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Reviews

 
 
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9/10 A Kick Ass Encyclopedia of Bodyweight Exercises
 
By Zach Even - Esh / Manasquan, NJ, USA

Al put together a kick ass encyclopedia of the most powerful and most commonly used bodyweight exercises amongst the various groups of bodyweight masters.

From the most simple form of each exercise progressing to the most challenging form of each exercise, Al covers it. As a Coach and bodyweight training addict I loved all the variations shown so I can now learn from Al.

This book is far beyond just pull ups and there are countless exercises for upper body and abs.

My only wish was that there were more workouts listed by Al but I also understand that the way Al trains is very instinctive when he trains himself or amongst his friends.

The plus side is that Al covers what is probably EVERY exercise he knows of, uses and teaches others, breaking down proper techniques, regressions and progressions. This is HUGE for the trainers out there who do NOT know how to adapt bodyweight exercises to each individual's fitness level.

If you're a fan of bodyweight training, between this book and Convict Conditioning you can turn your body into a deadly weapon!!!

 
10/10 Brilliant Book-simply brilliant
 
By Darius Rana / Sydney, Australia

This is a fantastic book-period! Al has provided some basic cues which have made my chin ups and leg raises much easier. This is a great piece of work and EVERYONE can benefit from it-Olympic lifter, powerlifter, bodybuilder etc. You dont have to do all the moves-you can pick a couple and run with them. Al shows some great progressions and tons of different movements. I could go on and on but the best thing would be to buy the book-you wont regret it.

 
9/10 Incredibly Happy with Raising the Bar!
 
By Adrienne Harvey / Winter Park, FL, USA

Originally I had the ebook version—which is good, but the large printed paperback was really worth the wait. The large photos to show exactly what Al Kavadlo describes in the text. Not only is the book incredibly informative and entertaining, it's literally a lot of fun to read. Several times I caught myself grinning—alone—while reading the book. It's hard to sit still and read parts of it, so go ahead and take it with you to the park, or where you are able to work with the very basics like a pull up bar. I've even been practicing parts of the elbow lever progression described in the book on the edge of a very heavy picnic table. Al's book is extremely liberating in that you can easily see how a workout can happen anywhere with little to no equipment. Thanks to this fun volume, I've already improved my basic pull up, am edging towards a muscle up, and have added a few fun variants (the "crowd pleasing" archer pull up immediately comes to mind) to the mix. My clients have also benefited, especially those working towards their first pull up. Having the book handy can also allow me to point out the concepts while we're discussing them. You'll probably start looking at your neighborhood a little differently as well—after checking out Raising the Bar, I've started to see many potential places for impromptu dips, finger tip pull ups, clutch flags, elbow levers and more.

Men and women of a variety of shapes and sizes are pictured throughout the book, which is encouraging and inspiring as well (ladies, there's some serious eye-candy in there too). In all seriousness, I look forward to incorporating more and more of the exercises from Raising the Bar into my own training, and with that of my clients.

 
10/10 From Beginner to Super Human! This book has it all
 
By Daniel Krammer / Santa Cruz, CA, United States

I have to give a lot of props to Al for putting this book out! It is refreshing to see the back to basics calisthenics coming back into fashion because the truth is, it has always and will always be the best and cheapest way to work out. No frills, just hard core awesome moves and progressions. This book will help the beginner get their first pull up or leg raise, or it can take the already athlete to the next level.

I highly recommend this book, and I think the work that Al is doing is inspiring and highly motivational! keep them coming!

 
10/10 Pull Ups, Muscle Ups, Handstands, WOW!
 
By Stephen Ventimiglia / Jamaica, NY, United States

Okay for all of you that think pull ups are basic easy, whatever type movements, think again! Al Kavadlo really turns it up on this book or should I say pulls it up! I love how he makes pull ups seem so achievable and the variety he shows really demonstrates why pull ups don't have to be boring. In my opinion I'd rather do any type of pull up than any lat pull down or row, but for those who only do weighted resistance exercises, pick this up because it will surely pull you through your exercise plateaus. Also, the sections on handstands he demonstrates is worth the buy alone. Al knows how to grab a readers interests and makes you want to put the book down and try his progressions out. Amazing book!

