Get Strong By Al Kavadlo and Danny Kavadlo – Program Review

If you are looking for a Calisthenics book with a detailed and definitive program to build muscle and strength, then look no further, Get Strong by Al Kavadlo and Danny Kavadlo will give you what you want.

One of the most frequently asked questions in bodyweight strength training is how to put together a definitive program to build muscle and strength. You will find many calisthenics books that feature step-by-step progressions and numerous workout templates. Get strong by Kavadlo is one of the few that contain a detailed 16-week training program, including specific exercise sequences, exact sets and reps, specified time frames, warm-ups and rest days.

The Get Strong book includes the techniques, exercises and programs necessary to build a lifetime of strength. To anyone who’s ever asked where the best place to get started is, this is for you.

The Kavadlo’s know exactly how to give you a challenging and effective workout without wasting time. There will always be different opinions and theories out there, some more complicated than others. Complicated doesn’t always mean better.

This program will give you an efficient, direct path to build muscle and strength with calisthenics exercises only.

Progressive Overload – The Principle of Strength

All types of strength training operate under the principle of progressive overload. The only way to get stronger is to learn a movement pattern under a relatively low amount of resistance, then gradually increase the load and/ or the quantity of repetitions as the body adapts.

In weight training, this is done by using a light weight in order to learn proper technique before progressing to heavier lifts. When you are doing bodyweight training, progress must be approached a bit differently. Since you cannot alter your body’s mass as easily as adding or removing plates from a barbell, we instead utilize the principles of progressive calisthenics.

There are different ways to progress and make a calisthenics exercise harder. One way is to change the weight to limb ratio, which can be achieved by placing more of our weight in our hands or feet. Another way to progress your training is to remove contact points entirely. And finally, you can alter the range of motion.

In the get strong book, you will get a complete blueprint containing exercises that will progress as you follow the program. It will get harder, and you will get stronger as the weeks go by.

 

The Four Phases – Your Path to Build Muscle and Strength

The Get Strong program is divided into four phases. Each phase is four weeks long and includes a weekly training routine that will show you which exercises are to be performed and how many repetitions are required before moving ahead. The program also includes a general warm-up and recommended recovery between sessions.

If you follow the program, you will increase your repetitions and experience increases in strength week after week. The first two phases contains total body workouts that you repeat three times a week. During phase 3 and 4 you step it up a notch to four training’s a week. You will now be doing a split-routine where two days are focused on your upper body and two days on your lower body.

Here is a breakdown of what to expect (quoted from the book);

PHASE 1—THE FOUNDATION consists of laying down the bedrock to prepare you for what’s ahead. This phase is aimed at the beginner, and is not necessarily a requirement for everybody. If you’re new to calisthenics or are returning to fitness after a hiatus, then this is where you start.

PHASE 2—BRICK AND MORTAR builds upon that foundation by bringing in many of the classic exercises that put calisthenics on the map. These are the basic components you need in order to construct your framework. Start here if you already have a solid foundation.

PHASE 3—CONCRETE AND IRON takes you into the realm of beastly strength. With the furnishings detailed in this section, your structure will be reinforced to weather the toughest of elements. Complete this phase and you will have more strength than most will ever achieve in this lifetime.

PHASE 4—FORGED FROM STEEL is comprised of tools and tactics for the advanced architect of the human body. These workouts are not for the faint of heart. Complete this phase and you will be amongst the elite in pound-for-pound strength.

Stay Strong For Life

The Get Strong program is stripped down to give you an efficient way to build muscle and strength with as little equipment as possible. The only equipment you need are a pullup bar, gymnastic rings or something to hang from. However, the book also include several supplemental exercises and workouts that are not part of the Get Strong program. The exercises and workouts are a fantastic addition as you go beyond and above!

Most of the questions regarding the program and the progressions are answered in the «Ask Al» section. Al Kavadlo and Danny Kavadlo are experienced personal trainers and have trained thousands, ranging from 80-year old grandmothers to Olympic medalists. They have a wealth of knowledge and will give you sound answers to the most common answers.

Another great bonus you will get are some of the best articles that the Kavadlo brothers has written. With more than 25 years of combined experience in the fitness industry, they know a thing or two about how to become the best version about yourself.

What you will NOT get in The Get Strong Book

As stated earlier, this program will give you a direct and simple (but not necessarily easy) blueprint to building strength and muscle. There are other great calisthenics exercises that are not included, because they require more advanced skills and some equipment. The Get Strong Program are designed for people that want bodyweight strength routines they can do anywhere with as little equipment as possible.

If you are looking for calisthenics skills, this probably is not the book for you. Progressive bodyweight exercises that are focused on strength is what you will get. If you are more interested in learning ridiculous moves on the pullup bar, check out my Caliathletics Review HERE >>

You will learn some advanced exercises like the muscle-up and pistol squats in the supplemental routines, but again, they are more focused on building strength and muscle.

