Today's guest is a hand balancing genius and super strong, the Norwegian mover Sondre Berg. We're talking about his training habits, how to progress in handstands and his takeaways from his injuries. | SONDRE BERG | About Talent, Handstands & Superhuman Power | Interview

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gennaio 21, 2021

SONDRE BERG | About Talent, Handstands & Superhuman Power | Interview | The Athlete Insider Podcast #37

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The text of the interview (translated automatically):

 you always have this you know people are  naturally talented and good genetics and   stuff you know but in my experience those are  the ones that fall off the wagon the easiest you gorillas welcome to the athlete insider  podcast by gornation my name is phil and today's   guest is somebody who was often requested in the  comments the norwegian mover and uh yeah somebody   who often shocks the calisthenic scene the  hand balancing scene with uh some really really   impressive skills in hand balancing in  calisthenics i'm really happy to welcome   you to the show sandra burke thank you  philip it's an honor to get invited and   nice to talk to you nice to talking to you as  well um you're like uh really let's let's say a   different athlete a really versatile  athlete you seem to combine a lot of   stuff so i'm really looking forward to look  a little bit deeper in your head into your   workout advice workout schedule etc to kick  off who is andre how do you present yourself   uh well i uh have been doing um calisthenics  street workout movement you name it   for about nine years now wow um so it's  been a while it's been a journey yeah   and in the beginning um i didn't really realize  that that it was a thing you know i've been   i was lifting some weights you know being an  average gym goer nothing special for a few years   just because i wanted to pack on some muscles  and stuff you know the regular thing and i mean   at some point i just got demotivated it wasn't  really any fun and i remember watching youtube   videos of people doing like human flags  and muscle ups and stuff and i was like   i gotta learn this [ __ ] um and i mean from  there it just kept on rolling i was like i started   just wanting to do like a human flag was my  main goal because i think it looked so cool   and a handstand push-up that was like my  main two goals in the beginning and then   i had to learn a handstand in order to do a  handstand push-up you know and then i learned a   human flag and then muscle up and i didn't really  realize that it was a thing until i met some other   people doing the stuff and they were like yeah  we're doing street work out and i was like street   workout what the [ __ ] is that and you know  from there i i was just totally hooked and it   was everything all that i was doing um and um at  some point i started competing and within three   or four years i think i won the nationals and  then in some at some international competitions   hong kong in beijing for the super finals in 2015  or 16 i think i don't remember but lately though i   haven't really been competing and doing street  workout that much because at some point i sort   of lost the joy of training for competitions  because there were so many other things that   i wanted to learn and focus on so i sort of felt  like distracted from my own goals when i had to   prepare for competitions so i sort of moved  a bit away from the street workout scene so   to say and getting more into like movement  and hand balancing and still doing a lot of   body weight strength training but sort of  combining it and trying to be creative and   just exploring my own thing you know um so yeah  that was basically my my story with movement nine years in the game uh like nine years of  movement i i think i could have expected it um   because uh your your performances are really  insane uh like i watched your your last pose   uh like insane stuff for example i don't  know the what was it nine uh handstand   clapping push-ups uh like this is stuff  that is really really impressive and um   how how old are you right now i'm 29 29 so  you start with 20 so not even like as a as   a kid or something no no i was uh before that  i was yeah i mentioned i had like a few years   of being a couple of years three years maybe of  just being like a an average gym goer just going   to the gym every now and then lifting some  weights but nothing really special there but   from i guess i was 10 years old i was a skater  kid i mean i was competing in skateboarding and   skateboarding was like my whole life up  until i started university more or less   and i started struggling with injuries and  stuff and sort of needed a new addiction   and somehow i stumbled upon this movement street  workouts uh things yeah and and the ball just   kept rolling in yeah it's already gotten yeah  sorry yeah it was sort of my new skateboarding   yeah because i see a lot of people switching from  skateboarding to street workout because it's not   only a sport i guess i didn't skate myself but it  seems like you you switch from really a lifestyle   something that you do in your free time and not  it's not workout workout but it's like a lifestyle   it's how you spend your time with friends etc yeah  it's it's it's much more than just working out yes   indeed okay um right now 29 years old coming to  the heart fact how heavy and how tall are you   i'm 179 centimeters and usually around 80 kilos so  between 