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Next Level Strength: The Ultimate Rings and Paralletes Program
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Next Level Strength: The Ultimate Rings and Paralletes Program
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Next Level Strength

The Ultimate Rings and Parallettes Program

By Al Kavadlo and Danny Kavadlo

Paperback, 224 pages

Foreword by Jeff Cavaliere

"Al and Danny cut to a depth that most calisthenic practitioners will never reach. What you have before you is a well-researched, practical approach to achieving your fitness goals through bodyweight training, produced by the experts in their field."—Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS, ATHLEAN-X™

"I have been using the techniques that Danny and Al have taught me personally and I continue to make progress well after the age of sixty. This is amazing information brought to you by two of the best people I know."—Dan John, Author of The Hardstyle Kettlebell Challenge

"Next Level Strength takes all the power of old school calisthenics and blasts it to a higher level! This is the ULTIMATE manual on using rings and parallettes as old school calisthenics tools. As I've gotten older I've found myself utilizing the techniques in this awesome book more and more...the result has ALWAYS been the same: old aches and pains vanish, my joints heal, I gain fresh muscle, and I make breakthroughs in total-body strength.”—Paul "Coach" Wade, Author of Convict Conditioning

"Danny and Al Kavadlo have truly taken their already masterful bodyweight strength instruction to the next level with Next Level Strength. Rings and parallettes are great training tools, but the genius of this book is in the exercise selection and progressions. The program is accessible to the beginner, while giving the advanced trainee all they can handle. Most importantly, the program is fun and goal oriented, and will be in regular rotation with my own training. The Kavadlos always set the bar high with the quality of their books, and I think this one will become my favorite, which is saying a lot. Next Level Strength should be on the bookshelf of any serious student of strength. Highly recommended!"—Dr. Chris Hardy, co-author of Strong Medicine

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More Gain With Less Pain: How to Ring In the Changes on Your Body — And Get Significantly Stronger Faster…

Why Rings?

  • Hit your core harder for a faster, tougher, more effective workout. Unlike a fixed pull-up bar, rings are free-floating and unstable. They can swing back and forth, rock side to side and even rotate. This forces your body to stabilize itself to a greater degree. Win the stability game and your reward will be a higher-functioning, more resilient system that can better adapt to sudden, surprising challenges to your balance and overall equilibrium.
  • Enjoy a greater freedom of movement when practicing your favorite moves. The more freedom and fun you have when you exercise, the more likely you are to persist and keep on getting stronger and stronger. Because they are not connected to one another, rings allow you to pass in between them on moves like the skin-the-cat and muscle-up. Whereas you must maneuver around a pull-up bar, rings will not get in your way.
  • Become more durable — and extend your training life. If your joints start screaming at you and you feel all broken up, then your gains are going to turn to losses, right? Your success is dependent on your weakest links —the joints and tendons. Training with rings can potentially be more forgiving on your joints, particularly those of the wrists, shoulders and elbows. By allowing your hands to rotate, your joints may move in a more personalized range of motion. And this in turn can be a lifesaver for the tendons.
  • More easily perfect moves you’ve been struggling with. Though some exercises are more challenging when performed on rings, others are more accessible. When you incorporate rings into your training you automatically open up new ways to be athletically more effective.
Danny Kavadlo Next Level Strength Ring Training Bodyweight Rows

Why Parallettes?

  • Abolish the wrist pain that often plagues floor exercises like planks, L-sits and handstands. Since parallettes allow your wrists to maintain a neutral position during these and other exercises, they offer a great way to work around (and possibly help eradicate) any issues that may plague your wrists.
  • Translate a stronger grip into greater overall body strength. Squeezing parallettes while practicing these exercises creates more tension in your upper-body, which can facilitate a greater mind-muscle connection. This will help stimulate greater strength gains, especially with regard to your grip, core and shoulders.
  • End exercise paralysis by finally being able to nail a "hard-for-me" move. Elevating your hands with parallettes makes many exercises more accessible than when they’re performed on the ground. Often, beginners lack flexibility and/or core strength. Having extra clearance beneath your body can make just enough of a difference to help you nail your first L-sit or tuck planche.
  • Let’s you adapt the exercise tool to fit YOUR body, rather than being the prisoner of a more rigid setup. You can adjust the width of your parallettes to suit your individual proportions, which you cannot do with affixed bars. More freedom of choice of position — and presto, faster, better gains!
Danny Kavadlo Next Level Strength Parallettes L-Sit

What to Expect When You Engage With Next Level Strength

Next Level Strength is broken up into three levels, with each becoming progressively more difficult. As you advance, you will be met with more challenging exercise variations and increasingly demanding skills. You will also notice that there are more total exercises in the later levels. This is no accident. All three levels consist of workouts that gradually increase in training volume. This means you will slowly build up to more reps (or longer holds) of each movement over the course of several weeks. You need to add more total workout volume as well as more demanding exercises in order to continue to trigger further adaptations in your body.

