Interview with Petr Hulk: Extreme street workouts and rooftopping

Aug 04, 2021 BY Luke Rees

Combining extreme street workouts and rooftopping is an exceptionally dangerous sport. In this interview with Petr Hulk we find out what he does, why he does it and what motivates him to keep pushing the boundaries of this sport that is practiced by less people than you can count on one hand.

Extreme street workouts and rooftopping Dragon flag 250 meters image copyright of Petr Hulk

Petr Hulk Interview

You can use the below links to jump to the different questions in this interview with Petr Hulk:

Interview with Petr Hulk

Hello Petr, please start this interview by explaining what you do?

Hi Luke, I do street workout, it’s a workout using my own bodyweight. And I also do rooftoping, which is climbing on tall structures. It is illegal here in the Czech Republic and in most places around the world.

I’ve combined the two to create extreme street workouts and rooftopping at the same time. So I do difficult exercises at high altitudes, which are very dangerous. It’s a beautiful extreme sport. With this union, I’ve found freedom, I feel as full of life and energy as I ever have.

How does this differ from other high altitude stunts?

The people who do rooftoping and try exercise at the same time are quite numerous. But 95% of them just hang by their hands and do pull-ups etc. That’s pretty simple. The other 5% of people do much more demanding exercises. That’s a really small handful of people.

I choose difficult exercises that are very dangerous. My craziest practice so far has been a handstand on gymnastic rings that were suspended 250 meters above the ground.

Does anyone else do the same thing you do?

Yes, there are other people as mad as me. Perhaps the most famous are three boys from Russia. One of them is called Alexander Rusinov. He performs beautiful street style exercises such as handstands and other other moves.

How did you start doing extreme street workouts and rooftopping?

At first I was learning the street workout, but over time I got tired of it. Once I went on a trip with my friends, and we climbed a low tower mast, I thought to try some exercises there.

I then went to the mast regularly the next few days, trying more difficult exercises. The fear of heights gradually faded after a few weeks. Eventually, the low mast wasn’t enough, and I wanted to go to much higher structures.

Extreme street workouts and rooftopping Human cross 250 meters image copyright of Petr Hulk

How do you train for this?

I train three to five times a week on the workout pitch, but that’s nowhere near enough for high-altitude exercise. Weather conditions are very treacherous.

If there’s a slight breeze down on the ground, hundreds of metres up there’s a big gusting wind that can destroy the balance of exercise. That’s why I started training on a mast, about 20 metres high.

The hardest part of the whole exercise in heights is mind control. Concentration has to be 100%, if I feel like I can do the drill, I’m going in. If I’m feeling insecure, I’m not practicing, it would be gambling.

The human body can withstand almost anything, it’s just our minds we have to convince. Another important part is the diet. If you decide to climb a 300-metre chimney and still perform exercises at the top, you must have a huge energy reserve. Muscles and strength are not from the air, diet is 70% of success.

Do you do extreme street workouts and rooftopping with friends?

Only a few times have my friends been with me but they only try hanging by their hands, the others are very afraid of heights. So basically it’s just me doing it myself.

Surrounding myself with people who live and breathe for the same thing as me would be great. It’s almost impossible to find the same people as me, I guess I’ll take a trip to see the boys in Russia and we’ll do some training together :).

Interview with Petr Hulk single-leg squats 250 meters Image copyright of Petr Hulk

Why do you do this?

I’m doing this because I know it’s going to be an incredible experience… It makes me feel alive. It’s a mix of feelings of happiness, euphoria, and I really feel alive.

To live is the rarest thing in the world, because most people just exist. The most amazing feeling is when you accomplish something you wanted to achieve.

Have you had any bad experiences?

Yes, I’ve been doing this for seven years, and I’ve gained a lot of experience in that time. The worst thing that happened to me was that I was nearly killed by a high-voltage electric current.

I was going to climb the mast tower, but it was an AM mast, which means the whole mast and ladder are under high tension. When I touched it lightly with my hand there was an explosion and black smoke. I had a burn hole in my hand about 3x3mm.

Another bad experience was when I was doing a Human Flag. I was wearing gloves, and because of the gloves, my grip slipped and I just barely grabbed the railing.

Quite often, a gust of wind plays tricks on me. Several times I’ve been thrown off balance in the handstand, and I’ve had a few seconds to save myself.

Interview with Petr Hulk Handstand 300 meters Image copyright of Petr Hulk

What’s your next challenge?

Over the last few few years I have dangerously shifted my life towards death. And to keep it fun, I’m constantly devising more extreme and dangerous exercises.

It is always necessary to set and achieve the next target, and the bar keeps rising. The biggest challenge, and even the most dangerous, is exercising in gymnastics rings. While on the circles, you can practice exercises that require balance, such as static endurance (handstand, iron cross, inverted iron cross, planche etc).

When I use the rings they are suspended at least 300 meters above the ground, and often there is a very strong wind  blowing. Wind makes gymnastics rings “swing,” and it’s impossible to do the exercises.

The greatest achievement is one that is very close to failure. I also want to do Base Jumping in the future, it’s a beautiful extreme sport.

Why do you shoot YouTube videos of extreme street workouts and rooftopping?

I want to remember the interesting ladder, the beautiful view, the height and the view down to the ground. But also to show others never to give up on their dreams. Of course, I don’t want to be imitated because extreme street workouts and rooftopping are very dangerous.

But I want to show that doing what you love, no matter how crazy it may seem to others is worthwhile. Patience and never giving up is the key to success. Check out my YouTube Channel here.

Extreme street workouts and rooftopping Handstand 22O meters image copyright of Petr Hulk

Will you keep doing this or are you planning to stop?

I feel withdrawal when I’m not climbing for a long time, it’s like a part of me is dying. I long to push the boundaries in what brings me happiness. It’s something that will always be in my life, I don’t want to give it up.

I’m probably already an adrenaline junkie. But in my opinion a man’s greatest happiness is when he can live for what he would be willing to die for.

What do your family and friends think?

My friends and family are very worried about me, but most of them are happy that I’m doing what I enjoy. My close family is dead set against it, we fight about it all the time. But I live life by my own rules, and I don’t let anyone influence me. Everyone is a creator of their life and therefore live it the way you want.

What’s your motivation?

Many years ago, I had a very demanding job for several years, and I had no time at all. After a while, I felt the work steal my life. I changed jobs and started doing what I enjoy.

Everyone was born into this world for so much more, than just going to work and paying taxes. Everyone dies someday, but not everyone really lives. I choose to enjoy life to the fullest by doing what I enjoy. And constantly surpassing myself, and fulfilling all of my dreams.

Interview with Petr Hulk elbow lever one hand 300 meters Image copyright of Petr Hulk

Extreme street workouts and rooftopping

We hope you enjoyed this interview with Petr Hulk. I think our main comment is don’t try this yourself. But we do agree with Petr that too many people never really live. But you don’t have to get into extreme street workouts and rooftopping in order to get a buzz.

Most adventure sports have an element of risk, it is that risk that makes them fun. And while it is possible to die doing anything from surfing to snowboarding and hiking to horse riding the risks are much smaller than climbing to great heights to perform stunts.

So if you want to push yourself check out our action sport and adventure holidays. Book yourself something that will challenge you, which takes you way beyond just working and paying taxes. Do something that makes you feel alive.

 
Czech Republic, Europe
Multi Activity
extreme, Rooftopping, Street Workout
Interviews
 
     

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