Stupid tricking ideas Volume I

August 25, 2014 Training

The focus of this volume will be on weighted and resistant tricking experiences.

Stupid idea #1 – Ankle and wrist weight tricking

I think every 13 year old getting into tricking has considered or tried tricking with ankle and/or wrist weights on. Hell, I tried it when I was 16 years old. I was influenced by DBZ.

Goku, Weighted Clothing

Goku, I didn’t know you trained with weighted clothing?

In DBZ, Goku trains with weighted boots and in a gravity chamber. Nobody has access to a gravity chamber (can you imagine the training mistake videos that would pop up on YouTube from such a thing?) But all of us have access to buying some cheap ankle weights.

Ankle weights and tricking

Ankle weights with fractional pin weights

Okay so I put these things on and do just one tornado kick in my garage. One of the pin weights flys out of the ankle strap and puts a dent in the water heater in my garage. Close call. What about windows, bystanders, cars?

Broken window

Oops!

Mr. Wilson

Sorry about your window Mr. Wilson!

The body’s joints do not take kindly to shackles like this, it will not forgive you for such a stupidity. Find me a pro trickster who trains their tricks with ankle or wrist weights. Try. You won’t find any skilled trickster dicking around with ankle and wrist weights. Why? Because it’s a stupid idea. To benefit from any sort of “weighted tricking” , it would be a much better idea to consider even distribution of added weight on your frame, instead of hodge podging it on your limbs and torso… Which leads me to my next stupid tricking idea…

Stupid idea #2 – Trick bulking

May I recommend that tricksters wanting to enjoy the DBZ training experience of weighted limbs and/or extra gravity need merely do one thing? BULK MOTHER FUCKER BULK. Eat more. Get fat. Yep. Your body does a stellar job of evenly distributing weight gained across your entire frame. Eat to build muscle and get fat and the weight just piles on everywhere, head to toe. Nice and even distribution. So gain 25 lbs and trick like that for a season, then rapidly cut the 25 lbs and you should be tricking like you are on the moon? Right? Right?!! Because you’ve essentially been training in higher gravity and now YOU ARE TRAINING IN LOWER GRAVITY LOW WEIGHT = LOW GRAVITY IT SHOULD FEEL EFFORTLESS!!!!!!111

Jupiter = Stupid

Trick like Jupiter if you want to be stupider.

It doesn’t happen this way. Every time I bulked, my tricks have suffered, and every time I continued tricking at the higher body weights and then began trimming down, my tricks usually went right back to where they were before I bulked. No gains. In fact, usually my tricks lagged for a while until I had stabilized at the reduced weight. Look, trick bulking does not work. There is no reason to bulk for tricking unless you merely want to make your tricks shittier with a more muscular frame like I do.

Stupid idea #3 Tricking in adverse conditions for training

Tricking in adverse conditions like snow serves only one purpose: to make cool videos! (Yes, that was Antoine Vaillant!) However, believing that toughing out the elements for an entire season will have you tricking like a master come spring time, is stupidity. Whether it be tall patchy grass, rubble, blisteringly cold winds, or whatever: tricking in adverse conditions will hold you back from improving. Pro tricksters find gyms and trick in them during bad weather or winter seasons. Hell, they trick in gyms almost exclusively it seems.

I’ve erroneously thought (and for a long time thought this…) that I could tough out inclement weather and come out on top, but all of those training sessions always ended up giving me nothing in return. I’ve done much better tricking on plyo to improve my tricks. So when faced with adverse conditions: find a gym or do something else unless you are looking for character building or cool tricking footage possibilities.

Stupid idea #4 Tricking in shoes and heavy clothes

Tricking in shoes is cool for getting cool footage for a video, yes, much like tricking in interesting places or bad weather is cool for getting cool footage. But training your tricks in shoes is a little like training in a very mild form of ankle weights. It also disengages your toes from the activity, which help with… a lot. And no! Vibram 5 finger shoes are not the answer to your prayers! They are not the same as being barefoot.

Vibram five fingers

Not the same as being barefoot. How to test? Try wiggling your toes with them on and without them on. Nuff said. Your tricks know the difference. And now you do too.

Basically tricking in shoes is a technical cluster fuck, your body likes its toes. You should like your toes. You shouldn’t be doing acrobatics in shoes unless you’re a cheer leader who must train in shoes, or you do Parkour. And Cheer and Parkour both have something in common here that make them stand apart from tricking in this regard: most of the movements are running forward. Almost everything happens in a tumbling line or a straight path of clearance. This is why these activities are a little more forgiving about shoes. Regardless, haven’t you ever looked at the shoes these people wear? Look:

Puma Cheer Shoe

Cheer shoes. Weigh almost nothing. Meant to mimic the experience of having nothing on your feet.

Parkour Shoes

Zen Parkour Shoes. Meant to feel like you’re barefoot while protecting you against debris.

