The most important lesson Thomas learned with calisthenics

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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!

Have you found your inner Goku?

How Dragonball Z inspired Anthony’s calisthenics journey

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 Anthony – Calisthenics Academy

Anthony is a construction worker and dad to two adorable little girls.

“It wasn’t until I got into Dragon Ball Z that I started becoming passionate about getting stronger with body weight exercises. Just seeing Goku and Vegeta training to face any challenge drove me to want to be strong.”

Anthony has been doing calisthenics for years, but more as a supplement to his workout routine rather than as the main focus. As he got older, his attention shifted, mainly thanks to Japanese anime series Dragon Ball Z. “I started becoming passionate about getting stronger with body weight exercises. Just seeing Goku and Vegeta training to face any challenge drove me to want to be strong.”

Additionally, Anthony used many different online free video tutorials to supplement his training.

“Seeing street workout competitions online really pushed me to want to master my own body.”

“I researched for about a year and experimented with tutorial videos and workouts for building strength in advanced bodyweight movement, but it never seemed to work because they were either too hard or didn’t have any workouts with progression for beginners, which they have with the Calisthenics Academy program. That’s one of the reasons I like using it.”

The two main benefits Anthony has gained since starting calisthenics

He’s training like Goku and Vegeta

As the Real Anime Training puts it, the Dragon Ball Z masters put their sweat and their blood into their routines to achieve mastery.
Anthony is following their example, although hopefully with no blood. (Train safely, please. Be inspired by the crazy anime, don’t be them!)

Fortunately, thanks to Calisthenics Academy Anthony has learned to train his body while avoiding injury (unlike Vegeta).

“I’ve noticed my wrists and knees don’t hurt after workouts and I have better control of my body during isometric holds.”

He can do his training routine in much less than 2 hours

Until joining the Calisthenics Academy community, Anthony was struggling to find a training program that wouldn’t take two hours to complete. None of his programs offered him that, nor did they help him find the right amount of effort for his body.

“I struggled finding something that worked for me that didn’t take to hours to finish and didn’t make me feel I was over or under working a muscle group, or leaving me feeling destroyed.”

Since he’s started Calisthenics Academy, he’s successfully learned to listen to his body’s needs and understand how to work with it rather than force it to train in a way that wasn’t natural.

“Just being consistent and listening to my body has helped me push through any issue.”

Finding Calisthenics Academy

Anthony worked through many video tutorials before choosing to train with Calisthenics Academy. Until he found Calisthenics Academy, no other online programs seemed to work well for him.

“I researched for about a year and experimented with tutorial videos and workouts for building strength in advanced bodyweight movement, but it never seemed to work because they were either too hard or didn’t have any workouts with progression for beginners, which they have with the Calisthenics Academy program.”

“Calisthenics is for everybody, and this program has a lot of options for beginners.”

“I’ve learned to be resourceful and find ways to do the exercises without needing to buy a bunch of equipment or getting a gym membership.”

Anthony’s advice to anyone curious about calisthenics

“Set your goals and be consistent, because it will help you get where you want to be.”

“Calisthenics is for everybody, and this program has a lot of options for beginners.”

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!

Using bodyweight to heal

busting the myth of ‘no pain, no gain’.

Mark

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athlete – 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 Mark – Calisthenics Academy

Mark is a jack of all trades who was a gym rat in his twenties, until back issues forced him to rethink his fitness habits. If you can’t lift more than 15 lbs, weight lifting and traditional gym workouts just aren’t possible anymore.

“Fitness doesn’t have to take hours a day. It can be as simple as doing squats or push ups while you wait for your coffee maker in the morning!”

It took him becoming dependent on painkillers to finally go see a doctor in 2015. He was forbidden from lifting heavy weights, which completely demoralized him. He had to rethink his approach to fitness, and calisthenics felt like a good solution.

“Calisthenics isn’t new to me, it’s where I started when I was 18. Now being 30, it’s where I begin again!”

Mark uses calisthenics, yoga and a specialized back-training program to rehabilitate his bad back, developing new skills as he goes. However, Calisthenics Academy was how he managed to get started on a healthier path to fitness.

“Calisthenics isn’t new to me, it’s where I started when I was 18. Now being 30, it’s where I begin again!”

“It’s all about doing more, no matter how little. Doing one more push up this week than last week, no matter how slow you go, progress is still progress!”

The 3 main benefits Mark gained since joining Calisthenics Academy

He now has a tool he uses for himself and his fitness clients

As a personal trainer, Mark loves to guide his clients through the learning process that is a calisthenics progression. With the help of the Calisthenics Academy platform, this is even easier to do now.

