Survival of The Fittest? Really?

mindset workout tips Aug 29, 2023

Survival of The Fittest? Really?

It’s bullsh*t.

In the real world, it’s the most adaptable that survive.

T-Rex are extinct while small rat-looking mammals that lived underground for thousands of years now dominate the world.

Insects and octopuses are adaptation masters which have been around for hundreds of millions of years.

The biggest guy does not always win when endurance come in play.

David beat Goliath.

Even Thanos loses at the end!

You get the point.

You have to be “agile” in the way you approach things in order to finish on top.

It’s great to be the fittest too, to have the perfect plan, with the perfect timing and nutrition intake that goes along with it. Last but not least perfect sleep.

However, it just does not really happen in real life, thus the need to adapt to the conditions we are facing at that exact moment.

We all have unexpected changes of situations that occur from time to time.

The key is to know how to handle those changes.

So...

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The Road to Natural Strength: the Power of Calisthenics

workout tips Aug 28, 2023

Bodyweight training, also known as calisthenics, isn't just some fitness fad.

It's a return to our roots – a testament to the power of primal movement.

Remember, your body is designed for motion. And so, investing in daily stretching and regular bodyweight training is a natural way to reconnect with the strength that is inherently yours. No quick fixes or magic potions needed - just you and your own body!

The Equipment Mirage: Less is More

Let's dissect another common fitness misconception: the perceived need for expensive and elaborate equipment. In reality, all you truly need for an effective bodyweight workout is a bar at a park or perhaps a couple of resistance bands at home. Work harder on less equipment, and you'll find it pays off.

Remember, the best equipment is the one you actually use.

Establishing Your Calisthenics Workout Plan

Starting with calisthenics can seem daunting, especially with the myriad of exercises available. So where do you begin? The answer is...

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The Least Fancy Calisthenics Move With The Most Benefits

mobility workout tips Aug 28, 2023
 

The Back Bridge Benefits

This might be the least sexy move with the most benefits you’ll see today.

The back bridge and its dynamic variations are an essential tool for overall back mobility and good posture.

It is something I have neglected for a good part of my life. I started to change that when I realized my mid/lower back was my missing link.

I’m still far from the acrobat level but at 43 it’s night and day compared to what I was able to do in my 20’s.

I like doing dynamic knee raises paired with the bridge to work on my motor control when up-side down.

It is surprisingly hard to lift your legs when the body is engaged into an arched position. This requires to re-calibrate how we use our hip muscles in order to lift our legs.

Go for 4-6 reps and repeat for 3 sets. 

You can ideally mix those reps sets with 3 sets of maximum static holds.

If you can't do the full bridge yet, simply start with an elevated version of the bridge, with parallel bars or yoga...

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You Don’t Need To Be 8% Body Fat

mindset workout tips Aug 25, 2023

You Don’t Need To Be 8% Body Fat

Getting big, diced and shredded is the most common goal for most people, wether when they are getting started with fitness or already on the workout train.

But it’s a very far off, sub-optimal and inefficient way to approach training.

My goals are multi-dimensional:

1 - Lean mass and muscle density improvement

If you are 10-15% body fat (for men) or 15-20% (for women), you are a healthy individual. And more likely to perform better at ANY sport than someone under the 8-10% mark. Make sure to focus on muscle density and a fast metabolism. Yes you want to be lean, no you don’t want to be malnourished. 

2- Performance based results

Your real-life capabilities – from sprinting to pull-ups, dips, and handstands – are an authentic reflection of your overall well-being. Mastering essential strength, athleticism, and skill-based activities showcases your true potential.

3 - Form and Mobility Enhancement

Aiming for...

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I Don’t Handstand As Much These Days

handstand skills Aug 24, 2023
 

I don’t handstand as much these days. 

I still do weekly. 

But I HAD to scale back in order to shift my focus to shoulder and overall mobility for the last few years.

I worked on my shoulders, my mid back, and my hips.

My workouts include 80% of compound movements and 20% of accessories and skills training.

And it is paying off. 

I am restarting moves like the handstand, muscle ups, playing tennis and paddle tennis without any pain, even minor, in my right shoulder. 

Both shoulders feel more balanced, even if there is still a long way to go.

The point is that adaptation is key in training. 

You always HAVE to adapt to the conditions you are in and find ways to improve and break plateaus.

Get ALL my calisthenics training programs and coaching here if you are new!

