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About Al Kavadlo
Al Kavadlo is one of the world's leading experts in bodyweight strength training and calisthenics.
The author of several books, including Get Strong, Kavadlo is also known for his appearance in the popular Convict Conditioning book series.
Al's been featured in The New York Times, The New York Post and Men's Health. He is also a regular contributor to T-Nation and TRAIN magazine.
As a personal trainer, Al has worked one-on-one with all types of clients from everyday working folks to professional athletes and Olympic medalists.
As the lead instructor for the Progressive Calisthenics Certification (PCC), Al gets to bring his unique coaching style to fitness trainers and enthusiasts around the globe.
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Titles By Al Kavadlo
Where do you belong on the strength continuum? And where do you want to be? Too often, we know what we should be doing to gain strength, but we lack direction, a plan, motivation and intelligent guidance to make appreciable gains over the long haul. We have no real goal, no proper focus and therefore underachieve—going nowhere with our strength…
Get Strong is a guidebook for those who are dissatisfied with their current rate of progress—and who want to effect lasting changes, fast…
Your great advantage with the Get Strong program is the intelligent realism of its plan.
While the Kavadlo brothers have achieved supreme feats of calisthenics strength—like the one-arm pull up, the human flag and the back lever—they have also spent decades helping thousands of clients meet and often exceed their training goals.
And you can see from their photographs that their choice of exercise regimens has resulted in beyond spectacular physiques. With the Kavaldos’ strategies you get strength and looks in one awesome package.
So, you can consider the Kavadlos curators of not only the most effective bodyweight exercises, but also the programming needed to extract the full juice from those chosen drills.
As experienced architects and constructors of strength, the Kavadlos know what it takes to advance from absolute newbie to elite practitioner. The Kavadlos also know how to strip things down to their essentials—to get the most out of the least, the biggest bang for the buck…
You’ll discover what key exercises in what exact progressions will give you the best results in the fastest, safest time.
Get Strong guides you through four major phases of strength, using a construction analogy: Foundation, Brick and Mortar, Concrete and Iron and Forged Steel. Just follow the master architects’ blueprint as drawn—and you cannot fail but to grow a stronger and better-looking body. It’s inevitable!
When you graduate from Phase 3, Concrete and Iron, you will already possess a beastly level of functional strength—with a body to match.
When you graduate from Phase 4, Forged From Steel, you will be at a world elite level for pound-for-pound strength. And the beauty of it all: you can do it!
Once You’ve Got Strong, Then What?
Once you have completed the Get Strong 16-week transformation program, you won’t want to stop and rest on your laurels. Because it’s all too easy to let entropy take over and to start sliding. Or, perhaps you need a helping hand to complete the program…
The Kavadlos have anticipated your needs beautifully with Part II, Stay Strong.
First, Al borrows from his Ask Al blog formula and answers most of the questions you are likely to have about the 16-week program. Here’s where to go if you’re stuck in any manner whatsoever…
Then Doctor Danny delivers the Dos and Don’ts of “right conduct” in the quest for bodily fame and fortune. Preach it Danny! Invaluable tips from a man who seen just about everything in the training world, from good to bad to ugly…
Next, we have a dynamite set of Supplemental Exercises you’ll want to mix in at some stage. All those Kavadlo favorites that didn’t make the cut for one reason or another in the 16-week program: like muscle-ups, flags, dips…
Want variety in your workouts? Sure thing, the Brothers deliver the goods in Supplemental Workouts…
Hungry for more variety still? Partner Exercises are an awesome way to add fun and challenge to your calisthenics.
Picture yourself with the elegant lines and eye-catching flexibility of a Himalayan Yogi. Watch yourself move with the fluidity and grace of a great dancer. Feel your strength as you power into and hold the most challenging of bodyweight exercise moves. See yourself ripple with the muscular, toned, symmetrical physique that signals the perfect marriage of form and function.
All of this could be yours—with the right mindset, the right knowledge, the right mentor and the right blueprint for success. Enter Al Kavadlo—and his hard-earned skills in the world of bodyweight exercise training. This is a man who walks the walk of his talk—and then some. A man who models the capabilities and qualities of a bodyweight master—while also being able to teach and inspire others in the most practical of manners.
