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Patrick Patterson

Planche Stagnation Redux...

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Patrick Patterson

Hello All-

I am still experiencing no development in my planche progression at all, being at the same level for a year: tuck planche max time of 15 sec. All of my other static exercises however progresses strongly and steadily. I posted about this almost 7 months ago here:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2693

Since then I've worked steadily, but still am at the same exact place with my planche. Since that post 7 months ago, I've added Back Lever to my work out and am close to getting a full straddle. I also dropped back from 8sec x8 to 6x10 for one cycle on my planche, and then went back to 8x8 for the next one. However, there is no change. At the end of each cycle I feel like I'm working just as hard as at the start (but with all other static exercises I can feel that progression from over to under loading).

As mentioned on my earlier thread (and others I've read) it seems that what it usually recomended is to "focus more on bent arm strength". I'm not really sure what that specifically means... since I've been following the basic program as outlined in coach's book, does that mean I should do MORE than one pressing and one pulling FBE per workout? Do MORE than 3x5 or 5x5 per workout?

I'm 38, 6 feet tall, and 171 pounds. I work out 3 times a week (2 days off after each work out... this is the magic formula for me otherwise I develop forearm pains and generally can feel this is what my body as a whole needs to recover, I'm an old dude after all).

Here is my workout from my last cycle which I just ended this week (about 12 weeks):

-Wrist series

-Core excersise: HLL V to L -or- body lever -or- L-sit Lift 5 reps x 3 (3 min rest inbetween)

-Planche: Tuck 8sec x 8 reps (90 sec rest inbetween)

-Back Lever: Straddle (legs half-way straight) 8 sec x 8reps (90 sec rest inbetween)

-Front Lever: Straddle (full) 6sec x 10 reps (90 sec rest inbetween)

-L-sit: Advanced: 8sec x 8 reps (90 sec rest inbetween)

-5 min rest

-Pseudo Planch Push-ups -or- HeS Push-up Negatives -or- Single bar dip with undergrip: 5reps x 3 sets (4-5min rest inbetween)

-L-sit Pull up -or- Front Lever Row (half-straddle): 5reps x 3 sets (4-5min rest inbetween)

-Wall Handstand (back to wall) 35 sec x 8-12 reps (1:15 rest inbetween)

Test results from the start of the cycle:

Planche: tuck 16 sec

Back Lever: Adv Tuck :16 Sec

Front Lever: Straddle (half, legs straight but feet 45 degrees above hips): 11 sec

L-sit: 20 sec

Test results from end of cycle:

Planche: tuck 15 sec

Back Lever: Straddle (half) 18 sec

Front Lever: Full straddle (correct form): 15 sec (also front lever half-lay at 4 sec)

L-sit: Adv 22 sec

These before and after numbers have been typical of my development since starting BtGB work about 1 1/2 years ago. As you can see from the above, all of my static skills are progressing smoothly and nicely (but planche). A year ago I couldn't even get into a back lever tuck position for 1 second, my front lever was a tuck max hold of about 9 seconds, and my L-sit was about 10 secs (with very poor form), but my planche was a tuck with max hold of 15 secs (with the same good form I've got now, it's been the same for a year). My bent arm pulling and pressing FBE exercises have also developed nicely over the past year: from 3reps x 3sets of pull-ups to 5reps x 3sets of L-sit pull ups (solid form), 3x3 of normal dips to 5 x 3 of straight bar undergrip dips, PPPush-ups have developed (hands moving about an inch closer to my hips every month and half or so, keeping it at at 3x5).

So... I'm happy about most thing in my workout except for Planche (and similar stalled development with Head stand Push-up). But what can I do about the planche... just keep on like I'm doing? If someone does recomend focusing more on bent arm strength, then what specifically should I change in my workout (more of what exercise)? Should I do easier FBE's with 5 x 5 instead of the harder ones I'm doing now at 3 x5? Ido mentioned in my old thread of increasing volume of the planche from 60 sec total work to 120sec... anyone tried this (I haven't)? Should I change my workout format to "intergrated" from what I've done now (maybe if not for all exercises but perhaps just for planche, so I'd do a superset of a planche static hold and a FBE exercise instead of all stativ holds first and FBE later)?

Sorry for the long post, but wanted to give as much detailed information at the start.

Thanks...

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Gregor

Planche:

1.rise volume of exercises for it

2.Planche leans, have you ever tried it?

