Monday, February 19, 2007


As I expected - my return to Lisses was just what I needed to refresh my mind, body and understanding of Parkour.

We were lucky enough to spend a great deal of time with Thomas-Des-Bois throughout the week and getting to know him, his training and his motivations has been one of the most defining moments in my training to date. It has changed my views on physical training once again and reminded me that to be useful able to use our ability in a 'real' situation, we need to broaden our training methods and imagine more extreme scenarios when we practice. I also picked up some very useful psychological techniques for overcoming fear and progressed more technically in that week, that I think I could do in 3 months at home.

It was also cool to catch up and train with other friends such as Jerome, Gouda, Bruce and Alex. I'm forever grateful for the 'always welcome' reception in Lisses and it's a true testament to their attitudes that they're still so open to visitors even after seeing their discipline exploited by various worldwide associations.

We trained every single day and night and having just done a quick count, I've worked out that we trained for just under 60 hours of a possible 154! Take into account the hour or so we spent eating per day and the 8 we did sleeping each night, and it truly was a case of doing nothing but eating, sleeping and training our asses off.

One of the most important parts of the trip for me was getting to know the guys I regularly train with week in, week out. I've known one of them for over 2 years and the others for over a year but you don't really know someone when you only spend two days per week with them so living with these guys for a week was truly a test of our friendship and I can happily say we all grew much closer during the week. I've not laughed that much in a LONG time.

So despite having written a long article on a training plan I was trying just before going to Lisses, I've decided to abandon that plan and train on a more day to day basis depending on what parts of my body are tired and what parts are feeling fresh. I've learnt in the past week that learning how to listen to your body and adapt your days' training around that is more productive and less likely to result in overuse injuries than sticking to a strict regime. Although regimes have worked very well for me in the past, I think that it's only now with that experience that I can trust my body to tell me what needs work rather than plan equal amounts of exercise for each body part during the week. If however you feel your training is lacking structure and it's what you might need more of until you can trust your body, then check out my article on Periodised Training for an alternate method of progression I researched over the past couple of months.

Having realised my strength level and ability in Lisses, my goal for now is to develop serious leg power and resistance by training repetitions of landings from a height (I'll carefully discover the height I'm comfortable landing from without a roll). Once per week I plan to do 50-100 repetitions of landings from this height then over time I'll very slowly increase the height until I notice my leg power improving significantly. Having spoken to Thomas about this in detail he advised me of how to do this in a safe manner and how to land and 'resist' the shock properly using muscles rather than trying to absorb it and risk damaging joints.

I am also going to work on my one-armed strength techniques such as pullups, chinups, hanging at different lock angles and of course pushups.

I'll let you all know how this training plan is working out for me and list the advantages and any disadvantages I come across.



The Saiyans said...

It sounds like you had an great time! you're a lucky bastard, Lisses is such an amazing place to practise. More for the people and atmosphere than anything. Did you practise in Evry at all?
We have to train sometime so you can share your new found French wisdom!

Did you pack any protein shakes to take with you?

I feel sorry for your hell nights regulars who I just know are going to suffer higher intensity sessions now!

Anyway speak 2 ya soon dude!

Chris 'Blane' Rowat said...

Hey Blake,

We were going to travel to Evry with Thomas on Thursday but he had a last minute change of plans following news of delays to his shedule. He had to go back to Tours and then went on to Italy so in the end we didn't go to Evry. We did pass through it twice however and it looks soooo good. Next time for sure.

As for my protein fix for the week, I didn't want to go through customs with suspicious pink powder so I bought a bunch of protein bars instead to keep me going! ;-)

Haha, yeah Hell Night resumes this week but most of the regulars actually came to Lisses with me so they're more than happy to step it up and get stronger. I can't wait.

Hopefully see you soon to train and talk about stuff!


The Saiyans said...

BTW Holland and Barrat better than half price sale is on! Protein powder now £9.99

I'm heading up there now!

Chris 'Blane' Rowat said...

Yeah stock up now bro! I came home from Lisses and my dad had bought 4 big tubs from H&B for me... bargain!


Leicester Parkour Association said...

Mate, the caramel and marshmellow protein bar was disgusting!

Thanks for the laughs in Lisses. LOL at the rubbish we left in the hotel room, bloody cleaners (ooopps you owe me a punch haha :P)


Anonymous said...

Oh! Did you have the chance to train with Thomas? How sweet :)

Now you can understand my situation and why I became so devoted to that way of training. Maybe we can trade some point of view later at msn or via email.

Anyway keep training!


Max said...

hey blane, i was reading that article of yours on periodisation(thought it was quite interesting) and i was curious; during each of the 3 month strength training periods, how often would you say that you made your strength training routine harder?

Julian said...

argh just fuckin typed loads and it got deleted!!!!EE"dAEFefse

ANyway, good to hear about that man, sounds great, especially the apple things and brioche lol. Any pictures that you got? Thinking about boppin to leics maybe next thurs or the one after, will try and drag some guys here along for the hell night down your ends.

Sounds like you learnt a lot then, would love to hear about it when we next meet up since its like gold getting some of the french methods and ideas. 60 hours is a serious amount as well man o.O Sounds like it was 100% business and that you really got the most out of your time there,

Good that you saw the locals, really want to meet them! I hope you are planning another trip in the summer since i really want to go providing im not a cripple at that point.
anyway i had typed a lot mroe but i have forgoten it all now, lol
take care man and hopefully see you soon.


Jak Sheen said...

Sounds brill. As soon as my injury has healed up then im gonna try that out, but on a slightly smaller smaller scale.

Did you get any pics/videos? If so where can i see them:-)

Chris 'Blane' Rowat said...

Pics and vids on the way.

Alex, yeah I'll catch you on MSN soon for a chat... looking forward to it!

Max - As for how often you should make the strength period harder, that depends on the individual, too slow and you won't make gains but too fast and you risk overtraining and causing injury. Spend some time getting to know your body, its healing ability and its rate of progression then you will be in a good position to adjust your training accordingly. I would probably either increase the reps, the sets, the load (with a weighted vest or weights) or spend a longer time doing each rep so the muscle(s) are under stress for longer periods every 2 weeks. Just experiment and see what works for you.
If you have any other questions, fire away. =)


Max said...

allright-thanks for the response; i kind of figured that was the idea.
Due to basketball and my training i found that i was getting kind of bogged down so i think i'll take it a bit easier until the season's over.

cookie said...

sounds like a great trip, nice to hear about the friendship thing, thats good stuff

dont know whether you're interested or not, but I have just made a topic on where you can put a link to your Parkour blog, to 'advertise' it, I suppose, and so you can check out some other blogs


cookie //HMB Parkour