PCC DC – A Historic Occasion

by Al Kavadlo on July 15, 2014

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Al Kavadlo and Danny Kavadlo at the Washington Monument

Last weekend my brother Danny and I visited our nation’s capital en route to our latest PCC event in Alexandria, Virginia. Between touring sights like the Washington Monument and witnessing so many historic PCC firsts, it was a weekend I will never forget!

As is always the case with the PCC, calisthenics enthusiasts from various backgrounds and disciplines gathered together to hone their bodyweight skills, draw inspiration from one another and push their limits to set new personal achievements.

Every time we do a Progressive Calisthenics Certification, it’s a whirlwind of a weekend and I can’t believe how quickly it’s all over. But like the old saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun!

Time was not the only thing flying at last weekend's PCC!

Time was not the only thing flying at last weekend’s PCC!

The caliber of athletes attending the PCC continues to impress and amaze me. We had so many incredibly strong individuals gathered together in one room that the collective energy was off the charts! The number of firsts that took place was truly awe inspiring.

A First Muscle-up at the DC PCC

There’s no better feeling than the satisfaction of getting your first muscle-up!

For the first time in Progressive Calisthenics Certification history, each and every PCC candidate who took on the Century test met the challenge and earned their ranking to become an official PCC instructor. The collective energy amongst this group was so intense, once the Century momentum got going, it was unstoppable!

In addition to the unprecedented passing rate, we also saw lots of first muscle-ups, first back levers, first handstands and other groundbreaking achievements. Many a plateau was destroyed. It really felt like there was magic in the air!

Al Kavadlo Spotting a Handstand at the DC PCC

Calisthenics magic!

In fact, I even achieved a personal best myself! I did what I’d consider my cleanest, slowest muscle-up I’ve ever done. Or at least the best one I’ve gotten on video!

Notice that I am rolling my hand slowly over the bar rather than beginning with a false grip, which adds an extra challenge. Thankfully the bar is relatively thin!

Congratulations to all the newly certified PCC instructors! Knowing that this group will be out there spreading the word about calisthenics and changing lives in the process is a wonderful feeling.

There are currently PCC events planned in 9 different cities over the next several months. I hope to see YOU in the next group photo!

We’re Working Out!


Group Photo at the July PCC in Washington DC

Al Kavadlo is the lead instructor for Dragon Door’s Progressive Calisthenics Certification. Recognized worldwide for his amazing bodyweight feats of strength as well as his unique coaching style, Al is the author of four books, including Stretching Your Boundaries, Raising The Bar: The Definitive Guide to Pull-up Bar Calisthenics and Pushing The Limits! Total Body Strength With No Equipment. Read more about Al on his website: www.AlKavadlo.com.
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  • Steven Low

    That is a super solid muscle up Al. Congrats.

    Glad to hear things are going well with the PCC!

    • An honor to get a heads up from the great man, author of the finest progressive gymnastics book on the planet! Congrats on the MEGA reviews of Overcoming Gravity!!

      I really hope we can get you back at a PCC soon, Steven.

    • Thanks, Steven!

    • Rodolfo Oliveira

      Wow… the comment section only gets better and better frequented!

  • Rob

    Love the joy expressed on the dudes face and body language after his first muscle-up!
    And your muscle-up Al, very smooth and strong. Nice!

  • An hinteresting post, fella!

    Such iconic shots, man. Pure bodyweight awesome.

    • Hinteresting, eh? I see what you did there, Coach! 🙂

    • Rodolfo Oliveira

      Coach, sorry to be robbing some attention from the post itself but I don’t know where to reach ya other then here on the comment section so I have a somewhat impertinent curiosity: I know you’re working on CC3 and that you said it will be about the Dynamics side of bodyweight training but I really have to ask you: will there be a CC4 with Survival Athletics? Please say there will…

      • We’ll see if my eyes can take it, buddy. Can’t promise.

        • Rodolfo Oliveira

          My fingers are crossed Coach!

  • villafan

    Well done to everyone at the PCC, awesome stuff! I hope to be in attendance at PCC Ireland next year, just need to convince the wife!

    • Hope you can come! Maybe you can even convince the misses to join you!

  • Matt Schifferle

    Boom! PCC power!

    Congrats to everyone on having a 100% pass with the Century. I take that as proof that folks are taking the challenge more seriously, training for it better and investing more into the whole PCC system.

    I was thinking, what about an advanced version for the century? Something like 40 jump squats, 30 close push ups, 20 strait leg raises and 10 close pull ups.

    • Thanks, Matt! The testing standards for PCC will not be changing any time in the foreseeable future, but I urge you to try that “Advanced Century” workout in your own training! 🙂

    • Interesting you suggest that as I test my guys every 5 weeks with the century test, for those of us who have passed the original I’ve written a “level 3” and even now “level 4” to try pass myself. It’s quite good to see your progress every few weeks

      • Rodolfo Oliveira

        You should definetely share those with us David!

