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Christopher Schwab

Losing sanity over handstands

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pdb_atfn
Pdb, who are you that you've known me for years?

An old-timer from TT :D

Challenging what was probably a casual mistake or wrongly-phrased statement by Yuri has had the extraordinary effect of bringing out this huge amount of "opposition" towards me. Not disagreement, I hasten to add - because none of you have disagreed with what I originally said, and nor are the things you're hurriedly typing now anything I disagree with. But, opposition. I have no idea what questions are meant for me or are now just random thoughts, but I'll address what I think I'm supposed to, no doubt fanning the flames further no matter how emphatically I agree with you all.

I think, at this point, that you should go ahead and post some videos of yourself performing.

Why is that? I'd rather my posts were judged for their content. For that, though, you would have to read them - which I understand is not popular around here.

You either:

A) clearly think that you have better results than Mikael and Yuri,

I grew out of the "might makes right" thing about 20 years ago, so it's not option A. Leaving only...

B) Your mouth is firmly attached to your rectum.

Now we know!

It takes substantial time to develop strength and technique in all sports. That's a known truth. People use steroids to try and get around the strength part, and that's why the supplement industry is thriving: People want shortcuts to strength and steroids are illegal. Every bottle sold aims to replace steroids. Short cuts to perfect technique? There aren't any.

Yes.

The amount of time you spend training a specific technique, [and the manner in which you train it], along with your recovery methods (as these allow actual tissue adaptation to be maximized), is what will determine how much progress you make.

Yes.

Practice 3 sets of 15s handstands forever and you'll never be doing a handbalancing act.

Careful, that sounds dangerously like something I said earlier!

As you get better, more time is required, and so on. That makes time, given any particular technique, the primary factor. Yuri never suggested bad technique would lead to good results. If you actually know him, or even know of him, you'd know that.

I don't need to know him to know that he didn't suggest that. Merely reading his post tells me that he didn't say it.

Similarly, reading my posts should tell you that "I didn't say he said that". (this is getting ridiculous)

In the realm of athletics, performance is what matters as you have said yourself. If you can't show a video log of progress and/or highly advanced skills and/or a sizeable group of highly advanced trainees then you shouldn't be taken seriously.

Interesting attitude, but unfortunately not one I subscribe to. Sorry.

I absolutely agree with Coach.
"Repetition is the mother of skill" is the best piece of advice I was ever given.

It rather depends what you're repeating, though, don't you agree? Bad habits are learned just as easily as good ones...

When I stop improving at something I don't just tell myself "practice makes perfect" and get back to the grind, running on the spot. Instead, I remind myself that "PERFECT practice makes perfect" and immediately cease whatever was making me stale, and return to productive approaches instead.

"If you don't enjoy your practise, then you really need to have a serious think about what you're doing. Practise is what makes you good, it's what refines your skill and enables you to progress. Without it you will never move forward, and if you're not moving forward in life then you're just not living. Enjoying and being engaged with this practise is vital. As you do it more and more you open up all the nuances - the little tweaks you can make to improve your technique, the errors you've been making reveal themselves

Great advice, yes. You should have read the thread, though - that sort of thing is "nonsense", apparently.

I'm pretty sure you all know this, but sometimes I think it's worth reminding ourselves - I know that I have to have words with myself sometimes, and just remind my ego that with more practise will come the results I seek.

Hopefully, yes.

And then sometimes we have to take an even greater injury to our self esteem and admit that what we're doing isn't working - that was always my problem. I preferred to pound away day after day, week after week, year after year - doing the same stuff that stopped working a lonngggg time ago, rather than go to the trouble of rethinking things and getting back on track.

To think that repeated practice is somehow negative...

This is the strangest comment in the thread so far.

makes me wonder if people have ever been in the presence of a laborer. When people have manual labor jobs, you can't just show up M/W/F so you have proper rest and recovery for you muscles - you go every day, and you get stronger for it.

Interesting example. Manual labour does tend to select for those souls best suited to it, rather than turn just anyone into a brick-laying machine.

You shouldn'y be expecting to do some "special" or novel way of training for improving handstands.

A way of training is special and novel if you've not encountered it before. Not having encountered something before doesn't make it a bad way to train. Most people have never read Sommer's books - they would appear both novel and special to the uninitiated.