3.Be more diverse, do occasionaly stradle planche or at least few tries at the end of training or planche training

4. I still don't know why people do so much pseudo planche push ups, if your first goal is planche and then planche push ups..And you wont get to the planche position from a bent to staight arm position (push up), it's way more effective to do planche leans (preferebly on a swiss ball)

5. you can also do a accsesory exercise with a dumbell...

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Razz

Definately go for the increase in volume!

other solutions:

have you tried to take one week off to recover?

look over nutrition and seriously do something about it

increase intensity, i.e. longer holds or try to push out into adv tuck.

An anecdote I have here is my progress in squats, from session to session I would NEVER feel an increase in strength at the same weight, however when I started adding 5kg every session my body just followed along. If i had stayed in a steady state scheme I wouldn't have gotten as strong, so maybe you need to constantly push for more more more.

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Patrick Patterson

Hvala Gregor!

About your response:

1.So this would be similar to what Ido suggested before, instead of 60sec work time go to 120 sec (or less/more)? So it would be like 8sec x 16 or 6sec x 10 (instead of 8x8 like I've been doing for about a year)?

2.I've never seriously worked with planche leans. How would I do that? Instead of pseudo planche pushups in my FBE section, I'd replace it with planche leans? If so, with what kind of programming (times, sets, rest, etc...)? I mean it's basically a static position, right? So could it be an additional static position in my workout?

3.I have tried to be a little more diverse, but I litreally can't do anything more than a tuck planche, straightening the back into the advnaced tuck makes me fail in a second or less, straddle... seems an impossiibility. With all the other statics I'm practicing (BL, FL, L-sit) I can be diverse and experiment, I can push into the next progression now and then and fool around, but with the planche it's like this wall, it just stops at tuck and that's it.

4. So to do the leans I'd rest my feet on a swiss ball and then lean out as far as I can?

Hvala again.

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Patrick Patterson

Thanks Razz.

I have done both of what you've suggested (taking time off, and trying to push more intensity). And I've done them several times off and on for about a year.I've gone through periods when due to illness or work or whatever I'd take time off, and always my planche immediately drops down (but my other exercises are relatively uneffected). For the cycle before this... I went back to 6 sec x 10 (down from 8x8) to see if maybe I was pushing myself too much or something, I mean the only thing I COULD do was make it less intense. Again, at the end of the cyle my max was still 15 sec, no change. I went back up to 8 x 8 this last cylce, again it's the same. It's just not possible for me to up the intensity any more, I can't do an advanced tuck for more than 1 second, and really doing 8 sec holds burns me out very very quickly. If I were to increase my sets, I'd have to do sets of like 4 or 6 secs. Right now, the last few reps are really hard, and the exercise has the same feeling of difficulty consistently. With everything else (BL,FL,L-sit) it isn't like that at all... I can ALWAYS feel myself moving from overload to underload each cycle, and I can occasionally try harder progressions/mix things up, etc... It's just the planche where there is this wall. It makes me want to kind of forget about it for a while and give up and do something else, a year is a long time to be patient without feeling like I'm spinning my wheels. Also, about nutrition, as all of my other exercises are progressing fine... could the nutrition effect my planche only? You know what I mean? I mean if EVERYTHING was staying the same for one year then I'd feel like there was a major problem somewhere about sleep/nutrition/recovery/programming but it's only for planche... so, I don't know.

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Gregor

1. hmmm I would father go for 15-30s at time. every second training and every other training would be harder progresion with less hold (2-5s). So basicly 50% 15-30s easier hold (at the end it must be realy hard) and 50% harder advanced hold for 2-5s (at the end it must be realy hard).

2. Yes, instead of leans, and yes it's static movement (you must always have a 2s hold at final position and then go back). 3x3 or 3x5. Always go as far as you can go, so you can end a set.

3. Do some: from frog stand to advanced stands (no need to have a hold there) and go to frong stand, and repeat several times. You can also do from L-seat or stradle seat to stradle planche (and fell on a feet). I find that people don't play enough, sometimes you must try something harder even though it is almost imposible. Occasionaly you must have fun in training. Even I have some trainings when I'm trying stuff wich is still far far away and have a great time even though I'm not close to it.

4. Yes.

PS: do you in Turkey also use a word HVALA (for others who don't know the word: thank you) :D

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Patrick Patterson

Hvala again!