Cheer and Parkour practitioners wish they could be barefoot, but they can’t. So why do some tricksters wear shoes? Answer: someone was filming at a gas station parking lot during a gathering. Duh. Just because Danny Graham did some nice Jacknives in front of a 711 gas station doesn’t mean you should train your tricks in shoes. He wasn’t training, he was showing off. Look, tricking involves a lot of side to side business and in and outs that don’t happen along a forward line like Cheer and Parkour skills, tricks happen all over the place; that means it’s more dangerous. Why are you training your tricks in Reeboks? Take those fuckers off. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that if you trick in shoes for a few months and then start tricking barefoot you will level up. It’s not going to happen. This is the same error of thought as the ankle weights. What is more likely to happen is that you get better at tricking in shoes, but when you take them off you will see no progress. Actually, what is even more likely than anything else, is that your tricks will be about the same, but your knees will begin developing some sort of patellar tendonopathy. Enjoy wearing that knee strap below your knee cap off and on for the next 6 months you goof shit.

Patellar Tendon, Juji

Cursed knee injury lasting between 2006-2008. 2 years of agony.

Heavy clothing is a similarly stupid idea. A thick, heavy, wool hooded sweat shirt might be good for increasing your body temperature for tricking as a means of warming up, but for god’s sake, take this kind of garment off when you get into the groove. You’re not benefiting from the weighted tricking experience! There is no benefit from any sort of weighted tricking experience!

Stupidity stupidity stupidity:

To get better at tricking, you need to be light. You need to train in optimal training environments. If you’re fat, lose weight. Don’t wear heavy clothes or shoes. Find a gym to trick in when the weather or terrain sucks. When the conditions are optimal, your tricks will get better. And sure, there is more to tricking than simply improving your tricks, but gosh darn it! Getting better tricks is pretty important!

27 comments

  1. Rachid says:

    To get better at tricking…just watch DBZ!

  2. Josiah says:

    Hahaha, I remember when I tricked in shoes and that was one of the biggest mistakes for me when I first started tricking. When I started tricking barefoot my feet felt like they where alive!

  3. francesco caban says:

    The more I am on this earth the more I hate shoes. My feet actually get sore if i wear a shoe with to much padding and a raised heel. Screw shoes. I did the ankle weighted thing, only good for rehab and maybe isometrics. Liked this one a lot Juji. We weren’t born with shoes or clothes.

  4. Andrea Rodolfo Nadia says:

    LOL! When I had just started trying tricks, I thought doing cartwheels with ankle weights would help me get the aerial. Good ol’ times… 😀

    Nowadays, from my teaching experience, what I observe is that most novices fail to see the inherent technical nature of this sport: you don’t see professional trickers tricking with ankle weights for the same exact reason you don’t see professional runners running with ankle weights. Why!? Because it messes up the technique!

    Also, many people (especially young martial artists) train as if there was some inherent hardcore’ness in making things aimlessly more difficult for themselves. They don’t realize their tricks would rather benefit being repped in the most FACILITATING environments possible. (see plyo, mats, trampolines etc.)

    • Jon Call says:

      Exactly! It screws up the technique. And I couldn’t agree more about the facilitating environment. It’s tough to swallow, but trying to be hardcore and avoiding plyo / mats / trampolines is not the way to optimal tricking… and this is coming from a guy who shoots all his footage outside for the most part and loathes dominant plyo samplers.

  5. thomas says:

    What are your thoughts on dynamic stretching with shoes on? I’d prefer to stretch outside in the winter with shoes or boots, but will doing this regularly be detrimental?

    • Jon Call says:

      Hi Thomas. You’ll be okay. I like to think of the whole “barefoot” thing on a technique by technique basis, and a sport by sport basis. I would argue against using a sweeping judgment to push some sort of agrarian agenda (IE – barefeet is “natural” so it’s better for everything!!!) That’s a very elementary mindset.

      So take it on a thing by thing basis: most tricks involving side motion = bad with shoes. You could even break it down by trick. A backflip in shoes isn’t terrible, but any cheat setup kick is not a good thing to do in shoes. Most lifts = flat shoes or barefeet are best, running shoes not a good choice. Olympic lifts = get olympic lifting shoes, don’t do those barefoot. Dynamic stretches = doesn’t matter, wear shoes if you want. Running on concrete = get running shoes, don’t do it barefoot it’s faddish and dorky. Running on grass or earth = go barefoot. etc. Take it on a case by case basis. And take every opportunity you can to do something barefoot. Keeping your feet cooped up in shoes all day isn’t good for them, so take every opportunity you can to release them and let them squirm about the way they can.

      For this writeup: there is no advantage to wearing shoes with tricking, while some tricks are forgiving with shoes others are not, so there is no reason to wear them for training benefit, they would only be a hindrance in many cases… and never advantageous in any.

  6. javier says:

    damn… I thought using weighted shit and everything would lead me to eventually do a kamehameha!…. now back to the basics I guess…

  7. Jodadiah says:

    I hate shoes. I dream of being able to coach barefoot.

