Douglas Ekermark about his career as a professional athlete and his advice from personal trainings about skills like planche and front lever. | DOUGLAS EKERMARK | Height isn't an Excuse | Interview

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April 08, 2021 46 min read

DOUGLAS EKERMARK | Height isn't an Excuse | Interview | The Athlete Insider Podcast #46

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The text of the interview (translated automatically):

When somebody sees you doing like a really really  cool straddle planche push-up it's like yeah   that's i just unlocked that awesome but i've  been training for it for like eight years so   so it's like okay i've been putting a lot of time  into it and then you learn it yogurt's welcome to   the athlete insider podcast by gornation my  name is phil and today's guest is the swedish   freestyle athlete since a long time somebody like  an early freestyler from back in the days uh i'm   really happy to welcome you to the show douglas  eckermark from sweden hi thanks for having me   yeah i'm i'm also really happy to make  this possible and so that you take the   time so let's kick off for the people who  don't know you how do you present yourself   so yeah my name is douglas ziegmark living in  sweden working as a personal trainer online coach   and overall running a calisthenics corporation  and just inspiring people to become the best   version of themselves teaching and living by the  way training in calisthenics that sounds really   nice sounds uh and we received some questions  about it because it's it's i wouldn't say the   dream of everybody but the dream of a lot of  calisthenics athletes to be able to work in their   in their sport and to be able to teach younger  people the younger generation the the values and   the the knowledge that they gained in the sport so  we will dive in that into that deeper later but um   yeah let's kick off with the hard facts people  are always just interested in how old are you   so i'm 25 currently turning 26 in like friday  so about two days two days yeah okay so this   interview is launching on thursday so uh many  people will listen to this on friday on your   birthday that's all my birthday turning 26 the  9th of april yeah awesome um yeah how tall are you   so i'm 185 centimeters so for calisthenics i'll  say it's it's pretty tall i know a lot of guys   who are like 175 176 like 74 like in between those  areas but not too much people i'm training with   or have talked to are about you know 180 plus  or 100 like i am wow and how heavy are you   that kind of varies but right now i'm starting  up around like 75 it's like where i try to keep   you know maintaining sort of then i go plus minus  like one kilo sort of so about like topping out   like 177 like once but then oh no longer like i'm  in the under like 100 not like 75 is pretty strong   but not just the lowest yeah okay cool wow uh so  yeah we we also received some questions for you   concerning your height if you ever felt if  it was a disadvantage etc and how you feel   in general about it we will also jump deeper into  this afterwards first of all uh tell us more about   your calisthenics journey you're in the game for  a long time i think the the oldest instagram video   that i found from you was from 2013 um doing some  art shop pull-ups um so yeah tell us how did you   get into the sport what were your goals in the  beginning etc um so yeah i was yeah 2013 yes like   eight years ago actually yeah so it's been it's  been a journey it's been a while journey but yeah   starting out back in the day when i first started  it's you know i was mainly just looking for some   way to train i just come off training like  i was doing dancing previously but then just   quit and then i started getting into like my like  muay thai style training and then after that kind   of got bored with it i got into the gym and then  i was looking for ways to train and the ways i've   previously trained was you know just body weight  training essentially that's what you have at these   these muay thai facilities and stuff so go going  into the gym i you know i was kind of shocked   with all the weights and equipment and bars like  okay what do i do with all of this so i kind of   fumbled around with some weights and some doing  some deadlifts and you know trying things out but   together with my girlfriend current girlfriend  as well and we kind of narrowed down that   okay what we want to do and what i actually  like doing is you know the bodyweight stuff   learning to do push-ups and pull-ups and like  you saw in that video day in from 2013 by doing   the archers going side to side like that that was  you know it was one of the first you know initial   steps to getting into calisthenics and bodyweight  training as a whole and a lot of inspiration   for that actually came off of youtube so i was  studying youtube looking at primarily bar stars   i was looking at ed checko with his videos new  york going handball for king like all the guys up   in new york state training together outdoors you  know having a blast getting super strong obviously   ripped and doing really cool moves so that kind  of got me hooked and you know studying the videos   trying on my own failure back and forth you know  starting that journey essentially going you know   at the gym but also like in small parks around  where i lived just found like a little setup with   bars that's doing darn doing like some muscle ups  like assisted stuff just getting into it and you   know eight years ago i was you know 17 so young  people young guy trying to learn see what i can do   wow so you when you started it you started off  with the basic movements the the pull-ups the the   uh push-ups and afterwards the muscle-ups etc so  there was no free cell in the beginning beginning   no exactly because you know coming off of that  background what i've known was the push-ups dips   the squats so i started you know out with those  and then from there like okay after you learn your   first muscle up it's like okay what can i do now  and then from there it's like okay there's no room   i can't do muscle up too much because the headroom  is so little so they you know have to find a space   to do things and when you get comfortable being  up on the bar and then you start you know okay   can i put my foot here can i put my foot there how  can i go from here to start discovering things you   know of course failing tons like you know falling  down on the ground it's like spinning it's losing   my vision it's like of course you know it's not  it's not always sunshine but you're learning and   it's fun it's fun it's a journey so yeah it just  started with the basics and then incorporated   some you know more advanced movements into it as  you know time progressed and as i got stronger of   course true because like back in the days um there  weren't like so many tutorials and uh so much   content on youtube so you had to find out a lot  of stuff on your own right yeah it was just bar   stars like that was the one i could find like bar  stars and some like gymnastics channels like for   handstands and things that are fundamental  within that sport which i could transfer   into this board so so you know that's what the  foundation literally and then you know trying   essentially trying and failing and seeing how  things goes and of course some some minor injuries   but nothing serious okay did you have this one  goal when you started like um was it maybe if the   physique goal or the weight goal or the the skill  goal like achieving uh i don't know human flag   muscle up what was it so when first starting  out i think i think the muscle up got me hooked   like i think that's the the first thing that  actually got me hooked like i want to do this   but you know seeing like the guys on bar stars  doing it in diamond park doing the muscle up like   it's jumping up and down doing the x's like things  like that got me really hooked so it was