Hi Ranjit, lets get the usual stuff out of the way first. Tell us about yourself and your sports background, from the past till present.
I’m 23 years old, I’ve been doing bodyweight training for roughly 7 years or more. I started with the basics and in the last 2 years I’ve developed to more advance movements. Ive always participated in sports and have always been an active person.
You have recently been to the Street workout World Championship in Kazakhstan to compete. What are your thoughts on sponsored competitions like these? I know you weren’t too happy about some of the judging decisions and the way the event was held? Can you tell us more about what happened in astana?
I have been to about 6-7 competitions, I’ve judged 3 and the only one in kazakhstan was a federation I hadn’t yet been a part of. Astana was great and all the competitions are wherever you go in terms of meeting new people, sharing ideas and meeting friends etc. the judging was very biased in terms of the “Presidents Day” in kazakstan. They needed their country to win as well as countries they are close to. The judges admitted that the scoresheet was changed and fiddled.
What impact has calisthenics had on your life besides having a healthy and strong body?
Apart from all the things you have mentioned I think the impact it’s had on me is it has a spiritual part of me, its something which is not common in many sports. It’s my way of self control, self discipline, it has definitely helped me to understand myself.
Most people have the impression calisthenics is all nice and perfect. But we both know especially on social media there can be downsides like jealousy and ‘bitch talk’. How do you deal with haters and situations like that?
It is what it is. Ive been putting work in for many years and so has my team. I’m a hater, but im realistic, I see through a lot of stuff and people in this movement.
I see you sometimes use additional weight in your workout routines. What would you say are the biggest benefits of working out like that, and who introduced you to this type of training?
I don’t use them often, my main focus is clean form and perfection. No pauses, 20kg muscle ups and 10 reps, this is a big goal for me. I was not really introduced to any sort of training programme but I saw a few guys like Metin/Little Beastm, Zef, Sai, Lee, Solo, people who I have a good connection with. I found my passion was doing weighted muscle ups with a 20kg plate so I focused on this a lot.
How did you work your way up to 20kg muscle ups?
With the muscle up with 20kg I watched zef do it first and a few others too. So about 2 years ago I tried and achieved it in a false grips, I didn’t understand the difference from a normal explosive grip. I then started training using this method after I saw a first time try from solo nero in the ultimate calisthenics conditioning video we did. It motivated me to start training it and if you watch my videos from the past year you can see how my reps and little reps were in pretty bad form and to where I am now. Very strict, no pause, very clean and precise 20kg muscle ups.
My aim is to always keep as strict as possible so it looks like bodyweight muscle ups, keeping knees straight, complete deadhang and pulling in a straight motion. Its one of the hardest things to accomplish. I am aiming for about 10 reps and I am currently on 6. Now I can do 20kg muscle ups as warm up sets and just conditioning, I like to stay on 20kgs and no higher because its a perfect weight to not get injured.
Where do you see the value in muscle endurance based stuff like the Ultimate set or Bar-Barian requirements?
From years back I always did endurance and I think each athlete trains specifically to their needs. I used to do high endurance but my training changed due to wanting more sheer power and strength. I keep my endurance sets to specific weight and average numbers, so in the long term I’m still building strength power numbers.
There aren’t many things which can hold you back from training but unfortunately there is one which does! I’m talking about injuries. What is your personal experience with injuries, and how do you deal with them?
I don’t get injured often and I never really have, its more of a thing of when I get a small injury I know I need to rest. All my injuries have been from full planche’s so I’m not really doing them anymore but sticking to the straddle planche. I listen to my body, I’m clever when I train and I know when my body needs a rest.
You once told me that mobility and stretching is a big part of your training. In your opinion why is this such an important factor to you? Is there a specific routine you follow, and what does it involve?
I think each athlete should be mobile and flexible, I think its important. I keep very basic stretches and mobility work. I have to do this otherwise my body feels very stiff so it loosens me up when I stretch or mobilize. I have no routine, I try adding it in everyday and it takes about 30 minutes.
You’re quite well known in the calisthenics game, tell us roughly how many people a week ask you for training advice and tips? Any funny stories?
I get about 5 people at the least a day messaging me asking all kinds of questions. Typical ones are, what’s your bodyweight and height, how can I achieve muscle up etc.. I try to answer all of them, theres no funny stories except when I’m having a bad day and someone just messages me out of the blue and starts telling me life stories, paragraphs of information or asks me alot of details. I get pretty annoyed sometimes, just ask me straight up what you need.
You’re travelling a lot across the country with your Recession Proof Body Team. What’s the general reception of your workshops? And how do you think you influence other peoples training?
RPB workshops focus on strictly form, basics and the importance of both of these aspects. We did about 12 workshops last year and they went great, we travelled a lot around UK. We get great feedback and people learn a lot of new stuff which you cant find on cheesy youtube videos from people who havent got a clue or any idea.
You’re part of the original “Hardhitterz” scene which formed in London. What do you think makes this scene so unique and special from the rest of the world?
Hardhitters is a group in London consisting of about 4 different teams who came together last year, without realization some people started calling it hardhitting on the bars and not many people do it like this, so then it got out there around the world and people started noticing this style of training.
Just clean and hard reps. It’s really a system of training which was mostly motivated from people around the world, i.e. Zef, Vital, Ether, Metin, so athletes and countries is where we took our style and based it on how they did it. Its a different format of training that’s why we don’t have many in the squad. It’s a very personal underground system of training and we purposely train in this circle, a form of trust, friendship, dedication and people with the same passion. We are all great friends, hardhitters is unique, it stands out because not many people do it like this anymore.
In April 2015 the FIBO is being held in Germany, are we going to see you there?
I will definitely be at FIBO this year, I was supposed to be there last year but I had an injury so I told the organizers I wouldn’t be attending. But now I’m fresh I can come, I’m not battling or doing any competitions but more seeing friends and having a good time on the bars. I will be there with Lee, Solo and maybe Sai too.
Ranjit thanks for talking to us. Any last words?
Thank you Paul for this interview. Everyone enjoy their workouts and train hard and most importantly smart. See some of you guys at FIBO, Peace