 
10/10 Informative, Exciting, Easy to Read
 
By Kyrie Fontana / Reno, NV, USA

Let’s be honest; upper body calisthenics can be intimidating. But with Al Kavadlo in your corner, you will be well on your way to perfect headbanger pull-ups, Korean dips, and maybe even standing muscle overs.

Al is not just a seasoned veteran of calisthenics, but he is truly an excellent teacher. In Raising the Bar, the Definitive Guide to Upper Body Calisthenics, he explains the subtle nuances and fun variations of the most important movements, from dips all the way to muscle ups and even the coveted one-arm pull-up.

Raising the Bar is packed full of not only exciting techniques for advanced practitioners but also adaptations that allow beginners to enter the rewarding world of upper body calisthenics. The Definitive Guide is indisputably the most fun and easy to read instruction manual in fitness to date. Get your copy now.

 
9/10 Raising the Bar is Form + Function
 
By Isaac Ray / Eugene, OR, United States

Raising the Bar provides both exercises known to most fitness enthusiasts as well as some unique to bar athletics. These unique exercises are where the real training gold of this book lies. That being said there are many exercises that go beyond fitness and enter the realm bar sports. So if this book is going to be a good fit for people depends on their personal goals. For someone who just wants to gain physical capacity this book may not be the best choice. But for those who want to take their training beyond being a workout Raising the Bar will do that for them. The only addition I would I wish this book had was an expanded section on program design but for those with a solid foundation in body weight training this should not pose a problem. If someone needs such a foundation Convict Conditioning will provide that foundation an more.

 
9/10 Great Book!
 
By Derek Howe / North Reading, MA, USA

This is an awesome book. Pictures are great and the information Al provides is really great. If you are into body weight training then this book is a great asset to add to your library. I've read the whole book and find myself going back time and again to check something out. Since I got the book, I have been practicing my hand stands and was able to do some hand stand push ups in about 2 weeks. Keep up the good work Al. Al also has some great tutorials on his website: http://www.alkavadlo.com/

 
10/10 GREAT!!!!
 
By Cody Clark / Muncie, IN, USA

This book is easily in the top ten of bodyweight strength training books, Al's progressions are brilliant especially on the levers and Muscle Ups. i highly recommend this book to any one who wants to be a part of the few Bar elites.

 
10/10 Best book ever written!
 
By Rick Chafton HKC, FMS / Crystal Lake, IL, USA

As a personal trainer, I've spent years convincing my clients that they don't need any fancy, overpriced, useless junk to get a great workout. The greatness is within the simplicity. I've watched every trainer in the area mess up the concept of functional fitness with their "ideas". Balancing on stacks of bosu balls, using the other leg to pull on rubber bands, one arm using a shaky weight, and the other arm doing curl to presses with a half pound pink dumbbell, all while balancing a medicine ball on your nose sounds good in theory, but at the end of the day, nothing gets accomplished. Al, just like everything else Dragon Door publishes, manages to take the simplest of tools, and make it the most important. These movements are something that everyone not only CAN do, but we are all SUPPOSED to do them. They're in our DNA. Not like all the machines and circus tricks. Al has been a huge inspiration to me for quite sometime. This goes far beyond simple pullups and dips. This is the perfect book to go along with The Naked Warrior, Convict Conditioning 1 & 2, and Pavels flexibility work. Thank you Al, for writing such an awesome book.

 
10/10 This book unlocked my muscle-up
 
By Jim Davison / Freeland, PA, USA

I was trying for four years to do a ring muscle-up. I had given up until I read Al's tips on doing slow bar muscle-ups. He explained something I hadn't read or tried before and it worked! Now I do ring muscle ups every day. This book is worth every cent. Add "Raising the Bar" to "Convict Conditioning", "The Naked Warrior", and "From the Ground Up". You'll be good to go anywhere you find yourself.