1. I'm a little confused about what I'll do here from your description, sorry. Are you advising I try something like this: Day 1: Tuck planche 15sec x4 sets, Day 2: Advanced tuck planche 2sec x10 set (or as many sets as I can do)? And I alternate back and forth between those days each work out? Did I understand correctly? Or is it something else?

2. When you say "instead of leans" you mean instead of Pseudo planche push-ups? So the goal would be to lean out as far as I can and hold for 2 sec and that counts as one rep (and so 3 of those in a row would be one set)? And I'd rest 3-5 min between sets and do 5 sets? Should I just drop the PPPush-ups from my workout and replace it with the leans (still alternating it with my other pressing FBEs: single bar dips and HePu negatives)?

3. These I'd do at the end of my work out, and sometimes on off days while playing around, right? I do do these kind of things for my other exercies, but I've never really done it for the planche. I'll try the specific ones you mention. Whenever I'm in a swimming pool or at the beach, I always go to a shallow section of water and try to "float" in a planche position with my hands on the ground... even that's hard!

We use a different word in Turkey (sagol), but I learned hvala when I visited Croatia a while back and I understand it's used in Slovenia as well.

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Gregor
Hvala again!

1. I'm a little confused about what I'll do here from your description, sorry. Are you advising I try something like this: Day 1: Tuck planche 15sec x4 sets, Day 2: Advanced tuck planche 2sec x10 set (or as many sets as I can do)? And I alternate back and forth between those days each work out? Did I understand correctly? Or is it something else?

2. When you say "instead of leans" you mean instead of Pseudo planche push-ups? So the goal would be to lean out as far as I can and hold for 2 sec and that counts as one rep (and so 3 of those in a row would be one set)? And I'd rest 3-5 min between sets and do 5 sets? Should I just drop the PPPush-ups from my workout and replace it with the leans (still alternating it with my other pressing FBEs: single bar dips and HePu negatives)?

3. These I'd do at the end of my work out, and sometimes on off days while playing around, right? I do do these kind of things for my other exercies, but I've never really done it for the planche. I'll try the specific ones you mention. Whenever I'm in a swimming pool or at the beach, I lways go to a shallow section of water and try to "float" in a planche position with my hands on the ground... even that's hard!

We use a different word in Turkey (sagol), but I learned hvala when I visited Croatia a while back and I understand it's used in Slovenia as well.

1. Yes. But not 10x 2s. If you can do 10x 2s, then it's better to do 5x3s or 4s,...

2. Yes, sorry inseted of planche push ups. Yes. Probably you won't need more then 2-3 minutes. I think there is no need for planche push ups with (legs on flor of course). You can do it if you want though.

3. At the end of workouts or have a 2play workout training", or even put them at the end of planche training at the end of a week, when you have next day or two off.

When you are some time in water then your muscles are not strong and don't have any muscle tonus. For feeling the planche is the best way to get some spotted planches.

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Joshua Naterman

You can also try slowly extending from tuck to adv tuck. Centimeter by centimeter if you have to!

I think you'll do well by doing that for your harder workouts and doing something much easier, like advanced frog with perfectly straight arms, for higher length sets like 20-30s on other workouts. You may have weak points that you just can't work at the tuck level, you may have to step backwards. Like Gregor says, I wouldn't abandon your tuck work because you'll lose the strength. Instead, do one week of tuck work and one week of Adv frog work, or even every other workout or every two workouts switch from one to the other.

You may also find that working at closer to your max time will benefit you if done once every 3rd or 4th workout. Like your max is 15s, so you go to 12 for 4 sets or something like that. It's worked well with me for FL work in the past., but I don't know if it helps with planche because my elbows aren't healed yet so I don't try stuff like that right now.

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Patrick Patterson

Thanks slizzardman and Gregor.

So for this cycle I'm going to try what both of you and Razz have suggested. I like the idea of having easy and hard workouts (basically not doing the same %%&^ 8x8 tuck planche every day again). What slizzardman says make sense, since my max already is 15sec, I should be doing sets a little less than that, and what Gregor says makes sense too: to do sets of 4 or 5 secs not 2 secs. So I'll do this: Day 1: 12 sec (tuck or adv frog alternating each workout) x 4 sets, Day 2: 4sec (adv tuck as much as I can and regular tuck when I'm burnt out) x 5 sets, and maybe sometimes as a third day back to my regular work out: Tuck 8sec x 8 sets. I'll check in to let you all know how it goes.

