Today's guest is a coach and athlete, the King of Weighted and German champion Micha Schulz. We're talking about how to combine 202kg Backsquats, Front Lever and Full Planche, his hacks for long lasting progress and his calisthenics journey⁠. Get 10% off on his programs with the discount code GORNATION10 | MICHA SCHULZ | Skills & Weighted Advice | Interview

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December 31, 2020 23 min read

MICHA SCHULZ | Skills & Weighted Advice | Interview | The Athlete Insider Podcast #34

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The text of the interview (translated automatically):

i don't know i'm not that sick often andi'm also not too often on holiday so you can say that i have 10 years of really straight training without to pause longer than two weeks yo gorillas welcome to the athlete insider podcast by gornation my name is phil and today's guest is the weighted beast of germany the three times german champion in weighted calisthenics and with prs let me check uh of 125 kg dip 200 kg back squats 75 kg chin ups and 22.5 kg muscle ups he's one of the most complete athletes in street lifting and weighted calisthenics right now i'm happy to welcome you to the show mikhailschultz from germany thanks for having meyes a long introduction but yeah i think for the people who don't know you or even are not aware of the big numbers i wanted to include these these pr's because you have an impressive record in the in the german weighted calisthenics history and yeah we received some questions we received some demands to interview you so i'm really happy to have you and let's kick off for the people who don't know you who is michael schultz yeah i'm michael 27 year old athlete and coach from berlin uh capital of germany and yeah basically that's everything you need to know about me um i made uh my passion also my profession so everything my life is around the sport calisthenics weighted calisthenics power lifting weight lifting so everythingthat is resistance training um is what i do is what i love and what makes me the man i am today yes the man who is sitting in his own gym during these times i think you're like admired by a lot of people not only because of your physique of course but also we never had so many friends yeah yes and yeah i'm happy um so yeah let'sget to the to the uh contact point betweenyou and calisthenics how did you get in touch because before you did skating right um let us be part of the history how you got intoweighted calisthenics um basically uh yeahso i started skating back in the days i was like those uh little skater boy and then in i don't know which year but when i turned uh 17 i got introduced to fitness like in a commercial gym just uh as every dude who is around 17 18 just wanted to have bigger chest bigger biceps and what can you do about it just hit the gym with some weights and that was about this for four years and then um basically the whole bodybuilding style of training i got pretty bored with because like once you're kind of satisfied with the physique level it's really hard to stay motivated then summer came it was like summer 2014 roundabout it was super hot in the gym i was pretty bored with with training and then i just searched for outdoor training possibilities here in berlin and there was a park in the central of burden city and i just googled it and went there and there was a calisthenics group training like a group of pretty loud pretty strong russian guys the barlina community from berlin obviously and i trained the first time there and from this day i was there almost like six times a week for the next three years and that's history so i never planned to to enter calisthenics it happened by accident and these guys were also intuited calisthenics they had like those plastic weights filled with sand there in the park and so i got directly introduced to to rated calisthenics and um yeah that's about it this is now six years or like six years ago and that's it so no really cool story just uh by accident for me it is a cool story because i still remember uh the videos from dan vitale and the balinas in general uh where they said yeah the new super talent the new uh the new generation of calisthenics of weighted calisthenicsand you were like um as it seemed for me as somebody who's not uh living in berlin andit seemed that you made progress really fast like i don't know a few weeks before i saw you doing a straddle planche and then a few weeks it seemed for me that you did a full planche and like heavy heavy dips with these ugly plastic weightsand like it was it was funny to see fromfrom far was it um this this kind of quickum progress for you as well or was it uhyeah to put that in relation um back in the days 100 kg dip was something special that was huge so if you're now going on instagram and seeing someone dipping 100 kg he's like okay yeah you need to start somewhere you know and back in the day that that was huge so um like considering it now it would probably be normal or slow progress but yeah for me um back then it was was pretty fast and i got the advantage that i had four years of training history before i entered calisthenics which kind of gave me a pretty good start position and that made it real fast from the outside but i put in four years in before not related to to calisthenics but those four years definitely count so with one year of calisthenics it was like year number five in training history so that gave me a big advantage plus you had some people around you who already had some experience right like i had guidance definitely so shout out to the the berliner guys they really uh did a great job back then yes because it's uh it's a strong community um as it looks from the outside you have like uh dan vital who is also uh who participated in the german championship etc in these days um and who is also a really really strong athlete with a lot of experience um and uh what what what were your goals in the beginning was it the physique was it the moves uh what what was it that you stick with calisthenics um for calisthenics definitely the the statics um that was like number one what i wanted to do uh back in the days uh a planche and a handstand push-up this was like uh those two were my number one go-to um the byproduct of