 
10/10 Excellent book
 
By Federico Rojas / Talca, Maule, Chile

Lots of useful information and advice for beginners and more advanced athletes. The progressions, advice and inspiration provided are great. I definitely recommend it.

 
9/10 very fun book
 
By Paul Singer / Cadillac, MI, US

The book says all you need is a bar to signiifcantly improve your upper body and it is very true. If you think about it, dips, pull-ups, and hanging leg raises cover almost the entire upper body; and there are a lot of variations you can do to keep it fun.

I frequently read about the Kavadlo brothers, and convict conditioning, etc. I started calisthenics a year ago and I absolutely love it. It is fun, not the tedious BS of going to a gym, the whole family gets invloved, and we now have our own parallel bars and pull-up bar in the back yard.

Great stuff, this is an awesome book. Inspiring for me, my wife, and son. Wife can do ten solid full body-weight dips now. The book shows lots of women doing exercises also, which showed my wife she can do pull ups too, she is almost there! In the meantime she does lots of body rows, and so does my son.

We work out 3 days a week, alternating between only two different work outs:
#1: Pull ups or body rows, Dips, Leg raises
#2: Pull ups or body rows, Push-ups, bodyweight squats or single legs squats

Super easy, lots of fun, and showing real progress on looks, strength, etc.

Thanks!

 
10/10 Raise YOUR Bar
 
By Matt Palfrey / Bath, UK

Unlike much of the trash in the modern fitness industry, Al takes a structured approach to coaching and programming. Raising The Bar starts at a level that everyone can handle and then builds on it - it's not a random selection of exercises but a reasoned approach to improving skill in a number of key movements.

This, in my opinion, is the key to progression and Al delivers it in his own enigmatic style. And if you're in any doubt as to the effectiveness of the approach then you need to see what Al can do! You'll be blown away!

 
10/10 Good stuff
 
By Steven Gully / New York, NY, U.S.

I'm 40 years old and I've always wanted to be able to perform one arme pullups between this book with gave me a whole new group of exercises and progressions. And i feel as though I'm on my way to actually achieving my goal.

 
10/10 ya just gotta love Al!
 
By Paul E-C / West Islip, NY, USA

I've been into body weight training for about a year now...i just love the idea of never needing much or any equipment to get a workout in. I started my journey with Convict Conditioning, but now I've found myself looking for additional pointers and wisdom. Of course seeing Al in that book he was somebody to check out. Well i'm glad i did, i've since scoured his youtube videos, bought both of his books...he's just got great things to say and he's not all talk, again just check out the videos...he lives it (unlike many trainers around).



In "Raising the Bar" Al gives you info for the Beginner to the Advanced, always encouraging you that nothing is beyond your reach...you just need to put in the time and hard work....yes, hard work...you may even sweat...oh my. Tons of great exercises and pointers from a guy who knows what he's talking about.



you'll enjoy this book....it's worth it.

 
9/10 A must read !
 
By Francesco D'Antonio / Modena, Italia

Excellent book ! full of expalnation. A must-buy book !

 
9/10 Great book, tons of pull variations and much more
 
By Tim Gavallas / Watertown, CT, USA

I love pull ups. Probably because it is something I have always been good at. This book will take you to the next level. I look forward to strengthening myself and performing these new found exercises. I recommend this book to everyone. It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or an advanced athlete there is something in it for everyone. Buy the book and hit the bar!

 
9/10 Didn't like Al's zen book too much but...
 
By Dave Palena / Ardmore,PA, USA

This one was great. It picks up where CC1 & CC2 leave off. I have pullup bars in my basement and garage, now I want to build an outside bar.

 
8/10 Nothing quite like it!!
 
By Jen K. / Ellington, CT, USA

Since reading Convict Conditioning 1 & 2, I've been interested in learning all I can about bodyweight training and advancing what I can do. This book totally delivers! I learned exercises I never would of came up with, and they are shown in a progressional manner. There are great tips on pull-ups, leg raises, and handstand push-ups. I have only found books like this at Dragon Door - mainstream book stores don't carry them. If you found Convict Conditioning to be useful for your bodyweight training, you definately need to get this book! Because of this book, I checked out Al's blog, too - awesome!!

