Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
Patrick Patterson

Stagnation in Planche Progression

Recommended Posts

Patrick Patterson

Hello all, first post from a long-time reader.

I've been training steadly using Coach's program for about a year now focusing on front lever, handstand, planche, and L-sit with fundamental strength exercises. I'm 37, 6 feet 170 lbs, have been relatively in shape my whole life but never focused on a program like this before. My current long term goals are to hold a planche, front lever, L-sit and free-standing handstand.

My problem is: for atleast 2-1/2 steady state cylces I've seen no real improvement in my planche progression, for over half a year I'm stuck at a maximum tuck planche hold of 15 seconds.. The completed 2 cycles were 10 weeks, and I'm 4 weeks into the third one. I'd been doing work for much longer before that, but only in the past 2 1/2 cycles have I been really disciplined and consistent about it and keeping records.

There has been improvement in that I've cleaned up the technique: I noticed that before I started the first cycle that my hips were below shoulder height, that I was "counting fast"... these things have seen improvement, I now have my hips where they need to be, I can feel when I lift them, I've worked out issues of hand placement, straightening arms, learning to engage muscles, being patient with details and not rushing forward... but as I've said I've seen no real gains at all during the past 6 months or so, despite consistent and significant gains in my fron lever, L-sit, handstand, and basic strength exercies, even in my wrist push-ups... basically every single exercise and skill from the beginning has been moving forward, even if slowly. However at the end of the 2nd steady state cycle it was just as hard for me to hold my reps of the tuck planche as it was 15 weeks prior, ie. there was no "underloading" (although I've had it for my other exercises) in any of these cycles. I remember Ido saying in a post somewhere that you should never really be stagnating in your progressions, you should always be somehow seeing gains if the work is consistent and quality, if you are not there is a problem (or something to that effect). This makes me think something is wrong.

In the same time my pseudo planche-pushups for instance have seen significant and steady gains. I've tried taking time off from the planche but that has no effect it seems. I've been able to fine tune other things in my work out such as recovery time, learning when I'm overtraining (I agree with some people that at this age it seems we have to be disciplined and sensitive to our bodies to let them recover correctly), dealing with forearm pain in the planche, etc... But here I'm stuck... and psychologically this is tough as planche somehow forms the foundation of my aim in all this work, the main thing I'm aiming for and that I use to guage my efforts.

Is there a supplimental exercise I should be focusing on? Am I too old to realistically get this, and/or is it just at the limits of what my body can do (now)? Or is this normal for the planche progression (which I know is years of work and I have no issue with patience)?

Any thoughts or ideas from anyone? Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Richard Duelley

Have you done any back lever work? Coach Sommer stresses that a BL is required for a successful run at accomplishing a planche. I believe the most common problem with progressing from an adv tuck to a straddle, half lay, or full planche is a weakness of the lower back not a weakness in the shoulder girdle.

It sounds like you have Coach's book 'Building the Gymnastic Body" (if you dont then get it! :mrgreen: ) I would recommend reading the back lever section and start working it.

Good luck! 8)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Patrick Patterson

Thanks niftyvt.

I do have the book and have been following it and re-reading it for almost a year, as well as following the forum. As Ido has also said, I go back and re-read the planche section (as well as the whole book) alot and find tiny details every time and new perspectives.

And today, ironically, I just noticed that banner at the end of the back lever section about it having strong carry-over for planche. I had never done back lever as I wanted to keep my workouts as simple and focused as possible. But today I've started that progression (even though I'm in the middle of a cycle). I have a max BL tuck of 20 solid seconds, but as I'm just starting the progression I'm going to do 6 X 10 sec for now in my cycle (even though I know if you can do a hold for 15 secs you may progress to the next one, but since I'm starting, I'll build up this base for now).

But, do you think this will really have a carry-over into my current tuck planche? I understand for the advanced and higher progressions lower back is needed, but right now I don't feel much of anything going on in my lower back, as I said I'm just in the tuck right now, not even the advanced tuck... mostly I tire from my forearms and a little bit from my shoulders when doing the tuck planche. I also suffer from this often-mentioned problem a lot of people seem to have with a pain in my forearem (pinky finger side half-way up my arm... ulnar nerve?). I've followed all advice for that: wrist series (working that solidly for 7 months and have seen really great progression in that), resting and taking breaks from planche work, massaging, etc... and overall it's much better and not as debilitating as it was 10 months ago, but still I feel the brunt of the work on my fingers and forearms while holding the tuck planche, that's what tires me and brings me down mostly it seems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nbraun198

I'm not sure if the same thing happened to me, but for some reason I feel as though it did. Well, what I did was pseudo planche pushups, but i elevated my feet and found out exactly where my center of mass was and where my hands should be. I then would lean forward as far as possible without falling and do the pushups slow and controlled, keeping the correct hand placement.

