WORLD CHAMPION AFTER 2.5 YEARS | Interview with Daniel Hristov | Athlete Insider Podcast #59
How did Daniel Hristov became the Calisthenics World Champion with only 2.5 years of calisthenics experience? In this interview he is giving some insights into his journey.
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The text of the interview (translated automatically):
Uh when you feel like giving up you have to think about what are you doing the people have to remember uh why they are stuck with this sport and uh what they wantyou gorillas welcome to the athlete insider podcast by GORNATION my name is phil and today's guest is a special guest somebody who has been asked for since months no if not even years the current world champion 2021 i'm extremely happy to welcome from bulgaria one of the most complete if not the the most complete athlete in the world right now happy to have you here daniel hristov thank you man thank you for the invite my pleasure yeah thanks for taking the interview and for accepting it uh like the people have been asking for this one since month and i'm extremely happy that you take the time and like your your championship is not that far away uh like your title so congratulations on that again uh really good job for that and i'm looking forward to an interesting interview so um first question um how tall and how heavy are you this is always what the people want to know i am 167 though and uh from 55 to 60 kilograms when i'm preparing for competition it's like 56. okay cool and um yeah maybe you want to tell us a little bit how did you get in touch with the sport since when do you do calisthenics and yeah how did you start i started with street workout in calisthenics when i was 18 years old i just go outside and saw the people training on the bars you know and i was like okay let's try it and starting with some basic basics for uh two months then trying some elements and that's what happened wow right now you're 20 years old right yeah yes so um you you're doing calisthenics since two two and a half years how how long yeah two and a half wow that's insane and this is where we can already start with with the questions like how is it possible to come on such a high level uh after two and a half years actually i have a gymnastics background and uh maybe this is one of the most important important questions for the community how how is that possible uh the gymnastics uh give me a lot like you know mobility strange and uh when i start with the street workout i have a lot of basic stuff behind me you know like background and that's how it becomes this way okay so you started with the gymnastics as a kid or um yeah i was uh seven years old when i started with gymnastics and and my career at 13 years old wow so uh would you say with 13 on a professional level or what does it mean yeah it was a really high level like uh world cups you know nationals really good really good level wow and what made you switch from uh gymnastics to street workout uh hard operation like a head injury uh it was not i think it was not from gymnastics but uh we cannot share from where this uh injury comes but uh i stopped with the gymnastics because of the injuryafter that i have like uh five years without doing anything you know playing uh pc games um zero sport wow and uh then one day i said to myself just go outside and do it you need it and why didn't you go back to gymnastics but uh sticked with a street workload you cannot like after uh five years you just cannot go back for the same level you're losing a lot of time like one year is too much but five years it's impossible and how were your beginnings in street workout did you start with the basics like push-ups pull-ups or did you um like train your or continue your gymnastics training with planche and front lever andactually it was uh really hard because i was uh without any musculars after the operation you know so many years without any moves and uh i start with basics of course like normal basics you know pull ups push-ups dips two months and then starting with elements just watching some videos you know from youtube from instagram and that's it did you start uh i can imagine with aesthetics more in the beginning or uh did you directly and then afterwards you added dynamics yeah for sure i started uh with statics like uh the first element i think was uh handstand and maybe one month after that i started to learning the straddle planche and then some dynamics like 360. i will never never remember uh i did one 360 and the second one was three three three sixties the second try was three three sixties yeah it was so good wow okay so uh yeah your your muscle memory or like also some technique maybe from the gymnastics background definitely help you to um to have a really quick start in street work that's it yeah um really really fast progress did you also get support from uh because you have like really strong athletes uh around you like you have victor you have stefan erotef like a really strong athlete um like um how did you meet them and how important were they in their in your development again i meet them on the bars outside but the first hand that was given to me was from netco hmm stefan also helped me a lot victor you know they're good guys they're like uh nothing different than the other people so they're really good and uh just helped me to learn a lot of elementscool and um what was your main motivation when you started with a street workout was it um to become the was it ever to become the best athlete in the world or was it what was your main goal when you started with street workout uh first two or three months it was not to be the best in the world it was just to learn skills i i really like the dynamic skills static skills i want to be really strong with them but after my first competition i was like man go for it you need you have to take it and that's how i really started with a professional career and not stopping true let's switch back a few years um you also did a really emotional instagram post about um the time with your injury um which i can imagine is was like a really difficult time for you do you want to share it to share