 

Personal Experiences

When the Get Strong book got released, I just had to check it out. I think everything from Al & Danny Kavadlo is worth reading, they have a lot of knowledge and present it in an entertaining way. I still use the program and the additional exercises in my workouts because the basic movements never gets old!

It helped me to find some weak spots that I wasn’t aware of, especially the bridge exercises. You will get a complete and stripped down training, and it works! I recommend this to everyone that are looking for a blueprint that will take you from «Zero to Hero» as efficient as possible with calisthenics only.

Read more reviews of the Get Strong Book at Dragon Door Here >>

Read more reviews of the Get Strong Book at Amazon Here.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Stefan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tabata Workout Routines – Get Fit Fast

What if I told you a 16-minute workout could give you better results than 45 minutes on the treadmill? Welcome to Tabata workout routines! Tabata Protocol is a system of short, high-intensity intervals developed by Japanese professor Dr. Izumi Tabata to train Olympic speed skaters.
Get ready for trembling muscles and burning lungs, because you are going to feel this in every part of your body! On the positive side you will see the results fast and get in shape in workouts shorter than 30 minutes. It is hard but it is also very effective.

The Tabata system is easy to remember and consists of 20 seconds of hard work followed by 10 seconds rest. You repeat this eight times for a total of four minutes. The 20/10 system has been shown to work both aerobic and anaerobic metabolic pathways harder and more effectively than longer cardio workouts with a slower pace.

You will notice that you’re not fully recovered from the last set when you start on the next, and that is actually the idea. It will probably not feel like it, but that’s a good thing! The 20-second work sets are serious business, that means pushing yourself for as much reps as possible.

Tabata or Circuit Training

Tabata is more of a protocol or system and very flexible regarding the exercise you use. Some examples are burpees, squats, pushups, lunges or situps. I will go into more details when we get to the different routines. If you are following the tabata protocol, one four minute session (8 rounds) are supposed to be done with the same exercise. This will push you to the limit in one or a specific set of muscle groups, which is the goal.

This training system is great for people that are busy, because you choose how many 4 minute sessions you will do at a workout. As you probably will notice you can even consider one session as a real workout! If you have more time and energy, why not do three, four or five sessions in a row? It will still take you less than 30 minutes..

You can of course use the same intervals 20/10 and change the exercise in every round, but then it is not considered «real» Tabata protocol. If you use different exercises it is more of a circuit training with short intervals. It will still give you a great workout, and sometimes it is fun with some variety in the routines.

Tabata Workout Routines – Train Anywhere, Anytime

Some benefits of doing tabata is that you can train anywhere, anytime. There is really no excuses either, because you can do it in minutes.. The routine can be done on a gym with dumbbells and barbells as well, but I am going to focus on exercises that you can perform with your bodyweight only. This means that you can do the training anywhere you would like.

 

Tabata Exercises

Your possibilities are literally endless with this protocol. To get you started, here is a list containing some exercises that are suitable for the tabata workout routine.

 

Burpees

Start standing, then crouch to a low squat position with the hands on the floor on both sides of your feet. Kick your feet back to a pushup position. Perform a full pushup. Push off the ground as you jump to place your feet between your hands again, and return to the squat position. Jump up as high as possible before squatting down again and jumping back into the next pushup. This is one repetition.

Squats

Stand straight, with the feet a little wider than shoulder width apartment. Turn the toes slightly out, and place the arms in a comfortable position. Bend at the hips and knees, keeping the back straight. When your thighs reach approximately parallel to the floor, shift your weight backwards as if you were about to sit down. Continue descending until the backs of your thighs are resting against your calves. Press yourself up again. To avoid injuries keep a slight bend in your knees as you straighten up.

Pushups

Place your palms on the floor and stretch your legs out behind you, toes to the ground. Keep your feet together, and ensure that the hands are below your upper chest and shoulder width apart. Straighten the arms with a slight bend in the elbows. The hips, spine and all the way down to your heels should be in line. Lower down until your chest slightly touches the ground, avoid flaring the elbows to the sides but rather pointing slightly backwards. Press yourself up again to the starting position.

Australian Pullups

Grab a bar or gymnastic rings of waist height or more. Place your feet out in front of you with your heels down and a straight line from the shoulder to hip to heel. Use your arms and lats to pull your body to the bar while maintaining your straight body position. Hinge at the heel, not the hip. Return to starting position. If you find the exercise to hard use a higher bar or bend at the knees.

The Plank

Start out by placing your feet on the floor with your forearms on the ground. The body should be straight and unwavering from the shoulders to the toes. Tense every muscle in the body actively, especially your core and abs. The Plank is an isometric exercise, this means that you hold the position all the way through the 20-second work set. If you feel any pain in your back, stop because this means that your back takes the load instead of the abs or core.

