I’m Vlad and I run outdoor calisthenics classes in the beautiful Leeds Meanwood Park.
I help people build strength, agility, flexibility and endurance with bodyweight exercises and gymnastic skills.
I’ve been doing calisthenics since 2008 and I’ve been a vegetarian since May 2015. I’ve been building a strong healthy body on a meat-free diet with calisthenics and weight training. I’m also trying to learn as many gymnastic skills as possible, one at a time.
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I came to Leeds in September 2011 to study at Beckett University. I’ve been doing calisthenics since my mid teenage years and found it shocking the city didn’t offer much opportunities for street workout. At least, I wasn’t able to find them despite being a keen walker ever since. It took me more than a year until I accidentally came across a horizontal bar in Leeds Bramley Park. I was so happy I wanted to cry, and pulling myself up on the bar felt like holding God’s hand. Few months later, I found calisthenics equipment at Norma Hutchinson Park and Horsfort Hall Park.
Prior to that, I exercised at kids playgrounds such as the one in Leeds Hyde Park. I did my pull ups and chest dips there. I adapted to training at kids playgrounds and really enjoyed it when I finally stopped worrying about what people thought of me. I even remember the place where I did my first street workout in Leeds, just a few days after moving into Woodhouse Flats student residence hall. I was walking around the area desperately looking for a pull-up bar until I saw a horizontal branch. I jumped on it and pulled my body a few times. It was not ideal and I felt awkward especially when students stood looking through the windows. I stayed however and did a few sets of 10 pull ups. Calisthenics was in my blood and I wasn’t prepared to give it up.
One day, I got so inspired I wanted to show others how to exercise outdoors, as an alternative to going to the gym, and began making tutorials about basic calisthenic exercises that could be practised at any children’s playground.
Presently, my training is more consistent than ever and my passion for calisthenics keeps growing. I’m learning new skills and improving old ones. I also run outdoor classes for those who want to get strong and learn impressive bodyweight skills.