Ask Jujimufu #3 – Tricking and Powerlifting together

March 29, 2014 Training

You ask Jujimufu, and Jujimufu responds. Here are some questions I get through the contact form on this website and directly through e-mail, and here are my responses for everybody to see!

Question from rabbit141 about Powerlifting and tricking within a week:

I have a quick question for you. I’m interested how do you manage to train in the gym multiple times per week and still endure tricking? I’ve been training powerlifting for 3 years now and after a whole week of training (usually 4-5 times) I’m totally destroyed. Even if I would go lighter I am still worried about my joints because of all the heavy lifting combined with tricking. So, how to put these two together and remain healthy?
Your thoughts, tips, experiences?

Thanks in advance
(I’ve been following you since 2006 and I’m pretty sure you’re a God-man, Man-god, or maybe just god. Keep it up!)

My answer:

Hi Rabbit,

I cycle my heavy lifting and my tricking. Your power lifting movements (squat and deadlifts) and tricking are “sort of” interchangeable because they stress the body in similar ways. Similarly in that they are explosive, highly technical, nervous system training stuff.  So doing too much of one will do something to the other of course, you’re drawing from a similar energy system pool.  CNS DESTRUCTION!  In the beginning it’s all good, they help each other, but when you reach an intermediate or advanced skill level in either tricking or heavy lifting, that “sort of” interchangeability diminishes and you are left with one, or both, needing too much of your attention for continued improvement.  So you have to cycle between them.

Only a novice can be improving at both simultaneously. So if you’re having trouble balancing the two that’s a good sign that you’re past the novice stage. Congratulations! At this point you have to determine if both are important to you in the long run. If so then cycle them like I do. Maybe something like, trick 80% during parts of the year and power lift 20%, and then switch to 80% power lifting and 20% tricking during another part of the year. Personally I like tricking when it’s summer and lifting heavy when it’s winter.

I recommend when you make a switch to one or another you do it for 3-6 months at a time, don’t switch back and forth between disciplines every week or month.  It resembles more of an old-fashioned linear periodization setup with these long duration blocks, but this is exactly what has worked best for me.  I tried switching back and forth rapidly (one month lifting more and bulking, one month tricking more and dieting) and the results were absolutely horrible for me.  I believe that we need long, uninterrupted blocks of time to make those “seemingly-permanent” type gains.

  • So Switch, peak, repeat.  

Also, there can be more carry over between these activities (for novice and intermediates), and better maintenance of the one you are doing less of, if other things are managed correctly. To sum up how the carryover and maintenance effects can be scored:

  • Tricking very well at higher body weights injury free = Positive indicator your power lifts will be fine despite moderate (2-4 months) neglect.
  • High power lifts at lower body weights with good flexibility = Positive indicator your tricking will be fine despite moderate (2-4 months) neglect.

So that’s it.  You just have to cycle between them there is no easy way around it haha!

– Juji

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