  8. Joshua Cheer. says:

    The only time I ever wear shoes for Cheerleading, is at competition. And that’s only because it’s in the rules! Curse the rules!

    • Jon Call says:

      Thanks for sharing Joshua. It’s just almost every cheer leader I’ve tricked with (who was tumbling) wore shoes. Good to know there are exceptions! 😀

  9. Mike Kaminski says:

    The worst idea I can think of that everyone is probably guilty of is tricking when you’re already tired. Tired tricking is just terrible. You don’t make any real progress on anything and you’re way more likely to hurt yourself.

  10. Keen says:

    #3 can confirm bad idea.
    Having just learned to btwist a wet rainy day beckoned my skills upon the grass.
    I stepped, I turned and dipped, I shifted weight and exploded up, I twist, I spot, first foot plants, back foot comes down.
    Front foot shoots forward embracing the wet, back foot shoots back, full split, nut tap, right hip screams with the pain of 1000 hyper extensions.
    Hold split for a moment, realize I can’t do the splits, cry on the inside, hop up, hobble around, say the bad words. Cry on the outside.

    • Jon Call says:

      Keen, I think the worst part about this is that everyone who tricks in bad conditions like this knows the risk before they do it (slippery, uneven, heterogenous surfaces) and when that risk materializes into some sort of injury because the ground “gave way” so to speak, you feel incredibly stupid, and in your case incredible pain haha! 😀

      • Jon Call says:

        Oh. Unless you’re Vellu. Then nothing ever bad happens to you and you can trick anywhere at anytime. Including knee deep swamps, snow, in full out military armor, in business suits, on oil spills, on volcanic rock, on top of water….

  11. Keen says:

    Unfortunately I’m not Vellu. I’m not even from Finland. But I do have business attire and a near by volcano. So reading between the lines you’re recommending I train in business attire on my local volcano to minimize risk of injury?

  12. Mark says:

    Hey Juji, what are your views on the importance of muscle memory in tricking? Do you agree with the old DogenTricks tutorial saying that you should rep each trick no more than 10 times per session? If not, what do you recommed in terms of building up muscle memory? Thanks in advance for any reply:)
    P.S. Oh yeah, I know this article’s got nothing to do with this, but couldn’t think of anywhere else to put this haha

    • Jon Call says:

      Hi Mark,

      I think you’re hinting at efficient tricking practice. I wrote something on trickstutorials about these kind of things here: http://www.trickstutorials.com/content/efficiency.php. Also I made a point about the phobia Dogen was perpetuating about setting bad habits here: http://acrobolix.com/tricking-phobias/. In short, an arbitrary number like 10 times is bullshit. And the whole “quality over quantity” of practice adage is bullshit too. You want quality and quantity. And that may mean 10 reps + or it might not mean any reps at all. I respect Dogen’s intent and he has good intent though, and most people would be better off not repping shit to death, but if you actually count how much you rep during a session… the number is NEVER as much as you think it is. If you want to see for yourself, go do a tricking session and pick a trick like a 540 kick or a backflip, and do 100 of them and tell me that this feels normal. 😉 We never do as much as we think we are, and so I think the whole phobia about “setting bad habits” with muscle memory is not realistic.

  13. Mark says:

    Thanks Juji, it’s good to know I can stop freaking out about limiting the amount of times i rep a trick and just go for it haha:)

    • Jon Call says:

      One extra thing I think may be helpful for you to know is to keep this mental device close to your heart because it’s a very important, and ultra helpful piece of training knowledge: “FATIGUE MASKS FITNESS.” Fitness meaning your “ability” or “real capability” or “how good you really are” anyway you want to put it. And Fatigue is not something you can get rid of simply with a couple days off. This is why I wrote a page about back off weeks here: http://acrobolix.com/back-off-week/ … Because periodic, CONSOLIDATES time for recovery is what is going to allow you to realize how good you really are. And repping shit to death may put you further and further into the fatigue zone, but it might be what you need in order for your body to supercompensate later when you give it that opportunity to really recover (with aforementioned back off week). So drilling shit pretty hard may hurt you in the short run and seem to be a bad idea, but it can definitely work out for you down the road when you recover/adapt.

      Good luck and eat proteins!

  14. Mark says:

    Thanks!:)

  15. Rodolfo says:

    Hm, i guess weight trainning is only useful for calisthenics, i’m inclined to give it a try!
    Also I have trained kicks with ankle weights years ago, thought I was flying when i removed them! ahahahaha
    But surely it isn’t good for our body!

  16. Taegashi says:

    I think it’s important to remember too that if you are having a funk tricking session and you are royally screwing up a trick that normally is cake for you, STOP DOING THAT TRICK! Or else you will end up jacking up that trick for a long time and will have to relearn it.

  17. Steve says:

    Why go barefoot when there are perfectly good parkour shoes?

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