After reading Get Strong, the newest book on body weight strength training from Al and Danny Kavadlo, I know it was time to get the two of them down to our gym. Al’s approach to strength is very much like you see in his videos: An adult having fun in a playground. It’s organic, and very Zen.
But Get Strong also offers structure. This is one of those books where if you’re curious how to get from A to B on certain exercises, it shows you. It’s more than just, hey, go play around with this. There are progressions here. And good ones. (I should say that Al’s tutorials on handstands, pistol squats, etc, are among the most helpful around, and have played a large role in my development.)
As a coach, I appreciate the approach of sometimes just saying hey, go play around with this, until you get better. Because that does work, a lot of the time. But as a student, I also understand the want of something laid out, something specific. Get Strong gives you both.
Anyway, you should grab this book. Because if you’re interested in learning how to Get Strong with nothing more than the ground and something to hang from, then this is for you.
Also, I told Al last we spoke that I think of him as the Mr. Roger’s of fitness. The guy is so darn neighborhood-y. His videos are lighthearted and inspirational and make you feel good, and his books put off a very similar vibe. You’ll smile a lot, and often without knowing why.
And since then, we’ve been able to organize quite the event, as well–which, I guess I’m apparently ready to announce?
So, yeah. Al Kavadlo, and get this–Dan John–will be at our place, The Dragon Gym, on September 9 & 10. This is going to be a certification combo weekend, offering both the SCC (Strength Calisthenics Certification) and HKC (Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification). So you can do one, the other, or, as I would recommend, both.
Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the preface to Al’s new book, Get Strong. (Obviously I’m giving my full recommendation on this one. This is a great book.)
Enter Al Kavadlo
It was 12 degrees Fahrenheit when we stepped off the plane in Beijing to teach Asia’s first-ever Progressive Calisthenics Certification. A mix of energy, excitement and anticipation filled us. We’ve had the honor of teaching the Progressive Calisthenics Certification (PCC) since its inception and it is the #1 bodyweight strength training certification in the world.
Though the PCC had already been going strong in North America, Europe and Australia, we were nervous yet also enthusiastic for our first foray to the Far East. It was our premier event of 2016, and we wanted to get the year off to a strong start.
After 16 hours on a plane, we arrived at Peking International Airport the night before the 3-day certification was set to commence. Sometimes our schedules allow us to spend some downtime in a new city before instructing a workshop, but this time that was not the case.
After making our way through customs, our hosts picked us up and drove us to our hotel, where we quickly checked in, dropped off our belongings and immediately made our way to dinner. We were taken to the most authentic Chinese restaurant we’d ever been, where we dined on Peking duck, spicy sea cucumber and squid. We drank ancient Chinese yellow wine brewed by monks, alongside Dragon Door CEO John Du Cane and several executives from Beijing Science and Technology Publishing, the company behind the Chinese translations of many bestselling Dragon Door titles. It was one of the most delicious and unique culinary experiences we’ve ever had.
The next morning, we made our way across the bustling cityscape. There was boundless energy and people everywhere. Finally, we arrived at the training facility, not knowing exactly what to expect. We were tired, disoriented and cold, yet once the energy of the 40+ calisthenics fanatics who showed up to train with us began pouring into the room, the jetlag, language barrier and pandemonium were no longer of consequence. As always, we delivered our signature blend of calisthenics coaching while the attendees set personal bests and forged new friendships.
It’s amazing how the modern bodyweight strength training movement is still growing every day and spreading to reach more people all over the world. Though we are all different and unique, calisthenics continually reminds us that we have so much in common, despite our geographic separation and perceived cultural divisions.
Later in 2016 we would travel to London, Munich, Amsterdam, Sydney and back to Beijing. We taught across the US multiple times as well. In each city and at every workshop, there is tremendous enthusiasm and energy, and we always have an unforgettable experience. Calisthenics has an incredible way of strengthening the body, but it also does wonders for the spirit. Bodyweight movement provides an opportunity for growth in many ways.
The world is starting to feel smaller, but the posse keeps getting bigger. Across our travels, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is how to put together a definitive program to build muscle and strength. Though many of our previous books have featured step-by-step progressions and numerous workout templates, our new book, Get Strong, is the very first to contain a detailed, actionable, 16-week training program, including specific exercise sequences, exact sets and reps, specified time frames, warm-ups and rest days.
You asked for it. You got it!
Get Strong, is divided into three sections. The first, simply entitled Get Strong, includes
the techniques, exercises and programs necessary to build a lifetime of strength. To anyone who’s ever asked where the best place to get started is, or how far you can go, this is for you.
The second part, Stay Strong, consists of practical answers to real questions (Ask Al) and time-tested advice for fitness and life (Danny’s Dos and Don’ts). Additionally, we’ve provided more exercises, workouts and even partner drills to supplement what you’ve already achieved in the first part.
Finally, the Bonus Section features ten of the best articles we’ve ever written, along with never before seen authors’ insights. For example, if you are curious about breathing techniques, look no further than “Strength from Within.” For the Kavadlo approach to nutrition (and making your gains more visible), you will want to check out “Six Tips For A Six Pack.” The wisdom contained in these pages will support and enhance your journey, as well as provide unique perspective for future training endeavors.
We’ve gone from being two kids in deep Brooklyn having push-up contests on the linoleum floor, to becoming renowned fitness experts across the globe. There are Kavadlo Brothers books available worldwide in over a dozen languages, as well as DVDs, T-shirts and apps for your smart phone. There are even a few “Kavadlo” tattoos floating around out there. We are grateful to every one of you for all of this. From the bottom of our hearts, you mean as much to us as we do to you. Thank you for what you’ve given us. This is our attempt to give something back.