Author Topic: beginner conditioning  (Read 17059 times)

Offline alyssa summers

  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
beginner conditioning
« on: July 28, 2011, 06:48:06 PM »
k so im not as great at parkour as i thought, im not exactly fit and in shape. does anyone know and conditioning tips for super beginners? mostly inside. im not very strong either. ive been going out with my bro and his friends. everytime i come back home, the next day im sore but my bro isnt. i guess thats bcuz hes trained more. but still
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 06:50:07 PM by alyssa summers »

Offline Donald Morrow

  • Guenons
  • **
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: +2/-1
  • I <3 Andy + Jordan
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 06:59:08 PM »
For starters, I would recommend just simply doing the APK Warm-up, followed by a run. Run as long as you can, and push yourself. Once your done your run, do a few (5-7) 100m sprints, with speed walking in between to finish up. The sprints will help you run longer, faster.

Other than that, just get in the habit of doing anything that will increase your heart rate, and do it daily. If you want, get started doing the Workout of the Day, and just monitor your own progress. Try all of the exercises to the best of your ability, and you will see results.

Hope this helps, and I know there are many other people out there who have more experience than I do and will be able to help you, but that is just my two cents worth :)
Quote
People can say 'You can't, you won't, you never will', but believe in yourself, and you will do the impossible. - Me


Offline alyssa summers

  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 07:05:45 PM »
thnk u it did help XD

Offline Shadow_Walker

  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 07:13:41 PM »
APK Warm-Up and the WOD

And like Donald said, do anything that will increase your heart rate.  Be creative in your training if you don't have the ideal set-up.  Look around your area and try to scope out good places to train.

Offline Mr.WWII

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 760
  • Karma: +17/-0
  • Do what you can't, Parkour.
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2011, 07:27:18 PM »
Endurance training won't help your parkour. You need to go to the General Fitness forum and read the sticky. In a nutshell, you need to get stronger. We generally recommend weight training, look up Starting Strength by Mark Ripptoe. www.startingstrength.com. This consists of squats, deadlifts, Overhead presses, bench press, and powercleans. Just read the General Fitness sticky and you will learn a lot.

Offline DaveS

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 652
  • Karma: +12/-6
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 02:51:39 AM »
Just practice moving past obstacles as much as you can. That will get you fitter and stronger.

You really, really, really don't need to lift weights for that.
~ Dave
NorthernParkour and the British Parkour Coaching Association

Offline Joe Brock

  • #1 Coach
  • Ambassador
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 1322
  • Karma: +70/-7
  • Pick your passion.
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2011, 04:47:54 AM »
I'm so sick of this discussion.

Anyone: Get stronger. Dave: Nope, get over things.

Alyssa, there is actually some science involving proper conditioning.  If you feel like stronger is something that you need, the guys in the GenFit area can tell you the most efficient way to make that happen.  If you're looking to get better through parkour itself, then simply doing it more will also help to condition you.  For the latter, though, you will be more prone to injuries if you get over-ambitious.  If you keep it light, and take adequate rest, and never ever push yourself too hard, the going will be slow but either method will work.
Posts are not to be mistaken for medical or training advice, or anything other than the rantings of an amateur strongman and powerlifter.

Offline Mr.WWII

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 760
  • Karma: +17/-0
  • Do what you can't, Parkour.
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2011, 08:53:07 AM »
You do not NEED to lift weights. We simply highly recommend it because of its efficiency. Most people are very deconditioned these days from entire lives spent relatively sedentary, so their bodies are extremely weak. Sure, they can get stronger and more fit from doing parkour but the progress will be slower and the chance of injury is greater.

Think of it this way. Thousands and thousands of years ago all humans were strong and able to do parkour type things regularly because they never stopped moving, they didn't eat a bunch of artificial food produced in factories, and they didn't have the convenience of elevators, stairs, escalators, pathways, sidewalks, cars etc to get around. So they certainly didn't need to lift weights, because they were never weak in the 1st place, by being constantly active from a young age their bodies developed to be able to handle the types of stuff they did regularly. People's bodies today, however, have developed to sit around 90% of the day and pretty much never, never, never, ever, ever, ever do anything strenuous. Because of this, it is actually dangerous for most people today to take a landing from any sort of height, even a foot, because their legs are so weak. Their joints are going to take more of the impact, and after many repetitive landings, they may have an overuse injury. For this reason, it can be VERY EASY for a beginner to injure themselves when starting parkour if they are not very careful. THAT is one of the main reasons we recommend weight training, because it safely and efficiently can get people stronger to handle the stresses of parkour. Not to mention, weight lifting is far more effective in developing lower body strength

Offline alyssa summers

  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2011, 10:12:31 AM »
Thanx everyone! this helps a bunch  ;D

Offline Conrad Moser

  • Mangabey
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
  • Karma: +20/-8
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2011, 06:01:22 PM »
I prefer bodyweight exercises to weightlifting, but it's all good.