more   about learning the skill than it was like  getting ripped or strong or anything like that   it's just mostly okay how how can i learn this  movement and what do i have to do to get there   and it's like okay muscle up it's a pull-up  transition and a dip okay so i got to work a   lot of dips a lot of push-ups a lot of pull-ups  and get my core strong and then you know from   there it's like how can i put this together make  a muscle up so that's how the foundation was built   do you still remember how was your um  like your journey did you progress fast   do you know how long it took from your worst first  calisthenics workout ever to your first muscle up yeah it took it took a while like i i know i  had i had this vision like okay i can do it   when this time frame and it's like by the end of  that it's like you know i'm just getting started   so i had to rush things up but i think i think  from first like initially starting with the muscle   up training to actually nailing like my first  pretty rough nut so good chicken wing muscle up   i think i'll say like it took about six months  maybe or something like that and that and i was   just hammering muscle up practice like every  single day doing pull-ups and the dips and   the chin ups and they did like everything just to  see what i could do and at that time i had no you   know experience in obviously like how to plan  a workout like how to structure training like   three-day splits five-day splits i had no idea so  i was just you know i was gonna pull ups and dips   every day and see how it go what goes and you know  obviously the body has to adapt after a while it   gets strong after a while but might not have been  you know the most effective way of doing things   about six months yeah so like if you would have  to redo it today you would what would you change   like uh doing more rest yeah exactly so you know  since i'm teaching bar muscle up ring muscle up   and everything nowadays i would you know i would  change a ton of things obviously i would keep   intensity i would still have to you know train  pretty hard to learn a muscle it takes a lot   of practice and strength but i probably divide it  into more bits and pieces okay i'm going to focus   on the pulling and then i had you know pull days  and then i got to do the pushing so i had push   days so sort of split it up in like i did three  body full body workouts or four push pull splits   try to get you know maximize the week and you know  get some skill practice before the workouts and   get enough you know stretching mobility prehab  everything to make sure that i got this whole   rounded picture of the training to make sure you  know that when i actually get up i got good form   there's no risk of injuries so make sure i you  know have a solid plan i would lay that out first   and that's you know the thing i'm helping people  with so today you would be able to achieve your   first muscle up in five months for a month or even  three months or depending on you know the starting   level yeah about like three to six months it  should be no problem i mean if you if you're   really strong like some of the people i'm coaching  right now they learn muscle up in you know   two months maybe like it goes pretty quick so it  depends on depends on where you're starting and   what sort of foundation you have technique-wise  true because i i remember like i started it's   funny because i started around about the same time  uh as you with with calisthenics and also with   the honeyball bastards so um when i saw honeyball  doing muscle ups i didn't even know what this move   was called and i was this guy typing second 46  what is this move called please help me because   i didn't know how to look up tutorials because  you know if you don't know the name of the move   how should you uh look for advice and um this  is why i'm i'm asking because i can totally   relate um to your to your journey so um let's  um continue a little um you kept on working   hard uh how was your give us a uh fast forward  to today um how did your your journey go   because you also competed professionally and in  freestyle um you also had uh for example the tv   show so you were like uh performing like for the  entertainment factors or all this um until today   all right so yeah it's obviously a long  story a lot of years been happening   but for sure yeah we start out doing the you know  the muscle ups and everything and then obviously   progressing from muscle ups into multiple muscle  ups and you know start practicing like front liver   and things but a lot of exercises like that really  lacking form lacking strength lacking essentially   the knowledge to perform the exercise in a good  manner essentially that this took a lot took a lot   of practice a long time to get some of the things  down like the hit sagging like not extending the   first like bending the arms like there's a lot  of details that when you first get into it's like   you just overlook those things but they're so key  which can you know shift your progress from months   to weeks or weeks to days it can again go pretty  fast so i was just pressing keep training where i   lived by then at that time so just keep training  and then i actually started inviting a lot of   friends to start training with me because i wanted  to share this great training method it's like so   i gathered a few friends who were training with me  some some trained for a month or two and then they   left and started doing other practices and and  some people really stick to it and really start   training with me and then we are still training  to this day together so there you know we started   together started helping each other pushing each  other trying to figure things out and training   and training and training over a long period  of time consistency is what leads to results   so training for a long time like that helped me  develop a good and solid foundation because you   sort of need that first year or two to really  build a good good foundation to rest on so that   your joints and ligaments and muscles are strong  enough to carry you through a lot of movements   so i started training like that progressing all  further and further i started training more in   the city of stockholm i was living just right  outside now i started training more indoors   in the city of stockholm on which i found like a  really solid good high bar which i could actually   perform like freestyle moves on outside you know  he's got just been outside in various parks around   the city which you know has been pretty bad  it's been raining it's been blowing snowing   but it's like a blessing to find a place we  can practice indoors and some people might have   seen those on instagram like the big bar and the  thing just doing freestyle but that was kind of   an eye on the opener trying to do that and so just  practicing my own literally watching youtube still   and but then after a while i sort of you know run  into a lot of more people that have been training   calisthenics for a while as well like you know  mentioned like mahal and daniel donna etc all   these people and we sort of linked up and started  training more together because we had this common   interest of calisthenics so we started training  together and at that time i was actually the   official member of bar stars so i was in the bar  stores the international group we were training   together like virtually helping each other um but  that was it was so distant i had flown to miami   like twice and competed actually like training and  i met with ed gecko and all the guys over there   and chris heria and all those guys but it was  it was so distant we're in different you know   contents so it's a long way to travel so it  made more sense to join up with the other   guys here in stockholm and we were training  a lot pushing each other for a long time and   and then i applied for sweden scott talent and  2017 i think i was on my own and then i competed   like