If you want to become proficent at handstands then DO HANDSTANDS. It is as simple as that, no need to make it more complex.

Then do you think there is much reason for the existence of this forum, the business behind it, the entire training/fitness industry and all coaching programmes worldwide?

If you start doing "novel training", which is doing different random exercises then that is just going to give you random results. If you want to improve your handstands, which which is a skills, you will have to always do handstands if you want to consistently improve in them. Doing something different like batting a baseball, swimming, running, hitting a heavy bag, squatting, are not going to give you consistent results on to your handstands since a handstand is a skill, and you have to observe the law of specificity if you want to improve your skill.

Yes, very perceptive advice...

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froggy

Every single book I've ever read about bodybuilding and weight lifting said things like "there are guys who spend years in the gym, doing the same thing day in, day out, and they never put on a pound of muscle or lift a pound heavier than they lifted years ago. Don't be one of them." Incidentally, I was one of them.

Is it just that time is more important to skill than adaptation?

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Coach Sommer
... Why is that? I'd rather my posts were judged for their content. For that, though, you would have to read them - which I understand is not popular around here ...

For the simple reason that your posts have no credible content until you can demonstrate that you can "walk the walk".

However you are certainly correct about one thing; internet GST "experts" without credible backgrounds or achievements espousing unproven methodologies will indeed tend to get eaten alive here.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Coach Sommer
Every single book I've ever read about bodybuilding and weight lifting said things like "there are guys who spend years in the gym, doing the same thing day in, day out, and they never put on a pound of muscle or lift a pound heavier than they lifted years ago. Don't be one of them." Incidentally, I was one of them ... Is it just that time is more important to skill than adaptation?

Skill acquisition is a completely different training template than basic strength training.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Karl Kallio

I'm a rookie at handstands, so I can't weigh in much there. 3 seconds is cause for celebration with me. But I spend hours everyday coaching synchronized swimming and we have something called a vertical which is similar. (photo attached)

It seems that as well as active flexibility, strength and technique, there is a large component of self-awareness that needs to be developed. Beginners do 2 or 3 repetitions and they get bored because they have almost no idea of what went right or wrong and it seems like every repetition is the same.

More advanced athletes are aware of what was successful and what fell short of the mark. For example: after 12 seconds I forgot to extend my right leg, that caused my hips to pike a bit and at 14 seconds I had to do some emergency maneuvers to get back under control. After 20s my arms started to get fatigued and I couldn't maintain proper position and so I started to fall backwards, it got bad at 27 seconds and everything after that was a wash.

I think that a key point to progressing out past beginner status is humility. If you assume that you have a long way to go and keep trying to catch hold of the next mini-step forward you will probably progress. If you turn a blind eye to your weaknesses and keep searching for that magic gimmick you'll never address your true problems.

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pdb_atfn
I think that a key point to progressing out past beginner status is humility. If you assume that you have a long way to go and keep trying to catch hold of the next mini-step forward you will probably progress. If you turn a blind eye to your weaknesses [and keep searching for that magic gimmick] you'll never address your true problems.

Absolutely - yes. Usually it's been little throw-away tips from different people that opened up a very wide new door in my training, or perhaps something tiny I noticed in a video I made while practising something, that suddenly explained why I had been going nowhere recently. Correcting it, or employing the new technique or approach, let me take the next step onwards and upwards.

Moving away from your particular point, some people might call those nuances we discover "magic gimmicks", I suppose, and chastise me for seeking them out. But if they work, they work, and I'm getting old way too fast to care about what sort of gains are legitimate and what sort I somehow cheated to obtain.

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pdb_atfn
For the simple reason that your posts have no credible content until you can demonstrate that you can "walk the walk".

Ah right, I see. I've not encountered this policy before - how exactly does it work? From what I gather, no one really disagrees with me but you're all obliged to object to my posts currently because I haven't posted videos (or whatever) demonstrating a certain level of handbalancing (or whatever) ability...

But a paradox emerges: what if I were to, for example, post word-for-word something you or another approved member had written, would it still be held to be rubbish? Can I thereby render anything incredible just by writing it?

If I make some basic claim like "handstands can improve grip strength", or that "there are many productive exercises one can do using gymnastics rings", will there be several pages of replies asking where my videos are and telling me to shut up unless I can prove myself?

Genuine question. I don't post much around here so don't know what the rules are.