“I use [the Calisthenics Academy] program as a guideline for my personal training clients as well as for my own training!“

It changed his approach to fitness

It can be quite the experience to move from weightlifting to calisthenics! Mark’s view of fitness has changed completely, to the point that he’s devoted to bodyweight training and movement disciplines.

“I have actually sworn off weight lifting!!”

3. It taught him the importance of stretching

Calisthenics is about working your entire body, rather than focus on a single specific muscle, or its growth, or on weight loss. Mark understood this idea, but didn’t train accordingly until his bad back forced him to.

“The older I get, the more I look forward to my after workout stretching (mostly yoga!) than the workout itself.”

“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.”

Every small success matters

To keep progressing every day, Mark focuses on small steps. Daily movement is just as important as focused training sessions. With calisthenics, the results aren’t as immediate or visible as they might be with weight training. But the small increments are what matter most.

“It’s all about doing more, no matter how little. Doing one more push up this week than last week, no matter how slow you go, progress is still progress.”

“Since starting my calisthenics journey I am far more aware of my own body. ”

Mark’s advice to anyone interested in starting calisthenics

“It’s all about doing it! Once you commit completely you can overcome anything!!”

“This is such a great, simple and effective program!”

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!

Be humble and get strong

how calisthenics helped Noah

Noah

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athlete – 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 Noah – Calisthenics Academy

Noah is a software engineer whose time is spent coding, volunteering at his church and playing or watching basketball.

“It is really humbling how hard even the simplest exercises are.”

Noah has always been lightly active over the years, never really sticking to a specific program or training regiment.

“I was thin, and I played basketball, but overall I was eating fairly unhealthily, was not exercising regularly, and spent most of my time in front of a computer screen.”

Diet is just as important as working out

Tracking Progress

Before changing how he was training, he improved how he was eating. “I started by changing my diet to stop eating sugar. I went cold-turkey and didn’t eat a dessert for three months. I started eating healthier breakfasts and lunches focused on eating more fruits, vegetables, eggs and less processed meats.”

He then paired his healthier eating habits with healthier training habits. Early in 2016, he discovered the Convict Conditioning training program. It was his first introduction to progressive calisthenics. But it didn’t quite stick until he found out about Calisthenics Academy.

“I liked the additional steps in between progressions and the materials available to learn the moves.”

“I’m learning to craft my own programming for my workouts. I care more about progressing than pushing out a bunch of reps. For me, 3x12 of an exercise seems to work well, and then I progress to the next exercise. I’ve found this to be very helpful and keep me motivated instead of getting stuck forever on earlier exercises that require 3x30 on the program.”

The 3 main benefits Noah gained since starting calisthenics

He’s learned to prioritize his time

Consistency is a continuous struggle for Noah. But he’s pushing forward, refusing to let procrastination or any kind of mental resistance stop him from doing what he needs to do. “Doing something is better than doing nothing and then waking up to realize you’ve not exercised for an entire week.”

He’s healthier in body and mind

His habits for both eating and exercising have drastically changed since he first started calisthenics. He’s found a few specific tricks that help him keep moving forward, and without restricting his eating or his workouts.

“- Going to sleep the same time every night
– Waking up the same time every morning
– Preparing lunches the night before
– Prep everything you need for your morning routine and set it out the night before
– If you don’t do any of the above four things and you aren’t hitting your schedule perfectly, take a second. Relax. Come up with an alternate plan and at least do something to work out that day.”

He’s committed to a long-term lifestyle

Noah has sees the benefit of pursuing calisthenics as a lifestyle. “I’m learning to craft my own programming for my workouts. I care more about progressing than pushing out a bunch of reps.”

Working out is more than exercising, and the learning process is in fact more important than the outcome. “It is really humbling how hard even the simplest exercises are.”

But the outcome will help keep you motivated, and Noah sees this too.

“I feel stronger. I’m not huge or ripped or anything. To the eye, I look fitter but nothing impressive, but my body just feels stronger.”

How to overcome the challenge of consistency

Noah thoroughly enjoys his new training program. But that doesn’t mean that he’s suddenly acing all his challenges. Consistency is a big struggle, even to this day. “I work out by myself and there are weeks where I really have to fight to even get one workout in.”

In order for him to succeed, he needed to change his way of thinking. He began to think more about how to hold himself accountable. “I read somewhere about the ‘Myth of Monday’. The myth is that you can just start next week, you can change it next week. No, if you miss a day of a workout, just work out the next day. Don’t wait till next week to do it right. This is a great lesson for everything in life actually. Make the changes you need to change as soon as possible and don’t let past mistakes breed future mistakes.”

