Listen to this interviewThe Bulk Hackers robot can read Kuba's interview aloud for you (playtime 9 minutes and 50 seconds) 🤖
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training[/speaker-emphasis][/speaker-voice]
Hi! My name is Jakub Firkowski, I’m 23. I’m from Poznań (Poland). Currently, I am studying at Academy of Physical Education, my goal is to prepare for being a strength and conditioning coach.
My workplace is a gym called, BodyLabOne. I’ve got personal training and calisthenics classes in small groups. During whole summer, I try to do outdoor workouts in groups to motivate each other.
When it comes to my workouts, the most important for me is calisthenics, so I put bodyweight exercises in every training. I started a little over six years ago, I was 17 then.
After two years of regular training, I tried myself in competitions, it was the Street Workout contest, even happened to win something. 😀
Before calisthenics, I’ve tried many other sports like football, volleyball, kickboxing, swimming or bmx riding, they were more for fun than for compete, of course. Right now, I only snowboarding in winter.
My hobby besides working out is traveling and making short clips with my camera and drone of my trips and other everyday stuff when I’m at home.
In my mind, calisthenics is the best way to get in shape and has completely control of your body and mind.[speaker-voice name='en-US-Wavenet-D'][speaker-emphasis level='strong']
⏱ Describe a typical day of training[/speaker-emphasis][/speaker-voice]
When I started working out, my only obligation was school so I had a lot of time to train everyday. Currently, it is three or four times per week. The same applies to length, I reduced from two to three hours to one hour sessions just because of other duties. Maybe one hour is more intense but I don’t like rushing as more time gives me better focus on training.
I tried different workout programs like split, fbw, push and pull but calisthenics is specific. Now my training plan includes two sessions for static positions, for example handstand or front lever and two strength sessions for improve my muscle ups, pull up or dips. I also use weights and dumbbells in my workouts.
I’ve got worse and better periods but I’m trying to keep my body fat as low as possible all time. The reason is I use my body in most exercises. It’s easier when you are lighter, simply.
When it’s warm, I usually workout outdoor on bars, mostly with somebody or in small groups. But here summer doesn’t last forever so I spend winter in the gym trying to put more weighs and improve my squat or bench.
Before every workout, I need some power so sometimes it would be coffee, sometimes pre-workout (Finaflex Stimul8). Except that I also take creatine (Trec CM3) before training session and some protein (Prozis) after workout.
Definitely, my favorite exercise is handstand and everything related to it. I mean not only standing upside down, but also handstand push ups, press to handstand, tiger bend push ups, etc.[speaker-voice name='en-US-Wavenet-D'][speaker-emphasis level='strong']
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?[/speaker-emphasis][/speaker-voice]
“Motivation allows to start, the habit to persevere.”
It’s really easy to get motivated. For me, I just view some photos on Instagram or clips on YouTube, turn on good music and that’s it. It’s harder to repeat this for years, day after day.
If you want to feel better and be healthy, you can swim, run, go to gym, whatever. If you want to get better results, however, you have to set your goals, like “I want pull up” so try to improve your back muscles or try to do it with resistance band.
Or “I want to lose 5 kg (11 lbs) in three months” so try to change your diet or train more intensively. It will help you to see the changes, good changes are motivation to persevere.
For me, it’s impossible to give up. I can’t imagine myself having a problem with pull up. Being in shape is also connected with my work so I just can’t quit.
The world motivates me, other people motivate me, better people. But… you have to try be better with small steps, don’t think: “I will never do that” when looking on guys stronger than you.
Like every human, I have worse days, and workout is the time when you don’t have to think about work, about money, about anything, that’s time to focus on yourself.[speaker-voice name='en-US-Wavenet-D'][speaker-emphasis level='strong']
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?[/speaker-emphasis][/speaker-voice]
I think I’m in the best shape in my life right now, everything goes in right direction. My goal is to improve my dynamics on bars, jumping over the bar, 360 on bar, because in combination with static skills, it gives me chances to take part in competitions again.
The key is consistency and maybe in two or three years, I will come back to competition in Street Workout and Calisthenics.
Beside workouts, I have to finish my school, I’m on the last year. I’ve got plans for my own company but it’s still a long way.[speaker-voice name='en-US-Wavenet-D'][speaker-emphasis level='strong']
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?[/speaker-emphasis][/speaker-voice]
The best way to avoid injuries is knowledge. You need to have knowledge on how to do every exercise properly and do it with right weight.
The worst injury I had was a broken nose when I was training kickboxing. Then I had problems with my lumbar spine because of a bad technique.
After X-ray, the doctor recommended exercises in swimming pool and basic gymnastics. Fortunately, I did not need surgery.
At the moment, I don’t have injuries and nothing hurts me so I am thankful to the experience I have acquired.
Sleep is very important in my recovery. I usually sleep about six to seven hours and sometimes that’s not enough.
Honestly, I did one or maybe two workout on my trips. I’m not a person who is lying on the beach for the whole day. In winter, snowboarding is really exhausting, in summer snorkeling and swimming, walking, a lot of walking.
When I’m bored on the beach, I can do few back flips or handstands so I’m still moving.[speaker-voice name='en-US-Wavenet-D'][speaker-emphasis level='strong']
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?[/speaker-emphasis][/speaker-voice]
I’m a vegetarian for almost two months but I was thinking about vegan diet because vegan diet is becoming more and more popular, so I decided to try it, I’m just testing it. Few guys on Instagram I’m following are on vegan diet too.
For now, eating more vegetables and avoiding meat suits me. We will see how it affects my training and body.
At the moment, I don’t count calories, it’s better for my mind but I’ve got periods when I do it.
It all starts in store, when you buy a chocolate, you will eat this. Buy good food, so you will eat good.
Most of the day, I spend away from home so I’m trying to take all food in boxes and don’t buy anything extra.
If you keep your diet for the whole year then nothing will happen when you eat a slice of cake on your birthday or Christmas, that’s my opinion.
Because of my type of training, I don’t have a bulk-and-cut period, I’m trying to stay lean all the time.
I take vitamins and minerals everyday: C, D, K, B6, B12, Omega 3. Well, coffee? Only black, no milk, no sugar. I love the taste and smell of coffee but I also use it as a pre-workout. Tea, especially green tea is a good addition when I watch TV at night.
Alcohol is a trap. I won’t say that I don’t drink at all but I know when and how much I can drink. And that’s not one beer or glass of wine per day.[speaker-voice name='en-US-Wavenet-D'][speaker-emphasis level='strong']
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?[/speaker-emphasis][/speaker-voice]
My motivation is my progress. I do things which I couldn’t do before. People who inspired me and still do:
- Dejan Stipić
- Lazar Novovic
- Osvaldo Lugones
- Chris Heria
- Steve Cook
In my mind, you can do more with good music, it’s all in your head. That’s why I put on earphones, despite the music they play in the gym. I have to listen to my own tracks.[speaker-voice name='en-US-Wavenet-D'][speaker-emphasis level='strong']
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?[/speaker-emphasis][/speaker-voice]
You have few options if you are new in fitness world. First, if you have some money, hire a personal trainer. He will show you exercises and teach you properly technique. Second, maybe you have any buddies who are into fitness and they can help you.
If you are really determined, you can learn a lot from YouTube, hundreds of tutorials, guides, workouts.
Internet has also a bad side because you might find some stupid things. I spend a lot of time in the gym and I see when people try strange exercises (probably from Instagram or Youtube) without knowing the basics.
For me, combine calisthenics with weights is challenging, each subsequent activity is an addition. I mean, I play other sports for fun and general development.[speaker-voice name='en-US-Wavenet-D'][speaker-emphasis level='strong']
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?[/speaker-emphasis][/speaker-voice]
I’ve got few clients. That’s my job. These people have different goals, some want to lose weight and some want to improve their strength.
When I do my own workouts, people often ask if I do personal training or how I get to something, so that’s my the best ad. Experience, knowledge and skills give me advantage.
I think everybody should see a difference after one month but that’s a month of regular workouts. Two to three times per week and keeping diet, one time in a week is not enough.
I’ve got only real-life clients, but sometimes people ask me about workout plans online.
The most common question “How long it takes?” It depends on what level you start and what is your goals, there is no single answer.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?[/speaker-emphasis][/speaker-voice]
My main channel is Instagram: @kuba_firkowski
I have also a YouTube channel but with my travel clips, soon I will start my calisthenics channel: Kuba Firkowski