When it comes to building a strong body from the ground up its ESSENTIAL to nail the basics, and while from our posts you have seen lots of the sexy stuff we do at Suffolk Strength Academy… Pulling trucks, lifting logs, loading stones etc… we don’t often share with you the work we do on building a bullet proof foundation (It’s just not that sexy, well I didn’t think it was till this weekend)
Failure to create that foundation will result in injury, poor quality movement, and a body that simply does not function the way it should and reduce your longevity in any strength sport
So without the basics you aren’t going to last long, and we are always looking for ways to develop deeper foundations for our members
With that in mind this weekend I took a step outside my comfort zone to learn some calisthenics with the World Callisthenics Organisation
When I say outside my comfort zone I am not just talking about another postcode, more like another fucking planet
But hey it gave me a chance to visit The Commando Temple, which despite its modest size I could get lost in for hours just playing with its toys (You can read more about it HERE)
It also (more importantly) gave me a chance to see how these calisthenics guys build their strength from the ground up, because despite all there flying gravity defying ‘stunts’ they MUST start somewhere
(I made the assumption these guys weren’t born hanging, dancing and flying around bars)
and if you have ever seen any of their ‘workouts’ you will see that although they may not be strong in the conventional sense, but when it comes to pound for pound strength and moving their own bodyweight, fuck me, they do shit I and hundreds of others working in strength sports could only dream of. (I am also pretty damn sure they are a whole lot stronger than your average gym goer too, with leaner bodies)
So I wanted to find out, how they build the strength around the joints that allows them to do this stuff so I can help our guys at Suffolk Strength Academy more
5 things I learned
* Firstly, I learned that there principles are very similar to ours form and function first over weight and reps… Get the movement right and strength and everything else will follow. Yes you have to work fucking hard to get results but there is no point teaching your body to move ineffectively otherwise your progress will plateau quicker than you hoped and you will have to take a couple of steps back to move forward again
* Learn how to hold your body and move with tension. Ensure that no matter what the exercise you are performing learn to maintain joint integrity and strength throughout the movement
* I have to get better at the basics, whilst I stood up against most in the room when it came to pushing, as soon as pulling and shoulder mobility was introduced I was a mile off. It felt like my first day at school and I had been put in with the sixth formers. I will be adding MANY of the drills we practiced in the day (including some pretty cool wrist drills) to my routine and I am sure my strength will benefit
* The basics is as far as I will take it (for now), the level of commitment and dedication to the sport these guys show is unreal, it is a lifestyle for them, they look at things and see how they can use it and what movements they can perform on it… they practice EVERY day and dream every night of new move and how to get better
* EVERYTHING I learned on the day will make me a healthier, stronger, more unique athlete allowing me to reach my strength goals quicker than I would without the knowledge I gained.
I also learned that despite how cool it looks when these guys are hanging, spinning, flicking and kicking themselves into a whole array of eye watering and supernatural positions that I chose the right path.
There is still nothing cooler than pulling trucks, lifting stones, and pushing logs above your head
Nonetheless I could not recommend the course more; Aslan Steel and Chris Leura (AKA tatted Strength) are fucking awesome people sharing their love for all things calisthenics and top coaches who are dedicated to helping you be better at this stuff and to fall in love with it the same way they have.
Aslan Steel also has one of the coolest names I have ever heard and Tatted Strength looks as badass and as strong as they come. I hope our paths cross again at some time in the future.