“If you can commit to this program, you will learn a lot about exercising, about gaining strength, about gaining flexibility. You will create the habit of exercising. None of that will be wasted.”

“If you can commit to this program, you will learn a lot about exercising, about gaining strength, about gaining flexibility. You will create the habit of exercising. None of that will be wasted.”

Here’s Noah’s advice to anyone curious about calisthenics

“Know why you are doing calisthenics. If your answer is that you want to look ripped and get huge as quickly as possible, don’t do calisthenics. If your answer is that you want to feel stronger, more flexible, more connected to your body, then calisthenics is the way to go.”

“If you can commit to this program, you will learn a lot about exercising, about gaining strength, about gaining flexibility. You will create the habit of exercising. None of that will be wasted.”

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 this busy single dad was able to transform his body by transforming his approach to exercise

Neil

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athlete – 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 Neil – Calisthenics Academy

Neil is a single dad working a traditional 9-5 desk job at North Island Credit Union. In spite of his responsibilities at work and as a father, he’s managed to commit to four to fiveworkouts per week. But this wasn’t always the case.

“Just have fun with it. Learning a new progression is like learning a new workout move. It gets easier the more you do it.”

Neil started out doing traditional weight training. He’d go online to the most popular websites and pick a training program he enjoyed.

“Most are your typical compound movements like bench press, squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses, etc. It would either be one that builds muscle or loses fat. Most workouts would last around an hour.”

Despite that very traditional approach to working out, he was intrigued by the idea of calisthenics.

“I’ve always been fascinated about gymnastics and the bodies of gymnasts. They’re alway buff and could perform awesome looking moves.”

“I joined the Academy because I was interested in learning the 8 fundamental calisthenics moves.”

“I like how there are lots of progressions and I can make an honest assessment of whether the progression was easy, doable or too hard.”

The 2 main benefits Neil has gained from calisthenics

He learned the importance of daily movement

Joining Calisthenics Academy really made a difference to his progress.

“I’m doing exercises that I’ve never heard of and I’m getting stronger every day! Plus the program is easy to follow.”

At first he continued to follow traditional fitness schedules with calisthenics, but the results just weren’t what he wanted. He now trains at least five days a week, moving and playing the other two.

“If you only spend one or two days a week, you won’t make very good progress and you can regress really quickly on your moves.”

“Once I started doing the program four to five times a week, I was seeing great results!”

He’s learned the importance of committing to healthy eating

Eating right isn’t something that comes naturally to Neil. “My biggest struggle with my fitness journey is the nutrition part. I tend to eat when I’m bored and I don’t realize how much I overeat.”

He’s found ways to cope with that issue, though: by eating less and better, he’s losing weight, which will ultimately help him hit his fitness goals. “I know that being lean will help me achieve the calisthenics moves I am trying to accomplish. I know I have to eat right.”

“The lighter I am, the easier the moves will be…I am definitely getting stronger and much leaner.”

YouTube: great for inspiration, not so much for training

Neil really discovered calisthenics by watching video tutorials on Youtube, where he first encountered specialized calisthenics skills like the typewriter and archer pull-up. The level of mastery shown on those videos drove him to try them out himself, but video tutorials just weren’t enough for him to succeed. He’s been struggling to achieve a handstand since 2010!

“I would watch YouTube video tutorials and try it every morning, but I would get discouraged after many failed attempts and give up.”

Frustrated that these video tutorials weren’t offering enough information for him to gain the skills he wanted, Neil joined Calisthenics Academy.

“My biggest fear was that the program was going to be like all the other YouTube videos out there and just show a couple of progressions without helping me actually attain the move.”

“Just have fun with it. Learning a new progression is like learning a new workout move and it gets easier the more you do it. Having fun is what gets me through the workout.”

My 12-week transformation challenge ended today and here are my results.

My 12-week transformation challenge ended today and here are my results. During the first 4 weeks, I combined traditional weightlifting with the Calisthenics Academy program. Then I stopped touching the weights and strictly did the Calisthenics Academy program daily for. The remaining 8 weeks, logging in the website on my phone and just doing what it told me to at the gym. The program really works and I’m still far from achieving some of the moves, I attached screenshots to show you my progress of each move.

Trust the program and the process! 

 

Neil Before and After

Follow Neil on Instagram

Here’s Neil’s advice for anyone interested in calisthenics

“Give calisthenics a try. It’s a fun way to learn new moves while getting stronger and leaner at the same time. You will be amazed at what your body is capable of doing, plus you’ll look cool doing it!”

“I’m doing exercises that I’ve never heard of and I’m getting stronger every day! Plus the program is easy to follow.”

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!