Ask Jujimufu #7 - Tricking losses and Acrobolix Periodization

ask jujimufu periodization

Question from AidenBloodaxe about What's lost with Acrobolix Periodization:

Roughly how much do you lose using acrobolix periodization?
(In terms of strength, muscle mass/weight, flexibility or tricks & tricking cleanliness.)

My answer,

First let's talk about loss...

What exactly is "loss"?

What if I max out on deadlifts today and pull 500 lbs, and then do 10 sets of 10 deadlifts afterward until I'm exhausted; Tomorrow, I'm so sore I can barely move. If I fail to pull 500 lbs tomorrow does that mean I lost my 500 lb deadlift max? Most people would agree that I haven't, I'm just fatigued. I'll rest a few days and pull it again.

What if I need about 30 minutes to warmup before I can nail a flash kick full twist. Does that mean I've lost it until after I warm up? Huh? Of course I haven't lost it just give me a moment I'll do it!

What if I've been busy tricking and haven't deadlifted this summer, and try to pull 500 lbs but I cannot, does that mean I lost my 500 lb deadlift max?  Give me just 2 weeks to jump start my deadlift pattern, I will pull that weight again! But does this still mean I have really lost my deadlift in the manner of speaking that actually matters? Some people will actually say, "Yes you've lost it." ... And I think they're insane! What makes this different between the first two examples of needing to recover and needing to warm up?

So what exactly is "loss" ? Actually, who cares about the definition. You just know intuitively when you've really lost something. It's like love. Who cares what the definition is, you just know when you're in love. So how much of whatever do I lose when I use Acrobolix periodization? (Acrobolix periodization meaning: when I try to balance buffness with trickness by tricking more some parts of the year and beefing up more other parts of the year.) The answer depends on these important things,

Important things about periodization and loss

First, the more you've done something, the easier it is to regain if you lose it, and the harder it is to lose. I've done probably 20,000 aerials in my life, I will never lose the aerial. I will be aerialing until I die. Second, the harder something is, the harder it is to keep. Duh. Keeping an aerial switch is harder than keeping an aerial. Keeping a 675 deadlift is harder than keeping a 405 deadlift. Keeping a 230 lb physique lean is harder than keeping a 180 lb physique lean. Third, the more experienced as a trainer you are, the more rapidly you can regain things you used to have but lost... because it's easier to regain something you once had than get it for the first time. That's the New Game + effect. Fourth, you can maintain two contradictory, intermediate things simultaneously in the absolute sense. But you cannot maintain two contradictory, difficult things simultaneously in the absolute sense. This fourth point is important let's talk more about it,

Absolutely matters totally meatbalrus


If you are 240 lbs you will never be able to do a 720 butterfly twist at that weight. Ever. Nobody could ever do this. Why? ABSOLUTE SIZE MATTERS. If physics wasn't real, and size didn't matter, why aren't we jumping 4x our body height? And why isn't there anybody who is 250-270 lbs in body weight deadlifting 5x their body weight? How come only people around 120-140 lbs are deadlifting 5x their body weight. How come almost all elite tricksters are sub 180 lbs? Because physics is real.

  • That means elite, absolute lifts require big bodies.

  • That means elite, absolute tricks require small bodies.

So here we go again: you can maintain two contradictory, intermediate things simultaneously in the absolute sense. But you cannot maintain two contradictory, difficult things simultaneously in the absolute sense. What you might see then, is one of these two things: 1) someone who can hypertwist (intermediate level trick) and pull a 405 deadlift (intermediate level lift) back to back. Or, 2) someone who deadlifts 800 lbs this January (elite level lift), and then trims back down and trains back up to a 720 b-twist by September (elite level trick). You will not see this second person deadlift 800 lbs and do a 720 b-twist back to back. The higher the absolute peaks, the bigger the gap, and so it's impossible to hold both simultaneously; it requires time to make the switch. It requires so much time the word loss begins to enter the equation. It takes only one good leap to get from a hypertwist to the 405 deadlift, that's why you can maintain both at the same time. No loss! But the gap is too big between the 800 lb deadlift and the 720 twist. Making that jump demands that you descend into the valley of loss to go from deadlifting 800 lbs to nailing 720 b-twists.

Break down points

So now I'm finally going to answer your question. Year after year my tricking losses have become more extreme as I have grown my muscle and might. The breakdown point for me, with my body type and leverage points at 5"11 (180 cm), was around 185 lbs lean (84 kilos). Past this weight, my tricking has suffered.

  • 2000 (age 14) - 150 lbs / 68 kilo (started tricking)

  • 2001 (age 15) - 150 lbs / 68 kilo

  • 2002 (age 16) - 150 lbs / 68 kilo

  • 2003 (age 17) - 165 lbs / 75 kilo (started eating to build muscle)

  • 2004 (age 18) - 170 lbs / 77 kilo (started deadlifting and squatting heavy)

  • 2005 (age 19) - 185 lbs / 84 kilo (my best year of tricking)

  • 2006 (age 20) - 190 lbs / 86 kilo

  • 2007 (age 21) - 200 lbs / 91 kilo

  • 2008 (age 22) - 200 lbs / 91 kilo

  • 2009 (age 23) - 200 lbs / 91 kilo

  • 2010 (age 24) - 180 lbs / 82 kilo (starved myself and stopped lifting weights)

  • 2011 (age 25) - 205 lbs / 93 kilo (started eating and lifting again)

  • 2012 (age 26) - 210 lbs / 95 kilo (started prioritizing upper body development)

  • 2013 (age 27) - 220 lbs / 100 kilo (started bodybuilding style training)

  • 2014 (age 28) - 220 lbs / 100 kilo

Here's what 70 lbs looks like, (yes both are me haha)


  • I could build strength, muscle, and improve in tricking all at the same time up to 185 lbs. I could deadlift and squat each around 450 lbs at that body weight.