The Hip Bridge

Lie on the ground face up with your hands by your sides and your knees bent so that your feet are flat on the floor. Press your heels into the ground, lifting your hips as high as you can while creating an arch in your back. Return to the start position. Focus on squeezing your gluten as you lift your hips.

 

Tabata and Cardio

 

You can of course also combine cardio with the tabata protocol. This can be exercises like rowing, spinning/cycling, running or jumping. There is no difference apart from the exercise, you still use the 20/10 intervals. When you perform the work sets, go hard and intense!

If you decide to run, you could try running up the stairs or running up a hill. Some ways to add jumping to your routine are squat jumps, box jumps, jumping lunges or jumping jacks. There are no limits here, and I am sure you can come up with some ideas for exercises yourself as well.

24 Minutes to Get Fit Fast

Even one four minute session with a single exercise will give you a workout and raise your pulse, try it and see for yourself! And the beauty are the flexibility of the tabata intervals. Anyway, here is a tabata workout routine that will give you a total body training in 24 minutes. Be prepared to see and feel results fast!

Pushups – 8 rounds (20 seconds work – 10 seconds rest) for a total of 4 minutes

Squats – 8 rounds (20 seconds work – 10 seconds rest) for a total of 4 minutes

Burpees – 8 rounds (20 seconds work – 10 seconds rest) for a total of 4 minutes

Hip Bridge – 8 rounds (20 seconds work – 10 seconds rest) for a total of 4 minutes

Australian Pullups – 8 rounds (20 seconds work – 10 seconds rest) for a total of 4 minutes

The Plank – 8 rounds (20 seconds work – 10 seconds rest) for a total of 4 minutes

 

Remember to give yourself at least 48 hours recovery time after workouts like this because of their intensity. With that said good luck and happy training.

 

If you got any questions or have other great tabata workout routines, feel free to comment below this post. I also welcome any experiences you have had with tabata training.

All the best,

Stefan

 

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Calisthenics Leg Exercises – Strong Legs Without Weights

Some people have a hard time believing that you can get a proper strength training with calisthenics leg exercises only. I’ve watched this discussion from time to time on various online forums. Well, I am here to tell you that you can get a great workout for your legs without weights and fancy machines. You just need to learn how to do it!

In fact, in many ways training your legs with your bodyweight can be better for you than other options. Isolated leg exercises in machines can actually detrain your legs, because our legs are designed to work as an holistic system and not as separate parts. Isolated movements might be useful for an advanced bodybuilder who wants to emphasize certain distinct portions on his lower body, but it does very little for overall muscle mass and functional strength.

If your goal is to develop truly powerful and athletic legs, you would better of with a few exercises. This is provided they work as many leg muscles as possible. As with other calisthenics movements, the progression will be more challenging than adding some plates on a bar. It will challenge your balance, flexibility and core strength.

Training with your bodyweight as the only resistance is safer than with barbells. Either way, remember to not go past your limits. With patience and hard work you will get there! Here are some calisthenics leg exercise that will develop your legs.

The Hover Lunge

Stand on one foot with your opposite leg bent at the knee and hovering behind you.

Reach your arms out, lean forward and bend at the knee, hip and ankle of your standing leg, lowering your opposite knee toward the ground.

Pause briefly with your knee approximately one inch from the ground, then return to the top position, maintaining tension in your abs the whole time. Complete your set and then repeat on the opposite leg.

Reps: When you are practicing the movement anywhere from 2-6 reps is a good range. When you are ready aim for 6-15 reps on each leg.

The Shrimp Squat

The shrimp squat is another version of the Hover Lunge, except it places one of your hands behind you, clasping your rear elevated foot, rather than reaching both your arms in front of you.

This change in hand position puts more weight on your heel and shifts the balance against your favor, making the exercise more difficult.

Reps: When you are practicing the movement anywhere from 2-6 reps is a good range. When you are ready aim for 6-15 reps on each leg.

The Archer Squat

Stand up straight in a wide stance with your toes pointed out slightly to the side.

Shift your weight toward one side and begin squatting with that leg, while keeping your other leg straight. Be sure to keep the foot of your squatting leg flat on the ground the entire time. Allow the other foot to slide sideways and end up straight into a toes-up position.

Descend until your hamstrings make contact with your calf. Pause at the bottom before standing back up to the top position. Repeat on the opposite side.

Reps: When you are practicing the movement anywhere from 2-6 reps is a good range. When you are ready aim for 6-15 reps on each leg.

The One Legged Squat

Stand on one foot on an elevated surface, with your opposite leg hanging off to the side.

Reach your arms forward, as you squat with your standing leg until your hamstrings make contact with your calf. Be sure to keep that foot flat the entire time. Allow your opposite leg to drop below the elevated surface.

Pause at the bottom before standing back up to the top position. Complete your set and then repeat on the opposite leg.

Reps: When you are practicing the movement anywhere from 2-6 reps is a good range. When you are ready aim for 6-15 reps on each leg.

