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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  • Amalec on

    Hey juji I love the article and it makes great sense and makes me think also . I have been lifting weight since I was 15 seriously cause I was in sports it helped me become a better athlete currently I’m at 220 and I’m 6ft2 I have been doing flips at 15 and I didn’t get into tricking till I was 19 cause I liked freerunning more lol . But hears my thing I always thought no matter what your body size you can achieve the moves you want cause when I see you and other trickers and even free runners it motivates me to do both but you are bringing a valid point . When I was 189 at 17 and in cheerleading my tumbling and twisting was on point and then I took a break off from lifting and just focused on tricking and your right my twisting was way better but I started to miss the irons so I thought I could do both and but I noticed as I kept gaining muscle it made moves that I was achieving at a rapid pace became more difficult . Now at 21 and at this current weight I still twist fast but not as fast I used to do you think if I drop like just 10 pounds would I recover that twisting speed I had or just to switch my work out routines to more intense calisthenics cause the work out I do are bodybuilding and power lifting also . I hope you reply I could use the advice and help cause I want to achieve those elite moves I know I can achieve .

  • Valvolt Nova on

    i have a question about periodization.
    I’m trying to follow one of your periodization schemes (the balanced one, between tricking and muscle gain).
    Now we’re in September, so I’m trying to do 3 points Tricking and 2 points BB.
    How should my diet look like during this month? I guess I’ll have to adopt some carb cycling here, cause I remember you once said that tricking suffers from bulking. I was going to do hi carb during BB days and moderate during tricking days. Definitely not going low cause I’d like to keep my training frequency high.
    Also, during this month we have 0 points in Strength training. Can I still do bench/pullups with 4-6RM anyways, to start my push/pull training routine, and then going on with pump work?
    Thanks as always, man! :)

  • Jon Call on

    I’m not sure friend. All I know is that there came a point in my life where I simply could not compare myself to my old self. Everyone loves my 2004 footage and many wish I would trick like that again, but I was shorter and smaller and not done growing back then. I can’t simply shed my fat and muscle and trick like that again, the levers and measures are all different and bigger now. Age isn’t an excuse, I can’t say “i’m too old to do that now.” but what came with that age is: permanent changes in my bones, size, and dimensions… So comparing your 21 year old self and self going forward to your 15-17 year old selves is just as absurd in my opinion. There will be a point of no return where your body changes no matter what you do or don’t do and your tricking will have to change too. For what it’s worth, that’s not always bad, plenty of tricksters don’t hit their “peak” until their mid twenties… but then those are people who are just tricking competitively.

  • Saulus on

    btw.. i filmed this video and this guy is really small and really light… he has the perfect requirements to do a high backflip… and yeah… his jump height is INSANE… all of his tricks are insane… his doubleleg was far over headheight too… everyone with an INSANE backflip i met was very small and light and still had a stabil statue i’d say… like kind of musclelar and very lean… i am almost 190cm (6’3’’) myself and this guy was maybe 165-170cm… height is very important for backflips i guess…

  • Saulus on

    the fat guy died… damn i always press on reply why isn’t it shown as a reply then :D ?

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