I hope everyone has had a great Xmas/New Years break. It’s the time of year again where people have set goals and resolution without much thought on how to really reach their goals, so I thought I’d write about getting that fitness goal and how a change in the way I thought about things lead me to where I am today. It may seem that I just walked into it easily just because I was friends with Tim and Johno, but it wasn’t always so easy.
Back in 2012, I was stuck in a rut, my career had gone stale, my lifestyle choices had caught up to me and my health was not so great. That’s when I came across a Tony Robbins video on YouTube which enlightened me to a new way of thinking about my lifestyle. Tony Robbins being a very successful life coach and self-help author, I thought why not just have a listen.
Now, I’m not normally one to listen to these things but I took the time and sat through the video and watched it about 3 times. What I took away from the video, was that I needed to set a standard for myself, back that standard with a ritual and to stop limiting my potential through defining myself with phrases like “I can’t…”, “I couldn’t…”, “I’ll never be able to do that…” I still re-watch the video every now and then just to remind myself of these things, because I believe we forget to train our brains just as much as our bodies. I was glad I invested the time into myself. I was unhappy with who I was and was unsure how to be the person I wanted to be. I could paraphrase the video but Tony does a great job of getting the message across so I’ll put the link at the end of this blog.
I decided I wanted to get fit, among other things. I went and bought a set of gymnastic rings and started practising, reading books, watching Youtube videos etc. I was making progress but after 3 months, I lost interest and lapsed for a few months, then trained some more and lapsed again. This cycle repeated throughout 2012 and by the end I was only able to do a few ring muscle ups and was starting to get a back lever hold. I was whole heartedly disappointed in my achievement (even though a ring muscle up is no easy feat!). I got lazy throughout the year and lost focus on my goals, dropped my standards and didn’t back myself the whole way. I could have and should have done more – famous last words, right?
Come around late 2012, I saw Tim post a Facebook video of him doing muscle ups on a bar and I was amazed and impressed. It lead to hours spent watching videos of Hannibal for King, Barstarzz etc. After messaging him I decided that I’d go to a session come Jan 2013. The year started and through sheer determination I forced myself to a session; being introverted doesn’t help.
At the first session I was nervous. I had some strength – hell, I could do ring muscle ups! After some encouragement I tried the bar muscle up and wow I failed! Out the door went my ego (what little there was) and I was standing on the ground again perplexed at how I couldn’t get above the bar. After a few failed attempts I went home disappointed but somewhat motivated.
Attending sessions I was always apprehensive and anxious, why? Because Johno, Tim and Anji seemed like a tightknit group of friends (by this I mean I felt like I was intruding). I didn’t want to look weak in front of others. I didn’t want to take up bar time because I thought Johno and Tim needed it more than me – and every time I couldn’t get the muscle up my ego copped a hit. So I would stand back watching in awe as Johno and Tim repeatedly kept doing muscle up after muscle up and eventually get tired, I would then allow myself to get on the bar and knock out a few pull ups here and there.
Where is this story going, you say? I’ve seen quite a few of you guys/girls come and do a session with us and I envision myself at the beginning – the guy who would stand back and stare in amazement at what was going on but be reserved when it came to participation. Seeing all the fancy stuff is so intimidating that you choose to not participate and not turn up.
That’s where I made the difference; I made it a ritual to turn up to sessions no matter what I could or couldn’t do. I just did a few pull ups here, a few dips there and a few failed muscle ups (FYI – it took me about 2 months before I got a very sloppy muscle up on the bars). Eventually, I found it natural to be on the bar as much as the other guys, all because I turned up consistently.
I know these days when you turn up you are put through one of Johno’s intense workouts and left sore for days, guess what – you don’t always have to do a Johno workout! But if that’s what you want let us know. The sessions are always open, freestyle and FREE, you get to carve your own path in calisthenics, everybody has different strengths, weaknesses and goals. We can guide you through your progression, so just jump on the bar and do a few pull ups/dips and chat with us. Turning up and doing a few pull ups is better than not doing any. I found that if you turn up regularly you stay focused for longer and wont lapse in training. Eventually you will improve and before you know it, you will be above the bar with the biggest grin on your face. So with that in mind…
See you at the bar.
*I’m working on an 8 week muscle up program for beginners, so you’ll have something you can work with, but for now try doing this 3 times a week:
3 sets of 5 pull ups (pull up explosively and slowly release, work on extending the range of movement)
3 sets of 30sec support hold on parallel bars (arms locked out and shoulders down, looking forward)
3 sets of 10 pushups (explosive up, slow on the way down)
3 sets of 10 dips on parallel bars (start in support, lower yourself down and push back up explosively)
If this is too hard reduce reps to 3, 15sec, 5 and 5 or alternatively if it’s too easy try reps of 10, 45s, 15 and 15.
Remember to tailor the workout to your abilities, change the reps to suit – this is only a guide to basic strength.
Watch the video here: