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Rings of Power by Mike GIllette

Rings of Power by Mike Gillette Cool new book from Mike Gillette about Ring Training for all fitness levels. Being on this shoot with Mike was like working with a real live action hero! (And I got to put a cinderblock on him too!) Mike knows his stuff and shares everything you need to know for his versatile go-anywhere ring training.  Full progressions of every exercise, workout plans, and all the know-how to take the training as far as you wish. Good stuff, and yes, that's me on the left side of the cover  :)

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Hanging with the Kavadlo Brothers

After a recent PCC Workshop, when I was helping Al and Danny take some of their fun pictures around downtown Minneapolis, they mentioned working on a new book and collecting photos for it, and asked if I could come up at some point soon for a few.   We talked about some tentative dates etc and of course in my head, I was already setting things in order to make it happen.   If the guys want me to be in another of their awesome books, then guess what, I WILL MAKE THAT HAPPEN. 

Besides, this was going to be a chance to also check out the famous Brooklyn backyard of Danny Kavadlo--complete with the home made part-scaffolding workout rig.  This thing is famous. At one of the very first PCCs, I remember a participant waxing poetic about it and talking about how much he would like to just go hang out with them in their backyard, workout and have fun. 

Trying to remember who he was, but he was pretty obsessed (justifiably) with the cool modular design of the infamous blue bar configuration in Danny's backyard.  In all fairness, it features in videos and online tutorials quite frequently. So in honor of that guy, who if that's you, please let me know, there was NO WAY I was going to pass up a chance to hang out with Danny and Al taking photos and working out.  Besides, I wanted to get a good look at that home made rig.

Support Press In Brooklyn Backyard Calisthenics

Here's a "Support Press" which some of you will recognize as the very first step (Convict Conditioning Vol.2) towards a press flag aka "human flag" this photo also shows off that super cool hand-painted banner that Al and Danny had displayed for the afternoon.

As reported online, the bars themselves are thicker than normal so they're about 1.5" or so, and while most people will find that to be a little harder, the way I train it's about the same if not a little nicer.   So many of the municipal set ups around Florida feature those super skinny little bars that make my hands get all pinchy halfway through a workout--on the plus side it DOES encourage me to do more fingertip work, but at that point it's usually by necessity!

A move that's a frequent favorite in our small group circuits is the Australian Pull-up as defined in Al's book Raising the Bar.  Also known as the "Bodyweight Row" this move is not just a useful regression of the dead hang pull up, it's a good variation to practice for making regular pull-ups that much stronger and as a fun "opposite motion" version of things like kettlebell or dumbbell rows (or plank rows/man-makers).  In small group, we perform them with feet (or heels) on the ground, but a little more advanced version is what you see below.   Then sometimes I like to do these with my feet higher than my head for a sort of decline row.  The ones below are just barely decline, but you get the idea.    At home I'd do these with my TRX hung on the pull up bar, handles set very low, and my feet up on a chair.

Bodyweight Rows AKA Aussie pull ups

Finally, no photoshoot with the Kavadlo brothers is complete without some coaching.  Danny is in "serious mode" here, and quite possibly may be using as many if not MORE tension than I am while doing a pull up.

Practicing pull-ups with Danny Kavadlo

After several hours of successful photo snapping, we ordered in some lunch of very authentic meatballs and extremely tasty salads. 

The new book from Danny Kavadlo is going to be a whole lot of fun, the photos you see above won't be in it, since the book will be on another subject, but we had a little extra time in the backyard and I couldn't resist! :)

Can't wait for the new one? (Admittedly, I forgot when he said it would be available...) here's what the Kavadlo brothers have out now:

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