The Pistol Squat

Begin by standing on your left foot, with your right leg extended straight out on front of you.

Place your hands out straight in front of you, this will help your balance. In a controlled manner, bend at the left knee, hip and ankle and lower yourself down.

Lower yourself until the calf coming into full contact with the back of the thigh at the bottom of the movement. Employing a partial range of motion can be a helpful step along the way. Train both sides evenly.
Another way to progress to the full pistol squat is the assisted version. You perform the exercise the same way except sitting down on an object in the bottom position( like a bench). That way you’re employing a partial range of motion and the exercise will be easier.

Reps: When you are practicing the movement anywhere from 2-6 reps is a good range. When you are ready aim for 6-15 reps on each leg.

And Beyond….

So, what do you do when 15 reps gets easy? First of all I recommend you take some time to build up your reps. The ability to perform multiple strict reps will give you muscular fitness and control. How far you choose to go is up to you. If you can perform 30-40 controlled strict reps, you are stronger than most.

If you would like to get even stronger, you can easily add some pounds by holding a barbell or a kettlebell against your chest. Personally I think it’s even better to incorporate some plyometric work into your leg training. This will add conditioning, speed, agility and endurance to legs that are already awesome.

There are multiple ways to do this. Some exercises you can try are box jumps, short sprints, stair sprints and explosive jump squats.

If you are up for a challenge, try an explosive jump pistol squat or one legged squat. When performing the exercise, go slow and steady down to the bottom position and explode into a jump with your one leg. This will show you that only the sky are the limit for building power and strength with calisthenics leg exercises!

 

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out. If you know other good calisthenics leg exercises, I would appreciate you leaving them below as well!

All the best,

Stefan

 

 

 

 

 

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Caliathletics Review – New Bodyweight Workout Program

I have to say that I am impressed by Darek, the young athlete behind Caliathletics. After watching his videos I am amazed by the knowledge and calisthenics skills he has achieved. His one year transformation is almost unbelievable. Here is one of his public videos.

 

Calisthenics is best described as a workout mostly using your own bodyweight. By training, not only will you develop an amazing physique but you will also gain unbelievable body control by learning a range of advanced movements.

To begin the only things you need are motivation and a structured program. Keep in mind that nothing comes easy, but if you are looking for a passion that can dramatically change your life – Calisthenics is the way to go.

What is the Caliathletics Workout Program

The Caliathletics program is an online training program that will teach you calisthenics skills, help you gain muscle mass and increase your strength. You will get lifetime access to the workout program if this is something for you.

You will get all the workout routines on video as well as skills guides. The program contains more than 80 videos containing more than 70 different routines. Beginners and intermediate athletes will benefit from this program as there are 20 different progression levels. This means that you start on easy movements and can progress to more advanced calisthenics exercises and skills.

Every training day is recorded separately presenting the perfect form of each exercise and number of sets and reps. Skills guides are high-quality, detailed videos explaining how to achieve each of these skills. Videos cover progressions, tips and tricks on how to learn them quickly.

If you are looking for a program that will help you with full body transformation, a nutrition guide is also included. The nutrition guide will show you a new way of eating. Diet plans can be ineffective as many people encounter obstacles when trying to stick to them. Each of us has different tastes and no one likes eating the same meals everyday.

This is a new, comprehensive guide which will teach you how to eat and what is important for achieving various fitness goals. How to eat to build muscle mass or how to eat to lose fat and get that shredded abs – everything is covered. The nutrition guide shows you how to find your recommended caloric intake and what macro nutrients you need. No diet plans anymore, only a few principles on nutrition that will get you the body shape you always wanted.

What Do You Get?

There are three different options available.

The Lifetime program – which will give you access to the complete calisthenics workout program.

Full Body Transformation – this also include a nutrition guide, a caloric needs calculator, an example nutrition plan and the possibility of consultations with Darek.

The stretching and mobility program – which will give you different stretching and mobility routines and guides.

The Calisthenics workout program that you will get in the Lifetime Program and The Full Body Transformation include;

Beginner Program – 8 levels

contains 8 levels which will lead you from the total beginner to an intermediate with basic calisthenics skills achieved. The eight level system will let you progress individually in the time you actually need at the same time preventing you from injuries. Once you feel confident on the current level you can try to advanced to the next one. Are you ready to start your journey?

Intermediate Program – 8 levels

You are now strong enough to discover the beauty of calisthenics. In this program you’ll move to new superb exercises and calisthenics skills. The levels will be more and more challenging, do not even think of quitting now! Are you ready for this?

Advanced Program – 4 levels

This is where you start when you are finished with all Intermediate levels! This program is only for the calisthenics elite! You have to work hard to join this club.
On top of the 20 workout levels, you will also get static skills lessons and dynamic skills lessons.