training was that muscle ups and that stuff but the the actual goal was uh handstand push-ups and planches i wasn't i don't know why but i never was interested in front levers that's why i still kind ofsuck at front lever um because i never really implemented them but yeah the the pushing skills i always found impressive and beautiful like i kind of fell in love with the aesthetics of the motion that's why i'm also like so much into coaching and form coaching at the moment because that is like really um yeah the aesthetic of the movement is what still fascinates me a lot okay and were you always uh stronger and push or like more focus on push let's call it uh yeah yeah so also in the gym uh the four years prior you didn't spend or i am and still i was and still am pretty pretty strong in rowing motions but vertical pulling was always a weakness okay definitely do you think this is because of lack of focus or genetics or what is it so it kind of depends also on my biomechanics because i'm as you know i'm not a tall guy but i have pretty pretty long arms for my size which makes vertical pulling obviously hard since i have a long pulling path um but on the other hand it's gold for deadlifts because like i don't need to lift the weight up like 10 centimeters yeah yeah and yeah so for for um biomechanics i'm definitely more gifted for pushing motions and that is reason number one and reason number two like really directly after it is focused and training because since now the last two years i put a lot of effort in vertical pulling to tackle that and it definitely pays off so genetics is an excuse but only short term because on the long run you can't really outwork it but you can come close definitely yeah get it and the typical questions from thecommunity are always because you alreadysaid it how tall and heavy are you right now so uh tall maybe that changes some things it was 172 centimeters still like never changed from i was 16 years old sadly and at the moment today i was uh 97.5 so around about 80 kg at the moment yeah 79 the heaviest i ever have been uploading okay yeah yeah for a moment i was shocked before because you said 97 if i heard it right um but i think 79 you mean yeah 79 yeah close to 80 kg to uh make that correct okay so heaviest i've ever been a lot of christmas cookies uh consumed okay this is why you wear a long long sleeve and a large large clothing so that is style okayoversize and crop shoulders is my my go-to at the moment okay good then we have some static styling tips as well um did you already say how old are you uh yeah 27 in the intro okay 27 okay i'm sorry yes something that i asked myself is why do you think you have the results that you have today is it because of hard work is it because of your scientific smart approach to training is it because of your nutrition what or is it every everything together what is the the the main essence of your success so definitely all together but um i would put number one definitely adherence if i look back i'm now training for 10 years and i had never evermore than two weeks off training no week and in the weeks that i were trained inever had a week with less than threetrainings so like i don't know i'm not that sick often and i'm also not too often on holiday so you can say that i have 10 years of really straight training without a pause longer than two weeks and i still love it so the the adherence is definitely what what creates big numbers so um yeah and then smart programming good training approaches good nutrition is what all comes together but number one is definitely uh the adherence part so love what you do think long term and then baby steps okay yeah because your career when i look back from the barlina thing where i got to know you then you had a long time where you also went viral on social media at least that's in my uh how i remember it in your home gym you had your bar in the in the and how to call it in the uh i don't know but uh you know in your apartment and you did uh chin ups etc underneath the light you know 12-pack etc and uh like really really uh this was the the next step and now you're like sitting in your gym how does it feel like to have this career or this long time in the sport i won't gonna lie it's amazing um uh to get this uh whole attention and to be able to make my living out of my passion um this is feels amazing i can't lie about it um and i'm like still every day i walk into my my own gym it's just a small room but like i still have that small smile like you know this is mine now i made it because it was always kind of a dream to have like my own training room just for me and uh yeah last year it happened so yeah looking on on all that stuff that happened and i never actually planned big steps like it all kind of developed over time so kind of honest progress like it was nothing big really happened just small steps that that now built the foundation of what happened is uh amazing and i enjoyed every year definitely from the the start with the coronation calendar to uh yeah the own gym at the moment you know what what just pops into my mind you know when you were in uh in munster here uh for for the shooting and you just launched your um king of weighted uh pdfs and your store uh you had this i don't know your uh you didn't you didn't go with the big store that you shop that you have now you had like some small software uh to to handle all the payments yes and uh yeah just i just remember like us standing in the bus and you uh being like you were you you were overwhelmed you were you didn't expect that many people um being interested in in your in your training program and itfor me it seemed like that you were surprised and um yeah today you're off offering coachings you're still having and progress and uh improve your uh training programs etc which is like from the outside um for the calisthenics scene it's something special because um not a lot of people have done what you what you did until now um is there any advice that you can give to um i don't know to somebody who wants to become coach or like somebody who is impressed by your story so i definitely always had aneye on how to monetize my workbecause that's what i wanted to do i wanted to make a living by calisthenics so i kind of always like considered how can i position