Al Kavadlo Next Level Strength Ring Training Squats

During Level 1 — Unstoppable, you will do each workout 3-4 times a week for two weeks, with at least one day off in between training sessions. You will progress to a more challenging workout every two weeks. Following the program in this manner means you’ll be devoting 8 weeks to this level, though some people will need more time, while others may need less. Each training session should not require more than 50 minutes of your time, and in many cases will require less. There are also modifications which you can make to some of the Level 1 exercises to regress them if necessary. These are addressed in the "trainer talk" section of each exercise. Seasoned trainees who are new to rings and/or parallettes are encouraged to begin with Level 1 as well, as the specific demands of training with these apparatuses can take some getting used to.

Danny Kavadlo Ring Cossack Squats

In Level 2 — Unbreakable, you will follow a split routine. Your training will be split into two complementary workouts, both of which will be performed twice per week. The split routine allows for more total training volume without increasing the length of each individual training session. As with Level 1, you will progress to more challenging workouts every two weeks. Again, these workouts should not require more than 50 minutes of your time, and may require less. Experienced trainees may start right in with Level 2, provided they are able to pass the test at the end of Level 1.

Al Kavadlo Next Level Strength Ring Training Pistol Squat

In Level 3 — Indestructible, you will also follow a split routine. As with the previous levels, you will progress to more challenging workouts every two weeks. Again, these workouts should not require more than 50 minutes of your time, and may require less.

At the end of each level there is a test to determine whether or not you are ready to advance to the Next Level. If you pass the test, you move ahead. If not, then repeat the last two weeks and test again.

After you’ve completed the final level, there are several "Next" Next Level exercises with which you can experiment. Your odyssey is not over until you decide you’ve gone as far as you’re willing to go…

Al Kavadlo Next Level Strength One Arm Elbow Leveron Parallettes

Why Train with the Kavadlos?

While the Kavadlo brothers have achieved supreme feats of calisthenics strength—like the one-arm pull up, the human flag and the back lever—they have also spent decades helping thousands of clients meet and often exceed their training goals. And for good reason were selected to lead Dragon Door’s prestigious and best-of-class PCC instructor training program.

And you can see from their photographs that their choice of exercise regimens has resulted in beyond spectacular physiques. With the Kavadlos’ strategies you get strength and looks in one awesome package.

So, you can consider the Kavadlos curators of not only the most effective bodyweight exercises, but also the programming needed to extract the full juice from those chosen drills.

As experienced architects and constructors of strength, the Kavadlos know what it takes to advance from absolute newbie to elite practitioner. The Kavadlos also know how to strip things down to their essentials—to get the most out of the least, the biggest bang for the buck…

You’ll discover what key ring and parallette exercises, in what exact progressions, will give you the best results in the fastest, safest time.

Once You’ve Achieved Your Next Level Strength, Then What?

Al and Danny include two further parts in Next Level Strength, sharing innumerable further tips on how to achieve athletic excellence in the most well-rounded manner possible:

     Moving Ahead with the Beginner’s Mind
     Programming Your Workouts
     Ask Al
     Danny’s Dos & Don’ts

     Before and After
     The Top 5 Newbie Calisthenics Mistakes
     Training, Inc.
     Winter Warrior
     Training And Drinking: 5 Rules For Not Completely Ruining Your Gains
     How To Train for a One-Arm Pull-up
     Take Hold Of The Flame

Read Reviews For: Next Level Strength (paperback)
9.29 out of 10 (7 reviews)
By Christopher Miller / Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

I'm intrigued by Next Level Strength. I've posted the workouts up on my wall, I've got the parallettes and the rings (which are hooked onto my chinup bar) and I?ve started working on the moves. There is certainly stuff in level 3 I cannot do yet. I love how the workouts (like in Get Strong) keep the easier moves along with the harder ones, as I suppose they work different muscles and allow for volume training. I would never have thought of keeping the easier moves like this. For example, keeping the bodyweight row alongside pullups and false grip pullups, and keeping low ring pushups along with pike pushups and dips! I love it! Brilliant! This is why we need experts to devise training programs for us! Wonderful!

