Full Planche (Oct 2019)

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    • #10125
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      I managed a passable human flag after only 21 days so I wanted more of a challenge. The full planche looks insane and I don’t expect to do it in under 3 months, so luckily there are several progressions before then which I can check off.

      Progressions:

      Frogstand
      Advanced Frogstand (Crane Pose)
      Tuck Planche
      Advanced Tuck Planche
      Straddle Planche
      Full Planche

      The article recommends being able to hold one move for 30 seconds before moving on, we’ll see how that goes.

      7 Oct

      Plank Lean – 5 x 20 secs
      Frogstand – 10,13,7,6,10,7,25,27 secs (105 total)
      L-Sit – 20,15,15,15 secs

      Plank lean was part of another progression that counts 5 x 20 secs as a pass. Adding in an ab move every day as that’s a weak area of mine.

      9 Oct

      Straddle Plank Lean – 20,20,20,13,16 secs
      Frogstand – 5,5,5,5,30,21,10,5,5,5,5,20 secs (121 total)
      Straddle Sit – 5,5,5,10,8 secs

      The idea behind the frogstand is to accumulate ~150 secs of time under tension. I simply try to balance as long as I can with varying success. I did manage a full 30 seconds on the bars I have, I also alternated to using the floor which my current PB is 21 secs.

      11 Oct

      Handstand lean – 3,2,2,2,2 reps
      Frogstand – 25,10,5,5 secs (45 total)
      Single Leg Front Plank – 3 x 60 secs

      Handstand lean was much harder than I anticipated. You do a handstand against the wall facing towards it with body less than vertical. Then you walk your hands out to a point while walking your feet down the wall, then fix your wrists in place and keep walking the feet a little further down, which forces the shoulders to lean beyond the wrists and put you in a planche. You hold a tough position for 2-4 seconds and go back, which I counted as 1 rep. Shoulders and hands were both knackered after that and my frogstands went to pieces, so I called it a day. Plank was just lifting one foot off the ground and alternating every 10 seconds.

      Here’s my straddle plank lean. It’s a pretty intense move and my biceps feel it.

    • #10127
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      14 Oct

      Straddle Plank Lean – 10,11,14,17,13 secs
      Frog Stand – 4,7,6,7,5,10,15,12,7,15,28,8,5 secs (119 total)
      L-Sit – 5 x 20 secs

      Very scrappy frog stands, switched to the bars to accumulate some longer holds. L-sit strong.

      16 Oct

      Straddle Plank Lean – 20,18,20,18,15 secs
      Frog Stand – 7,7,5,23,14,9,16,20,7,30 secs (136 total)
      Straddle Sit – 5,12,5,5,8,12 secs

      Hard to judge how far my straddle lean should be but it feels right. I was repeating the scrappy holds of the last session until I re-watched the frog stand tutorial from School of Calisthenics and that made all the difference (note the jump from 7,7,5 second holds to 23 secs). Previously my hands were turned out too much, trying to mimic the plank lean, whereas if the fingers face forward then they can provide a force to balance me when I lean forward too much.

      Ended with a 30 second hold from the floor, meaning I can progress to the next variation.

      18 Oct

      Raised Plank Lean – 2 x 4 x 3 sec holds, 11, 14, 14 secs
      Advanced Frog Stand (still in contact with floor) – 9, 6, 15, 12 secs
      Advanced Frog Stand (no support) – 2 x 1 sec (haha)
      Raised Plank Hold – 60,50,50 secs

      I didn’t enjoy the handstand lean so I tried to mimic it by raising my feet and walking them forward for brief holds at end range. I then realised what I’m doing is the next progression after straddle plank lean, and so I did them for single long holds of 10-15 secs.

      The advanced frog stand is a whole different challenge to the normal one and I was struggling. Rather than continue doing < 1 second holds I tried to simplify it by placing my hands ~14 inches from the wall so that if I did go forward my head would rest on the wall for support. I also had a footstool so I didn't have to "pop" off my feet into position and could turn it into a gradual lean. I had to simplify it again by getting to the point where my toes were about to leave the stool and holding it there. The advances frog stand is a serious amount of tension in the arms and was quite a strength challenge for me, and even holding just prior to toes off was something I couldn't hold for long. I read online that some people believe Tuck Planche (the next progression) to be easier or equivalent, so I'm not intimidated about being so many difficulty levels away from full planche. My experience of the human flag has shown me that I can be innovative and find some sort of hold I can do for 10-15 secs that I can make more difficult week on week to always ensure I'm progressing.