 

The Caliathletics Programs in a Glimpse

 

The Lifetime Program Access – price 69$

  1. Lifetime access to programs
  2. Beginner including 8 levels
  3. Intermediate including 8 levels
  4. Advanced including 4 levels
  5. Static skills guides
  6. Dynamic skills guides
  7. Videos of each workout day

 

The Full Body Transformation – price 89$

  1. Lifetime access to programs
  2. Beginner including 8 levels
  3. Intermediate including 8 levels
  4. Advanced including 4 levels
  5. Static skills guides
  6. Dynamic skills guides
  7. Videos of each workout day
  8. Nutrition guide (worth $39)
  9. Caloric needs calculator
  10. Example nutrition plans
  11. Possibility of consultations with Darek

 

The Stretching and Mobility Program – price 59$

  1. Lifetime access
  2. Mobility tests
  3. Morning mobility routine
  4. Basic mobility routines
  5. Full body stretch routines
  6. Each stretch explained on video
  7. Over 60 videos with explanation
  8. Stretching charts

 

Who do you take advice from?

I’ve learned to take my advice from people that have done it or are doing it! In training and nutrition there is a lot of opinions out there, but who really knows the truth? The educated training professor that looks like he has never worked out in his life, or a guy that looks like he knows what he is talking about. Personally I prefer to trust people that have done it or are doing it.

If you would like to learn how to fly, you better talk to a pilot! When i first saw young Derek on YouTube videos, I came to the conclusion that this guy can learn me something. He has without a doubt amazing calisthenics skills, strength and agility. On top of that he is a highly skilled personal trainer and coach.

 

Conclusion

If you would like a workout program where you don’t need more equipment than a pullup bar and/or gymnastic rings, I think Caliathletics is a great option. You will learn how to gain muscles and increase strength with nothing more than your own bodyweight. You will also learn real calisthenics skills. For me, busting out some ridiculous moves on the pullup bars look way cooler than benching 300 pounds.

 

Lifetime access to a program that contains this much content for 69$ sure beats the price of a gym membership or a personal trainer. Compared with similar online workout programs this is also a good deal. Caliathletics is a new workout program, but I have not seen any bad reviews on it.

Learn more about the Caliathletics Workout Program Here.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Stefan

 

 

 

 

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Calisthenics and Diet – Does it Really Work?

If you’re reading this post I am guessing you are open to learn more about calisthenics and diet. Does calisthenics workouts get you more defined? Does it help you to lose weight, gain muscle and get stronger? I am sure you will get different answers depending on who you ask, but my answer is absolutely!

What about diets? How important is it to eat right to lose weight, gain muscle and get stronger? From my personal experiences I would say it is very important. You may have heard phrases like «training doesn’t give you abs, the kitchen do» or «we dig our grave with the teeths». The saying is actually true, we become what we eat!

Why Calisthenics Help You to Lose Weight Fast

 

You have probably seen the laid back guy who ease along at the local gym. He is sitting on a pull-down machine waiting for his next set off reps. When he has finished his sets, he takes a ten-minute break before starting on his bicep curl sets. Between his sets, he takes a good look in the mirror before talking about the last football match with his friends.

Just for the record, I know a lot of people who workout like this. Any workout is better than no workout. But the question is; is this an effective way to set your metabolism in high gear? I think we can agree on the answer, it really isn’t.

When we know that pull ups is a better exercise than the pull-down machine, then why do most people use the machine? The benefits you get from the pull ups beats a bicep curl any day of the week, but most people focus solely on the bicep curl. I think some reasons for this are laziness and comfort. It is more comfortable to sit on your butt and do pull-downs. However, adding pull ups to your training will give you a lot of added benefits. Exercises where you use multiple big muscle groups in synergy are hard! But they are also very effective.

When you lose weight, calisthenics exercises will get easier because you use your bodyweight as resistance. That means that you get better and stronger. If you’re train calisthenics consistently this will work almost without your awareness. It’s like your uncounscious want’s you to lose weight so you can get better. This may sound strange to some, but habits that we don’t think about runs a lot more in our life than we are aware of.

 

Working the Big Muscle Groups in Synergy

 

A lot of the machine based exercises are designed to work one specific muscle group. Sure, this will increase your strength. But there are some benefits you will never achieve by doing isolation exercises. Our body are designed to move as one piece with the muscles working together. If you’re are looking for strength, increased muscle mass and athletic abilities you should train the big muscle groups in synergy.

There are more than one way to do this, but training calisthenics sure is a good option. Most of the typical calisthenics movements will work many big muscles in a single exercise.

When you do bodyweight exercises you will gain muscle mass, which will in turn increase your metabolism. You will also burn a lot more calories by activating many muscle groups than only a single group during a training set. If you’re are wondering how to start your training, I just did a post with bodyweight workout routines. If you’re are looking for a new routine to get started, you can find it Here.

