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Men’s Health

Freerunning Workout Tips From the Tempest Freerunning Academy



Imagine yourself at the top of a flight of stairs with steel railing. Next to it is a five-inch wide, two-meter high wall. How would you come down If you are like most people you can go down the stairs. But if you’re Gabriel Nunez, the 37-year-old CEO of Tempest Freerunning Academy in Chatsworth, California, you only see options. You could sprint and jump into the wall, put your feet up and then jump and bounce off it and land on the stairs below. Or you grab the edge of the wall, lower yourself halfway, push your feet off and jump to the floor. Then you might hop on the railing, run down, and fly down to land. “Usually you start by climbing something,” says Nunez. “If this is easy, then you think about ways to do it in a more creative way. . . . Freerunning is a journey of discovery. “

This is how you’ll see any room with walls, ledges, and railings (or any outdoor space) when you start freerunning, the daring sport / art / way of life that is becoming increasingly popular – and can help energize your summer workout.

At the heart of freerunning is a simple concept: constant movement. Your goal is to be playful and creative, and to move quickly through a series of obstacles. Freerunning skills are the backbone of many Hollywood stunts that power soaring action star chase scenes – from James Bond and Jason Bourne to Captain America and Black Panther. Some of these stunt guys practice and hone their skills at Tempest.

Freerunning is an offshoot of the course that many believe was conceived by the French military as a new way of navigating obstacle courses in the early 20th century. But parkour focuses on “usefulness” and pushes you to find efficient ways to get around. In 2003, a British documentary called Jump London tracked three parkour athletes traversing London landmarks. Neither of them chased efficient movement; Instead, they exuded style, surprised the audience with their acrobatics and led the French parkour athlete Guillaume Pelletier, who coined the term freerunning. (Still popular with exercise enthusiasts, parkour suffered from taking themselves too seriously and was famously parodied by Michael Scott in The Office.) Nunez, who was in college at the time, was fascinated by how freerunning was the best took it out of parkour and fused it with imaginative, purposeful movements. Both freerunners and parkour athletes do similar tricks, but parkour athletes work through courses quickly. Freerunners aim to shine with acrobatics. If parkour! is for Michael Scott, freerunning is for Marvel. “That was athleticism at its best,” says Nunez. “But it was creative and there were no limits.”

Jonathan Johnson

Four years later, in 2007, RedBull launched Art of Motion, an annual freerunning competition in which participants are placed on a set course and asked to walk it and then judged on the difficulty and creativity of their route . Four years later, Nunez founded Tempest, a training ground, competition venue and classroom rolled into one. The sport – and tempest – have since grown in importance, driven in part by Instagram, an ideal platform for acrobatics. emotional. Tempest now has more than 193,000 followers on IG and studios in California and Texas. Chatsworth Studio is the de facto hub of freerunning, with trampolines to speed up your jumps, boxes to skip, steel bars to balance, and foam blocks for soft landings. Many stuntmen call Tempest home, but the gym also offers classes where average Joes fly through (or learn to fly through) obstacles.

However, you can learn the basics at home, and if you master a few, you can get your heart rate up in minutes. You will build upper body strength and challenge balance and agility, two qualities that are rarely trained in the gym. Experience can change your attitude towards fitness. “Athletics can make us change, grow, and evolve,” says Nunez. “There are no rules for that.” Start with these basics from Tempest’s best.

Think ahead in the air

Get up and walk around. Now make it clear to yourself: your eyes never have to look at your feet. They trust your legs to know what to do when you hit the sidewalk, even if you trip, so look forward at the obstacles you approach. This, says Nunez, is one of the keys to great freerunning.

It is much easier to maintain that confidence while walking because one foot is always on the ground. This is rarely the case with freerunning. Here’s how to build confidence using a low fence, park bench, or wide box by practicing the step jump, a basic freerunning movement. “It’s safe, efficient, and comfortable,” says Nunez, and it will forge explosive leg strength, test your inclines, and build shoulder stability as well.

First, climb to an object no higher than waist height, place your right hand on it, and then your left leg on it, bending your knee slightly. Move your right foot through the gap between your right hand and your left leg, then step over the item. Try to do 3 sets of 5 repetitions per side. Over time, you will be able to run and jump on the obstacle, then place your hand and step through it.