myselfin instagram to sell products that helppeople and that help me to to obviously earn money from it and that's why i pretty quickly um got into also the combination of weighted and skills because that was something special back in the days not a lot of guys did this and then i started to which you mentioned to sell my routine it was called weighted routines back then and it was not even pdf it was word like i think five years or four years ago which was just a summary of all the routines that we trained in the group in the barlina group and it was like 20 20 i guess back in the days and um yeah and then from that point i started reading about training i got better on the bar leaner i started coaching people and then the the programs developed so theprograms got better and my videos got better so the output i gave got better and i always tried to um kind of give out a lot of information so people recognize me as something you can't believe what he says so if you read a post okay it's from michael yeah it might be true if he said it i might consider it and that is a process that takes a lot of time like always in marketing same for your story you just need a lot of time to kind of build a brand and um that would be my advice to to young athletes that are looking for creating a brand because in the end your name is a brand and a strong brand um is something you can monetize and something you can can make a living out of even without a big reach like compared to other athletes all you also had here in the podcast like my my reach is kind of limited um but i think i'm pretty strong in in monetizing this reach with uh yeah quality products or at least i aim for it you need to ask my customers if that is true but that is definitely what i'm aiming for so definitely keep an eye on the business which is really important so you can put your whole time and you can put a lot of more more time and uh also more uh not only more time in marketing but also more time and uh like reading stuff and uh continuing to to learn it's like a simple equation like if you don't get enough money in you can't spend money on on a camera for your content for as you said time you need to make time for the content and that is like something that needs to develop over time the more you put in the more you get out but you need to put in a lot until something is coming out and that is where most people just don't have the patience to make a living out of it like it in thebeginning it all sounds fun like selling50 100 programs a month sounds a lot of money but then you have taxes you have your expenses and and all that stuff and you you are not a rich person directly just because you know you have some instagram reach it like it takes a lot of time and don't think you are going to be a millionaire in five years of instagram influencing sojust yeah be patient and do it for umbecause you love it and for the money butnever only for the money because you willbe disappointed yeah that's true that's true um do you think it was necessary that youuh became three times german weighted calisthenics champion or was it um do you think you would be at the same position or like maybe at 90 or 80 percent of the position without these titles um it definitely was a push for the the king of weighted brand because yeah you know it's a pretty edgy name for a brand because like uh crowning yourself is like you know it's uh not trueunderstatement um and you need to to back that with like rather knowledge or like real titles and um or pretty pretty handy together okay so yes it definitely was important it wasn't planned because you can't plan to to win competitions um but it was definitely very important for the the branding and also for my personal development because that gave me a lot of confidence um to really also um really put that out you know you can't call yourself king of way or your brand like it's not my title obviously it's my brand you can't call your brand king of weighted and then like represent a shy athlete that has no titles no success you know you need to to live the brand kind of and yeah be be the role model for your own brand and for that you need to you don't need to win but you at least need to win against yourself in the in the competition so you need to improve yeah that's true and you need to be authentic because uh king of waited everybody who knows you personally would say it it kind of fits to you and uh it um like to your mentality or to your personality let's just say it and um i think this is really important you can't build a brand uh for example um i don't know i could i couldn't build this gangster brand of these hardcore uh tattoo guys i don't know uh if i'm like more the the friendly guy or like you know and uh the same thing for you you need to be authentic uh with with your brand and i think you did it you don't need to be everybody's darling but i need to be authentic with what i am and yeah if you follow me also on instagram you know that uh yeah i'm pretty edgy and pretty direct in what i say um that might not everybody might like this but um the the people that you know give me a following and that interact with me um they like the way i am and that i am how i am and that is the most important that's true because likes don't pay your end um but a strong community does yeah and fans like not followers but fans that's how we call it that coronation our goal is not to have one hundred thousand fans uh forfollowers but the goal is to have like uhthe ten thousand fans uh really people whosupport coronation who uh yeah support us by wrapping the clothing etc and um yeah it's nice so you have amazing instagram stats for like the the small reach you have like this isamazing yeah yeah and better than mineyes um so maybe we can talk afterwards i can give you some advice but uh uh for for the next question um people were questioning askingum how do you manage to combine that manytraining methods um or like how is it possible um to combine uh aesthetics to combine um like really power uh muscle building all this stuff um that all these goals that you have with aesthetics even um how is it possible to put everything inone in one person in one king of waiters so when it comes to uh aesthetic um usuallyform follows function so if you have like um a good combination