If you are strapped for time, and are looking for creative and fast ways to train, a GREAT exercise to have in your “toolbox” is the handstand push up. It is a killer move for building those super-hero shoulders – without any added equipment, and in a very “functional” way.
Thing is, the exercise is TOUGH. Most people cannot do even one – let alone perform the movement well enough to actually incorporate it into a regular workout routine.
Well, if you are interested in learning how to do this exercise – or even if you’ve already got it down, and just want to get better at it – you are going to LOVE today’s FVT expert interview.
I’ve got with me “physical culture renaissance man” Logan Christopher … he talks about the #1 mistake people make when learning how to do handstand push ups, gives us some simple strategies for learning to perform the movement, explains how to up your current HSPU #’s, and much more.
Without further ado, Logan –
Logan Christopher has been called a physical culture renaissance man as he is accomplished in a wide range of strength skills. He is one of the best kettlebell jugglers in the US. He’s a performing strongman, one of his most famous feats was pulling an antique firetruck by his hair. Logan also spends a lot of time working on bodyweight exercises, hand balancing and other acrobatic skills. In addition, he’s spent the last several years going deep into mental training to find out what it takes to really excel and tactics that can help people instantly improve their exercises.
1. Why did you set out to create the Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups program?
A long time ago I was very weak. The first time I tried a handstand pushup I couldn’t budge. Through working on it I eventually was cranking out a few reps. One day when I was training in my garage I took a slightly different form of handstand against the wall. When I tried to do these reps they were way harder and I didn’t understand why. Eventually, through much more experimentation, I came to understand that how you position yourself dramatically changes the difficulty of the handstand pushups. It’s not just one exercise like so many believe but can be easily modified up and down to suit people at about any level. But the sad fact is no one else is teaching this. So I wrote this book giving all my experience in this wonderful exercise.
2. What is the #1 mistake people make when learning to do Handstand Pushups?
Like I mentioned before, thinking that there is only one way to do it. I’ll give you an example that anyone can easily try out right now to see the difference. A normal handstand is done with the hands shoulder width apart. But often times you’ll see people doing handstand pushups with a wider base with their hands. This isn’t the wrong form, it’s just two different variations. What the wider base does is it shortens the range of motion (and provides slightly better leverage too) thus making the handstand pushup easier. Thus you can modify this exercise with one small change of hand placement that will alter its difficulty. This is just one of several changes in your body position that will do the same.
Check out Logan’s Ultimate Guide to Handstand Push Ups program at 71.9% off here:
3. You have a unique approach to strength and conditioning in general. Who have you studied, and how have they influenced your work?
That’s a tough question as I’ve studied so many people. I’ll name a few of the bigger influences. Matt Furey was responsible for getting me started in bodyweight training, including doing the handstand training. Pavel Tsatsouline and the whole RKC introduced me to kettlebells and more ways of training. Bud Jeffries influenced me in helping me find out how to mix every tool and training method together to have great strength and conditioning at the same time. Adam Glass opened me up further the use of biofeedback in training. Dennis Rogers was instrumental in learning feats of strength and the whole performance aspect of strength. John La Tourrette has been my primary mentor in the use of mental training to further push what I do physically. Not to mention all the old time strongmen I’ve studied from their books and their ways of thinking and training. That’s some of the main people but I could really add so many more!
4. Can you provide any examples of results that folks have experienced with your Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups program?
Tons of people have achieved their first handstand pushups, or increased their reps, or moved up to full range handstand pushups using the techniques, ideas and workouts in the book. One man, named John, got the book and was able to achieve his first full range handstand pushup. He kept following up with me and last I heard, which was quite a while ago, he was doing 4 sets of 7 reps with the full range between two parallettes. At a recent workshop I taught these concepts and had people achieving all kinds of PR’s right then and there. It really can be that easy.
5. Would you be kind enough to provide some sample exercises/workouts/etc. my readers could try at home?
What I like to do with every exercise I do is wave the load. Since you’re working with bodyweight here what that means is changing something that changes the intensity of the exercise since you can’t just add and subtract weight. The easiest way to do this in this exercise is by range of motion. For a twice a week handstand pushup training you’ll move back and forth between two handstand pushup variations. One will be closer to a max and one will be something you can rep out. For me I’m doing full range handstand pushups and “regular” handstand pushups, sometimes referred to as headstand pushups. (I’m also currently working on freestanding ones but that’s a subject for another time, or its also covered in the book.) If you’re not strong enough to do that you could do a smaller partial range, or even some lead up exercises like regular pushups to build the foundational strength. From one week to the next just increase the volume you can do in each exercise and your strength will go up.
Awesome. Thanks again to Logan for doing this!
BTW – if you enjoyed this interview – Logan has his Ultimate Guide to Handstand Push Ups program on sale this week for FVT readers only at 71.9% off … click the link below to check it out: