The most important lesson Thomas learned with calisthenics

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletes Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletes – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!

This is story of Thomas – Calisthenics Academy

Thomas is a banker living and working in Frankfurt, Germany. He was a paying member at a gym he never attended for several years before setting his sights on bodyweight training and running.

“Moving continuously in the right direction is more important than speed which you may not be able to hold and that eventually makes you stop.”

At 44, Thomas began to pay more attention to his fitness, even taking a friend’s bet to take on a daunting goal.

“My friend challenged me to finish a half-marathon. I had never finished a run of this length before.”

He’s been a regular runner ever since, although it wasn’t enough for him.

“Now I focus on bodyweight training. I still go running but only as additional cardio-training twice a week. Even now, I still have enough stamina to participate in half-marathons.”

Tom wanted a different body than a runner’s body, which is why he’s focused his attention on calisthenics.

“The body I am aiming for is more athletic than a runner’s: between a swimmer and a gymnast with well-defined muscles and low bodyfat.”

“After looking at several websites and programs I found that Calisthenics Academy is closest to my preferences: It offers a structured approach and clear path to defined goals (the eight exercises). Small steps to continuously progress strength and skills and simultaneously considering that the body (the joints) needs time to adapt to the growing challenge and so to reduce the risk of injury.”

The 3 main benefits Thomas has gained since joining the Calisthenics Academy community

He no longer struggles to be consistent

When it comes to his exercise routines, Thomas is a man of extremes. He will either be training intensively or doing little to nothing at all. “My biggest challenge is to train consistently. I have a pattern of training very hard for a few months and then swinging to the others extreme of working out very little.”

Since joining Calisthenics Academy, Thomas has succeeded in finding the right balance between consistent and fixed timeslots to train and his sometimes changing schedule.

“I pencil my training days in four weeks in advance. I then plan my other dates around the training. If there is a collision with dates I still have the flexibility to move the training to other dates.”

He has become more patient with himself

Because of his challenging schedule and his all-or-nothing tendencies, Thomas has often felt very impatient with himself. His flexibility in setting his schedule has given him the chance to rethink his view of exercise in addition to understanding “consistent training” a little differently.

“I have become more patient with myself considering my training and my progress: Even if I have to miss scheduled trainings due to the circumstances (e.g. business travel, sickness/flu) I am not blaming myself for not taking training seriously enough or losing faith in reaching my training goals.”

He no longer feels guilty, which gives him a healthier mindset about his training. It’s a lifelong journey, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up for missing a day.

“As long as I move towards my goal and do not lose sight of the goal, there’s no drama when I have to miss a training session.”

He feels supported through the entire experience

Tom has found a training program that fits his needs perfectly. Calisthenics Academy is as personalized as it can get without paying a trainer to constantly monitor your progress. “Calisthenics Academy promises and delivers. After looking at several programs I consider it currently to have the best platform and approach.”

But more than that, Calisthenics Academy is a community of athletes and trainers who are all working towards a common goal: getting fit, getting healthier and gaining amazing new skills in the safest possible way. We all want to support each other in our efforts, pick each other up when we’re down and push each other forward when we might need a nudge.

Thomas has experienced this support first-hand from the Calisthenics Academy team.

“The Academy staff is very devoted to bringing its members to success and are sincerely interested in receiving feedback to continuously improve the quality of their service.”

Finding Calisthenics Academy

Thomas searched the internet for different training programs. He was already familiar with bodyweight training, having used other programs in the past. However, none seemed to fit his needs as well as Calisthenics Academy.

“After looking at several websites and programs I found that Calisthenics Academy is closest to my preferences: It offers a structured approach and clear path to defined goals. Its small steps continuously progress strength and skills while giving the body time to adapt to the growing challenge and so to reduce the risk of injury.”

“The changing demands of my professional schedule and the structured approach of the Calisthenics Academy are the best fit I have seen so far. I am glad I found you”

Tom’s advice to anyone curious about calisthenics

“Don’t be too hard on yourself when training does not always go the way you want (e.g. you cannot train as planned; you feel too exhausted to train although you have planned it; you do less repetitions compared to the last training), but stay consistent and alway keep coming back to your training.”

“Moving continuously in the right direction is more important than speed which you may not be able to hold and that eventually makes you stop.”

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!

You’re never too old to train

Don is a grandfather AND a Calisthenics Athlete

Don

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletes – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!

