Hybrid Calisthenics' video about the best way to go from not being able to do a pushup to slowly building strength to be able to, is going viral.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 14, 2021. It has since been updated.
Getting fit is often seen as a daunting task. Fitness influencers and trainers are always telling us, "no pain, no gain." That we need to do a certain amount of exercise to feel like we deserve to eat the food we love. Getting fitness tips from experts who've been through the grueling exercises already, to get to the point where they can do the workouts with ease may feel like we are not good enough. And sometimes what we need more than screaming motivational quotes is gentle hand-holding, to be told that everything takes time, including being able to do one full push-up.
The internet has found a fitness influencer they can get behind. Popularly known by the name Hybrid Calisthenics, Hampton Liu is the man behind the brand that is taking TikTok and YouTube by storm. A video uploaded by Liu, on the progressive improvement of doing push-ups is doing the rounds on Twitter. Twitter user, who goes by the name of Jeeves Pfizer Gang, shared a Hybrid Calisthenics video from TikTok. Appreciating the fitness guru for the way he presented getting in shape, he wrote, "Now THIS is a fitness influencer." And quite a lot of Twitter users seemed to agree since the tweet has more than 297k likes and has been retweeted more than 70k times.
now THIS is a fitness influencer 👏 pic.twitter.com/SnGDNombw3— Jeeves 🇪🇺🇲🇽🏳️🌈 Pfizer Gang (1/2) (@jeeveswilliams) May 12, 2021
Push-ups are something people find very intimidating. The point of the video was to dispel this misconception and was originally titled, "You CAN do pushups, my friend!" In an upbeat manner, Liu says in the video, "My friends, if you can't do push-ups, just like everything else in the world, you can build up." He adds, "There is no need to be ashamed that you can't do a push-up. Fitness is a journey and we all start somewhere." His assuring tone and simple instructions seem to have done the trick. People on Twitter have fallen in love with Liu.
According to his interactions, anyone who is just starting off can do so with wall pushups. "We find what we can do and work until we're strong enough to move up," he explains. Explaining why we need to do many wall pushups, he said, "It is to practice the pushing motion." Once we have that down, he says we can move on to inclined pushups that can be done on a railing, table, or other stable surfaces. "The lower the object," he says, "the harder." He recommends three sets of 40 for inclined pushups.
The next upgrade is getting down on the floor to do knee pushups. "No, I do not call them 'girl push-ups.' This is a great therapy exercise that we don't need to shame, and I've never met a girl who likes them being called that," he stated. He then clarifies that at any point if we feel joint pain, it is probably because we progressed from one step to the next too quickly. "Pushups should not hurt," the text in the video reads. Liu suggests that it would be best to go back to the previous variation. "Sometimes our muscles are strong enough to move on but our joints are not," he assures.
Speaking to Newsweek, Liu said, "My approach is based on me genuinely wanting to help the person watching the video. I believe it's really important for viewers to be motivated by the right things. Insecurity and shame can be motivators, but I don't think they're healthy ones. I've found that if you show most people how simple it is to progress, they naturally want to try it." Additionally, he is also making the rounds on the internet as the “Posture Messiah” for helping people fix their postures with the videos he posts for free, as per Mel Magazine.