Some people think that the ideal version of themselves is unrealistic. That you have to be special to really achieve your goals. Superhuman. But this is just an excuse. Being an Athlete is within us all. We all have the strength to become the best version of ourselves that we want to. You just have to want it bad enough to achieve it.
You’ve all seen the results in his inspiring video. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it here.
Arne is 27, and works as an IT program manager. He was just a regular guy. Like you, he started with a dream and a plan to achieve it. So he gave Freeletics a try.
Arne is now motivating millions. So now it’s time to meet Arne.
Arne, how long have you been doing Freeletics?
“I think I started in May 2012. So about two and a half years, but I’m still counting.”
What was your first workout like? How did you feel?
“My first workout was 50 Pull Ups, 50 Burpees and 100 Push Ups with 3 sprints at the beginning and end of the workout. I trained with some friends who introduced me to Freeletics. I had just recovered from hip surgery back then and hadn’t done any sports for months, so I expected to be a little slower than them. In the end it took me about 60 minutes longer to finish than the last of the others. I felt a mix of embarrassment and exhaustion. I wouldn’t even have finished the workout if my friends hadn’t screamed at me to continue the whole time.”
You were sore, tired, and worn out after that first workout. Why keep going?
“I loved the feeling! Now I can look back at that workout and laugh, it’s not very hard, but back then 50 pull-ups seemed impossible. I saw my friends who were training with me and they were super fit. I wanted to be like them.”
Your transformation video has had more than 6 million views. That’s a lot! Do you ever get recognized when you are training or just walking around town? Do you have any interesting stories about that?
“Yeah, sometimes people approach me and want to take a picture or ask me for training or nutrition advice. Once I was on a business trip and one of the partners recognized me. So instead of talking about business we ended up discussing Freeletics for 2 hours.”
How does it feel to be so prominent in this sport?
“It feels good to motivate so many people to be Free Athletes. But really, everyone can do it. You just need the willpower. I’ve seen so many people completely transform their lives.”
What tips do you have for other Free Athletes, especially those who are just starting their training?
“Focus on your form and don’t get intimidated by the pace of others. If you do the exercises the right way, speed and endurance will come eventually. The best way to learn the right form is to watch the videos over and over. They explain the movements, but you won’t get all the details by just watching it once. You can also ask a friend to watch you practice. They can tell you if you are doing all of the movements right.”
Has that been true in your own training?
“Yes, definitely. I have never been the fastest Athlete compared to others. But I got results. Don’t just focus on the time and have shitty form. I see some people doing pushups and it looks like a wave. But if you look at my video, you know can have a super transformation without being fast. I’m not saying that to brag or anything. I just want to encourage people who aren’t very fast yet. Make every repetition count. Don’t just go for speed. You’ll get faster because you take less breaks, not because you are using bad form.”
Do you have a favorite workout?
“Zeus. I like it because it trains your whole body, but you have breaks between the rounds.”
What about a least favorite workout?
“Kentauros. My body hurts for days after the workout. But when the Coach tells me to do it, I just focus on the next repetition and think about nothing else. After all, Coach knows! And I want the results that the Coach will give me.”
So what’s on your training schedule for today?
“Hang on while I check the Coach. Okay, it says my next workout is Venus.”
Do you do strength, cardio or both?
“I prefer strength. If you saw my video you know that I was a slim guy before I started training with Freeletics. I tend to lose weight when doing too much cardio.”
What is your daily routine like? Do you train before work, or after? Tell us about your training schedule, how often you train, where you train, etc…
“Well, I still do boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so I train with Freeletics twice a week. Normally I train after work. Sometimes in the summer when the mornings are sunny I train before work. There’s no better way to start a day. There are several parks where I train in downtown Munich, but I also train in my apartment. My parents live outside the city, near the spot where I first started Freeletics. It feels really good to train at that old spot where it all began.”
Describe the most interesting place you have ever trained.
“In Rio de Janeiro I once trained in an improvised outdoor gym directly by the sea in between Copacabana and Ipanema. It was stunningly beautiful, but I can train anywhere. I mean, that’s one of the great things about bodyweight exercises. You don’t have to be somewhere interesting.”
Do you usually train with others, or by yourself?
“Well, it’s definitely more fun to train with other athletes. I never train alone. Either it’s with my girlfriend or with friends like Levent.”
How has Freeletics changed other areas of your life?
“When I finished the first 15 weeks and saw what I had achieved, I knew I could reach any goal in my life with the right mindset. As I learned how to push my body to achieve results, I also learned how to push my mind. When you only have one goal, it’s all you think about, and you work on it until you achieve it.”
Okay, let’s get really personal now: What are 10 things we would find in your refrigerator?
“Normally you would find rice, pasta, potatoes, chicken, beef, tomatoes, low fat curd cheese, milk, all kinds of sweets and pudding. When I want to gain weight I have to eat 6-7 times a day, so I keep a lot of food around.”
What do you think about supplements?
“Personally, I don’t use them. I eat protein bars for a quick snack at work. And when it comes to shakes, I mix my own using low fat curd cheese because I don’t like the taste of artificial ones.”
Tell us about some difficulties you have overcome.
“When I started, Pull-ups were my biggest weakness. But after two or three months I could do every rep in the star version. I just focused on doing every version with proper form. The next difficulty was eating enough. Most of the time I’m not hungry, so I had to learn to eat even though I didn’t want to. In the end it all comes down to the same principle: You have to push past your limits to reach the next level. Especially nutrition-wise. If you don’t eat clean, and eat the right kind of foods to reach your goal, you probably won’t get there.”
Have you made any mistakes in your training? What kind of errors do you see other people making?
“I had a workout that requested 50 pull-ups in a row. I did the star version for 5 reps, and did the rest by jumping up when I couldn’t hold it anymore. I completely destroyed myself with that and was running around with arms like a T-Rex for 2 weeks. I see a lot of people who focus more on speed than proper form. Then they wonder why they get injured, or why they aren’t seeing the same results as everyone else.”
What’s the next goal you are working towards in your training?
“My next goal is to weigh 100kg. I’m between 92 and 95kg right now. Like I said, it’s hard for me to gain weight. I have to eat all the time.”
What’s the biggest misconception about Freeletics?
“That you don’t need the Coach. But without the Coach telling you what to do you will always stick to the workouts you’re comfortable with and never push your limits. Some people say Freeletics is nothing new. Pull-ups and Push-ups have been around forever. But they didn’t get it. The big difference with Freeletics is that you get the right mind set and stick to the sport instead of quitting after a few weeks.”
Now for the last question: A lot of people want to know why you were laughing in your video…
“I think we had to take the video like ten times. It was really weird to do those muscleman poses with my friends in the room. I had to keep turning around and around and I couldn’t keep a straight face. There were takes where I didn’t laugh, but I think my friends used this because they thought it was funny.”
So now when you look at the Athletes featured in the Freeletics photos and videos, don’t think that what they have achieved is impossible. You have the strength within you to unleash your potential. Like Arne, you just have to work hard enough. Get the Coach now and write your own success story.