How to train every day, to make progress and avoid exhaustion: a short reflection.

How to train every day, to make progress and avoid exhaustion: a short reflection.


This is a very specific topic, not for everybody. But I do receive similar questions; that is why I would like to write some words on this topic. I have to say that I do not agitate daily workouts for everybody; and this text should not be used for motivation purposes. Usually, athletes who participate in competitions, coaches, who need to constantly develop themselves and the most persistent acrobats, are being puzzled by this question, but also the people who reached the boundaries of their possibilities and don’t know what to do next. And, of course, this article is written for everybody who is working with their own weight, whether it is pole or bars; for those, who practice technical and strength exercises. This article is even more relevant for those who focus on dancing – daily exercise will enormously improve your skills. This article is a supplement to this article from Volch:

The meaning of daily training is as follows:

  1. Learning and understanding of the technique goes faster.
  2. During repeated performance of tricks muscle memory is being secured; gymnastic agility and coordination are developing. The body adapts to new conditions, strength and endurance are increasing. Daily TARGETED exercises are a good way not to stand still and to take a step beyond your current capabilities.

First of all I want to explain what precedes the system of daily training.

If you are a real beginner, I would recommend you to spend enough time on overall physical condition and to train every other day. Thus your muscles will have enough time to rest. The whole methodic, to the smallest details, is explained in the books op Paul Tsatsulin “Become stronger” and “Unarmed warrior”. That’s why I won’t dwell on it. Before learning tricks on the bars, for two years I practiced only two exercises: Pull-ups on bars and push-ups. First, just like it is, after that with complications. After this training it was much easier to learn different elements, than if I would have done it from scratch. You need to create a foundation: a muscular corset and muscle memory, starting from doing elementary elements and performing them ideally. After that try to make these elements more complicated and improvise. You will feel it when such a moment will come, for every trick.

If you have a good overall physical condition and you are already experimenting with variations, you need to create a hierarchy of the difficulty of elements in your head. For example, simple pull-ups – slow pull-ups – bar muscle-ups using one arm – bar muscle-ups using two arms – pull-ups on one arm. The same works for all other exercises on gymnastic apparatus. Each exercise (trick) is in some way different from the rest, which is logical; and the execution of every trick varies in difficulty. Trying to perform tricks and experiment with them, do what already is in your power, you will feel the essence of this hierarchy, as well as you will understand, that all similar elements are related and differ from each other and what does form their basis.

So, you have a good overall physical condition, and your goals are outlined. It is either a strength element or a technical one. For example, you are confident in a flag, you can move your legs in it, you can even do change of grip, but your goal is a horizontal flag with two legs together. You exercise in a day, and during some of these workouts you sometimes forget to train this move. A couple of years have passed, and a horizontal flag with two legs together is still your dream. In such case, daily exercising can help you. The same applies for complex technical or component (strength + technique) tricks.

First, I will explain the technique, because it is easier to understand the scheme. Suppose, you are training in a day, during the training you perform 10 attempts of this trick, and after that you get distracted by other tricks and try everything else. The ideal length of the workout is 1,5 – 2 hours. During daily trainings I recommend to use a very limited number of tricks, from 1 to 3. Suppose, we have chosen two technical tricks, and we are training in a way to feel a LIGHT FATIGUE, not more. Your arms should not be over trained, and your body should be in toned. As practice shows, the number attempts to make one trick increases from 10 to 20, for each of them.

I recommend choosing divergent tricks, so that muscle fatigue after exercising the first trick would not affect the exercising of the second one. The workout time will go down by half, from 1,5-2 hours to 1 hour of 40 minutes, may be less. It is easy to calculate that during a week of training you will make 140 attempts of an element, and training in a day – not more than 40. The difference is almost four times. Your progress will be rapid, compared to your previous workouts. Daily workouts are, for example, essential for dancers; during them dancer’s technique is being cleared and their own style is being developed.

Now some words about strength tricks. Here, too, everything is very simple. Choose 1 or 2 tricks and keep practicing them until you get them. Let’s take the flag-legs-together, for example. Even if it feels VERY difficult, keep doing several approaches, several attempts every day.

There are two important moments:

  1. Usually, the first approach, of a couple of them, are probationary. The best execution of tricks will probably be achieved during the 2-4th The fifth is usually worse. That is why don’t torture yourself. If you feel that you can’t do the 4th approach – then it is enough, time for rest. Try another time in the evening.
  2. After a day of such a training you should feel FIT, nothing should hurt. Don’t listen to all this nonsense, saying that “if nothing hurts – then the workout has failed”. Everything hurts only in case you are a beginner, because beginners don’t feel their body and overtrain or get injured. Professionals don’t feel any pain at any time. This is because they have basics, good overall physical condition, and they can feel their bodies. If something hurts or you have a feeling that you are extremely tired – then you are doing something wrong.

This is how you can train every day. Choose some difficult basic exercises (one or two) and train them little by little, or some technical ones (one or two) and make a lot of attempts to perform them. Also, you can train choreography and balances without getting very tired. The more you train them, the better they will look like. To try to train them twice a week is absolutely pointless.

You can also combine. For example, the beginning of the training I start with some difficult tricks and leave the easier ones for later. For example, in the beginning – pull-ups on one arm, rest, strength unsupported skyline or expansion into flags, rest, and then something easy for understanding the technique. If I try something very difficult for me, for example, planche (horizon) on one hand, I can limit myself to trying this trick and doing it until I can complicate this element and can insert it in various combinations.

The most important is – BALANCE. You need to feel your body, to feel how tired you are. If you are not ready to practice a harsh trick today – take an easier one. If you trained too much – relax for a day or two, go back in shape and start training again. It is necessary to have a good rest, to sleep a lot and to eat as much as you need. You can ask: how to combine it with your usual work or with your work as a coach, when you are constantly tired. It is a very difficult question, and everybody should find his own individual answer to it, to make priorities.

It will be necessary to rebuild your life schedule and to assess the possibilities: would you be able to make some additional time to train your favorite difficult tricks? Set small goals, for example 1 element, and persistently go for it. You will need to sacrifice something. In 2011 there was a period, when I was training almost every day during 3 months, while working with a schedule “3 to 1”, 12 hours per day. I slept for 4-5 hours, and during one day in a weekend I slept until 4 pm. The progress was amazing, but my body couldn’t keep up, and I had to recover from a chronic fatigue syndrome for about a week. Now I am making my training schedule and other businesses, so that it would be most harmonious. If you have the possibility to train every day – it is great, if you have a pole/bar at home – you are very lucky.

I have been practicing daily training and can also say the following: do not rush and don’t set deadlines for yourself. If you will hurry, it will most likely lead to exhaustion or injuries, which will slow down your progress. Be calm and detached: “Well, I didn’t success today, but maybe I will succeed tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, I will just keep on trying”. This type of training requires maximum focus on internal processes and openness with yourself.

For beginners I would advise to go back to the basis and to start with good overall physical condition, prosessionals and amateurs with experience can safely do daily workouts.

And remember two wonderful sayings:

“What you are training – is being trained”

“To understand how to perform new elements, you must learn how to correctly perform the old ones”.

Thank you for your attention!

Slan SilverBullet (translated by Anna Druganova)