a little bit a little bit what was happening inside of your head what was this time like um yeah again one of the most uh important questions for the community and for me i want to tell the people i was 14 years old when they when i made my operation in austria in the hospital uh it was five hours hard operation really dangerous one after it i was on bed 15 days without any steps on my legs so that's why i'm telling the people i'm starting from zero again yeah without the moscow memory i'm starting really from the beginning from zero from walking step by step it was really hard day by day and uh after two months in hospital i was good and you know i was i was remember how good i was in gymnastics and maybe that's why i'm in this sport right now and uh i have really strong mindset you know because of the operation it teach me a lot for sure ohthat's uh yeah like i i don't even know what to say to that because it's really something where a lot of people maybe maybe give up um it's a situation that they um because you also said like did you ever um because you were also gaming and like um uh as it sounds to me like you weren't living to your fullest potential for a lot of time after the operation did you ever had the thought of giving up or like of um of not coming back to this two sports at all of course of course for sure like uh i was playing pc games and i said to myself you don't need this pork you don't need any sport you you're like the normal other guys but uh that's not me one day i said to myself that's not you let's go push it and that's it and what were the the most important things to come out of this situation was it the support of your family was it friends or was it just your your mindset your on your own yeah my family helped me a lot for sure in this situation it was really hard and you knowonly after so many years in sport you know how hard gymnastics it is uh you know discipline i need a discipline again i was really disciplined and that's how i do it cool big respect for that honestly um it's like really touching and uh motivating to see your story and i think it's really important and i really respect your um transparency and your uh that you're so open to to share your emotions behind it um so yeah big respect for that so um yeah um switching to today um today you're on an extremely high level you're uh as i said like um an extremely extreme complete athlete um how does your workout look like today like um how does your typical workout week look like i'm training uh five days for a week uh three times in the gym actually we have four times for a week trainings we cannot train more than four times in a week four hours is the maximum when you can train in the gym because you know it's a gymnastic gym we don't have like calisthenics and street workout gyms in bulgaria we really want to make one but we actually now we cannot it's really hard uh i'm training four hours for a day starting with uh you know good warm-up i have some injuries i will tell you for them uh after that i'm making a little bit stretching not that much and then i'm going with some p-bar statics after that making some good combos learning new elements and then switching to the high bar with dynamics and you know crazy combinations after the you know that crazy combinations uh we're going up back to the b bars again trying some combos for uh endurance and a little bit floor game and stretching after that like a lot of stretching 20 30 minutes will be enough and that's how i'm training for four hours per day wow so um you're uh i see that you're recording a lot of your combinations that uh like impress the whole calisthenic scene that you record them at the end of the your workout um like is that is that usual like is that normal that uh like you uh put your best performances at the end of the workout because usually you're the strongest in the beginning right uh for some people it's not normal like you know you're showing uh what you're gonna do on the competitions and but man i'm helping to people like that you know we're progressing the sport like that and of course i will be stronger in the beginning but that's what we are gonna show on the competition okay how strong we are on the beginningokay so um does every workout look the same kind of for you no no no for sure no before the competitions i'm training only combinations like again good warm up stretching going on the high bar this time starting with high bar it is easier for me making the combo after that i'm watching the clock you know 30 seconds rest and then going to the b bar with again long combinations okay and like that you're preparing yourself for the endurance that you need during the competition right yeah this is uh the training for endurance for the competition like when i'm learning a new skill i'm trying it on the beginning of the training like maybe 7 20 i'm doing it six or seven times and after that if i have problems with it i know how to stop it i'm stopping with it and making on the next training this is the best way to learn some elements okay because many people just continue continue to do it again again and then they hurt themselves or you have to know when you have to stop okay interesting um what do you think is the the most uh important factor that brought you to the level that you are today is it your smart training schedule is it your physique or genetics is it the the gymnastics background if you have to say like one thing what is the the most important of your uh what is the secret of your successsmart training i've said smart training that's it mindset okay cool um yeah a lot of questions also about your planche uh which is uh really impressive um so do you want to tell us a little bit about your planche journey um how long did it take is it like an easy move for you are you more the push person um like maybe you can tell a little about your planche journeyafter when i start street workout street workout after two months basics then i start with handstand and uh pledge i made uh planche for one month and half half a month uh i start with some tip planches you know uh dropping the straddle from handset negatives and this is