Invisible Box Challenge

I’m surprised this hasn’t been posted before: have you seen this Invisible Box challenge that’s bothering all the social media right now?

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I’ll be impressed when she actually rides out of the mount.

I tried Unigeezers method a while ago, and could not do it. No paper plate was safe.

Took me about 5 minutes to get it (I reckon). As implied, anybody who can static mount can probably do it - it’s much the same trick as Unigeezer’s plate thing, though maybe a little harder to do really well as you have no reference to keep the static foot in place.

With a static mount, I do actually stand on the pedal. It is different from the invisible box. I guess when I get my freewheel uni hopefully this week, I will have to do it more like the box.

On a 36, or even a 29, I put some pressure on the pedal. What I do is give the unicycle a little shove forward then the pressure of my foot stops it rolling and there is just enough support for me to use the pedal as a step.

Unigeezer’s paper plate analogy is half correct. It is true, you need to hold your foot in about the same place but there is quite a bit of downward force needed to hold the peddle in a fixed location and prevent the wheel from rolling forward. It is easy to see this force if you look closely at the tire deflection during a free mount.


Still, the paper plate is a great method to get used to using the foot on the floor to provide upward momentum. If you can do a proper static mount, you will be able to do the paper plate exercise too. It’s an exercise, not an analogy.

While useful initially, I now try and teach people quite early on to balance the weight of their back foot pushing down with their weight on the seat/pushing on the handle with their hand.

Agreed. Doing the invisible box is a good practice for isolating your foot to one spot, but different because your body is moving around it. It’s like a mime isolation exercise.

In an actual mount, you put pressure on that pedal but the difference is, you hold your foot in place and don’t let the pedal go up or down. Keep your knee at the same angle of bend. What I try to teach people is to just hold your foot where it is, without bending or straightening your leg. Easy to say, but still hard to do until it “clicks”. Usually it takes a while before that click happens…

Heh, those people cheering in the background. It’s like they’ve never performed a static mount 1000+ times before.

I can jump high two legged. Long ago when I was lean and light I could jump and kick an 8 foot ceiling. Definitely can’t do that now.

I don’t know if I could do this one legged paper plate thing when I was light and lean. Right now, I am big and fat, which I am sure does not help, but I can’t seem to get one leg off the cround without flattening that paper plate.

Could it be something in the technique I don’t get, or is it just my bodyweight?

I can still jump pretty high two legged. Most of us weight lifters can even when fat.

This is what happens when I try to jump one legged on paper plates:

I was a mediocre teenage powerlifter once, and not fat, but was never much good at high jump. Then again, squat was always my weakest lift, in relative terms. It was 20% less than my deadlift.

The plate-jumping video you posted reminded me of this 24-second video. You have probably seen it, or some other one just like it.

I thought that high jump on the unicycle was pretty impressive.

I should differentiate powerlifting from Oympic weightlifting. Olympic weight lifting involves explosive technical lifts where you jump up with the weight and get under the bar quickly, and then drive it up further without losing your balance etc.

Oylmpic lifting is extremely demanding. You sepend hours working on explosive squatting day after day. Powerlifters might do a few sets 2

  • 3 times per week. Powerlifting will make you strong, but just putting that weight on your back and going up and down gives your jumping ability a minimal boost. You are more like a low geared derrick.

All olympic weightlifters become very strong two legged jumpers, including the biggest fattest ones. It is completely different from bodybuilding and powerlifting training.

I wonder if practicing one legged pistol squats would help, once strong enough, adding in jumps? Or some other method? Or just lose weight first, try again later?

Yeah, I always knew Olympic lifting was way more interesting than powerlifting, though I didn’t know the part about high jumping. It makes sense, though. In the town where I grew up, there were zero Olympic lifters, at least as far as I knew, and back then the Internet was only used by computer hobbyists and the Pentagon. Come to think of it, even in my current surroundings, which are much more cosmopolitan, gyms with freeweights are somewhat rare, and gyms where Olympic lifting would be possible are very rare indeed, at least as far as I know. There was one such gym at a place where I worked in a remote corner of New Jersey a long time ago, though I don’t think it got much use.

Your jumping strength will help a little bit with unihopping, but technique is far more important. As a pedestrian, I can jump onto to the top of a picnic table with minimal effort, but on a unicycle, hopping onto something even 30cm high is a stretch for me, so obviously I have plenty of room for improvement.

