We chatted with Victor Volynski from Street Workout St Kilda about health and fitness:
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
My name is Vic, I’m a business owner, personal trainer and athlete. My passion is movement.
I started with gymnastics. That was 20 years ago. Since then I have broadened my horizons with other disciplines. Gymnastics gave me a solid foundation to pursue other related disciplines.
By involving myself in various movements, I was able to pick up skills from other disciplines to add to my continually growing set of skills. I gravitated to a diverse range of physical disciplines, from gymnastics to a calisthenics street workout, and have even dabbled in the likes of yoga, tricking and breakdance.
Somewhere in the process, I fell in love with teaching what I had learned. As a fun aside from finishing my four year Honours Degree in Science, I studied my Certificate III and IV in Fitness. Having completed my degree, I realised I didn’t want to work in the laboratory, and that further studies again would not guarantee me a job I loved.
I left university with a unique set of skills and broad knowledge of the human body from my degree, and a kind of insane tenacity to do my own thing rather than be another corporate drone.
Tell us about Street Workout St Kilda
Street Workout St Kilda is the embodiment of everything I have learned over my 20 years of training. The business is primarily focused on teaching people how to move through a calisthenics street workout. This is a bodyweight regimen that includes the use of gymnastics-esque fitness equipment such as the high bar and parallel bars.
Essentially, calisthenics can be divided into calisthenics statics, calisthenics freestyle and fundamentals. Fundamentals are your traditional bodyweight exercises such as push ups and pull-ups. This is where most of our clients start – by building physical conditioning and losing weight.
Statics and calisthenics freestyle covers the more advanced elements of calisthenics. Statics are static holds such as the human flag that require superhuman strength, while calisthenics freestyle involves momentum-based skills like the 360 bar spin. Having mastered fundamentals, these are the kinds of skills you can expect to learn at Street Workout St Kilda.
We offer a range of services such as personal training, group classes, program design, nutritional guidance. We also have a calisthenics shop where you can buy equipment such as gymnastics rings, resistance bands and chalk.
How long have you been a personal trainer?
I’ve been a calisthenics specialised personal trainer for over 3 years.
Describe what kind of personal trainer you are/what is your philosophy?
My philosophy is that fitness should be synonymous with lifestyle. If you are doing fitness as a chore then you will seldom achieve results. In my experience, and looking into what inspires my clients the most – it’s not weight loss or aesthetics so much, it’s about pushing the human body to its limits and mastering movement itself – both on the physical front and on the mental.
This is why calisthenics is taking the world by storm – because people are realising that there are better, more sustainable ways to stay fit than by starving themselves and smashing 1 rep maxes on the bench press.
What inspired your passion for health and fitness?
My love for movement and interest in the human body inspired me to be a personal trainer and go down the path of health and fitness. It was my journey through gymnastics and my gravitation towards the sciences in high school and university that played a huge role in the path I selected.
What is your best tip when it comes to training?
Train like you mean it. Training is like any other part of your life, the more commitment you give it, the better the outcome.
Forget the trendy diets, supplements and protein shakes. Go back to the basics. There are no short cuts in training, it’s tough work – but like with everything – the hard work pays off!
What is your personal fitness routine?
I train somewhere in the ballpark of 8-12 hours per week. I don’t do any traditional cardio. My ‘cardio’ comes from gymnastics tumbling, tricking and trampolining. Calisthenics freestyle is another huge part of my training and tends to be super tiring when smashing out skills in sequence.
My strength work consists of calisthenics street workout fundamental bodyweight training and weighted bodyweight training. As part of this, I also do practice static holds.
Sessions usually last 2 hours, with training done 3-4 times per week to allow for ample recovery.
If you could do one type of exercise, what would it be?
Handstand. This is one of the most fun and versatile exercises you can do.
What is the most common excuse you hear for not training, how do you combat that?
No time. The reality is, if something is important to you, you will always make time for it. The way to combat any excuse is to change the mindset. It’s not even about discipline so much as it is about making fitness a priority.
What do you think are the most underrated and overrated exercises?
Most overrated – plank. Although I might consider programming this for complete beginners to build core strength, this is a pretty useless exercise for anyone capable of more. It does very little for the core and can cause lower back pain and bad posture.
Most underrated – handstand. The handstand is an insanely good exercise for balance, core strength, shoulder strength and body awareness. It has a ton of variations and is a precursor for many static holds in calisthenics.
What are your recommended pre and post-workout foods?
Pre-workout – Banana. If you need something more try a coffee. Personally, I don’t use pre-workouts, but the main active ingredient in them is caffeine anyway.
Post-workout – You should try to take 25g of protein in as a minimum. This can come from a variety of sources including protein shakes. Generally, I would recommend lean protein either from chicken/fish/plant-based foods with vegetables.
Depending on the type of exercise, high GI foods will help you recover glycogen (carbohydrate energy stores). These should be considered if the training session lasts for more than 2 hours.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Future plans are to keep promoting calisthenics as an alternative to the gym and to get more people interested in bodyweight training. The traditional gym is not for everyone and calisthenics offers a fun and innovative way to train, with a more sustainable outlook on training.
About Street Workout St Kilda
Hybridising street movements originating in Eastern Europe with elements of the most exceptional disciplines including gymnastics, callisthenics, breakdance and yoga, we have attuned our interpretation of Street Workout. Street Workout has been stripped to the bone, and from this lean founding beast, we have raised a behemoth!