We talked with Petar Ivancevic in December, 2019.
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hello, my name is Petar Ivancevic and I got into sports from a young age. I’m 26 and I live in Novi Sad, Serbia. I have over 12 years of experience being an athlete and 6 years of experience of being a coach.
As a kid I was not so interested in regular sports like football, tennis, judo, boxing etc.
Even though I tried all the sports available at that time in my city, there was always something that didn’t made me stick with the sport for more than two months. I was always jumping from one sport to another and looking for something different that I would really enjoy for a longer period.
Discovery of Parkour
Back In 2007, at age 13, I met my friend Kosta in Montenegro during our summer vacation.
Kosta loaded his phone with so much parkour videos that he found a few months before coming to Montenegro and showed them to me. I must say, as a kid that never saw something like that I was instantly hooked and after that I continued to train parkour for the next 9 years.
Parkour changed me and my mindset about training and it allowed me to connect with like-minded people. It taught me how to approach training and how to challenge myself physically and mentally.
I trained 3-5 times a week and after finishing my High School I started developing an interest in learning more about how the human body works, so I chased further knowledge regarding sport and physical education.
This is when I started training more seriously and writing my own programs that were designed specifically for parkour. A mix of bodyweight & weight exercises for the upper body and weight training for the lower body.
Transition to Bodyweight Training
I suffered a low back injury back in 2016 that made me back off from parkour. Unfortunately, this injury didn’t allow me to continue with parkour any further for the time being, so I had to explore different activities that will keep my mind fresh and to keep me occupied until I recovered. I did a lot of mobility work, free climbing and calisthenics.
My injury had ups and downs, but I managed to recover in the summer of 2018. Since then I started getting back to jumps and weighted exercises and now, I am slowly getting back to parkour.
I am a personal trainer and a co-owner of Smash Training, online coaching that is focused on helping individuals with increasing their performance.
I am a personal trainer at a gym called “E Fitnes Centar” in Novi Sad, Serbia. This is also where I train.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
As I mentioned above, I write my own programs and I like to test with different exercises and techniques.
I usually keep a training log to keep track of what I do and how I felt on certain days. It helps me manage intensity and frequency.
Currently, I train 4-5 times a week and I do an upper/lower split. My training session lasts from 45-75 minutes depending on the training week. In winter I train in the gym, but when the weather is nice and sunny, I usually train outside.
For the upper body I do bodyweight exercises and for the lower body I do weighted exercises or plyometrics.
Upper body is oriented on 4 main movements: One Arm Chin Up, Planche Push Up, Handstand Push Up and any type of horizontal rows (One Arm Rows, Front Lever Row or a typical Horizontal Row).
Sometimes I switch it up a notch and add weighted exercises for the upper body. I find it useful to switch up the exercises to keep the mind fresh and because it can have a nice carryover to main movements.
Example: I did 2x 4 week cycles where I increased my bench press from 135-155kg and it gave me gains in the Planche Push Up.
For the lower body I started periodizing 6 months ago. I started from strength work and slowly transitioned towards jumps. I started slowly with low impact jumps due to my previous injury and worked towards more demanding exercises like Drop Jumps.
Currently I am doing plyometrics – Focusing on rate of force development and speed work.
Exercises like – Speed Squats, Drop Jumps, Box Jumps, Single Leg Jumps, Broad Jumps etc.
Usually I train alone, but sometimes I am accompanied by my friends. I have a clothing sponsor and it is Skochypstiks. They are my really close friends and they make some really good clothes! Check them out!
My PR’s from 2016:
- Squat 160kg and Deadlift 180kg at 78kg
- 3 One Arm Chin Ups
- 5 Straddle Planche Push Ups
- 12 Handstand Push Ups
- 5 Pike Presses
- Straddle Planche Hold 7 seconds
- Straddle Front Lever Hold 7 seconds
- Bench Press 155kg and Overhead press 90kg at 87kg
- Standing vertical jump: 85 cm
- Broad Jump: 330 cm
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
When it comes to training, I really enjoy every minute of it. I love how it makes me feel when I reach a desired goal, and most of all I enjoy being strong, fast, mobile and having the ability to move and use all the aspects previously mentioned.
I understand that it takes a lot of time, effort and consistency to reach certain goals, like 2x BW squat,70 cm+ Vertical Jump, Full Planche or One Arm Chin Up etc., and that is where discipline kicks in.
I avoid changing my goals and always work towards the goal I set, until I reach it. No matter how long it takes.
I never looked for “motivation” when it came to training and I think that motivation is overrated nowadays. I understand that as a human being I am going to have good days and bad days.