maybe for me the best exercise if you want to learn planche uh from straddle to full planche i i already have uh 15 seconds travel planche so i have really strong straddle planche uh after that i like uh 15 15 days to learn the full planche from straddle to full planche 15 days with strong stretch of 15 secondsdo you know anyone that learned the planche that quicklydon't hurt don't know really no maybe one month and more than one month two months yeah but uh like 15 days from straw to full no yeah because it also seems really really really quick and maybe this is something that we can tell the listeners that this is not normal you know yeah like the listeners shouldn't be demotivated if it takes longer for some people it takes a year to learn a straddle planche and yeah people are not talking about this progress you know like it's not normal for 15 days you're training uh the planche like one year and here is coming the guy with the five 15 days you know like learning from straddle but maybe uh just smart trainings that's it good system yeah and in your gymnastics career you also did planche right yeah butnot good i was said this is not pledge yeah this is not pledgei think it's really interesting to have an x uh gymnast here um and to maybe also know a little bit about the differences between gymnastics and street workout for you what are what are the main differences between the two sporeswe're playing first we're playing on a pivot uh floor and uh however uh they're playing on six places this is one of the hardest things and the difference and then second uh they're playing you know they're trying to be maximum clean here we can do everything they're playing uh by system we are not playing uh by system we are playing freestyle you know you can do whatever you want big difference againokay so the main differences three ones to summarize first one is they have six disciplines and six uh six uh locations where they uh do their exercises yes we we only have three in calisthenics and three world cups so uh p bars floor and high bar right yeah the main one is um and second one is that they do everything clean uh like in free and street workout we have more possibilities yeah okay like uh do you have to do it clean what does that mean like it doesn't count on a competition or um is it what does it mean uh it means like uh you have to be perfect when you're on a training and competition too like you know your legs should be like like this okay here we we don't do that because in stream workout dynamics yeah it's really well if you have like training form and a competition form it's like two different things or like even on competitions um i think the rules are not that strict for for not clean yes and the third difference that you say said is like um for us it's more freestyle we can do whatever we want and for them it's uh given uh elements right yes yes and system system true that was it interesting um your opinion on stretching you said that you stretch in the beginning of the workout and yeah at the end how important is stretching for athlete for an athlete uh really important important for injuries for sure when you have a good stretch to your body you can cover yourself by injuries that's it for sure okay so you do upper body and lower body or is there anything specific that you need to stretch both both together yeah upper body and lower body interesting um what was the hardest skill for you to learn what was the skill where you struggled the mostfor dynamics muscle 540 for sure it's really scary you knowmaybe for statics he festo he faced with them i don't really like it i can do like two or three he festus but i don't like it okay he have a lot of pain on it where do you have the pain uh on my elbows actually i have a really bad injury on my left elbow from nine months uh it is tennis elbow that's the name of the injury it's really painful and really hard to recover sure so for nine months you're um performing with pain yeah a lot of pain yeah and i know that tennis elbow is something that you need so much rest um yeah rest is the only thing that helps uh for it and stretching maybe also but um yeah um okay um what's your opinion on leg training so um like uh do you how do you consider leg training in street workout i think you can train legs one or two times for the week it's okay if you think about you can feel heavier with your legs i think uh this is not actually possible because you have to stop doing uh street workout and training only you know legsokay is it even possible to um like to train legs on your level like is it is it does it help you or is it like more a disadvantage not helping maybe it is helping how you're gonna look only okay yeah and for you what's more important the the aesthetic or the the the power like the performanceum the performance i think okay for sure yeah like i can imagine so um yeah like um yeah injuries uh you talked about your elbow um is there anything else that's uh like uh what you want to tell about your injuries what injuries did you have and maybe also what did you learn from them only one injury really bad injury their wall tennis elbow and normal injuries on my wrists you know that's it i don't really have other heart injuries or something that i have paid from it do you think there is a reason why you don't have that many injuries even though you're on such a high level is there anything besides stretching that you would recommend yeah of course go to warm up you know running a little bit to make your body hot and ready for preparing good combos stretching before and after the training training five times professional in the week not seven from seven this is you know you're gonna kill yourself and that's it okay and uh stretching do you do dynamic stretching or static stretch uh stretching like uh do you do a lot of movements while stretching or are you do you stay in the maximum stretch position both both both together yeah okay cool um yeah people also asked about supplements like is there anything you would recommend is it important to take away i like to take protein protein powder or creatine or is there anything that you would recommend i am