on my own with the trailer like a whole  routine and everything and actually got help from   while i'm doing it with that setting like carrying  the things and everything and the year after that   we applied as a group as beast bars because at  that time i had left bar stars to join beast bars   and my friend emil i brought him with me  and we all joined these bars and formed this   group together five so we were training like and  doing this show and you know we got some you got   semi-finals at least you know got a lot of eyes on  us which was really fun so we were training that   work and everything like that alongside you know  studying i was studying sport management at the   time as well so alongside studying and working on  these things like a lot of things coming together   which was really really fun and after experience  got talent we actually got invited to go to china   so we went to china which called what's called  world scott talent i think the the name was so   we went there on the five of us and actually  built a big routine up a number and you know   was in that part of that competition or within in  china for a week so it was a lot of fun as well   but that's like the sort of they're all around  but alongside all of that you know doing freestyle   like i've just been you know progressing stepping  to freestyle up all the time trying new things   and it's been it's been a it's been a long  journey just practicing freestyle and i was   so heavily focused on freestyle for so so long  up until sort of sort of when the pandemic hits   so corona like at february of last year sort of i  started shifting the mentality from going like all   in on the freestyle parts to advancing more into  the static and the strings part of calcium which   i had neglected for a long time so from there for  about a year or a little over a year now i've had   shifted the mentality from doing freestyle  like every single week to go and freestyle   every other week or every fourth week like every  month and then shifting into doing the pull and   push like front lever muscle up one arm pull up  human flag plants practices and that has been   so so fun and sort of an iron opener as  like to the whole static community and   things where you can train like you can do so  so much if you just start practicing and give   you give it time essentially because it takes  time like it's front favorite took like you   know six months of hard work it's like okay now  i can do frankly it was like i can't just do   one or two seconds it's like okay i can do a 16  second from people hold it's like okay now it's   good now now i'm here and then you start like i  can do pull ups and you can do you know there's   so much things it's sort of freestyle on its own  so it's it's been a been a iron opener like that   wow so today's your focus is on basics  um plus aesthetics let's let's call it   yeah exactly it's been that's been the whole focus  for now well because yeah i i had to scroll down   a little for for the freestyle content uh  to to find it on on your instagram and uh   i saw some statics in between some uh hand  balancing stuff on on chairs that fell down and   yes that's uh yeah it just it just i just realized  that there had to be some some transition um to   come to this um today's basics and um yeah  statics mentality so um for you address was   from outer circumstances that you focus on the  stuff that you were able to continue because uh   well yeah exactly well well the gyms in sweden has  been open throughout the pandemic we've never had   lockdown so the gyms have been open so you have  been able to do freestyle and things like that   but it just hasn't been a big focus of mine it's  just you know doing so so much freestyle working   on the 540s and the shrimp flip and the gengars  and doing all of these things like it takes so   much time and so much work and you unlock a move  but it's like it's so risky as well like high   injury potential and sort of you know i just sort  of got tired of practicing the same routines over   and over with like the high intensity like that  so i progress you know more into building strength   because since you know starting teaching as well  even more um since february of last year we went   full time on this this calisthenics company  together and sabina and i were partnering   so from there it's it's you know it's kind  of rethinking like okay what am i actually   teaching what can i teach the most and teach the  most people and that's that's a lot you know to   do with the basics and the statics and the power  dynamics and everything like that those kind of   exercises are the things that i'm teaching mostly  so i wanted to get you know as good as possible on   these exercises so that's you know sort of where  the mentality comes from but i still you know like   doing freestyle whenever we go out together all  the guys freestyle like for a weekend it's so so   fun but it's also when you practice a lot more  statics the freestyle gets a lot easier so it's   way easier now to do a shrimp flip to 540 into  a w360 and gengar it's it's much easier because   you can pull yourself much harder  you can do handstand much easier   come down from the hands then into the front  lever it's it's way easier than it was before   before it was sort of a struggle like okay down  in front of it one two down and just keep going   but now it's way more controlled which has  been you know big weakness of mine essentially   before wow so like what you feel is that um  focusing on statics right now doesn't let you lose   your freestyle but even improve improve it  yeah i would say like it maintains my freestyle   but i'm i'm gaining in endurance and strength okay  so you know i haven't learned too many new moves   in the last year but almost look cleaner and  are easier for me now cool i think it's also   because of the tendons and like you in general  become become stronger as an athlete and um   yeah definitely makes sense yeah um your current  goals right now for workout um do you have some   some stuff that you are working on right now yeah  well i had for 2020 i had three goals which just   set up and i i made two of them realized thing so  i did the one-arm pull-up was one of my goals one   on each arm and i managed to do that and then  it was plus 10 seconds of full front lever hold   i used to do that and the other one  was say 10 seconds of strength planche   it took a little longer the front lever got  more attention essentially that's what it is   and from the event monopole goes hand in hand  both pulling motions so they sort of helped each   other like that but the goal for 2021 right now is  definitely pledges straddle planche 10 second hold   press to handstand like going from planet strike  planche up to the handstand and going back down   is one of the main goals besides working  you know continuing to work on my weaknesses   because i've you know before i've been neglecting  the leg workouts as well a lot so i was like i've   been doing leg workouts i can do pistol squats i  can do box jumps and all of those things but now i   was like okay i've got to dedicate some more times  like deadlifts like back squats front squats more   of those foundational exercises where you can put  a lot of weight on and really build a solid lower   body which connects into the upper body obviously  so you can carry yourself in more advanced motions   as well it's not about building you know high  volume like big chunky legs no but it's more   contrasty like strong legs that you can  carry yourself up with so that's been like   a big a big shift as well  to training you know legs   once every other week to doing it about like four  times a week now wow and you don't think that   this hurts your front lever performance  or your straddle planche performance   in in if i were to plan it more towards volume  like i would do like 12 reps for like six sets   like doing some massive volume yeah i think i  think it would devastate