NIV BEKERMAN | Planche, Handstand & Hard Work | Interview | The Athlete Insider Podcast #42
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there is no magic tip not for lunch and no for instance just put in the wok and it will pay off your gorillas welcome to the athlete insider podcast by gornation my name is Phil and today's guest is the handstand and hand balancing planche master i'm happy to welcome you to the show nif bekerman thank you very much yes so today we did a story and asked for the people what they want to know from you and we received a lot of questions even though it was just a few hours before the interview so let's kick off who is nif and how do you present yourself i'm 19 years old i'm from israel and i've been doing a street workout for a bit more than four years already and i really like handstand and planche mostly and i train a streetwalker to enjoy mainly 19 years wow i didn't expect that i thought you're a little older so big compliment for that thank you your performances are now even more uh um how is it called uh impressive uh so thank you very much nice um yeah let's kick off with the with the hard facts people always ask for this uh you already said 19 years old how how heavy are you 65 kilograms 65 and how tall one meter and 68 centimeters okay cool um yeah then uh tell us how did you get in touch with the sport how did you start with a street workout so i've seen like a planche on youtube on a youtube video and i didn't know that that you need hard work to achieve it i've seen it as a cool like a trick like a cool party trick and i saw i i googled it i checked how to train for it and i've seen that it's really like like a serious thing that you need like to put really big effort but i've started and i got really addicted and after uh training like a few months i i started doing handstand for the planche because i have that it's good for the for the planche training so i got even more addicted with instant and i started combining the two until today and when was that like four years ago pretty much when i was in school so with 15 years started yeah wow that's uh quite early thank you and um from the beginning it was always a handstand and planche like the hand balancing and planche yeah yeah when i had like a competition or something then i i trained the front lever a bit like for a few seconds just because i thought that it would be good using it but i never really liked explaining it so i didn't like keep up with it okay and people um are like the community is always interest how did your beginnings go was everything really easy for you did you feel that your body was made for planche or did you also have some struggles in the beginning i'm i'm really short and i'm not heavy like most of the calisthenics athletes that play they do planches so it would in this term it was pretty easy but uh i had the attack planche like first attempt because i had good basics i've been doing push-ups before a bit of push-ups so but uh yeah i think my progress went really fast actually i was lucky or it was genetics i don't know like i got the strategy around two to three months and the full plunge in a bit like in another two months so it was pretty quick my wrists were like a bit uh maybe i had pain in the beginning but it wasn't like a serious injury so it passed pretty quickly okay because it was a lot of pressure even though you did push-ups it it's a completely different pressure for the rest i i did only flow so true that's what's impressive as well we will come to that uh later on you said you started with push-ups and this is something that um i would like to take into consideration when you say yeah i needed two to three months for the straddle planche to a month more for the full planche but for me uh the the push-ups i think you already said it they light laid the foundation they um did a lot of basic work um do you think they helped you for the for the quick progress i'm sure he did i'm sure he did i i was like i've started like with i don't know if you know it but there was like a push-up challenge in youtube it's called the bring celia challenge yes yes so i did it like uh for the i i didn't really train i just wanted to complete the video and i got addicted with this so i ended up doing this challenge three times in a row like for for 10 minutes and after that i started blanching so i it has built me like really good foundation for the planche okay and when did you start with the basics with push-ups no i've been doing this challenge like maybe one month before the planche i i haven't been doing like basics for years no okay so it's also with 15 years you start with a push-up challenge with uh bring salia yeah and then you discovered street workout went uh for tuck planche for a handstand for uh then straddle planche okay interesting and um why did you stick with uh let's call it only because it's quite rare that somebody focuses so much on on hand balancing and planche only um because most of the athletes uh at least they do like all the statics some iron cross some victorian whatever yeah um but uh you rarely see or i rarely see you doing something else than um hand balancing which is good but uh why did you stick with these two um areas only well i've started doing a straight workout for my own fun like because i enjoyed it so i continue to train just for me to like so i can enjoy it so if there's something that other people expect you to train because you you you will be considered as a complete athlete athlete and you you will get more points in a competition i i don't really i really just train for fun so i do what i want and if i enjoy doing only planche an instant