I’ve always stressed the importance of knowing how to move and use our body, not just for exercise, but in everything we do in our daily lives.

Many people have lost the connection with their bodies, and only notice it when something’s wrong!

That’s no way to live.

Exercise doesn’t need to feel like a chore or only something that happens in a gym.

Calisthenics and bodyweight training has come into a resurgence in the last few years and I’m really excited about that. One of the guys who has really done a lot to promote equipment-free training lately is Al Kavadlo.

Al’s got a new book out, so we thought it was a great opportunity to chat for a few minutes.

Al Kavadlo “Pushing The Limits” Interview

In this interview, Al and I spend some time talking about his new bodyweight training book, “Pushing the Limits!

Al also shares with us the three most important bodyweight movements you can work on (without the need for any equipment).

Can you guess which movements made the list?  

Here’s some of the interview highlights:

  • Three (plus one) essential bodyweight exercises
  • Total Body Strength with No Equipment
  • Modifications and limitations for different body types
  • Why you can’t exercise away a horrible diet (and what to do instead)
  • The often neglected Inversion training
  • The responsibility that trainers and coaches have to keep training themselves

Get Strong With Modern Calisthenics

There are some of you out there that may have some bad memories of terrible P.E. teachers yelling at you to “drop and give me twenty!” But the training is so much more than that and has the potential to change not just your body composition, but how you relate to your physicality in everyday life.

In an earlier post, we talked about how you shouldn’t rely on a magical piece of equipment as the key to your fitness success.

The true key to being successful in your health goals is in your approach and programming.

You’ll get the results you want when you find a program you can work through consistently, and that will only happen when you find a program or training modality that you enjoy.

Discovering what you enjoy doing and what’ll you do consistently will bring the results you want. And if you enjoy it and don’t want to mess with weights, proper bodyweight training is fun and offers everything you need with no equipment necessary.

It also gives you the option to workout wherever you like.

No more driving in a car for a half hour to exercise in a gym, and pay for the privilege!

“Who’s this Al Kavadlo guy, anyway?”

One of the reasons we wanted to interview Al is because he’s a prime example of someone having tons of fun while working out with bodyweight exercises. He’s also really nice.

If you’re a fan of bodyweight exercises, you’ve probably seen Al’s videos on YouTube.

He’s known for his approachable and friendly training style, his impeccable grooming, and his righteous tattoos.

Al Pistol

A self described “scrawny tall kid,” Al developed a devotion for training and weightlifting as a child and transformed himself with exercise into the typical musclebound gym “bro.” He eventually realized that what he really desired was the ability to move well with flexibility and strength, which led to the development of his style of “minimalist” training.

Since then, he’s combined his enthusiasm for physical fitness and writing to produce his popular website and training materials.

My Pushing the Limits Review

I’m going to keep this pretty short, since the interview above really says it all about Al and what he teaches.

Pushing The Limits is about pushing.

Don’t look for pull-ups (though AL loooooves pull-ups) or other exercises here. But you may be surprised to see some of the variation and range of movements that can be done while still honoring the theme.

This is one of the best-photographed books on bodyweight training I've ever seen.

This is one of the best-photographed books on bodyweight training I’ve ever seen. 

The image above should give you a good idea of what to expect.

Al’s teaching style is succinct, and you won’t find long descriptions of how to perform each movement. The photos are meant to do the talking, which notes added to call attention to significant details.

One great thing Al does is show both easy and difficult variations for almost everything. There is a clear progression from the basic push-ups to the explosive and “de-leveraged” variations on the more advanced side. If you love challenging yourself with difficult exercises, you’re going to love Pushing The Limits.

The last thing I really like about this book is that Al uses a couple of his female clients as models for many of the exercises.

I get a lot of questions from women about how to train and if these kinds of movements are even appropriate for women at all. My answer is always “yes!” and it’s great to Al not only coaching women, but using them as an example.

I think a lot of ladies will be inspired to train after seeing this book.

Al Kavadlo’s Minimalist Approach

I enjoyed speaking with Al, because we have a lot in common in our thinking. His take on minimalist training hits me close to home as well as his love for training outdoors.

Al’s the real deal, having worked with tons of clients to achieve and exceed their goals. He’s not just running around doing seminars – he trains very hard himself. His positive character and zeal for training is wonderful.

Check it out!

Pushing the Limits 2Hot off the digital press, Al’s newly released book Pushing the Limits! is a 224-page compendium of bodyweight training information.

And if pull ups are your thing, be sure to check out Al’s book devoted to everything there is to know about pull ups, Raising the Bar.

Note: If you order Al’s book via the links above, we make a small commission, which helps pay for the insurance on our Ferraris. You’ll also be supporting one of the nicest guys in the fitness world, and you’ll learn a few things too.


  1. rhoneyman says:

    this is an awesome interview. best ever. well done, ryan. interesting the reference to convict conditioning. that’s what got me started on body work as well, some 14 months ago. i’m with you: al kavadlo’s constant smile makes his vids really approachable.

  2. John Sifferman says:

    Great interview, gents! I’m excited for where both Al and GMB are going.

  3. Such a goood interview!!!!! I agrre with the fact that we have lost the connection with our bodies,we don’t know what we are missing.

    Tthis financial crisis has brought some important things: first we have realize that we were living in a non natural way and second that we had lost the connection with our bodies and with Nature.

    Thanks to GMB I am in the track of knowing my body.

    You guys are such an awesome Team

  4. Great interview guys, thanks for sharing it with us! I like the fact that, like GMB, he also talks about having fun while working out.

  5. Thanks for having me as your guest, Ryan. And thanks to Andy, Rachel, Vlad, Javier and John for the nice comments. I’ve been a fan of GMB since the beginning – it’s a privilege to be welcomed by such a classy bunch!

    • Cheers! Glad to see all the good reviews the new book is getting.

    • Ha! “rhoneyman” is actually my dad, but I’m with my pops all the way. I had the privilege of listening to this interview several times, since I edited it, and I enjoyed it the fifth or sixth time around as much as the first :)

      Good stuff!

    • Al! It was such a pleasure being able to chat with you! Hopefully we can do another interview but in person next time. Cheers man!

  6. Great interview! I got the book as well and there is a lot of good stuff in it :)
    Keep up the great work Al!
    I will try to participate in your first PCC event as well Al.
    It will need some planning though as I live in Sweden :)
    Maybe some more GMB people are interested as well?
    Great work GMB team to make yet another great interview :)