 
3/10 Bar
 
By Mark Slaughter / Edwardsville, USA

I wasted my money on this book. I found it to be more of a compilation of what Al can do and no meat has to how to perform the various techniques including proper body positioning, use of various muscles, including but not limited to the lats. I was looking for more instruction than what this gave. If you have much of an exercise background you won't find much that is new. A better purchase is Lats, The Super Muscle by Mark Reifkind.

 
10/10 Cool pics, great exercises
 
By Sean Kelly / Chicago, IL, USA

This is the second of Al K's books I bought. Like them both. The price is a little on the high side, but that's okay to me for the following reasons: 1) lots of high quality color photos (not cheap to print) and 2) if these get you to save money on a gym membership it is a smart investment. win win win

I can barely do pullups cause I have really long arms and a slim frame, but have always wanted to do more. This book motivates me. Gonna go to the park tonight and bust out some exercises!

 
10/10 Realistic Steps
 
By Amie Marse / Englewood, US

I'm a bigger person and nowhere near capable of doing pull ups. This book was still very interesting to me because it walks through each step realistically. The author points out women of different shapes, etc. I found it incredibly motivating and have been trying to work on the starting stages.

I was just really, really impressed with things like, "don't try this until you can do 10 of the last ones" or "once you can do 4 or 5 of these, you can safely move to the next move" That's the type of direction you don't often see in books like this. Usually it is just a whole host of moves with zero direction about when to move forward.

And at the end of the book, there's a guide to reps for your gender. Again, this is the sort of realistic thing you don't get in other books. I imagine the vast majority of people do pull ups by themselves so it is good to know how they stack up. Otherwise, how would you know?

 
10/10 Raising The Bar
 
By George Jensen / Conway, USA

"Raising the Bar" by Al Kavadlo meshes well, with books by Pavel Tsatsouline, Paul "Coach" Wade and Master Shou-Yu Liang & Wen-Chang Wu (Qigong Empowerment).
A much needed book in specific bar body movements to World Class level. Training guides for ourselves & grandkids when time is right. Great job Al !!!

 
9/10 Worth every dime
 
By Steve Shear / Lawrence, NY, United States

I was gunshy about spending the money. It's not the best of times. I could not afford to blow that kind of money on a stinker. Thankfully this book is anything but. I have been a life long aerial guy. I just always had this conviction that being able to push and pull my own weight around was a key survival attribute. That said, I also thought I knew it all and there was nothing left to learn about the subject. Wrong. There is, there was, and this book had it.

 
9/10 Great book
 
By Yvonne Romay / Mexico, Quintana Roo, Cancún

This is my first time doing pull ups, and I l love it, Great book I love it.

 
9/10 Good read for pull up power
 
By Max Lomas / Turlock, CA, Usa

The book is very well written with lots of pictures. All in all I would say it is a good buy. I would like to see a little more information on progression and a couple more sample workouts. I think for all of the information given in such a condensed go out and do it form it was a good read. Great for middle school and high school boys and adults to develop upper body strength for sports.

 
10/10 A must have for any bodyweight practitioner!
 
By Tim Stovall / Evansville, IN, USA

Al put together an outstanding ebook! It reads very easy in a way anyone could understand. He gives some awesome and doable progressions along with some of his favorite routines. If you want to become a BAR-STAR, then you need this ebook!

 
8/10 Excellent methodology
 
By Alain Baeriswyl / Fribourg, Switzerland

Very good book - step by step instructions - realistic training program - highly recommended

 
9/10 I never knew...
 
By Markus Christen / Olten, Switzerland

Unbelievable, I did not know how many variations there are for using a bar. A real eye-opener.
Al, you have followers all over the world (this one here is from Switzerland). Your work is very appreciated.

 
10/10 A phenomenon.
 
By Victor M / London, Uk

Highly recommended for core strength and control our your bodyweight.

 
9/10 Excellent resource!
 
