Bar-baric training

Started writing this post last weekend, then did my usual trick of getting distracted and not finishing it. Think it’s about time I posted it now, a week later.

The weather here in London has been amazing for the past week (of course this weekend it took a nosedive). See!

I spent the Saturday, Sunday and Monday last week outside; training, sight-seeing in London with my friend Jacob from Japan and on the Monday doing the strenuous task of meeting contractors to discuss the planting of a meadow in the glorious Surrey countryside. You know you’ve got a great job when it involves chatting to a guy about taking up turf whilst playing frisbee with the clients dog ;)
The training on Saturday was with a bunch of people who do bodyweight exercises (calisthenics), mainly on bars and rings, often on those workout stations you sometimes see (and, in my case up till recently, wondered what they were all about) in parks. I connected with Jay on YouTube after seeing a video he posted (check out his channel) and asking a question, and he pointed me in the direction of some Facebook groups and forums. Turns out there’s a big UK community of people who train like this, and a load of us turned up on Saturday at the workout park in Primrose Hill.
Gotta say I was nervous as f*ck when I arrived. Basically, there aren’t many girls who train like this – it’s hard and it hurts, plus it seems (“seemed”, I should say, as I feel like I’m on my way with it now) quite unattainable. I think the guys were a bit like “WTF, there’s a girl here?!”. Luckily, though, as I walked over they were standing around the parallel bars, and I was asked if I wanted to do a set of dips, which happen to be one of my strongest exercises (years of martial arts = good triceps!). Got my reps in (13), got complimented on my form and called strong (woo!) and that was that. Spent the rest of the afternoon in the sun, doing some crazy team sessions and getting pointers on various techniques, including that elusive handstand.

The team stuff was bonkers – all four of us hanging off the bars, the first goes and does pull-ups (from a dead-hang – one of the boys gave me a boost haha!), then the next person goes, whilst all the others just hang there. So you end up knackered by the time it comes back round to you. The hanging canes your forearms, and holding on was killer. Did a similar sort of thing with push-ups, but luckily I can do them reasonably ok, although having to hold yourself in the low position whilst waiting for your team mates to go hurts. Mad.

The best bit was seeing one of the guys, Miguel, who had awesome muscle-ups. I’d seen loads on YouTube, but these were a class above. It was like he just levitated over the bar. Really cool to see. Someone else, Dan, could do wide-armed handstands and gave me some pointers on mine. Also fun to watch them playing on the rings, doing back and front levers (bit like this).
It’s left me feeling really geared up and motivated about my training. Got lots of tips to improve, and generally feeling happy about the progress I’ve made since I stared two months ago. Also, what’s not to like about this?
Training at the park

And yes, ladies – if you click the picture you can go to a bigger one ;)


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