i will stick to planche and if one day i will enjoy doing front lever then i start front lever for show but i train for myself not so over people opinions so wow that's uh really cool so um i can completely understand uh this standpoint um but uh in the world of street workout let's call it uh you might have some some difficulties or as you said like four competitions you have also have to do some other stuff how is your uh are you aren't focused on competitions or what is your opinion on competitions in general i actually never thought about competitions but i had the chance to compete twice like once in the burning gate last year actually and once in the online battles of the world of valuables yes so the two caught me really by surprise i wasn't i wasn't training for the competition i wasn't ready to compete but like a friend from the israeli community of streetwork i'll send me a message he said let's try send the video like let's understand the video for the bearing gate i also know that the bearing gate is mainly statics like they give a lot more points to the static so so i sent a video like a static onboard floor only plunged in instant and i got accepted so i i just i had a few seconds of front lever yeah so i said yeah let's go i'll just i'll try it's a cool experience but with all the pressure like i wasn't ready to compete and so many people i wasn't expecting that so my combo didn't go as well as i accept as i expected and so this competition didn't go well but the experience was amazing but i didn't feel like like i didn't like progress in the competition so the the uh the fact that i only did launch an end stand wasn't like an issue because i didn't have the chance to feel it but i did get the feeling that i brought something different to the competition like a different style and they organized they they also said it to me there like my style was really different from the from the other satellite they only did like planche push-ups yes front lever all the normal stuff i like i did only one minute of only flow so that was pretty rare there and the online battles isn't really like a normal competition i mean it's online and you can you could only send the video from your home so this really just it was perfect for me because i only played on flow and it was really just perfect so this one went well and i i got i got the first i want it and it was also about creativity um the world of my heroes and you also did a great job there i still remember i'm asking myself when i see you performing on on the floor on on your p-bars etc um what do you think are the reasons that uh you are on this high level like uh was it is it your good genetics you already said you're quite light and and um your size also plays a role uh is it your nutrition is it that you work harder than everybody else what are the secrets what is what do you think is the reason of your success well i'd say first of all thank you but uh i'd say that uh it's not i mean my genetics does play play a role in this but uh the real thing i think that it's just hard work because a lot of people like ask me on instagram and give me a tip for the one arm instant like one word and you and you that's it your training will now be perfect you get old no uh handstand especially even more than plunge it's only like hard work when i uh started training one arm instance i was in school so i was just come come home i throw my hands in the bag and i've been training like handstand for around three to four hours every day until i was holding my wrists and crying because i was trained for so many hours like every day at least two hours every day so when you put in the work so many hours every day you just your body get get used to the position and the progress and it adopted it pretty fast so i say only how it works there is no magic tip not for planche and no for instance just put in the work and it will pay off wow okay that's interesting uh because it leads me to the next question um you're right like putting in a lot more work than everybody else helps etc and your body adapts um the concern that i have and also some people from the community had uh what about your wrists uh like also shoulders a lot of injuries also happen in the shoulder region but um i think mainly because you do uh on the you do a lot of stuff on the floor what about your uh your wrists uh yeah this is really important because you do need to know the limit of your body when it comes to the plunge yeah i i don't recommend training it like every day i i didn't train every day i tried like three to four times a week i'd say because this is really risky on the shoulders but when it comes to handstand it's really it's a it's mostly technique like one am instant it's mostly technique you shouldn't you shouldn't be using too much power in this so at first maybe you need to to do it slowly but this is really mostly technique so you can put in like a few hours every day it is possible without getting injured you need to know your limits and do it slowly yeah and but you do need to know that when you trying to get one hour man stand or even hence then you need to train every day at least like every day few minutes every day at least and when it comes to the harder positions like one arm and so on then three like a few hours every day i'd even say do it slowly but you won't progress as fast as you want if you if you want be willing to put in the work every day okay and uh work means for you also some mobility routines some stretching of the wrists uh some exercise especially for the joints or does it mean like doing handstands for three day hours or being on the hands for two and a half