About The Bodyweight Gym
The Vision and Mission
In a fitness world dominated by machine, product-driven exercises and fitness regimes, most people lack the understanding of how to use their body to the full potential.
Education is key. Your body and gravity is all you need to develop a strong, mobile, skillful and athletic body.
I started The Bodyweight Gym to pursue an ideal: That everyone can develop themselves physically with simple equipment, the right education and support.
Mat - Founder
The Bodyweight Gym can provide coaching and education at a level suitable to everyone. I've helped hundreds of people build healthy strong bodies; achieve their first handstand or guided them through their first muscle up.
The process for any of these difficult movements is hard work. However, each step is easy and it's the consistent long-term application of the process that most people are challenged by without support.
At The Bodyweight Gym we can connect you with a community of people; training under our guidance; in our member-only Facebook Group. Here you will gain long-term support and accountability to assist you in meeting your goals.
So, are you ready to build your skills, strength, and mobility?
Then The Bodyweight Gym is the place for you.
I haven't always been into fitness. I started my adult life as a professional Scientist and for 13 years enjoyed my career. I spent my 20's racing mountain bikes and rock climbing. However, my 30's brought about a change where I decided to pursue my lifelong hobby of coaching and sport. I began with CrossFit and for the last 4 years, I've rebuilt myself using Calisthenic bodyweight training methods.
A few years ago I broke my back and I had to relearn everything. Overnight I went from a ring routine and handstand to not even one pushup. Now I'm back and stronger than ever. Through this experience, I've learned a thing or two that has made me a better coach and now I'd like to share what I've learned with you.
The process is easy, it's the long term application that challenges us
Mat - Founder
What is Calisthencis?
The word calisthenics comes from the ancient Greek words kalos (κάλλος), which means "perfect" or "good" (to emphasize the aesthetic pleasure that derives from the perfection of the human body), and sthenos (σθένος), meaning "strength" (great mental strength, courage, strength and determination). It is the art of using one's body weight and qualities of inertia as a means to develop one's physique. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica it was named after one of its earliest proponents, the Greek historian Callisthenes, even if it has been adapted to English with wrong spelling.
Calisthenics are exercises consisting of a variety of gross motor movements—running, standing, grasping, pushing, etc. — essentially, bodyweight exercises. They are intended to increase body strength, body fitness, and flexibility, through movements such as pulling or pushing oneself up, bending, jumping, or swinging, using only one's body weight for resistance. When performed vigorously and with variety, calisthenics can provide the benefits of muscular and aerobic conditioning, in addition to improving psychomotor skills such as balance, agility, and coordination.
Urban calisthenics is a form of street workout; calisthenics groups perform exercise routines in urban areas. Individuals and groups train to be able to perform advanced calisthenics skills such as muscle-ups, barspins, and both front and back levers.
We teach progressions to build towards the following high-level key movements:
Ring muscle up
Bar muscle up
Single leg squat
Once these movements have been obtained we progress students into integration work as well as dynamic movements, combining these into a flow or series of exercises.
These are not the exercises we use in the beginning. For most people, we start with shoulder, spine and hip mobility then rowing exercises, pushups, and squats. Once mastery has been reached we carefully progress you towards the next step in the progression. Some exercise and movements can take many years of consistent work to achieve.
At The Bodyweight Gym we will:
Cause no harm
Create an enjoyable experience
Provide the education and an environment that encourages the development and progression of attributes trained
Provide consistent and quality coaching around calisthenic exercises
Facilitate the forming of healthy relationships within a group training environment
Progression in exercises will be encouraged at a responsible rate or speed, the process of progression will take as long as it takes. Many students will have mobility limitations that will require addressing and weak shoulders that will take a long time to condition correctly. It is difficult to measure and estimate the health of muscle, soft tissue and joints, therefore not possible to know how long certain physical adaptations will take.
Our coaches will encourage healthy development above all else. This includes addressing mobility requirements, when necessary, prior to focusing on strength development. Our goal is to progress students while maintaining musculoskeletal balance and health. In the absence of student-specific goals, to progress all exercise types with equal biase.
Our coaches will be able to demonstrate all movements they are teaching to the level that they expect their students to master.
Balance is integral to Calisthenic practice and as such mastering the basic handstand is essential to continued development.
Above all, coaches at The Bodyweight Gym will demonstrate care for our students at all times.
Strength Training Principles
Students strength will be developed at a sustainable rate allowing for the development of joints and connective tissue as well as muscle development.
Tendons and ligaments, collectively referred to as connective tissue, takes about 9 months to regenerate in your body. With this in mind, exercises designed to create favorable adaptation to connective tissue must cause sub-injurious stress to connective tissues (and joints) over a very long period of time to avoid connective tissue inflammation and develop strong joints.
For connective tissue development, an exercise should be modified to preserve the movement intention while reducing the resistance that will allow the student to complete more than 20 - 30 repetitions per set.
Muscle strength development
Muscles take about 3 months to regenerate within your body. With this in mind exercises designed to create favorable adaptation to muscle tissue must cause sub-injurious stress to muscles over a short period of time. The attachment point of muscles - connective tissue health - must be considered when developing strength however
For muscle strength development an exercise should be modified to preserve the movement intention while ensuring the resistance will allow the student to complete 4 - 6 repetitions per set.
Muscle size development
For muscle size development an exercise should be modified to preserve the movement intention while ensuring the resistance that will allow the student to complete 8 - 12 repetitions per set.