Interview with Stephen Hughes-Landers before the World Street Workout Championship 2014 in Moscow

Athlete Information:
Name: Stephen Hughes-Landers
Age: 33
Country: United Kingdom
Facebook: Stephen Hughes-Landers
Twitter: iambarstarzz
Instagram: iambarstarzz

What is your daily routine?
I gave up my job a year after my first pull up in April 2013 to follow my dream. Seeing guys on a stage in Riga blew me away.
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.

Tell us something about your experience?
My background is basketball, bmx and strongman. All of these contribute to everything I do below, on and above the bars.
Explosive power, flow and no fear. I love adrenalin fueled workouts/freestyle.

Do you prefer to work in a team or individually?
I have difficulty training alone. My guys at southcoastcalisthenics all push me. We all have different areas of expertise and are part of other teams. We train together and teach others to show there is no us or them in what we do. We are all boundbybarz
I also have the support of my team which motivates me more than anything.

What is the strangest thing that has happened to you since you started doing street workout?
I visited Team Physix in Oslo for the Norwegian qualifier to show support and spend time with some incredible people. It blew me away to have some people travel to capital from nearby towns just to meet me. It was bizarre to be recognised!

What has been one of your greatest accomplishments as a bar athlete?
To me, becoming OFFICIAL BARSTARZZ was my dream. Since my first pull up I watched and followed everything they have done. I love what they stand for and I am proud to say it is my life.

What’s your most memorable moment? 
Arriving at fibo expo surrounded by people I had been watching on line and being told ‘we are doing a show in 5 mins’ (Dennis ‘D Stinto’ Ratano). I excitedly (with out warm up) muscle up 180° transfer the biggest gap in front of a huge crowd. The bar was thick and slippery. I caught it and slipped. I fell hard.
I got straight back up and nailed it. If I hadn’t, I would have feared it all week.

Do you have any rituals or a mantra that you use to pump yourself up before a competition? 
Before the UKBC comp I just had a short chat with everyone of my friends who were also competing to say, let’s get up there, relax and have fun. That is what I think is needed. Don’t put any pressure on yourself. Just enjoy it. It was an honour just to have the opportunity to compete.

How do you mentally prepare yourself to do such complicated routines before you compete? 
I’ve only competed once. I spent 4 weeks running over my routine in my head repeatedly. I didn’t even try it until a week before the event and then changed the whole thing on the day as the time I was told was different to the day.

Do you think Street Workout should be an Olympic sport and if so why? 
I haven’t given this much thought before this. Good question! I think it should continue as it is. To be it’s own thing. With so many athletes coming over to street workout from other backgrounds, it is unique and I feel it should stay that way. It is for everyone.

What do you expect from World Street Workout and Calisthenics Federation in future? 
I see this year being a major part of the future for WSWCF. Every day more and more people are inspired by what is going on in parks, gyms and online. This is the year the world will recognise just how fast the movement is growing, how much people are progressing and how positive everything the WSWCF is doing is.
What we do now makes the future.

What was the first thought in your mind when you qualified to Street Workout World 
Championship to represent your country?

I was extremely happy. The set up the UK event was on was not what I am used to. My run had to be everything I don’t usually do which made it difficult. I am looking forward to Moscow as more bars mean more options! I hope to represent my country and make the UKBC proud.

This year rules are split in categories and in order to win World Championship you must be perfect in static, dynamic and mixed elements. How do you perceive these changes in rules?
I personally feel the mixed elements are essential for progression as a sport. Street Workout athletes should be great all round. At this level, athletes should be setting an example.

This Street Workout World Championship will bring together national champions from 65 different countries. How would you rate your chances to become a world champion?   
Honestly? There are so many incredible athletes competing that are heroes of mine. I said to myself ‘you won’t be top but you won’t be bottom’. Then I remembered what Dejan Stipke said to me before the UK comp. ‘You get one chance’.
I am going to go and be the best me I can be and nothing less.

What’s next for Stephen? Competitions? Hard Moves? 
I am heading to judge the Dutch qualifier in Amsterdam June 8th.
Jay and Vanna (wswcf/BARSTARZZ) who have organised the event are like my brother and sister. Spending time with them is always a pleasure.
I’m also working on some moves no one has been crazy enough to try. I want to pull out at least one surprise for the world on stage!

Any advices for someone who wants or his goal is to compete in the Street Workout World Championship?   
Put in work and enjoy it.

What can you say to all the participants before the championship?
To be on a stage with each and every one of you is phenomenal.
Let’s show the world we are United by the same love…