Today I’m fortunate enough to bring you an interview with plant-powered Mixed Martial Artist, Calisthenics athlete, Yoga expert and entrepreneur: Ricky Warren.
We discuss his training approach, mentality and the resources that have carried him and his business to the level where his passion for fitness and movement now sustains every other aspect of his life, including his financial security and ambitions.
Clearly such a journey didn’t happen over-night however! Through the practical insights and experiences Ricky kindly shares with us, we cut our own learning curve towards better health and transforming whatever we are passionate about into a sustainable income…
What types of movement do you specialise in?
Calisthenics, Mixed Martial Arts, Yoga and advanced Mobility.
How did your passion for these disciplines begin and develop?
My mum told me I was full on running at 11 months old, and I had a load of energy as a kid. My dad sent me to Judo/Jiu Jitsu classes when I was 7, and eventually joined me in learning Wing chun kung fu from 13-18yo. I picked up boxing and other martial arts along the way too and eventually fell into calisthenics and yoga, which are in a way two contrasting but overlapping arts.
What does your weekly training routine consist of?
Monday is always Leg day, since maintaining a strong base is important for any sport. The hips are the most powerful lever in the body and needed for pretty much every movement. After that it’s a mixture of static isometrics, push and pull reps, stretching, mobility work and rehab. I train 5 days a week generally and teach on all 7.
How have you transformed your passion for health and fitness into a successful business?
At first, I just wanted to share my knowledge and experience. I taught group fitness for 4 years on the side to an office career. I woke up one morning and acknowledged the deep level of dissatisfaction my work was giving me. I left my job to do something I’m passionate about, to help people. I struggled in the beginning but through determination and hard work, here I am. Still struggling 😉 hahahaha. No, life is a blessing for me to wake up to now. I enjoy every moment of what I have chosen to do and put out in this world.
How has the services that your business provides changed and developed as the business has grown?
In the beginning I was just training friends and anyone who would respond to my local marketing efforts. As I became more and more educated and qualified in the field, my Biology degree became more relevant and lead me to a higher understanding of my art and sport. I noticed the standard of coaching was not as high as I imagined once I got deeper in, since qualifying is too easy and not regulated enough. So I decided to start teaching the trainers and athletes, the higher end more detailed stuff. People saw what I could do skill wise and that I had alot of technical knowledge to back it up, as well as many years of teaching experience. Eventually I became the educator I am today, offering my own industry accredited instructor certifications for calisthenics and mobility.
What do you think are the most important characteristics to develop in order to pursue your ambitions?
Self motivation – nobody is going to give you ANYTHING. You have to go and get it, or at least ask for help where you need it. You cannot do it alone – you need the cooperation of people who can open doors for you, and you must earn their respect for them to do that. The same with even just getting clients.
Another is patience – I’m still working on that one. My passion for this goes so far as to feel like it’s my purpose on Earth. I just want 5 minutes to tell the whole world how what I have learnt can help each and every person become stronger, happier and more empowered. But the world doesn’t grant an audience to any old fool. I have to keep grinding to earn my right to speak on a platform.
What do you think is the number one thing that holds people back from achieving their fitness goals?
Lack of self-discipline. We are all guilty of it at times, and that’s OK. Other areas of life come in the way, we need to balance things. But consistency is the only way to create a change. The body is stubborn and constantly in a state of flux, like play-dough. It moulds itself around what you do with it on a daily basis.
Are there any people, books, or experiences that you would be willing to share with us, that have really helped shape your mentality?
Quitter by Jon Acuff is a good book – helped me alot in removing my fears of trying my own path.
The Bhagavad Gita, a discourse between two characters – Krishna and Arjuna – is one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring things I have ever read. And I have never read anything else like it. It is one of the longest poems in the world, and was written 7000 years ago. Truly life changing.
Are there any specific principles that you try and live by and why?
I won’t lie I am a very principled and opinionated person. Because I have spent my entire life reading books, journals and watching documentaries, not TV shows. I know who I am, and I know what my values are. I just ensure I live my own truth and stick to them, because if I can’t hold myself to my own values, I am my own destruction. I have a lot to say about a lot of things, but won’t bore you with it all unless specifically asked. In general though, I think the world would be a better place with more kindness, less rushing, more sharing and more compassion.
What are you goals and plans for the future?
If you asked me 10 years ago, I could have told you my plan for my whole life. Now, I live in the present and surrender to what will be. I live what I believe is my purpose on Earth, and hope that the powers that be will conspire to support me in doing that. Even though the road has not been easy at all, an emotional rollercoaster full of twists and turns… they haven’t let me down so far. Believe in yourself and become immortal through what you leave in the world – else you are here for just a flash in time, to be forgotten soon after.
Head Coach and Founder – BodyweightGurus
We thank Ricky for sharing with us so much practical advice that we can all use to improve our health and turn whatever we are passionate about into sustaining everything else in our lives.
Follow Ricky on Instagram (@rix.official) for a continuation of such practical insights!
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Until then all the best…