In Stretching Your Boundaries, Al provides a blueprint that anyone can follow to achieve supreme physical elegance, mobility and strength—and to amp up their game in any aspect of physical performance.
Stretching Your Boundaries could have been called “Yoga Meets Calisthenics”. Or “Zen and the Art of Stretch”. Because—as with the best of the physical culturists—there is a deep, yet lightly-carried spiritual “vibe” to Al’s teachings. There is a humble joy and a sense of well-being emanating from the man—that speaks volumes about his program.
If you really want to succeed as a physical culturist—and if you really want to live a healthy, happy, long life—then the right combination of spirit, wisdom and hard, skilled practice is the essential recipe, or template if you will. In Stretching Your Boundaries you will find the time-tested tools you need to continue cultivating yourself as a magnificent human artwork.
Fitting Al Kavadlo’s message is the medium: the book has gorgeous design and stunning photography—that will inspire you for years to come.
“The ultimate bodyweight mobility manual is here! Al Kavadlo’s previous two Dragon Door books, Raising the Bar and Pushing the Limits, are the most valuable bodyweight strength training manuals in the world. But strength without mobility is meaningless. Al has used his many years of training and coaching to fuse bodyweight disciplines such as yoga, martial arts, rehabilitative therapy and bar athletics into the ultimate calisthenics stretching compendium. Stretching Your Boundaries belongs on the shelf of any serious athlete—it’s bodyweight mobility dynamite!—"COACH" PAUL WADE, author of Convict Conditioning
"An absolutely masterful follow up to Raising the Bar and Pushing the Limits, Stretching Your Boundaries really completes the picture. Both easy to understand and fully applicable, Al's integration of traditional flexibility techniques with his own unique spin makes this a must have. The explanation of how each stretch will benefit your calisthenics practice is brilliant. Not only stunning in its color and design, this book also gives you the true feeling of New York City, both gritty and euphoric, much like Al's personality."
—MIKE FITCH, creator of Global Bodyweight Training
“Stretching Your Boundaries is a terrific resource that will unlock your joints so you can build more muscle, strength and athleticism. Al's passion for human performance radiates in this beautifully constructed book. Whether you're stiff as a board, or an elite gymnast, this book outlines the progressions to take your body and performance to a new level."
—CHAD WATERBURY, M.S.
In this manual, world renowned calisthenics expert Al Kavadlo shares the best programs, progressions and variations on this iconic exercise. If you’ve always wanted to learn the pistol squat but have never been able to, this is the book you’ve been waiting for. Even if you can already do a few pistol squats, this book is filled with tips that will help you improve your technique.
Furthermore, Perfecting the Pistol Squat includes stretches, advanced variations and other bodyweight leg exercises. It's practically an encyclopedia of lower-body calisthenics.
“Al Kavadlo is a bona fide genius in the bodyweight field. Despite more than 30 years experience studying strength calisthenics, I have still learned a lot from Al.”
—Paul “Coach” Wade, author of Convict Conditioning
“Throughout the years, whenever I needed an additional resource for the proper way to perform, progress or regress a bodyweight exercise, I turned to Al Kavadlo.”
—Jeff Cavaliere, creator of Athlean-X
“Al Kavadlo is a master of bodyweight training and calisthenics. If you want to gain strength and improve flexibility, and do it all without a single piece of gym equipment, Al’s the expert you should turn to.”
—Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint
Well, both Al Kavadlo—the author of Pushing the Limits!—and his brother Danny, are supreme testaments to the primal power of body culture done the old-school, ancient way—bare-handed, with your body only. The brothers Kavadlo walk the bodyweight talk—and then some. The proof is evident on every page of Pushing the Limits!
Your body is your temple. Protect and strengthen your temple by modeling the methods of the exercise masters. Al Kavadlo has modeled the masters and has the “temple” to show for it. Follow Al’s progressive plan for primal body power within the pages of Pushing the Limits!—follow in the footsteps of the great bodyweight exercise masters—and you too can build the explosive strength and possess the magnificent physique you deserve.