Get started with freerunning

Freerunning workout Sydney Olson

Jonathan Johnson

Yes, you can make a safe and jump on a box. But freerunning is more than that
a single stunt. The pulse of freerunning is “flow”, the ability to combine trick by trick without hesitation. If you, say, jump over a wall, land, roll, stand, run and hit a wheel sideways – that is flow.

Perhaps more than any other active freerunner, the 2019 Red Bull Art of Motion women’s champion, Sydney Olson, 28, embodies the flow. Olson, who served as a stunt double for actress Brec Bassinger on season two of CW’s Stargirl, began her career in gymnastics, which also challenges, but wanted, chain movements
a sport with more freedom. “Gym is very strict,” says Olson, nicknamed Cyndi Turbo. “With freerunning I can overcome fear and learn new moves in the same way – without being so regulated.” Without these limits, Olson can combine her favorite gymnastics-style flips and handsprings with easier jumps, rolls and tucks. One such simple move is the backward roll, which increases spinal mobility and core strength – and you will feel like a kid, too.

Start by sitting on the floor with your knees drawn to your chest, arms bent, hands close to your head. Roll straight onto your back. Once your upper back and head are on the floor, press your palms in, pull in your chin, and roll over the back of your head. Bring your feet under you and land on the floor of a squat. Do 3 sets of 5 to 10 a day.

Freerunning lets you advance in new ways

Freerunning workout corbin reinha rdt

Jonathan Johnson

Standard gym theory is that progress means adding weight to a bar or repetitions to a set. But there are other ways to measure it, says Corbin Reinhardt, who performed stunts in the movie Moxie. “When you go to the gym, your progress in your skills will be your PR,” says Reinhardt, who is 24. “There’s no PR here, you know. It just means learning a new move every day.”

This doesn’t mean it will tip over one day and jump off buildings the next. For Reinhardt, progress means variety and creativity. For inspiration, he looks at other freerunners on Instagram and then tries small, surprising changes to make their moves his own. “Sometimes I think of something in my sleep,” he says. On his IG feed, you can see him doing flips and jumps from skateboards, roller skates and for no particular reason in a full dinosaur suit.

Borrow Reinhardt’s approach with one of his favorite exercises, the box jump. Find a six-inch crate or platform, bend your knees and jump (yes, jump) on it, landing with your knees bent and your weight on the balls of your feet.

Do 5 reps, take a 60-second breather, then return to the box. Do the same jump, but this time turn your body to the right in the air and land on your left foot only. Do 5 repetitions, then repeat on the other side. Introduce your own variations over time. You will improve athleticism and balance, and improve your footwork for playground basketball and backyard day.

Freerunning teaches you to embrace falling

Freerunning workout Hunter Payton Mendoza

Jonathan Johnson

Whether you’re on the basketball court, playing with the kids, or in the middle of your first freerun after reading this story, there’s always a chance you might fall into the water. Learn how to fall properly and it will hurt less or not at all.

Hunter Payton Mendoza, 16, knows this. At six feet, he’s so powerful that he can jump on a 65-inch crate. But seven years ago, that wasn’t what he had to do for a flashback in the 2016 film Who’s Driving Doug. The headmaster asked him to drive down a steep hill in a wheelchair that had gone out of control. Hunter agreed – when he wasn’t buckled up. Also good: the chair turned around on the first try. Hunter jumped out. “If I had buckled up, my face would have been crushed,” he says.

Hunter didn’t mind falling because he had mastered the security role at the age of only seven. The safety roll is an important freerunning skill that can help you avoid injury whether you’re jumping off a park bench or a moving car. The movement helps to brake your fall and cushion the impact on joints and bones alike.

Advanced freerunners also use it to change directions and cover areas in a dynamic way. To do this, stand up and then step forward 3 to 4 feet with your right foot. Extend your right arm under your torso and towards your left foot and follow your hand with your gaze. Then, hop low on your right leg and place the back of your right shoulder on the floor. Roll over your right shoulder; You will end up in a half-kneeling position with your left foot forward. Do 3 or 4 sets of 5 reps. Start slowly and progress to do it at sprint pace.

A version of this story originally appeared in the July / August 2021 issue of Men’s Health, entitled “Spint! Jump! Roll!”

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Men’s Health

Zack George on Coming Back From Injury To Totally Dominate the NFG



Zack George last performed live in January 2020. Then the world turned into the COVID vortex, which was just slowing down. The events and competitions that are the motivational elixir of life for elite CrossFit athletes have all been moved to online formats, with Zack and his peers training in their own gyms and submitting videos for official review. Many top athletes have reported that, as you can imagine, it just wasn’t the same.