it because you know the   heavier gets the heavier the harder it gets  to hold yourself up but since doing it like   that this attack i feel like it's helping it's  helping stabilize the core engaging the glutes   in the front lever which actually holds the body  up a lot and getting the quads really strong for   you know planches has also helped me open up the  hips a lot more and hips is something i've been   struggling with before like in the start plans  my feet has always been like sort of leaning down   to slightly but now since practicing a lot  back strength i can pull myself up much better   okay so how do you train right now uh the squats  because i saw in your instagram story that   this morning you were doing back squats so  um can you like um what was the volume etc   yeah all right so yeah so i'm doing a four  days play doing push workouts two days a week   and two full workouts a week for the push  workouts it's appliances and back squats   for the pull workouts it's front lever  mainly on pull ups and the deadlifts so   since i'm doing four days a week i'm doing one  or two leg exercises per workout each workout so   and with that you you know can't do too  many exercises you can't have too much load   so i'm taking about 80 of my max one rep adding  that to five repetitions doing five rounds on   each exercise with about three to five six minutes  of resting in between and this morning i was doing   the back squats five times five at 85 kilos  okay so working my way up i started about   i start about 70 and then i'm working my way  up to i want to go to about 90 or 100. okay   cool that's always uh an interesting topic for  the legs and the aesthetics which are obviously um but definitely makes  sense how you presented and   um if you feel that you're still progressing and  that you're uh like um making progress in straddle   planche and front lever that's that's cool really  cool um the thing that we already talked about   in the beginning a question that was asked uh two  three times for this interview but in general it's   a question that comes so often please interview a  tall athlete um because i think there are a lot of   tall athletes out there who are like seeing the  interviews and the high performing athletes who   are around 1 meter 70 or even 1 meter 65 and  i'm thinking yeah is it possible with my height   to to do the same is it even realistic  should i switch to another sport etc   so um yeah did you ever feel that your height  was a disadvantage or um how do you feel about   your height in in calisthenics in general so i  would say i would say it's like a double edged   sword like it's it's both great and  it's at the same time can be frustrating   because when you're doing sort of some swings like  for say you're doing like giants or doing like   shrimp clips the the length that you are how long  you are is going to help you a lot with the swing   so if you're a taller person you're you're going  to extend way way further out than somebody's   shorts you get a lot more momentum coming around  so in one sense you can use that to your advantage   to get even more speed into certain movements  and what i've noticed like when training with   my friends is that i'm one of the taller guys  but not the tallest but one of the taller guys   and while we're training together doing these  these swings and everything is that i'm a lot   faster than a lot of people so even though i'm  the one of the taller guys i'm a lot faster which   you know is is great in that in that sense but it  can also be in the way because when you're doing   statics for etcetera you have longer legs to pull  so so it depends but it also depends on how you're   training and how much you're training i wouldn't  say like it's it has to be better to be short but   it can help but if you're training hard and really  being dedicated to it i think there's there's no   disadvantage to being a taller guy it's you have  more muscles to pull with but you're taller as you   weigh more but everything is in relation to your  body so the the body is how it is but the thing   that can change though is you know the length  of your arms the length of your legs some people   have naturally longer arms shorter legs  obviously that's going to help because your   hand is going to be closer to your waistline in  some movements so your lever might be easier but   i think i think when when it's all said and  done at the end of the day it's a lot of   you know how much work do you actually put in  and how much are you complaining about your   disadvantage so if you know five centimeters  won't make that much of a difference so just   you know work with what you got and that's going  to help you out a lot just focusing on you know   turning things to your advantage really is you  know the main thing like if you're taller use that   if you're shorter you use that that's awesome i  mean i mean if you compare myself to like danny's   license license it's a tall guy as well it's about  the same as me i think it's 182 or something so   it's pretty tall himself so it's there it's pretty  hard to tell like if it's you know has to do with   weight or length it's i think it's a lot about  how much time you put in and how much you   actually want to learn something but in the end  when like when starting it might be easier for   a taller guy to start doing freestyle because  it's easier because you can you can just hang   it's it's not hard to pull yourself up like  that you can use your legs to gain momentum   but it's harder you know for the statics since  you have a longer length to pull but it's also   a lot harder with statics in general i would  say so i wouldn't say it's a general route some   oh i really like that um so are you  like a more uh pull or push person   with your genetics and i would say like naturally  i'm more inclined to the push movements i started   out doing handstands really really early and you  know handstands with something i've been doing   like you said like on chairs and on ceilings and  hence the push-ups hence them walking pressing on   hands like i've been doing a lot of those kind of  pushing movements so i sort of got into that more   but in the later days now like last year i've  been more inclined towards the poly movements   so kind of shifting okay cool so one of the  most frequently asked questions in general   um douglas do you have some some planche  advice some special secret routine for me um   yeah but seriously asked what is  your advice to to learn the the plan well i would like to learn the plans perfectly  myself and to like a whole full place that   would be amazing but i'm unfortunately not not  there right now as of my training like i said   i've been focusing a lot on the polling lately  the one-arm pull-up like front lever that kind   of stayed training but i've been practicing a lot  on the branch obviously training with it and i can   you know manage to hold sort of a decent strapline  for about five seconds or so six seconds maybe   so i'm getting there definitely but i mean  when it comes to strength training in general   it doesn't really matter if it's you know about  front lever one or pull up or if it's planches   the same concept sort of applies you have to  start develop strength first so starting to   develop strength means that you have to lower the  repetitions increase the intensity of how you're   training the difficulty essentially of what you're  training and repeat that for a number of reps and   sets usually the concept goes from one to five set  repetitions between five to six seven sets maybe   so depending on which level you're at and where  you're training so i would say for a lot of   people i think most people are starting out a  little from the from the back end sort of when   they're starting so because when they first start  out we're doing push-ups and things like this   they're doing high volume they're doing you  know 12 15 push-ups four or five sets like doing   70 reps in