Viktor Kamenov started his calisthenics journey all the way back in 2011. One of the first exercises he did were pull-ups, which he would in between classes. | The Story of Viktor Kamenov | His Planche Training & Advice

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by Patrick Toet July 09, 2021

Viktor Kamenov

Age

22

Height

170 cm

Date of birth

Weight

65 Kg

Home country

Bulgaria

Diet

Type of sport

Statics

Only one planche variation for the rest of his life?

Maltese

Favorite calisthenics event

WOB, Street workout ultimate battles. Moscow world federations



Viktor Kamenov currently lives in Sofia, Bulgaria. Kamenov is 22 years old and practices calisthenics already for 8 years, almost 9. He started the sport when he was 13/14 years old. Kamenov started calisthenics after being inspired through athletes on YouTube. His biggest influencer back in the days was Hannibal for King. He wanted to do a similar thing since he was already motivated since gymnastics intrigued him. Another big motivational factor was his uncle, who is 52 years old and never complains about working out. Even though Gymnastics intrigued Kamenov he doesn’t have a background in gymnastics. When he started off, he just tried to imitate strength elements.


Viktor Kamenov started his calisthenics journey all the way back in 2011. One of the first exercises he did were pull-ups, which he would in between classes. Even though this was the real beginning of his calisthenics journey, he doesn’t consider it like that. He considered his start being in 2012 where he focussed on handstand since he was most interested in that element. Back in the days, he was not aware of different elements such as maltese and planche. It took him about 3-4 months to get his first handstand, but mentions that the definition of how good his handstand was, was doubtful. In 2011 his main focus was basics and in 2012 he started to implement skills training too. Even until today, Kamenov still does basics since he considers it beneficial for his strength elements. He states that good form is important to not get injured, if you do this from the beginning and as you level up, you’re less likely to get injured.


Kamenov’s workout is mainly focussed on planches and front levers which he trains 5 days a week and implements 2 days of rest which is active rest where he focuses on flexibility and handstand. He doesn’t focus on freestyle since he is currently not competing. He alternates pushing and pulling days but still works out 4 times a week focussed on planche. The main priority is maintaining his current level and some minor combos he was never able to perform before. There is no rush since he doesn’t want to get injured. 


This choice was made back in 2017 when he figured out there was very little revenue for the amount of effort he puts in. This was also the start for Viktor Kamenov to start his workshops, which he loves to do. These workshops are based on his experience, since there were no good tutorials back in the day. His main learning curve was trial and error, but ever since kept an eye on not rushing his progress. Nowadays, people get influenced a lot around what the community does. Back in his time, there was no reference. He states that people with normal genetics for calisthenics can achieve a high level, if not his level. Just stay patient and have your rest, simply don’t overtrain and get injured. Also considering alternating push and pull day. According to Kamenov the most important rule to gain strength is discipline since motivation will not always be there, discipline helps you to continue training. There is the quote: “motivation will help you start, but discipline will help you continue”. 


According to Viktor Kamenov the planche is mainly learned by attempts, basic conditioning and leans to prepare your body to not get injured. He states there is not one most efficient way, and it is important on what strength level you are currently at. If you have basic strength and can do a straddle planche you should separate your training in 2 parts. The first day will be focussed on form and the other day on the total hold time. It's more about basic strength than resistance band training. Also, a useful tip according to Kamenov is to record yourself and see every little adjustment that needs to be made. If you’re a beginner, it is mainly basics and attempts.


If you do a lot of strength training in the rings, it will not necessarily translate into ground strength. He explicitly says that if you want to get stronger on the ground train on the ground, if you want to get stronger on parallettesthan train on parallettes. For competition, Viktor Kamenov mainly trains for endurance and besides that mainly on good form for single sets. Currently, he doesn’t care about how much rest, he will take it until he can perform a perfect attempt.


According to Kamenov, the bend arm planche will not help for the full planche, since it doesn't train the elbow and shoulder muscles in the same way. It potentially helps partially with core strengthening, but it is in no manner as efficient as straight arm planche training. As a reference, he uses Hannibal for King. He is performing the bend arm planche already for multiple years, but still can’t do a full planche. On the other hand it will help you with planche push-ups, definitely if the focus is on planche push-ups Kamenov advises to hold it on those angles.


Kamenov mentioned that strengthening the lower back as a part of the core is really important in planche training. He mentions that he notices a lot of planches that break form due to weakness in this muscle group, which accordingly results in a banana planche.


Currently, Kamenov is not as active on YouTube since he is lacking time, and he doesn’t want to drop his quality. His main goal is finding a balance between quality and quantity.


As advice for starters he reckons the three most important things: discipline, consistency and train smart. Viktor says, if you have a good training method, but you lack consistency, you won’t achieve anything. 


The biggest injury of Kamenov had been on his wrist. This summer from weighted training he injured his shoulder and had tendonitis. This injury took him out of prime condition and was also the reason why he was not as active. Kamenov thinks that the sport has changed a lot overtime, in the beginning it was mainly stuff like muscle ups and bend arm planches, after that you had the crazy Russian guys with perfect static moves like malteses, and after that you had the dynamics era. Nowadays, there are 4 groups. The static, dynamics, complete athletes and weighted. Viktor thinks that all these specific areas are different types of sports and there should be different competition for every area. 


The community is currently talking about putting the sport as into the Olympics. But Kamenov thinks that that is not such a good idea. According to Kamenov there is already a similar sport which is gymnastics which are performing on a way higher level, on the other hand then there should be made set rules and that is the point. The charm of calisthenics is in the fact that there are no rules, and it is a free sport. Burningate tried to implement such a pointing system. 


His main goal for 2021 is to continue his Instagram and post new video’s, find a good balance between quality and quantity. Besides that, he would like to develop his website and workout programs. He also hopes to start his workshops again if the pandemic ends.


He doesn't have a favorite athlete, but gets motivated from Dailong, Valentin and Nedko. There is no such thing as a stronger plancher in the world. Everybody is better in something else like presses, holds, push-ups etc.


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