Of course, soon I need to start replenishing the firewood supply for winter, so I'll be getting my heavy lifting in then.
Age is just another obstacle. Get over it.

Offline DaveS

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 652
  • Karma: +12/-6
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2011, 08:55:57 PM »
The science of exercise boils down to the simple fact that you get better at what you practice. Parkour is the discipline of getting past obstacles, where you practice getting past obstacles in order to get better at getting past obstacles.

Avoiding injury involves the same principle whatever activity you're involved in. You need to regain/maintain control of yourself, so as to avoid all the pressures to push too far too fast.

We have a huge range of capabilities. We have a whole range of external and internal senses to keep us informed about our current situation, we have feelings and emotions to keep us connected to our past experiences and we have reasoning to anticipate our future experiences. We even have the ability to repair ourselves in response to unavoidable things. If we allow all these things to develop then they provide everything we need in order to continue to develop.

A sedentary lifestyle does prevent many of these abilities from developing in the most optimal way (i.e. starting from birth), but they can still be developed later on by going through the same stages. Think of it as picking up where you left off, adjusted backwards slightly because of a lack of practice. Think back to the moment where you were first told not to climb on something, or not to run in the place, or not to explore, because that's probably about the time you stopped developing your ability to get past obstacles. I suspect for most of us that's some time in early childhood. When we're starting Parkour we should consider that our starting point, the obstacles that we faced as small children.
A drop of a foot is a significant challenge for someone who is only 3 years old.
~ Dave
NorthernParkour and the British Parkour Coaching Association

Offline Mr.WWII

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 760
  • Karma: +17/-0
  • Do what you can't, Parkour.
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2011, 08:19:41 AM »
All right, I'd really like to settle this debate. I don't know why people are so against weightlifting, as if it somehow ruins the spirit of parkour... Weightlifting is simply a safe and extremely effective way to get stronger. Therefore, we strongly recommend it for many people. Unless you are absolutely appalled at the thought of lifting a weight and you find it repulsive, why not do it? It will help, a lot.

And of course, you don't have to! NO ONE HERE is saying that you MUST lift weights. We simply strongly recommend it! If you want to get in shape through just practicing parkour then go for it. It can work, people do it. If done properly it can be safe too. I just find that way too many traceurs out there in the world right now are weak as crap and hurting themselves more than they're helping themselves. And most of them think "conditioning" or "strength training" is doing hundreds of push-ups, sit-ups, QM, and cat hangs. ughh

Offline Alex Patterson

  • Patas
  • ***
  • Posts: 218
  • Karma: +3/-1
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2011, 08:50:46 AM »
Before I got into parkour I too was against weight lifting. I had in my mind that weightlifting was for the big, slow muscle heads. But this site and people like Joe and mr WWII have taught me different. And since I've started lifting more. I love it. I feel better and stronger then ever.  I agree one does not need it for parkour. My brother has gtten into parkour as well and he's a string bean. But the lifting sure helps in so many more ways.

Offline Joe Brock

  • #1 Coach
  • Ambassador
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 1322
  • Karma: +70/-7
  • Pick your passion.
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2011, 11:32:26 AM »
I'm a huge fan of weight training for any athlete, from almost any sport.  It simply helps to establish a base of strength that makes everything else come easier.  I can say that when I first got into parkour...I had also recently gotten into powerlifting.  The two practices aren't the same, and I'm not going to make the argument that they are.  I can say that my first attempt at performing a back lever (from gymnastics...also not "exactly" parkour), I performed it.  This is because I was able to lift far more than what I weigh.  The same principal applies to drops, jumps, etc.  Laura Phelps-Sweatt has a 52" box jump, and doesn't train specifically for jumps.  She's simply an amazing squatter, and it translates directly.  At slightly over 5' tall, this should be considered as something to take into our practices.

That being said, I like Dave's argument for beginning as though you were a child.  The only issues that you will run into is that it takes the average child about 20-22 years to fully develop their athletic abilities.  It takes a very long time to naturally encounter regular adaptation-promoting obstacles.  Keep in mind, we managed to run from predators for years before the invention of the gym...so it can be done.  On the other hand, I'd also consider the average life-expectancy of man before our modern era.  When running from lions on a regular basis, the condition of your joints at 65 years old isn't really a consideration...because you're most probably not going to live that long.  We are training to get better,not to simply survive, and a linear system of progress is simply easier to plan for using an incremental system.