total like high high numbers when  in fact they should be lowering those numbers   adding more intensity to the workout for example  if you're able to do 10 push ups let's say   then it's time to start lowering those numbers  into five push-ups but get on a box get a pair   of you know parallettes buy them from coordination  why not do the push-up deep deep push-up and then   back up again do those for five reps and start  increasing that difficulty if that's too easy add   a weight quest or get your feet off of the ground  into a tucked planche holder and start doing   tough planche push-ups so you start increasing  difficulty but lowering the reps so you can keep   quality in the form and then take long breaks most  people neglect this but take breaks the body needs   time to adapt to you know for muscle development  and adaptation to happen you need a long   break for the muscles in the in your body to  develop new energy essentially so you have to   take long breaks to get new energy into the body  to perform the exercises at a good quality and   doing for example five reps for five sets you end  up with 25 repetitions with which is in within the   frame for muscle development and strength building  so starting out in that end working for you know   not one month not two months plus four six eight  twelve months gaining strong to be coming really   strong that is a good foundation on which you  can start adding your endurance after so if you   want to increase the endurance then later you  can do that later but that takes a month or two   but muscle strength raw strength takes a long time  to practice and gain strength things so you have   to be patient patient and have a clear and solid  plan of where you want to go and how to get there   and sort of clear out a lot of the exercises that  you might think that you want to do to learn a   move let's say for a front lever like say okay i  want to i want to do pull-ups because you have to   have have a strong back for doing front lever  yeah that's true but if you want to do front   lever holes and front favorite pull-ups you have  to do front lever front lever pull-ups this sport   specific training is super super important in this  factory because doing pull-ups is vertical but   doing front lever pull-ups is horizontal so it's  a different way of pulling so you have to do both   and also separate the two like okay if i do in  front of training i'm doing this kind of training   if i'm doing regular pull training i'm doing this  kind of training there's nothing wrong with doing   pull-ups and doing front page pull-ups but you  have to be careful with how you structure it   wow i think that's uh super valuable um input  and advice um because yeah there are different   approaches definitely but um really makes sense  how you explain it and um yeah let's um jump into   your day like your uh typical day how does  it look like do you have some some routines   some uh habits when you get up uh do you take a  breakfast etc take us in a typical day of douglas   yeah all right so so this is not really typically  a regular day but it's kind of so i usually get up   in the morning about like seven to eight somewhere  around that time but i usually don't have too   many clients in the morning like early morning  usually first clients about like 11 maybe one   depending on something like that during the day  but i'm waking up getting a fresh cup of coffee   getting some you know oatmeal i'm usually eating  oatmeal or there's kefir and things like that   having an egg like getting good start with a lot  of food to make sure i have energy throughout the   day is a key fact and usually working from home  since we're working from home everybody but it's   not different for us because we have our office  in our home so we have the which i'm sitting here   right now which is our office so we can sit here  for a few hours if you want to do that at work   so working you know answering some emails and  planning on mondays we always always plan our   weeks our content what we want to do which emails  we have to answer plan the group sessions ahead   which you know from today it's wednesday we have  two group classes today so you know i have to plan   those and those you know we do at home planning  those i plan to do some of it but sabine and my   partner plans some of the workouts as well so we  sort of share that working from home until lunch   sort of and then having lunch at home and then  usually heading into the studio to have clients   and the studio is about 20 minutes or so away  from where we live so it's pretty close when   you commute um going there usually like between  three to six pedic clients maybe and one to two   group classes and training you know helping people  learn usually the handstand front lever back lever   ring muscle up regular muscle up human flag  like some of those exercises we're working on   some people want to strengthen you know they're  pulling just you know being able to unlock their   first pull up or some people want to learn their  first chin up or dip or push up and some people   you know have already mastered that so we're doing  you know frontier pull-ups and things like that so   some more advanced athletes as well but it depends  on the level so it's a very you know various   and then you know getting home a little later  having dinner at home together with sabina and   i and then you know chilling but you know since  we have our own company working for ourselves   the day can vary so much if we're out you  know in somewhere in some gym like except   for beginning can help we used to work out a lot  we can go there record content for the you know   the whole week or produce videos for our online  programs which we're releasing every now and then   building and probably programming  those programs yeah it varies wow   that's really cool and um yeah how was it like  to to be a calisthenics personal trainer like um   as i said i think it's the the dream uh the goal  of a lot of athletes out there a lot of listeners   so can you tell us more about how is it like is  it like how you expected it when you started or   is it completely different i would say it's  more or less exactly how i visioned it like   to be because i would not be doing personal  training if it wasn't for calisthenics   i would not be in a regular gym teaching deadlifts  and like flies or bench presses all day i wouldn't   do that so then i would work with something else  obviously but teaching calisthenics has been   so great and so fun and you know it's it's  it's teaching people to do movements rather   than just defining their body or gaining a some  pounds or adding some weight to a dumbbell it's   it's unlocking new things and new movements  and helping people become a better version of   themselves and gain confidence and trust in  themselves that they can do something which   they previously wasn't able to do so it's a lot  giving to do you know these kind of movements to   help people with because when they finally  learn that ring muscle up it's it's a huge   huge milestone for somebody to actually be able  to pull themselves up around the rings or the   bar and actually do the movement and you can  see it you know they're all eyes just light up   um you know being able to actually do  something it gives them a big confidence boost   so it's it's everything i imagined it  to be and more it's it's really fun   and what were the the steps that were necessary  to become a calisthenics personal trainer is it um   do you need like um some diploma some  studies what what uh what do you think from   today's perspective is necessary for somebody to  come to this position well i think it's i think   it's a variance of factors it's i wouldn't  say that there's any client who is you know   actively seeking a personal trainer like me  or something like because you have some sort   of diploma i wouldn't say that i wouldn't a  piece of paper wouldn't you know matter too   much it's like