78 and 82 depending on the christmas time   yeah like now i'm pretty happy now i'm uh now i'm  almost 82. okay you know a lot of family dinners   and a lot of nice food and yeah some beer and you  know uh that is how it is and you don't feel your   uh performance dropping right because the posts  in the last day they are like uh from from now   oh yeah they're from now but obviously  when i am a bit heavier some of the moves   are noticeably more difficult like plunges and  and one arm pull-ups those are probably the   moves i notice it the most on but i know that  when new year's is over and i'm back at the   back at it it's going to drop down pretty quickly  again so i'm not too worried about it good   so it's sort of like putting on a four kilo  weight west for yeah for free or so and then yeah   true yeah uh can you take us with uh like nine  years ago uh you started with calisthenics with   a street workout you had like three years of  basic strength training in the gym how did   your beginning and street workout when ago did it  go easy were you already able to do some pull-ups   how was the beginning well for me pulling  exercises has always been like a weak spot   i remember pushing strength has always  sort of come rather easy or easier to me   we all have our strengths right so  i remember struggling with pull-ups   like when i was younger and we were having like  physical education and stuff and i couldn't   even do a pull-up so i remember  struggling hard with the pulling part and   after starting with calisthenics it took  me about a year to achieve a muscle up while it took me six months to do a  freestanding handstand push-up wow   um so um like i said we're all  different and some people they   take like front levers and muscle ups and one  arm pull-ups it's rather easy for them to achieve   and some people struggle with handstand push-ups  you know for me that sort of road has been a lot   easier but i'm still struggling hard with the  pulling exercises i mean i did my first uh   proper full front lever this year after  nine years wow yeah i'm not kidding wow   so it's obviously about a lot of things like what  you're predisposed for like genetically and also   like the uh mechanical advantages of your body  type so i have rather short arms making pushing   easier because i have not have i don't have that  long of a way to go in my pushing because my arms   are a bit shorter but then in front levers and  planches i need to have a much steeper angle   making the muscles much more weak in the position  so they're more difficult and in addition to this   um pulling strength has like always  been super difficult for me even though   i've been working as hard with them always  working on my weak spot obviously but yeah   okay yeah that's that's a really interesting  part because um i i before you said that with   your genetics etc i wanted to prepare the  question that um if if it's uh something   genetical is it something that you can influence  is it something that changes in your life but   it really depends on the mechanics and the on  the biomechanics i guess um yeah so um yeah and   you're like you seem like a really scientific guy  like somebody who is really uh like structured etc   um so that's something that you analyzed  yourself or how did you get to this conclusion   well i i do a lot of reading obviously  and i also have uh i'm i'm um engineer um   electrical engineer but we we know our basic  physics so some some things even though i'm not   a specialist in biomechanics you know uh some  things uh can be deduced rather simple with   uh regular mechanical physics you know um  and obviously doing a lot of reading um but it goes without saying that anyone  can do most things some people need   to work harder on some things while others  take other things easier that's how it is   but it's not like it's an excuse i mean i could  have given up front lever after four years of not   attaining it but i didn't and some people might  say it's not worth it but um yeah for me it's uh   important to sort of prove that i uh i can do it   even though i have to spend 10 years yeah crazy  but it's an impressive story because um yeah   as you said like a lot of people would give  up after a few years of not attaining it and   like you're like having really good results  in the pushing movements in handstand etc   um yeah take us um to the time that you prepared  for your competitions and that you took uh part   in your first competitions um maybe also in  combination with your uh let's call it weakness   in in pulling strength um how how did they go the  for the competitions how was that my first time   in the nationals i think i got fifth place  um but i mean street workout wasn't really   big in norway it's still not very big  but it's growing like it is worldwide and i just remember uh being so stoked about meeting  so many people like training the same and   competition was more about just meeting people  and getting inspired and stuff like this   and that's sort of what drove me for to  do competitions uh in the in those three   years that i i think three or four years that  i was actively competing um and like you said   obviously i had some weak spots but everyone  has their weak spots so i tried to focus on   elevating my weaknesses but still focusing  on my strength you know i wanted to show off   my style and what i was good for and then i was  just trying to be like average struggling to to be   average in in the parts that i was