    • #10149
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      21 Oct

      Raised Plank Lean – 5 x 20 secs
      Advanced Frogstand with Toes – 15,20,15,15,15 secs
      L-Sit Hold – 20,15,15,15 secs

      23 Oct

      Narrow Pushups – 20
      Raised Plank Lean, Tucked Feet – 3 x 20 secs
      Advanced Frogstand – 4,4,4,4,5,5,9 secs (39 total)
      Hanging Knee Raises – 12,10,10,10

      Minor concern that I’ll lose some strength so I started with some narrow pushups. I stopped after 3 sets of raised lean with tucked feet as it felt roughly the same as the straight body version, so I knew I could complete the final 2 sets. I jumped straight into the advanced frogstand with no support, feeling that I can now build some balance. I failed ‘forward’ mostly, but could quickly shift my legs to catch myself and so the concerns of falling on my head during practice were unfounded.

      25 Oct

      Narrow Pushups – 15
      Supported TRX Tuck Planche – 12,20,12 secs
      Advanced Frogstand – 9,12,17,12,15,19,4,20 secs (108 total)
      TRX Tucks – 9,8,10,11

      I dusted off my TRX bands and tried to hold a tucked position with planche but the stability wasn’t there and the body position looked awful when watching footage back. I abandoned that and went for a frogstand on the parallettes, pleasantly surprised by how comfortable I’d become so soon. I’m quietly confident that I can nail 30 seconds on Monday but otherwise hope to do so within the next week. That would take me onto tuck planche and one step closer to full planche.

      The progression I’m following is Frog Stand, Advanced Frog Stand, Tuck Planche, Advanced Tuck Planche, Straddle Planche and Full Planche. The texts I read suggested being able to hold one for 30 seconds before moving on. Here’s ~20 secs of the Adv Frog Stand.

    • #10151
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      28 Oct

      Narrow Pushups – 15
      Advanced Frog Stand – 13, 12, 26, 23, 30 secs (104 total)
      Supported Tuck Planche – 10 secs, 8 secs
      L-Sit – 20 secs
      Straddle Sit – 15, 18, 10 secs

      Knew I could nail a 30 second hold and got it eventually.

      30 Oct

      Narrow Pushups – 15
      Straddle Plank Lean w Alt Foot Raise – 3 x 20 secs
      Straddle Plank Lean w Alt Knee Tuck – 2 x 20 secs
      Tuck Planche w SL Support – 2 x 20 secs
      Straddle Sit – 4 x 15 secs

      I went through a few of the progressions on my way to a tuck planche, starting with a straddle plank lean and raising one foot for 5 secs then changing feet. Did the same but brought the leg in to a tucked knee. Both of these were easy enough that I felt I needed to focus on something else if I’m going to strengthen my position.

      1 Nov

      Narrow Pushups – 20
      Straddle Plank Lean w Alt Knee Tuck – 20 secs
      Straddle Plank Lean to Tuck Planche – 5,5,4
      Tuck Planche w SL Support – 20 secs
      Tuck Planche – 5,3,4,5,5,5,6,6 secs (39 total)
      Stir The Pot – 4 x 30 secs

      I tried bringing in both knees from the straddle into a tuck and that felt quite nice, and I could only hold for 2 secs so I counted those as “reps” of that motion. I tried tuck planche and can hold 5-6 secs but it doesn’t feel right, and feedback on Insta was that I should try more of an arm lean, which I’ll need anyway to get to a full planche. Finished with stir the pot on a swiss ball.

      Here’s my (brief) tuck planche:

    • #10153
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      4 Nov

      OFF

      I rested on the Monday. My arms are feeling slightly fatigued and my elbows are a little troublesome. I’ve done 12 sessions in a row and it feels like a good time to recover further.

      6 Nov

      Pseudo Planche Pushups – 12
      Advanced Frog stand, Floating Knee – 4,3,8,5,6 secs
      Tuck Planche w Toes – 8,18,13,14,16 secs
      Hanging Knee Raise – 11
      Hanging Leg Raise – 8,8,6

      I picked up the pseudo pushup off an Insta comment and I like them, will do more sets in future. I tried what I felt was an intimidating variation, doing the advanced frog stand but only one knee is in contact with the back of the arm, the other “floats” i.e. it’s held in the tuck position. This was harder on one side and highlighted a weakness in my core. Tuck planche was along the same lines as how I learned the advanced frog stand, getting to the balance point and holding it just before I lift the toes. I finished with abs and went for the harder version of straight legs being raised to waist height.

