When physical fitness is at the top of your list, how hard
do you go? How much time do you put into your body? Are you happy with the
results of your personal labor? What if I told you that there is a whole other
level that you could reach if you only put your mind to it; would you dedicate
yourself to the challenge?
Say hello to Hassan Giant Yasin, CEO and founder of Giant
Thinking, and home of the Bar-tendaz.
Giant is a philanthropist through his teachings in physical
fitness. The talk in the barbershops and on the net is simmering over the
athletic capabilities shown by Giants Bar-tendaz brand.
One simple web search will not only impress you, for some, you
will rush to your local gym to slap your personal trainer in the mouth and
demand a refund. And thats before you even realize that there is so much more
to pulling off amazing maneuvers than sheer strength. Giant suggests that you
Giant spoke with us about the groundbreaking program based
around calisthenics that even the Godfather of Physical Fitness, Jack LaLanne
couldnt deny as being revolutionary. Youll also find out about the words that
Giant had for a certain popular cable station when they approached him with an
opportunity to be a star.
AllHipHop.com: For those that arent familiar, fill them in
on what defines Bar-tendaz.
Hassan Giant Yasin: Bar-tendaz is a physical fitness and self-empowerment
program, which was created around Calisthenics for the high schools and public
schools. This is a calisthenics program designed specifically for at risk
students. The trainers in this course focus primarily on the pull-up and
chin-up bars in order to inspire students towards improved physical fitness
without the use of potentially dangerous weights. We have trained professionals
that inspire healthy images of self and share lessons about the realities of
street life that build moral and rational muscles in the mind.
AllHipHop.com: Ive watched the Bar-tendaz in action and it
was simply amazing to see the level of positivity and unity that is shown
between the trainers and participants. It must take a lot of discipline to do
the things that you do. Discipline that I wish I had. I work hard for two weeks,
then, well, Im hardly working.
Giant: Ive learned from being at 60 schools and 13
buildings on Rikers [Island] that we have the ability to mesh with different
personalities. And I feel that one of our biggest struggles is consistency. For
example, we are phenomenal for three days, but after that, we fall short. I
feel that many of us are getting caught up on our image, so that others could
be pleased with it; when we arent even pleased with ourselves and the energy
that we are putting into our image.
Once we are able to change the metaphor of how we see
ourselves and we do it as an appreciation, as a form of discipline to build
body and mind, we can take a different approach to how we work out. Its not
about trying to look good for the opposite sex or to outshine the person that
you work out with. So with Bar-tendaz, one of our concepts is to become a
pragmatic practitioner. Dont say that youre phenomenal today, but then youre
not tomorrow. Because if youre phenomenal, then show me five people that are
phenomenal like you.
This is what separates the Bar-tendaz from, well, you see so
many other people popping up promoting physical fitness all of a sudden. And
Im honored to a certain extent, but Im really going at these brothers because
they are not paying homage. This is why values and morals pay a major effect
and influence on what we do in being disciplined. Who are you teaching, or are
you just building your own body? You will be more disciplined when you are
trying to empower somebody other than yourself.
AllHipHop.com: I remember before we began this conversation
that you were elated about something that happened to you recently. Can you
talk about it?
Giant: Yes I can. Jack LaLanne gave me a call. That was incredible
for me. Jack LaLanne!? The guy that created jumping jacks, gave us a call! He
said, Health is wealth, to me and I couldnt believe it. Wow, at 88, this man
was doing 500 Jumping Jacks straight while smiling. He told me that I was onto
something bigger than creation right now – theres nothing after calisthenics.
And I know that. I have a curriculum with it.
Jack LaLanne doing fingertip pushups
Now Im challenging rappers with it. I can ask a rapper if
he is a pimp. He can answer yes to that. And then Ill tell him, yes you are a
pimp, a Poor Image of a Mans Personality. I have them like, Wow, this kid can
think; he looks like us, but he is on some real empowerment, values and morals
stuff. Its working, and I see it working.
AllHipHop.com: You brought up the fact that youve taken
your program to Rikers Island. Talk to us that experience.
Giant: We made history there. In the history of Rikers
Island, there has never been a program that was held in the Yard. It might
happen in the Chapel, it might happen in the visiting room, but it never
happens in the Yard with the inmates. [Giant Thinking] is prophetic, and not
just because its mine. But I have never scene pull-ups change a persons life
until I placed language on it.
Theres a brother that came home recently that done 28
years. He told me, no disrespect, but he had to challenge me. People told him
about me. I touched the bar, and he told me that I was in a different place, on
another level with what I was doing; so hell give me 150 pull-ups straight up,
that he couldnt mess with me. And he did 150, straight-up.
People believe that this movement was started in jail, so I
want to clear this up. Out of the 250 people that are a part of this program,
only two were actually incarcerated. Nobody beyond those two even has
misdemeanors, and Im proud of that. People are saying that this is a jail
thing, when they arent doing this in jail. So I wanted to make it clear that
these moves that are being simulated werent started there.
AllHipHop.com: You are extremely forthright about what you
believe in. How do you feel that people perceive you?
Giant: People tell me that Im a strong Black man. I tell
them that I am a strong human. People at BET told me that Ill be their next
star. No Im not! I see what they do
to their stars! They must got me confused. They finally ran into a man that has
values and morals.
AllHipHop.com: And with those morals and values, you also
have your own language used by Bar-tendaz participants. Speak on it.
Giant: For example, we created something in the schools
called HIT Squad which is an acronym for Heroes In Training. We wanted for the young, more street oriented
youth with all of the say-so and influence to step up and run the program while
we just shadow it. Once weve done that, it just took off. So now we had
Bushwick High School that wanted to go up against Bronx Collegiate High School
in push-ups and pull-ups. And you couldnt be a part of the program if your
grades werent exceptional and you dont have a CAP, which is an acronym for
Character, Attitude and Personality.
Before we knew it, students were getting Physical Education
credits for it. Also, the acronym for GIANT THINKING: Growing Is A Noble Thing
– To Help Introduce Nationwide Knowledge Involving Natural Guidance.
AllHipHop.com: Beautiful. Finally, our readers of this
section loves it when our feature leaves them with a workout regimen to
explore. So if you can, leave us with a basic and advanced Bar-tendaz workout.
Giant: The park is a prime
location due to excellent breathing. Gym is secondary!
Preparation before all workouts,
stretching (5-7mins), arm circles (frontwards, 15 and backwards 15 large and
small circles), Bar-tendaz Jumping jacks (during jumping jack go over head and
then across chest 15-20)
11-15 push-ups: 15 sets
5-8 pull-ups: 9-11 sets
6-8 dips: 9-11 sets
30-50 push-ups – 20-30 sets
15-20 pull-ups – 20 sets minimum
13-15 dips – 15 sets minimum
Sometime stretching is better
after workouts. More important than anything I just gave you breathing, inhale,
exhale. Seven out of 10 people dont breathe properly when they work out, and
worse, they dont even think of the muscles their working them just move the
physical and wonder why they dont get results.
Find out more about the BAR-tendaz movement at www.BartendazNYC.com and