struggling with  so yeah i was never much of a never that good at   doing like high bar freestyling either so instead  i compensated with developing like sort of like a   freestyle uh thing on the ground like doing flips  to handstand stuff and um sort of uh compensating   for not being that good in the bars and i could  do some pretty cool free freestyle stuff on p bars   as well and then i i just had to learn like 360  and some basic stuff just to sort of just do it but that was ultimately what drove me away from  competing as well though because i felt that i   had to do a lot of things that i wasn't really  enjoying um when i was preparing for competitions   so that was also very ambivalent in that i loved  going to competitions meeting a lot of people   and just having a good time you know but at  the same time i sort of started branching out   and going my own directions and i didn't really  have time to focus on what's needed in order to   perform good in these competitions okay yeah i can  well imagine because today's competitions are like   built to for for most competitions are built for  complete athletes so those uh who like combine   uh dynamics with aesthetics um and um yeah it's  it's hard to um because i when i watch your social   media you're like really focusing on the on the  hand balancing on the uh the pushing part etc and   then i can imagine that it's hard um to develop  and to not get i don't know distracted uh from   from having to focus on the competition's  rules and not on your on your goals on   your personal personal goals yeah and and also  i've like gotten so much inspiration from other   sort of movement scenes like um  doing these acrobatic moves and   some capoeira stuff or even break dancing in  a lot of hand balancing stuff like you said   so i i really like exploring these uh different  paths and sort of um going with the flow there   what what athletes uh do you follow uh to  get some inspiration for your next moves etc well there's so many uh and mostly now it's uh  athletes doing uh completely different stuff   like even some people doing contemporary  dance and some people doing tricking and stuff like this and but um i like one of my main  source of inspirations from this sort of time   where i was sort of developing my my style was you  know sci monster right yes yeah simonara is he's   got such a clean style sort of a blend between uh  calisthenics and breakdancing and he's doing a lot   of crazy stuff um so he was he has definitely  been a huge inspiration of mine um but now i i take in everything i get from  different different places okay yeah   because like you seem really open-minded  for a lot of stuff um because you're not   uh like as i said not too much focused on  the competition's rules but really taking   some stuff from tricking taking some stuff  from breakdance from hand balancing and um   yeah creating your own style which you  which you sum up in movement i guess um   so um yeah um take us in your workout schedule  for the week um if you want to combine so much   stuff and if you have like so many things to  work on how do you put everything in one week well i usually divide between play  sessions and strength sessions   and sometimes mobility and hand balancing  sessions as well so often i do two workouts a day   um i'm doing a phd so i sort of have to be at  the office like eight hours a day but usually   i i take like an hour lunch break where i go do  an hour of mobility and handstanding at the gym   right next to the university and then i  usually have a workout in the evening so   five yeah five or six times a week that would be  like proper strength workout focusing on my main   strength goals you know training for planches  front levers hands-down push-up variations and and stuff like this and then sometimes  i go to like a gymnastic gym to do some   tricking or acrobatic stuff and practice practice  my acrobatics in a safe environment and usually   i have a tour a couple of times a week with  climbing as well because i'm i'm really happy to   be climbing as well and i mean i mean you  get pretty strong uh from doing climbing   and bouldering as well yeah so it's sort of  complementary and it's also a way of moving   uh in the in the walls obviously but so much fun  that's true it's it always um impresses me when   i like watch uh the ninja warrior stuff um where  the climbers and the boulders are really the ones   uh who are like uh having it so easy with uh some  obstacles where like hallucinogens athletes or uh   i don't know what other sports like have it really  really difficult but all this grip strength hand   strength but also like the scapula stuff um that's  really impressive for for that um crazy so you   sacrifice your lunch uh for for a workout well uh  yeah obviously i eat also though but uh instead of   sitting down and eating for half an hour i i  maybe uh throw down a couple of boiled eggs and   go and do some hand standing instead yeah  impressive so yeah the results that you have   like um it's really impressive to see and  what do you think is your secret uh is it   is it your genetics is it your discipline is it  your nutrition is it your um workout approach   scientific workout schedule etc what is it that  makes you this strong i would go with consistency   and obviously smart training motivation  and having fun like obviously when you're   doing a hard strength workout it's not always fun  but what you achieve in the long term is a lot of   fun and what you can do with