Zack stepped on the floor of a live competition for the first time since the pre-lockdowns at the National Fitness Games earlier this month. He won dominantly, which is even more notable after a hip injury that eliminated him from the online CrossFit semi-finals in May of this year.

The Men’s Health SQUAD team was there to see Zack crush the first two workouts on his way to the title, and a few days later spoke to him about his thoughts on what had happened, how it felt to do that again what he loved and his crucial advice on how to get the most out of your performance when you compete in your first competition of your own.

Read the full, exclusive interview and find a workout from Zack below so you can train like the champion.

MH: How does the body feel?

ZG: Actually quite good. I thought I was going to feel a lot more sore. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised at how good I feel.

When we talked on Friday evening, you had just won the first two events of the weekend. How many have you won in total?

I managed to win five out of six so I was a little disappointed not to win all of them. I finished second in the deadlift, bike, and power snatch. I thought my judge gave me two reps and I didn’t question it at the time, but when I asked her about it she said I didn’t have any. So she miscounted in my repetitions. So Reggie [Fasa] won that.

How long were you there for the first time live?

A year and a half? Maybe even longer. I went to Strength In Depth as an individual long before COVID. It feels like it’s been a lifetime.

How much did you miss it

It’s one of those things that you don’t know how much you’ll miss it until it’s gone. When the gyms all closed during the lockdown, people suddenly realized just how much they relied on the gym for mental health, not just physical health.

After just doing online competitions for so long, forget what it is like to compete in person. It’s a strange feeling. They don’t know if you actually miss it or what it feels like to stand in front of a crowd or against other physical athletes.

Going to this competition was a little nerve wracking just because I hadn’t done it in so long. I realized how much I missed it. That spurs us on as athletes and drives us on. It’s our passion to compete live in front of an audience and on the main stage you push so much harder. It gave me a huge boost in motivation.

Do you consider yourself a “gamer” who is successful in live competition?

Yes, definitely. I think I’m a pretty smart athlete who knows how to properly set up workouts and get them right the first time. Take the first workout at NFG which was rowing and running. Since I was in the final heat, I had the advantage of being able to see everyone else in the earlier waves. So I knew what the current fastest time was and worked out the splits. I had to do every lap in 2 minutes 50 seconds and get under the time.

I like this quick strategy element the most. For example, if you’re competing online in the Open, it doesn’t matter if you screw up three times as you can repeat the workout. But when you compete live, you have to get it right the first time. And I love that print.

You looked incredibly relaxed at those first two events, considering it was your first time performing live in such a long time …

Since I’ve been in sport for so long, I always practice my pace and make sure my laps are constant. You could see who the people are who aren’t competing as often as they were flying through the first workout trying to win it. But then they totally die and each round takes longer and longer. You cannot recover.

I’m lucky enough to be sponsored by G-Shock so I set my watch on the intervals I knew would win my workout, and as long as I was on the next lap before it beeped, I knew that I would be on the right track. I always control my time, but it’s a great feeling to have that buzz on your wrist when you’re well into the next lap. It’s such a good tool to use.

Am I correct in thinking that you are setting a new PB in the Squat Clean Event?

Yes. It was an 8kg PB and I felt like I had a lot more in the tank. My PB-Rein was back in 2018 and that’s not because I haven’t had the strength to beat it since then. But because I know that in a competition I need 155 kg to win, I just lift 155 kg. If I don’t have to push for a new PB, I won’t. I don’t do the maximum unless I have to and in training I don’t want to walk 100% because of the risk of injury and the stress on your joints.

On NFG, Dan Tai hit 165. Reggie failed on 165 so he logged his good build of 160. I had lifted 157.5 so by the time I went into the final exercise I knew I would have two events remaining when I got third or above, had mathematically locked the competition win. What I did on my second lift.

So I thought I’d jump the hell on 168 and then make it very comfortably. If I had felt a pull in my hip or knee on the second lift, I would have made it and would have been happy with third place, but everything felt great. So I think that in the future a clean of 175 kg is in there.

How much confidence that your hip was fine?

It was big. I haven’t lifted more than 140kg in training in the past three months so getting a new PB has been very rewarding. Both that all the accessory work I’ve done paid off in terms of strength and that my body can withstand the strain.

