UK’s Own: Stephen Hughes-Landers aka iambarstarzz

Around mid 2013, Stephen Hughes-Landers, who worked at a tattoo parlour in Brighton (a coastal town in southern England), quit his job to pursue a passion in freestyle calisthenics/street workout. Landers...
"I want to be a part of the revolution that helps humanity learn to use their own bodies and to master them." - Stephen Hughes Landers. Image via iCreateLife by Kristina Kashtanova
"I want to be a part of the revolution that helps humanity learn to use their own bodies and to master them." - Stephen Hughes Landers. Image via iCreateLife by Kristina Kashtanova
Around mid 2013, Stephen Hughes-Landers, who worked at a tattoo parlour in Brighton (a coastal town in southern England), quit his job to pursue a passion in freestyle calisthenics/street workout. Landers was no stranger to physical sports. He was an avid fitness enthusiast and had spent most of his life staying active either playing basketball, riding in BMX or competing in strongman competitions. But after watching a video by Ed Checo and Hannibal For King on Youtube, he was determined to live the freestyle calisthenics life and champion it in the UK.

“I gave up my job a year after my first pull up in April 2013 to follow my dream…now, my days consist of training, teaching, learning and doing all I can to help the movement grow. I live for this and love every second. It’s been a challenging year. No regrets. Ever.”

– Stephen Hughes-Landers (Source: WSWCF)

Stephen Hughes-Landers’ Achievements

Since then Landers, a vegan and part-time male model, has become “the UK’s #1 ranked calisthenics athlete” and “in 2014 he represented Great Britain at the Street Workout World Cup and Street Workout World Championship” (Source: CalisthenicsUK).

“Widely regarded as one of the most exciting athletes for his entertaining and often high risk combos, Stephen regularly travels the world competing, judging and instructing calisthenics” (Source: CalisthenicsUK). He claimed 2nd place in 2014’s Street Workout World Cup in New York (Source: TrueIcon) and has also had the honour of earning “one of only 50 places worldwide on the Official BarStarzz crew” (Source: Fitcetera) as well as holding a place on the “advisory board of the World Street Workout & Calisthenics Federation (WSWCF)” (Source: TrueIcon).

Building the Community

But perhaps his greatest achievement to date has been helping to build the freestyle calisthenics community in the UK. He has founded the company “Calisthenics UK” and also worked alongside other organisations such as InciteFitness and “The Compound” – an urban gym facility in Northamptonshire, run by Anton Guidera – and partnered with Sideways8 Training to develop the UK’s first calisthenics training course for fitness professionals to enable them to incorporate effective calisthenics training into their programming (Source: TrueIcon).

“We were just trying to follow that, do what BarStarzz were doing. We were trying to make something bigger than ourselves and not just try to make ourselves big. That was our main goal”.

– Stephen Hughes-Landers (Source: Youtube)

Calisthenics UK & Teaching

Through his organisation ‘Calisthenics UK‘ he runs free and paid classes to those who want to learn the benefit of calisthenics training. The company also offers group training classes for gyms or health clubs interested in adding calisthenics classes to their repertoire as well as advice and supply of calisthenics equipment fabrication and calisthenics facility design and installation. He wrote in an article on FitPro.com that “calisthenics is well suited to group training for many reasons but one that really stands out is the flexibility it provides the instructor and participants. We can accommodate those of all fitness levels and abilities in the same session, as well as some very large number. It’s not unusual for there to be 100 people in our group sessions.”

Natural movement and functional fitness has been pushed aside by evolution. People see huge muscles and lifting heavy weights as ‘fit/healthy’. I want to be a part of the revolution that helps humanity learn to use their own bodies and to master them.”

– Stephen Hughes-Landers (Source: TrueIcon)

Landers, who has a PCC and REPS accreditation, understands the draw of freestyle calisthenics and sees the movement continuing to grow throughout the UK and the world. But despite the ‘hype’ which can surround many athletes, especially those who reach a mass audience on Youtube and EpicTV, Landers understands the importance of teaching the fundamentals to those interested in learning freestyle calisthenics/street workout from scratch.

“There are a lot of people drawn in by the freestyle element who jump straight in. I feel people need to keep educating so fundamental basics are mastered before anything else.”

– Stephen Hughes-Landers (Source: TrueIcon)

Beyond

Nowadays Landers breaks up his time between training in the UK and traveling, “living from a suitcase for most of the year, or sleeping on his mum’s sofa (Stephen has a loving relationship with his doting mother), he has given up all materialistic values (well, except for the 100+ pairs of trainers he owns!) to build a lifestyle of doing what he loves, day in day out” (Source: Fitcetera).

You can stay up-to-date with Stephens work on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or check out this Youtube video below by True Icon to get a feel for Stephens freelance calisthenics style. Want more vids? Go here.
 
Also if you’ve liked or hated this article OR if you’ve found some glaring errors – please feel free to leave a comment below.
 

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Calisthenics Champions
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