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.
The path from weight-lifting to calisthenics
“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.”
3 Main Benefits Braden gained from joining
The Movement Athlete
He’s able to train his body intensively without aggravating his shoulder injury
“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
“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.”
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.