I read an article by Al comparing free weights with calisthenics. I'm going full circle now back to callisthenics (for many years when younger I focussed on dips and chin-ups to complement judo training) but this time around I'm following the Kavadlo system (the brothers are living proof it works). Several of my friends are heavy lifters (bench and pull well over 600lbs!) but most of them also do bodyweight training and have good things to say about it. I just can't be bothered with all the cumbersome free weight equipment, the calculation of exactly how much weight to use, and the safety concerns. Kettlebells are a problem too, the swings, if done at a good enough weight, are a danger since they can fly out of your hand and smash your wall, and Turkish Getups for example threaten to have the kettlebell drop down onto my head! I'm going to guess that callisthenics will give me an edge for the mobility I need in judo competitions given all the different and quite varied positions we hold in callisthenic exercises which are also found all through judo matches.

I got an enormous amount out of Get Strong too, but as is pointed out in the introduction of Next Level Strength the rings and parallettes make it all more accessible, which I interpret to mean that I can take my exercises farther, faster. I also, and maybe this is a universal human instinct, like to hold onto something when I am lifting myself around in all the different postures and not just have my palm bones always supporting all my weight. In any case in judo we have to grip, and this is the case in many sports and also in occupations - holding onto things tightly and strongly is a very important skill to have!


Rated 10/10 Incredible
By Steve Miller / San Jose, CA, United States

Incredible material. Again the K brothers hit it out of the park with a program that is easy to follow, but a game changer to your bodyweight training. I was humbled at level 3, I have prior experience on rings, but found the slight deviations presented of extreme value. In addition, the single limb leg training was a huge added bonus.

Rated 10/10 Awesomeness
By Teo Ritola / Aanekoski, K-S, Finland

Really nice and easy to understand rings and parallettes guide. Pictures make the text parts easier to grasp and even a total beginner should have no problems understanding what they should do. Besides the actual movement guides and workout programs there's really well written and highly motivating workout and diet related talk.
All in all the Kavadlo Brothers are improving on already good formula of writing.

Rated 9/10 Another great program from the Kavadlo bros!
By Ingmar Nieuwold / Toulouse, Gers, France

I purchased this book and program the moment it was released having already done both the Get Strong and Universal Strength Program before. Also this time i was not disappointed.
This is a great rings and parrallettes program for people at multiple levels of callisthenics skills and experience.
And if you think that's all, you will be pleasantly surprised with the great amount of extra knowledge, experience and information the Kavadlo brothers provide in their book. I highly recommend it!

Rated 10/10 Effective and efficient way of training
By Wolfy Dragon / Gt Yarmouth, Norfolk, United Kingdom

Where do I start. I'm certainly not the fittest person however this book is amazing all the exercises are clearly laid out and pretty easy to understand and and also easy to look up on the Internet if you're not sure of any this book is definitely one of the best books I have read when it comes to training I'm only on day 3 week 5 so far it has helped me a lot. I still have a long way to go and I'm pretty sure this book will help. I totally recommend it 100%

Rated 6/10 Next Level Strength
By J Garcia / Ft Worth, Texas, United States

Next Level Strength is a good basic program for Gymnastic Rings and Parallettes. The book utilizes three progressive levels of a training program with exact reps, sets, and hold times. A pass/fail test at the end of each level is used torate your progress. For people that prefer following an exact detailed program, it's foolproof. Although the authors state that a complete beginner could do this program, people new to calisthenics would do better to achieve level 6 of Convict Conditioning's big 6 before attempting this program. The book's leg exercises while valid are not really needed, Once again, you would do better using the Pistol Squat section from Convict Conditioning. Although a good solid program, there is nothing new or innovated, although it's appreciated they didn't add any exclusive Dragon Door equipment like, Rings of Power or Neuro-Mass. You could get the same information at a lower price from several other publications and with more details. There are several articles from previous publications rounding out the last few sections, this feels like an effort to beef up the content and compensate for the conciseness of the book. The Kavadlo Brothers have a loyal following and this book will sell to their true believers, but truth is that the brothers have already offered enough training ideas than a person could handle in a lifetime. More Content is often the killer of YouTube sensations. If you're a hard core Kavadlo fan, then buy the book and enjoy the pictures of the boys doing their poses with funny facial expressions, but if you're looking for a decently priced basic program for Gymnastic Rings and Parallettes, search elsewhere.

Rated 10/10 SUPER
By Muhammad Nuh / Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia

Very well written. Subject & writing style is easy to follow. It has picture along with the descriptions.

The content always remind me not to rushed things, but focus on each phase, trust the process.

This book deserves 10

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