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. | WORLD CHAMPION AFTER 2.5 YEARS | Interview with Daniel Hristov

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October 21, 2021 18 min read

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.

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