You need to be creative, well organised and consistent to use street workout. The system is based on natural movements and forces your muscles to fight gravity, helping them develop evenly. The workout was perfected by HANNIBAL FOR KING. He gained huge popularity by publicising films of his spectacular training sessions. Street workout spreads like a virus, infecting fans in the USA and in other continents. Hannibal has many followers in Europe: groups of young athletes train together in Russia, Ukraine, France and Poland. There have even been world championships in street workout. Hannibal has given an exclusive interview especially for the fans of TREC.
TREC: Welcome. You’re an internet star: your films receive millions of hits. How have you become so popular? Who encouraged you to make your first video? Is Hannibal a pseudonym?
HANNIBAL FOR KING: Let’s start with my real name, since I’m asked about it by a lot of people. That’s right: my parents did name me after the military leader of ancient Carthage, who brought the Roman Empire to its knees two thousand years ago. He was incredibly brave: he set off from north Africa with his army, including military elephants, crossing the Alps and winning numerous battles. He took on a seemingly impossible challenge, and succeeded. He’s my inspiration! I always strive to achieve what others describe as impossible, similarly to my fans and people who watch my videos. They motivate me. I made my first film because I wanted to share my passion with others and promote this type of exercise among young people.
TM: Street workout using bars is obviously very demanding. How did it all start? Where did your ideas come from? How long have you been training?
HFK: Yes, it’s a very demanding sport, but it’s also very satisfying. I started very young, exactly 19 years ago. My family, especially my eldest sister, had a lot to do with it when I was a kid. I grew up in a difficult neighbourhood, and training helped me stay out of trouble, if you know what I mean…
TM: You have an impressive silhouette – many bodybuilders struggle to achieve such a physique. Do you also go to the gym and work out using weights?
HFK: Thanks. No, I don’t use weights, although it doesn't mean I have any problems with going to the gym, as long as it fits in with my training. I have to say, though, I prefer working out in the fresh air, where I can enjoy the sunshine, to being stuck in a stuffy room.
TM: How often do you exercise – do you use a schedule? Do you prefer training in the morning or evening?
HFK: I work out 6–7 times a week, no matter what. I use lots of different exercises, depending on the muscle group I’m working on. I prefer training in the mornings, but I don’t think it really matters what time you choose. Most of all you need to be consistent – but you also need to enjoy the exercise.
TM: Bodybuilders claim that the best way of gaining a symmetrical silhouette is to keep surprising your muscles with new exercises. Do you agree?
HFK: Yes, I know what you mean, Here in the States we call it muscle confusion. As I said earlier, I work on different muscle groups, and according to the concept, I should change the exercises as often as possible. If that’s what you meant, then I doubt that my method is unusual. To make progress, you need to remember to rest as well as to exercise. I think a good workout should be very intensive, but your body needs time to rest afterwards. That’s my method for building and developing muscles.
TM: You work out hard every day – when do you regenerate? What else do you do apart from training with bars and rails?
HFK: Just like all other guys I like getting together with my buddies. My days are very busy, but apart from working out and all the other things I do, I’m involved with helping young people from my community. I encourage them to be active to help them keep out of trouble.
TM: What are your training goals? Is there place in your sport for competing with others?
HFK: I’m not one of those people who take the easy way out. I’m always looking for ways to help me improve my technique and perfect my moves. I think there’s space for competing in my discipline, but only when the participants respect each other and use their power in a fair competition.
TM: In most films you’re seen to be exercising with your iPod. What does music mean to you? Can you imagine working out without it? What’s usually in your playlists?
HFK: Music helps me focus on what I’m doing, and rhythm is essential for making repetitions fluid. I like many hip-hop artists, especially 50 Cent, DMX and Busta Ryhmes. Sport would be dull without music!
TM: Your body looks amazing; do you use any kind of diet? After all, muscles have their requirements. What do you usually eat, and at what times?
Food is important because it helps nourish the muscles. I don’t apply any special diet – I eat everything, always when I'm hungry, no matter what time it is.
TM: What about supplements? What would you recommend for this kind of training?
HFK: A good quality protein powder is an absolute minimum. I have a rule that I never recommend supplements if I haven’t tried them myself, and I’m not sure that it’s top quality. That’s just what TREC NUTRITION products are!
TM: Some of your exercises seem to defy laws of physics, yet you move so smoothly as though gravity didn’t exist. How do you do it? Does such a superhero ever get tired? What would you suggest to people who’d like to take up street workout? Where should they start to develop a six-pack, arms and back like yours?
HFK: I’m tired after each training session, but only then I can be sure that I did it well and it will bring the desired effect. If you’re serious about taking up this type of exercise and want to see results, you need to be very strong willed. That’s the main thing! You also need to learn to listen to your body and respond to subtle signals it sends. It’s important to be consistent in your training, to keep pushing your boundaries, and to make sure you rest after each session. That’s the only way for your muscles to regenerate and grow. You also need to learn to manage your time well, because it will allow you to find time for exercise and rest, as well as work and family. It’s very difficult, but extremely satisfying.
TM: Did you know that you inspire hundreds of people across Europe? You have a group of devoted fans, who copy your style. Do you think street workout has a future?
HFK: Of course! I think the sport has excellent prospects. Training with railings is for everyone, not just for young people. I’d like to thank TREC NUTRITION for helping me reach a wider audience with links to fitness – I even heard that my latest film was popular with visitors to the FIBO trade show. It allowed me to introduce my routine to people throughout Europe. Thank you once again; I’m planning on coming along to the event next year. Until then, TAKE CARE and WORK OUT HARD!
TM: Thank you very much for talking to us.
HFK: Thanks a lot.