Calisthenics in 2014

Towards the start of 2014, Wendy introduced me to calisthenics and body weight training. We started watching videos, mainly by Frank Medrano, and we were very impressed with what someone can do with their own bodyweight; especially when we found out he follows a strict vegan diet!

At the time I had been working out at the gym 4 to 6 times a week almost for the past 11 years. My workouts changed periodically yet they always were based on lifting weights in all sorts of shapes and in all sorts of ways. I always maintained a comfortable and healthy body fat percentage between 8% and 12% depending on the time of year. At 5’7” my weight always ranged between around 150 to 155 pounds unless I was trying to bulk up.

I have always considered myself as a fit and relatively strong individual; that is to say, I believed that my weight to strength ratio was respectable. I always believed that was the case until I decided to take a serious attempt at incorporating more advanced bodyweight training into my weight lifting routine. Regular pushups, pullups, and dips were not a problem; even with additional weight I performed them consistently well and in good form. Attempting to do moves like muscle-ups, archer pull ups, or handstand pushups proved very difficult if not impossible for the former two exercises. I definitely have some work to do; I kept telling myself.

Around the same time I had rewatched the movie Ninja Assassin; and I was impressed when he performed his press to handstand; here. I had also learned that the actor performing that press trained for around a year in order to perform the move. There I was, 10+ years of training; able to bench press around double my body weight, and I was quite far from performing the calisthenics moves I was attempting and thought it impossible to perform such a press to handstand.

I was determined to take the next year and train as effectively as I could in order to a solid muscle-up; a comfortable handstand from and to a controlled tuck; and and L-Sit to a press to handstand, a la Ninja Assassin.

To make a year long story much shorter, I am able to perform these moves with a high degree of comfort and control a year later. I plan to write a few posts in the near future about my journey and what I learned in this life changing year. It was and still is a journey of self exploration, learning my true potential (which I am eagerly pushing every day), and understanding how body and mind develop together to make you a better you, the best you that you can be with every passing day.

Special thanks again to Wendy for opening this new and fantastic world to me and Frank for being my infinite source of inspiration, both with what he does and what he says.

Written on January 14, 2015