hours per day you warm up well and then you just go on your hands for a few hours there is a few different exercises for one arm i mean but they are all like they are they are all pretty much the same okay and the handstand as well you just like you you jump over to the handstand with the wall you try to like balance it and you try to remove your legs from the wall and you just like to balance and that's it pretty much okay sounds uh simple but not easy you know like yeah it's it's simple it's simple but most people won't keep up with the consistency they won't they will do it for four weeks and then they stop um yeah but you use most of the people like they they try to like they want to be they they aim for competitions i don't know they want to be like complete athletes they want to train all the elements in the same time like plunge their festo and one almonds and all i want everything but when it comes to to every element but especially for handstand you need to focus only on handstands like to put in the work every day if you'll try to go all elements at the same time your progress will be really slow and you might be like really slow when it comes to the one-hour main stand you really need to focus only on instance or maybe handstand and planche because these two can work together but you need to focus like on one goal or two goals not everything at the same time that's why people don't see progress cyber i think in this sport when it comes to the one-arm instance okay because you also give a lot of workshops uh locally uh in israel and i think you talk with a lot of people uh athletes who share their training methods etc with you and this is the main reason that you see or what are other reasons that you see people who don't progress as fast as they could be and when it comes to like the street workout athletes because the workshops i give are not only for street workout athletes there are many people who are like only wants to get the handstand only want the one i'm instant so these people when it comes to these people the part of getting all the elements is not an issue because they only want the handstand and when it comes to the street workout at least it is an issue that i see that they want to give everything and they don't put the effort every day like i said but there is one more main reason that it's not only for the end stand it's for every element and the entire city will go uh people like train with ego like they they want to get the one hour instant quickly so they immediately start with attempt so they want the straddle branch quickly so they immediately start with attempts you really need like to be honest with yourself and work the lower level first watch out like watch your phone it is really important especially for the one hour main stand and so like don't skip levels a lot of people i see in workshops and so on they try to like do the advanced level before they are ready for it and they're risking their progress and their body because it can cause injury really really fast so i'd say not training mainly one or two goals like not putting in enough work in one specific element and and the other reason people don't see progress is that they they train with ego okay yeah because the temptation is there you know like when i see your your numbers or also the image that you see on social media like my uh six month pla full planche progress or uh my three month calisthenics transformation like these videos uh seem to show that people are progressing so fast so the temptation is always there to skip yeah i agree i agree it's held like with all the people getting this uh one-hour mention screenshots just to show that they can hold it and everyone see that and they're like i want it to just try to let the arm go something will happen it doesn't work okay um you work on like how is your um percentage how many trainings do you do on on the ground on parallettes and you also work on handstand blocks um is it eighty percent uh on the floor and twenty percent on parallettes or it's actually it's different between periods like i used to train a lot on on people as well but nowadays i really just do on the floor like my training right now i don't do any specific sets or anything i just i i train for my own fun even more like nowadays because i know that i won't be able to train as much as i want to in in the army which is really close so i just trained for myself there is no real like there is no point in progressing a lot this time because i know that i'm going to stop training really soon so nowadays i only do like freestyle like freestyle on flow but just i just like i think about an idea and i try to do it in my workout i just do what i want nowadays okay so your workout schedule uh is how is it like uh like maybe right now it's the wrong situation but usually how does your typical workout schedule for the week look like uh i i like do i do one day of mainly handstand and i do one day of many planches and and i do basics like once in a week the basics like push-up dips and pull-ups and uh i i really just go for combos like combos or tricks if it's handstand then i try to do different hopes that i haven't tried in the past i always try to do stuff that people have never done before or never thought of doing and when it comes to plunge i i start with combos push-ups presses and stuff and i finish with just like maximum holes i just i i try to push my power to the limit like i do sets and another maximum sets until i don't have power anymore and this is if i have like motivation some days i don't have a lot of motivation so my trainings are really short okay so when you don't have enough motivation you just you you uh sometimes skip a long workout you know like you shorten a quick long workout yeah nowadays yeah but like in the past when i was a beginner i was so addicted that there was no there was no days without motivation i just had to put in the work it's like once you get the first one on instant home you can't stop you just yeah you have to do it again and again and it's annoying because you'll have a week where you can't hold the second and another week where you hold every workout and it goes on and off so but you're addicted so right now when i already i can do honor man stand i can do french it's it's actually a lot of people think that like it's easy to lose motivation in the early levels i think that it's easier to lose motivation in the advanced like in your advanced times where you already can do the elements it's easier to lose motivation because because uh sometimes you feel like there's no no no you you don't progress you stop progressing when you're a beginner you see the progress like week to week month to month but in the advanced level you have like really long periods where you don't see progress and also like i don't know you you get you do this the same stuff like every week and you you just forget why you started or you maybe you stop enjoying it and you have to keep reminding yourself why are you doing this and ask yourself questions do i still enjoy it do i still want to do it people look at you and they think he never loses motivation he can already do everything i wish i could do this stuff but when you can do this stuff it really is a tourist motivation in my opinion yeah i can uh totally relate so what is your opinion on the quote that or on the opinion that discipline is more important than motivation yeah i i completely agree with it but uh i don't know when it comes to street workout like you if you if you really like if this is your goal and you really want to do it and you know why you want to do it then yeah i agree with this but uh sometimes you need to ask yourself if it's really good for me do i really need to train the amount of time that i train it's really good for me but yeah in the beginner levels i completely agree like when you're a beginner you need to just put in the work and if you give up then maybe you didn't want it good yeah like like you you didn't want it for real you know okay um somebody asked what came first the one i'm handsome or the full planche i think it was like a full planche with not really a good form and then the one i mentioned first i think okay um yeah what is your advice um to beginners and intermediates uh listening you already talked about the the mistakes they do or that you often see um do you have like one or two advice exercises whatever and that might help somebody listening when it comes to the planche i'd say really like doing the the basics the tuck the then stack before the start that i mean and really like film yourself with your phone and check your phone all the time make sure you train with good form because good form will make you progress faster that's my opinion and also combine p bars and floor don't do only p-valves it's better if you do only flow because if you do only p-bus you will end up being able to planche only on p-bars and not on flow i find flow like if you if you train on floor you will be able to perform plantar fibers as well i find flow like it gives more progress in my opinion so train mostly on flow of course be careful of injuries and that's for the planche for the handstands and i say for instance and planche i'd say really don't forget the basics like like like i said before don't train with ego like if you can do this throttle punch still don't forget the the advanced tuck bench with the good form if it's still hard for you and for the one-hour maintenance stand as well like always go back and do the basics i can hold the one i'm instant for four months more than a minute and i still and i still go back for the basics every workout pretty much wow more than one minute that's crazy that's so crazy um did you try an attempt uh to switch arms how long you can stand uh like uh with both arms like weight shifts weight shifts yeah like maxwell's on right and max hold like just moving between the two moving between the two endless ah i can do this for a long time like more than more than 10 minutes i think no no no no the the maximum holds they get better if you do if your trainings are more like endurance like if you if all your workouts you're doing maximum then then you will get you'll see fast progress in this stuff but my trainings are not like for endurance so i can do like three to four minutes i think of weight shifts and one minute on my right side and my left side like 14 seconds i think wow yeah wow that's uh really impressive um thank you questions secured uh for your front lever um yeah you already said uh training it's sometimes only for competitions uh really um yeah um just sometimes um how how does it go like um you don't focus on it does it stay the same or do you lose it if you don't train it i don't have it anymore i haven't trained in like half a year i think maybe more i can't even remember the last time i've tried it and i used to be able to front lever for around five seconds but i stopped training it and as i said before i i thought why why am i don't why i don't train it and i figured out that i just don't enjoy training so i figure out that there is no point doing something you don't enjoy if you don't see the why there is no reason to for me at least that's my opinion everyone are different there are people who wants to be complete at the goal so i don't wanna like