And then he found Calisthenics…
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This is story of Hans, – Calisthenics Academy
Hans, a 39 year old company coach from Belgium, has had to face some pretty extreme physical challenges in his life. When he was xx, he experienced terrible consequences from a momentary physical action.
“As the result of a quick and unexpected movement, my neck turned sharply away and I heard a snap. The next day I literally had to drag myself out of bed by the hair. Since the hernia was pressing against my spinal cord, it needed quick fixing, so a week later I was in surgery.”
It took him a very long time to recover from that accident, and he was repeatedly told that he’d never be able to work out again. “Bit by bit I proved them wrong. Actually, the more (sensible) I [work out], the less back pain I have.”
So how did Hans defy medical expectations and face his physical challenges? Calisthenics! Hans is also a big proponent of holistic living and plant-based nutrition and Calisthenics Academy is a program that allows him to incorporate these principles into his exercise routine while protecting his neck prosthesis and his back.
“[Our body] is a great device we get at the beginning of our lives, and there is so much potential we don’t (or forget to) use in terms of mobility and flexibility.”
Hans believes that life is meant to be lived holistically. He’s been in search of the kind of exercise that would allow him a true exploration of his body, and would help him move towards a greater, long-term goal. It was during this search that he discovered Calisthenics Academy.
“There is no limit to what the body can achieve at any given age, given the right time, the right training and the right goals.”
The 3 benefits Hans gained since starting calisthenics
His body doesn’t hurt him anymore
Following Hans’ terrible accident and spinal surgery
he was repeatedly told that he’d never be able to work out again. “Bit by bit I proved them wrong. Actually, the more (sensible) I [work out], the less back pain I have.”
“I’m no longer troubled by back pain which helps my self confidence a whole lot—those who have suffered from back pain, they surely know what I mean.”
He’s in a state of constant learning and self-betterment
Hans believes that the body is constantly improving and learning. But it needs to be motivated to do so. He’s gained that motivation thanks to Calisthenics Academy. “We are never finished, we are becoming. And that is represented in your program.”
“The real gain for me are the thank yous I get from my own body.”
The principles of calisthenics translate into a code of ethics into his work life
Hans, along with Philippe (whose story you can find here), is a company coach, offering support in the design of organisations. “We help organisations in adaptive challenges. We create progression paths with them in order to see which steps they can take in a continuous change path.”
He sees a correlation between his work and the principles behind calisthenics. Once goals are hit, either in business or calisthenics, then what?
“We are never finished exploring and building, that is why the way forward is more important than the end product.”
“I’m more focused on the updating process of my body than in the final product. As long as I keep moving forward, keep learning, I’m on the right path. Within our organisation progressiondesigners.com, we try to integrate a few concepts such as Biomimicry, lean concepts (continuous improvements) and calisthenics/gymnastics.”
“Discovering calisthenics was the result of a few converging principles in my life.”
Holistic, plant-based living
Holistic principles follow the idea that you must look at your life as a whole: the mind affects the body, the spirit affects the mind, the body affects the spirit and the environment affects it all.
“I believe in a holistic approach to life, living a plant-based life, having a respectful approach to all living things, with my own body as a good example. Respecting my own body is something I found translated very well in calisthenics and The Movement Athlete Manifesto. I read your Manifesto and got hooked.”
“Secondly, I have a prosthesis in my neck and a mild back issue. So weight lifting is not only extremely boring but also quite tricky for me.”
When looking at life from a holistic standpoint, Hans simply doesn’t see the value of training at the gym following traditional weight-lifting programs.
“I’ve always asked myself the question what the attractive goals in weightlifting are—keep on lifting more and more until your body collapses? That’s a road to nowhere for me.”
Calisthenics is holistic exercise
Calisthenics doesn’t only focus on the body. In fact, if you read the Calisthenics Academy’s second edition of its ebook, you’ll get to learn about the importance of focusing on both your diet and your mindset in order to successfully reach your calisthenics goals.
“In our professional life we’re also approaching things systemically and holistically, and that translated for me in a search for a movement method that doesn’t isolate muscles and integrates flexibility/mobility, strength and skill.”
Calisthenics training requires so little material that you can virtually do it anywhere.
“You can do the training everywhere, so it becomes part of your daily routine easily. “
“The hardest part was/is discipline in following up to mastery skills with the exercises. I’m prone to experimenting with new things and like to try out new things, so here the Calisthenics Academy app was a great tool to straighten out my program.”
Calisthenics is more than just training – it’s a lifestyle
“This quote from the original Calisthenics Academy ebook did the trick for me:”
“Soon, calisthenics became so much more than just a training program for me. It became a way of life. I will teach you the rules and lessons I have learned over the years. You will learn how to set your own goals and how to work out, but there is just one thing I want you to keep in mind: we are each a work in progress. Be in the moment. There is no competition. Train hard, move, eat healthy food, and love life! Go get it!”
“As most people I started out with the intention of doing a human flag as soon as possible. But now the mindset has changed to mastering the current exercise sets. and then progressing to the next, and the next. All thanks to Calisthenics Academy”
Here’s Hans’ advice to anyone curious to try calisthenics out
“There is no limit to what the body can achieve at any given age, given the right time, the right training and the right goals…Learn to listen to your body. Why? Because I think these are the basics to keep progressing.”
“Calisthenics Academy has really helped me in streamlining my movement routine for the rest of my life.”