5 Training plans for tricking

advanced tricking periodization strength training winter

I've whipped up 5 training plans for tricking. I've used (and still use) them all and they all work. You can stack them indefinitely. They only work if you do the following though,

1) Focus: Focus on one or two tricks or combinations for the duration of the plan. Don't focus on being Better at everything. LOL!!! However, this doesn't mean you should only do those one or two things each time you trick, it just means make them the centerpiece of your efforts.

2) Visualizations: Use visualizations three times a day for the tricks you've chosen to focus on. 5 minutes before training, 5 minutes about 15-30 minutes after your training, and 5 minutes near bedtime. That's 15 minutes a day. Try listening to five minute audio tracks while you do this.

3) Do your homework: Study videos of those tricks you are focusing on.

4) Warm ups: Spend 30 minutes everyday warming up, even on the days you're planning not to train. This is a big key to all of these plans.

5) Recover: I've done a video and written a nice little page on recovery here. Honestly, you can have crap training planning but if you are strong at implementing recovery measures you'll still see gains.

6) Bad days: We all have bad days, don't sweat them. Just do what you can without abusing yourself, or terminate the training session and try again tomorrow. I've always gotten better results when I would give up early on a bad day and save energy for the next.

7) Back off periods: These plans incorporate concentrated back off periods. This means reducing your training load for 5-9 days in a row every few weeks. The best thing to do during a back off period is to alternate days of passive rest with days of very light activity or very light tricking. Do not overexert yourself.

Tricking training plan #1: Standard tricking

I have a feeling most tricksters use something like this plan.

Warm up for 10-30 minutes prior to tricking. Trick at your best for about 45-60 minutes. Do this 2-3 days the first week, 3 days the second week, and 3-4 days the third week. Everyday in between these training days, warm up like you are going to trick but don't trick - or trick very lightly after warming up.  This is in an effort to maxmize recovery between sessions. Only 1 day a week should be allocated for passive rest (don't be active). Space your heavy tricking days as far apart as possible. After these 3 weeks, back off for 5-9 days in a row alternating days of passive rest with days of very light activity.

Tricking training plan #2: Fresh tricking

If you cannot train everyday of the week. This is not for you.

Warm up for 10-30 minutes prior to tricking. Trick at your best for 15-25 minutes and stop. Stop long before you even get fatigued. Your sessions should be well under an hour total with warmup. Your goal is to stop tricking when you want to keep going. The philosophy of this plan is How will I feel tomorrow? Can I do even better tomorrow? Do this 6 days a week with 1 complete day of rest. If you're following this plan correctly, you won't experience much soreness during its duration. After 3 weeks, back off for 5-9 days. This plan is fantastic for spring or early summer when the weather is nice and you want to go outside to suck it all in.

Tricking training plan #3: Novice strength training + tricking

This plan is for people who want to strength train while tricking and get good at both simultaneously. Only novice strength trainers should do this plan. Advanced trainers should NOT do this plan. If you've been strength training regularly for over 1 year and have gotten proficient, do plans #4 or #5 instead.

For Plan #3, Warm up for 10-30 minutes prior to tricking. Trick at your best for 45-60 minutes. Do this 3 days a week. Strength train 3 days a week, 2 of those days on the same days you trick. Space these training sessions at least 4 hours apart. So that's 4 training days a week total. On the double training session days, always trick first. 1 day a week should be allocated for passive rest and on the other 2 days warm up like you are going to trick but don't - or warm up and trick very lightly as a means of recovery. Space your training days apart evenly. After 3 weeks, back off for 5-9 days.

Tricking training plan #4: Off season trick maintenance + strength training

This is a skeleton of a plan for decent strength trainers or anyone wanting to take the winter off from tricking to focus on strength/power gains (not a bad idea at all really, especially for those plagued with injuries and psychological burnout from tricking). I suggest a 1-3 month off season and tricking the rest of the year, but you can take longer periods of time off and come out fine.

I'm going to keep this vague because anyone using this plan should already have experience with strength training planning. Trick 1 day a week for 45-60 minutes after warming up. Make sure you trick on the day that you are most rested. If possible, trick an additional day a week for 30 minutes or less after warming up. The rest of the week, focus on getting your strength up. Remember to back off for 5-9 days in a row every few weeks. As recommended in all the other plans, on your non-training days warm up as if you were going to train but don't - or have an extra light training session for facilitating recovery.

Tricking training plan #5: In season tricking + strength maintenance

Advanced strength trainers who want to transform their off season strength gains into tricking gains while maintaining these strength gains should use this plan. Take plan #1 and modify it to include 1-3 days of strength training a week. These strength sessions should be insanely short because you'll want most of your energy going into tricking. Reduce the number of sets. Sets should not be done to failure and should be limited in repetitions. Exercise selection should be stripped down considerably. Do this while keeping the resistance high. If you're doing this right, you will feel like you are wussing out early. Your strength maintenance sessions should not make you sore. Your gym buddies will think something is wrong with you, they might ask about it, That was quick? Did you forget about something? Where are you going?Also, remember that as long as you're tricking hard and still eating right your strength won't be dropping much, if at all. It might even go up.

Modifying these plans

I suggest sticking to my suggestions the first time you use any of these plans, and then each cycle thereafter you can start adding in extra training days and extending the training period - so you might take plan #1 and be tricking 4-5 days a week for 6 weeks before you'll need to back off, or you'll take plan #2 and be tricking for 30-60 minutes after warming up before you end up cutting your sessions short. When you increase your training load like this though, you must do it slowly over a long period of time.

I mentioned earlier that a big key to these plans was to warm up as if you were going to train on your off days. The reason this is key is because it not only significantly speeds recovery, it also allows you to go out and test whether you really have it in you to train that day. Some days you will feel like garbage, and you will be surprised that when you force yourself to just warm up for half an hour, that you have energy and motivation you didn't know was there. This is the secret for upping your training capacity in the long run, this is how you start sneaking in extra training days, and so this is how some of the best tricksters are able to train hard everyday. They just show up and see what happens, and if it doesn't happen they do not beat themselves up over it, they just go with the flow.

So when modifying any of these plans, or creating your own, keep in mind the 7 things I listed at the top of the page and you'll be doing well. Have fun! : )

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  • Vae_newbis on

    Hey, first I would like to thank you for your awesome website, for anything you shared with us. I would like to know, do you, sometimes train without focusing on anything particular? I mean, only trick the way you feel and without knowing the tricks or the combos you’ll land 2 seconds before you try or land them?

  • Jon Call on

    Hi Vae,

    I don’t strength train / bodybuilding without focusing on anything in particular. I do trick without focusing on anything in particular though, but that may be something that is more a feature of my later tricking years. When I started tricking, my first 1-4 years, I didn’t trick without having a focus or a goal. I was very goal oriented. Now that I’ve well enough saturated my tricking potential, and my best tricking years are behind me, and I have completely different goals now (be a bigger trickster, not throw bigger tricks), I’ve pretty much instinctively tricked exclusively the past several years. So I would go out to trick with an inkling of what I might like to do, but I wouldn’t hold myself to it. I’ve been, instead, seeing what has worked for me and going with the flow. I may change that next year though as there are new moves I want to learn now…

    And the “not knowing the tricks or the combos I’ll land 2 seconds before I try or land them” thing: no, never do that ever UNLESS I’m at a gathering or tricking with friends, then I do that often. That’s a social tricking feature for me, never do that by myself.

  • Vae_newbis on

    Alright, thank you for answering so quickly.

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