        • Yeah no worries mate, taken from my website:

          Level 3
          20 (each side) half one leg squats (no bench)
          15 (each side) uneven push-ups
          20 straight leg hanging leg raises
          5 (each side) uneven pull-ups (arm on wrist)

          Took me about 9 months to pass that because of the half pistol squats, am now trying this and I suspect it’ll take just as long if not even longer

          Level 4
          20 (each side) full pistol squats
          15 (each side) lever push-ups
          20 v hanging leg raises (minimise leaning back)
          5 (each side) uneven pull-ups (arm just above elbow)

  • George Corso

    Al I wanted to say thank you again and what an honor it was to e able to work with both you and Danny. The atmosphere was so amazing and comfortable. I have been involved with so much over 15 years and have many certifications. This was by far the bet. I felt at home with this one. I wanted to say thank you again and you will be hearing from me. PCC!!!

    • Thanks, George! It was great to meet you as well! I hope we get to see your wife at an upcoming PCC!

  • Rodolfo Oliveira

    Congrats for all the amazing bodyweight athletes that completed such a huge achievement on the PCC! 100% pass is something to inspire all of us wannabe PCCs! Also congrats to the greatest bullzelle there is on his insanely perfect and slow muscle-up. I have a question that might be a bit of a newbie alert but Al, what do you mean when you say “no false grip”? I haven’t even achieved the pull-up yet as I am still a bit overweight and it is very difficult to me (I am doing the progressions though… will be there soon!) so I don’t know what that means… Thank you all for being so awesome and bringing some light in a otherwise boring world of fitness!

    • Vasily

      Hi, Rodolfo, this is a difference between standard grip and “false” grip
      it makes things easier when it comes to making your slow *or not so slow* muscle-ups.

    • Thanks, Rodolfo! As Vasily’s illustrations show, the false grip makes the muscle-up transition more manageable. The one I’m doing in the video above is especially difficult because my hands have to roll around the bar. It almost looks like the bar itself is spinning but I assure you it’s not. 🙂

  • 100% pass rate, very impressive going. Awesome muscle-up too mate

  • It was an incredible honor to be able to train with the Kavadlo brothers, two of my biggest heroes (along with Coach Wade!), as well as so many other amazing athletes. I had the best weekend of my life! The Century Test was the most dramatic, thrilling, and rewarding several minutes of my life, as well. Seeing everyone else knock the test out of the park got me so pumped up, how could I not get it done?

    I definitely want to thank Coach Wade for starting this obsession within me, and John DuCane, Danny, and Al for running these workshops! I want to give back by helping out sa much as I can if given the opportunity. I’ll certainly be passing along the newfound knowledge to the gymnasts I work with down here in South Carolina!

    • Thanks, Owen! Your Century test was definitely a historic PCC moment that I will never forget! It was great to meet you – keep spreading the bodyweight love in SC!

    • It’s an honor to have you on the PCC team, kid–I’m proud of ya!


      • Thanks so much, Coach! Hearing it from you, most of all, is inspiring! I haven’t exactly had the cleanest past, myself, and it’s taken all of myself the past few years to really make something out of my life. Thanks again for sharing your story and motivating a small town fella like me to be a part of something huge! This PCC train we’re on has definitely gained a full head of steam, and I’m sure we all look forward to where it takes us 🙂

  • David Colon

    What can I say about PCC in DC? Best experience I’ve had in fitness. About Al and Danny? First coaches that doesn’t care if you get better than them and they showered my brain with basic knowledge you must never forget, infinite chains of movements, self experiences that helps you imagine things and movements easier, leaving their egos at home and letting apprentices tell some tips of their own cause everybody is different and can bring something new to the table, a teaching method that makes everybody integrate themselves to the group and most of all you ain’t gonna miss that magic connection between brothers that will make you do things you’ll never dared to or seemed impossible till you stepped in the PCC zone. Thanks to John Du Cane and assistant coaches, Beth and and Chris. Feeling stronger every day! Thanks for all this being possible Coach Wade. Puerto Rico will know Dragon Door PCC. The body is a playground.

    • Lindsey Dunn

      You rock David 🙂 so glad to meet u!

      • David Colon

        Thank you Lindsey! It was a pleasure meeting you. I got my shoulder strong again. Aiming for those Iron Bridges. Hope one day to see you in Puerto Rico!!!! Keep hitting it hard, you are a hard girl. Wish to hit son KB workouts with you!

  • Lindsey Dunn

    This was the best weekend of my life! I had been counting the months then weeks then days til July 11 and then the weekend flew by! I was sad to say goodbye to everyone because we had such a fabulous and diverse group BUT I’m so excited every single day to do my training and share my progress with everyone. And you’ve seen on Facebook how much I love to make a huge deal out of progressive calisthenics 🙂 I will keep representing and showing women its awesome to do what the boys do. So proud to be a part of something so amazing.

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