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Sven Ravnstag
For the simple reason that your posts have no credible content until you can demonstrate that you can "walk the walk".

Ah right, I see. I've not encountered this policy before - how exactly does it work? From what I gather, no one really disagrees with me but you're all obliged to object to my posts currently because I haven't posted videos (or whatever) demonstrating a certain level of handbalancing (or whatever) ability...

But a paradox emerges: what if I were to, for example, post word-for-word something you or another approved member had written, would it still be held to be rubbish? Can I thereby render anything incredible just by writing it?

If I make some basic claim like "handstands can improve grip strength", or that "there are many productive exercises one can do using gymnastics rings", will there be several pages of replies asking where my videos are and telling me to shut up unless I can prove myself?

Genuine question. I don't post much around here so don't know what the rules are.

Sarcasm is the crutch of the insecure. And of those who lack the afore-requested videos demonstrating something other than the ability to troll on a forum. Your pitiful attempt at ethereally philosophizing your way out of producing something concrete and useful is cause to shut down the conversation. You aren't interested in content or meaningful discussion; you got your proverbial rear-end handed to you by someone with more experience, so well that I got an email notification calling my attention to it, and now you refuse to abandon your assertion and since you've got nothing else (apparently) you want to pose hypotheticals instead of posting videos.

"If I'm a person who says something inaccurate, and then I say something accurate, is the accurate thing I said rendered inaccurate by the fact that I as someone who has said something inaccurate has said it?"

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pdb_atfn
Sarcasm is the crutch of the insecure.

No sarcasm, sir. I find Coach Sommer's stance perplexing and unusual, and I want to understand it. He pointed out that what I said is disregarded BECAUSE I have not proved myself. Others voiced support for the same policy. Since I was giving only such basic and reasonable advice, I'm surprised that my own abilities are the only way the forum can decide whether its sensible or not.

And of those who lack the afore-requested videos demonstrating something other than the ability to troll on a forum. Your pitiful attempt at ethereally philosophizing your way out of producing something concrete and useful is cause to shut down the conversation. You aren't interested in content or meaningful discussion; you got your proverbial rear-end handed to you by someone with more experience, so well that I got an email notification calling my attention to it, and now you refuse to abandon your assertion and since you've got nothing else (apparently) you want to pose hypotheticals instead of posting videos.

Gosh.

"If I'm a person who says something inaccurate, and then I say something accurate, is the accurate thing I said rendered inaccurate by the fact that I as someone who has said something inaccurate has said it?"

"Not necessarily", is the answer to that.

It does not match the situation at hand, however, in which all things I say are rendered inaccurate by some external factor (my lack of videos) rather than what I actually said.

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pdb_atfn

How bizarre that we've reached this point! Can anyone even remember why you're all chasing me?

'twas because Yuri said something very particular that he almost certainly didn't mean and I picked him up on it. I'm not sure he needed you all to "defend" him like this, I must say.

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Sven Ravnstag

You said something Coach disagrees with. Coach has videos, national level students, a book, and hundreds of very satisfied customers/distance students to attest to the efficacy of his methods. When you come into someone's house as it were, asserting something contrary to their teachings, it is appropriate to be prepared to offer something to back up your contrary views. Especially when the person speaking is such a recognize authority.

For example, I've listened to what Coach has to say because of this reputation and materials. I continue to listen because of results he has delivered. Why should I (or anybody else here) listen to you? A demonstration of some ability (again, outside of trolling and pithy quoting) might help. Cleverly placed citations and comments are cute, but this doesn't quite cut it.

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Aaron Griffin
From what I gather, no one really disagrees with me but you're all obliged to object to my posts currently because I haven't posted videos (or whatever) demonstrating a certain level of handbalancing (or whatever) ability...

Um no, pretty much all the pros here seem to be disagreeing with you. Verifiable pros, too. Here's one of the guys disagreeing with you:

5pmd6NRJ7jI

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pdb_atfn
From what I gather, no one really disagrees with me but you're all obliged to object to my posts currently because I haven't posted videos (or whatever) demonstrating a certain level of handbalancing (or whatever) ability...

Um no, pretty much all the pros here seem to be disagreeing with you. Verifiable pros, too. Here's one of the guys disagreeing with you:

5pmd6NRJ7jI

From the title of the video I know it's Yuri, and I haven't seen him disagree with me yet.