of like clean eatingand training independent of what you trainyou will develop a good physique if it'slike kind of resistance training that iswith a high intensity and close to muscular failure you will definitely develop a goodphysique if you're not eating candy the whole day so the aesthetic part is actually the the easiest of all because that is easy to achieve if you are just stick to a certain routine and the rest is um planning your your training over time and then um what i usually do is that i have like a list of goals with like statics or skills that i want to achieve and then i focus on one or two of them for a certain amount of time until i hit um the desired level i have and then i put these skills on maintenance so i don't need to like give you an example i don't need to train straddle planche a lot during the week because the straddle planche is something i have unlocked without doing it frequently so i don't need to put in a lot of effort i won't get better in it without doing it but i also will not get worse so i can focus on other different goals and then from time to time if i put it back on the list i put more effort in and then i maybe have a time where i have a solid full planche and because this is what i wanted to do and then i put it on maintenance again and probably javier later i can't do a full pledge anymore but i still will have the straddle and that is basically for all other things um you can't have big one or m numbers the whole year you you have a competition phase where you peak towards high numbers and then you have a phase of like two or three months where you definitely can wrap out a lot of weight and then afterwards you need to go back to train your technique improve your muscle mass so you need to go more towards other goals and that is just structuring your training basically and then over the years the the maintenance list grows you know like now i have it all unlocked but five years ago i need to put in a shitload of effort to like have a front lever to have a plan to have a muscle up and now it looks easy i can do it without training it because the people don't see me training it but they see me doing it and it's like he can do it without training but that's just not true um i have a certain levelwithout training it oftenum but if i want to improve i need to do like the work as everybody else so i didn't yeah okay so so do you think in a few years you will have the full planche unlock so you can do it all year long that kind of depends on my priorities so at the moment since i'm like doing a lot of squats and getting back into the squatting because i now finally can do it i had a knee injury that like sorry like my gym is located in notlike the the best quarter of the citythey're already uh celebrating uh new year's eve but the funny part is that this interview will probably go live on new year on the last day of the year so yeah yeah so uh i kind of lost it what did i say um i asked if you can uh lock the full planche one day and okay right now yeah so um probably not because i will gain a lot of mass on my legs obviously now training it a lot and that probably will give me some regress even on the planche because i'm at the moment don't want to put a lot of effort in planches so probably i will have a hard time doing straddles because i'm at the moment i'mnot too interested in the planchebecause i had it on the schedule for like five years now just looking for for something else and maybe it will change i don't know can't tell yet but at the moment probably notokay but i could do it so if i plan to do it i could promise you to have it on lock that is all about training and priorities yeah and it's a good thing um because uh i see it in life i want to be able i want to know in my head that i am able to i don't know do this and this if i want to but i don't have to do it because i did right now i have different priorities and that's a good thing maybe the same thing for you for training you could be able to do the full planche um like um all year long or like maybe um yeah you could lock it if it matches your priorities if i put in the work then yeah yeah niceand all plans requires a lot of work yeahi think so um because it's still it's i think you can tell more but it's not comparable to the straddle planche um because it's like it's another big big step over the straddle planche right yeah for the most like also from the coaching experience consider the time that you that it took you to reach straddle and then the same time again to really have a solid full range from the beginning of uh working out or from tuck planche too from the beginning where you started uh planche training okay like it definitely can be different for individuals but like this is a good thing to plan with approximately because the the conditioning for joints and ligaments just takes a lot of time it's not only about muscles like the conditioning part is very very tough i don't know who invented this element butlike saying let's put our whole body weight on the shoulder girdle on a straight arm it was like uh pretty pretty crazy dude definitely so because it's like not healthy and not a smart thing to do like a planche is all but natural so um it's that's why it's so hard to do because it's not a position that humans are made for and that humans probably also should doum so but that's also why it's so coolyeah that's what i wanted to say everything that isn't natural or like that is hard to get etc uh it's the things that are uh desired in in the human psychology um yes you um also offer the king of weighted workout programs to combine skills and weighted um what is uh and we also have a small uh offer for the people for the listeners um what is the the um special thing about the program to combine skills and weighted how does it work so basically during the programs it's not split up in skills and weighted or like static training dynamic training i just consider a skill as a certain exercise for a muscle group basically so if you have a pull day then the front lever is a pull movement just a regular thingto train like before or after pull-ups uhkind of depends on the program but it's just implemented as an exercise for muscle group xxx same thing with handstand push-ups or like overhead exercises so a handstand