I love Dave’s classes! On Saturday at 9 AM we worked on spotting each other (in many cases with two spotters) in working up to an assisted planche. We did this first on parallettes, doing a tuck and pressing the upper back as high as possible. A spotter put a hand under the shins to help elevate just a bit more. No attempt to straighten the legs at this point.
Next, on parallettes using a rubberband hanging from the pull-up bar, a spotter helped lift the legs a bit while keeping a hand in front of the shoulders and encouraging the athlete to shift forward. Scary!
Finally back to the parallettes without the rubberband. Two spotters helped each person. One spotter held the shoulders and the other lifted the feet. The athlete was cued to press up, lock the elbows hard, tighten the stomach, shift forward, back, forward (with spotter help). This was fun to try. We worked in groups of three and circulated through being the athlete and being a spotter.
Next, we stood near the wall with only shoulders leaning on it, with a dumbbell in each hand. Tighten the stomach to approximate the hollow position, and lift the dumbbells (with straight arms) away from you to just under chest height. This simulates the planche position and makes the dumbbells feel impossibly heavy. With 15 pound ones, I could do the drill and hold it a few seconds. With 20 pound DBs, I could lift them barely high enough and could not hold. The strong guys were using pairs of 20-pound DBs if I recall correctly and they could hold them out for several seconds. This lift is hard on the elbows.
The final part of our workout was: for 10 minutes, how many sets of five chest to bar pull-ups can you do on the higher bar? This meant jumping onto the low bar (about 7’7″ high), then shifting with one hand at a time or both hands at once to the higher bar, doing the five pull-ups, and coming back down the way you went up (or letting go and dropping from the high bar onto the floor). I love the stunt of getting onto the high bar even though I can only do it one hand at a time. It is demanding of nerve, strength, commitment, and skill, and is taxing on its own; let alone five explosive pull-ups and then come down. I felt good about being able to do this. I think I did eight rounds. Some of the guys did a lot more.