  • Past this body weight, and past these poundages, I've had to periodize my training to see further gains.

  • This means I had to stop tricking and focus on lifting and eating for periods of time, and vice versa.

  • For me to have built up to a maintainable 220 lbs lean physique from 210 lbs lean, I quit tricking for 5 months, bulked to 230, got fucking strong, then held onto some semblance of those gains on the way back down to 220 while I picked tricking back up.

  • For me to have kept up with my tricking, I've had to trim down and take resources away from my muscle building efforts periodically by periodization.

  • If I was one dimensional, I'd be a better trickster or a better body builder in the absolute sense, but instead...

  • I'm trying to maintain two peaks in contradictory activities (size and tricking contradict). The absolute levels I've achieved in both are beyond the intermediate level for me, I must descend into the valley of loss periodically to go from being my strongest and being my buffest to nailing my best tricks and vice versa.

    • Back and Forth. Back and Forth.

    • Lose, Regain, Gain. Lose, Regain, Gain.

    • Peak, Switch, Repeat. Peak, Switch, Repeat.

  • How much I lose between the peaks becomes greater every year because I have more to lose every year... because my peaks are still climbing.

  • Somewhere in the middle of all this, I balance out and earn the title: buff trickster

Hints, tips, and summarizations

  • Tricking is good for strength... but only up to a certain point. Otherwise, why aren't the best tricksters in the world elite strength athletes too?

  • Strength is good for your tricking... but only up to a certain point. Otherwise, why aren't elite strength athletes tricking gods?

  • The leaner you are, the better your tricks will be and the more jacked your physique will be.

  • The more muscle you have, the more jacked your physique will be.

  • The more muscle you have, the heavier you become. And...

  • The heavier your become because of more muscle, the stronger you become. However...

  • The heavier you become for any reason be it muscle or fat, the harder your tricking becomes past a certain, minimal point.

  • Minimal point meaning: 5"10 tall person going from 140 to 150 lbs will not necessarily negatively effect tricking. 5"10 tall person going from 240 to 250 lbs will always negatively effect tricking.

  • Otherwise, why aren't all the elite tricksters massive and jacked instead of light and trim?

  • More specifically, the tricking skills that suffer the most with increased body size are backflip fulltwisting and rebounding.

  • In other words: cork_s/t_cork_s/t_cork is the epitome of difficulty for larger tricksters.

  • Also, different tricks have different break down points. I can backflip just as high as I could at 220 lbs as I could at 180 lbs. But I cannot b-twist as well at 220 lbs as I could at 180 lbs.

  • Anyway, increasing your size, strength, and buffness requires time, time taken away from tricking...

  • The longer you take time off from tricking, the more you lose... However,

  • The longer you've done anything, the slower you lose it.

For me, balancing out in the long run with a higher level of proficiency in all of these contradictory things simultaneously (buffness, absolute strength, acrobatic skill, etc) requires periodization. The best models I have used have always been block style, linear periodization (Acrobolix Periodization). But as you already know, periodization comes with the cost of loss.  That loss becomes greater and greater for those who continue to peak higher and higher. Those who peak the highest will always be losing the most on the other side.

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  • obadiah on

    Hi juji, first of all I’d like so say I’m a big fan of your articles and videos. I’ve been out if the loop for a while and stumbled across this. I absolutely love lifting and tricking. I’d say I’m a decent lifter and a mediocre tricker. Obviously I’d love to become a better tricker without the “loss” of too much strength. I can deadlift 310% body weight, squat 230% and bench 170%. At my peak of tricking I had double corks, cork swing through corks. Cheat 10, moves along these lines. This was at the peak. Since being injured from tricking and lifting I’ve had to graft everything back and find it hard to balance it all. I’m managing for now but I believe with the right periodisation both would improve. I’m 5’6 and 67kg. Also I wanted to draw your attention to a tricker named hadyn Wiseman. He is the same height as me but with better strength stats and 10x better tricks weighing 70kg. I wondered what your interpretation in regards to your article was on him. Best regards buddy.

  • Jon Call on

    You need to look at your ultimate goals and work backward. The whole point of periodization is peaking and exchanging of capacities, and timing them for a REASON. Ideally, for this month, since September in the upper hemisphere is summer/fall cool weather: you would be filming tricking stuff, going to tricking gatherings: in general you would NOT be doing things that kill your tricking. Your ultimate goal right now would be TRICKING. So you wouldn’t want lots of compound movements and high frequency training, that’s not helping your ability to peak tricking. You’d cycle out as many things as you could to allow tricking to flourish without making a recovery of those cycled out things impossible later (meaning, maintain the physique and strength with as little load as possible, with as little interruption to your tricking as possible)… So I suppose it’s kind of an aggravating answer to your question, but my suggestion is to look for a why and not a how right now. When you answer that you’ll know what your diet should be like and what else you can and cannot do with your ultimate goal for this month of September.

  • Valvolt Nova on

    Ok, maybe I explained myself wrong. For this month, I was going to trick 3-4 days a week, then doing an upper body push workout and an upper body pull. Or better yet, my “push” day would’ve been just bench as a compound, then triceps work; my “pull” day just pullups as compound, then biceps work. And maybe some squats on a separate day just to maintain / actively recover. No more compound lifts.
    If, after the first week of trial, I feel something’s wrong, I’m gonna try to adjust my program so it can help my tricking more (e.g. cutting some volume from lifting).

  • Jon Call on

    I mean that sounds reasonable of course. :-)

  • Andrea Rodolfo Nadia on

    Drug overdose, from what I heard.

    (Damn distracted writing and damn malfunctioning reply button… isn’t there a way to delete my comments?)

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