Al Kavadlo on The Century

by Al Kavadlo on February 5, 2013

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Century TestingA key part of what makes the PCC different from many other fitness certifications is the inclusion of a physical requirement. It’s not simply enough to pay the fee, show up and get your certificate – you have to earn the PCC title!

In addition to demonstrating competency in teaching basic calisthenics exercises, PCC certified trainers must also pass Coach Wade’s “Century” test, a strength and conditioning challenge that consists of 100 consecutive bodyweight repetitions performed as follows:

Men  Women
40 Squats 40 Squats
30 Push-ups 30 Knee Push-ups
20 Hanging Knee Raises 20 Hanging Knee Raises
10 Pull-ups 10 Australian Pull-ups


The purpose of this test is to establish a baseline of competency in the performance of basic calisthenics. The Century includes a combination of movements that demonstrate strength and conditioning in the entire body.

A lot of people have asked about how the test will be judged. Here are some guidelines to make sure you are doing things the PCC way:

  • The exercises must be performed in the order listed above. No exceptions.
  • Squats must be performed with a minimum depth of top of the thighs parallel to the floor and a full lock out at the top of each rep. Arms may be raised in front, crossed, or placed on top of the head. Heels must stay flat the entire time.
  • Push-up depth must reach a minimum of 90 degrees of flexion as measured along the outside of the elbow and a full lockout must be achieved at the top of every rep. A straight body position must be maintained throughout the entire range of motion. No sticking your butt into the air or leaving your hips down on the ground.
  • Hanging knee raises must be performed with the knees being raised above waist level and a full extension of the legs at the bottom of every rep. Swinging shall be kept to a minimum. Arms must remain straight the entire set.
  • Pull-ups may be performed with an overhand or underhand grip. The chin must clear the bar at the top of each rep and a full extension must be reached at the bottom. Kipping will not be allowed. (Australian pull-ups are to be performed with the bar at waist height and a straight body position must be maintained throughout.)
  • Rest may be taken in between exercises, but each exercise must be completed in a single set. You may pause briefly between reps as long as the position is held (i.e. top of push-up position, bottom of pull-up, etc.)
  • The entire test must be completed in 8 minutes or less. The reps may be performed as quickly as you like as long as all the above rules are adhered to. Form first!

Watch the Century Test in action below:

 A veteran of the fitness industry, Al Kavadlo has recently been appointed as the lead instructor for the Progressive Calisthenics Certification. Recognized worldwide for his amazing bodyweight feats of strength as well as his unique coaching style, Al is also the author of three books, including Raising The Bar: The Definitive Guide to Pull-up Bar Calisthenics and the soon-to-be-released Pushing The Limits! Total Body Strength With No Equipment.


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  • Paul John Wade

    Great post, as usual. I am real pleased by all the folks who have posted videos of themselves performing The Century–keep ’em coming!

    I have heard some people talk smack about The Century–but it’s never the athletes who have got off their duffs and tried it, or posted a video. This is basically a 100-rep, five-minute bodyweight set…it would DESTROY a lot of casual athletes, even fairly strong ones.

    And the fact that it has to be performed at the END of three days training makes it even more brutal as a test of conditioning. The Century is no joke, I tell you.

    • I’m definitely going to work on hitting the Century! I’ve been doing Convict Conditioning for a year and a half now, and I believe I can do this. Thanks Coach Wade for giving us this awesome system! It’s changed my outlook on health and fitness, and given me a motivation that I’ve never had before. Plus, it’s a freakin’ blast! Big thanks to Al and Danny Kavadlo for the inspiration also. You guys rock!

      • Paul John Wade

        You are the man, Steve! I appreciate the support my man, and I’m proud of your hard work.

        If you think CC is an awesome system, stick around for more PCC stuff. Al has made MAJOR improvements in philosophy and technique.

        • Thanks, Paul! I really appreciate it! Been wanting to talk to you for a long time. It’s an honor! Looking forward to what’s coming down the line.

      • Steve, I’ll be posting my attempt very soon!

