Freaks and Geeks of Fitness

by Danny Kavadlo on April 9, 2013


We within the calisthenics community come from different backgrounds and origins, assorted borders and parts of the world.  Yet here we are united for a common cause, a love of fitness and function, a passion for the improvement of self and the inspiration of others.   In bodyweight training, we achieve with only the bare minimum.

Young and old, male and female, black and white: we are all represented.   In fact, lots of us have never really fit in anywhere else, have we?  I love it when outcasts come together.  Diversity is a beautiful thing.Danny.Kavadlo.Ape

From urban bar athletes of New York, taking muscle-ups to new levels, to the teenagers in Europe flagging off the street signs, many with the affection for fitness have found a place to call home in calisthenics.  So what if we didn’t throw the winning touchdown at the big high school game?  We may have had different introductions to exercise, but we’re proud of who we are.  And we train hard.

Coney Island, in deepest South Brooklyn, is the stomping ground of some of the illest calisthenics practitioners on the planet.  Historically it was the home to strongmen, acrobats, and freaks of nature.  Those guys were no joke.  I can do a human flag, but I can’t bend nails!


One need look no further than the pull-up bars on the beach, the side show by the seashore, or the upcoming strongman contest, to see inhuman feats of strength still being performed to this day.  Boardwalk history repeats itself as these modern marvels echo the death defying showmen of yesteryear.

They never fit in anywhere either.

C.I. is iconic; some would say magical.  Even Coach Wade shows his love with a shout out to Joey Chestnut in his Convict Conditioning Ultimate Bodyweight Training Log.  As the new season begins after a devastating year, I decided to include a clip that pays tribute to my favorite gym in the sand.  Here’s some extreme bodyweight training, served up with a little extra mustard!


About Danny Kavadlo: Danny Kavadlo, Master PCC, is a Personal Trainer in New York City. He’s worked with hundreds of clients, including athletes, models, and celebrities. He is featured in the Convict Conditioning Series & Raising the Bar, and is known globally as a motivator & leader in the calisthenics community. Learn more about Danny at:

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