By Mike L / Ottawa, Canada

This ebook is a veritable encyclopedia of bar-based training. With detailed tutorials complete with tons of pictures, getting this book will augment your knowledge way beyond simple pushups and pull ups. Coming from a weight training background (years on starting strength and 5/3/1 protocols) as well as state level competitive triathlons, there is plenty in here to challenge you and enough progression to avoid stalling.
I would not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone looking to push their workouts to the next level.
Be warned - Al's training style is based on improvisation. Only a handful of workouts are presented. If you are looking for training plans, this is not the book to get.

 
10/10 Raising the Bar, and my ambitions!
 
By Desiree H. / Indiana, PA, United States

I gotta say this is my first book by Al Kavadlo. I saw his awesome Youtube videos, but this really brings what he does down to understandable terms. The book is a step by step tutorial that helps you strengthen your body in ways that most conventional gyms or weight lifting (for me at least) seems to fall short of. A good read for the beginner to advanced bar expert. I learn new things everyday from this book, I highly recommend it!

 
10/10 Solid
 
By Carson Cavner / Sterlng, AK, USA

Al did an awesome job with this book, i rate it right up there with convict conditioning one and 2. i thoroughly enjoy reading this book repeated and finding new bits of knowledge to take home each time.

 
10/10 Keira Newton Mater RKC
 
By Keira Newton / Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

I loved this book. Such an inspiring way to move, and get strong. Well done, Kavadlo!!

 
9/10 Raising the Bar
 
By Michael Davies / Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

What a great read. It has challenged my workouts. It is definitley harder than it looks and I have been actively exercising for a few years. Hoping to get my back stronger.
Thank to everyone for the book.

 
10/10 amazing and honest
 
By Jesse Hutchinson / san antonio, tx, us

this book is great because al is so upfront about what is real and what is abstract like he said he hasnt ever seen the one arm hspu. the closed leg one arm push up. other authors are not so honest
us military combat vet

 
10/10 Great Guide
 
By Iam Bloom / Los Angeles, California, USA

This is a great guide that will allow you to take great steps to the body and fitness you want and for a long time to come. The greatest part about these exercises is that you never outgrow them, just make them more challenging to your body and strength.

 
10/10 Raising the bar (e-book)
 
By Daniel Fernandez / Algeciras, Andalucia, Spain

I think is a great book. Al display the technics easily and wisely.
It's so complete and It has good pictures . I think is a great book writing by a great teacher.

 
10/10 Out of sight
 
By Mane Weissgerber / Schondorf am Ammersee, Bavaria, Germany

With only few words, this book is so great, because Al makes it possible with only the basics to become a better jock. What he is talking about is no crap, no horse hockey and no idle talk. His message is so easy and inspired, that everyone is able to do his fantastic exercises.
I am as keen as mustard and work it out almost every day.

 
10/10 Very well made, better than my other one
 
By Javier Ochoa Jr / San Jose, California, United States

I just read the first 8 pages, and i gotta say, woooow, It gives me motivation.

 
10/10 Upper body strength makes u extremely dangerous!
 
By Javier Ochoa Jr / Stockton, California, usa

I, have had this book for over four months now, and, I was very happy that I bought it. Right now, I am past the first six chapters. And, I haven't stop reading.

 
10/10 Guide Post
 
By oliver hillman / Lake Havasu City, Arizona, United States

I feel so far in my beginners training that this book is a "diamond in the rough" so to speak. It is clear, concise, very informative and inspirational. After watching many calithenics videos online I was a little unsure if I could ever come close to reaching my potential like other guys have done. I have many injuries from weight training and was eating wrong. With slow but persistent training of the excersises in this book I can sort of see a "light at the end of the tunnel" so to speak." I envision myself in a year from now being able to strengthen my core and even buff up a little. Being type 2 Diabetic it is now more difficult to make gains but I still feel like determination and a "stick to it" attitude will win out in the end. Your book confirmed and further inspired this notion for me. Thank you for this inspiration !

 
10/10 Awesome
 
By Sauli Berg / Kuusankoski, Kymenlaakso, Finland

An excellent training guide for all levels. From starter to pro...

 
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