bodyweight strength

How To Go From Pull Up To Muscle Up

Over the past few years muscle ups become a popular topic in many gyms. It's a great goal and accomplishment for an adult with no gymnastics background to achieve a ring or bar muscle up. As coaches it such a refreshing change to see adults seeking out these new challenges, learning and achieving physical feats of strength and skill.

So why is it that some people just get it and other need to battle with the drills for months or even years?

It's because a muscle up requires more than just a strong pull up and dip.

ring training, muscleup, muscle up, adult gymnastics, gym,  gymnastics classes

Step 1 - Identify where you need more focus

1. Strength in full range pull ups - hang position with locked out elbows pulling all the way up to the sternum in narrow position. Adding tempo to pull ups can help in learning the positions and slowing down the movement to help the brain map out the path of the new skill.

2. Strength in full range dips - from a strong top position down into the bottom of a dip with shoulders below. Incorporating isometrics here is great for strength building.

3. False grip hang - practice a false grip in a de-loaded position, then with full body weight and finally jumping into a false grip hang.

4. False grip pull up - getting that grip conditioned so that it no longer makes you squirm. Starting with ring rows are a great starting option

False grip ring row

5. Strength in the transition - training the path from the top of the pull up to the bottom of the dip. Hundreds and thousands of reps. We do this in many ways, practicing the movement with no weight at all, with band, using a spotter & with full bodyweight.

Banded transition drill

Step 2 - dedicate some serious time to working your weakness and catch up to your strength

Step 3 - continue to work the drills once you get the skill.

Continuing to work the drills once you have achieved the skill is vital to continue progressing. Chances are one day you’re going to want to link your muscle up to another skill or another rep, you need to ensure your MU is not a one rep max.

Need some extra help with your training but are too far away to join classes?

Click here to add your name to our Online Course Waitlist.

The One Mistake Robbing You Of Your Progress

99% of our members questioned whether they were ready to start gymnastics training with us.

The questions running through their heads were:

  • am I too old to start?

  • am I fit enough?

  • am I strong enough?

  • should I start once I get my first pull up? the list goes on...

If you're interested in gymnastics as your style of training, chances are: the "regular gym" is just not your scene, you really care about improving your body, feeling good, mobile, strong and you dream of learning cool things with your body

We have people starting at 55, 38, 26 and 13 years of age. Believe it or not, every one of them had that moment of doubt where they thought they were too old, not strong or flexible enough . When I was 12 years old I also thought I was too old...obviously I laugh at that now as I continue my gymnastics journey at the age of 33.

pull up, adult gymnastics, new skills, marrickvillegym, marrickville

So here is the mistake, why are you choosing to start tomorrow or one day in the future when you are stronger? Gymnastics is what makes you stronger! You can start in your lounge room, the park, an adult gymnastics studio?

We encourage all of these, provided you have something to follow and a way to stay accountable. Almost every one of our members does strength and flexibility classes as well as skill or fitness to ensure their program is well balanced for gymnastics training.

Here is this weeks body weight workout to kick you off:

2 min on/1 min off (18 mins) ⁣

Jump lunge ⁣

Push up ⁣

V tuck⁣ ⁣

Rest 3 mins⁣ ⁣

10 mins consistent pace for quality ⁣

Overhead sit up 10 reps⁣

Candlestick to straight jump 10 reps⁣

Bunny hop 10 reps⁣

Insight into a Dalecki Strength Gymnastics Handstand class

The secret of finding the perfect coach

Admittedly I’ve never met a perfect coach. 

I have seen a perfect match between coach and client. 

Unfortunately it is not that easy to find the perfect coaching relationship on the first go. Normally because one or more of these mistakes are being made.


Asking the wrong questions

“What will we focus on?"

If you are enquiring about a gymnastics program the answer will and should be the same no matter where you enquire. 

Joint health and stability, body weight control, upper body strength, coordination, core strength, locomotion, body weight skills and balance.

If a gymnastics program didn’t focus on those things, it wouldn’t really be a gymnastics program. Therefore it is a useless question to ask because you still have no idea how these people are different to their competitors and how or if they can help you. 

