgarian ring dips. Straddle-L work

Wednesday: Movement and handbalancing work. One hand handstand work. Work on skills/Goals I have set (tiger bend push up)

Thursday: Legs/Core - Pistol squats, Bodyweight hamstring curl, V-sit, Side lever/Human flag

Friday: More Handbalancing preferably on handbalancing canes

Saturday: Pull work- one arm pull up, front lever, muscle ups, dragon flag

Sunday: Rest/Recovery (but probably handbalancing)

As you can see I train movements, not muscles. everything I do is geared towards improving my mastery of my own body.

I generally do five sets of each exercise on strength days usually 1-5 reps depending on the difficulty and amount of skill involved but sometimes go up as high as fifteen reps, Never going to failure. I strongly believe in keeping "one in the tank"

Handbalancing days, I pay no attention to sets or reps. I pay attention to my body and when my form begins to break down I move on to a different skill. These days are about enforcing proper movement patterns good habits.

Nothing about this is carved in stone. It varies slightly from week to week but the basic philosophy is this...

     Train movements not muscles, Three strength days a week, one push day, one leg day, one pull day. Train three movements on each day plus a core dominant movement.
     Three to four skill days. On these days don't pay attention to sets or reps, keep it fun.

 Yes I probably train too much. I try to take a deload week every couple of months ad do everything at 50% intensity.

This is my passion

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