In his latest 30-day fitness challenge video, YouTuber Laurie Shaw takes on a calisthenics training program, an area where he has little to no experience whatsoever. He spends a month developing his mobility, strength, and skill through bodyweight training, and tracks his progress in four calisthenics staples: the muscleup, handstand, flagpole, and front lever.
At the beginning of the challenge, Shaw can hold a handstand for 7 seconds, but admits that his form is in definite need of improvement. His first attempt at a ring muscleup, meanwhile, is “absolutely hopeless,” and his flagpole is “even worse.”
Over the course of the month, Shaw learns the key principles of calisthenics and attends a number of classes which cover strength-based workouts, mobility and stretching, and skill and technique. “It’s so interesting for me to see what you have to do to build up the foundations of these exercises,” he says. “There’s so much full-body strength and coordination and skill that goes into being able to hold this stuff.”
By the end of the 30 days, Shaw is able to hold a handstand for 17 seconds, 10 seconds longer than his initial attempt. He can also perform his first ever ring muscleup with good form, and his flagpole shows considerable progress. “Unfortunately, the front lever, not so much improvement,” he says.
“I’ve moved my body in ways I’ve honestly never moved it before, and done some super cool stretches and body holds which targeted areas of my body that I didn’t even really know existed,” he continues. “I felt myself becoming more mobile, and stronger. Not particularly in the way I used to think about strength, in terms of how much weight can I lift, but more in terms of this full-body core strength. I did slowly feel that I was building up my ability to activate my whole body, and almost connect my muscles to all work together.”
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