Don works in the healthcare industry as an engineer. A father of three and grandfather of four, he’s always been an athlete.

“If your life remains static you wither and die spiritually, physically and mentally. Keep moving, keep learning and enjoy life with zest.”

Don has always been an active person. As a teenager, he played soccer and ran track, then later focused more attention and energy on martial arts, which he still trains today. “I have worked out my whole life.”

“I wanted to find a form of exercise that would give me functional strength and flexibility that would fit well into my martial arts.”

Life always takes over, but Don still worked out

Even though he raised his three children with his wife and worked a full-time job, Don never neglected his workouts. In fact, as a weightlifter, he trained like a bodybuilder.

“I got real serious about lifting weights and increased in size until I was up to 240lbs and could throw some heavy weight.”

However, weight training became counter-productive for Don. Being a martial artist, he needed mobility more than he needed a body heavy with muscle.

“It slowed me down big time doing martial arts.”

“I have seen so many guys that lift lots of weight in the gym but cannot do a push-up or one pull-up. I can, which translates to functional strength that you can use in real life.”

“I absolutely love the program. It fits well with my martial arts training and is challenging.”

The 3 main benefits Don has gained since starting calisthenics

It fits with his martial arts training

Don has explored many different training programs, but none of them meshed with his martial arts training. “It complements my martial arts where I need flexibility and added strength is a plus.”

When he weight trained, he actually lost some of his range-of-motion, which is so important to martial arts.

“I think functional strength is extremely important for life and complements many other athletic activities. I teach self-defense and the calisthenics is the stuff that keeps a man in shape and prepares him for whatever comes his way.”

It’s always challenging

Despite being a lifelong athlete, calisthenics is a challenge to Don. The Calisthenics Academy program has actually forced him to start at the very beginning, despite being in very good shape. “Doing a plank for me for 10 seconds was easy but holding for 30 seconds is more difficult.”

“It was a slight blow to my ego to start at the very beginning but I really wanted to learn from the bottom up.”

He’s learning new skills

Don might be able to train and teach in martial arts, but he acknowledges that he still has a lot he can learn. “[The] hardest part of the journey is learning exercises I have never done before, like headstands.”

Over-training with weights can lead to injury

Don explored many forms of exercise over the years, but focused his attention on weight training. It helped him gain massive amounts of muscle, but caused him to lose range-of-motion in martial arts.It also caused him to injure himself by over-training. “I started getting injuries from weight lifting that forced me to stop all exercise for up to 4-6 weeks at a crack.”

These injuries started piling up and dogging him. “After a couple of years of back injuries, I started looking for other forms of exercise.”

He tried a variety of training programs, but none were motivating or attention-grabbing in the long-term. They also felt didn’t complement his martial arts training, not really helping him progress.

“I wanted to find a form of exercise that would give me functional strength and flexibility that would fit well into my martial arts.”

Don doing the side plank

Finding Calisthenics Academy

Before Don started with the Calisthenics Academy, he tried another program. “I came across a course I could do at home that promised I could do one arm push ups, one arm pull ups, muscle ups, etc in 9 months.”

However, once he started the course, he kept getting injured. Taking a step back from the program, he realized that he was going through the program too quickly to learn proper form. “[I] realized [I] needed the help of experts in gymnastics and calisthenics.”

And so Don went to find a program that would support him in his needs.

“I stumbled across Calisthenics Academy and started the program…It fits well with my martial arts training and is challenging.”

Don Doing Dips

“Give it a try. If you really want to master functional strength and improve your health this is the way to go. I have tried just about everything in my life and this is the very best way to get in the best shape that translates to real life.”

Don’s advice to anyone interested in starting calisthenics

With any workout discipline, you need to train consistently and be disciplined. “Be patient, it’s a journey not a 12-week wonder makeover workout.”

“If you want anything in life you must be disciplined. If you take on the challenge to pick a time during your week and make this a priority you will see results.”

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!

How an overweight, busy dad took his life back

with Timo Vlot

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletes – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!

This is story of Timo – Calisthenics Academy

Timo joined Calisthenics Academy shortly after the online platform was created, and his life-story is one of challenges, injuries and familial responsibility, being a husband and the father of an 8-year-old girl and a 4-year-old son.

“You don’t have to lift weights to be bad arse.”