You an try this out, not sure if it will work for you though. Also, you can try out tuck planche pushups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Richard Duelley

I think the BL will carry over. Its a great shoulder girdle conditioning movement so it should help and good job programming it in, taking it slow was a good decision. About the hand problem, have you tired different hand positions? If not just take a day and experiment with various hand positions. Remember that fingers pointing backwards greatly increases the difficulty of planche work! 8) Personally I do planche work with my hands turned out 45 degrees so my thumbs point straight ahead or I do them on a set of low P-bars if my wrists are fatigued.

When you start to flatten your back out for the adv tuck planche (which you might want to start trying) you will defiantly start to feel it in your back.

My forearms still get sore but personally I have never had an acute 'pain,' just the expected discomfort from doing straight arm work. :wink: Have you tried doing your planche work on a set of paralletes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joshua Naterman

Sounds like you need to get your shoulders and forearms bigger and stronger. The back levers WILL help with that, to an extent. You can absolutely speed up the process by adding in new exercises. Working with dumbbells for your shoulders doing some middle repetition presses and some power front and lateral raises will help.

As for the wrists, fingers, hands, and forearms, you need to have a complete training program for them to be strengthened. For me, most of my strength came from doing all of my pullups and every other pull, from front lever pullups to deadlifts to bent over barbell rows to dumbbell rows, etc., with just my fingers. That forces you to use your fingers, and therefore the muscles in your hand and forearm as well, to support your weight, and that makes your fingers, hands, and forearms stronger. It's why I have big sexy forearms. I don't do much forearm specific work and never have, but I have bigger forearms than almost everyone, and stronger wrists too, because I have done everything with just my fingers. When you use your palm, even just that part with the callouses, you are letting the friction of the skin do the work, and that keeps you from building muscle and strength. One other thing that I have been advocating recently is the use of thick handles. holding very thick handles, 2 inches and up, that can freely rotate is very tough on the hands. You develop a lot of finger, hand, and forearm strength with that, and that is going to help you immensely with your planches.

SOmetimes you just need the extra size. We're not even talking about two pounds here, so let's not pretend like it's going to weigh you down. Hold a one pound piece of beef next to your shoulder. That's just ridiculous huge, and that's only one pound. So when I say you might need to get bigger, keep in mind that it's not hardly any weight, but that the increases in size will absolutely help you in your quest for the planche. I challenge you to find someone who can planche who doesn't have impressive shoulders and forearms. They won't look like bodybuilder huge, but they'll be somewhat big. That size helps with strength.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blairbob

Do you eat enough?

Do you sleep enough?

Do you hydrate enough?

How are your stress levels?

What is your bent arm strength like? Dipping and handstand pushups and what not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nbraun198

The BL is something that you really need. It is what is hindering me from progressing through my planche. It will work on your forearms, your back and other problematic areas. Do you train on parallets or the floor? If you train on parallets, I suggest that you wear gloves. I find that the parallets hurt me hands and the gloves (padded weight lifting gloves) really help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blairbob

Many people frequently get sore in the middle of their hands when they are new to parallettes, parallel bars or pommel horse because of how the weight is focused on that part of the hand. Generally, it adapts over time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joshua Naterman

The hands get sore because there's not enough meat on the palms :P As your hands get stronger you won't need the gloves. I have personally never experienced that, myself, but I've been doing things that strengthen my hands for so long before I started this stuff that they are already quite strong and meaty :P

You must bring your meaty revenge to the paralletes! HUZZAH!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nbraun198

I have been using them for a pretty long time actually. It is most likely because my hands a VERY bony, so not much padding. It doesn't really hurt, it just feels more comfortable with a pair of gloves on. I like wearing gloves whenever i train, it just feels more comfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blairbob

I'm not sure I would do any of the inversion hang stuff with gloves. No thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Patrick Patterson

Thanks all, this place rocks!

nbraun198: I've been doing something similar, but without elevating my feet... how exactly did you find where your center of gravity is? In my pseudo planche push ups I've been slowly and steadly working the hands closer to my hips for months and have had really good progess in that, also in keeping it slow and controled, finding the right position of back and shoulders, etc... I do the PPPups using both push-up bars and hands flat on the floor. I do seem to feel that BL will be good and we'll see what effect that has in this cycle.