"Al and Danny Kavadlo are acknowledged worldwide as masters of urban bodyweight training, so it's no surprise that this book is, without question, the new "bible" of the movement. This work is the greatest manual on progressive calisthenics available on the market today. It's loaded with incredible progressions, stacked with tips and techniques, and overflowing with philosophy and wisdom. The programming sections are beyond extensive. Street Workout is THE magnum opus of the two greatest calisthenics coaches on the planet today. All serious athletes and coaches must buy this book!!"--PAUL "COACH" WADE, author of Convict Conditioning
Your Ultimate Guide to Full Body Fitness Without Weights: The Secrets of “Street Workout” Revealed…
How to Release Yourself from the Gym, Restore Your Primal Power and Reclaim Your Inner Beast…
According to the Kavadlos, working out should be fun, adventurous, primal and pure. And no training style embodies those elements quite like Street Workout. The outside world becomes your total gym--you roam free to get stronger using simply your own body and the environment at hand…
The great masters of Street Workout perform stunning physical feats that can intimidate lesser mortals. But the beauty of the Kavadlos’ approach in Street Workout is to make even the toughest moves achievable by any enthusiast willing to follow their guidelines. Street Workout’s multi-faceted, progressive approach leaves nothing to chance--allowing even a raw beginner to transcend his mortal frame and ascend to the giddiest heights of physical supremacy…
Intermediate and advanced calisthenics practitioners will discover a veritable treasure chest of tips, techniques and insider secrets--guaranteed to force-feed their future achievements in the realm of bodyweight mastery.
Pushing, pulling and squatting your own bodyweight along with forward flexion and back bridging represent the basics of getting brutally strong, solid and unbreakable. By utilizing basic principles of progression such as the manipulation of leverage, adding or removing points of contact and/or increasing the range of motion, you can continue to get stronger without ever having to pick up a weight--and have a helluva good time while you’re at it!
Street Workout proves it so--with its mix of inspirational photography, exact detail on what to do when—and its step-by-step blueprints for off-the-charts, eye-popping physical excellence.
Street Workout fires its first barrage with a crucial section on the Foundational Progressions--future and ongoing physical greatness cannot be achieved without mastery of these five fundamental pillars of fitness…
You will immediately appreciate the nobility, virtue and integrity of these movement patterns. Absorb the wisdom of this first section and you have absorbed the very heart and soul of the Street Workout ethos.
Mastering the exercise progressions in the Skills & “Tricks” section will propel you to new heights, to the land where the giants of Street Workout strut their splendid stuff. And make no mistake, only the bold of heart, the iron-willed and the profoundly persistent will be godlike enough to make it all the way.
Hit your core harder for a faster, tougher, more effective workout. Unlike a fixed pull-up bar, rings are free-floating and unstable. They can swing back and forth, rock side to side and even rotate. This forces your body to stabilize itself to a greater degree. Win the stability game and your reward will be a higher-functioning, more resilient system that can better adapt to sudden, surprising challenges to your balance and overall equilibrium.
Enjoy a greater freedom of movement when practicing your favorite moves. The more freedom and fun you have when you exercise, the more likely you are to persist and keep on getting stronger and stronger. Because they are not connected to one another, rings allow you to pass in between them on moves like the skin-the-cat and muscle-up. Whereas you must maneuver around a pull-up bar, rings will not get in your way.
Become more durable — and extend your training life. If your joints start screaming at you and you feel all broken up, then your gains are going to turn to losses, right? Your success is dependent on your weakest links —the joints and tendons. Training with rings can potentially be more forgiving on your joints, particularly those of the wrists, shoulders and elbows. By allowing your hands to rotate, your joints may move in a more personalized range of motion. And this in turn can be a lifesaver for the tendons.
More easily perfect moves you’ve been struggling with. Though some exercises are more challenging when performed on rings, others are more accessible. When you incorporate rings into your training you automatically open up new ways to be athletically more effective.
Abolish the wrist pain that often plagues floor exercises like planks, L-sits and handstands. Since parallettes allow your wrists to maintain a neutral position during these and other exercises, they offer a great way to work around (and possibly help eradicate) any issues that may plague your wrists.
Translate a stronger grip into greater overall body strength. Squeezing parallettes while practicing these exercises creates more tension in your upper-body, which can facilitate a greater mind-muscle connection. This will help stimulate greater strength gains, especially with regard to your grip, core and shoulders.
End exercise paralysis by finally being able to nail a “hard-for-me” move. Elevating your hands with parallettes makes many exercises more accessible than when they’re performed on the ground. Often, beginners lack flexibility and/or core strength. Having extra clearance beneath your body can make just enough of a difference to help you nail your first L-sit or tuck planche.
