I’m a lover. I love life. I love music. I love food. I love intensity…
And I love calisthenics!
Four days ago, my brother and PCC Lead Instructor Al Kavadlo and I embarked on a journey, leaving our homes in New York City. We cruised down the New Jersey Turnpike and made our way Southbound through the Harbor Tunnel Throughway, down the Capital Beltway. We were bound for Alexandria, Virginia to instruct the city’s historic second Progressive Calisthenics Certification. Good times!
As is always the case at PCC, fitness trainers, martial artists and calisthenics enthusiasts from many backgrounds and walks of life made the voyage to both test their mettle and share the love at this amazing workshop.
In fact, one enthusiast traveled over 12,000 kilometers to be part of this miraculous weekend! It was worth the trip. Not only did he achieve his first ever one-arm pull-up (a Master Step from Convict Conditioning) and full press flag, Kareem Naseeb brought some new moves to the table, including this “no hands” bar hang.
Other PR’s included a first ever stand-to-stand bridge (another Master Step!), eleven clutch flags, numerous L-sits, press flags and one-arm push-ups! Sometimes calisthenics practitioners who have never attended PCC cannot understand how so many earth-shattering firsts can possibly be achieved in one single weekend, what with so many tutorials, training manuals and online resources out there. Well, allow me to break it down for you: There is no substitute for an in person experience. The caliber of the one-on-one coaching, the virtue of observation and the voice of experience simply cannot be duplicated by anything you’ll find in a book or online.
And don’t get me started on the power, presence and solidarity of the group! Even beyond the training itself, the adrenaline and energy of so many of us joining forces simply cannot be replicated. When we’re all together, something magical happens!
There is something to be said about the purity of calisthenics. We are not bogged down by fault-finding dogma, hypercritical conventions or gratuitous fitness equipment. We use our bodies, our experiences and our ascertainment of the world around us. In fact, one of the most wondrous characteristics of bodyweight strength training is the creativity involved. We turn whatever environment we’re in into our own personal training space. Whether that means using a scaffold, a bench, or just the floor beneath us as workout gear, we do it! The calisthenics athlete is original, empowered, honest and true. We use what we got … even each other!
As is always the case at PCC, when you put so many like-minded individuals together under one roof, the bonds that are formed transcend time. Even though the life-changing weekend comes to a close, the friendships last forever. In fact, that’s one of my favorite things about PCC: the connections–both personal and professional–that we get to establish. It blows my mind each and every time I get to relate to so many with whom I have so much in common. We are the freaks and geeks of fitness! Are you one of us?
Keep the dream alive!
Danny Kavadlo is one of the world’s foremost authorities on calisthenics, nutrition and personal training. He is the author of the Dragon Door titles Diamond-Cut Abs and Everybody Needs Training. Danny is known for his minimalist philosophy, simple approach and motivational talents.
A true in-person experience, Danny is a Master Instructor for Dragon Door’s Progressive Calisthenics Certification. He has been featured in the NY Times, TRAIN, Men’s Fitness and is a regular contributor to Bodybuilding.com. Learn more about Danny at www.DannyTheTrainer.com