A Brand New Day

by Danny Kavadlo on August 20, 2013

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As the sun rises at the start of the day, the world is illuminated. The grass warms up, the birds start singing, and the mind awakens. The time is now; that day is today.

The first Progressive Calisthenics Certification in June was a life-changing experience for many bodyweight training enthusiasts. I was honored to be part of such a spectacular event, to help others in their path toward excellence, and to celebrate physical culture in its purest form. So many strong and passionate people showed up, with such a vast body of knowledge that we all walked out smiling, with our collective heads spinning.

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It was a thrill to break down, train, and explore progressions of pull-ups, squats, inversions, human flag, and much more. I witnessed some incredible breakthroughs and got asked some of the best exercise questions I’ve ever heard in my life. It is noteworthy to point out that in addition to the questions of form and physiology, I was often asked about the business of exercise. You see, many of the attendees were personal trainers, coaches, and instructors.

But before I can tell you that story, I have to tell you this story…

I love questions and I get asked a lot of them. Playwright Eugene Ionesco famously wrote “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” In short: questions help everybody. Each day I receive emails asking me everything from dietary advice to the ever-popular, “What’s the trick for human flag?” [ANSWERS: Eat more fruits and veggies, less processed sugars and grains, and there are no tricks in fitness. That’s part of what makes it beautiful.] Again, I am frequently asked about the business. Trainers from all over the world contact me with questions about how to get a job, how to increase their client base, and, of course, how to get paid.

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Professionals in other fields (which often have nothing to do with fitness) reach out to me as well. Oftentimes, they are considering switching careers and becoming personal trainers. Isn’t that how many of us got started? We loved fitness and wanted to help others achieve their goals!

According to the labor department, there are over 230,000 personal trainers working in the United States. That number grows, even as overall employment declines. Yet still, 80% of new trainers never make it past their first year. It’s no wonder: despite all the trainer schools, CPT certs, and personal training websites, I have never come across any literature that discussed how to actually make it as a trainer… in real life.

About a year ago, I sat down to write a book that addressed all of this. The world has been ready for this book—now the ebook is ready for this world (available this fall in paperback.) Brace yourself for:

Everybody Needs Training

Proven Success Secrets for the Professional Fitness Trainer
–How to Get More Clients, Make More Money, Change More Lives

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You see, when I became a professional trainer, the coursework and academia did nothing to prepare me for reality. It was the knowledge and guidance of the other trainers, and of course, in time, my own experience that helped me go from a rookie, to a top gym trainer, to the fitness director in one of NY’s biggest and best health clubs. Eventually my path led to becoming an independent trainer/author/presenter. There were many roads and obstacles along the way, many stories to tell, which get covered in great detail in this book.

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The reality of client acquisition, what most PT sessions are really like (as opposed to the squeaky-clean, hypothetical ones in the textbooks), and of course, how to handle the most difficult client questions, is the type of stuff we get our hands dirty with here. We talk about the differences between working for a gym, a studio, or yourself, and there’s a full chapter dedicated to my time tested secrets of personal training sales.  There has never been a book like this before. Renowned lifter/author Dan John raves: “I don’t think I have ever seen this kind of depth in the field. It’s both obvious and ‘wow’ as you read it. Amazing stuff. It fills a gap in the community that, frankly, surprises me no one has really filled.”

Wow indeed.

Back to the first story…

You see, like the road toward smoothly executing advanced pull-ups, the path to being a successful trainer requires plenty of time and energy. There is no substitute for a thousand hours of practice and years of experience, for which no book, not even mine, can ever be a replacement… But it sure can help! Just remember, success in both calisthenics and personal training (and almost everything, for that matter) is based on hours and effort. Work hard; train hard!

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Speaking of training hard, a new group will gather next week for the second ever PCC. I couldn’t be happier. It is an honor to be a co-presenter and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone who attends. It’s always a pleasure connecting with like-minded individuals who share my passion.

It is the dawn of a new day. Let’s get to it!