From a fit kid to an overweight dad

Timo was active as a child, but playing field hockey for most of his life had wrecked his knees and ankles. He couldn’t play without braces, and the pain just killed any enjoyment he gained from the sport.

His life became more sedentary, full of self-indulgent living.

“I quickly gained weight. No longer was I the 50kg 17 year-old.”

“Soon I was the 85kg 39 year-old with two kids.”

“If I had known about calisthenics, and the awesome tricks you can learn…I’m sure I would have reached handstand push-ups and maybe even a human flag had I started back then.”

3 ways Timo has benefited from joining Calisthenics Academy

“While before joining Calisthenics Academy I had strength, I now have control”

Since starting, he’s retaken the introductory assessment, and although he’s progressed immensely, Timo realized that his form was off in some of the exercises.

“I reset that progression to allow better form and control, but I keep pushing and progressing in the other areas.”

“You don't have to lift the heaviest weights to be bad arse.”

Like many calisthenics athletes, Timo acknowledges that muscle gain simply isn’t the same as you might expect with weightlifting. However, you’ll experience many benefits that go above and beyond the physical appearance of your muscles.

He’s now working on unlocking and achieving the handstand push-up by his 44th birthday in June this year. “I’m 84% there now!”

“Take it slow, and listen to your body. Aches and pains are there for a reason”

He’s learning to pace himself and autoregulate his training.
This doesn’t come quite naturally to him yet, but calisthenics is the safest training method he’s found where he can push his body without hurting himself.

“I need to remember I’m not 18 anymore.”

“I’m also back at doing assisted single leg pistol squats. This time I am injury-free doing it, which I attribute to a longer progression cycle than the calisthenics book I was following.”

Losing weight to get his life back

It started with calorie control. After losing 15kg (33lbs), he changed his focus to “30-day challenges” every morning. It was an easy way to get moving again and see tangible progress from the get-go. “I was quickly hooked to these, and felt the need to increase my exercise time.”

“I joined the local gym and got given a very generic workout by the local PT. I followed this for a few weeks, adding weight pretty randomly to keep from getting bored.”

He developed strength, but not in any structured way. Six months later, and he needed a change.

“After a while I got so bored, I started looking for random exercises online.”

Take time to find the right exercise program for you

The first thing Timo found that worked for him was the book New Rules of Lifting Supercharged. “It was a godsend.”

Timo and his son with the Star Wars squad

Thanks to that book, he was able to play with his program, organize his workouts based on a menu of exercises and explore the concept of an evolving system.

But…something still wasn’t quite working for him.

Amazing as the book was, Timo’s body just wasn’t ready for the weightlifting program the book offered. It caused him some issues, mainly to his knees and ankles, which were a problem for him even when he was younger. He’d spent years completely inactive, and working out came as a shock to his system.

It was obvious that something was wrong and he need to adjust his approach.

“It was a godsend.”

Adjusting your approach

Weight-lifting was just too much for him at that point of his training. “My shoulders could not handle the weights I was carrying.” He could accomplish some spectacular weight-lifting moves, but they would put him out of action for several weeks afterwards.

He still finished the book’s program, but chose to move on and search for something else. He needed a program that would help him progress more safely, without triggering any old injuriess he might have hidden within his body.

“As you get older, your training needs to change and evolve.”

Down the path of calisthenics

He started with the book Complete Calisthenics. At that time, Calisthenics Academy had just published the first edition of the ebook, though the platform hadn’t gone live yet. Timo bought it too.

Timo Climbing Trees

 

The challenges Complete Calisthenics offered were interesting, the program was fun “but then I hit the single leg pistol squat (assisted) and my old knee issues flared up.”

This forced him to take yet another break from exercising, the injury being quite paralyzing.

It was right around the same time that the Calisthenics Academy web platform went live. Timo didn’t hesitate before signing up.

“Calisthenics Academy lets me be more focused on my goals.”

Timo found a program he enjoys and that pushes him a lot. As his body wasn’t fully recovered from his injury he started with maintenance workouts before he could officially get started on his own training program.

“I started slow. I set myself a goal of one session a week. Once that became easy, I slowly increased it.”

Making exercise and movement a habit

Having a family and two young children, finding the time to workout was quite a challenge. Timo tried working out after work, and even after his children had gone to sleep. It just didn’t cut it, though.

And so, he began waking up and working out earlier and earlier.