About the FBEs, I'm replacing PPPush-ups with the planche leans... and perhaps I'll try doing tuck planche push-ups (with p-bars) as well. I did the leans this morning and, man, they felt great... it's great to do another excersie and I can feel different parts of my shoulders working than when I did the PPP and the tuck planche. About my FBEs... as I've always followed a format of 3x3 or 3x5... I noticed in coach's book he says that some people will stagnate if forced to follow that routine and those people need atleast 5x5 to progress (and there's no way to know that without trial and error)... could I be one of those people? Should I change up my FBE section of my workout to do 5x5? Would that also help to increase the volume I need (as Razz suggests)?

As always... this place rocks, thanks.

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Joshua Naterman

Most people will need to alternate between high intensity low volume and lower or moderate intensity with higher volume. You probably will benefit from some work in the 6-12 rep range.

Also, with advanced frog, you're going to need much more than 12 seconds to get anything from it. With what you're doing, a 60s advanced frog should be easy. So 20-30s sets is going to work better for you on adv frog days.

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StevenL

Do you have any excess fat on you? Is your upper body relatively thin compared to your legs?

If you do have some excess fat, you should probably focus on dropping it. If your legs are very thick compared to your upper body, that may also be a problem, although I'm not sure what you can do to fix it.

Hope this helps.

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braindx

May not be a bad idea to start working straight arm press handstand work... although you need to start doing stomach to the wall handstands so you can progress to freestanding handstand.....

From my experience people who start doing that will break through most of their planche stagnation. There's just something about straight arm presses that makes all pressing much better.

Like others have said you may just need a volume increase.

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Razz

The routine you suggest seems to be good. My only concern is that you don't seem to have increased volume significantly, so that should be your next step if this approach doesn't work. Sometimes I have even felt an immediate effect from volume increase from one workout to the other.

And about your nutrition, yes it could be the reason. You can progress in the other exercises because they biomechanically are easier (uses bigger muscles) and not progress in the planche. The nutrition would ofcourse also be affecting your other exercises so that with better nutrition you would maybe see an increase in planche capability aswell as even better progress in the other exercises. Hope it makes sense.

Do you have any excess fat on you? Is your upper body relatively thin compared to your legs?

If you do have some excess fat, you should probably focus on dropping it. If your legs are very thick compared to your upper body, that may also be a problem, although I'm not sure what you can do to fix it.

Hope this helps.

This is not the main problem imo, unless he is huge and seriously obese.

I find that people don't play enough, sometimes you must try something harder even though it is almost imposible. Occasionaly you must have fun in training. Even I have some trainings when I'm trying stuff wich is still far far away and have a great time even though I'm not close to it.

I agree!! Keeps you motivated and teaches you what you need for the next step.

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Joshua Naterman

This may require a new thread, in fact I'm sure it will unless there already is one, but how do you progress with straight arm handstand presses? I know it'll be in the Handstand Chronicles, but in the meantime I'll settle for what we can put together here! ^_^

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Razz

This article basically covers press HS better than anything I've seen

http://www.drillsandskills.com/article/16

You can also press with your feet elevated on a surface and progressively lower the height of that surface. Good flexibility is a must and the seated compressions shown are really key imo. Bad compression makes the forward lean huge and the press bad and ugly.

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StevenL

I don't know, I think just being 5-10 lbs. overweight would probably have a pretty strong effect on your ability to planche, especially if it is around the hips/lower body area.

Another thing that Gregor mentioned and braindx mentioned as well is that it seems that the planche progressions themselves may not be enough to progress optimally with the planche, perhaps messing around with similar moves or at least moves that use similar muscles as the main movers(negative Bowers, handstand presses and other such things) would have a profound effect on your progress.

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Razz
I don't know, I think just being 5-10 lbs. overweight would probably have a pretty strong effect on your ability to planche, especially if it is around the hips/lower body area.

It will require more absolute strength but shouldn't be something that makes progress impossible.

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Joshua Naterman

Xl-b8IAliW8

Big people can planche too. :P Of course, the bodybuilder holding the planche is even more awesome.

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StevenL

Haha, yes, I understand that big people can planche. But fat people? Not very likely.