push-up or a pipe push-up you can't consider it a skill or you simply can't consider it overhead pressing work and so your body doesn't really care if it's an overpress with a barbell or if it's a handstand push-up regression so you can like implement it the same way so it's kind of orientatedon the the classic gym training if you want it so you have like a list of exercises and certain sets and reps and the the skill is nothing special it's just an exercise that fits on that day in that program because it trains this muscle group with this intensity and this amount of volume and um this is a pretty good approach becauseit's easy to scale it's easy to developover time and you don't need to really kind of handle the skills uh special um just the how you program the skills is a bit different from uh lifting exercise uh special for the statics because uh static constru con muscle contraction is something different than a dynamic one but in the end the the approach is kind of thesame so in the programs and also in my training uh skills are nothing special it's just aregular exercise that uh i implement for uh a muscle group and then depending on how high the priority of the skill is um i implement it in the top of my training to be freshand to really put in the work for itand if it's like on maintenance it also can be uh a bit later in training yeah okay so it's all about priorities um and uh implementing it into yeah in the right place of the of the workout and then you you need to consider uh some other factors like if you need a lot of explosive strength so it would be not a smart thing even if muscle ups are not your number one priority to put them at the end of your training because explosive strength requires not to be pre-fatigued and then you need to put it up as a prettyhigh priority in your training or at leastat the beginning of your training to uh have it with a good quality and same goes forstatics that you are not advanced in um because the the amount of concentration you needum to be able to hold a static you need to do it at the beginning of your workout because if you're like if your nervous system is fatigued your body can't like um how do you say that in english so can't tell your muscles to contract um in the way they need to do to hold the skills so statics if you're not advanced in thestatic i would also definitely do at thebeginning of the training because you needa lot of concentration and also a lot ofstrength and that you have most likely at the beginning of your workout okay sounds good so yeah we will put it in the description for everybody who is interested in checking all the king of weighted programs in your shop there isa 10 discount with the code coronation 10and yeah that's nice to combine it um question that also happened um happened was askedis um yeah man ask him how i do three handstand push-ups um easy but i can't do uh military press or overhead press uh with my body weight um how is this possible uh what what can you say about this one because a lot of people think oh if i can handle my body weight uh calisthenics is like you need to activate more muscle you have to coordinate et cetera it should be easy to do a military press with body weight why isn't it like this so first of all also a barbell lift is a kind of skill and skills always require specific work because the movement pattern is similar but it's not the same so your body needs time to adapt to this new skill even if it's a barbell lift so you probably have a solid amount of strengthif you already can do a handstand push-upand this will definitely transfer a lot toan overhead press but the movement path iskind of different on overhead press because on a handstand push-up you have a lot of body lean so you're also not moving your whole bodyweight because it's not perfectly alignedwith with gravity you have like some slight angle in it and you you won't go for an overhead press like this as you kind of do on a handstandpush-up so um 100 body weight on anoverhead press from the strength effort isdefinitely harder than a handstand push-upbut then on the other hand a handstand push-up combines more muscular coordination because you have the balance component in so just don't compare it because you you can't really compare because you can max out uh an overhead press pretty easy but maxing out a handstand pushup will probably be not possible because balance will always be the limiting factor so just consider it two different skills that have a huge carryover to each other but uh it's just different movements because of the leverage or the angle or yeah because the the bar path is different on the overhead press and the balance component is different okay okay so just not compare iti think that's the easiest thing to do let's uh take an exercise like uh the pull-up um and um people are asking how um does the training method differ between weighted and dorian's one rep max even though it's the same exercise uh can you have a like tell us more about the training program the programming um for these individual goals one rep max endurance and like weighted i don't know 32 kg on endurance for example so um if you're going for high intensity training so really really really heavy training close to one rm you definitely need to consider working in different phases so um the easiest example would be to period imperial plan to plan your training pretty linear that means you start with i don't know easy example you start with three times eight reps in the pull-ups you do that for like a certain amount of time like four to six weeks and then you go for uh three times six three times four three times two three times one to give your body time to adapt to the loads to give your system time to adapt to the loads and also important is uh stay away from failure because um when you always train to failure you kind of pretty fast out train a rep range and you can't add weight anymore you can't progress because you can't give your body time to adapt if you always train to 100 because then there's end no time to adapt because you did hundred percent then you need to change the system um that you train to adapt so like if you're working out a regulative like stay at least between like four and one rep in reserve if you go for 1rm training and really progress