Martin Kocken


I practise calisthenics for about 5 years now and I’m a personal trainer now for 10 years. For 7 years I’ve been an entrepreneur. The last few years I started moving more and more towards calisthenics, also with my clients, so really the working out with your own bodyweight kind of thing. It’s just much more functional I think. It also helps you a lot more in your everyday life. Your body really learns how to work, instead of isolating only 1 muscle group and it also makes you incredibly strong.

In 2009 I did a few fitness educations at the AALO, which were fitness trainer level 1, 2 and master. After that I did medical fitness and I worked as a personal trainer for the police. After that I started my own company and this year I finished calisthenics trainer A and B with great success.

What makes calisthenics such a great sport

It’s the fact that you never isolate a muscle group, but instead you have all your muscles really work together to get to a certain movement. That’s how your body learns to move in the right way, when you pick something up for example. That way it all becomes stronger and will all function the right way, so you won’t experience any injuries and stuff like that.

How accessible is calisthenics

It’s really for anyone, because anyone who wants to start can find some exercises to start with. You can start with the easier ones first, which you can eventually make a lot harder.

For example a 50 year old woman who is a bit overweight, can start perfectly fine with te easier exercises that you will find in calisthenics, like squats, australian pull-ups, light push-ups on the knees maybe. So yeah, it’s really accessible for anyone.

Calisthenics talent in the Netherlands

Freestyle isn’t really my scene yet, so honestly I couldn’t say how the talent in Holland is really going. Ofcourse you see a lot more parks showing up here and there, which really is a good thing, but on the other hand there’s no guidance over there whatsoever. Those boys and girls look on the internet and just try to do it theirselves. And they just skip the pull-up and start doing a muscle-up right away, which doesn’t make any sense. That’s something I would really like to change. By creating constructive structures to really get somewhere in a save manner. We could get the sport a lot more up, by creating more locations where you can practise calisthenics in a safe way, with guidance and in groups. Obviously something like this platform is a really great start where we can provide them with a lot of information.

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