"All serious athletes will look beyond their individual sport when it comes to conditioning."-Louie Simmons

If you are hoping to do parkour because it's fun, and you simply want to go do it...then that's fine.  Be careful, take no risks, and you'll do great and have a great time.  If you are looking to progress physically at the absolute maximum that your body can recover from without injury, then you'll have to take training outside of the art itself.  It's really that simple.
Posts are not to be mistaken for medical or training advice, or anything other than the rantings of an amateur strongman and powerlifter.

Offline Sam H

  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus
  • *
  • Posts: 47
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Sam Books and Thoughts
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2011, 12:12:30 AM »
I've found that the most important thing for beginners is to find some movement in parkour that you like and to use that enjoyment to set a habit of regular exercise in your life.

After that, for true life-long training ability and injury free practice it is wise to build your aerobic base fitness using very low intensity exercise such as running.  This is necessary to help with recovery from the intensity of parkour training on a day to day basis, and to ensure that strength gains do not disappear as fast as they came if you decide to do some dedicated strength training.

Because parkour is a high intensity (highly anaerobic) activity, it has a highly inflammatory effect on the body.  All of the aches and pains from this inflammation are much better dealt with (faster recovery) if the circulatory system (blood flow which carries nutrients) is highly developed.  Aerobic muscle fibers that develop with aerobic activity have a lot more blood vessels and therefore accomplish this better than anaerobic muscle fibers.

If this is too confusing, I'd say just stick to what is fun and find achievable challenges to work on for now.  Later in your journey you will naturally explore more and when you find barriers to improvement, e.g. excessive soreness and excessive recovery, then you will seek out solutions to overcome those barriers.

Some references for anyone interested:
http://stadion.com/science_sports_training.html
http://content.bandzoogle.com/users/cippianhotmail/files/The-Overtraining-Syndrome.pdf
http://philmaffetone.com - More focused on endurance training but the science behind it still applies to having a strong and healthy body.
I've summarised Dr. Maffetones advice on starting fitness here
Learn from others but be yourself, find your own way.

Offline Joe Brock

  • #1 Coach
  • Ambassador
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 1322
  • Karma: +70/-7
  • Pick your passion.
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2011, 04:56:43 AM »
^^This makes no sense...

...at all.

I like the idea of regular exercise as a habit.  That's about all that I'd agree with from the above.  Running is essentially a "high-impact" practice, which would actually interfere with parkour practice.
Posts are not to be mistaken for medical or training advice, or anything other than the rantings of an amateur strongman and powerlifter.

Offline Mr.WWII

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 760
  • Karma: +17/-0
  • Do what you can't, Parkour.
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2011, 06:28:11 AM »
when it comes to strength gains the only thing long-slow-distance running will do is degrade fast twitch fibers and make them more oxidative

Offline DaveS

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 652
  • Karma: +12/-6
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2011, 05:37:42 AM »
Joe, I had to laugh at your last line. Running interferes with Parkour? Running often IS Parkour! :)

All right, I'd really like to settle this debate. I don't know why people are so against weightlifting, as if it somehow ruins the spirit of parkour...
The spirit of weightlifting is different to the spirit of Parkour. Weightlifting has the focus on becoming physically stronger, whereas Parkour has the desire to become stronger in every way necessary in order to get past obstacles. The two can be complimentary sometimes, there definitely is an overlap between weight lifting and Parkour, but it is important to recognize that there are some things that are important for Parkour that weightlifting does not cover, for instance learning to adapt yourself. Weightlifting, or any other activity for that matter, should not be thought of as a blanket solution for Parkour. The solution for Parkour is Parkour.

On a personal note I don't object to weightlifting, I just think Parkour is better overall. I don't like the assumption that weightlifting is better than Parkour, and I object to people making that assumption for others. Most especially on the one place I would expect people to be helping people practice Parkour, i.e. a Parkour website. When beginners ask for help with Parkour I think it's crazy to point them to a different activity completely. Let's stick to helping them learn Parkour at the start, and leave other activities out of it until they've got a grasp of this first one.


I'm a huge fan of weight training for any athlete, from almost any sport.  It simply helps to establish a base of strength that makes everything else come easier.  I can say that when I first got into parkour...I had also recently gotten into powerlifting.  The two practices aren't the same, and I'm not going to make the argument that they are.  I can say that my first attempt at performing a back lever (from gymnastics...also not "exactly" parkour), I performed it.  This is because I was able to lift far more than what I weigh.  The same principal applies to drops, jumps, etc.  Laura Phelps-Sweatt has a 52" box jump, and doesn't train specifically for jumps.  She's simply an amazing squatter, and it translates directly.  At slightly over 5' tall, this should be considered as something to take into our practices.
You can't train for Parkour by lifting weights. It's not that lifting weights is a bad way of training, it's just impossible to learn one way of training by practicing another. Parkour is not a sport. Parkour is a system of training. It might seem to some that I'm arguing about a technicality, but there is an important difference between the two. A sport has it's own goals, a training system helps you with your own goals. You can train in many different ways for a sport because all that matters are it's own end goals, but the only way to learn a training system is to practice that method.