 

Adding some Cardio or High-Intensity Interval training

 

If you really would like to get in shape, add some cardio and HIIT as well. A combination of strength training and cardio is good for you. Not only for your shape and condition, but also for your health in general. It seems to me that many focus at one or the other. I personally think we need both.

What I typically see is that when people get in their midlife crisis they start walking, running or bicycling. Of course with all the newest stuff in training gear that money can buy. This is better than doing nothing, but for some reason a lot of people think cardio is more important than strength training as you get older. That’s just not true.

With high intensity interval training you can get a little of both worlds. Many studies have shown that short HIIT sessions will actually improve your condition more than steady long cardio trainings. But the sessions are pretty intense, so it is not smart to do them to often. HIIT has a bonus, you get the afterburn effect. This basically means that you will burn calories after your workout is over.

If you’re would like to learn more about high intensity interval training, you can read my post about it Here.

Is There a Calisthenics Diet?

 

I don’t know and I don’t care. People tend to overthink the diet when it comes to training or loosing weight. Some get obsessed with counting calories or weighing the so-called macro’s. And we all know that diets are only shortterm. Why not adopt a simpler approach to eating healthy?

Eat real food, the fewer ingredients the better. Most of the time, you cannot go wrong consuming foods with only one ingredient like asparagus, chicken, avocados, apples, sardines or a beef. The less processed food you eat, the better. If you’re are eating good clean ingredients most of the time, you don’t have to count calories.

The Simple Diet to a Healthy Life

 

There is probably as many opinions of a healthy diet as there are people in the world. That’s why I am going to stick with some simple ideas that have helped me.

 

– Start the day with healthy energy – food that contains healthy carbohydrates.

– Base the rest of your meals around a healthy protein source. Like eggs, fish, chicken, meat etc.

– Eat lots of vegetables and salads. I always fill my plate with salad before the rest of the meal. This leads to more salad than if i did it the other way around.

– For most people, eating fewer carbs will help.

– Keep hydrated, water is your best source.

 

The closer your meals are to nature – the better. I think most people know how to eat healthy deep down, but the main problem these days are processed food without nutrition. Keep it real and do it simple is my advice!

 

If you’re ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Stefan

 

 

 

 

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The best pull up bars for the home gym

I hope this review will help you in your search for the best pull up bars for the home. There are a lot of different options, and what is best for me may not be the right choice for you. We are all looking for different benefits in a pull up bar we are going to use in our home. This post will show you some of the different options out there with pros and cons.

We all definitely agree on one thing, a good pull up bar is a great piece of equipment to have in your home. No one can deny it—pullups are cool. In fact, the pullup is one of the oldest muscle-building exercise in existence. Let’s look at some of the different solutions.

Doorway Pull Up Bars

There is a lot of different bars you can mount in your doorway, some of them don’t need mounting at all. The benefits of a doorway pull up bar is obvious, they are easy to mount and remove after a workout. If you have watched some of the fail compilations on youtube, the downside is obvious as well. You may experience a «crash landing» in your workout.

Depending on the size of your doorway your range of motion may be limited, and in most cases exercises like the muscle-up are impossible on bars like this. If it is the only option in your home you’re still able to get a good workout. Just remember to go slow and steady.

Here are an example of two different solutions in doorway pull up bars. Both of them have good reviews on Amazon.

Wall Mounted Pull Up Bars

If you have solid walls available in your home, this can be your best option. You can find pretty solid and sturdy wall mounted pull up bars out there. Remember that the load on your walls may be higher than you think, and it will leave marks when removed.

You can move more freely than on a doorway bar and train explosive calisthenics. If there is enough space to your ceiling you can do exercises like the straight bar dip and parallel bar dip as well. Great choice if it suits your home.

Here is an example of a quality wall mounted pull up bar.

 

Ceiling Mounted Pull Up Bars

A lot of the same benefits that you get from wall mounted bars. They are usually sturdy and can handle the speed and momentum from exercises like the kipping pull up in most cases. Take your time to get the bolts in the center of the beam on your ceiling, and you will get a pretty solid pullup bar.

On the con side, you will usually not get enough space to do dip exercises on a ceiling mounted pull up bar.

 

Power Towers

You will find power towers in all price ranges, and usually you get what you pay for. With a power tower you can do exercises like the pull up, parallel bar dip, leg raises and knee raises. Some of them got bars for the push up as well. If you go for a quality power tower, you will get a sturdy and solid peace of equipment. It is usually not needed, but possible to bolt it to the floor as well.

Personally I like better a simpler solution than a power tower. The grips and handles are in a fixed position, and you can’t move as freely as you can on a bar where you have some space around you. It is heavy and will steal some space in your home. If you got the space for it and are looking for workout equipment that will last a lifetime, this still may be your choice.

You get what you pay for. A cheaper version may be good enough, but that depends on what you are looking for. As you can see on Amazon the reviews reflect the difference in quality.

