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Jacques ,a 35-year-old physicist, is now a calisthenics athlete. Before, he had nine years of weight lifting in his history. Nothing competitive, but the reason he trained: “It was purely to stay strong, to try and obviously, a little bit of aesthetics involved there, but mostly just to be mobile and to be healthy and strong. That was the purpose.”
After years of weightlifting he experienced a number of issues; from pain and immobility to simply being bored. He realised that just adding weight is not the way to achieve an overall healthy physique and energy level that he wanted
Jacques was worried that he won’t be able to move around and stay active if he keeps this up and that the joint pain is just going to get worse and worse over time. Unless he finds a different style of training, his body is going to fall apart.
He found calisthenics and The Movement Athlete app. He never looked back.
Increased mobility and strength, better physique, improved body control, and learned amazing calisthenics skills are just some benefits he experienced.
Here is Jacques’ story.
Years of Weight Lifting
Jacques’ experience with weight lifting became a double-edged sword. He gained a good amount of strength and muscle but it came with some problems. Problems that made him take a hard look at how he is training and his reasons why.
“Something’s hurting. Something’s not right there.”
One of the issues he experienced after the years of weightlifting was nagging pain in the shoulder.
“[I] ended up getting some impingement in my shoulder…” This impingement came from lifting too heavy with the overhead press, a shoulder exercise.
The pinching pain became more intense as the days go by. He feels the pain when he’s trying to lift things up above him.
You just want to satisfy that ego
As Jacques said, “ I think it’s just you’re getting so close to injuring yourself because you’re trying to lift something that’s maybe too heavy and you just want to satisfy that ego”.
Especially when you’re in a gym, lifting weights could put you in a situation to “show off” your strength.
This could lead to injury which sadly happened with Jacques.
“I ended up getting strong, but not so mobile”
“I started doing yoga with my girlfriend and I realized how immobile my hip complex was, so that was another bit of an eye-opener. Strong legs from squatting and deadlifting, but it’s not very mobile. That’s the recipe for injury.” Jacques was unfortunately right since he learned this the hard way.
Only getting strong isn’t going to cut it in life. There will be a lot of tightness and stiffness which would lead to discomfort or worse, injury, if this issue isn’t addressed.
Movement could get very limited. This problem could get worse, especially if you have an 8+hour desk job that keeps you seated for hours and hours in the office.
If you want to avoid joint pains, muscle aches, and injuries, mobility and flexibility training should be part of your training regimen. Good thing The Movement Athlete guided Jacques in pursuing his overall healthy body.
“You see results but it’s boring and repetitive.”
“With weightlifting – The only challenge, really, is how much more can you lift?
Training the same thing over and over again could make you lose your motivation to train. Jacques felt this exactly with weight lifting. “You learn a couple of movements and you get comfortable in doing the movements. All you do is add on weights.” There’s not much variety. When you’re training is boring, you’ll probably lose interest there sooner or later.
Why he switched from weight lifting to calisthenics
“This is what I need to do”
Our athlete resorted to the trusty internet and Youtube to gain inspiration and motivation. He said, “I started seeing a couple videos of people doing planches and one-arm pull-ups and when I saw a guy doing a planche do a handstand, I figured, “Okay, this is what I need to do.”
Jacques saw that the solution is calisthenics.. It can solve his mobility problems, get stronger and learn cool skills at the same time.
He found the perfect platform:
The Movement Athlete
With Jacque’s description, “It’s a gamified way to get into calisthenics. Got it on mobile. It’s an app that suggests some different movements… “
He has already tried different apps even before when he was still lifting weights.
In comparison to other apps, The Movement Athlete is way more advanced. As he says,
“Other apps, they’ll give you a little bit of assessment and give you one month, two months, a routine that’s basically the same thing every day. So nothing as adaptive as this, definitely. “
Every time you train with The Movement Athlete – you are training towards a certain skill and you not only work on strength aspect – but also muscle gain, endurance, skill and mobility and flexibility. .
It starts with fundamentals skills to achieve like squats, pushups, pull ups, proper core work and physique and as you go along you unlock harder and harder skills.
Each skill is then broken down into small steps so you can slowly build up strength progressively step by step. That means you build strength slowly and naturally, conditioning your nervous system which prevents injury and helps you build all the attributes.
“It’s an app that suggests different movements based on what you choose to go after and gives you a set of progressions and a way to get there.”
Benefits Jacques gained from joining
The Movement Athlete
Achieves consistency in training
Weightlifting still brings gains to Jacques but something kept him from continuing with that workout. “the weightlifting, it’s okay if you see some results at the end of the day, but it’s kind of boring and repetitive. And you learn a couple of movements and you get comfortable in doing the movements and all you do is add on weight,”.
