Originally Posted by Steven Low
Fact of the matter is your friend is not you. You mentioned that you had short arms which is a HUGE disadvantage when trying to learn the front lever and planche although advantageous with back lever, cross, maltese, and inverted cross.
Upper body mass does help but with each person it is different. You can't say you would be better at a MUCH higher weight depending on how your frame is built with limb lengths, torso biomechanics and such. It's possible you may already be at your optimal weight or very close to it. That's why I would suggest only gaining more or less about 5-15 lbs of muscle mass and retrying to learn from there. If you're still extremely lacking in upper body strength by then (which is highly doubtful), you can keep on adding more if you need to.
Also, people respond much different to training based on their diet, sleep regiment and genetics. If you all had the same everything you might have a case as to why he progressed faster with the planche than just muscle (if muscle was the only underlying factor he should've progressed the faster from the start as opposed to you being similar up to adv. tuck planche).. but you probably don't have all those same attributes. You'll ALWAYS run into major problems if you try to compare yourself with others when working towards these skills so I would suggest just not doing it.
That makes sense Steven. I guess better explained would be that I'm trying to attain a more proportionate body in order to progress better with the gymnastics moves while at the same time having a more intimidating looking body with deeper shoulder cuts and more muscle seperation. I understand that I may never be able to get a full planch because of my proportions; however, if I can get a full solid 4-5 second stradle hold that looks clean and picture worthy I'd be happy. All this at a weight of 180 CUT in order for me to be able to also lift a lot of weight in the main oly / power lifts.
I guess I am wanting some from both worlds, but I feel that if I don't expect to excell at either and be decent/good at both; that I can have skills that reach to both genre of strenght. Maybe at some point in the distant future, excell at both at this weight; but I'll have to determine what truly the 'sweet' spot is I guess. For now tho, lets go higher.
I've heard some guys say for hypertrophy anywhere from 6-12 reps. It's all over the board! Whats the concensus?