      8 Nov

      Pseudo Planche Pushups – 14
      Tuck Planche w Toes – 15, 16, 20, 15, 13 secs
      Advanced Frog stand, Floating Knee – 7, 8, 6, 5 secs
      Tuck Planche – 5,5,6,6,7,7,7,7 secs
      V-Sits – 18,18,18,14

      Better structure, starting with what should be 5 x 20 secs of a move. The floating knee was no easier and if anything I felt it would be no tougher than holding both legs, so I switched to the full tuck planche. I did these off mini bars, getting more of a lean than last time. This time my shoulders were giving way and abs were better. Finished with V-Sits for the abs.

      This is far more disjointed than training for the frog stand and so I spent the evening watching YouTube tutorials. I found Artem Morozov who immediately highlighted the difference between a good tuck (higher legs, more angle) and a bad one (basically what I’m doing). Both are technically a tuck, but the good one sets you up much better for full planche. He said that the standard progression model of Tuck –> Adv Tuck –> Straddle –> Full, doesn’t work as they’re essentially different skills, and to focus on posterior pelvic tilt.

      Another video with a pro gymnast spoke of strengthening the core in the extended leg position, otherwise all this time doing tucks isn’t helping because those muscles aren’t getting trained. That’s why I’ve been setting time aside to do abs each session, but I don’t feel many have a good carry over to the full planche. He demo’ed a kind of reverse hyper and that’s something I’ll try to replicate, either bent legged off a gym bench or a work bench I have in the garage. He said planche leans with feet on a swiss ball were good as the ball moves and offers a stability challenge, so lots to think about. Finally I want to copy what I tried for learning the human flag, and prop my feet up with a resistance band to see what a supported full planche might feel like.

      This is my tuck planche off mini bars, I hadn’t watched the tutorial so next time I’ll try to bring the knees higher and Artem seemed to have his shins parallel to the ground. Annoyed I have to wait until Monday to train as this is all exciting stuff to implement.

    • #10155
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      11 Nov

      Pseudo Planche Pushups – 18, 10
      Raised Planche Lean – 20, 20 secs
      Intense Raised Lean – 12 x 5 secs
      Tuck Planche – 6, 4 secs
      Prone Leg Raise – 6, 6, 5
      Hollow Rock – 3 x 30 secs

      Bit of a jumble of exercises, still trying to find my feet with this training. I spent ages mulling over what ab exercises deal with my current weakness and the closest I could come to was the hollow body position of hollow rocks. I’ll do them every session until I’m strong enough.

      13 Nov

      Pseudo Planche Pushups – 15, 10
      Raised Planche Lean – 20,20,20,20,12 secs
      Hollow Rock – 3 x 30 secs
      Dying Roach – 2 x 40 secs

      Dying roach is another ab exercise, I picked it off an ab circuit video and it’s a killer.

      16 Nov

      Pseudo Planche Pushups – 13
      Tuck Planche – 5,9,10,10,5,4,4,7,7,3
      Hollow Rock – 3 x 30 secs
      Dying Roach – 2 x 40 secs

      Here’s the Hollow Rock ab exercise

    • #10157
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      19 Nov

      Pseudo Planche Pushups – 10, 15
      Tuck Planche – 6,6,6,7,7,7,7,8,5,4 secs (63 total)
      Hollow Rock – 3 x 30 secs
      Dying Roach – 3 x 40 secs

      20 Nov I had laser tattoo treatment on my stomach, meaning I had 4-5 days where I couldn’t exercise.

      25 Nov

      Pseudo Planche Pushups – 12, 12
      Tuck Planche – 9,2,2,4,4,6,5,3,3,4,4
      Dips – 15, 18
      DB OHP – 15, 8 x 15kg
      Hanging Knee Raise – 3 x 15

      I did this session at work and it felt crap, after one initial tuck planche I could barely hold any subsequent ones. I added in dips and overhead press to make the session worthwhile, finishing with abs.

