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!
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