okay i have the paper yeah cool  what can you teach me so it's more about you know   inspiration people looking up to you seeing  the things you can do and thinking it or   you know hoping that you can teach them these  movements and then you know it's a lot about   their personal chemistry with the you know  a personal training client and a trainer   the us two have to match uh in you know they both  the social part having fun obviously is a big part   of it but also you know that we're speaking sort  of the same language in which we're talking and   understanding that okay this is the goal this  is where we're working towards and this is how   we're going to be working towards those goals so  there's a lot about that but then from you know   our specific perspective it's a lot about where  we are located as well we are like in the central   part of stockholm it's easy to commute to a lot  of people living just five minutes of walking   away from the gym from the studio where we're  at and we're sharing a studio space together   with a company called exterior region which has  opened up a studio in villains plan in stockholm   in which we're working with to hold you know  these classes and pt and everything like that so   location has been really really key obviously  knowing your stuff being able to do handstands   and teach handstands go very well together  obviously i can help somebody you know   practice plans training but it's hard to teach  full planche when you actually don't really   have the full planche you know mastered  so i'm working on that i'm working on it   but it's you know it's overall it's a lot of fun  and i think i think that you have to have fun   and be actively seeking new clients and ways  to help people to actually make it make it work   cool and do you also do online coaching yeah  exactly we do online coaching and both sabine and   i write programs for that but we have the physical  you know studio classes pt and then we have the   online the programs which i mentioned which  are up on the website we have a few coming now   cal state's foundation and the cal science at-home  program as well but then we also do the personal   training online service so month-to-month updated  workout programs linked videos coaching bi-weekly   over zoom just like this so really working  you know with the person even though we're not   in person we're working together towards  a goal and you know we've got lines all   over stockholm sweden you know there's germany  there's been uk canada united states zimbabwe   you mentioned it all kind of countries like it's  it's been a lot of people from all kinds of parts   of the world and that's sort of what's what's  defining this sort of community is a lot of people   worldwide no matter where you are can get into  bodyweight health and calisthenics training   and find a goal to work towards and something that  they are passionate about and then seek help from   somebody who is you know on the opposite side of  the world but we can still help each other well   that's cool so um yeah for all the people  who are not in stockholm in the center   so they are like they can check out your website  that will be linked down below um for the for the   online coaching and let's come to the topic of  nutrition how does your nutrition look like and   what role does it play in your performance and  in your life in general yeah nutritionist is   really really key it's it's important piece  the puzzle like you would think the only the   workouts matter but the workout is just one or two  hours in a day you have 14 to 16 hours more to eat   so you there's a lot that can go wrong in the in  the eating but i try to focus on the the positive   things when it comes to dieting i wouldn't  even call it dieting but eating in general   just eating whole foods which you cook on our  own good foods and you know a lot of protein   fats carbs vitamins nutritional values like high  nutritional values in everything we're eating and   you know cook as much from the base as possible  and to to some extent we try to avoid you know   dairy and gluten and sugar but these things you  know when you celebrate sort of my 26th birthday   now of course we're gonna have some kind of cake  we're gonna have you know party of course like   we're not too strict about those things but we  try to keep it good so that we keep our energy   level high and can perform during the workouts  so i would i wouldn't say it would do any sort   of you know eat less just to make sure we lose  weight or anything like that but no we eat eat   more train more and make sure you have energy to  fill the tank and go train even harder i would say   that's sort of the recipe to what we're doing okay  and is it difficult for you to keep the 75 kg or   um is it easier for you to lose or to gain weight  i would say it's hard for me to both lose and gain   okay i'm pretty stable i'm pretty stable run  no but no matter like how much i eat i'm pretty   stable in you know where i am when when i want to  gain it takes a long time it takes a while because   i'm very active when working as you know a trainer  you're up on your feet for about some days like   monday now it was like 9 10 11 hours just working  you know being active at studio talking to people   working taking about 25 000 steps and training on  top of that you know so you're literally burning   like two and a half k calories like you can't eat  enough especially when eating whole foods so it's   it's you know we try to eat as much as possible  and it's sometimes it's harder to maintain   actually the weight because you know we're moving  so much training so much it's hard to find time to   actually cook all this food to eat the food  and you know have good planning around that   and you know not going just you know eating you  know junk food literally yeah because then it's   easy to to get the calories in obviously you  know drinking coke and eating candy yeah sure   you can fill the the calories up but how how  good is that it's not it's not good at all   that's right but 25 000 steps wow that's that's  absolutely i'm not sure i'm at 12 000 right now   and i've got a whole workout you know work with  evening now coming up in a few hours wow so it's   a lot better that's when you commute into the city  as well stockholm is a big series you're working   you you know walk into the train taking the train  and walking between trains walking to the station   it's a lot it's like just a one and a half  thousand steps going into the city so it's   it's it's a lot of steps like that and i can  go back and forth two times in a day that's a 6   000 right there so you know you get a lot of steps  like that but on some days when we're working just   from home writing programs programming sessions  and everything like that some days obviously   it's lower but i say the average is about like 18k  wow respect for that um opinion on uh supplements   don't really use them have never really actively  used supplements at all i actually right now i   have one vegan powder at home like natural vegan  powder just to put in like smoothies to get some   extra like soy protein and protein i think  it's or piece but that's like to the extent   of which we're using it's like just try to eat  good foods instead and i would say supplements   is like the last way out okay there's no other  option there's no time then yeah sure maybe it   can work but even then it's like real food is  usually better okay you know that's how i do   it a lot of people do it differently some people  are really into like you know getting supplements   you right after your workout but you know i'm  more of a guy that you know goes to get a banana   so i'm all monkey that's cool awesome um yeah  injuries uh you talked about some minor injuries   in the beginning um but in general what injuries  did you have and what did you learn from them   yeah so i've had a ton of minor injuries obviously  like you know just overworking the wrists which   are working every single day it's like in the  neck and things like that those are really minor   they you know if you have an injury or just a  soreness which you know settles after three or   four days it's like don't really mind it too  much just you know that comes and goes but i   have a few like bigger injuries like and they're  mostly related to freestyle calisthenics training   so in doing the freestyles i've you know fallen  off of the bars in different angles and ways   sort of you know just falling down on my back  cracking the necks like doing all these kind of   weird ways of falling which has you know hurt me  a ton it's like uh [ __ ] can't walk for five days   or you know spraying my ankle like a ten times  maybe doing like back flips off of the bar and   things like that like those kind of things  they're high risk but they're high rewards so   sort of those things you kind of risk it but going  back to what i did from uh early february last   year i started you know shifting my mentality  and since then i have no injuries whatsoever   so i'm all good on the injuries now try to make  sure that i know practice safe training so that   i you know avoid injuries at all costs but uh  from sweden's got talent i actually had like one   of my worst injuries okay what was it so when  we were training for uh sweden scotland we're   doing so a big number and everything got all these  things coming together which was really great but   there was one part of it where me and daniel were  doing backflips on the ground in front of the bars   so the guys were doing something up on the bar  and we were in front of the bar doing back flips   on our own like towards each direction in front  of the board and practicing that that was okay   it worked i had nailed you know backflip on the  ground previously so i've learned that but then   as you know time progresses and you  get more nervous for your performance   things you know start spooking you out it's like  okay did i actually stick that last time or wait   was i too quick was i too slow or half the time  with a beat and when doing that there was a lot   of things happening so fast you know we were  just preparing backwards stage and then all of   a sudden like beast bars get up on the stage like  running up and it's like [ __ ] we did we gotta go   and then like backing up and then a sort of came  a little a little behind the temple of the music   so i had to rush the the push-ups we were doing  before that and then i got into the back plate and   i had they hadn't really get a second to actually  take a breath and then go so i really just went   back into it and landed like on my knees oh [  __ ] yeah so i had to like i had to stand there   and do completely the whole set it's on it's on  instagram on youtube as well but i had to complete   the set shane lakes were just shaking and i told  my friend that emil was part of the crew as well   when i came around the stage i was like that hurt  as a [ __ ] he was like keep going keep going and   i was like okay i have to keep going and then  i was just you know just walking who it's like   pretty much like crutches off of this stage just  hurting as hell and then for you know just like   six months i was just pain just walking i had to  go physio and check my knees up and i had almost   torn both pcl ligaments in the back of the knee  so the knee has two ligaments crossing like this   so this is the anterior and this is the posterior  and the posterior one was almost 100 off on both   knees yeah so that wasn't too fun but i had to  go to physio and get help and learn how to you   know to actually train this so i started out just  you know back at it again small small squats just   you know just doing a regular just squat like  sitting down on a bench like this it was hard   like it hurt in my knees so i had to take it back  a step and keep working on the foundation sort of   for how to do squats and how to walk properly and  sort of get getting back into how that works after   four five six months of hard work with it it  got better and better and better and better   so now it's you know it's no problem at all i  can do the back squats and the i haven't really   done too many backflips though on the ground  but i can do i can do them on trampoline or on   like a mat or anything no problem but i haven't  really gotten back into doing on the ground yet   well that sounds yeah um maybe one reason why like  um doing sports as a on performance is isn't that   healthy like uh in in any sport if you go to the  limits uh it's like it can crush your body and   this is like one example if you have to perform  now and you don't have the time to take a breath   um yeah yeah there's a there's a line in between  where training is healthy and good for you and   in which it turns into performance and sport and  where it's it's a lot about the performance not   so much about your health and in that instance  it was more you know just complete the number   just do it rather than you know okay i have  to have to take care of myself rather yeah   wow um yeah we're slowly coming to  an end um at the end i always like to   let you sum up a little um what do you think  are the main three mistakes that you see the   calisthenics the typical calisthenics athlete  do or like a lot of calisthenics athletes or   beginners or intermediates do well i've touched on  one of the topics previously and that's as being   usually usually with beginners or trained  beginners is that you're in a rush for the   workouts you're usually stressing too much working  out should be fun but it's almost should be   structured and you have to take your time with  things everything has its pace you shouldn't   stress it too much but a lot of people are just  getting into doing too high on volume too soon   and neglecting that they should be training more  sport specific training sort of like the from the   pull-up example or tuck planche example getting  into those more which can be seen as advanced   movements which they are but if you use assistance  and help they can get easier and getting into   those early usually helps getting your body to  adapt to those kind of pressures so i'd say that's   one of them definitely um but the second one i  would say just spontaneously is that i think a   lot of people are getting way too excited about  the freestyle part i think a lot of people are   neglecting the foundational strength that you  have to have to actually perform freestyle in a   sort of really safe way really because when you're  doing let's say jumping into three six days you   can easily and this has happened during our one of  our swedish championships you can easily dislocate   your shoulders from a 360 if you haven't prepared  well enough so and that happened to a guy dennis   uh one of like two years ago he did like 360  like one of the first ones and just popped it out   and a lot of people suffer those kind of injuries  because they're they're stressing about the moves   that they want to learn but they haven't you know  really prepared these strengths for it so they're   they're you know really stressing it and when  they're too anxious outside about learning new   things and i think it's fun which is awesome it's  great that it's fun to learn things you want to   you know train and have fun with your  guys and everything perfect all good   but you have to think about okay what can my  body actually do and if this is safe or not and i'll say one of the and the third thing i  would say just spontaneously now as well is also   neglecting your leg workouts i'll say most people  aren't paying attention to their leg workouts and   you know most people training calisthenics  won't be able to do full pledge push-ups   it's it's it's a long way to go it's like 10  years training hard it can be six years if   you're really dedicated it could be through three  months or two years yeah sure but for most people   like full-time push-ups or flash holes it  takes