this strength so i  think for me to stay motivated that has sort of   been the secret uh to focus on using this strength  to do something that i i think is a lot of fun and   to use it to do other things than just doing  for example if i'm training handstand push-ups   i can use handstand push-ups in being  creative in my movement on other   in other sorts of moves and sort of seeing a  relationship between me building a stronger body   and being able to move differently  and my sort of always my ultimate goal   has sort of been to to just be able to do whatever  i want with my body if you know what i'm saying   i want to like see somebody do something and i'm  like i can do that i just need a couple of weeks   to get the technique right or just when i'm  laying in in my bed just daydreaming and   just some moves pop up into my head and i'm like  yeah i can do that if you know what i'm saying   yeah so you want to prepare your body for for  the stuff that you want to do like um to be   a really versatile uh yeah and to be able  to do a lot of stuff at the same time   yeah because maybe that's also something that um  drove you away from from fitness training because   um i feel that uh yeah fitness training a lot of  people are going away from it because it's quite   monotone and you do the same thing the  whole time but it also often you feel   that it's strength that you can't really use in in  daily life or uh that doesn't really support you   and achieve yeah well yeah well i'm not to say  that all of that is inferior it's just that for me   it doesn't work but i i  think that as long as people   are active and do something they think is fun or  that they can stay motivated then it's perfect   we all have different goals right so um  yeah and i think there's a lot of people who   just hasn't found their thing yet because a lot  of people they don't exercise because they think   it's boring but there are ten thousands  different way of exercising uh i mean   doing team sports or doing fitness or doing  parkour or dancing i mean everyone uh will   everyone think thinks exercising is fun they  just haven't found their sort of way yet   so i think it's important to explore yeah  because that's really already a takeaway from me   a lot of athletes say that you need discipline  and i think it's true but you can also support   discipline or support your body being able to show  more discipline if you just have fun during your   workout and for example if you would have stuck  with your um professional calisthenics career like   competing and learning dynamics learning front  lever pull-ups whatever you would need a lot of   discipline because your body doesn't you you don't  feel like it's it's the best thing for you but if   you exchange like discipline a little bit for fun  um that you uh you do whatever you want to do um   i think you need you need less discipline you need  less willpower because you like to go to work out   yeah i think it's important to find like a  sweet spot and a balance um that makes you   motivated and in in continuing now in the long  term those that get good are those that stick   with it for a long time and you always have  this you know people are naturally talented and   good genetics and stuff you know but in my  uh experience those are the ones that fall   off the wagon the easiest because when like when  a going gets tough they're not used to working   hard and for them it gets boring because they  actually have to put in a lot of hard work to get   at a certain level so they like reach like a like  an advanced level super fast and then they're like   uh they they realize that in order to get  better they have to put in so much work   and that's not something they're used to  yeah um so i think uh those that get far are   the ones that are able to keep  motivated and push push themselves true   um yeah there are a lot of listeners i guess  who are interested in your handstand secrets   let's call them and you also made a made a course  about it uh do you want to um yeah take us maybe   a little bit in detail what people can improve in  their handstand and maybe also in combination with   your handstand course that you uh yeah have on  your website etc um that people can can check out   to to learn more from you yeah well if i guess  my approach to hand balancing is a bit different because obviously to get a perfect handstand  handstand there's so many things   that needs to be in place right you  have you need the strength you need   mobility and balance and technique  and all this stuff you know but   i think people generally or not everyone but a lot  of people they tend to overthink it and focus on for example the perfect form way  too soon in their journey and   obviously a lot of people will decapitate me for  saying this but i'm not saying that a good form is   not important because it is especially if you want  to take your handstands and your hand balancing to   to a high level at some point but what  people also need to realize is that there are some limits regarding mobility  especially shoulder mobility for example that   can take a year or even more to achieve the  mobility needed to do a perfect handstand   so um it's basically impossible to do a  perfect handstand without this mobility right   so there's not really any point in trying  to enter a perfect position if your body   is not capable of it so you obviously need  to work on this mobility on the side but focusing on actually getting comfortable upside  down learning to balance and just being in the   position and getting uh getting really good at  balancing that should be like the main priority   and obviously focusing on mobility and all of this  stuff on the side and then applying it to your   handstand once your handstand is stable enough  to think of more than just balancing uh because   you know if you if you're already struggling to  balance for five to ten seconds that's i mean your   your brain is working at 100 cpu just to just to  stay there and if you're trying to introduce like   uh like uh tilt tilt your pelvis and people talk  about stomach in and all this stuff if you're   trying to implement this into your handstand when  you're already at 100 cpu uh doing your balancing   you're not going to get much out of it so um  i think that's generally a problem um because   it is important and you need to work  on it but there's no point in trying to   do something your body is not capable  of and sort of punishing yourself   like oh my form is so [ __ ] i need to do  this i need to do this so everything you're   thinking about when you're handstanding  is doing something that you're not really   mechanically capable of because you lack  the mobility so do your handstanding learn   to balance focus on on that stuff and then on  the side you work on mobility so that you can   eventually be able to enter this perfect handstand  position and also a lot of people tend to be a bit egocentric in their training because when  they can balance a handstand for five seconds   they never use the wall again and the wall is your  friend that's where you should do your uh mobility   or not your mobility but your form correcting  exercises that's where you learn to enter a good   form handstand and then you you you implement  that into your freestanding handstand when your   freestanding handstand is is good enough for you  to be thinking of more than just keeping balance it's totally relatable um i see a lot of  people um because like a lot of coaches etc   are um yeah uh telling you have the henson has to  be perfect and this is the way how it's perfect uh   like even the head uh the head on the chest like  really advanced advanced advanced uh and so that's   a very that's the worst tip ever given to anyone  and it's from gymnastics and they teach the kid   this kids this because kids have a tendency to  flare their head out when they're looking down   but never ever should you learn a handstand   looking anywhere else than between your hands  in the ground okay so not even the head straight   well you could at some point focus on tucking in  your head a bit but if you're looking in between   your hands between your thumbs more or less  uh your head won't be flaring that much out   so if you just look at that spot then you  shouldn't think too much about your head   okay uh in my opinion um because looking like  straight backwards or upwards that's like an   advanced hand balancing skill and you shouldn't  be even thinking about chasing it before you can   do like 30 60 seconds of a regular handstand yeah  and it will have no mechanical advantage either   okay it just sort of feels easier to enter a good  form in that position but yeah okay the question   that maybe some people have in their heads now  um aren't you afraid of uh like uh injuries uh   when you first practice not the perfect form what  can you tell to to these people or to these doubts well handstand related injuries in my  experience i mean i've been coaching   people from scratch for five years uh at least  a couple hundred people and in my opinion   handstand related injuries are almost always  in the wrists um and you won't get more   uh tension on your wrist from doing a not perfect  formed handstand i mean some people have heard   saying that if you have an arch back then you  will get a back injury but just to illustrate i can stand like this for three minutes  and it's not really hurting my body right uh so you won't get a lot of tension  on your back from a not good formed handstand   so um the most important thing in preventing  handstand injuries is strengthening your wrists   which a lot of people tend to uh overlook so  from the beginning from my first years even   i remember doing a lot of research because  i always do that when approaching new moves so i probably looked through all of the  handstand material available at that time um   and i at that time i started doing wrist  strengthening exercises and i have never had any   wrist problems whatsoever and i always teach this  to to all of the people i teach handstanding to   um general wrist conditioning is the best  thing you do to prevent hands-on injuries   and you need to stick to stick to it yeah and you  need to also ensure progress and uh progressively   increase the load on your wrists as well so that  they actually get stronger i mean you can do the   same thing for 10 years without getting stronger  if you don't apply more pressure along the way   true okay so yeah what what role do basics  play in this like push-ups pull-ups dips etc   well having strong shoulders and a strong core is is a big advantage um because you can get away  with uh not having a perfect form because you're   strong enough to hold it some people would say  that this is the wrong way of looking at it but   i i think i think not because for me that has  also been like a thing because i've always been   quite strong so for me to enter a new position i  can get away with not doing the technique perfect   because i'm strong enough to to sort of  cheat my way into the position and then   once i'm able to hold this position i can focus  on perfecting the form and making it efficient   which is much easier if you're already  able to enter the position right yeah so   um obviously i'm not i i think good  form and technique is very important but   i don't think it comes first it comes  second uh not just because it's sometimes   easier to approach it in this way but also  because motivation is a big factor i mean   you can you can spend one year preparing your  body so that you eventually will be able to   enter a perfect handstand form or you  can learn to handstand imperfectly   within a few months and then spend the next nine  months uh doing handstands and having fun while   uh developing this handstand  into a perfect handstand if you   if you get the idea yeah makes sense so do  you still uh do basics in your workouts today well what's basics anyways uh like like  regular push-ups tips ups yeah no i i don't   why well i can do them for warm-up but  i i don't think it's any fun okay i mean   i mean at some point when you can for example  push-ups um if you can do like 50 60 70 push-ups for me it doesn't make any sense  towards my goals because i want to get   i want to get strong i want to focus on maximum  strength so i always develop all of my moves in a way that makes them more and more  difficult progressively more difficult   so that i'm always and i was i also  never liked rapping okay um i like   working maximum strength um and not too much  repping also because i don't want to i try   not to focus too much on hypertrophy training  because getting big is not really an advantage   in in this game it's better  to focus on strengthening strengthening your muscles your ligaments  your joints your nervous system and focusing   on uh pure strength at least that's uh what  i think is fun and motivating but obviously if you if a lot of people want to focus  on packing our muscle and stuff and   if that's the case then then doing basics in  higher rep schemes schemes and focusing on   hypertrophy training it does make a lot of sense  okay cool also a role in your um career as an as   an athlete uh i think plays your nutrition  um so maybe let's go a few weeks uh before   before christmas now um what do you what do you  usually eat and how do you how is your nutrition well through my years of being an athlete  i've experimented with a lot of things   you know i've been doing low carb i've  been doing no carb i've been doing slow   carb i've been doing high carb high protein  you know i've been trying all of this stuff   uh thinking that it matters a lot uh  but in the end i don't feel that it do   as long as i generally eat healthy  and get my macros properly i mean i sort of found it uh pointless to  obsess over um over dieting because   i remember learning quite early that dieting is  like 80 percent of fitness stuff like this and   such [ __ ] okay i mean at some point if  you're doing like bodybuilding and you're doing   uh professional sports then it might be the thing  that differentiates you from the other ones in   the top level you know and it's obviously  important to be healthy like generally but   i don't think that for me it's not worth obsessing  over because actually spending time working out is   what's going to to get you there so i feel like a  lot of people focus too much on things that matter   less and obviously it doesn't  matter to have a have a good diet   but it's not like having a good diet  will make you super strong super fast   i mean working out consistently will make you  super strong and dieting will most likely make it a bit more efficient but you you will never it's  not like you you can just have a good diet and   do one workout a week and that's enough i mean  okay um yeah do you have some standards in   eating i don't know not eating this and this yeah  based on my own preferences i do because i notice   eating sugars i don't feel  well and i don't perform well   obviously i eat sugars but eating  like a lot of sugars makes me feel bad   so i try to stay away from it generally obviously  i like the the milk chocolate every now and then and i also noticed that i get generally a better energy level and less  energy swings when eating more not too much fast carbs so whole foods in  general and i also don't respond very well to   uh to flour like wheat flour i get  like a bit bloated and uh yeah you know   so i generally stay away from from bread and  stuff like this also generally like now and it's   christmas i'm home at my parents place and they  get like new like fresh bread every day and um   fresh bread it's nice yeah good for you so  but yeah it's all like in a general sense and every now and then on a sunday i can get some   nice bread to to sort of just have a nice  sunday breakfast you know but uh in a general   manner i i stay away from from sugars  and bread and eat a lot of whole food a lot of eggs okay yeah uh me too yeah exactly   nice um do you take any supplements because people  are always um asking about supplements no no no   i mean i i do have protein powder available and  sometimes i take it with me when i'm going hiking   or when i know that i won't have time to to make  a proper meal then it can be a nice replacement or   addition to you know some if i bring some bananas  an apple a couple of eggs and a a small small bag   of protein powder then i know i'm set for for  the next eight hours but it's not not like i like i take two protein shakes a day or something  no okay and also if i i'm in a hurry and i just   need something to fill my my stomach with like  super fast and it's also a nice alternative but   i generally like making food and good tasting food and i think that eating proper food is is nice true um yeah  talking about the next topic injuries uh   what kind of injuries did you have in your career  you're doing a lot of stuff that is really putting   a lot of pressure on the wrist on the shoulders  etc on the on the elbows and did you have any   injuries uh yeah i always always have an injury  i can't remember the last time i didn't have an   injury okay um i mean at some point when you're at  some level it's to expect to to get an injury uh   every now and then sometimes it's it can be like i  pull a muscle and it goes over in in a week or so   i have this weird thing i always or  not always but often i i pull my lats   uh i get this sort of sore lats uh if  i especially if i try doing planches   without warming up okay and it's incredible  how you how you can do that when you know uh   that this will happen even though i've  been doing this for nine years and i'm like   yeah but i've had quite a few more  serious injuries than that though some are actually permanent as well um in a  competition in hong kong in i think it was 2015 or   16. um i did like a one arm keeping muscle up to a  360 and my 360 sort of went a bit wrong so when i   caught the bar i didn't have didn't have any time  to sort of dampen the movement so i sort of just   oh okay got this uh got this really jerky landing  and because it was in a competition i i was full   of adrenaline and stuff i didn't really notice it  and i finished and i actually won the the world   cup stage there well so i was like super happy and  i didn't really notice it but i i woke up the next   morning and both my arms i couldn't lift them up  and they were my shoulders were totally [ __ ] for   uh three months i think and ever after that  that's like five years ago i'm still having   pain in my shoulders so i did a lot of x-rays  and mris and stuff like this and it turns out my   my labrum has broken in in on the back side  of the of the joint and it's not really   they i was told that if it doesn't heal  by itself within the first few months then   it won't heal so it would need surgery to to heal  but luckily for me it's a very restricted range of   motion that hurts for me and it's like whenever my  elbow is behind my back and i need to use my bicep   so you know classical sort of hefesto movement  yeah or or if i do the supinated back levers i   can't do that at all it sort of just pinches back  here and it just i lose all all power so at that   time i learned my first festo like a few months  before that and i was never able to train it again because i knew that if i was going to do  the operation or the surgery then it would   take a year to sort of before i could start  training properly again and then it would   take probably one year more to get back where  i was and i i can definitely live with this   i just need to stay away from that exact uh  movement and in the end it sort of turned out in a good way also because because i wasn't  able to train for a festos i sort of wanted to   train for an alternative so i started  training for inverted muscle ups   which is also a bicep intense move right it's  sort of the same just in front of your body so   i don't need to get my elbows in the back here and  that way it doesn't hurt my shoulders so i learned   that sort of as an alternative and that's sort of  a nice representation of how i deal with injuries   because you can always train something and in  my experience uh often you just need to sort of   alter the exercises in a way that sort of moves  around the injury i've had a bunch of uh i have   this chronic case of uh tendonitis in my elbow so  on the outside here i also had uh the the golfer's   version on the inside but mostly it's the the one  on the outside that uh that hits me and at least   for four months four or five months each  year i struggle with this in the full season   oh well uh not necessarily okay uh there's no  real pattern uh it just sometimes flares up and   i always know what to do because it's uh i just  need to do different grip variations for example   training one arm pull up is usually  triggering this pain but uh it's only painful   in the bottom motion if i have a supinated grip  and it's also painful in the top mo in the top   range of motion if i have a pronated grip okay so  i figured doing it on rings where i start with uh   where i start with a with a supinate  pronated grip and then end up in a then   i don't feel the pain at all okay um and  uh you know practicing for planche 360s   at some point i landed on top of my thumb  with my whole body on top of it sort of   and i totally [ __ ] up my my thumb or my i  don't remember what this joint is called anyways   but i ended up having to have a  cast on this and immobilize it for   a couple of months but i figured out that okay i  can't handstand doing this unless i do it on my so fists two months i was like doing 90 degree  push-ups and handstand push-ups on my fists   to to to sort of walk around the injury and  i always find a way and sometimes if i'm like   totally immobilized due to upper body injury then  i focus on flexibility and lower body mobility   so and many cases i end up learning new things  when i'm injured because i have to focus on