Let’s you adapt the exercise tool to fit YOUR body, rather than being the prisoner of a more rigid setup. You can adjust the width of your parallettes to suit your individual proportions, which you cannot do with affixed bars. More freedom of choice of position — and presto, faster, better gains!
"Danny and Al Kavadlo have truly taken their already masterful bodyweight strength instruction to the next level with Next Level Strength. Rings and parallettes are great training tools, but the genius of this book is in the exercise selection and progressions. The program is accessible to the beginner, while giving the advanced trainee all they can handle. Most importantly, the program is fun and goal oriented, and will be in regular rotation with my own training. The Kavadlos always set the bar high with the quality of their books, and I think this one will become my favorite, which is saying a lot. Next Level Strength should be on the bookshelf of any serious student of strength.
The first time I met Al he challenged me to a one-arm chin-up! His enthusiasm for fitness is infectious no matter if you are just dabbling in exercise for the first time or are an Ironman World Champion. -Karen Smyers, USA Triathlon Hall of Famer and Ironman World Champion.
Al's approach combines effective exercises with a motivating philosophy that helped me to pursue my fitness goals. Training with him reminded me how rewarding working out can be. -Emma Robinson, Two-time Olympic medalist in rowing.
Al's approach to fitness is a breath of fresh air and a voice of reason. This book is a necessary step in the documentation of physical culture. -Randy Humola, Personal training legend.
Al Kavadlo is one of New York City's most passionate and successful personal trainers. With clients ranging from everyday people to athletes, models and even an Olympic medalist, Al understands both the mind of the beginner and the drive of a champion. His colorful and unique perspective comes from his personal journey, which is shared in this book along with insights and anecdotes. A fixture in the ever-changing fitness scene, Al has inspired thousands to "believe and achieve," getting them to do things they once thought impossible. How does he do it? By telling the truth. Are you ready for it?
Al’s “secret sauce”? A Zen-like attitude to physical cultivation—which marries intense focus with a light-hearted “joy-in-the-journey.” Zen-like too, is Al’s insistence on intuitive simplicity and his celebration of personal, direct experience as the most trustworthy teacher.
Zen Mind, Strong Body culls 26 of Al’s favorite articles, elaborating his position on a wide spectrum of fitness subjects from diet and supplements, to machines and free weights, to cardio options, to mental training. For Al, though, all roads finally lead to Bodyweight Exercise—as the supreme path for all-around, everyday athleticism and practical functionality.
Want what Al Kavadlo has? Absorb the hard-earned, earthy training wisdom in Zen Mind, Strong Body—and you will be on your way.
•How to put the fun back into your fitness—instead of treating your workouts as a chore…
•How to combine “presence” and joy—for a deeper, more rewarding training experience…
•How “light heart” translates to “heavy payload”—when it comes to spectacular, long-term physical gains…
•How to infuse “warrior spirit” into your body-mind—and attain the calisthenic ideal of physical excellence…
•How to recruit the power of the “Big 3”—Experience, Logic and Intuition—as your preferred allies in the battle against weakness, fatness, slowness and tiredness…
•Why to beware of the “Tricky 3”—Dogma, Faith and Science”—when it comes to wise practice in diet and exercise…
•The empowering secret of “open-ended” program design—to free you from the shackles and restrictions of one-size-fits-all fitness shibboleths…
•The key differences between gymnastics and calisthenics—when considering your optimal goals for physical development…
•How to make impressive gains year-after-year—while staying off the “injured reserve” list…
•How to marry fun and function—for athletic longevity and enhanced well being…
•How to use your mind to manifest what you choose—including the body of your dreams...
•The “Specificity Principle”—and the direct approach to getting better and better and better…
•The hows and whys of building strength without mass—when whipcord-functionality is your goal…
•The #1 factor to consider in practicing strength as a skill—it’s the difference between longterm success and the also-rans…
•What “business” you need to focus on first—if being a lean ‘n mean machine is what you want…
•Why “subtle nuance” can be more important than “gross motor”—when developing supreme movement skills…
•The 5 major levels of bodyweight strength—so you know where you stand in the chain of greatness…
•The 4 best bodyweight drills to emulate the benefits of the traditional deadlift—when you don’t want to bother with a barbell…