      28 Nov

      Pseudo Planche Pushups – 10
      Raised Planche Lean – 20,20,20,20,17 secs
      Tuck Planche – 8,6,4,4,6,5 secs (33 total)
      L-Sit Tuck Hold – 8,8,20,12,17,13
      Hollow Rock – 47, 33 secs

      Trying to get a routine going so I brought back the raised planche lean for sets of 20 seconds to strengthen my shoulders. Still only holding tuck planche for 4-8 seconds at a time and I’m not very optimistic about increasing that time very quickly. Patience required.

      1 Dec

      Pseudo Planche Pushups – 10,10,10,8
      Tuck Planche – 12, 7, 6, 7, 7 secs (39 total)
      L-Sit Tuck Hold – 4 x 20 secs

      I’m training every 3 days to allow full recovery but I still drop off after my first set. I’m also taking 2.5-3 mins between tuck planche attempts as it’s a max effort hold even though duration is short. I feel like I might have to introduce more time under tension to break through this short term plateau.

      Here are the L-Sit tuck holds, I can really feel my abs working so I will stick with these along with several other ab exercises.

    • #10159
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      WEEK 9

      I’m getting grumpy at my lack of visible progress so I want to note down the week. I completed a 30 second advanced frog stand at the start of week 4 and in the same week did sets of 5-6 seconds of tuck planche. I seem to progress at a rate of 1-2 seconds per week which is slow going, and my best hold last week was 12 seconds. I feel like I know the exercises which will take me forward and I need to step back and program them in a more ordered fashion, as right now I’m just deciding which exercise to do once I’ve warmed up.

      4 Dec

      Scap Push ups – 15,15,15,12,12,10,8,8,5 (100 total)
      L-Sit Tuck Hold – 20,20,20,16,17 secs
      Hollow Rock – 35 secs

      My shoulders aren’t as strong as I think they are so I need more volume.

      7 Dec

      Psuedo Planche Pushups – 14, 10
      Raised Planche Lean – 15,15,10,10 secs
      Tuck Planche – 5,3,2 secs (RUFKM!)
      OHP – 6 x 40kg
      Raised Planche Toe Walks – 4 sets
      Planks, opposite arm & leg raised – 4 x 40 secs (10 sec switching)
      Hollow Rock – 45 secs

      Quite a lot to unpick. The raised planche lean I tried to hold a deeper angle meaning I couldn’t last the whole 20 seconds. I then tried tuck planche and was pathetic, which made me realise that while my programming of A) lean variation then B) frog stand variation, only worked because the frog stand is more about balance than raw strength. From now on tuck planche will START my session. I was going to do weights but it didn’t take long to find lots of articles stating that planche is about the muscles working in unison and there are plenty of strong guys who can’t do it, so weights isn’t the way to get there.

      My Raised planche walks were good, I posted them on Insta (see below). Then abs were tough and those will be added into rotation. Overall training every 3 days doesn’t work for me and I’m going to go back to 3x/wk on Mon/Wed/Fri.

    • #10161
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      WEEK 10

      11 Dec

      L-Sit Tuck Hold – 25,25,18,29,21 secs
      Tuck Planche – 4,4,10,7,9,9,10,8,9,3,9,7 secs (89 total)

      Having said I’d go back to 3x/week I ended up only training once this week due to socialising and not feeling up for it on the other day I was going to train. I opened with one set of L-Sit tuck hold, mainly to wake up my shoulders and abs. I then did all my tucks before finishing off the ab work. The cue I used was to actively pull the knees to chest and that worked well, also starting with my bum higher in the air so more of a forward lean. Finally, 2.5-3 mins rest instead of 2 mins allowed me to repeat efforts, as previous weeks I opened with a long hold then it got progressively worse.

      The plan is to go slow and steady, adding a few seconds to either total TUT or individual holds until I get there.

    • #10162
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      WEEK 11

      16 Dec

      L-Sit Tuck Hold – 25,25,18,20,21 secs
      Tuck Planche – 12,5,9,12,9,8,8,8,6,7,7 secs (91 total)

      21 Dec

      L-Sit – 25,20,20,20,15 secs
      Tuck Planche – 8,7,8,4,6,6,5 secs (44 total)
      Advanced Frog Stand – 15,10,20,10,15,20 secs (90 total)

      WEEK 12

      26 Dec

      Advanced Frog Stand, SL Off – 4 x 10 secs
      Advanced Frog Stand – 4 x 10 secs
      L-Sit – 5 x 20 secs

      28 Dec

      Raised Planche Lean – 10,10,10,10,10,10,8,8 secs
      L-Sit Tuck Hold – 20,20,20,20 secs

      Tried a more aggressive lean so I couldn’t hold any longer than 10 secs. I want to get back to 3x/week for conditioning and then back off once my shoulders have some training effect.