so yeah that's my opinion but it's it's a it's impressive you know like the calisthenics community uh even though it's not one of the biggest sports in the world yet uh there are so many people with different opinions different goals uh different mindsets and different training approaches which makes it so interesting um and yeah i for exam i really like that there is uh burning gate who offer like a statics competition because then uh people like you um who don't aim to be the the complete athletes which means the dynamics and aesthetics uh also can perform because it's it's insane for me what you do uh in your thank you that's like like that's the part that's the good part of his sport not being official so yeah that's true that's a big benefit that it brings uh you also train a lot on handstand blocks can you uh explain the the benefits of them or why do you train with them well like when you train for one handstand like it's it might be boring like you're doing the same things all over again the same way shifts and this the blocks like they add something interesting to your workout this can help people who who are frustrated about their workouts their one-on-one workouts but also they really add ways to train that you can't you can't train that without the blocks like pushing the shoulder from from the from low from the floor to like uh to the block it bring your shoulder to a position like from from here to here when you weight shift that you just can't do without the block so the rails that the blocks bring you are something that can help your progress and and you just can't you can't progress that way with flow only but you don't really you don't have to change blocks i got my one or instant without blocks but as i said it can help to people who don't see progress or they need like they need something new to add to a workout something something different a bit different okay get it um the um the nutrition uh i would like to to know what your nutrition looks like and what you think about um its influence on on the performance uh when i started like as a beginner i ate whatever i want i didn't care like everything i didn't like i didn't eat healthy at all and they didn't stop me from progressing so i don't know but nowadays i do it healthy healthy i don't know i don't think that it's it's not because of the sport but i just i don't want to put like to to eat unhealthy stuff i don't want to eat things that are not good for my body but i don't i don't think that it it it didn't stop me from from progressing but this is really just for me so i think that someone else might like get hurt their workouts might be worse when they eat bad but for me it wasn't an issue maybe also because of your age i mean when you're 15 uh i think you can eat everything and uh if you don't have like yeah nowadays it's not not the same as the past so you already feel like a difference between 15 being 15 and 90. yeah yeah you you feel it pretty quick wow and do yourself you see yourself uh still like doing uh one handstand planches etc when you're 50 60 yeah yeah i really like i want to like i want to keep doing workshops i want to like i want to expand this part of me like i i don't do i haven't done a lot of workshops and i really want just after the army like to really get into it not as the main job probably but that's maybe something i can do like as a side job or something that because i enjoy it so i really want to like you see you vale alone your volunteers if you know him he's a famous hand balancer so he is like 16 15 years old this place pretty like pretty old and he's still doing workshops all over the world one how many he does one i'm instant like easily and yeah um a question that was asked also a lot of times um do you think like um because you don't do pulling movements right yeah do you think this creates imbalances and will um create injuries long term or are you afraid of that i think that not doing like basics at all like when i say basics i mean also pull-ups yeah so i think that nowadays i don't do a lot of basics and i think there is no good it's not good for my progress but as i said before like nowadays i don't aim to progress i just aim to enjoy what i do right now but to progress like if if i was in a period where i really aim to progress then i'd really like do more basic small push-ups and more pull-ups like i i would add the pull parts maybe not front lever but at least pull ups because i think it is important for your progress to do the basics to do the foundation okay if somebody has a banana handstand let's call it uh due to um due to bad shoulder mobility um is it better to start with um the the banana form to do the the handstand but being able to hold it or is it better to directly for focus on uh on the good mobility and to improve the mobility i would say actually fails to balance the banana instant actually because you you want to face learn how to how to stand how to stand without a wall like learning the balance i always say in workshops first learn to balance and then worry about your like about being in a straight line so after you learn the balance you can start working on getting your handstand straight okay um somebody was also asking um if you can cut down the time that you need for a handstand and planche with weights on on the ankle or a weight vest you know like uh does it does it i haven't tried i haven't tried this kind of workouts but as i said before people are looking for like magic tricks when it comes to handstand and punches i don't think there is a magic trick otherwise than just how it work so i don't know i haven't tried it personally okay and what are your current