!!! Today is a REST day or a LIGHT training day, because tomorrow we will test our nex maximums in basic exercises !!!
I have already told you that the BASIC block of our programme has more common with general conditioning than with WorkOut movement, but in a few days we will start our ADVANCED block and you will get more information on street specific training. That is why I want to tell you about the workout today.
This is first-hand information since I was one of those who were in the game right from the very beginning in the distant year of 2009. So I saw personally how the history was made and took active participation in it. Back then street and school facilities were vacant, very few people exercised on bars and no one could ever have imagined what would happen in the next few years.
But first things first.
What does the "WorkOut" mean?
WorkOut is a fitness movement originated from the street playgrounds. Its foundation consists of basic bodyweight exercises like push-us, pull-ups and squats. However using one's imagination allows athletes to invent endless variations of exercises and combine them into sequences making every training session different.
It is quite typical that when I give this definition of WorkOut I get questions how it is different from regular calisthenics. I think that the best answer I can muster is to offer you to watch some videos and I hope that they are able to answer the question in the best way possible:
Before 2008, when these videos started appearing on YouTube, nobody could even thought of such approach to training. There had always been some exercises and elements of gymnastics, but there were no such ideas as incorporating game-a-like activity into training, creative exercises, combinations and everything else that Bar-tendaz and other teams were suggesting at the time. They were first to inspire hundreds of thousands people around the world to get out and start using street training spots. You can see that it is not gymnastics and you will not see any traditional gymnastics in the videos. Indeed, the people who first started it were not gymnasts and were not inspired by gymnastics at all. WorkOut was born in the streets by people exchanging their knowledge and experience and then there came YouTube.
WorkOut is not just about training, it is also about community. Without community WorkOut becomes just a street gym and all the spirit is gone. I know that it is probably a bit hard to understand, that is why I recommend to watch the following video since, I think, it demonstrates the spirit of WorkOut:
The spirit of WorkOut is to demonstrate to other people what is possible to achieve with steet training. The spirit of WorkOut is to make it popular among the teenagers and advocate healthy living leading by example. The spirit of WorkOut is to spend time together with friends, share your interests, with the benefit for body and soul.
Where did WorkOut come from?
WorkOut can be split into two equal parts: unique approach to training and social activity.
I have showed you the videos above with a strtict purpose to show that this new approach to well-known exercises was indeed born in the USA. Although many people wrongly think that these videos are made in the ghettos and slums which is actually not true. There was no distinction between the rich and the poor, people just gathered together in the streets and parks and worked out together. People are equal when they train and the only thing that means is that you come and train.
Now it is hardly possible to find out who was the first, but it might be worth mentioning that such famous guys like Beast and GIANT were among the first and a little later teams like Harlem S.E.A.L.S., Calisthenics Kings, Wingate Family and Bar-Barians emerged. That is the list of those who became famous through the Internet but they had learned their craft from someone else and the names of those are still in the obscurity.
I want to emphasize that every team and every team member had their own distinguished style because WorkOut is not just a way to train the body, but a mean of self-expression. Why do you need to repeat the same thing again and again every time? The same exercises and the same sets? Why do you need to fit yourself in a program or a plan? If a street playground makes it possible to do different exercises why cannot you use it? That is why WorkOut is close to breakdance.
In Russia we learned about this new approach in the autumn of 2008 when several guys from One More Day team stumbled upon the above-mentioned videos on YouTube and were really surprised. Embarking on this idea they decided that it was really cool and that they have to train like that themselves and deliver this idea to as many people as possible. They created a VK group called 'Ghetto Workout', the name derived from one of the videos, because nobody knew how to call this new movement. They started to provide open training sessions at weekends for anyone who was willing to join. The idea behind it was to show that it was possible
to become stronger, fitter and more physically attractive through training with your own body weight and a bit of imagination.
Unlike Bar-tendaz, who provided master classes for money, One More Day team made everything for free. They wanted to show that there were hardly any requirements to join in, just get together and start training. About that time the philosophy of WorkOut started to take shape.
After several years, thanks to simplicity, creativity and effectiveness, WorkOut gained significant popularity between pupils and students making Russia world leader and leaving other countries behind both by the amount of participants and by the speed of infrastructure development. In the beginning we trained and invited our friends to join in but gradually the amount of supporters grew and the Internet became the main source of new adherents. Nowadays there are over 200 000 workouters in Russia.