drinking protein way uh two or three times per week when i'm eating and uh i can recommend call again for sure call again cool again okay why that's all that's all i like it help the only one thing that is helping uh to recover my injuries this is cool again okay interesting um yeah maybe you want to share a little what are the goals that you are currently working towards um what are maybe the the next skill that you want to unlock 720 720 super 540 i want to get it back uh for statics stronger one arm planche and maybe in next level front lever that's it cool did you already catch a 720 in your career no no no no okay so i think so nice that's cool um yeah that's um these were like the questions from the community um i'm extremely um yeah interested in uh like getting more training inside um how is it like to um to to train together with um like really high level athletes because uh you're in bulgaria especially in your iconic gym you have like a lot of athletes who are really strong like yeah how is it like to train with people who are on such a high level uh first i want to explain something to the people this gym is legendary not not because of the bars we don't have really good bars they are normal nothing special it is because of the atmosphere inside you know when we are like 40 30 40 people inside we are really motivated supporting each other you know victor stefan netko and the other guys it is like the bomb insidethat's nice and i think a lot of people would wish um such a cool community and um like training together with um friends um um maybe do you have maybe some advice how somebody can can find um and like find people with the same mindset and uh for for training is there anything you would recommend to um to yeah to create a community in your hometownyes of course they have to talk with each other you know toshare their dreams uh their goals and that's how you're finding people like you truegreat uh do you still play video games today or like a lot less or not at all of course of course they're not the problem they're not the problem the video games are not the problem the real problem is the mindset that's everything okay is there anything you would recommend uh to building a strong mindset is it watching motivational videos on youtube or reading or what did help you the most yeah the people have to remember uh why they are started why they start with this sport and uh what they want when you feel like giving up you have to think about what are you doing why you have to follow your dreams and you know that's it great thanks for sharing all of this uh i'm extremely happy again um and at the end of the interview we always have some quick questions quick answers okay um so um yeah what is your favorite food uh hard question my favorite food is sushi sushi okay yeah um are you a dog or a cat person uh both but i have a big cat in my house really big a big cat wow yeah nice yeah what athletes inspire you and your workouts uh it is not doesn't depend in uh how good he is not about the skills um it is about how motivated he is and following his dreams i'm watching it and that's it he is motivating me you know the guy that following his dreams and supporting his friend friends in their goals this guy's motivating me oh i totally know what you're but what you feel i want you to say because if there is someone who is not on a high level but he is like fighting in every rep and he's doing again it's like so motivating um that you feel bad like if you don't give 100 you feel bad and this is really nice to train with people like that that's true um yeah what's your favorite skill like a favorite static skill and favorite dynamic skill static skill this planche on my hand on full for dynamite for dynamics maybe 720 and i want to learn it nice um what do you think is the hardest skill ever done out out there in calisthenics and street workouts for dynamics or statics let's say both like one of each for dynamics 900 i think for statics it is really hard question maybe full mode is on two fingers variation okay um are you more a pull or a push person both off yeah no time to decide that's good yes um um yeah do you have a favorite book are you a reader i don't have actually i okay that's good as well uh do you have a favorite music genre uh yeah i'm listening crap uh drill some traps that's all okay cool um what's the best calisthenics event you've ever ever visited again hard question maybe the world championship for sure this one if you have to fight for something this is there you have to be therethat's true i still remember the world of buyers underground league um yeah insane on insane where uh like uh it was also really emotional when you uh when you were there um but i can imagine that the world championship is uh another level or it's just a different thing yeah different thing different thing yeah um yeah and the last question what's your message to the calisthenics community maybe what's something that you want to tell the listenersstay motivated follow your dreams and remember why i started that's great thanks a lot daniel for your time i appreciate it so much like uh honestly we had so many questions we had like i i think about around 100 150 questions um for the interview and i had to take the best ones so big thank you that you took the time it was really a pleasure and um yeah where can people find you where um can they get in touch with you umthey can talk with me where they want like instagram social media they can come in bulgaria a lot of uh athletes coming in bulgaria you know gagia tarouf was here it was really cool to train with him true yeah i think you're inspiring a lot of athletes out there and you're doing an awesome job keep doing that uh you're you're still 20 years old which is incredible so you have a big future in front of you and um yeah thanks again good luck for the recovery of your tennis elbow and yeah to the listeners thanks everyone for listening uh thanks for taking the time to to listen to daniel and yeah if you want to support the episode give it a thumbs up and daniel you can end the episode by saying goodbye to the people goodbye guys see you treyhard you.