My calisthenics story takes its spontaneous beginning back in 2010. I was 15 years old. Me and my friends went to the school stadium where the bars were. One of them just randomly said - „lets do a pull up ladder”. Everyone was able to complete at least one repetition except for one young men. Yes, it was me. The embarrassment feeling I had then was enormous.
It was the start of the summer. During all the three months I had been coming to the bars at night to learn this one single pull up. I didn’t want to work out during the daytime because I used to overthink the others opinions, like someone could have thought „how a boy cannot do even a single pull up!?”, I wanted to run away from this feeling.
Summer was gone and the hard work paid off - I completed my first rep on the pull up bar.
I started to work out on a daily basis. I still remember how my surroundings used to be surprised in a negative way by me doing such a thing. They told me that it wouldn’t last more then 2 weeks of training.
Thus, writing this, I can tell that they were wrong, I lasted way longer than that.
One day, while searching through YouTube I bumped into this video, which inspired me to do the muscle up. Of course, after an attempt I failed and from this moment I had a new goal.
Next 6 months I had been training to be able to complete a muscle up. There was no tutorials, no calisthenics coaches, there were just me, the bar, and the desire.
After a thousand fails - I did it. I remember it to this day. My first muscle up - dirty, with kipping. Just horrible. I ran to my friend’s house who used to work out with me to tell him what happened. Since then, me and the muscle up are best friends.
With time, calisthenics was getting more and more popular. People started posting more videos, doing competitions here and there, more people started to actually work out.
One fine day the competition time came to my city in Ukraine. So now please stand up - it was a FREESTYLE competition. Yeah, I used train freestyle. I was able to do Front Lever, Back Lever, Elbow Planche, all the Muscle UP VARIATIONS. It was 2012 so these elements were considered as advanced.
I won. You know why? My friends still didn’t believe in me. One of them, right before the semi-final said - „Ruslan semi-final is your max”. The only thing I wanted to do then was to prove that he is not right.
After winning the competition I felt like I can do a lot more and I started to do elements with some additional weight. Surely, the injury hit me very fast. Then, after a month of overthinking „what is wrong with my training” I understood, that I don’t have fundamentals. Basics, which would keep my body ready and would help to get rid of any damages during workout.
Therefore, I started to work on my strength and endurance. One day I was looking for some calisthenics videos through the internet and I saw Bar-Barians team - one of the first and the most elite groups in this sport. I used the word elite on purpose, because it was very difficult to join them, only the strongest and passionated could do this.
After completing the physical and mental tests, English classes to communicate with them, proving my loyalty to the philosophy of the team I was approved as an official member of the Bar-Barians.
The next step was to travel to United States to personally get familiar with the Bar-Culture. The only option of getting the USA VISA for me was to get enrolled with the students exchange programs. I had to study really really hard to pass all the exams perfectly. This was the only opportunity to travel and reach the goal.
I spent a year in United States. I met all the „legends”, those who inspired millions of people around the world to start doing calisthenics.
I won American prestige calisthenics competition „Pull up park jam” (2015-2016). In US I understood, that I have the possibility to reach everything what I can only set as a goal, that I have this power to approach something incredible if I work hard for it.
Then, I started to provide workshops and trainings sharing my knowledge which I gained thought years of experience.
When I came back to my motherland Ukraine, I received an invitation to do a workshop in Singapore. At that time it was something I couldn’t believe. Me? Workshop? Singapore? I am in! I held my first official workshops during all week there. Back then, I thought about my first pull up, which brought me to Singapore.
I started to get workshop offers more, people started asking for training plans and online coaching. I do this to this day. I teach people in person and online, who achieve their small or big goals. This is what makes me very happy and proud. I provided workshops in USA, Singapore, Italy, Israel, Poland, Ukraine, Lebanon and its just the beginning.
In 2017 I went to Italy to compete in „One More Rep Vol.1” in the strength and endurance category. I came back home with the overall champion trophy.
In 2018 I went there for the second time and competed in „One More Rep Vol.2 ENDURANCE LEGEND”. I had only 2 weeks for the preparation and I didn’t know if I was going to participate until the very end. It was the health matter. I won in the dramatic final. I was underrated again, no-one thought that I was able to win. It gave me a strong dose of motivation.
After winning some prestige competitions I gained respect in the calisthenics world.
I met a lot of strong and well known people in this sport. Some of them became my friends - Dejan Stipke, Vadym Oleynik, Jay Smallbarspartan, Viktor Kamenov and a lot more. I always say and will always remind people about it, that calisthenics, like sport in general, connects people. Age, skin color, religion and social background - it all doesn’t matter. In sport we all are equal.
Unfortunately, one of the greatest adventures of my life came to an end - I had to leave Bar-Barians. Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that I always respect the philosophy they have. I will always remember this as one of the factors of my small success.
Nowadays, I try to become the most complete athlete. I travel around the world providing the workshops and seminars, also judging the competitions. I train myself to dominate in the every aspect of the calisthenics world. I am a coach at the calisthenics studio Fit&More in Poland. Finally I was able something I always wanted to do in the calisthenics gym - I was able to teach hundreds of people. It took me 8 years to transform my hobby into my favorite job.
After I started to provide group classes and personal classes, my next goal was to create the online platform for coaching and actually help people from all around the world. So did I. Now, I have more than 60 active online students and thousands of people who work with my prepared plans or e-books and this number grows day by day!
Unfortunately and fortunately, time to step up my game has come and I started my coaching business officially and made it my main platform. So my journey in Fit&More gym has come to an end. I gave my heart to the place and I helped hundreds of people to improve not only physically but also mentally. Now, its time for the next chapter.
I never thought, that I would become an inspiration for the people around the globe. I never expected myself traveling, sharing knowledge and meeting great people. I never knew, that one pull up would ever bring me to the point where I am now.