Mountain Residence health influencer Hampton Liu is aware of you are able to do it

It doesn’t really matter if you’re the workout type or if you’ve never heard of it Hampton Liu, the Mountain Home fitness guru with a global and growing following. Once you meet him, you will want to be his friend. The good news here is that he probably wants to be your friend too. And if, while spending internet time with your new friend Hampton, you’re getting closer to your goal of doing some full push-ups or even a pull-up (!), then that’s a pretty big benefit now, isn’t it? ?

Brian ChilsonHANG OUT: Arkansas fitness influencer Hampton Liu isn’t really big on indoor gyms, but thinks there are plenty of other options.

Liu, 28, only burst onto the online fitness scene a few years ago, and despite having millions of TikTok and Instagram followers, he’s still coy about the “influencer” label. To be fair, it doesn’t fit perfectly. Buff but not bulky, laid-back and relatable, Liu is a fitness influencer like Mr. Rogers is a childhood influencer or Tom Hanks is an actor influencer. “My goal is to help people achieve long-term fitness and happiness by creating fitness content and building a community,” he explains at It’s this endearing combination of expertise and warmth that led one YouTube follower to dub Liu “the Bob Ross of training.”

The first thing to know about Liu’s workout program, Hybrid Calisthenics, is that you don’t have to pay for it. Anyone with an internet connection can take part. “This routine is being made available for free so that it can help as many people as possible,” the website reads. You can buy branded t-shirts or send donations through Patreon, but not print. And he places a heavy emphasis on gravity and bodyweight as strength-building tools, so there’s no pressure to buy fancy gear either. Most of Liu’s workout videos show him exercising on his deck, using the railings or walls as props to correct posture or perfect a backbend. He also tends towards a parkour approach and can’t seem to resist turning rock faces and tree branches into fitness props that he balances and hangs on to defy gravity.

The second thing you need to know is that Liu doesn’t expect you to be able to do any of those gravity-defying stunts, especially at first. He advocates incremental progress made throughout life. Take his 3-minute YouTube video, “You CAN do pushups, my friend!”, for example, starting with his standard greeting, like all his videos: “Hi, my friends! It’s your brother Hampton,” the video follows what its fans will recognize as a dependable formula: reassurance that the challenge ahead is tough but doable; a series of suggested variations to build strength over time; and his signature to “Have a beautiful day”.

Escalating levels of difficulty keep plain jane push-ups from being either too daunting for beginners or too boring for the more muscular among us, Liu explained. Start where you are and go from there. “The concept embodies lifelong progression.” Be sure to start with a few wall push-ups, then progress to incline and knee versions, then move on to real business when you feel called to it. (Why not do 25 push-ups against the wall right away? Nice job!) But it’s Liu himself that draws crowds beyond the basics of his content. Here is a selection of viewer comments:

I trust this guy with my life without ever meeting him.

This guy is one of the healthiest and most selfless people I have ever heard of.

I know this doesn’t mean anything to you because you don’t know anything about me, but I’m 16, you comfort me. You remind me a lot of my older brother and he is no longer with me so your content makes me really happy and put at ease. And I really hope that something in your life makes you feel the same way.

He’s like the healthiest creator here. I just love his positivity and light.

And he accepts the occasional negative comment. Liu has been criticized for being too skinny and not muscular enough. Some commenters said he looks like a woman, probably because of his enviably shiny shoulder-length hair. “It never upset me. We have to accept these things that we know are true. Once we accept them, they can no longer be used against us,” he argued. “I have long hair and slightly round features.”

Liu addresses viewers’ vulnerabilities with his own complementary fitness content with podcasts and thoughts, which he usually presents with his signature coffee mug in hand. In a recent offering, “In the Event of My Death,” Liu shares some pretty deep thoughts on living at peace with his inevitable death. He has more insight into this topic than most people his age, having recently cared for his mother after a massive stroke and in the last few years of her life. She passed away in 2020. That experience, he said, was “a catalyst for a sea-change in personality and a revelation about myself.” The revelation: “I wanted to be able to give something to other people without expecting anything in return. This is fundamental to both my content and my routine.”

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Undoubtedly, this experience contributed to the emotional intelligence and empathy that are Liu’s superpowers, as well as the surreal upper body strength that allows him to hang vertically from light poles. Not that he’s in any hurry to face death, he said, but there will be some perks when the last moment comes. In particular, Liu admits that part of him will welcome freedom from a repetitive, intrusive, irrational fear that he might step on a crawling baby. There he goes again and deconstructs a subject that is feared and intimidating into something relatable and something less terrifying.

Liu earned a degree in international business from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and he credited his father for his high energy and unwavering interest in health. Both of Liu’s parents came to the United States from Taiwan before he was born. Liu’s father helps run an integrative medical center at Mountain Home that focuses on martial arts and traditional Chinese healing.

Combining this business degree with his genetic predisposition to promote well-being and exceptional emotional intelligence makes for an unlikely but winning combination, even if he doesn’t charge a penny.

“You can give a tremendous amount of things for free and still make a living,” Liu explained. “I have a website where I sell fitness equipment. I never push, but I let people know if you need this, I’ve got it. This website generates some income, as do the online ads that appear with its content. Add in money from Patreon subscribers and a potential book deal, and Liu is fine.

There is no hard sell on the business side, just like there is no hard sell on the fitness side. Liu’s favorite sport, walking, earns him zero dollars. But how many pull-ups does a person really need? “At some point, the pursuit of strength really becomes more of a hobby than a necessity,” Liu admits.

He plans to continue pursuing this mix of hobby and livelihood at Mountain Home. Around the time COVID-19 broke out, he began offering his routines online, fundamentally changing the way the world does business and allowing him to beam content from anywhere, even Baxter County. Liu was born in Utah but has lived here since he was two years old. “I love Arkansas,” he said. “A lot of people are surprised when I tell them I’m from Arkansas.”

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