“I now love my 3:30[a.m.]—I know I’m crazy!—wake up workout.” Mad as it sounds, he claims that it gives him a moment of peace and quiet before the day’s true craziness begins.

“I started slow. I set myself a goal of one session a week. Once that became easy, I slowly increased it.”

“I can control my body much better than before, and am more confident about lifting things (like my kids in play) without a risk.”

Timo’s advice to anyone who is curious about calisthenics

“Go on, give it a try. Start slow and don’t set your goals too unrealistically. Try, and have fun!”

“Thanks to the program, I have managed to strengthen my knees and ankles, which were a problem for me when I was younger.”

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!

From injured weight-lifter to calisthenics athlete

the value of starting over

Braden

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletes – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!

This is story of Philippe – Calisthenics Academy

Braden is an army officer and former weight-lifter, whose injuries caused him pain and problems for years, until the day he found calisthenics.

“A journey of a thousand miles start with the first step”

The path from weight-lifting to calisthenics

Braden started his fitness journey weight-lifting and relay racing in high school, until joint pain and a shoulder injury caused him to rethink his view of exercise and movement.

“When I was in high school, prior to my injury I was 169lbs benching 300lbs, squatting 2 x 325lbs, and deadlifting 475lbs. I was one of the strongest kids pound for pound. I was very successful with weight lifting and was showing more progress as the weeks went on. I was weight strong but not body strong.”

While in full sprint during a relay race, he made a wrong movement, which caused his hip to pop. This resulted in disparity and imbalance in his entire body, particularly affecting one of his shoulders. His form changed, and weight-lifting was putting extra stress on one side.

“I injured my shoulder from heavy lifting. I was at my strongest, and from then on, I haven’t gotten back to that strength. I didn’t plan to rehab, because I loved the gym so much, and didn’t want to step away. My stubbornness kept me from getting it fixed. Not a smart move. It didn’t get better until I started calisthenics…I realized the benefit of having less stress put on my joints, ligaments, and tendons.”

– “I found that with calisthenics I was able to still workout hard and also have my shoulder heal.”

“My workouts are sometimes 20-30 minutes. That’s the beauty of bodyweight. Just keep moving.”

The 3 main benefits Braden experienced with calisthenics

He’s able to train his body intensively without aggravating his shoulder injury

Calisthenics was a challenge to him and his expectations; progress in calisthenics just isn’t the same as in weightlifting. “It isn’t an ego builder. You do not put on size as fast and it takes a while to master moves.” But he discovered the long-term benefits that came as a result of his calisthenics journey;

“I found that with calisthenics I was able to still work out hard and also have my shoulder heal…My body has become more proportioned and I am much more mobile than I was as a weight lifter.”

He’s still interested and committed to using calisthenics years later

Braden considers himself to be a ‘wherever the wind takes me’ kind of person. When something became boring to him, he’d simply move on. And yet, two years later, Calisthenics Academy has helped him stay focused, interested and constantly improving.

“It is simple. It has good descriptions in the video and the progressions are realistic…The majority of the moves in calisthenics I cannot do yet. I am starting at square one.”

He’s learned to pace himself

Calisthenics Academy seems to have helped Braden immensely in his overall training habits, and what he’s now capable of, mentally and physically. He’s experienced first-hand the benefits of periodization; he’s no longer too rigid in his training and appreciates the importance of allowing his body to rest and recover.

What his workouts look like

His workout routine now is just naturally built into his everyday life:

“first thing when I get home, I make a pre-workout cappuccino and get to my garage, get some music going and jump some rope to warm up. Then I am ready to rock and roll. My workouts are sometimes 20-30 minutes.”

Training as a Family

His workouts don’t take over his life, but they’re a valuable part of it.

“That’s the beauty of bodyweight. Just keep moving. Go through the circuit quickly. Do not take a rest if you don’t need it.”

.

Training as a family

Nowadays, Braden regularly works out with his wife Tawnee. She too is a calisthenics athlete, who loves acroyoga and was recently accepted to the ninth season of American Ninja Warrior! Check out her awesome Instagram account @tawneeleo.

“That’s the beauty of bodyweight. Just keep moving. Go through the circuit quickly. Do not take a rest if you don’t need it.”

“Calisthenics is great when it comes to the Army because you need to be mobile and strong in all positions.”

“I am much more mobile than when I was as a weight lifter.”

Here’s Braden’s advice to anyone wondering if Calisthenics Academy is for them

“Just go for it. You won’t regret it. A journey of a thousand miles start with the first step.”