Free Standing Pull Up Bars

This is a simpler solution than a power tower. It is lighter and will not need as much space, some are actually portable. You will get more «space» to perform pull ups, and a simple and straight bar. In many cases you can do straight bar dips and parallel bar dips as well. What about leg and knee raises? No problem, you just do them free hanging. This will give you a stronger core and back as a bonus.

On the negative side, some of the free standing bars are a bit wobbly. This depends on you choice of course. Do you want a light and portable one or a heavier and more sturdy solution.

Below you will se an example of a portable and a more robust solution.

Gravity Fitness Portable Bodyweight & Pull Up Rack

 

Bodyweight Master Free- Standing Pull-Up Bar

Bodyweight Master Free Standing Pull Up Bar
Discover More @ Dragon Door The world’s premier site for Kettlebells, Strength, Conditioning, Flexibility, and Advanced Fitness Resources.

Gymnastic Rings

I have to include gymnastic rings to the review of pull up bars, even if it’s not actually a pullup bar. It is a simple, but very effective tool to gain strength and muscle. When you do a pull up with rings your hands will naturally be in a position that are right for you. You can do a overhand grip, underhand grip or a neutral grip. They will still «twist» a little bit when you move, leaving your hands in the right position for your body.

With adjustable straps you can hang them from anything and bring them along anywhere. The exercises you can do with gymnastic rings are endless; Pull up, dip, front lever, back lever, muscle-up, unstable push up, flies, crossover and the list goes on with every variation you can think of.

An added benefit of working out with rings is that it will work your core and your support muscles in a higher degree than a bar. I don’t have much to say about the cons of gymnastic rings because you will get a lot of value for a low price. The only thing I can think of is that you may not have a suited place to hang them from in your home. They can still be brought along anywhere, anytime.

 

I hope this review helps you in your search for the best pull up bars for your home. A good pull up bar will certainly help you to gain muscle and increase your upper body strength.

 

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Stefan

 

 

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Dragon Door Calisthenics Equipment

If you are looking for quality calisthenics equipment that will last for a lifetime, Dragon Door is an obvious choice in my opinion. As bodyweight strength training athlete’s we don’t need much, but there are of course a few things that will give us a great home gym.
To be honest I have made a few bad choices in the past with regard to «home exercise equipment», but I am getting better. My conclusion is that simplicity is better than complexity when investing in exercise equipment for your home gym.

Workout equipment designed for bodyweight training is by far the best investments I have done in that area. This page will give you an overview of equipment that will help you build a home gym that will give you a great workout!

Gymnastic Rings

One of the best workout items you will ever buy. They are small, light and easy to bring everywhere you go. With adjustable straps you only need something to «hang on» to get going. And the best part is that gymnastic rings will give you a great upper body workout alone if you do it right.

Gymnastic rings are currently not available at Dragon Door, but I just had to have them on the top of the list. It is still the best pullup tools available. Here are a few good options from Amazon with great reviews.

 The Neuro-Grip Pushup tool

It is hard to find a way to enhance the benefits of a pushup, but with this tool Jon Bruney has made it. You will find a pushup more challenging than ever and reap the benefits of it. The Neuro Grip will strengthen your core, strengthen your grip and your wrists. Yes, pushups that work your grip! It is simple and it is raw, just the way I like it.

 

Torture Your Core, Develop a Vice-Like Grip, Toughen Your Wrists, Sculpt Your Forearms, Hammer Your Pecs—With the Neuro-Grip Push-Up Challenge!
We invite you to take the Neuro-Grip Challenge and reap the rewards!

Bodyweight Master – The Free Standing Pullup Bar

With more people embracing calisthenics exercises, there is a lot of different freestanding pullup bars on the market. The Bodyweight Master is the best I have found. Many claims that it is the best calisthenics equipment available right now.

The biggest reason are due to it’s stability compared with other competing brands. It is one of the few freestanding pullup bars where you can do a muscle-up and even a human flag. There are also holes made for bolting it to the ground if you would like to increase stability even more.

The versatility for positions of various pull-ups and dips is stunning and easy to adjust. If you would like a complete piece of calisthenics equipment, this is it.

Here are some possible exercises on the bodyweight master; pullups, chinups, one arm chinups, one hand chinups, Australian pullups (bodyweight rows), hanging knee raises, hanging leg raises, windshield wipers, muscle-ups, front levers, back levers, raised pushups, dips, weighted dips and variations of nearly all the exercises already listed here. Read more about the Bodyweight Master Here.

Bodyweight Master Free- Standing Pull-Up Bar

 

Pullup Assist Bands

This is a great tool when you are starting out with pullups or are training for more advanced moves like the muscle-up. It is simple and it works. Pullup assist bands are simply stretching bands that you attach from the bar to under your feet or knee to help you with your pullups, dips or muscle-ups. You can find them in different lengths and with different resistance.

