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Jeff Walker

Which Progressions?

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Jeff Walker

Im still confused on which progressions to use. There are 6 basic movements I work; 1) HSPU, 2) Pullup, 3) Pushup/PLPU, 4) Row 5) Dip 6) Curl/Chins. Forsome of the basic movements, there are several variations. For example Pushup progressions and Plance Pushup progressions. How do you decide which to focus on, what are the pros and cons of choosing one over the other?

Another thing I am confused about is adding weight. I found the best strength gains adding weight to moves, weighted dips, pullups, etc. So should I add weight to the basic moves or move up the progressions and also add weight?

For Pullups, I am not sure if I should be doing weighted FG pullups or the Pullup progressions (Muscleup is a goal eventually). For Pushups, should I be doing Planche pushups or Pushup variations like RTO, etc, when do you crossover, if you do? For Rows, FL Rows or inverted Rows. Dips, Weighted dips or progressions. I want to work all of these becuase of my OCD but in the end my goal is to gain strength so I dont want to shoot myself in the foot.

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Joshua Slocum

You are asking some very good questions. Unfortunately there are no simple answers. My advice would be to pick up a book. Foundation 1 would be the best option, since all the programming and progressions are explicitly laid out, and it includes critical mobility exercises as well. 

 

 

If you want to design your own programming, Overcoming Gravity and Building the Gymnastics Body both have very deep progressions that will last you a long time. They also have good information on designing your programming (i.e. choosing which exercises to do when) and when to decide to move up to a harder exercise. 

 

 

In general, when doing body-weight conditioning, it is more productive to switch to a harder exercise rather than adding weight. There are several advantages to this approach. First, you become exposed to a greater variety of movements, which improves your kinesthetic intelligence. Second, by working your muscles in many different positions, you gain strength through a greater range of motion than if you were to stick to just one exercise. If you can add a significant amount of weight to the move you're currently working, you would get more out of switching to a harder, unweighted variation of the same exercise. That is not to say that weights are not useful. They can be helpful in bridging the gap between two exercises - if you find a wide jump in difficulty between two exercises in a progression, you can inch your way forwards by progressively adding weight to the easier exercise until you are capable of doing the harder one. 

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Jeff Walker

I have OG and btGB. I guess its just hard to decide which move to focus on HSPU or HS Press. Planche pushup vs pushups. Rows vs FL Rows. Etc.

My goals are movement per se, theyr are asthetic and strength oriented. Sure, Id like to do a planche bt its gonna take time, so do I do PL pushups or move down the pushup progression like RTO or Archer pushups?

I recently started Archer Pullups and I cant decide if I should stick with them or do FG weighted L pullups. I dont have a specific pullup goal, other than to get stronger and be able to do a muscleup eventually.

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Joshua Slocum

I have OG and btGB. I guess its just hard to decide which move to focus on HSPU or HS Press. Planche pushup vs pushups. Rows vs FL Rows. Etc.

Ultimately, you're going to want to work on all of them. To advance, you need both depth and breadth in your training. But you can't work on all the progressions at once. So pick a few, work on them for a while, and when you've made good progress, try working on some other ones for a while. I'd recommend that you pick 4-8 exercises to work on for each workout cycle. After you complete that cycle, choose another set (possibly the same set) for the next cycle. If you've mastered a particular exercise, you may want to move on to the next exercise in that series, or you might choose to switch to a different progression series for a few cycles. 

 

My goals are movement per se, theyr are asthetic and strength oriented. Sure, Id like to do a planche bt its gonna take time, so do I do PL pushups or move down the pushup progression like RTO or Archer pushups?

 

See above. You're going to want to spend time on both. Also you'll definitely want to work planche hold progressions as well. 

 

I recently started Archer Pullups and I cant decide if I should stick with them or do FG weighted L pullups. I dont have a specific pullup goal, other than to get stronger and be able to do a muscleup eventually.

 

As I said in my previous post, switching to a harder exercise is almost always preferable to doing weighted variations of easier exercises. Weighted pullups won't help much with achieving a muscle-up. If you are like most people, you probably have trouble with the transition. Two good exercises to strengthen the transition are pull-ups where you bring the rings/bar all the way to your chest, and slow muscle-up negatives. Using a false-grip helps tremendously in the transition, too. 

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