If you haven't seen calisthenics videos on Facebook or YouTube yet, you will. And you will be blown away by what the human body can do. We interviewed Hit Richards, the founder of Calisthenics Kingz, who is possibly the best and strongest calisthenics guru of them all.
Calisthenics consists of exercises which focus on core-strength and using the human body as weight: pull-ups, push-ups, human flag, crunches, kicks, squats, etc. And if you thought push-ups were boring, wait until you see Hit Richards' video below, where he makes push-ups seem like an art-form! Calisthenics can be done as street workouts, in the gym, or at home, and there is a form of calisthenics that incorporates bars, fences and various other types of structures to support the body in challenging poses and maneuvres. There are various sources online which teach you how to build a 'calisthenics gym' at home.
Strength-training exercise may be even better for your health and well-being than running and various other forms of cardio. Muscle is 'metabolically active', meaning it can increase your metabolic rate. Increased metabolic rate in turn means quicker fat loss and less fat gain, since glycogen does not get stored as fat in the body as easily. Muscles keep burning fat while you sleep, making weight loss with strength training easier than with cardio alone. On top of all this, muscle helps to keep your blood sugar stable - so not only will you have less chance of getting diabetes, but your moods will be more stable, energy levels more steady, and stress and anxiety will be reduced. (Source)
Strength-training with weights or without is an excellent way to eliminate stress immediately, even severe stress, and it can also help you sleep if you suffer from insomnia.
Calisthenics is a superior form of strength-training since it trains the whole body simultaneously, making it a better use of your time than weight-training, which tends to focus on one muscle-group at a time. Calisthenics improve your inner strength, agility, balance and general fitness in an extreme way while enabling you to have a high degree of control of your body and its movements.
It may seem like harder work to do calisthenics exercises than doing assisted weight training at the gym but it is crucial to match the exercises to your skill level, allowing you to progress from beginner exercises, to intermediate and advanced.
CHR: The exercises you do on your push-up video (above) seem unbelievable. How did you become so strong and who did you learn from?
Hit Richards: Thanks, I became strong from years of dedication to training like this. No one taught me this, I taught myself how to do all the things you see in my videos. It wasn't easy.
CHR: How long have you been training to reach such an amazing level of fitness? Do you train seven days a week and how long each time?
Hit Richards: I have been training like this for 19+ years. Yes, I do train 7 days a week, most of the time, however when my body tells me to rest, I rest. I work out for 2 hrs per workout, sometimes I work out twice a day, and each workout is 2 hrs.
CHR: What do you eat? Did you always eat the same way?
Hit Richards: I've always been disciplined with my diet. My diet is high protein, low carbs, I love chicken & fish with a mixture of different green vegetables.
CHR: Is it better to push yourself as much as you can when training or is it better to increase the amount if exercise you do gradually?
Hit Richards: It depends on what your goals are. It's always good to push yourself as much as you can when training.
CHR: What does your typical work-out look like?
Hit Richards: My workouts vary from day to day, I challenge myself as much as possible, if the readers would like to know and see my personal workouts I use to get myself in shape, they can join the 'VIP Members Only' section of my website, or they can start by subscribing to my mailing list for all info.
CHR: What kind of workout would you recommend for a beginner interested in calisthenics?
Hit Richards: Again the new 'VIP Members Only' section on my website will have everything, from workout for beginners, intermediate & advance levels, nutrition videos, dieting tips & advice, 'in detail' tutorials and much more. Again to sign up for info on when the new site goes live click here.
CHR: Do you take any supplements, herbs, or superfoods to improve your fitness?
Hit Richards: No I do not take any supplements at all, I sometimes take vitamin E, but that's it. I get all the proteins & carbs, vitamins and minerals out of the foods I eat.
CHR: Please tell us about your company and products available through your website.
Hit Richards: My company is a full service fitness training company who promotes fitness through CALISTHENICS. We train people from all walks of life, currently we have several celebrity clients. We have several fitness DVDS (which are all downloadable) & E-books, as well as apparel. You can see all the products on our website: www.calisthenicskingz.net
CHR: Does the need for sleep increase or decrease the more you exercise?
Hit Richards: You should try to get between 6-8 hrs of sleep, it is best for the body. I personally find that the need for sleep increases the more I work out. Anyway, thanks for the interview have a happy & healthy day.
CHR: Many thanks Hit for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions and help inspire even more people with your unbelievable workouts!
To see Hit Richards' calisthenic exercises, videos, tips and information (both free and paid), as well as to purchase DVD's, downloadable videos and books, see:
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Ulla is the Editor of Cheap Health Revolution, covering natural remedies and health solutions.