Here at Shot of Adrenaline, we love interacting with our members. It’s always great to talk to people from all over the world interested in using calisthenics to improve their health.
And sure, amid these awesome correspondences we’ll occasionally get some spam email from supposed foreign dignitaries interested in transferring millions of dollars to us (just our luck, we never remember to get back to them!), but it’s well worth it to talk to members of the SOA family.
One thing that we run into a lot is people writing us and telling us that they don’t think they can handle our programs because they’re “just too old”. Well, if you’ll permit us a colloquialism an older person from yesteryear, we think that’s a bunch of hooey.
Fitness has no age restrictions. If you’re committed to your health, nearly everyone can take measures to improve it. And if you work really hard, you can be in better shape than ever.
There’s no better example of this than our friend Marcus Bondi. We’ve had the chance to interview Bondi before, and recently featured him in a profile of older people still kicking butt, so we thought we’d dig a little deeper to see how Bondi is going stronger than ever.
Finding Calisthenics … And a New Name
Very few people find their true calling on the first try. On the contrary, some people’s early ambitions have nothing to do with what they became known for. For instance, before building a galaxies-wide fanbase, Harrison Ford just built cabinets.
And so it was with Marcus Bondi. Though he got into calisthenics training when he was around six years old, his first career was a long way away from fitness — he ran an advertising agency. But he always remembered fondly the his earliest days of training.
“My parents were ‘health & fitness nuts’ back in the 70s,” the 51-year-old recalls, “so I learned a lot from them! My dad was really into ‘old school’ body weight and callisthenics training and I trained with him when I was a kid. It ensured a respect for physical culture which I carry to this day.”
After twenty years running his agency, he decided that was quite enough, and made a 180-degree career change.
“[A]ll I yearned for was to train every day at the beach; so I sold the agency and became a trainer at Bondi Beach! The sun, the sand, the surf; sensational!”
And since he was making such a dramatic shift in occupations, he figured there may as well be a different name on his new business cards.
“I became ‘Marcus Bondi’ after I started my YouTube channel,” the Australian native remembers. “I had to think of a name, and I was ‘Marcus’ from ‘Bondi’ – so my channel became MarcusBondi and YouTube took off, I became known as Marcus Bondi around the world, so it’s a name that’s kind of just stuck with me for life now.”
A guy that’s been doing calisthenics for over 40 years has to tire of it at some point, right?
Actually, not so much. Although he’s done other sports for recreation throughout his life, like hockey and MMA, calisthenics has always been where his passion lay. So that’s where his training is focused.
“Training is about physical culture,” he says. “Being outdoors and part of the daily sunrise is a beautiful and priceless gift that everyone can enjoy, so I try to train every day at sunrise and sunset. I focus on high intensity bodyweight and calisthenics strength and agility training. That means lots of pull-up and muscle-up and push-up variations and hill/sand sprints!”
When we got to ask him about his favorite exercises, he told us they were (in no particular order) the rope climb, chin-ups and push-ups (“because you can do push-ups anywhere, anytime!”)
Why no weights on his top 3? Well, as he tells it, “In over 45 years of training, I have never had an injury from bodyweight training.”
And as a true calisthenics master, Bondi trains for reasons beyond looking good. He trains for a feeling of well-being and health inside and out, as well as the innate need to care for oneself.
“Your body is your most precious material possession,” he writes on his website. “Respect and treasure it!”
Respecting and treasuring your body also means fuelling it properly. That’s why Bondi follows a diet plan that’s worked for him for decades. On his website, he says three ingredients in particular can help fuel results quickly: ginger, leafy greens, and molasses, the last of which he says you can eat by the spoonful without adding anything.
But his favorite foods are fruits, specifically mangoes, apples and bananas. When we last spoke to him, he gave us his six biggest diet tips. Here they are, exactly as he put it:
- Avoid alcohol – it kills all your wonderful training, dehydrating muscle & sapping strength progress.
- Eat lots of vegetables – all the time. Floyd Mayweather eats a huge bowl of steamed broccoli with every meal.
- Drink lots of water every day! Easy!
- Eat the cartilage/connective tissue from chicken; it’s great for your joint strength/health.
- Eat the flesh and skin of mangoes – so many excellent vitamins and enzymes.
- Avoid white bread, rice, sugar, etc
Bondi, in true calisthenics fashion, never set out to break world records. But according to him, “it just happened.”
Now that may be a bit of an oversimplification, as breaking world records usually takes hard work — usually.
In Bondi’s case, it did. But it began by chance when Guinness World Records was looking for someone to break the record for rope climbing. They reached out to Bondi, and he agreed, despite not knowing Guinness Records even had a TV show. He broke the record and it still holds almost six years later.
Since then, he’s gone on to break more records, “just for fun.”
Here’s his current list of world records:
-5 meter rope climb (60 second time limit) – 27.8 meters
-Weighted Chin Ups (60 second time limit) 18kg/40 lbs – 30 reps
-15 Supinated Muscle-Ups
And his list of Australian records:
-6 x One Arm Pull Ups (Each arm)
-2 x One Arm Pull Ups w/16kg Kettle Bell
-4 x Chin Ups (Full rep) with 90kg weight belt
-31 Chin Ups + Body weight (80kgs/176 lbs) in 60 mins
-35 sec Front Lever Hold
-15 x Front Lever Pull Ups
And apparently that’s not enough for Bondi, who plans to break a new record every year, “as well as breaking World Records every year at the National Fitness & Health Expo.”
Bondi is a true testament to the fact that you’re never too old to do what you love; never too ingrained in a career to chase your dreams. We’re sure Bondi will be breaking both records and expectations for years to come.