Establishment of Bodyweight Sports
How great that you are interested in how our club was founded! The establishment of Bodyweight Sports took place in different phases, discover our story below.
Calisthenics in the garden
When we (Dean and Tommy) were working out together after many other sports, we quickly ran into boredom. We were looking for more challenge in a sport and we really wanted to do something cool. The moment we discovered Bodyweight training (Calisthenics) we were immediately sold. Learning to do a human flag or handstand push-up was at the top of our dream list. After 2 years of hard training together, we noticed that teaching these exercises to our friends was a passion we shared back then. Making someone really fit and strong without having to use weights is unique, we were looking for a way to do this on a larger scale and of course we hoped that this could become our job one day.
The start of calisthenics classes
We got the chance to build a small calisthenics rack in a Crossbox so that we could start our career there. We noticed that it was very difficult to get those first few permanent members. We invited all our friends and family to join for free, allowing them to discover the power and fun of this sport.
After 3 years of practicing on friends and family with a self-built climbing frame, there was only one thing to do: it had to be bigger, better, and more accessible to every athlete. When several schools became interested in our lessons, there was no other option than to find a large building. We were going to build the world’s largest Bodyweight Gym!
The first calisthenics gym
After 4 months of active research, driving around (in the rain), several viewings, making a good business plan, arranging investment, finding the right materials, coming up with a good range of lessons and coming into contact with various companies to make our dream come true, we had succeeded. The renovation could begin!
Suddenly everything went like clockwork and with the motivation we had we were unstoppable. For three months from 7 in the morning to 12 in the evening, we managed to completely furnish our hall with many friends and family. Our first dream had really come true, only the biggest challenge had yet to begin.
Because of course we only had a mini income from the few athletes who started with us, we both had to work full time to cover our personal costs. In the meantime, we were in the sports club every evening to introduce as many people as possible to this wonderful sport.
We went from 7 full group lessons a week to 11 in 1 year, several schools came to follow Bodyweight training once a week and with the organization of one of the first major competitions in the Netherlands we only craved for more.
The extreme growth of Bodyweight Sports
After a dispute between a party from England who had a worldwide patent on our old company name, we were forced to change everything, new logos, clothing, stickers, flyers, website, etc. Nevertheless, we went even faster from that moment on and we went from 11 to 18 group lessons a week. Schools kept pouring in and we were even allowed to hold the (then relatively unknown) Dutch championship in our gym! In this year we were able to work less at our 2nd job so that our club could grow even faster. We started with Personal training, got a wider range of lessons, extended opening hours, organized workshops and took part in major competitions. Everything that came in had to be invested immediately in order to continue to grow so that more and more people can enjoy this super effective way of exercising.
In the third year, our biggest dream came true, we were able to quit our job and work full-time in our super cool club. Offering 24 group classes per week, membership numbers are skyrocketing and we had to move to a new system so we can give our club members the even better experience they deserve. Having our own App with workouts, training sessions made by us and tracking all your progressions and nutrition was an important step to let more and more people experience our impressive results. This year coach Erwin also joined us, who supports us in providing personal training and some group lessons.
Since year 4 we are more driven than ever. This sport is the basis of every sport and has great potential to become an Olympic champion one day. For this reason we wanted to join the committee of the Dutch Calisthenics Association. This allows everyone in the Netherlands to come into contact with Bodyweight training and experience all the great results. Bodyweight Sports will one day become accessible to the entire country and with this motivation we sometimes shed a tear of happiness between all group lessons, personal training sessions, nutritional guidance, school lessons, workouts and championships when we look back at how this all started.
2 close friends who through their passion in sports and helping others make their dream come true and never intend to stop.
A real calisthenics club
Of course, the global mandatory closures for gyms in 2020 also hit us hard, we survived this time thanks to the many loyal athletes at our club. We are immensely grateful for the constant support we received while we could only offer some coaching online and sometimes outside. We can say that this period has brought us further and has been able to offer many wise lessons. While the sports club was closed, we continued to develop the sport together with the Dutch Calisthenics Association. It also became clear that our legal position (VOF) was not correct to act as a real sports association and to cooperate with other non-profit institutions. This is why our club has become a cooperative association for calisthenics since March 12, 2021. After joining the Calisthenics Association, we can now say that Bodyweight Sports is not only independent, but is even the first calisthenics association in the Netherlands with an accommodation!
Calisthenics innovations and development
Due to the time we have spent on the most diverse matters regarding the development of calisthenics, we now work together with athletes, event organizers, foundations and associations. Developing judging systems, competition formats, disciplines and educational projects has now become an important aspect of our work. We are currently working on various initiatives to make calisthenics as accessible as possible. Developing mobile calisthenics parks to providing cool calisthenics demonstrations and workshops while we can offer all athletes in the association professional calisthenics lessons makes our work very valuable and we are therefore very grateful for the fact that we can do this!
Thank you for reading our story and we hope it inspires others to make their own dreams come true. Where there is a will there is a way!
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