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Patrick Patterson

Much thanks to everyone that's posted. 8)

I'll try to reply to things in order to the posts from above.

I'm still a little confused about what my workouts should look like. Yesterday I did this for my planche work: Normal Tuck: 12sec x2, 10sec x3, Adv Tuck 3sec x 2 (I was trying to do 12sec x 5 of Normal Tuck at the start). I feel completely blasted from it and it was good, but I think I may have the wrong idea. As you said correctly slizzardman, doing advance frog for 60sec is really easy, and doing tuck for 15sec is my max, so I've got to find some way to have high intensity/low volume days and then low intensity/high volume days... which I guess will have me basically not doing Tuck Plache that much, but alternating 20-30sec sets of AdvFrog (how many reps I'm not sure) and 3sec Adv Tuck (again, I'm not sure how many reps here... 4-5? More? Less?). Would I then put in the occasional days of 8x8 of normal tuck and/or what I did yesterday (normal tuck at higher times per rep)? Also, when I did these 12/10 sec reps, I felt like I had to rest alot more than the usual 90 secs between sets, more like 2 min... is that recommended when doing work like this? It seems I need to increase both volume and intensity (but not both in the same workout) but I'm not sure of the specifics of that... since it seems I'll be doing more or less than 60 secs of total work (more for lower intensity days, less for higher intensity days). So basically: how many reps should I do in those different workouts (low intensity/high volume and high intensity/low volume) and with what kind of resting inbetween? And how should I alternate between these (alternate each workout, or one week one the other week another)? And should I have some days of my "normal" workout?

At 6 feet and 170lbs I'm overall really thin, a little fat on my gut, but my legs are long and skinny, not big or anything. However looking at nutrition is something I can do. I'd have to keep some records for a while and make a seperate post about that and see what people think. Good thing to think about, though.

About press to handstand... you know about two months ago I started to play around with that since it did seem like a somewhat related movement... but as I have no idea really where to start with that, what the progressions are (as was mentioned it should be in the Handstand Chronicles) I'm still a little at a loss for how to program it (other than fooling around). I just kinda get in an L-sit now, and then tuck my legs and try to get vertical while tucked, but I'm only able to get at 45 degrees up (and with bent arms)... I have no idea if this what I should be doing or not. That drills and skills page is great... perhaps I'll experiment with some of those moves at the end of some of my workouts for now. But I can see my skill level is such that I'll be doing the lower level progressions which seem to mostly focus on lower back lifting of the legs and not much to do with the same things involved in the planche (or am I wrong?) I'll check out the other things mentioned (negative bowers, etc...). Any other recomendations? I'm doing planche leans now instead of PPPushups in my FBE's.

That Entcho dude is insane. Even his bald head is buff and ripped. I hope the Handstand Chronicles will have progressions for his brick-on-a-stick-tricks.

Thanks again, dudes!

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Razz

What you did sounded good, just a sample of your planche workout could be like this:

day 1:

5x12s tuck planche

3-5x10 cast wall walks

day 2:

5x 3-5s adv tuck planche

3-5x3-5 planche leans each with 2s hold and then push back

playing with extensions into straddle planche

This is just an example, may not be the best. but it's something you can try. You could put in a day of doing like 4-6x30s adv frog stand holds..

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Patrick Patterson

Thanks Razz.

So for each day you've got the planche work with another exercise... would I put that other exercise in my FBE section of the workout (after I've done all my other static exercises)? Also, whata kind of resting should I have with these sets, still 45-90 secs? Hmmm cast wall walks... why had I never thought of that before? Just looked at the video now. So at the lowest part of that movement, the hands should be under the shoulders (not close to hips like in planche work), correct? I'll give those a try.

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Joshua Naterman

You can increase both intensity and volume. You will just have to take extra rest if you do. You just can't raise both if you intend to keep the same number of workouts per week for those muscles. What razz says is good, just keep in mind that you don't need to do each one every week. Just figure out how much of each you can do without needing extra rest. In the meantime, I don't know what your handstand work is like but Coach has often commented on how much handstand work helps everything.

Edit: You may need to just do sets if 60s if perfect advanced tuck is really easy at 60s. For your tuck work, you can take longer rests than that. In fact you may have to in order to keep doing 12s. Then you can slowly compress the rest times if you want.

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Razz

oh and rest breaks are 3-5 minutes for the intense stuff at least

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