What is a tricking session?
To understand my anwer, a tricking session is a 10-45 minute warmup + 45-60 minutes of tricking. This should be enough to exhaust you. Doing this 3 times a week is the best overall pattern and frequency for most people.
One day a week is not enough
- One day a week is only enough to slow the decay of your tricking skills over a longer trajectory of time.
- One day a week is only enough to slowly regain some lost tricking abilities over a longer trajectory of time.
- One day a week is not enough to make progress, be your best, or trick safely.
I remember having a few trickster friends in the past who claimed to trick only one day a week. These guys were very good at tricking and that remark left an impression on me. When I kept up with them and reflected back on their tricking when they were averaging one gym session a week, they were not going anywhere with their skills and most were littered with injuries. They didn't get good at tricking by tricking one day a week. They got good at tricking by tricking several days a week. Then after a few years of tricking many times each week, they got bored with tricking and reduced their tricking frequency down to their one day a week rate. Then came the slow decline I observed over the next few years...
Sometimes you will find an experienced trickster who claims they love tricking only one day a week. They love it because they took their tricking down to one day a week from several days a week. When this happens their bodys have a chance to overcome some accumulated fatigue and supercompensate. They think one day a week is better! And it feels good for a month or so... But then these "gains" don't last, and they'll soon be going downhill.
So if you reduce your tricking to one day a week you'll have to eventually increase it back to 3+ days a week for the best maintenance, progress, safety, and porcupine.
Two days a week is enough
- Two days a week is almost as good as three days a week.
- Two days a week is galaxies better than one day a week.
In my opinion, two tricking sessions on two different days each week, if spaced apart and not back to back, is twice as effective as just one day a week. Two should be your minimum goal. Two is enough for regaining lost skills, maintaining your skills (at the intermediate skill level), or progressing (to an intermediate skill level). Two should be your goal when getting into tricking or for just learning a few tricks.
Three days a week is the best
This is based on my 14 years of tricking and keeping up with other tricksters. In all my time spent tricking I have probably averaged 3 days a week when I was at my best. I noticed the same for most other people I grew up with as a trickster. The best way to do it, of course, is 3 sessions per week on 3 different days spaced apart. To better make use of this answer know that each of these tricking sessions is usually something like,
- 30 minute warmup.
- 50 minutes tricking.
- 10 minute cooldown.
Do that three days a week spaced out and then concern yourself with the details after that: technique, fitness, recovery, psychology, etc. Make these three sessions better and improve your lifestyle and recovery and extracurricular conditioning, don't add or remove sessions on top of these and you'll be doing just about all you can do for improvement as a trickster by directly tricking.
Four days a week is a lot like three
This is actually theoretically better than three days a week but more difficult to manage the fatigue. For serious and experienced tricksters, I recommend an average of 3 and 4 days a week. 3 is best for most people, but if you're really into it you'll be wanting more than 3, and four is it.
Five days or more a week changes the way you trick
If you trick as often as five days a week or more your CNS will put the brakes on you. You'll be tricking at 80% instead of 100% each session. This means you'll be "watering down" your sessions, diluting them, or whatever. So instead of 3 big sessions each week you'll have a mix of big and small sessions.
This dilution has advantages and disadvantages. In another thing I've written I mention that tricking more frequently like this is a big safety boost. Your support muscles are always alive and firing because of the higher frequency, and your skill set becomes more predictable, reliable, and consistent.
The big benefit from high frequency tricking comes when you move from this high frequency temporarily to a lower one. Removing the fatigue accumulated from 5 sessions a week over a long period of time by reducing your number of sessions each weak to 2-3 can allow you to realize a greater potential than if you were just plugging along doing 2-3 sessions a week... The drop in frequency is something your body can use as a means to supercompensate from an overload.
So I don't recommend five days a week for the long term or for inexperienced tricksters. Doing it will also undoubtedly change the way you trick. You'll have 5 small-medium sessions each week as opposed to a couple big ones.
What about Acrobolix tricksters?
So what about the dudes who want to build muscle and be buff and get strong and also trick? The answer is still three... Unless you're bulking...
If you are bulking during the winter to put on extra muscle, then getting in even just one session a week is admirable. But during these times the focus is on building muscle, not tricking. Your tricking is going to suck during your bulk. It's supposed to suck while you're bulking. And no matter what anybody tells you, a bulking cycle is the ONLY route for building muscle whether it be from a gargantuan increase in calories or a controlled increase. No matter how you shake it: more muscle = more food = more body weight = you are bulking! So three sessions each week would be much better for your tricking, but again, bulking is about building muscle and putting on body weight.
So if you want to balance your muscle, might, and your tricking moves then you need to put in three solid tricking sessions each week. Otherwise drop tricking down and focus on bulking!
Is three days a week perfect?
Three sessions a week, on three different days a week spaced apart is close to perfect. This is how often you should strive to trick. Before you consider increasing your tricking frequency beyond this, focus on improving everything else outside your tricking sessions before doing that. Your nutrition and recovery methods. Look into other training modalities (complimentary strength training, flexibility training, etc). Your motivation, your lifestyle, stress levels, etc. Optimize all of this stuff! Tricking is NOT the only thing you should be thinking about to get the most out of your tricking. Dial in everything else outside your tricking sessions before you even think about increasing your tricking session frequency beyond three solid-n-good sessions each week. Because unless everything else is close to perfect beyond the three day a week recommendation, moving up from that is not going to be more effective or vascular. Or potted plant.
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I’ve never done any form of gymnastics. I have been gym training for powerlifting (west side style, 2days heavy 2 days moderate for speed and 1day gpp with a sled). I want to keep getting stronger in the bench, squat and deadlift, but I also want to start training to do gymnastic moves like planche, lever, side flag, handstand and intermediate tricks. If I want to advance in lifting and gymnastics/tricking how would you structure a week? In my gym training, there’s no multi-week back off. I schedule a week of deload every 4th or 6th week. How could I progress in gym and gymnastics/tricks at the same time just having a regular deload to help recovery? If possible, I would like every training week to be the same and just have a deload regularly.
By the way, I am nearly 40 and weigh 200lbs at about 15% BF.
What if you’re an intermediate tricker and novice lifter? Im trying to do 3 lifting sessions (fullbody) per week and 2-3 tricking sessions, but the tricking sessions are starting to negatively impact my lifting progress (mostly just the lower body lifts) what would you recommend then?
Thanks man, im going to have a play around with my training timetable and see if i can resolve this. Cheers for the info!