      • Thanks, Steve! I know you’ve been a supporter of mine for a while now – I’m really glad to have given you so much inspiration on your calisthenics journey.

        • Thanks, Al! You, Paul, Danny, and Convict Conditioning keep me motivated!

  • Andrew

    personally feel the rkc snatch test would be alot harder for me to accomplish than this.

    However i think it would be suprising how hard some of theses exercises get when fatigue sets in.

    i used to do 9 different exercise circuits for 3 sets with little rest between exercises & the ones at the end of the circuit would always suffer ie i would struggle to do a number of reps i could crush when fresh. (not that the circuit was particularly hard i just wasnt that fit)

    However i reckon you shouldnt be allowed rest between exercises
    / or the rests should be set for everyone like 30 secs to 1 minute in order to make it harder for this test. Or maybe have an overall time limit?

    The pull ups would be the hardest for most people i reckon especially after hanging from the bar from knee raises.

  • Wow! Thanks Al. Looks like you’ve given me a new goal to achieve. I’ve heard so many people boast of big numbers while demonstrating sub par technique. This is a honest expression of human strength and potential . Thanks again.

    • Right on, Doug! Quality over quantity – make every rep count.

  • Aleks

    You know what I really wanna do (because I’m young, dumb, and in need of undue pain)? I kinda wanna double this! Perhaps we can call it the bicentennial 🙂


    • I’ve done the Century twice in a row a few times, but haven’t tried doubling the numbers in each set, which is what I think you’re talking about – I imagine that would be a lot harder. I’ll have to try it some time myself!

  • Aleks,

    We look forward to seeing your Bicentennial, then:)

    • Paul John Wade

      The Bicentennial…

      …kinda like that.

      Go for it, Aleks my man. Be the first ever athlete in history to slay The Bicentennial!

  • Brian

    To clarify the rules, if you rest between the hanging knee raises and the pull-ups are you allowed to come off the bar before jumping back on to do the pull-ups or do you have to remain hanging like in your videos?

    • Hey Brian – Yes, you are allowed to come off the bar between the pull-ups and knee raises.

  • Paul

    Looking forward to tackling the Century!

    Will a neutral grip be allowed for the pull-ups?

  • Hey Paul – The Century test will be administered on a straight bar, so a neutral grip would’t really be feasible.

  • Simeon Reigle

    Al Kavadlo, will a reverse grip be allowed for the pullups. I personally find the “chin up” grip more natural.

    • As it clearly says in the article above, pull-ups may be performed with an overhand or underhand grip.

  • Zach Gheaja

    I will admit I was plateauing untill I started working the century. and unexpectedly my pistol squat was the main beneficiary. doing the most basic bodyweight squat with good form over and over transfered to my pistol. never would have thought. as al says in raising the bar, don’t forget the basics…im totally paraphrasing.

  • Kyniska

    Just curious… why is it called Century when the rep total is 80, not 100?

    PS Al – I graduated from Bingo too.

    • Kyniska

      Dang tired today. it is 100 reps…

  • TransMillennium

    Done it, easy. I even inverted the squats for the push ups to up the difficulty: did 40 Push Ups, 30 Squats, 20 hanging leg raises, and 10 pull ups.

  • I’ve found this is excellent for measuring progress and highlighting people’s weak points. I now run this in my bootcamp every 5 weeks to see how people are progressing.

  • Carla S

    Good article…..I have read conflicting reports that you have 8 minute for this test. You don’t mention that…..I am signed up for PCC Milwaukee in November, can you please clarify if you this is timed? thank you so much…..

    • Glad to hear you’re singed up for the PCC in Milwaukee! You will have a total of 8 minutes to complete the test and can take as much time between sets to rest up, even though each set (one set per exercise) must be unbroken. (Al writes that up much better above). Most people do not end up needing the full time, but that time is available for you to use at your own pace 🙂

      • Carla Jurgensen Schwerin

        Thank you Adrienne…..looking forward to Milwaukee….Now I can be totally prepared.

  • Anwar

    took that on friday, completed all except for the push ups did just 21! although i did the hanging knee raises on a power tower as my pull bar isn’t high enough to do the move correctly.

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