***

About Danny Kavadlo: Danny Kavadlo, Master PCC, CPT is a Personal Trainer in New York City. He’s worked with hundreds of clients, including athletes, models, and celebrities. He has been featured in the New York Times, Convict Conditioning & Men’s Fitness. His first full-length book Everybody Needs Training is now available on e-book through Dragon Door. Learn more about Danny at: www.DannyTheTrainer.com.

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  • Aleks Salkin

    I always like to seek out and learn from the “been there, done that” type of person, because those who are still doing “that” know the best and most effective ways to do it, if for no other reason than that they made all the mistakes possible and their passion still plowed right through it, not vice versa.

    I’ll admit it, your book wasn’t on my list of “must haves” but from what I’ve read, it just Trojan Horse’d it’s way in in a big way! It sounds very cool.

    Looking forward to reading it, and looking forward to hopefully meeting and training with you some day, Danny.

    • Danny Kavadlo

      Thanks Aleks! I hope we get to meet/train one day! I’ve definitely made a lot of mistakes… but that’s how progress works! Check it out… it may surprise you!

  • Zach Gheaja

    Preach.

    “Change more lives”

    Says it all.. Empower others with a few simple but powerful concepts and you have changed their lives, like it or not. I’m so glad this book is about the bigger picture. There is obviously a need for trainers, so this book needs to be appreciated on a new level.
    I’m not a personal trainer by trade, but I will buy this book because I know I will learn something thats more valuable. We all know 1001 ways to exercise, lets figure out how to spread our message to those that do not.

    • Danny Kavadlo

      Thanks for writing Zach. I definitely get into the breakdown of how to be a trainer in the book, but you are 100% right: It’s about the big picture. Honesty. Strength. Truth. Effort. Living in the present moment. That’s what makes life beautiful!

  • Leo

    Bought your book Danny, very nice!
    To Paul Wade, or any other one, who wants to reply:
    If I want to built the most srenght and muscle, should I really only focus on the fewest exercises possible (Big Six)?
    Because I also wanna learn the levers and muscle up etc.
    Is it too much to squeeze in all PCC Moves together in one solid, muscle building routine?
    I’m doing the Trifecta and it works well, excluding the L Sits.
    This is because I have wrist pain when supporting my whole bodyweight (I’m on Step 2 Push ups). Should I try it on my elbows (russian dip position) or try it while hanging ( I’m on step 2 pull ups) or hold the top portion of a knee tuck?
    I have a little hip pain during the leg raise series, is it better to master the L sit first and until then just do push ups, squats and horizontal pulls?
    If I’m going to begin the HSPU later, is it really good to start off with headstands?
    Because Steven Low mentioned in OG, that many people don’t have the neck strenght to perform it safely. Maybe I should better start with the tripod (pushing the limits)?
    On which step of Push ups do I need to be if I am going to start bench dips?
    Is it necessery to do dips ( maybe to really get big lats) ?
    When should I begin to work on the clutch flag? (which steps as a prerequisite?)

    • Danny Kavadlo

      Hey Leo, thanks for the support! You raise a lot of good questions about which exercises to do and when. Having never met you, it’s hard to give advice. However, I would suggest keeping it simple. Squats, pushups, pullups, dips, bridgework, and handstand practice… these are all good! Don’t concern yourself with bar levers or muscle-ups yet. Absolutely start with a tripod before progressing and, yes, Steven Low is the OG. Start bench dips now. Work on the basics. Good luck!

  • Paul Wade

    I have been looking forward to this blog post more than people know. I was lucky enough to get an advanced look at Everybody Needs Training, and it has been hard keeping my mouth shut about it–it really is a revolutionary book. I know it will become the “bible” for many of the best trainers of this upcoming generation.

    What I love most about the book is that anyone can read it and benefit massively from it. It is invaluable for anyone who wants to be a world-class trainer or coach, but it’s a dense book with lots of training nuggets and other gems in there.

    Everyone needs to get this book–and I don’t get a cent for saying that. I’m saying that because it’s a really awesome f***in book!

    • Danny Kavadlo

      Thanks as always for the kind words, Coach! I poured my heart into this thing. I appreciate your endorsement.

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