Hi everyone, and welcome to this new article! 😄
After having written an article on"Starting street workout" we will discuss today the nine mistakes to avoid to progress in this field.
We have all started something one day, we have all been beginners, we have all made mistakes. Some are beneficial to learning and others represent a danger or a dead end that stops progress and sometimes completely demotivates.
After contemplating my modest journey, with its own set of mistakes, I have created a little best off of those that could be the most limiting, or at least a list of some tips that I wish I had known and applied when I started a few years ago. By the way, if you already have a good level, then first of all, it might bring back some good memories and I also encourage you to share in comments your best advice for all those who will read it and to whom it might be useful.
They are ranked in order of importance, but this is still rather vague and subjective. There are some that should be seen before the next ones, because they are connected. But anyway, they will be seen.
Mistake #9: Neglecting your hands
So we start with the ninth mistake, which is neglecting your hands and which is separated into two parts: the first is the grip, which will be extremely important in street workout, and you definitely don't want it to limit you too long. When you want to do pull-ups, you'll already have enough to do with your back and arms; you clearly don't want your hands to be the first to give out.
In fact, I remember very well, at the very beginning, I had a lot of trouble with it and I was very impressed when I saw someone who could hang with one hand, knowing how much trouble I had with two.
So, if this is your case, I advise you to consciously train it until it no longer limits you. For example, simply by adding sets of maximum tone in suspension at the end of the workouts.
The second part of this mistake is the skin, specifically your calluses. When you put your skin in the sun; it is forced to adapt to protect itself and therefore it becomes darker. When you spend a lot of time squeezing bars, it will also feel attacked and it will harden as a result in strategic areas of the skin. If you don't do a lot of freestyle or movements where your hands turn around the bar a lot; which can literally tear them up without warning, I don't recommend putting on gloves which will be more of a hindrance than anything else.
Even if I think you should be proud of these symbols of your regular work, you should still take care of them a little bit so that they don't get too big and tear all at once. For that, two solutions: either file them from time to time like I do, or cut them when they get out of the bath when they are all soft.
Mistake #8: Not differentiating between bent and straight arm strength
So there is a small transfer from one to the other, but it is minimal, which implies that you can manage to hold a position with your arms barely bent, but that it becomes impossible as soon as you stretch them completely, which is an essential characteristic of almost all isometric figures.
Again, this was an important discovery for me as I came to Street Workout from the fitness and weight training that I did for a long time before.
All this to realize that despite my intermediate performance in weight training; there was plenty to start over from the beginning. And that's going to be the case for a lot of athletes who have never done gymnastics or any other sport that requires that. You're going to have to learn to fight your brain, which is going to really want to bend your arms on your movements. And we can't blame him because it's much more natural and efficient, but we'll have to make him understand that it's different.
Mistake #7: Forgetting that some fundamentals don't change
The parallel is easy to draw here with classic bodybuilding, where it is fairly well known that progressive overload, i.e. the fact of continually adding more and more weight to the exercises, is absolutely necessary to progress and gain strength and muscle mass. Let's take the example of the skin which is forced to adapt to protect itself. If you suddenly put yourself in the sun for two hours every day under the same conditions, will you tan? Will you get a tan? Probably. Will you keep tanning forever? Certainly not. Your skin will darken just enough to withstand those two hours of sun every day. And if you want to tan more, you're going to have to stay in the sun longer; and there are times when it's hotter, etc.
The body is an incredibly efficient machine. It will never adapt beyond what you impose on it. And that's why you need to continually make your workouts more demanding to force a change.
The other very important principle is the nature of the changes you force based on how you train an exercise. The heavier or harder the exercise, the less repetitions you will be able to do. And as you can see in this chart, this choice is very important depending on what you are looking to improve; it doesn't matter if you are training with or without equipment.
To finish with a small example, quite often by default in the head of people to progress in bench press, it is not complicated: you add weight little by little on the bar for as many repetitions. And to progress in push-ups, it's not complicated either: you simply do more and more in a row. And there, you have understood it with this table, these two ways of progressing are in fact not at all equivalent. And it is perhaps because of this kind of reasoning that push-ups or most basic bodyweight exercises have the reputation of being good only for beginners or for warm-up. And that's why understanding the different ways to vary the difficulty of these exercises is very important.
And what a coincidence that the 6th mistake is not to use a progression, that is to say, more and more difficult exercises to reach a final variation.
Mistake #6: Not using a street workout progression
Because yes, simply trying to hold the figure that makes you dream is possible. But when it's still way too hard, the risk is mostly to get a lot of frustration and injuries. To do this effectively, you can choose from several methods of fundamental bodyweight progression.
To summarize some of them here, if you want to block the jumps in difficulty between two exercises, you will have to learn, among other things, to play with the leverage of your body, with the distribution of your weight on different muscle groups and support points, as well as to modify your weight altogether, which in my opinion deserves its own mistake.
Mistake #5: Stubbornly using only your body weight
Because, just because you say to yourself that you want to start training with bodyweight doesn't mean that from one day to the next, you no longer have the choice or the right to use weights or equipment. Don't worry, you haven't joined a cult. On the contrary, even if your goals are purely body weight, it would be a real shame to deprive yourself of anything that will help you get there faster and more efficiently. By definition, taking some of the weight off your body will be a fundamental way to make the exercises more accessible so that you can gradually build up to the final movement. And to do this, we will often use elastic bands of different resistance that are very effective for this. In the other direction, of course, adding weight to an exercise, especially one that is not very technical, is one of the best ways to gain raw strength that will be used everywhere, as well as muscle mass in the same way as in weight training. So I can only advise to start progressively adding weight to pull-ups and dips as soon as it is possible to do a dozen of them in a row, it will pay dividends on everything else.
By the way, this last note allows me to smoothly move on to the 4th mistake which is forgetting the basics.
Mistake #4: Forgetting the basics
By that I mean that even with all these ingenious progressions to get the advanced figures you're interested in, you shouldn't let go of your first loves: push-ups, pull-ups, dips, squats and their little variations.
These exercises, you should already go over them well at the beginning, because they will help a lot to consolidate the joints which adapt much more slowly than the muscles, which can avoid a lot of injuries later on. But even at higher levels, in my opinion, it's not good to focus only on strength, for example with the advanced figures. I personally have been guilty of this. And yes, I was. And since then, I'm very careful now to always keep specific sessions for muscular endurance during which I bludgeon all the basics right over and over again.
Mistake #3: Not following a specific street workout routine or program
And now we enter the top 3! Starting with a mistake that penalizes a lot of beginners.
While studying for tests and exams, you follow an imposed program during the year and probably developed your own method to make your revisions more or less efficient, like reviewing everything in stress during the last two weeks before the exams. At least, that's what I did in college, but I'm not sure I would recommend it.
For your sport, it's the same thing: if you show up when you feel like it and you do whatever randomly pops into your head that day, well your results will be very random too.
We saw it in the 7th mistake: you want to define main goals, you need to have a program with the right structure and exercises and you want to gradually supercharge the results, week after week to be able to achieve it. So, you ask around and find sources that seem credible, whether they are free or paid, it can be articles, videos or books, programs, whatever. But you settle on something that looks good and is not too different from everything else. You go at least 4-6 weeks in a row and keep track of your workouts to make sure you're making progress. Then, of course, from time to time you'll need to update or change your program based on your progress, but not twice a week.
Well, I must admit that I feel obliged to advise you to have a look at the other videos or articles that are on my channel or my website and that could be very helpful, as well as to check out my 100% free video directory of more than a hundred bodyweight exercise progressions or my complete 5-month program for beginners "Street Workout Evolution".
This leads us to mistake number 2, which contains several mistakes, but which I can summarize in two words: being impatient.
Mistake #2: Being impatient
Being impatient, as in seeking the quantity of reps before you've even refined the quality of each one. This means perfect execution, full range of motion, and control of 100% of each repetition.
This is to create the foundation that will more likely propel you to athletic glory rather than early retirement due to crumbling joints and if in doubt, I recommend filming yourself to get a better idea of what you are really doing.
Being impatient too, like when you keep working out when you're clearly in pain. And here I'm not talking about the burning muscles. I'm talking about the bad pain that you know deep down you should be avoiding. And yeah, it's frustrating to have to stop, to have to rest and to feel like you're falling behind. I've been there. I once had to stop for over a month after pushing too hard despite having the beginnings of tendonitis in my elbow, and I can say that I felt bad for pushing.
Finally, being impatient, in the same vein, also means wanting to do too much, training 24 days in a row, and other such bad ideas. Calm down, let your body rest.
Mistake #1: Neglecting recovery after a street workout or weight training session
Finally, this one does not concern the body at all but consists in neglecting everything else, which is just as important. Do not neglect the warm-up, the work on flexibility and mobility as well as the recovery outside the sport which is mainly summarized in nutrition but also sleep, stress level, life hygiene in general.
All of these things can multiply what you get out of your street workout and strength training, just as they can make your workouts almost useless.
The goal of the game is to take tiny steps forward, week by week perhaps over the decades you have left, not to change everything and succeed overnight.
Before I finish, one last little bonus mistake: be careful about the tendency to compare yourself to others. Focus on the positive things that these people offer you: motivation, advice etc...
I hope you enjoyed this article; feel free to leave a little comment, work hard and take care of yourself.
If you want to watch the video on this article, it is available right here !
See you soon,