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Aaron Griffin
From the title of the video I know it's Yuri, and I haven't seen him disagree with me yet.

That's quite a bit of cognitive dissonance. Your first post was you disagreeing with Yuri. Here's the link to it.

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Sven Ravnstag

It looks like you favor de-emphasizing hard work because it affords you time to sit on forums, splitting hairs and arguing with whoever will listen to you. Just realized I was next in line.

I think this discussion became a waste of time a page and a half ago, so I'm bowing out.

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Fluidity

So you are saying that no one disagreed with you yet? :facepalm: Coach already did and you can tell that by the post that WAS IN OPPOSITION TO YOURS, and he even disagreed to the point where he said that your concept of entertainment is bullshit. You can say that Yuri didn't disagree with you, however YOU disagreed with him, therefore your views are in opposition and of course he would disagree with what you say. He is not going to simply go along and agree with your views of entertainment, just give him some time to come back.

Saying that Yuri's advice was strange on how strength and technique proficency are more relevant that "hours spent training" is completely missing the point of what it means to spend hours training for a skill like handstands. Someone with "hours of training" handstand will ALWAYS have better strength and proficency compared to anyone who has less. Hand balancing is a skill, not a form of maximal strength training, and the more you work at it the better you become. Based on your comments I can tell you failed to realize this.

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pdb_atfn
So you are saying that no one disagreed with you yet? :facepalm: Coach already did

I meant with regard to Yuri's comment.

From the title of the video I know it's Yuri, and I haven't seen him disagree with me yet.

That's quite a bit of cognitive dissonance. Your first post was you disagreeing with Yuri. Here's the link to it.

I'm confused about what we're talking about or not. The conversation so quickly moved into an absurd misrepresentation of my views and left the Yuri thing far behind.

Yes, I disagree with that sentence Yuri wrote. No one has addressed that matter since then, though, so I assume it's not really in question. No one actually thinks that hours spent training are more important than your strength and good technique. As if you can go and appeal to the judges that you spent longer in training than the other guy, so can you please be bumped up a place.

If Yuri stands by it, which I think very unlikely, then yes I suppose he would come to disagree with me.

Saying that Yuri's advice was strange on how strength and technique proficency are more relevant that "hours spent training" is completely missing the point of what it means to spend hours training for a skill like handstands.

I go by what was written.

Someone with "hours of training" handstand will ALWAYS have better strength and proficency compared to anyone who has less. Hand balancing is a skill, not a form of maximal strength training, and the more you work at it the better you become.

*looks to the sky*

If only things were that simple, eh? :(

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yuri marmerstein

Sorry, while all this was going on I was out actually training

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Martin Schulz
I agree 100%, Coach. To think that repeated practice is somehow negative makes me wonder if people have ever been in the presence of a laborer. When people have manual labor jobs, you can't just show up M/W/F so you have proper rest and recovery for you muscles - you go every day, and you get stronger for it.

Phrak, could you please make your statement clear to me?

I am by no means an expert. But isnt it rather correct to do as much QUALITY work as you can for obtaining a skill?

I mean how can you keep improving in a skill without having "proper rest and recovery for your muscles" . There is no sense in hacking away rep after rep if the muscles you need for the skill are still fatigued from your last workout.

I think for the golfer analogy it applies, too. They cant just practice one golf swing 1000 times a week without having built up the work capacity in their shoulders to deal with it.

Im sure you didnt say that. But for me it made this impression. So please make it clear :)

One more thing: you said the best way to get good at handstands is by doing handstand. But I think you have to recognize the problem first!

If balance is a problem, I agree. But often times people dont want to admit that strength is their problem. So if it is, it might be a good idea to reduce your skill training for handstand and much rather work on handstand pushups, press handstands etc. It will be easier to balance too then. As there is a carry-over to balance.

what do you think?

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yuri marmerstein

I have no regrets and stand by what I wrote.

Hand balance is a skill first and foremost, and the way to develop skills is repetition. Having strength or flexibility to a certain degree can act as either a blessing or a hindrance. The same can be said for having a "science brain" to overanalyze everything.

Even at a high level repetition is still important

The world's best hand balancers still lose a a lot if they don't train for several days in a row.

