An Interview with Daniel Cirilli, PCC Instructor

Daniel Cirilli Wide Grip Straddle L-sit

Dragon Door: How did you first get involved with calisthenics?

Daniel Cirilli: I started last October. About 10 months ago, I just saw some videos on YouTube from Al and Danny Kavadlo, and Frank Medrano. I decided to start with street workout after meeting Kerigo and some of the other guys at a fitness festival in Gothenburg. From there I started working on my team and now I am a member of WSWCF (World Street Workout and Calisthenics Federation) and a PCC Instructor.

I'm participating in the next Street Workout Championship, there are 24 stages in the world and I hope to participate on one stage for the first time. I train for it every day for an hour and half.

Dragon Door: What are your favorite moves?

Daniel Cirilli: I love the human flag, planche, Maltese… I think every street workout move is really beautiful and amazing. When you move from the bar to another bar you can jump, or move from the ground or anywhere! It's cool.

Dragon Door: Why did you decide to come to a PCC Workshop?

Daniel Cirilli: I came to the workshop because I saw the PCC workshop videos and read Al and Danny's books. I thought they were amazing and I wanted to try to join the big family of PCC instructors. I saw new moves I could learn and then teach to the guys on my team—and use them in my Street Workout routine. I have a local team and am part of an international team called Team Physix - Zero Gravity.

Dragon Door: In addition to working with your teams, are you also personal training or leading group fitness classes?

Daniel Cirilli: Yes, I am working in two gyms and have about 20 clients at the moment. I have also studied physical training and sports science since 2009 at the University in Rome, and am graduating next March.
Daniel Cirilli Plyo Crossover Pushup

Dragon Door: How did you first become interested in studying these subjects?

Daniel Cirilli: I don't know, but when I exercise or teach people about exercise, I think it is amazing. And with calisthenics, you can do it anywhere: at home, outside, or in a gym. You can always have a different view. It is a beautiful kind of training.

Dragon Door: What did you like most about the PCC workshop?

Daniel Cirilli: I liked how Danny and Al taught us how to improve our movement. Sometimes we can do a one-arm push-up or one-arm pull-up but maybe our position or form is not good. They teach us how to improve this in many ways. It was really amazing.

I like to teach other people calisthenics but also street workout or parkour. Parkour and street workout are sports like gymnastics or football, but calisthenics is a type of training. But in parkour, street workout, and gymnastics you use calisthenics! So I think it is good to not only learn how to improve my own training, but also learn to teach people many different calisthenics moves.

Dragon Door: Other than being a sport, how else do you think street workout is different than Progressive Calisthenics?

Daniel Cirilli: As before, the main difference between street workout and calisthenics is that calisthenics is a kind of training, and street workout is a sport. I use calisthenics to improve and train my street workout movements. I think calisthenics is the way to get better.

But there are some people who use the words "calisthenics" and "street workout" to mean the same thing, but for me it is different. Street workout has regulations and a federation. Calisthenics training has push-ups pull-ups, levers, human flags, and everything else—and we use those movements in street workout.
Daniel Cirilli Human Flag Wall Variation

Dragon Door: What’s the best way for someone to get started with the sport of street workout?

Daniel Cirilli: The best way is to start with calisthenics, bodyweight exercise. You learn to use your body, improve your strength, gain body control, improve your core training and everything. From there you can go above the bar and try to do street workout.

Dragon Door: What is your own training like?

Daniel Cirilli: Sometimes I do a set or two of muscle-ups or train just the upper or lower body. Sometimes I train the full body at once. If I am training everyday, I think it is good to train two kinds of movements on each day like a pull-up, and push-up. I try to find a way to train a push and a pull in different ways every day. This makes sure that I will continue to improve my strength, resilience, and everything. With this same idea, you can also make a program.

I have been training myself every day to go to the World Street Workout Championships. My program now is to do planche and pull-up work on Monday; on Tuesday I work on back levers and dips, on Wednesday I train abs and legs, Thursday I do front lever and push-ups, Friday I train human flag and muscle-ups. I also practice handstands everyday. So, I have a very full week, and sometimes I train on Saturday too.

It would be different for a beginner. They should train three days a week, three muscles per week—chest, back and legs. Someone at an intermediate level might want to train four times a week: pull-ups/chin-ups and handstand, push-ups/dips/abs, rest, pull-ups/chin-ups/handstand, push-ups/dips/abs, legs and abs/core.

Dragon Door: How were you training before you became involved with street workout?

Daniel Cirilli: Not too much, just mainly functional training, and at the time I was working in another gym as a functional trainer.
Daniel Cirilli Forearm Planche

Dragon Door: What is the most challenging move for you right now?

Daniel Cirilli: I need to improve my front lever and planche, but I think the most difficult thing right now is standing on a high bar. I am working towards trying it. Currently I am working up to it by standing on a barbell on the ground-nothing too tall yet.

I think the planche, 360 on a bar, or slow Russian dips in the seated position are two of the hardest street workout moves.

Dragon Door: How long does your street workout competition routine need to be?

Daniel Cirilli: First you have to send a two minute video to the Street Workout Federation with no edits and no music so they can tell if you are ready to participate on the stage. On stage you will have two rounds with three minutes per round to show the best moves you can do.

Dragon Door: What else do we need to know about you as a trainer and as an athlete?

Daniel Cirilli: I train and am a trainer because I love sports, and I love to work with people to help them have a better life. It is something beautiful to see people happy after you have trained them and they have seen results. This job is the beautiful way.

I train all kinds of people. Right now I am training people from 13-42 years old. All I need is a place with a bit of open space and some scaffolding for pull ups. Sometimes we go outside and train in the little park that's close to our gym.

Daniel Cirilli Human Flag Tree
Dragon Door: What is your favorite calisthenics or street workout move to teach?

Daniel Cirilli: I love to teach human flag, elbow levers, and also planche. I think the best way to learn the human flag is to learn how to stay locked with your shoulders and scapula, like you are a big horizontal pole. Then, after you can stay like that, you can keep improving by training on a pole with your legs tucked, then straightening just one leg at a time. For the planche you have to learn to use your scapula while contracting your abs, core, and your glutes.

Dragon Door: Did you have any PRs at the PCC?

Daniel Cirilli:
Two other guys and I each did our first one-arm pull-ups at the PCC. I loved everything, but really learned one-arm pull-ups.

Daniel Cirilli Wide Grip Straddle L-sit thumbnailDaniel Cirilli is a PCC Instructor, Italian Street Workout Athlete, WSWCF Member, Leader and Representative of Team Physix - Italy and CEO & Founder and Athlete of RadarBarz Team. Follow him on Facebook: facebook.com/DanielCirilliCalisthenics, and Instagram: Bufera_TeamPhysix