The whole competition was very leg dominant. It was brutal on the legs. Rowing and running, then wattbikes and deadlifts, assault bikes and thrusters, wallballs … everything was long-legged. Having so much volume on my lower body and feeling good was a great confidence factor.

What was the toughest training for you?

The first two competitions were back to back with a five minute break in between. After running and rowing the first workout, I thought I went out too hot and my legs felt chipped. But those five minutes were enough time for me to recover. In the second training [rowing and sandbag carries] it all came down to mental strength. It’s not that the sandbag weighed so much that you couldn’t physically walk. The only reason people left was because their legs were burning so badly. But you can mentally block that out. For me, the only reason I started running as soon as I had that sandbag on my shoulder was because I was mentally broken. And I wouldn’t let that happen.

Do you feel that with the win you are well equipped for the season?

It does. It gives me confidence when I go to my next one, the Madrid Crossfit Championship in October, knowing that my body can handle the load. It’s a tremendous thing mentally – to be sure of your ability to handle the volume.

What advice would you give to a first-time competitor?

The first thing you should do is make sure that you really enjoy the weekend. Lots of people put a lot of pressure on themselves and take it all too seriously. If you make a mistake, you dwell on it and in the end have not enjoyed anything from the experience. Nerves are normal, but don’t be too strict with yourself.

Second, try to take away a lot of the things that you have learned. Perhaps it is a weakness that you would like to leave and work on. Or maybe it is something that you are much stronger at than you thought you were. You may find that you need a better pace for longer workouts, or you need to be able to push harder at sprint events. Incorporating these lessons into your training is key to improving your next competition. It’s half the battle.

Third, consider your diet. It’s so important and a lot of people get it wrong. You need to pack enough easily digestible and easy-to-eat foods. My goal is always to have one proper meal throughout the day and then eat a gummy sweet and malt bread with a lot of moisture.

New competitors can often do four workouts in a day and eat nothing. You can get so involved in being in the right place at the right time at any event that you forget about the food. You need food if you want to be at your best. So eat, eat, eat!


Complete a 20-calorie attack wheel and 20-calorie series within a minute. Then rest for three minutes. Perform a total of six rounds.

“I managed to do 5 out of 6 laps and get the repetitions under a minute,” says Zack. “Let the tunes run and send them!”

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Men’s Health

Lee Crooks ready to ‘Offload’ as Hull FC launch men’s mental health programme



Hull FC becomes the newest rugby league club to run Rugby League Cares’ offload program.

Offload is an initiative by former professional rugby league players with the aim of helping men improve and maintain their mental health and fitness.

The project has already been successful in a number of different clubs in Yorkshire and the Pennines and, through their foundation, the Black and Whites will be running a pilot project in the city.

The FC will play six hour-long “games” from the Community Hub at MKM Stadium with the help of former UK international Lee Crooks, who wants to use his own life experiences to help others in his hometown.

The program starts on Thursday October 7th and is open to all men over the age of 16. Sessions are offered to make the “squad members” comfortable when they want to share troubling issues or mental health issues.

Crooks will lead the program and over the course of six weeks he will use the rugby league as a platform to discuss topics like stress and coping, build positive mindset, analyze negative thinking and build resilience.

A part of Offload since its inception, the FC Hall of Famer is running a number of programs across the country and encouraging men who may be struggling to participate and get involved.

“It’s for like-minded men to come in and talk and discuss,” said Crooks. “We deliver slides and talk about various things.

Hull FC legend Lee Crooks.

“It’s just about getting people to come in and chat and talk about the problems they encountered in life or during lockdown, and it’s all provided by former rugby league players who have suffered from some mental health problems themselves.

“When I signed up for Hull, I got married when I was 17, and while I didn’t have a lot of rugby issues, I struggled with the family, being a husband and having two young children when I was 20.

“Because of the family side of things and the insecurity of being a father or husband, I struggled a little.

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“It is only when I look back now that I realize that that was the problem.

“I grew up in an area where talking about emotions was considered a sign of weakness, and I think a lot of people still do.

“Men don’t talk about their problems as much as they should, and the biggest statistic we publish is that 78 percent of all suicides are male, the ones if you can’t get it off your chest.

“Many workshops are about what I have overcome and what people can do for coping mechanisms from a mental health perspective.

“Just being able to do the workshops has really cleared up the backlog of things that I’ve had in the back of my mind for some time.

