Teaming up with LeAD Sports Accelerator + calisthenics coach app update

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!
I hope you are all well and training is going great! It’s been a while since our last update, but there’s been a lot going on. Hence here is a rundown on what we have been up to on our journey to build a platform & technology to make learning bodyweight and movement disciplines safe and fun for everyone!

App Development is right on track!

The team has been working hard on the app. We’ve divided the development into 4 parts including Onboarding & Assessment, Workouts, Moves and Other. We’re almost done with the onboarding and assessment, and we’re right on schedule to have the app released by the end of the year. I also managed to visit our front-end team HQ based in Warsaw and we had a good laugh. Everyone is super excited about the app coming out.

  Last week for the first time we were able to download the app to test the first features: registration – it’s happening!  

 

ACCELERATING THE GROWTH:

 

 Life in the most prominent Sports Tech Startup Accelerator!

As some of you know, a few months ago we were chosen from thousands of startups to participate in the most prominent Sports Tech Accelerator: LeAD.   All 16 teams were selected as a startup that has the potential to change the face of sports on a global scale!

We are currently based in Berlin, being put through an intense program that will help us not only to ship and improve our product but to deliver on the vision of building the most advanced platform and technology that makes learning bodyweight movement disciplines easy, safe and fun. 

 

You can learn more about the new app that is coming out later this year here! (it has over 100 new moves!!!)

 

A picture of the current cohort with 16 amazing startups that are there to change the face of the fitness industry.

       

What’s special about this accelerator and one of many reasons we are excited to be here, is that it’s run by grandchildren of Adi Dassler – the legendary founder of Addidas brand. Horst and Klaus and not only amazing entrepreneurs, but they carry the legacy of his grandfather.

“Our grandfather, Adi Dassler, was always driven by the idea of making great sports ideas even greater and putting them into action. Today, he’d be supporting start-ups in the same way we are.”
Mentored by Adidas and Redbull
LeAD is an amazing place for us to grow. On a daily basis, we are being advised by some of the most amazing executives from Redbull and Adidas, but last week the mentoring intensyfied..

22 meetings in two days and so many more to come

Mentors days are 2 days when we meet with as many folks as possible to accelerate our progress. We had a pleasure of meeting many prolific mentors, investors and entrepreneurs across sports industry. It was great to see so many of them excited about what we are building, and hear feedback and ideas from some of the best out there.
We talked to folks who led Redbull growth on the marketing side, sports scientists and investors. Some of the most interesting conversations we have had were around building out the assessment section of the app to try to create the most comprehensive personalised image of your body including mobility, flexibility, posture elements as well as injuries history.  Having that information means that we can use advanced algorithms to create a training program that is truly personalised like nothing else out there.

The other aspect  that was talked about is creating an amazing community of athletes and trainers, gamyfication (both scheduled in the second app iteration) & expanding on different movement and bodyweight disciplines to create a platform to LEARN and EXPLORE our bodies.

22 meetings in two days – we all almost lost the voice – but it was so worth it!!
Apart from meetings we got to see Flying Steps Academy performance – these guys are amazing!

We got sooo much positive feedback. The one below its just one of many!

“This app has an incredible potential to be the most comprehensive app on the market.” – Adam Smith
In the spirit of sports…
Our office is right next to the office from the legendary Flying Steps Academy – multiple world champions in breakdancing. It’s been an amazing inspiration to train with them and explore the world of breakdancing.

Some of the shapes and moves none of us ever tried before. So much fun!

  Maybe in the future we will be able to collaborate with them and bring some of their training inside of our app.

“This feeling of progress, even in small steps, and ability to see it motivates me to keep on going every day”
Also… there’s a crash mat in the office. I’m not entirely sure what it’s doing there, but we’ve making the most out of it, practicing front and back flips, handstands and rolls. Feeling Alive!
If you’re from or around Berlin – please come and say hi. If you’re not….
  On INSTAGRAM? Follow us!
Our Instagram has been growing and we recently hit 10.5k followers. It’s becoming our home on social media – come and  join us on Instagram.
There are a ton of other exciting things happening over here. You can expect more info on the UX testing, as well as ambassador program in our next email. Till then – stay awesome, post in our Inner Circle Facebook group (or if you are not a customer our public FB group) with any questions/ ideas you have and let’s keep on moving.

As usual, thank you for your ongoing support! None of it would be possible without you – our community and customers and we are committed to working with you to build an awesome product.

Join our Facebook group, reach out with ideas and questions, follow us on Instagram – stay in touch. Lots of great things coming 🙂

  Best, Aga & Calisthenics Academy Team

Curious about the app? Try our free assessment below:

Movement Athlete Training Program

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.”

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 the story of Mark – The Movement Athlete

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, The Movement Athlete 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 The Movement Athlete

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 Movement Athlete platform, this is even easier to do now.