so many years of dedicated practice   and i think a lot of people are you know  they're not thinking about that you know   i have to build a good foundation doing  bodyweight training sure but also doing the   leg workouts doing to make sure you strengthen  your entire body because the planche is not a   bicep or just front shoulder movement it's a whole  body big compound movement which takes a toll on   your entire body so just training the upper body  is not going to help you in the long run but   also be be sure to plan your leg workouts  so you're not getting into like the   you know getting a light dumbbell doing like  50 reps it's like that's going to slow you down   because you can't wait too much obviously when  you're putting that kind of pressure on your body   so you have to be careful of how you structure  the leg workouts as well but i would definitely   say like leg workouts is so so key you have to  get delayed workouts in in some way or another awesome thanks a lot for all these insights i  really appreciate it we always have at the end   some quick questions quick answers   pizza or burger burger burger okay  cool uh are you a dog or a cat person   dog person but i haven't i've had a cat before so  i'm of biased towards a cat as well but i think   i'm more inclined to like pets in general i like  but i would say like we're looking to get a dog   now so i'm more of a you know into dogs yeah cool  um yeah what are the athletes that inspire you   oh a ton of athletes my obviously um from  freestyle my friends dan and tom rosenberg   they're super super inspiring and they're working  with you guys obviously going with you as well   those have inspired me a lot in the static  workouts and also sergio from spain a lot i've   been looking at a lot of his like freestyle things  but also like the frontier of planche workouts   a ton but from the static perspective it's been  more more of those guys and domin you know for the   freestyle more the rosenberg twins but also  you know one of my friends email who has been   training with me for a long time he started  taking this static game more seriously than   i did when starting out so i sort of progressed  more in the freestyle and he more into the statics   looking at his progress i i've become  a lot more you know interested in how   he's training as well for these static  moves and got a lot of help from him cool do you have a favorite book that you want to  recommend oh yeah for sure it's a book about   gymnastics and bodyweight training which  is a sort of a meta study about a lot of   training methods and way to train for advanced  moves it's called i think it's defying gravity   or over overcoming gravity actually is the name  so overcoming gravity this is that i think it   you can read the first the second edition but  overcoming gravity has been a great great it's not   not really a book but it's more like a handbook  i'd say to calisthenics and bodyweight training   in which you can learn a ton about your splits  and how to structure your workouts and the micro   cycles and the mental cycles and everything around  training in general for building strength you can   learn just reading that and so that's definitely  one of my best best pro tips when it comes to   reading awesome we will put the link in the  description i think it's a quite big book it's   like 700 pages or something yeah that's insane  um so yeah um the best calisthenics event you've   ever visited or you've ever been at spontaneously  i would say the miami south beach calisthenics jam   when we were there like eight seven years ago  six years ago maybe on the beach in south base   ocean drive behind you there's you know bars up  like 300 people all calisthenics related just   practicing training having a blast like that's  you know sun is shining it's perfect weather   we were there like 14 people from sweden flying  all together it's like living in a big house it   was just so so fun and so that's probably one of  the best events like not just the event itself   but like the whole feeling of like okay this  is this is sort of the grassroots movement   here wow that's definitely one of them yeah i  can imagine and the last question do you have a   message for the calisthenics community something  that you want to give to say to the listeners   well a lot of things obviously but one of the  main things i would say is that you have to   you have to give things time you have to  be patient same thing as when it comes to   learning like a front flip or a handstand or a  front lever pull up or planche push-up is that   it takes time and patience to learn new moves and  new freestyle moves or static moves so be really   patient in your training and being consistent  with it is going to help you progress over time   but that does not exclude different parts of your  life as well it does include training but it the   same goes for studies or buying your house or  first apartment it goes into you know working as   a trainer if you want to do that you know in the  future you have to be consistent okay how do i do   how do i plan and take steps to get to where  i want to go like if i want to be working as a   trainer full-time let's say within calisthenics  okay great so what do you need you need a gym   you need some kind of certificate you need to  gain some you know strength knowledge lay a plan   build a foundation and then work  towards that but give it time   things doesn't happen overnight there's like  there's like this saying it's like an overnight   success 10 years in the making it's sort of sort  of that thing you have to think about it's like   okay all of a sudden somebody sees you doing like  a really really cool straddle planche push-up it's   like yeah that's i just unlocked that awesome but  i've been training for it for like eight years   so so it's like okay i've been putting a  lot of time into it and then you learn it   and that's the same thing for anything like you  don't want to get good at anything you have to   put the time and patience into it and eventually  things will you know look out for the better well thanks for sharing um   yeah how can people get in touch with you how do  they where do they find you we will put all the   links in the description but uh yeah where do  they find you so easy as obviously is instagram   and it's at douglas equal mark but our company  is called trainix so the website is www.t dot s-e so where we have  all the programs speaking online personal   training group classes all info it's up on  there and we also got trainings instagram   wow that's cool uh for the people who want to  check out your old freestyle videos and some old   content i will link the youtube as well because  yeah old stuff on there but it's fun it's fun   not so much from what i've been doing myself  but it's a lot from events and stuff as well   so you can check that out if you want  to see like competitions and stuff sure   yeah we're coming to an end douglas thanks a lot  for your time you will have the last words of the   podcast also big thank you to all the listeners  who stuck with us with till the end because it's   over an hour and i really appreciate everyone  listening these podcasts till the end of these   interviews i really think that this time you  um we're able to take a lot of useful advice   uh either if you're like in aesthetics or in  the dynamics or if you're a tall athlete i   think douglas talked about a lot of useful stuff  so thanks for sticking with us if you like this   episode give it a thumbs up it helps a lot and  um douglas you have the last words thanks again   for your time for your advice for your knowledge  and all the best to you and a lot of success well   so so grateful to be on here thank you for  having me and it's been great just sharing   the knowledge to where i you know come so far  in my journey and obviously i have a long way   to go in a lot of areas so we'll have to do a  follow-up in a few years or so right true awesome.