To be fair, some people in the US are starting to provide free training sessions. For example, famous Beast, after his comeback to WorkOut, pays more attention to visiting parks, training spots and training with different people.
How did I get into WorkOut?
As I have already mentioned above, I was a member of the group who first started it. I found the famous videos on YouTube at the same time with the guys from One More Day and started spreading the information about the videos in our country. After a while Danila Cherkasov contacted me, we met, and after the meeting with him and Sergey Ivanov we decided to join our forces and move along together.
It is worth mentioning that those guys had years of parkour training in their pockets and I was starting from scratch. I was hardly able to master a few pull-ups let alone dips, but I wanted to train and learn because I saw it with my own eyes what I could achieve.
I was impressed with the video of Hannibal For King, but I understood that it had taken him years and he had spent a lot of time training. Of course, Hannibal is very motivating but I would not have started training just because of his videos. The turning point were the videos of guys from Wingate Park. They were not professionals, only mere mortals with jobs and families but they were able to find time to train and got some astounding results! They moved me most when I saw how WorkOut was able to transform regular people!
(If you are interested I was most impressed with Cruz and Cleive).
What do you need to know about WorkOut?
Concluding the today's post I would like you to remember the next major points:
* Unique approach to training was invented in the US;
* WorkOut, as we know it, was created in Russia;
* There is no relationship between gymnastics and WorkOut;
* Anyone can do WorkOut, without any gender, age and fitness level limitations;
* WorkOut is not a sport and, particularly, not an extreme sport;
* WorkOut training sessions have always been, are and will always be free.
* The main goal of WorkOut is to spread the ideas of WorkOut.
Now I want to expound a bit more on the last three points.
First, anyone can do WorkOut, without any gender, age and fitness level limitations. Why? Because WorkOut is based on using only your own body but also because of a huge list of exercises which never stops growing! There are exercises for every fitness level and every age. Everyone can find their own exercises!
Second, WorkOut is not a sport and, particularly, not an extreme sport. Why is it not a sport? Because any sport is a competition between athletes, it is always about getting and being better than others. WorkOut defies competitive part of sport since the major goal is health and self-fulfilment. You can read more thouroughly on this subject in my article "Street fitness or professional sport?".
Why is it not an extreme sport? Because any extreme sport is about getting adrenaline in your blood. WorkOut is totally opposite to that. Its task is human development without any risk to health. That is why WorkOut is founded on basic and natural movements with applying a sound part of imagination and creativity to them.
Unfortunately, mass media promote a slightly different image of WorkOut displaying only the most impressive elements and tricks and forming an opinion that WorkOut is just another teenage hype or fad, a street kind of gymnastics.
What is more disturbing, there are some guys who are convinced that WorkOut is just like this. They cannot see the hard side of training and self-development. All they see is that WorkOut is another way to impress others. Usually they train for a year or two, reach some level and drop out because they either do not have time to train for hours to advance further or they find some new exciting interest in something or because they get injured trying to learn a new complex trick without proper training. I have been training since 2009 and have seen this a lot of this in many cities. The guys I started with they still train and stay loyal to WorkOut. They might have less time due to work or family commitments but they keep getting together and they still train because WorkOut has become major part of their lives. For them it has grown to something bigger than just a passing interest.
The next point is about the growing number of so called coaches, coming from fitness industry or gymnastics or just some dubious guys who are trying to exploit a new trendy term for earning quick money without having a bit of understanding what WorkOut is. I just cannot stand such people. They and their behaviour have strong negative impact on WorkOut in the eyes of ordinary people.
Third, WorkOut training sessions have always been, are and will be free. From the very first days, both in Russia and the US, WorkOut was based on the principle that everyone teaches everyone. There are no coaches or tutors, everyone is equal but is always eager to help others with advice or share their knowledge. WorkOut turns training spots into gathering places of people who are willing to communicate, learn and share. That is how WorkOut reaches its goal of engaging more people.
That is it for today. Too many letters for one day but I thought that it might be of interest for you to know how it all started and where it is heading now while you are learning the basics with your 100 days.