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