You will find a lot of different variations of the pullup assist bands, here are some with great reviews.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Stefan

 

 

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Body Weight Workout Routines -Build Muscle and Strength from Home

In this post I am going to show you some body weight workout routines that can build muscle and increase your strength. Some people are skeptical about a training program that doesn’t use any external weights for resistance. Is it truly enough? Can you really get big and strong with nothing more than your bodyweight as resistance?

 

It depends on what you mean by enough, but the answer is yes. Body weight training is a legitimate option for anyone interested in building an impressive and natural physique, increasing their strength, improving their athletic performance, mobility, and flexibility. The ability to bust out some ridiculous moves on the pullup bars look way cooler to me than benching 250 pounds.

 

Strength without mobility, strength without agility, strength without flexibility and without athletic skills are useless in my mind. You can have both of course, but a lot of people have bought the mainstream idea of what real fitness look like.

 

All types of strength training operate under the same principle of progressive overload. The only way to get stronger is to learn a movement pattern under a relatively low amount of resistance, then gradually increase the load and/ or quantity of repetitions as the body adapts. When you are using external weights this is done by adding some weight as you get stronger, but when you use your bodyweight it is a bit more challenging.

 

The benefits however, are real athletic skills and body control as you get stronger and move on to harder variations of any given exercise. To build muscle and strength with a body weight workout routine, the most effective option is progressive calisthenics. There are a lot of different variations and routines out there, I am going to give you some options.

 

The Foundation

Before you move on to more advanced body weight exercises, you need to build a good foundation. If you are just starting out, a total body workout routine that you repeat 3 times a week is a great start. Here is an example of a good workout to get you started.

Pushups 3 sets x 6 – 12 reps

Hangups 3 sets x 6 – 12 reps

Squats 3 sets x 6 – 12 reps

Hip Bridge 3 sets x 6 – 12 reps

The Plank 3 sets x 30 seconds

 

When you start out, your goal is to increase the number of reps on every exercise. Most people will have a harder time increasing the reps on hangups than the other exercises. When you can do more than 15 reps with perfect form on the different exercises, you can start progressing to harder variations.

 

Moving on to The Next Level

In the next body weight workout routine we are moving up to harder variations of the classic calisthenics exercises. It is still a total body workout that you repeat 3 times a week.

Feet Elevated Pushups 2 sets x 6 – 12 reps

Pike Pushups 2 sets x 6 – 12 reps

Wide Hand Hangups 2 sets x 6 – 12 reps

Close Hand Chinups 2 sets x 6 – 12 reps

Squats 2 sets x 20 reps

Assisted Pistol Squats 2 sets x 5 – 10 reps

Straight Bridge 3 sets x 6 – 12 reps

The Plank 3 sets x 1 minute

 

In the same way as on the foundation workout routine, your goal here is to increase your number off reps. When you can do more than 15 reps with perfect form on the different exercises, you can start progressing to harder variations.

Building Real Strength

This workout routine progresses the classic exercises to the next level and introduces the concept of the split routine. You are no longer doing three full body workouts each week, instead splitting the training up into two days of upper-body emphasis and two days of lower-body emphasis.

 

Remember to get at least 48 hours between the same routine. As an example you can do workout NR. 1 on Monday, workout NR. 2 on Tuesday before you rest on Wednesday. Repeat the same pattern on Thursday and Friday and take the weekend off.

 

NR. 1 Upper-Body

Feet Elevated Pushups 2 sets x 15 reps

Pullups 2 sets x 15 reps

Archer Pushups 2 sets x 6 – 12 reps

Archer Pullups 2 sets x 6 – 12 reps

Hanging Leg Raise 3 sets x 6 – 12 reps

Handstand Pushups 3 sets x 6 – 12 reps

 

 

NR. 2 Lower-Body

Squats 2 sets x 30 reps

Hover Lunges 3 sets x 6 – 12 reps (each leg)

Pistol Squats 3 sets x 6 – 12 reps (each leg)

Archer Squats 3 sets x 6 – 12 reps (each leg)

Candlestick Straight Bridge 3 sets x 6 – 12 reps

As in the other routines you start where you are and increase your reps as you get stronger. When you can do more than 15 reps, it is time to explore even harder calisthenics exercises.

Form and Speed

When performing the exercises in the different body weight workout routines, you will have the best effect with relatively slow and steady reps. Use your strength, and not the momentum you will get by moving fast. This does not mean that training explosive movements is not good, you can and should add some explosive sets when you have built a proper foundation.

 

Be patient and do the exercises without cheating and in proper form. Sometimes that means that you have to go back a step in the progressions and build more reps before you move on again. You will get there when you are ready!

Conclusion

The exercises in the routines will give you a great total body strength training. You will get stronger, you will build muscle and be ready for even harder calisthenics exercises. And you can do it without equipment, and without joining a gym.

 

 

If you have any questions, comments or something you would like to share please comment below this post.

All the best,

Stefan

 

 

 

 

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