Keep on climbing
How Philippe rediscovered an old passion thanks to calisthenics
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This is the story of Philippe – The Movement Athlete
Philippe is an independent coach and author of several blogs, articles and books. Between work, his family (including two young children) and his hobby of music, he doesn’t have much time to dedicate to exercise.
Although he was active in his youth, Philippe lost most of those habits as life got in the way.In particular, he was finding he didn’t have the time, energy or strength for rock climbing, a passion of his.
“I relate in a different way to my body and its intelligence. I feel more confidence to move on and start dreaming of my time as a rock climber.”
But that running caused him more and more issues in his knees and tendons, which then entirely killed his enjoyment of sports. And so as he became less and less active, he began to gain weight. He decided to research some alternatives, and started with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) via Freeletics, realizing after some time that the exercises kept repeating themselves.
“I missed having a logical progression.”
The 3 main benefits Philippe has gained with calisthenics
He’s fully recovering from long-standing injuries
By pairing a gymnastics training with calisthenics, Philippe is slowly recovering from problems he’s had for a long time.
“That’s a really, really great part of your program…you don’t have to push or force your body toward injuries.”
He’s integrated movement and exercise into his daily life
Exercise used to be an obligation. It’s now become a key part of Philippe’s lifestyle. “I’m much more aware of the movement of my body, I do much more stretching and flexibility exercises and feel – for the first time – that this is a real part of the journey.”
The principles of calisthenics correlate to his profession
Philippe (along with Hans, fellow athlete of The Movement Athlete whose story you can find here), is an organisational coach. The ideas of calisthenics, where working holistically is key, can be found echoed through the core principles of his business. “Most of the companies we work for are not always working as an integrated whole. Departments do not always collaborate. Due to that, a lot of energy is wasted, a lot of frustration is created and a lot of potential is untapped.”
“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.”
Calisthenics inspired Philippe to start climbing again
Philippe has a long-lost love of rock climbing and thanks to calisthenics, it’s something that his body is always ready to get back into, with the future possibility of his children joining him.
“From time to time I do some bouldering with my son and hope he’ll enjoy training with me. Once he has enough weight, we could go climbing together.”
It’s been 15 years since Philippe regularly rock climbed but calisthenics has allowed him to get back to it. “I feel more confidence to move on and start dreaming of my time as a rock climber.” As he goes from strength to strength in his calisthenics journey, it won’t be long before he’s doing more than just dreaming.
“This feeling of progress, even in small steps, and ability to see it motivates me to keep on going every day”
“Start where you are and don’t force yourself to go faster…the program will carry you along the way. Trust it.”
Philippe’s advice to anyone who is curious about calisthenics
“What I liked was the ‘science’ of [the] approach., the way you created small steps to make progress.”
“I liked the way the progressions were built and I like the easy way to connect with the people developing the program. This gives a feeling of connection or community.”