    • #10192
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      WEEK 13

      OFF

      Unintentionally. I didn’t train near New Year because I was sharing an apartment and didn’t have a good space to set up. Then I flew back to the UK and had a few days of work. In the back of my head I initially had a vision of my YT video title being “Learning to Tuck Planche in __ days” but the number of days is less and less important to me each time I train.

      WEEK 14

      7 Jan

      Raised Planche Lean – 10,10,10,10,10,10,9 secs
      L-Sit Tuck Hold – 25,25,22,22,20 secs

      This is my structure from now on. 3 times a week, same exercises each day. I started doubling up my gym days so legs and planche training are an hour or so apart. When I have to go to work it’s tough to squeeze a workout in, so this is easier for me.

      9 Jan

      V-Sits – 15,14,14,11
      Tuck Planche w Toes – 5 x 20 secs

      I took the tuck planche position and dropped my lower legs (note I still try to tuck the thighs into chest) which makes it about 60-80% the intensity of a proper tuck planche. I did this for advanced frogstand and it transferred well.

      11 Jan

      Tuck Planche – 8,8,8,8,6,8 secs (54 total)
      1 Arm 1 Leg Plank – 4 x 40 secs

      Instead of doing a series of max efforts, I tried to stop short of failure to maintain freshness. I misread my timer for the penultimate hold and it just shows what happens when you take 30 secs off my 3 minute rest. The goal is not to annihilate my shoulders and abs, just aiming for stimulus -> response and building up each week.

    • #10203
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      WEEK 15

      15 Jan

      Raised Planche Lean – 7 x 10 secs
      L-Sit Tuck Hold – 25,25,19,20,17 secs

      Good session.

      I had another laser tattoo removal treatment on the morning of the 16th which means I couldn’t do anything the rest of the week. Will resume as normal on the 22nd.

    • #10239
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      WEEK 16

      22 Jan

      Tuck Planche Pulses – 5 x 3 reps
      Tuck Planche – 13 secs

      I watched another tutorial video and it had these in, you go from an L-sit tuck hold into a brief tuck planche for a few reps. Anything which gives me more control is a positive thing.

      26 Jan

      Tuck Planche – 8,8,6,7,5 secs (34 total)
      Ab Ripper X – missed about 12 reps across the 13-14 minutes

      I need to up my game with abs and Ab Ripper X (part of the P90X series) is the most brutal and effective ab workout I know. I did it at Uni and after 2 weeks my front plank went from 1 min 30 to 2 min 30 and my front squat went up 10kg because my core could hold the weight.

    • #10240
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      WEEK 17

      29 Jan

      Tuck Planche Pulses- 3,3,5,4,3,3,2 (23 total)

      Nice to do more of these, already felt more controlled.

      1 Feb

      Raised Planche Lean (straddle) – 10,8,6,2,2
      Tuck Planche – 10, 11 secs

      2 Feb

      Ab Ripper X (missed about 12 reps)

      Last week my hip flexors hurt for 5 days and my abs for four. This is just pure hard work to get through it.

      You can’t quite tell how red my face was but this was me busting a gut to hold the complete end range for 1-2 seconds. My elbows were flaring up the day before so I did a longer warm up and more deliberate cool down. I want to start each session with a max effort from now on because I feel like it’s been too long doing a tuck and when I hit 20 seconds I’ll gladly move on. My best is 13 seconds and I want to add 2-3 seconds a week so I can start looking at advanced tuck planche.

    • #10261
      Fraser_9to5Fraser_9to5
      Keymaster

      WEEK 18

      5 Feb

      Scap Pushups – 2 x 10
      PPPu – 8,8,8,6
      Tuck Planche – 9,8,11,8,5 secs (41 total)

      WEEK 19

      11 Feb

      Tuck Planche – 11, 12 secs
      L-Sit Tuck Hold – 25,25,25,20 secs

      15 Feb

      Tuck Planche Pulses – 3,3
      Tuck Planche – 4, 8 secs
      PPPu – 6,8,8,7,5

      I am seething. My progress is so bloody slow and I genuinely don’t know how to structure my training to make incremental gains, which is new territory for me. I still can’t even tell which muscle groups are failing me. I am going to set aside 45-60 mins to reading more material on planche training because right now that’s the best use of my time.

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