niftyvt: I had done a lot of work on finding good hand position and also found that 45 degrees out was the best, that minimized the forearm pain as much as I could. I occasionally try the tuck planche on push-up bars but never really have any success, it seems to set me way back in my progression (can't get my hips up to shoulder height, can't lean forward as much), so I always decided to just stick with hands on the floor and be patient from there... do you think it's worth taking that step back and now starting again but with the push-up bars?

slizzardman: I'm going to incorportate your fingers-only style into my bar work as much as I can now. I've been doing grip work steadily for almost a year, went from not being able to close a Capitains of Crush Trainer to doing sets of 10 on each hand, and now able to close the #1 on the right and 1/8 of an inch from closing on the left. Also the wrist series has helped me, 6 months ago I could do a few pathetic wrist push-ups ON THE WALL only, now I can do 6 "full" (from feet, not knees) reps on the floor, the remaining 4 (out of sets of 10) from the knees. But perhaps this hanging regime you've got could help as well and will work different sets of muscles.

Blairbob: For sleeping and eating, I'm doing pretty good, over the years (and especially this past year) I've been very fine-tuned into those things about myself, although compared to how some people eat here maybe I'm not getting enough protien... I'll eat 3 eggs with some meat for b-fast, but not 7-12 as some people have advocated. I do eat lots of almonds, red meat, etc... no junk food, fresh vegetables, fish oil... but I think I may need to up my protien more. Stress levels... well, going through a divorce for the past 7 months has effected that (!) but the exercise has kept me feeling good, and compared to all of my other exercises the planche seems to have hit a wall long ago, would it only effect my planche? Bent arm strength: I can do 3 X 5reps of solid, slow, controlled dips on a dip station, and still able to do more (another question I'll post sepreately about this). Handstand push-ups, however, after the planche, are my other bad spot, I can do 3 x 5 box (the first progression in the book), and even moved on to doing them on push-up bars, but lots of work on the negatives has yeilded no progress, I just can't really do the negatives and stalled on those as well (which is why I went back and did the box push-ups on p-bars)... could this be connected? Should I just continue negatives without seeing progress in them?

Also, my work-out is as follows (maybe there is some advice I can get here):

-Wrist series

-Tuck Planche: 8 x 8 sec, 60-90 sec rest between holds

-L-sit: 6 x 10 sec, 45 - 60 sec rest between holds

-FL half-straddle (flat back, legs apart but bent knees 90 degrees): 8 x 8 sec, 60-90 sec rest between holds

-BL tuck: 6 x 10 sec, 60-90 sec rest between holds

-Pseudo planche push-ups or dips or box HePu's: 3 x 5 reps

-L-sit pull-ups or FL tuck pull-ups: 3 x 5 reps

-HLL or ab-wheel roll-outs: 3 x 5 reps

-Handstand work (wall hand-stand, 45 sec on, 1 min rest until 12 min total time incl rest or handstand runs)

-Grip work

Paying attention to how I feel, recovery and pain issues, and energy, I work out 3-4 days per week, usually closer to 4.

Thanks again all...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nbraun198

I am sure there are other ways to find your CoM, but I have a set of parallets and i was bored one day so i did superman type exercise on them and just moved either up or down until i was able to just float there with the single parallet supporting me. It turned out that my center of mass was pretty much in line with my belly button.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blairbob

To sum it up, more bent arm strength. More of the pseudo planche pushup stuff, either on or off rings; HSPU, and dipping.

I'm 5'1 165ish. I guess I'm now getting close to opening up the back to flat back/advanced tuck planche. I have some longer arms for my short frame but I bare a lot of weight in my lower body/butt. Probably between 15-20% not sure, safe bet to say is 13-17. It is a lot of weight for a short frame. Right now I'm struggling with most of the advanced dipping, and trying to get back into graduated HSPU on parallettes (going to ear) and pseudo-planche pushups on rings. I've done some weighted dipping but it ain't great. Back lever is pretty good, front lever isn't (advanced tuck but I can do front lever pull/yewki/etc). I can MU but not as clean as I prefer. Might just depend on day.

In short, more bent arm strength in concert with working the position.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Patrick Patterson

I will consciously push myself more on the bent-arm strength this cycle then, doing sinlge bar dips, pseudo planche push-ups and negative HePUs as my pressing exercises, aiming for 3 sets of 3-5 reps.

