People ask us how long we’ve been doing Calisthenics, thinking we’ve been doing this all our life. Nope. We couldn’t do one pull up! We went jogging, almost every day, until we were fed up with it. As kids we did a bit of gymnastics, here and there, but when hitting the gymnastics hall for the first time at the University of Trier 3 years ago we knew we totally lacked strength.
Our trainer was Markus. He taught us pretty much all we need to know about body-weight training. The requirements were set. We knew what we had to do – to work the core! The heart of the human’s body was felt like never before;) Forget the usual abs exercises like sit-ups or crunches, no, we were sent to do rope climbing. The most difficult exercise were pull-ups. However, that was not the main goal. The main goal was, after pulling yourself up, to swing your legs around the bar. The abs and other parts of the body became stronger but the excruciating pain endured every time we worked out – We’re not exaggerating. It hurt a lot. For women it’s way harder to pull up because we have more body-fat. We are built differently; we weigh more in the lower body and men have naturally more strength in the upper body.
We were fed with handstands, no joke, every session swallowing many variations of handstands. The back and trapezoid became strong the fastest. It felt nice to get a feel of all the different muscles. The soreness though, one week! We trained once a week when we started, every Tuesday, and we were sore until Monday. Then on Tuesday we were able to train again. We were sore on spots we didn’t know they existed. We laughed about the Adam’s apple feeling sore – from all the bridges and handstands we had to do (because the head was pushed back at that point).
And heyy, never leave a training without stretching! – was the unspoken but most obvious principle. We did splits on wooden blocks with different heights to measure the centimeters that were left. Time by time the chumps got smaller. Nevertheless, until that moment, the pain doing splits and other leg stretches were at times worse than pulling yourself up on the bar. Why we did it? We saw the results and the great feeling after every training. You felt the control over your body, you walked through the streets knowing your arms are bigger than the guy passing you:) Especially walking at nights, we felt a bit more safe.
This was only the beginning. When coming to Berlin to start our teaching career, we found the coolest streetworkout crew ever, the BarLiner. We went hard training with the guys. They had super powers. They trained really hard, yelling, motivating each other, and did exercises we were not used to – It was more basic strength training and less techniques which we were used to from gymnastics back home. We liked training with men because they were better and we wanted to prove that girls can do it to. And yes we definitely can.
Some were careful with us, don’t do this too much, don’t do that too long, that’s enough, but we were like: “nope, we good“. We listened to our body and came up with the boys. The flexibility decreased, especially during the long winter months but the body became strong. We began working towards the muscle-up, the human flag, the front or back lever. There was not always time due to the enormous amount of work teaching at our new school but we’ve noticed that the energy you gained from training was used at work. You felt better coming to work. The kids and colleagues felt it.
It’s really worth it to work out, it makes you better step by step. You automatically eat healtier, you prefer to sleep than going for drinks at night, you surround yourself with people who want you to be healthy, you strive for better and better.
I suggest you all become Barlerinas!:) Stand every day on your hands leaning against the wall (with your stomach pointing to the wall) until your muscles shake and stretch every day a bit and you’ll see how fast your body will need more.