To keep consistency in Jacques’ training, he needs something that keeps him challenged, excited for new learnings and fun. This is what calisthenics brings to the table.
“With calisthenics, there’s always a new challenge, a new movement pattern to learn.”
“This is like handstand, push-ups. I’ve learned now the handstand. It literally took me three months of practicing every single day. I don’t know how many thousand times I got up and fell over, but eventually, I got the hang of that. Now the next step is to control the handstand push-ups and it’s a completely different dynamic in exercising. You need to keep balance and you need to apply force and strength in a pretty awkward position. It’s just interesting. It keeps it challenging.”
Keeping it challenging, fun,and interesting helps Jacques consistent with his workout.
Why would he train the same boring workout over and over again if he can train the fun way?
Builds strength and promotes mobility
Jacques’ journey in fitness doesn’t only revolve in strengthening and muscle building alone. An increase in mobility does provide relief especially while he’s aging.
“I think, getting older as well, and as I’m progressing, age-wise, I need to be doing things that will not just keep the muscles stronger but will also keep the joints mobile. And yeah, I think calisthenics is definitely the way to go.”
Reduces the risk of injuries
Calisthenics offers so many exercises that improve your strength, control, and mobility as well. Getting more mobile lessens Jacques’ chances of getting more injuries.
“As I said earlier on, everyone gets older and I’m at the point where I have two shoulder impingements and sort of a knee problem later but I want to spare the body and get things mobile and functional and moving in the way that they should move.”
Especially as time goes by, practicing mobility with calisthenics prepares your aging body for the tests of time.
Calisthenics also has minimal risk when the ego wants to show off. Lifting heavier weights than you possibly can will do more damage compared to doing a calisthenics progression out of your skill level.
Trains body control, not only strength
Jacques made some realizations with calisthenics.
“thought I made some progress during the last couple years, lifting weights, but then you try calisthenics exercises and you realize how weak you really are.”
Even though Jacques has good strength to lift the irons from the gym, calisthenics exercises (with proper form, of course) still became challenging for him.
“Starting again with the basics, pull-ups, push-ups, it’s kind of frustrating at the beginning, but I’ve always been pretty happy with the progress thus far,”
Movement patterns in the gym is very different with calisthenics. For example, the bench press uses multiple muscles whereas all of the muscles of the body is used for every exercise in calisthenics. There are only major muscles worked on, but the whole body is still engaged. That’s why calisthenics train body control.
“You’ll have complete control of your body, which. Even though you can bench much more than your body weight, then it’s not going to give you that control over your body. “
Teaches proper form and technique
He thought that he was already doing the correct form with push-ups and pull-ups. Jacques was doing the exercises wrong all this time!
Training with The Movement Athlete, he learned the proper form. He got stronger in a safer and faster way.
“…most people can do a pull-up, right? But then when you actually go through the progressions, you realize that you were doing a pull-up wrong your whole life. You were doing a push-up wrong your whole life.”
He learned how to the proper form through progression, slowly increasing intensity and skill level.
“I think the nice thing for me about the app is the progressions and the sort of guidance towards a move.”
Learn amazing superhuman skills
With more body control from calisthenics opens the door for superhuman calisthenics skills such as planche, handstands, human flag, dragons flag, and so much more!
These skills are also what keep Jacques excited and hungry to train!
“I always wanted to walk on my hands and stand on my hands. that one I’ve got now but the planche and the flag is still to come.”
Jacques switch to calisthenics from weight lifting came with huge benefits. Especially, because he’s training with The Movement Athlete.
The Movement Athlete helped Jacques by:
- Promoting consistency in training by keeping the training interesting, challenging, and fun
- Building strength while also increasing his mobility
- Reducing the risk of injuries with safer bodyweight exercises
- Training complete body control through calisthenics exercises
- Teaching proper form and technique of the exercises for safer and faster progress
- Teaches amazing calisthenics skills
Jacques’ felt great with his progress with calisthenics through The Movement Athlete,
“I’m really happy that I bought this program and I’m really happy that I actually did the step to try something different. It’s very rewarding.”
Jacques is exactly where he wants to be in his fitness journey. Thanks to calisthenics and The Movement Athlete, we will be able to reach his goals.
“it’s really satisfying because I can feel I’m doing the exercises properly now. I can feel my body is getting stronger and more mobile as I’m doing them, which it wasn’t when I was lifting weights.”
He was able to get more from calisthenics compared to lifting weights. And finally, he’s having fun!
“And never was the [calisthenics] workout sort of feeling so mundane as weight lifting. It was actually fun so it doesn’t feel like you’re working.”
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