“You don’t have to be a rugby fan, you can play rugby yourself, but if you want to come down and talk and get rid of something, we’ll try to discuss things.”

For more information on Offload and to register, please contact Crooks at

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Men’s Health

Africa: Modern Masculinity in Africa – Pressures, Expectations and Breaking the Mold



From juggling the traditional and the modern to just a few ways to express your inner fears. The DW show The 77 Percent examines what masculinity means for African men today.

What does it mean to be an African in the 21st century? What pressure are men under? And how do we define masculinity in the modern world anyway?

These were just some of the questions the panel was asked in the latest edition of The 77 Percent’s Street Debate in Nairobi, Kenya.

Conversations about masculinity and masculinity are not unique to the African continent. But many African societies now find themselves in an often stark conflict between traditional and modern values.

“The majority of us come from a patriarchal society,” said Charles Okumu, the moderator of the Man Enough program in Kenya, which seeks to redefine traditional roles and masculinity.

“There was a way we should act, or see how our fathers treated our mothers.”

Tradition meets modernity

In many African societies – especially in rural communities – traditions still play an important role in everyday life. Men and boys are often brought up to see the “man” as the dominant force and provider in the household amid changing social norms.

In fast-growing cities like Nairobi, it is even more difficult to keep up with modern values ​​in the face of persistent ideas of what makes a man a man.

“Some of our patriarchal paths that we inherited from our background are not really helpful in modern life,” said Okumu. “There are still some who want to behave like our fathers. But on the other hand, modernity has taught us to deal better with ourselves.”

The Kenyan influencer, radio host and comedian Eric Omondi has seen a great deal of development in Kenyan society compared to a few decades ago.

“While the roles were clearly defined back then – the man who brings the bacon home and the woman who cooks it – they no longer exist,” Omondi told DW.

Juggle expectations

As modern and traditional values ​​collide, African men, especially the younger generation, find it difficult to live up to expectations on both sides.

“There is a fight that comes from within,” said Okumu. “To want to do things that are morally right in the modern way … But there is this inner struggle of still not wanting to let go, as we saw our fathers show us the way.”

Many men still feel the pressure of their families to live up to these male “ideals”.

“The expectations are great and [often] unrealistic, “said Omondi.” From his parents’ demands that he keep paying it with his younger siblings and aging parents – aka Black Tax – to his wife or girlfriend’s need for a new hairstyle, facial and a house on a hill [while] to be emotionally present and sensitive to all of your feelings. The list goes on and on. “

Okumu believes that boys have also lagged behind in education, albeit inadvertently.

“For the past decade or so, there has been an emphasis on girl education and empowerment – which I fully support,” said Okumu.

“However, it was done at the boy’s expense, and now these boys and girls have grown up. These girls are now better informed, make more informed decisions, and make more money leading to a much more informed one [woman]? “

Focus on mental health

This discussion of masculinity also highlights the importance of the mental health of African men – an issue that remains difficult to openly discuss.

“Most African societies have an implicit need for men to ‘man-up’ – so that all the emotions a man feels should not be expressed openly or even privately,” said comedian and influencer Eric Omondi.

“Because of this, many have [men’s] Challenges are swept under the carpet and rarely discussed “

Infertility, domestic violence, and financial abuse in Omondi’s cities are just some of the many problems African men face and are reluctant to talk about, even among family and closest friends.

If left unaddressed, these issues can lead to higher rates of gender-based violence, depression, and suicide in men, Omondi said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), suicide rates in Africa are above the global average. Stress in men was compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic, with job losses and isolation taking their toll.

But more African men are talking about the pressures they are under.

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Resources like Okumu’s Man Enough program encourage participants to move beyond traditional gender roles.

Okumu also emphasized the importance of providing boys with good role models from a young age.

“Boys become the men they see around them,” he told DW during the street debate.

“We have to make a conscious choice to talk to our children, not because we feel that way [this or that] defines masculinity, but helps them see how easy it is to be a responsible person. “

Comedian Omondi believes that African men today can benefit from adopting values ​​from other cultures while remaining true to their roots.

“Now that the world has become a village, it’s not far-fetched to grab a little of what works from western or eastern cultures and blend it with our very rich African culture as modern men,” said Omondi.

If you are struggling with your mental health or have thoughts of suicide, don’t hesitate to seek help. Find resources for mental health services in your part of the world here:

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