training goals i don't really have one right now because i mean personally i'm in a period where i i'm gonna stop training for a while in really soon so i don't have any you know you understand so there's nothing that you want to achieve before it's just enjoying every training right now i do have like tricks that i want to do but i don't i can't think of one right now it just pops out in my head like once in a while and then i say i'll try it and i try the next workout if i can do it then i'm happy if i can't then it's annoying but that's it i don't it's like uh a week goes nothing really for the long term okay makes sense yeah we're slowly coming to an end of the interview and we still have some quick quick questions quick answers always what do you prefer pizza or burger pizza pizza and are you a dog or a cat person dog dog dog person um do you have a favorite location for holidays what does that mean i don't understand uh do you have what is it no i do understand the english but what is the what do you mean location like a tree or country or city or some people say i prefer the the mountains i prefer the sea and you told me that you prefer the cold in the beginning that you like because there is no cold in israel so when it is you like it that's for me personally but when it comes to the israeli holidays most of them are like religious holidays so our country israel is like a part of the of our religion so it's the holy land so when it comes to it to the holidays i personally and my family and most of the religious people and do the holidays in israel and like a family stuff so sounds good yeah sounds good uh it's it's funny because uh we have minus six degrees here minus uh during the day and how many degrees do you have right now in in february 28 28 and this is so fine i've been at the beach today like it's just hot wow yeah wow and you would you change with me if if we could change them no no no no germany is like it's too cold it's too much man i wouldn't ended it okay damn it okay um do you do you have uh athletes who inspire you uh or athletes that you follow on social media well when i started my main motivations were obviously dan and tom wasn't there because they were like the the sign of the israeli street workout community so seeing them do planches at school and handstand school this really just just really motivated me when i when i started and for now they are still really big inspirations and now that i know the sport more i also have like the hand balancers that i found that i find really motivation miguel hand balance on instagram and you all on hands and the victor as well for the straight workout yeah these are the main athletes that i take motivation from oh yeah um do you have a favorite book harry potter harry potter yeah i'm always surprised how many people uh say this uh okay uh also your favorite movie or is it something else i don't know i don't really like the harry potter movies i don't know maybe fast and furious i don't know okay okay uh do you have a favorite song right now oh i changed my favorite songs all the time okay for workouts i'd say like when every once in a while ncs no copyright song they released something that i really like hearing so now this is fireflies pt2 like the the different kind of of the firefly the well-known firefly okay cool um yeah you're the best calisthenic event you've ever visited well obviously the burning gate i can imagine yeah true okay and the last question what's your message to the calisthenics community what do you want to tell the listeners okay i just i really want to highlight like the the two things that i i've said during the interview like that you really need to a lot of people in this sport are training with ego something that i do see on instagram and people asking me you really need like to be willing to be honest with yourself and put in the work probably for probably watching your form all the time a lot of people in this sport really like they want to be the the complete athletes so i say that it's it's really cool like the idea of being a complete outlet but you really need to like be willing to put in the work in in one or two main goals first before you move on to the others that way you will see like a faster progress in the in the goals that you do that you do train instead of like seeing really small progress in everything i find this way of training better and also like don't forget to like enjoy enjoy training don't train like don't hate what you do and just do it for i don't know i don't know why but make sure you enjoy what you do and that's it pretty much wow thanks for your time nif um thank you how can people find you how uh you have your youtube channel you have an instagram channel yeah i'm mainly active on my instagram channel but i do upload to youtube like not too much but once in a while okay so if somebody has a question instagram is the waiting inc yeah i try to answer pretty much everyone awesome great then i'm saying thank you for your time i really really appreciate it uh sharing the insights because you you have some some really hard fans some loyal fans uh people who requested you already since months really yeah so that's uh that's nice to see and you really deserve it awesome person thank you very much and uh awesome athlete so um yeah before you can end the episode nif i want to say thank you to everyone listening to this till the end um big big thank you for your support of this podcast series and if you want to help us even more more you can leave a like you can leave a comment subscribe whatever thanks a lot for growing calisthenics with us and if you can say goodbye thank you very much.