“I use [The Movement Athlete] 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!”

BUILD INSANE STRENGTH &  GYMNAST LIKE BODY

while mastering over 100 gymnastics
& calisthenics skills.

Following a terrible injury, Hans was told he’d never exercise again

And then he found Calisthenics…
Hans
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 the story of Hans – The Movement Athlete

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 The Movement Athlete 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 The Movement Athlete.

“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.”

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 The Movement Athlete.”

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 The Movement Athlete . “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 The Movement Athlete’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.”
Train anywhere
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 The Movement Athlete 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 The Movement Athlete 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 The Movement Athlete.”

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.”

“The Movement Athlete has really helped me in streamlining my movement routine for the rest of my life.”

From injured weight-lifter to calisthenics athlete

From injured weight-lifter to calisthenics athlete

the value of starting over

Braden

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 the story of Braden – The Movement Athlete

Braden is an army officer and former weight-lifter, whose injuries caused him pain and problems for years, until the day he found calisthenics.

“A journey of a thousand miles start with the first step”

The path from weight-lifting to calisthenics

Braden started his fitness journey weight-lifting and relay racing in high school, until joint pain and a shoulder injury caused him to rethink his view of exercise and movement.

“When I was in high school, prior to my injury I was 169lbs benching 300lbs, squatting 2 x 325lbs, and deadlifting 475lbs. I was one of the strongest kids pound for pound. I was very successful with weight lifting and was showing more progress as the weeks went on. I was weight strong but not body strong.”

While in full sprint during a relay race, he made a wrong movement, which caused his hip to pop. This resulted in disparity and imbalance in his entire body, particularly affecting one of his shoulders. His form changed, and weight-lifting was putting extra stress on one side.

“I injured my shoulder from heavy lifting. I was at my strongest, and from then on, I haven’t gotten back to that strength. I didn’t plan to rehab, because I loved the gym so much, and didn’t want to step away. My stubbornness kept me from getting it fixed. Not a smart move. It didn’t get better until I started calisthenics…I realized the benefit of having less stress put on my joints, ligaments, and tendons.”

– “I found that with calisthenics I was able to still workout hard and also have my shoulder heal.”

“My workouts are sometimes 20-30 minutes. That’s the beauty of bodyweight. Just keep moving.”

The 3 main benefits Braden experienced with calisthenics

He’s able to train his body intensively without aggravating his shoulder injury

Calisthenics was a challenge to him and his expectations; progress in calisthenics just isn’t the same as in weightlifting. “It isn’t an ego builder. You do not put on size as fast and it takes a while to master moves.” But he discovered the long-term benefits that came as a result of his calisthenics journey;

“I found that with calisthenics I was able to still work out hard and also have my shoulder heal…My body has become more proportioned and I am much more mobile than I was as a weight lifter.”

He’s still interested and committed to using calisthenics years later

Braden considers himself to be a ‘wherever the wind takes me’ kind of person. When something became boring to him, he’d simply move on. And yet, two years later, The Movement Athlete has helped him stay focused, interested and constantly improving.

“It is simple. It has good descriptions in the video and the progressions are realistic…The majority of the moves in calisthenics I cannot do yet. I am starting at square one.”

He’s learned to pace himself

The Movement Athlete seems to have helped Braden immensely in his overall training habits, and what he’s now capable of, mentally and physically. He’s experienced first-hand the benefits of periodization; he’s no longer too rigid in his training and appreciates the importance of allowing his body to rest and recover.

What his workouts look like

His workout routine now is just naturally built into his everyday life:

“first thing when I get home, I make a pre-workout cappuccino and get to my garage, get some music going and jump some rope to warm up. Then I am ready to rock and roll. My workouts are sometimes 20-30 minutes.”

Training as a Family

His workouts don’t take over his life, but they’re a valuable part of it.

“That’s the beauty of bodyweight. Just keep moving. Go through the circuit quickly. Do not take a rest if you don’t need it.”

.

Training as a family

Nowadays, Braden regularly works out with his wife Tawnee. She too is a calisthenics athlete, who loves acroyoga and was recently accepted to the ninth season of American Ninja Warrior! Check out her awesome Instagram account @tawneeleo.

“That’s the beauty of bodyweight. Just keep moving. Go through the circuit quickly. Do not take a rest if you don’t need it.”

“Calisthenics is great when it comes to the Army because you need to be mobile and strong in all positions.”

“I am much more mobile than when I was as a weight lifter.”

Here’s Braden’s advice to anyone wondering if The Movement Athlete is for them

“Just go for it. You won’t regret it. A journey of a thousand miles start with the first step.”

“I was weight strong but not body strong. I am very glad I switched to calisthenics because my body has become more proportioned and I am much more mobile.”

BUILD INSANE STRENGTH &  GYMNAST LIKE BODY

while mastering over 100 gymnastics
& calisthenics skills.