Strength benchmarks for tricking

January 23, 2014 Training
  • Deadlift and Squat 2x your body weight
  • Bench press 1.25x your body weight.
  • Be able to do more than 10 good pullups and 20 good dips

tricking strength, strength for tricking

Voila

Striving beyond these benchmarks will get in the way of your tricking.  If you cannot do these benchmarks, then striving to achieve them will be good for your tricking.  The benefits of reaching these benchmarks include better resilience to injury, more explosiveness, improved recovery capacity, more flexibility (since flexibility is dependent on strength), and better extension on tricks (IE – cleaner tricks).  And probably some more stuff too.

Now, don’t get too excited about the benefits of strength training for tricking, because they are terminal in my experience.  I noticed that further focus on strength gains past those bench marks I listed above have just gotten in the way of my tricking progress.  I reached those strength bench marks in 2004 when I was 18 years old.  Back track my video uploads and you’ll notice my absolute tricking aptitude hasn’t improved since then, in fact it’s declined.

My advice for pure novice regarding strength for tricking

If you have never done any physical activity in your life and you want to start tricking, by all means get at it!  While you are doing this, I would highly, highly, every-so very highly recommend you get a gym membership and start working on your strength and flexibility too.  You might want to do this first for a few months.  Get used to moving your body.  Reach those bench marks I listed above while you work on your tricks, any untrained person can likely reach them within 2 years of a normal training load.

My advice for tricksters regarding strength for tricking

Unless you are gifted, you will likely find value in reaching those strength goals for the reasons I mentioned above in blue text.  Once you have reached these benchmarks, continue strength training in a remedial manner, as needed for maintaining these benchmarks, rehab and prehab.

My advice for strength traininers who want to learn to trick

If you can’t do those bench marks, then reach them already!  And while you work on those numbers, put in some time to learn some tricks.  It’s time to get explosive and agile through tricking.  And you should be excited about it too, because tricking is great for strength training.  From my experience, tricking has helped my strength training way more than strength training has helped my tricking.  So get into tricking!

My advice for tricksters who want to get buff

If you’ve already been tricking for awhile and you want to get buff now, then you need to reach those benchmarks and go beyond them.  You need to be ready for your tricking to be humbled because getting bigger means harder tricks.  You will also need to focus on bodybuilding methodologies (IE – body part split and isolation work).  The work will be harder and you will find that as you get bigger the worse your tricking will get, but if you keep at it intelligently you will balance out in the long run with both beautiful tricks and a bad-ass physique.  This is what Acrobolix is all about, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

14 comments

  1. Matt says:

    This is a great article! It’s great to have a strength goal that works synergistically with tricking. Maybe this is a silly question, but I always have it when reading articles regarding strength. Are these benchmarks 1RM? Besides the pullups and dips of course. Or would they be 3RM, 5RM? It’s a nit-picky question, as I’m not near these benchmarks yet, but I’d like to know what to shoot for 🙂

    Thanks for everything man!

  2. Adam says:

    I would like to know this answer as well.

  3. Laura says:

    Hey Juji
    Thanks for your articles; I’m a big fan of your work.
    I started tricking this year, and among other things, I find myself struggling a lot with rotation. Whether it’s in a tornado kick, or attempted 540 and B-twist, I can’t find a way to spin hard/strong/fast enough.
    Beside the obvious practice to learn the moves and find the right momentum, and those benchmark, would you have any exercise to recommend?
    Thanks again for your work

    • Jon Call says:

      Hi Laura thanks for your interest! 🙂

      Taking from your name, Laura, I presume you’re a girl? If so rotation in non-tumbling skills will come harder for you by default based on the way your hips are structured in comparison to a male’s. Especially kicks. So you cannot expect progress like a male’s in spinny things like this. Nonetheless I feel the best way to work rotation for beginners is through lower tier skills with a higher volume: lots of spin hooks, spin crescents, etc. I wouldn’t recommend any special auxiliary exercises for rotational strength whether it be that tornado-wall-ball thing people use or any sort of twisting ab crunch etc. All a waste of time in my opinion. Lots of spin kicks, basic jump spins, etc.

  4. Laura says:

    Thanks for taking the time to answer 🙂
    I always assume that it was the lack of strength which made lots of tricks more difficult to me than for my fellows male trickster. I had never thought about the shape of my hips as another factor.
    Well, at least flexibility is easier ^_^
    I started to train squat and deadlift in april, and progress slowly but steadily. Last week, Deadlift was BWx1 and squat BWx0.75 and I have still some room in the tank to make progress. (Untill now, I have just added 2kg to the bar every training). I recently treat myself with two plate of 20kg, as I was running out of weight to add to the bar :p
    No benchpress for now, I wanted to see how my body react to weight training, and focus on push up and pull up.
    Anyway, I really feel training legs heavy help me a lot in tricking. Besides, it’s awesome to feel your body becoming stronger!
    I don’t have a lot to show right now (a loosy aerial, a “sort of” macaco and a raiz way to close to the floor), but hopefully, I will have some decent tricks to show for summer 2016 😀
    Thanks again, your website was one of the decisive factor which made me look for a tricking team at the beginning of this year!

    By the way, I don’t know if you know what wikipedia says of “trickster”, but I hope you’ll love it: “In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphic animal who exhibits a great degree of intellect or secret knowledge, and uses it to play tricks or otherwise disobey normal rules and conventional behaviour.”
    Take care

    • Jon Call says:

      Thanks for sharing Laura. Keep me updated with video progress if you ever make a training reel. 🙂

  5. Kaelan says:

    Hi Jujimufu,

    I was wondering how applicable bench press was to tricking or movement in general given that you have to retract your scapula for proper bench, but must protract your scapula for bodyweight pushing. Also, I was wondering if it would be better to do overhead pressing, since a lot of time is spent pushing above your head (tumbling, touchdown raiz, handstands, as well as shoulder blade elevation whenever doing flips), and which would help to stimulate the shoulders in order to prevent shoulder/rotator cuff injury. Any insight would be helpful, thanks! 🙂

  6. Benjamin says:

    I wish you had made this article back when I first discovered TT in 2005. Wasted too much time during my prime teenage tricking years in the strength and conditioning section thinking I needed to hit some magical numbers or it would be completely worthless to even attempt tricking. But at least I got to discover powerlifting which I ended up loving just as much as tricking! And it’s never too late to trick, of course. I’m just glad I can point my beginner friends to this article when they ask if they need to be able to lift a ton to trick. Thanks for clearing up the notion that more strength is always better. It was an easy trap to fall into.

  7. Mauro J. says:

    Hi Juji, I remember reading a Verkhoshansky sports science book (supertraining?) where it says 2xBW squat is the best for maximizing standing jump and from somewhere from internet that for women may be a bit less (1.8xBW? becose they have less upper body mass?). But where do you get the other ones? I train for Parkour. So, I guess I need stronger dips and pull ups.

  8. Sarah says:

    Hi Jon, looking at your lifting benchmarks and you can bench/deadlift/squat/whatever x amount of kilograms or pounds, so I was wondering what is your maximum vertical jump and your forty yard dash time?

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