Tag Archives: push ups

Intro to the Barstarzz

You may have seem them walking through the streets or parks using public structures as equipment for training. You might have been walking through the subway and seen one of their videos at that sketchy shop that sells everything from candy to underwear. Or you probably saw their crazy videos on YouTube and told yourself you would never be able to do what they were doing.

The Barstarzz is an international team of individuals that use creative calisthenics in order to stay in shape mastering their own body weight while building a natural looking but ripped aesthetic. I remember watching my first “ghetto workout” years and years ago when YouTube first started. It might have even been before that when I saw Hannibal for King hanging on monkey bars in the New York City playgrounds with his 8-pack and bulging muscles for minutes at a time. But he wasn’t just hanging there… he was doing pull ups, chin ups, muscle ups, dips, push ups, levers and every other body weight exercise under the sun. It was inspiring.

Eventually when I started going to the school in the Bronx, I found myself at the same parks in the bad parts of town, playing basketball, sprinting around the track and hitting up the monkey bars or any other piece of round metal that I could. It was tough being 6′ tall because many of the bars were much shorter in those playgrounds but I had to get creative and learn to contort my body. When I started at about 155-160 pounds it was easy to hold myself up with the strength I developed from sports but at that point I had never lifted weights enough to make an impact.

m_3054488_lTh2W4B0bve6

About three years later of serious training in the pool and the weight room for D1 swimming, I was the same height but packed on 65-70 pounds, topping out at 225 pounds. Even though my body fat percentage never increased (I entered school at about 9% and when I hit 225 I was actually about 6%, but usually in the 8-12% range during the regular season) it became so hard to manipulate and control all that weight on those bars with my long arms. Nevertheless, I always kept body weight exercises in my workouts. (That mostly included a lot of core work, swimming obviously, pull ups, dips, and push ups.) It was hard to focus on a single type of workout as I trained how I wanted but also how I needed to as well.

Now that’s not an issue and I have been watching more videos of the Barstarzz online. The movement has grown to an international level and guys that weren’t known years ago are know representatives of the group. I am subscribed to the group on YouTube and follow some of them on Instagram. As the movement has grown and more people are participating, their workouts and exercises have become more creative and inspiring.

And THAT is the reason why this article is being written! Not because I want to share my background of controlling my own body weight on a small scale, more so because I want to share the Barstarzz and what they do with anyone who is not familiar with them. I want to share it with you all because they are inspiring. They inspire individuals that can’t afford to pay for memberships to gyms and supplements. They inspire people who walk by them on the street. They can inspire everyone. There are Barstarzz followers out there that are sentenced to a life in a wheelchair, but the idea of creative calisthenics allows most of the population the opportunity to exercise, stay in shape, create a great aesthetic, and do all of that in a way that fits their needs and lifestyle. If you check out their YouTube page, you will see some great stories about who they have helped.

The greatest aspect of the Barstarzz is the support within their community. A lot of bodybuilders love to put other people down to make themselves feel better, powerlifters in different weight classes sometimes look down on the smaller and weaker guy, athletes come in all levels from amateur to professionals, but the Barstarzz truly want to see every first timer with a great attitude learn to muscle up and human flag one day. They travel the globe and United States running clinics to help get everyone started. And they actually stress technique in order to prevent injury and properly perform the movements. Crossfit is a great form of exercise but there are so many “bad coaches” (there are for everything, but Crossfit can be very dangerous) out there that the risk of injury is high. From my experience, I find the Barstarzz to be different, but they are just the face of this movement. People have been working out creatively using nothing but their own bodies and some tree branches or bars for hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands of years.

barstarzz

So look up these masters of creative calisthenics, get some ideas and SAFELY stop by a local park with some good bars in order to see where you hang. Make sure to bring a friend for safety reasons and also because it’s always more fun with someone else! Hungry and Fit approves of the Barstarzz and their workouts as a great way to stay… hungry and fit!

You might also like…

Love Yourself: 30-Minute Total Body Blast [NO EQUIPMENT NECESSARY]

Hey, lovers and self-lovers out there! Today may be a day to splurge on chocolate, pastas, and fine wines (we are personally ordering pizza and kicking back since I work late), but it is also a day to show your body some love! You can’t be unfair and only treat your taste buds, treat your body too. Find 30 minutes out of your busy day to kick your own butt! In a kind and loving happy way. This is a home workout, you don’t need any weights–just keep moving! So no excuses! Keep a water bottle nearby.

30-Minute Circuit Total Body Blast

We are going to be doing a circuit of 10 stations for 1 minute each. Think you’re ready? Let’s do it!

1. Jump rope. Whether you have an actual jump rope or not, do this at a fast pace.

English: into the groove double dutch jump rope

English: into the groove double dutch jump rope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. Plie squatsMore information on these if you click the link, these should be done slowly.

Here's me with weights, but they are unnecessary for all

Here’s me with weights, but they are unnecessary for all

3. Push-upsMore information at the link, you can do them regular or knee-style, whatever your strength level is at.

Push-ups

4. Mountain climbers. These are quick. The faster you go, the more you burn!

5. PlankClick the link for more information. Make sure you’re doing this right or I’ll sit on you.

6. Supermans. For these, you are on your belly and you lift your arms and your legs, with your torso still on the ground. You go up for about a second and then down, and then up and down, etc.

7. High knees. Hold your hands/arms parallel to the floor at a high level and kick your knees up to try to get them to your hands. These are FAST.

8. Lunges. Hands on the hips in starting position, lunge out forward with one leg, then back, lunge out with the other leg and back. Make sure that back leg is getting low to the ground.

9. Dips. Using a bench, a chair, a couch, anything really, hold onto the object, facing away from it and dip down, using your triceps.

10. Russian twists. Sit up with your legs off the ground and twist your shoulders back and forth (your whole torso), hitting either side with your hands. Make sure you are doing a full twist.

X3. To do this full workout, you must do this circuit three times. And 1 minute at each station (use an iPhone, a timer, stopwatch, something to keep track of time). You may need rest in between, but get a sip of water and try to keep going. Keep that heart rate up and the sweat flowing. And if you only have 20 minutes, then you can just make it two circuits instead of one. I know you have 20 minutes to spare today before you spend it with your love or your friends or your pets. If you’d rather have a shorter, more repetitive 15-min workout, click here. And click here for more circuit training ideas.

Let us know if you have any questions, and as always, stay hungry and fit! Cheers!