I was wondering, however, in a situation like this with the planche... would it ever be advisable to go backwards a bit, that is, right now (and for 2.5 cycles) I've been doing 8 sets of 8 second, so would there be anything gained by going down to say 10 sets of 6 seconds or something like that? I mean, maybe to have a bit of "underloading" after 7 months straight of just the over and "regular" loads (hope that makes sense)? I think psychologically it's bringing me down to be doing the same 8 X 8 for 7 months and getting nowhere as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joshua Naterman

You haven't been getting nowhere, you said so yourself. As your posture has improved in the hold, you are exerting significantly more force with the muscles you use. You've been getting stronger the whole time, which is why you have not achieved underload yet. When you've had perfect posture for 3 months straight, and you STILL can't do the next variation, some frustration would be appropriate. You just need to pay attention to the parts of training you have NEGLECTED, which have been mentioned here. Namely the bent-arm work and the back levers. That'll keep you from feeling like you are stagnating.

In a very real way, full planche is as hard or harder on your elbows than the Iron Cross, at least if your fingers are backwards, so be aware that slow progress is what you want. Move too fast and you will get injured. Even kids and adolescents take a good bit of time to develop the planche, and their bodies adapt faster than yours or mine will. You are also a skinny guy, and unless your arms and shoulders are disproportionally large compared to the rest of you, you need to get a little bigger, which I've already said. I'm not saying that your arms should be huge compared to the rest of you, but I'm fairly sure that you do not have the muscle you need. The bent arm stuff will help, as will some weight training. Whether you use all the tools available to you or not will determine the speed and degree of your success. Good luck with your training.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coach Sommer
In a very real way, full planche is as hard or harder on your elbows than the Iron Cross, at least if your fingers are backwards.

The problem here is people attempting to train this grip in their planche work prior to their having correctly mastered XR Supports, XR L-sits and XR HS. For long term progress without injury, it is necessary that everything be developed in its proper place at the proper time.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
xi xia

Picture coming soon...I think I know a scrawny thin capeorista that can bust out a straddle planche :D

I challenge you to find someone who can planche who doesn't have impressive shoulders and forearms. They won't look like bodybuilder huge, but they'll be somewhat big. That size helps with strength.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joshua Naterman

Full planche is what I am referring to.

Can't wait to see the photo though! I'm still betting his shoulders look nice and strong. If he can't hold it for a good 10 seconds, don't worry. I'm talking about real control, not momentary effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blairbob

Braindx is very slender and lightly built but can do straddle planche. He's probably one of the lighest built that you'll see being able to straddle planche.

One of the guys at our adult class, even at a mere 145 pounds and 5 and a half feet was fairly built in his upper body. I think he said before gymnastics he was under 120. Point being is he could do straddle planche and straddle planche pushups.

Some male gymnasts I know who used to be able to do planche ( can only do straddle planche now and are deconditoned so they aren't as physically impressive ) are fairly proportionate but they are also smaller guys who would have been at the small end at their competition days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Joshua Naterman
Braindx is very slender and lightly built but can do straddle planche. He's probably one of the lighest built that you'll see being able to straddle planche.

One of the guys at our adult class, even at a mere 145 pounds and 5 and a half feet was fairly built in his upper body. I think he said before gymnastics he was under 120. Point being is he could do straddle planche and straddle planche pushups.

Some male gymnasts I know who used to be able to do planche ( can only do straddle planche now and are deconditoned so they aren't as physically impressive ) are fairly proportionate but they are also smaller guys who would have been at the small end at their competition days.

All true. And look at their shoulders. Clear striations, and a reasonable amount of muscle compared to the size of other muscles on the body, yes? Not way out of proportion, but on the more developed side. Is that a fair thing for me to say?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gymmie

I'll like to ask if ur able to do a straddle planche, whr would you be in ur progression in rings? As in adv tucked planche or tuck on rings if ur able to planche on floor. I'm thinking focusing on rings for my planche progression, would tat be wise to do so?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blairbob

Based on that young guy in the adult class since him and his friend attempt a planche with bent arms, you have to start at square 1 on rings.

basically L press to tuck planche, adv tuck, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gymmie

yea just tested out my normal straddle planche and now on rings I'm back to tuck planche. Btw will simulating planche position hold for instance holding the planche on rings with legs on chair, helps in the progression or simply a waste of time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

Please review our Privacy Policy at Privacy Policy before using the forums.