“How much is it?"

Again this is a useless question to lead with because you still don’t know how to justify the price. How will you know if its too expensive or too cheap if you don’t know what it is? 

Is $500 expensive or cheap? Is $100 expensive or cheap? It is impossible to answer that without context. 

Don’t get me wrong, this question is important, but ask it LAST.

Ask this instead. 

“Who is it for?"

If the answer is “everybody” 

then this provider has no idea who they are serving. 

Re-phrase and ask

“Who did you create this for?"

If they answer “everybody” a second time, it means that they really aren’t clear on who they wish to serve and therefore it will be impossible for them to promise that your needs will be met. 

They may meet your needs, but if they do its just by chance. 

Why is this so important? Lets go through some case studies.. 

If I google "Adult Gymnastics Sydney” here are one of the top results

Sydney Hills Gymnastics

Funnily enough their homepage says

“Gymnastics for all” 

As I mentioned above.. of course it is not for all.

Digging a little deeper, it is obvious that their main focus and purpose is tiny tots and young development squads. Yes they have a once weekly open gym for adults and any one can just show up casually. 

If you are an adult serious about results- its not for you. 

If I was looking for an online body weight program I would most likely consider one of the most 'famous' online programs. Either Gymnastic Bodies or Ido Portal. 

In fact Kat and I have both had some experience with both of those and they were awesome, but still not for me.

Gymnastic Bodies

In my opinion, this program is for some one who

-Is learning to use and control their body for the very first time.

-Has endless amounts of patience 

-Is willing to re- do the same course content (in some cases for years) until a movement or strength roadblock is overcome.

-Ready to adopt body weight training as their main form of training.

I to believe that slow is best and agree with a lot of Christopher Sommer’s philosophy even though it can be dogmatic at times. 

At the same time, I know what it is like to train as a gymnast. It is intense, extremely time consuming, progress is slow and it’s not for everybody!

Most of the adults I know love gymnastics and want to get involved, but also love CrossFit and want to progress as all rounders instead of pure gymnasts. They probably won’t train for 10— 20 hours a week purely in gymnastics. 

If your intent is to get better at gymnastics for your CrossFit pursuits, I believe you will lose interest in this type of program quickly.

Ido Portal

This one is for people who want to move better, get strong, do awesome stuff but completely and 100% adopt and absorb Ido’s philosophy. 


Believing that there is only one coach/program/gym that is ultimately "the best."

The best doesn't exist in coaching. It's just about finding the best fit for your current needs, expectations and goals.

Dalecki Strength
Who is it for?

We started out as many start ups do “to scratch your own itch."

For Kat and I, we needed a mixture of what we used to do and love

Artistic Gymnastics

and a new found love of ours


We wanted to tell you who we exist for. Someone who..

LOVES fitness and CrossFit. Likes a local comp here and there. Wants to do the Open Rx. Committed. Goal orientated. Women and Men. 25- 40 y/o. Willing to do extra work. Looks after body. Focuses on nutrition. Rarely misses training. Frustrated by lack of progress in pull ups. Body weight strength is a weakness. Confused about technique. Keen to explore new Gymnastics skills and tricks. Open minded. Long term focussed. Will work towards Regionals one day. Values coaching.

We are also well aware that our approach is not for everyone.

Our program is not for someone looking to become a competitive gymnast or someone who wants 20 hours plus of gymnastics per week.

Or Someone who wants to rush into skills they aren’t ready for.

Or Some one who wants to skip the foundations. 

Lately we put lots of thought into this as we are finally creating an online version of our program. 

Who is our online program for? 

Exactly the same as our niche described above- the only difference is that this person doesn’t live locally therefore we cannot coach them face to face. 

Before we put all the final touches on the program, we want to hear from you. 

1. What do you want and need from us in an online gymnastics program? 

2. How can we best help with you with your goals?

3. Have you tried a gymnastics program online before but found it wasn’t for you? 

Help us create this program for you, exactly as you want it. 

Fill in the form before with your feedback.


Name *