“I was weight strong but not body strong. I am very glad I switched to calisthenics because my body has become more proportioned and I am much more mobile.”

Keep on climbing

How Philippe rediscovered an old passion thanks to calisthenics

Philippe

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletes – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!

This is story of Philippe – Calisthenics Academy

Philippe is an independent coach and author of several blogs, articles and books. Between work, his family (including two young children) and his hobby of music, he doesn’t have much time to dedicate to exercise.

Although he was active in his youth, Philippe lost most of those habits as life got in the way.In particular, he was finding he didn’t have the time, energy or strength for rock climbing, a passion of his.

“I relate in a different way to my body and its intelligence. I feel more confidence to move on and start dreaming of my time as a rock climber.”

But that running caused him more and more issues in his knees and tendons, which then entirely killed his enjoyment of sports. And so as he became less and less active, he began to gain weight.

He decided to research some alternatives, and started with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) via Freeletics, realizing after some time that the exercises kept repeating themselves.

“I missed having a logical progression.”

“Start where you are and don’t force yourself to go faster…the program will carry you along the way. Trust it.”

The 3 main benefits Philippe has gained with calisthenics

He’s fully recovering from long-standing injuries

By pairing a gymnastics training with calisthenics, Philippe is slowly recovering from problems he’s had for a long time.

“That’s a really, really great part of your program…you don’t have to push or force your body toward injuries.”

He’s integrated movement and exercise into his daily life

Exercise used to be an obligation. It’s now become a key part of Philippe’s lifestyle. “I’m much more aware of the movement of my body, I do much more stretching and flexibility exercises and feel – for the first time – that this is a real part of the journey.”

The principles of calisthenics correlate to his profession

Philippe (along with fellow Calisthenics Academy athlete Hans whose story you can find here), is an organisational coach. The ideas of calisthenics, where working holistically is key, can be found echoed through the core principles of his business. “Most of the companies we work for are not always working as an integrated whole. Departments do not always collaborate. Due to that, a lot of energy is wasted, a lot of frustration is created and a lot of potential is untapped.”

“A great part of our work is helping companies outgrow this silo-stage. The link with calisthenics is clear to us. Body-building is more oriented on training isolated muscles. Due to that, the interplay, or coordination between muscles isn’t trained, which makes a bodybuilder look very strong, but at the same time not that mobile, agile or flexible. Calisthenics is more oriented on the interplay between muscles, body parts, etc. It’s not about looking good, it’s about moving in an integrated way.”

Calisthenics inspired Philippe to start climbing again

Philippe Back to Rock Climbing

Philippe has a long-lost love of rock climbing and thanks to calisthenics, it’s something that his body is always ready to get back into, with the future possibility of his children joining him.

“From time to time I do some bouldering with my son and hope he’ll enjoy training with me. Once he has enough weight, we could go climbing together.”

It’s been 15 years since Philippe regularly rock climbed but calisthenics has allowed him to get back to it. “I feel more confidence to move on and start dreaming of my time as a rock climber.” As he goes from strength to strength in his calisthenics journey, it won’t be long before he’s doing more than just dreaming.

“This feeling of progress, even in small steps, and ability to see it motivates me to keep on going every day”

“Start where you are and don’t force yourself to go faster…the program will carry you along the way. Trust it.”

Philippe’s advice to anyone who is curious about calisthenics

“What I liked was the ‘science’ of [the] approach., the way you created small steps to make progress.”

“I liked the way the progressions were built and I like the easy way to connect with the people developing the program. This gives a feeling of connection or community.”

From injured athlete to motivated mover

Ryan’s calisthenics story

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletes – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!

This is story of Ryan – Calisthenics Academy

Ryan is an independent analyst. He spends his time traveling to and working in remote places all around the world, sometimes bartending in his free time.

“Fitness has definitely become less of a thing I do, and more of a way I live”

Staying in shape as a traveler is always a big challenge, and one Ryan struggled with.

He’s always been an athlete, playing American football and rugby at university. At the time, he focused mainly on weight training and cardio. A work injury involving abdominal tears made him unable to do usual workouts, and in search of an alternative that would keep him moving without making the problem any worse.

“I was immobile for a few weeks and not much more mobile for a good quarter of the year. It pretty much ended my regular regimen, and put off serious weight training for a solid six months, so I needed to find some kind of workout I could scale to my limitations.”