Anyone can learn to pump iron or lift heavy with proper form relatively quickly. Then if you have all the equipment at home you can progress really far without training partners or coaches. Plenty of media and information online about routines diet etc.

Olympic lifting is a completely different kettle of fish. You absolutely must have a skilled coach, and both you and the trainer must be willing to put in the time and effort needed or you can really hurt yourself, with or without proper equipment.

Unicycling seems to be safe to learn on your own. It seems pretty easy to get away from a falling unicycle and land on your feet most of the time compared to an out of control 200 kg barbell. I prefer overbuilt sturdy equipment that I am not worried about it failing or not while practicing in whatever I am doing.

Yeah, with Olympic lifting, what you have to do is very clear, and I guess it is dangerous, now that you mention it. With unicycling, the level of danger is mostly up to you! If there are other unicyclists around, they can make you safer by showing you how to do things correctly, but they can also put you in more danger by inspiring you to attempt stuff that you wouldn’t try on your own. Somewhat paradoxically, maybe, if you take the risks to learn advanced skills, you will be safer during regular riding.

In general, though, unicycling is not very dangerous. Scrapes and pedal bites can be common if you ride aggressively, but that’s usually about it. In terms of the potential for catastrophic injury, bicycles are much worse.

A proper Olympic lifting bar can spin freely under any load and withstand many drops and stay straight. There are plenty of barbells that are the 2" olympic style, that will bend or the sleeves break off when dropped. They will not spin under minor load. If you power clean a bar does not rotate properly, the torque can break your wrists.

If you are trained properly, you can do the lifts on your own, in relative safety. You must have correct equipment. Training yourself to do Olympic lifts is a recipie for disaster. A skilled coach who specializes in training for it is a must. Stay away from crossfit gyms to learn it. Too many of them do not know what they are doing. I strongly disagree with how they do the lifts to failure. Better to do the lift fresh, get your rest, and try it again with good form.

Reasons to train in Olympic lifting other than lifting:

  1. If you have a need to be able to jump higher
  2. If you need to be able to sprint
  3. Learn a complex new skill

I think the jumping ability might help a shorter person mount a 36" unicycle, but that’s just a guess. The stronger legs and back you get from it couldn’t hurt either.

Downside is it will give you a huge appetite and need a lot of sleep. Your body will need it to rebuild and adapt.

I was looking for activities to switch to that increase my endurance, and ability to be active, sleep less, balance, learn new skills, and not get banned from smorgassboards and otherwise a huge food bill. Unicycling was my choice to get me started on this new path. Looks like there is a lot of interesting things to learn in this pursuit.

I would consider adding in the powerclean and Olympic snatch to my training in the future after I am lean. However, if I find it cutting into my stamina and increasing my need for rest, I will drop it fast. More likely to consider kettlebells, dumbbells, and war clubs and the one handed variations. Those are very interesting if you can already do the Olympic lifts properly. For now, I need a good long break from anything resembling a weight with a bar or handle.

Wow, I don’t know if I’ve ever even seen that, and I’ve seen a lot of weird and amazing stuff!

Not to worry. That’s a cool skill to work on, I’m sure, but not necessary for learning to mount. It’s definitely not about having enough power; it’s all about being able to modulate the power you’ve got, to just keep the pedal where it is.

That video of the Korean lifters jumping onto the stack of weights was really impressive. When that short guy jumps, it looks like special effects; like he’s got an invisible wire and winch helping him defy gravity. Very impressive!

Try not landing on your face – I think that will preserve the skyscrapers. :slight_smile:

Definitely. That’s actually a very new competition event, which I think is called Platform Jump. We started doing High Jump back in 1995, which was before Munis and Trials unicycles. Soon after, we added the Long Jump. Those were easy for people to understand, being similar to their Track & Field counterparts, but neither were direct corollaries for Trials. Trials riders jump up onto things, which is a useful skill for Trials, Street and any riding on rough terrain. Jumping over a bar is not. Plus you can go higher to a platform, so that part of it is more impressive. I think people don’t realize how much harder it is to jump a unicycle over a bar, clear the bar and ride away. I always say the Track & Field athletes never finish their jumps (high or long). :slight_smile: