This week we have another athlete from the Calisthenics community! Yannick Woerdman has been training since 2016 and is still going strong. He loves a good challenge and, with this discipline, challenges never end! As a co-founder of the Calisthenics Family on YouTube, Yannick can share valuable tips and tricks, especially for the tall, not so light-weighted Calisthenics fans :)
What motivated you to start? Is there anyone you look up to?
I did fitness/bodybuilding for 5-6 years, I went from pretty skinny to a good athletic physique. At that moment the gym didn't challenge me anymore. I didn't have the goal to get bigger or gain more weight.
What got my attention were people who did amazing skills/tricks with their own bodyweight like muscle ups and handstand pushups, these guys were also ripped. I started training with my own bodyweight since then and best part of this sport is that it will always stay challenging, no matter your level.
You can always adapt the exercise to fight gravity even more. It's a functional way of training, I am still gaining/maintaining muscle mass and have already learned a lot of amazing skills!
What challenges have you faced so far?
The more advanced you get the longer it takes to learn new things, some goals that I have will take 2 years to achieve. It happens regularly that I don't see progress in 3 months. It's easy to give up.
The challenge here is to not get knocked down when you feel like you aren't progressing for 3 months straight. But rather stay consistent. I know now that often I'm only one small tweak away from that next progression.
Did you have to make any sacrifices along the way? What kind?
Not that I can think of. For me working out is always an activity that should add value to my life, to improve my health and mood and many other aspects. It should stay in balance with every other aspect of life.
Of course I have had injuries, but that's part of it and for me it's only a sign that I haven't listened to my body or I made a mistake which is only a lesson learnt for my future self.
How do you find fulfilment and what keeps you going?
Through the endless progressions I can work towards, I am eager for every single workout because I never know what bodyweight move will I be able to perform during a particular workout.
What are your goals?
When it comes to skills my goals are to unlock the Straddle Planche and Frontlever this year. Furthermore I want to be an example for athletes that have the same length/weight as I do. Because people often think that some moves are only possible if you're not tall and don't weigh much. I have struggled with this too.
Any current projects you'd like to share?
Together with my team at Calisthenics Family we have launched a workout app to help anyone starting with Calisthenics. We are currently developing it even further to make it a workout app that nobody has seen before!
What tips would you give someone who is just starting in your field?
1. Don't give up too soon, often you don't see VISIBLE progress but in terms of body control, core strength or balance there is progress in every single workout.
2. Don't overtrain, bodyweight training can be very taxing. Make sure to recover enough after heavy workouts.
3. Don't be selfish, train with other people, ask for tips. I have learned the most from others.
What tools have helped you along the way?
Resistance bands, parallettes, rings are very important for Calisthenics. If you are serious about training you should definitely get these!
Furthermore, my phone camera has helped me a lot, I constantly film myself to look at my form and improve it instantly.
And useful resources?
YouTube videos helped me a lot in the beginning. In 2016 We have created our own YouTube channel to share progress and tutorials/workouts that helped us to progress. I would say this is a good resource to get started! ;)
Where can we find you on the internet/social media?
My personal Instagram page is @yannickwoerdman, furthermore you can find us on YouTube/Instagram with Calisthenics Family.
Shop Yannick's Gear (187cm/88kg, wearing size L).