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No Such Thing as 'Too Fat' for Fitness

mindset nutrition Aug 24, 2023

There is No Such Thing as 'Too Fat' for Fitness

Whoever said that you're too heavy for working out clearly never embraced the holistic approach of calisthenics. The beauty of calisthenics is in its adaptable nature, open to everyone, irrespective of body shape or size. You are never 'too fat' to start your journey with calisthenics. So set your inhibitions aside, and let's gear up to prove the skeptics wrong!

Setting the Right Mindset

Before diving into this physical journey, let's talk about the psychological aspect. A positive mindset is key to consistency and success in any fitness regime. Releasing self-doubt and nourishing self-belief is just as crucial as the exercises. Your weight doesn't define your worth or potential - remember, every body is a calisthenics body! Check out my post about what effort actually looks like to regain your motivation and kickstart this journey with the right mindset!

Calisthenics: An Adaptable Ally

Some people wrongly assume that...

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The Most Controversial Pull Ups!

pull ups workout tips Aug 23, 2023
 

The Most Controversial Pull Ups!

In case you are wondering, I am talking about the “Behind the Neck Pull ups”.

I have had many people ask me if they were safe to do.

The answer is yes! But it’s only good If you are strong enough to back it up.

It's actually recommended to work towards it. Indeed, this will imply you work towards getting bullet proof shoulders.

So how to perform the Behind the neck properly?

Make sure to keep your shoulders externally rotated at the top of the pull up. That's a key point. Don’t let your elbows go too high or far behind you. Keep them as close to you as possible.

Otherwise you will most likely feel a pinch in your shoulder and could end up impinging it.

You also need to keep a tight core and hollow body position as you perform the move. 

Go for 5 reps x 5 sets. Add isometric holds and adapt rep count depending on your level.

What if you can’t do it yet?

I could not do those either when I started, so I...

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My Favorite Cardio Warm Up

cardio Aug 20, 2023
 

My Favorite Cardio Warm Up.

90% of people NEVER sprint again after 30 years old.

This is an astonishing number, given that sprinting is one of the most essential human physical skills.

In other words, if you don't want to get old quick, start sprinting regularly (1-2 times per week).

I typically spend 15 minutes warming up (while pro sprinters can take up to 1 hour just to warm up!).

I start with 5 minutes of full body active stretching such as the stranding frog, foot stretches as well as shoulder mobility drills.

Then I move on to 5 minutes of leg skipping. This is a great way to activate my hip flexors and glutes, as well as generate mind-body connection to get good mechanics when running later.

I go for 1 min of skipping and repeat for 5 sets. During the sets I mix skipping with back skipping and back pedaling (as in the video).

Then comes the sprinting session:

  • I typically go for 10-15 rounds of 60 yards "Down and backs".
  • I sprint on the way down, back...
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How to Start Calisthenics Alone

mindset workout tips Aug 17, 2023

How to Start Calisthenics Alone?

Well first of all, you might not be as alone as you think!

There are LOTS of people doing calisthenics all year round.

All you need is to get a good beginner calisthenics workout program and go to the park near you regularly. You can also just do it at home! 

Or maybe there is a free-form workout area at the gym you go to, if you live somewhere that gets cold and rainy, or too hot to workout outside. You can also bring on any relative you’d like to initiate to your practice as well.

With all those options, you will start meeting and being surrounded by people that do calisthenics too!

When it comes to training, start with a focus on the main calisthenics foundation movements: pull ups, push ups, dips, squats and hinges.

Build all your workouts around these foundations and get good at it.

Make sure you workout your full body at least 3 times a week. Ideally up to 5-6 times a week when you become intermediate!

Here is my FREE...

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Is Calisthenics the Best Form of Fitness?

mindset workout tips Aug 16, 2023

Is Calisthenics the Best Form of Fitness?

Absolutely, without a doubt.

And I can explain.

The origin of the word calisthenics traces back to ancient greek and literally means “Beautiful Strength”. 

During that era, mastering bodyweight movements was synonymous with achieving true physical power, and even gladiators honed their prowess through these techniques.

I view calisthenics as a central discipline encompassing all movements that solely rely on the body's intrinsic abilities.

Sprinting, running, dancing, swimming, boxing, martial arts, animal movement, and so much more are part of “Beautiful Strength”.

It’s the most complete and free form of training: you train resistance and cardio during 70-80% of your training sessions. 

The exception occurs when you train skills. 

Calisthenics can be defined as bodyweight training and street gymnastics system with it’s own practice code, form and tricks. 

You do not need any equipment...

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