Age vs. Calisthenics

The video below comes from a 45 year old man who contacted me last week about a recent article. It was within that entry where I discussed the importance of patience and consistency. The man seen below subscribes to a similar philosophy. He recognizes that true fitness does not entail a 30 day transformation, but instead is a lifelong journey.

He mentioned that he has only trained with calisthenics for two years. He opted for this style of exercise because it is fun yet difficult, and can be performed almost anywhere. He continued by stating that it may take over three years to achieve a full planche that will last but a few seconds. He is not intimidated by the challenge, but instead welcomes it. He truly embraces the grind.

In his own words,

“The joy of this process is the constant battle with myself and this growth is the true reward…”

Based on what can be seen above, there is no denying his growth. What this 40+ year old man has accomplished in less than 2 years of calisthenic training is incredible. He has literally surpassed countless fitness professionals who make a living out of marketing much more complex programs to the masses. And he did so without any elaborate equipment. The bulk of his routine does not require anything but the ground or a bar. He has become his own gym. He could go anywhere in the world and achieve a quality workout.

It is this type of story that truly deserves more universal attention. If we ever wish to develop a more healthy and active population, we need to stop complicating the simple task of exercise. So while some may grow tired of me preaching the potential of simplicity, I would rather be a broken record than one that blurts out nonsense and deception. I could scream all day about simplicity and consistency and I’d still be a faint whisper in an industry that is built around meaningless noise. More and more fitness professionals seem to be less concerned with health and fitness and instead focused solely on dollars and cents.

Fortunately, there are still some who are able to see through the deception. The man above is as good an example as any. He is an inspiration on many levels. Not only has he defied age, he has done so with nothing but his own body. His training success is not dependent on anything but his own willingness to get up and move. He alone accepts the responsibility of what he will or will not become. His future lies solely in his own hands.

Many in this world could learn and benefit from this man’s example.


  1. once again there are no excuses, we all can learn from this gentleman.
    His application of the K.I.S.S. methodology of training is inspiring to say the least..

  2. Excellent post as always Ross. This guy is seriously impressive too. I’ve been considering giving Calisthenics / Gymnastic workouts a go for some time. Things like this just serve to get me motivated to make it happen!
    This guy has 12 years on me! If i start now, where will I end up by 45! I’m willing to find out!

  3. I’ve altered my own workouts from mostly free weights to mostly bodyweight exercises in the last couple of years. I believe the man featured in the video might have been using another form of training or sport prior to adopting an exclusive bodyweight routine. If not, he’s in remarkable shape for just two years of training. A lot of people start training while they’re in their teens, early twenties for vanity sake or maybe for some particular sport, very few last more than a couple of years, if that. Working out has to be seen as a lifetime commitment or it won’t last, and you must be patient, or you won’t last.

  4. Inspiring stuff. True dedication. Same if you want to learn any skill – little, often, every day, do it because you enjoy it. I’m 54 and take pride in the fact I can do finger/thumb pushups and also pullups to backward rotations on door lintels – much to younger people’s amazement!

    ps looks like the chap’s from Britain?

  5. ON LifeHacker there was someone talking about how the 7 minute chart of exercise was enough to get you into basic shape but to really develop anything beyond that you’d need weights. Here’s the counterexample- this guy clearly IS his own weight!

  6. @DoomRater, At the end of the video the guy is doing weighted dips. It no longer is bodyweight exercise/calisthenics when you add weight to squats, pistols, dips, pushups, pullups or any other “calisthenic” it becomes weight training.

  7. ^^LOL…..that’s stupid, who cares. He’s progressively training with what he feels necessary. One doesn’t have to box themselves into one way to achieve their goals. This dudes a BEAST!

  8. Hey Ross,

    I just purchased the book Convict Conditioning and I was wondering if you have read it and what you think about it? From what I have read so far the guy seems to know what he is talking about when it comes to calisthenics!

  9. Amazing!

    Can somebody tell what are those yellow exercise bars are called? It seems like these were advertised a few weeks back at the top of your page, but unfortunately I didn’t bookmark it.

  10. Scott,

    Part of me is cynical because Bas Rutten has a body weight book, that Matt new age markter guy has one that says body weight only-which you blew that argument to shreds in Never Gymless’s earlier CHapters. Ive heard alot of people on other blogs plug Concivt COnditioning but, what can it do that Ross’s material can’t? Ive seen afree PDF of it online with Tim Ferris-Goolge Time Ferris and CC youll see it, and in that version nothing about conditioning? I saw that and was like WTF????
    I cant speak for everyone else but I’m so neurotic about variety- one month 5×5- another all boody weight- another total body 3×15, another just bag work and burpees-I hate the same crap all the time-absolutely hate it that way.

    The video is cool in this entry and that guy does moves Iv’e never even seen before-as always fresh and exciting material you bring us.

  11. @Sahie – You could easily make the same with PVC pipe and a few connectors. The price would be minimal compared to what you’ll pay for a commercial fitness product.

  12. I’ve heard the alledged “Paul Wade’ the supposed author of “Convict Conditioning” is Pavel Tsatsouline, could be an internet meme, but who knows? This person, “Paul Wade” claims to have spent 19 years on prisons like San Quentin(California), Angola(Louisiana), and the federal pen in Marion(Illinois.) Three well known prisons, well known for their brutality, and thousands of miles apart?? Hmmmm, a little bit overkill. CC claims you can work up to 5 one arm handstand pushups, I’m guess with feet on a wall. As far as I know, no human being has ever performed a freestanding one arm pushup, let alone done 5 of them. Of course they are talking about with your feet on a wall, but still????

  13. I just enjoy seeing the average person excelling in bodyweight exercises. To me I get more impressed with someone knocking out a set of dips than a set of bench presses. I hope to look like him when I get in my 40s. Dedication for sure.

  14. Really inspiring post! And that’s the truth, age is just a number. And love the quote about the process, it’s all about the process…hours and hours on the grind for a few seconds, but it’s well worth it.

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