On the good days I tend to hit hard, but on the bad ones I just listen to my body and see what can be done. If something is off and I think I need a day of rest, I rest. That’s the most important thing that I would like to note – Listen to your body!
If you think you need rest, rest. You won’t lose gains if you miss out on 1-2 training sessions. Always recover fully before you start the next session.
Don’t think that a successful and hardworking person is naturally more motivated then you or anybody else. They just have the discipline to get the work done when they don’t feel like it.
So, don’t wait for something like motivation and start. There is no better time than the present. The sooner you start, the sooner you can enjoy the success of your hard work.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
At the moment I feel stronger than ever and my training is going really well! I am not focused on any specific sport and I was always interested in all-round athleticism, but my performance took a big fall when I got injured.
I am 180 cm tall and I weight 88 kg at the moment with a body fat between 10-11%.
In the following years I would love to get in the best shape possible and to get back to athletics/parkour, but also to improve myself as an athlete and as a coach, to learn more and teach more and to travel, so I can meet like minded people.
I’m always trying to learn new things and improve my performance, so I could help my clients reach their goals without having to go through hell like I had to.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I had injuries like every other athlete, and they were a result of wanting too much too soon.
I didn’t listen to my body when I was supposed to and I did my sessions no matter what, because I was too stubborn to skip a session when my body was screaming “STOP”.
I suffered from bulging discs and disc degeneration in L3-4-5 and S1 in 2016 and both triceps tendonitis in late 2017. (I managed to recover from both injuries at the end of 2018)
I take the blame for both of those injuries because I know where I made a mistake.
One tip – be patient and listen to how your body feels with certain exercises. Don’t rush the healing process and stay active.
Pain is going to be there one way or another, and when you work on your rehab it’s normal for pain to be there, but try not to go over 1-3 pain tolerance in 0-10 scale.
If some exercises don’t feel good and bring more pain the next day, ditch them.
Both of my previous injuries were caused by a lot of frequency and a no recovery.
I used to beat up my body and I always ended up going to the gym, even when I didn’t recover from the previous session. After these two injuries I completely changed my approach to training.
Now I always recover fully before I start with a new training session. I sleep between 8-10 hours a day, and sometimes I squeeze in a 10 min power nap.
This way I can always train hard and this is how I avoided injuries in the past year.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I follow a conventional diet but I don’t count calories, macros, etc. I eat when I’m hungry and I eat what I feel like eating which is usually meat, vegetables and fruit.
Sometimes I go for a pizza, burritos, pancakes or cake. Not too often but 1-2 times a week. This works for me, and I am always under 11% body fat.
The way this works is that I don’t overeat and I just satisfy my need for “junk food”.
When It comes to alcohol, I’m not against it. Usually I gather with my friends once in two weeks to hand out and I go for whiskey or beer. I never drink too much, 2-3 beers is more than enough for me.
The only supplements I take are creatine (Scitec) and coffee.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
I usually get inspired by people that are above my level of knowledge and performance. (Juho Kuusissari is one example – Great athlete, coach and a good friend).
I like to talk with them, train with them and learn from them, but I also get inspired by people who start from scratch and end up grinding their way to the top.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. The internet is full of really great information nowadays, but also with misinformation. Read, make your own thoughts about it and don’t argue with people.
Advice I would give out to every person that wants to improve themselves:
- Don’t compare yourself to others
- Don’t be afraid of less work
- Don’t ask for too much and focus on 1-2 goals at a time
- Don’t train distracted and focus on the task at hand
- Progressively overload your exercises
- Listen to your body and don’t break it
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I am taking on real-life clients and I also offer online coaching. I love to work with people who want to improve their performance and health. So, if you are struggling with reaching a desired goal, I would love to help you.
I am always straight forward with my clients in terms of what can be accomplished in a given amount of time.
I design specific programs for each person, because every person is different and requires a specific approach to their training due to sport history/body type/goals and free time.
My approach might be a bit more individual to every client: I consider it important to get to know the client – to get an idea about their lifestyle, working hours, food priorities, injuries and so on, in order to make sure they don’t waste their (or mine) time doing exercises they don’t need or don’t feel comfortable with, and to try to offer a better perspective and experience with the training.
From my current experience, this has proven to be very positive, regarding time, energy and progress throughout the client’s training.
So if you are interested in working with me you can reach me via email: [email protected]
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
At the moment we post everything on Instagram. You can follow us @Smash_Training and we also started doing Smash Monday for Skochypstiks Clothing.
If you want more info about online coaching you can send us an email to: [email protected]
We are also about to release our Website and our first YouTube video, so stay tuned!