The picture on the left says it all. Kevin Soler is “the man” in terms of his ability to do some insane calisthenic moves… like do a human flag with someone standing on him! Cheers kid!
Kevin has quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the world of Street Workouts. This week, I had the honor of asking Kevin some specific questions about his workouts, diet and insight into body weight training. He has an incredible understanding for what it takes to become a world class calisthenic athlete.
Interview with Street Workout Champion Kevin Soler
1. Tell us about how you got started in calisthenics and how long you have been practicing?
I got started like 99% of the people in the calisthenics game… by watching Hannibal for King. He has inspired me in the way that he could do things physics could not explain! And visually it was impressive! Plus, I was not the kind of guy who went to the gym and watched myself in the mirror for hours. I wanted something more, something like a sport, something big! He was like flying from those bars which made me feel like, “Hell yeah! I am gonna do that too!”
I have been practicing for one and a half years now. I am a really focused person and a workaholic. I started training 7 days a week 2 hours a day… sometimes even more (4 hours during summer time under a good 45 degrees Celsius…) The only reason why I can do these kind of moves is because I train for them. I eat them and dream them, which means I am constantly renewing the way I see them. I like to see them from different angles and film them too to see how it could be improved. In few words, Be DEDICATED it will pay off…
2. What is your current workout routine, exercises that you do, and how do you split your routine?
Well, I have two kinds of training. First off, I train using only full body every time by free-styling (meaning doing several kind of exercises). Free-styling is when you do different exercises and you don’t “plan” them. You just go and jump on the bar and “show off” and then you let someone else take the bar and you try to do even better than he did.
I train 5 to 6 days a week 1 to 3 hours a day depending on my work schedule.
I sometimes train legs by doing some squats or Jump roping which I absolutely love as it is cardio and a really good endurance exercise, which works your core as well.
When I plan my session I rest a very shot time between exercises (something like 30 secs maximum). But my planned session are based on basics like push ups, triceps extension, abs, dips, and PULL UPS. Otherwise I sometimes train for one arm “tricks” so I only do one arm exercises which is really good to add in a week training schedule…
I would like to add too that beginner should not think too much of what to do , and how much to do… Street Workout is also a sport, which is “free”, meaning that you can do whatever you want and there is not any specific program… And what works for someone does not for someone else. Considering this, it is almost impossible for someone who does not know you to make a program. Remember the first rule “start to know yourself before you want to know anything else.”
3. What is your nutritional philosophy?
Easy! Fat in the morning, proteins (only natural) at mid time, sweets before working out and and a light meal in the afternoon.
I follow what we call Chrono nutrition for example, today I had some cheese and cereal bread in the morning with a kiwi.
At lunch I had 2 vegetable cakes and 1 piece of turkey. And finally I had some tuna and a little bit of beans…
I think it is a good way to maintain weight as I never wanted to be “big.” I weigh 65 kgs (143 lbs) and that’s perfect for freestyle, you don’t want to be too heavy…
Finally I would like to say I am 100% natural. I don’t even take any protein shakes or any supplements.
4. What has been your biggest inspiration to practice this style of exercise?
First of all, as mentioned before Hannibal but I then discovered Zef which has since been my biggest motivation! Form above the rest.
5. Do you ever incorporate equipment into your routines such as weight vests, barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, etc.?
Really rarely… I mean sometime I use weighted vest but otherwise I use other people as my weight. 😉
6. What has been the most difficult body weight move to master and what move are you working on now?
The hardest one is still the full planch as I never trained properly for it. The full planche is one of the hardest move so you won’t be able to achieve it unless you have a training schedule for it…
I am mastering a few one hand based combos, and some crazy human flags [Todd’s note: I asked him to clarify what he meant by “crazy human flags”…]
Unfortunately, I can’t as I keep them secret for the few competitions coming soon but be sure it will be some nice moves (I don’t think any one did it before) and that’s one hand based. Also I love front, back and side levers with people on top of me. But the flag that got me known for is the one with the kid hanging on me.
7. What was it like to compete in the Street Workout World Championships in Latvia?
Awesome, no word can describe until you do it… Organizers were great and I am looking forward to meet them again this year…
8. Do you ever see the sport mainstream or do you think it will stay more niche?
Mainstream for sure. I have been really busy with all tvs and magazines lately sending me emails and calling me… This sport is getting big!
Media has been interested as it is growing and they always want the most fresh news they can have. I guess it is also a really “visual” “catchy” sport which people watch and see as “impossible”.
9. What specific advice would you give someone that wanted to master challenging calisthenic moves like the planche, human flag and muscle up?
Keep at it ! Nothing comes easy and stop askig questions go and do, go and try and go and succeed…
Thanks so much Kevin! You inspire me to work even harder at my handstands, planches and flags and I know you will do the same for the SOA community.