other   things that doesn't hurt and that's how i also got  into training for the one arm handstand push up   which was my ac joint that sort of got loose  and i couldn't do any uh horizontal pushing and   it was like one and a half years ago and i was  doing a lot of 90-degree push-up variations   for to to make my handstand pushing uh  difficult enough for maximum strength training   and then i couldn't do any of the  horizontal pushing because of this   ac joint injury so i needed to find a way to  because um vertical pushing didn't hurt at all   so i needed to find a way to make  the vertical pushing hard enough   so i i ended up starting to train towards the  one arm handstand push-up which i'm still doing   and still far away though but i have this  uh dream of doing it one time in the future   um so injuries tend to sort  of be an eye-opener and   also forces me to focus on uh things  that i've been neglecting before   well i think that's yeah i think that's an  inspiration for everybody who is dealing with   injuries etc to just work around it and to be  creative and still listen to your body i guess   but yeah i'm not saying that people should just  keep pushing it i mean you need to learn to know   your body and and to if it hurts you definitely  shouldn't do it especially if it hurts more after   but just doing nothing is generally not a good  idea either because depends on the injury if you   broke your arm then obviously you need to stay  still for for a couple of months but generally   training is good for recovery  you just need to adjust it sure   nice to sum up we're closely coming to an end  of the interview um what are the three main   things that you want to give to the listener  to improve his workout and his his results uh stay open-minded and experiment  with the with things and train smart be smart when you're injured and have fun  yeah nice yes at the end we always have some   quick questions quick answers um what do you  prefer pizza or burger he's a pizza okay are   you a dog or a cat person dog dog okay do  you have a favorite location for holidays anywhere warm okay yeah the the the german guy  the norwegian guy is sitting here in the cold in   the winter and dreaming of i don't know thailand  and uh all the all these warm-ups but i do i do   enjoy going to places where i can climb or scuba  dive or but you can do that so many places so   it's hard to choose and you're also doing winter  sports right yes but that i can do in norway yeah   that's true um yeah you uh do you have a favorite  calisthenics athlete somebody or top three uh simon adda sai monster would probably  be my my favorite yes okay it's funny he uh   he will be the the episode before  you uh so it will be it will be   a worthy uh interview guest before do you have  a favorite book that you want to recommend no i mean i i'm doing my  phd and i've been studying   for so many years now i never had  time to enjoy books that are not academic and i mean i could i could i mean i could talk about uh power engineering  book but uh that's probably not too interesting okay uh if you could only follow one  person on instagram who would it be got you i would follow my girlfriend okay good answer um  the best calisthenics event you've ever visited i i really enjoyed the world cup stages in germa  i've been there two or three times i think okay   great yeah we're coming to an end how can people  get in touch with you how can they learn from you   yes uh well instagram obviously sandra berg with  an underscore in between but i also started a   youtube channel quite recently so there's not  too much content yet but there is more coming   there's already quite a lot but um and i also  have my website which is bergmovement.com   where you can get access to some recorded  follow-along classes mostly for beginners   but also people who want to get sort of an insight  into how i structure the workouts and what i focus   on when training strength movement there's some  handstanding there too and i have this handstand   course on the graphi app which can also be found  on my website just clicking through the links   on my website there great we will also put all the  links in the description so everybody who wants to   check out your crazy videos on you on instagram  your new content on youtube or your website and   the app um everything is in the description  thanks a lot for your time sandra i am really   happy that we that we realized this and thanks  for everyone listening till the end and also   asking to interview you because it was a really  insightful interview um different kind of athlete   different kind of training method and yeah thanks  everyone listening to this over an hour of content   and if you like this episode give it a thumbs up  give it a comment uh who should be interviewed   next thanks for your support and sandra you can  say goodbye to everyone and you have the last word   all right well thank you for having  me it's been a pleasure and um   thanks to all the listeners if you managed to  listen through this hour of uh endlessly talking   uh but um yeah i hope you find uh found some good  lessons and some inspiration and feel free to   send me personal messages on instagram i  usually answer everyone if you have any   particular questions and check out my courses  and stuff like this i'm just getting started with   my business so all support is appreciated and  you can expect much more to come in the future 


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