Questions Answered: Parallettes

My last post was well received and generated a few questions. Let’s answer one:

Excellent post Skyler and worth the wait!

I’ve transitioned to more bodyweight style stuff myself (because I enjoy it and it’s where my interests lie). I still do some weighted work but lifting heavier and heavier just doesn’t make sense to me. I’m in my early 40s and want to do this stuff for life and feel good doing it!

My diet has also transitioned to something similar with a 16 hour or so fast and mostly then just two meals. Those two meals are mostly nutrient dense meals (fruits, veggies, lean meats and fish, nuts etc) but life is for living so I am no where near as obsessive as I once was. This suits me and gives me a lot of freedom.

I’m not a fan of high volume training and never have been but I do play with multiple set patterns and like to focus on a few core movements that I just try to get better at over time. Some would find that dull but I like not having too many moving parts and keeping things simple.

It would be good to hear how you’re progressing and training the parallette work in a future post and if you’ve noticed differences in your general strength, conditioning and how you feel compared to weights.

Keep well!


Thanks for the question, Carl!

I’m glad you mentioned the movement away from weights toward bodyweight stuff because of age. Look, you can lift weights all of your life; they’re a great tool. For your average person, they’re not going to be so strong so as to hurt themselves with weights, especially if they’re starting them later in life.

And the other consideration is: you can’t get stronger to infinity, because either your joints or connective tissue give up the ghost. Part of my decision to move into mostly bodyweight training (at least for now; I still have a lot of life to live!) stems from the fact that I can get very strong and have fun doing it manipulating my own weight. You can hurt yourself, of course, so don’t think that just because it’s bodyweight doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its own risks. There’s a cost to everything; I just think that for my ego, bodyweight possesses less.

But then again, I still deadlift, so maybe that’s just the right blend for me. And Keith Thomas over at let me know recently that he’s deadlifts 2.5x bodyweight

Regarding Parallettes

So I was fortunate to briefly be an Alpha Posse member at GMB Fitness after my son was born. I stopped because a baby takes ALL of your money, but I gained some interesting progressions on the parallettes during that time. I’ve been focusing mostly on getting the bent arm stand and l-sits, mostly to augment my handstand work.

Which is what really kicked all of this off. I couldn’t even kick up into a handstand a year ago. Now I can consistently do 8-10 second “reps” so as not to be a total party trick. Could I have progressed faster? Maybe, but I’m not in a hurry for anything, so I solider on.

Next up I’m likely to move to rings because they’re fun. No iron cross or anything like that, just controlled muscle ups, transitions, and the like. Mostly to show myself that my elbow is (mostly) healed after I gave myself tendonitis getting too aggressive on the rope climb last year. See? Told you that you can hurt yourself with this stuff too!


Glad you’re enjoying fasting, or that it gives you flexibility in your life. That’s why I use it and have stayed lean year-round without all of the minutia masturbation. Yesterday, for example, I ate a ton of carbs from blueberries, bananas, and potatoes. Today I might not see as many carbs, maybe more protein, I don’t know. I’m certainly not worried about it. Real food, cook as much as I can, eat slowly, stop when satisfied and not stuffed. It’s almost too easy.

6 thoughts on “Questions Answered: Parallettes

  1. Skyler I got very interested in GMB from one of your posts. I am thinking of ordering enrolling in the Parellettes/Flexibility Combo. Would you recommend? I am older now (52) but used to enjoy doing bodyweight stuff like handstand push ups and alternating hands, touching the nose, dips (which I still sometimes do etc) pullups which I just started doing again. I would like to combine with my free weight and superslow stuff. I just don’t want to feel like a broken rusted gate hanging on a hinge, which is what my back feels like too often, Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:21:03 +0000 To:

    1. James,

      You might want to check out their free introductory parallettes program to see if they’re right for you. I think they blend well together, and the Flexibility program is a good thing to keep in touch with, especially as we age. You don’t need to gain contortionist ability, but maintaining good mobility would be wise.

  2. Interesting to see your followup comments about body weight exercise and injury. After reading the previous post, I looked at the GMB site and saw a lot of gymnastic looking stuff. My first thought was how rough some of those things can be on the shoulders. Shoulders are to gymnasts as low backs are to deadlifters, an endless source of worry.

    1. I think the GMB guys would say 2 things: 1) They’re not gymnasts, in that they’re not even approaching things that actually count as a Gymnastic move until their level 2 programs. They blend multiple disciplines.

      And 2) you have to factor the fact that gymnastics is a full-time job, wrecking the shoulders is a risk because they’re the lynchpin of the movement. It’s a volume issue, not necessarily a modality issue.

      Effectively you’re making the inverse association that people make regarding Michael Phelps, swimming, and leanness. Neither are accurate.

  3. Thanks so much for the reply – much appreciated!

    I guess as much as anything else sometimes we also need to do something different and chase a fresh challenge whatever that may be. Strength/fitness also needs to fit into our lives (not get in the of it via injury or obsessing).

    Congrats and best wishes on the new addition to the Tanner household by the way! 😉

    1. Thanks Carl! Seems like, by the blog title and your comment, that you’re in the right frame of mind for what I’m saying. Glad you found it useful!

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