Class is one hour long. We have to warm up, we do have to do lift  and we have to condition. While that is  a lot to squeeze in to 60 minutes we usually still have time each day for a skill.

There are times when we focus on specific skills for a period. You may see pull ups and handstands a couple of times a week for a cycle. Many  times our skill work though is designed to simply teach you how to practice. The handstand progression actually starts with wall walks which scaled appropriately are accessible to anyone. The drills you learn can take you up to a free standing hand stand and then on from there.

Just learning the drills in class though is not simply enough. In fact that may be the easy part. In order to develop skills you will almost definitely need to work on them outside of class. Time is a precious resource.  In order to make the most of your time though you need to choose the proper skill to develop. The movements you want to improve are up to you but there are definitely some guidelines you need to consider if you are going to be successful in your efforts.


Saying I want to work on pull ups Monday, Wednesday and Friday is not a plan. It is the start of a plan. Instead you need to outline your drills and reps schemes for that drill as well as how you can measure progress and increase the difficulty of the plan. That doesn’t mean you can’t adjust the plan. In fact that’s why we measure progress. If it isn’t working change it.

Skill Level

Every beginner wants a muscle up but that isn’t a beginner skill. You may need to develop other skills first. The trick is to break the movement down and work on the pieces you don’t have. There is a skill hierarchy and to ignore is to fail. For the muscle up the hierarchy looks something like ring row-pull up-kipping pull up- chest to bar- strict chest to bar- false grip ring pull up- muscle up from the pull up side and push up- box dip-bar dip-ring dip- muscle up from the dip side. Developing a muscle up then means figuring out where you fall on this continuum and working your way up. Only when you can do false grip pull ups and ring dips should you begin working on your muscle up



Not every skill can be developed in 5 minutes twice a week. Some can. Some can also be developed in free time at home rather than the gym. You need to pick the skills and the number of skills that is appropriate for the amount of time you are willing to dedicate to getting better.