This is what makes hand balance unique as an art form. It really separates those with the will, desire, and dedication to get better from those who simply aren't willing to put in the time and effort

pdb or tyciol or whoever you are you seem to be wasting people's time on this forum that could be spent training.

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Rik de Kort

Geez, guys, you could've made it less of a TL;DR-fest.

Also, please stop being so hateful towards pdb_atfn. It's annoying and not productive at all.

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Aaron Griffin
Sorry, while all this was going on I was out actually training

Pssh, you missed valuable theorizing time!

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Alessandro Mainente

i agree with coach, with yuri whith their ideas.

practice makes perfect in everysport where people have to coordinate the movement better and better.

if you are boring you are doing sometihng wrong or simple you are doing always the same wrong things, this lets to feel the same biochemicals reactions, same sensations, same results then chronic boring state.

whta i've learned from my breakdance experience (more than 6 years) is that if you practice always with perfect form you reach your goal, if with exercise you feel fatigued, then you don't have the necessary preparation for the exercise and you have to step back and build up some basic strength in order to make always perfect pratice..

during the last year i've develope a solid elbowairflare but i did something like 3 thousand of reps trying to make always something different to achieve different sensation and skills gain! nothing is boring when something is going well!

i've spent something like 14400 seconds on rings handstand to develop it and i think my rings hs is just decent, but i only see my future goals building brick over brick my skills...

for skill you need strength of course, but oure strength cannot substitute tecnique and practice around a movement!

i believe always in coach's methos and idea, his way let me to the person who i am, and seriously my training was never be so efficient as now!

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Andrew Graham

I have read this bitchy debate thoroughly and a massive point has been overlooked by all of you!!

pdn_atfn says: Hours spent training is not and can not be a better predictor of, or more important in creating, handbalancing ability than one's "strength and technique".

This statement is bollocks!... But i also think that what Yuri said is a little, shall we say 'scattered'. And here's why.

TECHNIQUE COMES FROM PRACTICE!!!....IN EVERYTHING! Strength is a bi-product of how many hours training you have put in to perfect your technique. Pdn_atfn, You can't say 'strength and technique is all you need to do handstands...Not hours and hours of practice'. That statement doesn't make sense! But at the same time, you also can't say "it's not how strong you are or how good your technique is, it's how many hours you put in', because that also doesn't make sense! So frankly your both getting a little bit 'anal' over a word mix-up. i'm sure Yuri knew what he meant and in the grand scheme of life and the universe....Who gives a sh*t!

But at the end of the day what is real is that technique comes from the hours training and dedication you put in!...some people pick things up quicker than others, some people have aptitudes that are strong in other area's. Some of the strongest people i know have absolutely shocking balance!!....and they have been training handstands the same time as me!...In this instants, being in tune with your body and being able to listen to it is a great advantage!...But being strong (except for maybe supplementary training) is a bi-product of your body adjusting to a technique that you have honed after many hours of practice and dedication.

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Martin de Jesus Ponce Robaldino

I think that the main purpose of the topic was lost.

Skill work is different than strength work.

Skill work need lots of practise. Lots of practise, but this must be obviously scaled to an individual context.

Is obviously that doing the same thing in the same volume during a year (speaking about skill work) will in a moment produce no benefits. human body adapts quickly, slowly, it deppends on each person.

Skill work might be boring? Probably, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Coach mentioned that some (maybe a lot) times we need to do what we need, not what we like, in order to get big benefits. I agree with that in a 100%.

Probably someone loses motivation if doing the same things in a repetitive way, probably not, also deppends on individual's mentality. Here the deal is to never forget why we are doing that thing, Cause that is what made you to take the desition to begin practising it, from the beginning we all know that skill/strength way is a loooong way. But success comes from not getting away from that. People who gets away from waht they want are people who never obtain what they want, as they have no mentality to giving efforts even in hard times.

Sorry for my english and hope i could express myself.

Personally, i have been working in my HS around more than a year, i began from zero. I can hold with a not so bad position a free hs for more than 45 secs. Due to college, family and bussiness i can only have 4-5 sessions of 30-60 minutes of hs in a week.

Some weeks are great, some are bad.

I have muscular imbalances that i have been trying to fix, they're due to herniated discs in my lumbar spine. So even my hs looks ugly in a front view. But i don't quit working in that, because is something that i like and i want.

As yuri said, we're firing a post and spending time on it, and that time could be used in working out.

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