His father had been training for a while, and is the one who introduced Ryan to new approaches to training.

Pre-injury, weight training

Post-injury

He tried calisthenics out for himself, and struggled with the lack of progress he first experienced.

“When I first got started with calisthenics, it was difficult to measure progress and I wasn’t seeing the familiar gains I expected.”

More than that, though, calisthenics challenged his views of what exercise was meant to look like.

“The hardest part of calisthenics has been the patience it requires me to have with myself. With weights or cardio I could just power through plateaus or problem areas: add more weight, run faster.”

“At the end of the day I’d just be more sore or nauseous, but with calisthenics I’m identifying really functional performance errors in myself, that can’t be overcome by more weight or gutting it out – corrections take patience and acceptance.”

“My dad had recently recovered really well from back surgery and he recommended Pilates and calisthenics – so I listened to the old man.“

“You only need the will to do [calisthenics]. You don’t need workout clothes, equipment, or to go to a gym full of people watching you. Find a quiet spot where you feel comfortable,, pull up a workout and see how rad it is to be honest with yourself. Then just go from there.”

The 4 benefits Ryan has gained since joining Calisthenics Academy

A changed mindset which introduced a new way to deal with injury

Calisthenics helped Ryan recover much faster than he imagined he could. In fact, he barely lost any of his base-fitness level,

“because of the scalability and regularity of the workouts. I was also able to identify new areas to improve.”

More than just recovering, calisthenics seems to have taught him to cope with injury differently. The steps he took to recover involved both taking action and understanding his own mind better than he had before.

“I’ve learned to deal with injury by doing something – anything – that lets me see even the smallest growth. My most recent injury required me to have a substantial amount of metal removed from my leg, so at 32 that meant I was off my feet for weeks.”

“So I looked up any small moves I could do with my legs propped up or on one leg (as I got healthier) and just went from there. The work spent planning out sessions and even the smallest bit of gain were enough to keep from falling into a mental grave of sorts.”

Freedom in movement

Since starting calisthenics, Ryan has experienced an openness and a flexibility in his training routine that never really had before.

“Life used to be governed by hard and fast gym times, but now I’m free to build my days around workouts but all the while listening to how I feel that day and responding appropriately in my regimen.”

Calisthenics Academy has offered him a safe structure in which he has the freedom to explore and play. “Fitness has definitely become less of a thing I do, and more of a way I live…I always built my days around workouts but now I build workouts into my days.”

His progress has taken him so far from where he started, which is a huge motivator for him: calisthenics is about progress and evolution.

“I started out looking to recover and maintain but I’ve become a bit more obsessed with movement and functional performance so my workouts are much more form/performance focused now than they were when I started.”

Learn to listen to your body

The results an athlete might expect with weight training just don’t happen at the same speed in calisthenics. For anyone who’s transitioning from weight training to calisthenics, Ryan’s experience shows that you’ll need patience…and a lot of it.

“Be patient and observant. If you’re like me and are used to seeing the types of gains that come from weight/sport training, you need to let yourself learn the language of calisthenics. Gains come but they’re different, your body’s language is different. So don’t give up, invest and listen, because it really is like learning a new language.”

He can play ANYWHERE

Ryan has had a lot of fun exploring the spaces that would allow for a workout. “I’ve trained anywhere from large chain gyms, beaches, freight containers, the back of a cargo plane and a semi truck, hotel rooms and my kitchen. I’ve been pretty creative sometimes – doing vertical pulls on truck axles was a greasy favorite.”

Ryan’s advice to you, if you’re considering starting calisthenics

“Start with one round, or one exercise even. Build that into your day and commit to it, even if just that one day. After that, I like to use the tag #dontgotobedlazy on my more inactive friends, because if all you do is pull up the app and do some push-ups or planks before bed, then you’ve started something you can work with.”

Follow the hashtag #dontgotobedlazy on Instagram!

“Life used to be governed by hard and fast gym times, but now I’m free to build my days around workouts but all the while listening to how I feel that day and responding appropriately in my regimen.”

“Be patient and observant. If you’re like me and used to seeing the types of gains that come from weight/sport training, you need to let yourself learn the language of calisthenics. Gains come but they’re different, your body’s language is different. So don’t give up, invest and listen, because it really is like learning a new language.”

“Fitness has definitely become less of a thing I do, and more of a way I live”