Being able to jump 5 feet or 5 miles is irrelevant to Parkour, because Parkour has no tangible goals of its own. Parkour wants what you want, and what matters to you, me or anyone, is being able to get past the obstacles you're faced with. When choosing how to train the issue is what's best for you, what enables you to get past the obstacles you're faced with, not trying to invent some imaginary goals for Parkour.

So the question is then, what abilities do you need to get past the obstacles life presents you with? If all you care about is maximum physical development then sure, lift weights, however I don't think that applies to most people. I think most people have other, more pressing concerns. We've discussed in the past that you, with your particular lifestyle choices, have a greater than average emphasis on great physical strength. However I think that even for you, your physical strength needs to be complemented by an inner strength of mind and desire. I think that is even more the case for the vast majority of the rest of the population.

Compared to weightlifting, Parkour provides less physical development but more internal development. However, I think Parkour provides all the outer physical development that most people have a practical need for. Since it provides a lot more of the inner development that people also have a practical need for, I think this makes Parkour a better choice for most people looking to develop themselves.



Yes, it takes a long time to properly develop yourself both internally and externally, mais c'est la vie.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 06:23:45 AM by DaveS »
~ Dave
NorthernParkour and the British Parkour Coaching Association

Offline Joe Brock

  • #1 Coach
  • Ambassador
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 1322
  • Karma: +70/-7
  • Pick your passion.
    • View Profile
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2011, 06:23:41 AM »
Ok, technical correction. "DISTANCE running, would interfere with recovery from a regular parkour-based practice."

So the question is then, what abilities do you need to get past the obstacles life presents you with? If all you care about is maximum physical development then sure, lift weights, however I don't think that applies to most people. I think most people have other, more pressing concerns.  Like getting tickets to see Lady Gaga.  We've discussed in the past that you, with your particular choices to be a superhero, have a greater than average emphasis on godlike physical strength. However I think that even for you, your physical strength needs to be complemented by an inner strength of mind and desire. I think that is even more the case for the vast majority of the rest of the population.

Corrected your quote...to fit me better. :D  Now to deal with what you're actually saying:

I can tell that by jumping park benches, and not trying to jerk double your weight over your head...you probably don't appreciate the strength of desire required to excel at lifting in general.  That's not what I wish to discuss, though.

You're saying that parkour is training?  It isn't an art, or a sport?  Wow, that actually makes everything you've ever said make so much more sense to me.  I have always viewed it as an art at getting over things, around things, through things...really fast if possible.  If I want to pet a kitten, since parkour wants what I want, then parkour can be the method that I use to get to the kitty?  I take it all back.  Holy...Dave just started to make sense to me.

So, with that in mind, I change my original statement to reflect a general re-defining of "parkour." It doesn't matter how good you are at parkour...there is no good or bad!  Walking to the kitchen to make a sandwich can be parkour.  YAY!  If you want to get physically more capable, though, and also enhance your physical abilities during parkour...then I strongly recommend lifting weights.
Posts are not to be mistaken for medical or training advice, or anything other than the rantings of an amateur strongman and powerlifter.

Offline NOS - from Parkour Mumbai

  • Mangabey
  • ****
  • Posts: 387
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Parkour Mumbai
Re: beginner conditioning
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2011, 08:08:52 AM »
Ok, technical correction. "DISTANCE running, would interfere with recovery from a regular parkour-based practice."

Corrected your quote...to fit me better. :D  Now to deal with what you're actually saying:

I can tell that by jumping park benches, and not trying to jerk double your weight over your head...you probably don't appreciate the strength of desire required to excel at lifting in general.  That's not what I wish to discuss, though.

You're saying that parkour is training?  It isn't an art, or a sport?  Wow, that actually makes everything you've ever said make so much more sense to me.  I have always viewed it as an art at getting over things, around things, through things...really fast if possible.  If I want to pet a kitten, since parkour wants what I want, then parkour can be the method that I use to get to the kitty?  I take it all back.  Holy...Dave just started to make sense to me.

So, with that in mind, I change my original statement to reflect a general re-defining of "parkour." It doesn't matter how good you are at parkour...there is no good or bad!  Walking to the kitchen to make a sandwich can be parkour.  YAY!  If you want to get physically more capable, though, and also enhance your physical abilities during parkour...then I strongly recommend lifting weights.
Yay for Joe!! :D
Excellent response.