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Raising the Bar DVD
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Raising the Bar

The Definitive Guide to Bar Calisthenics

By Al Kavadlo

DVD Running time: 51 Minutes

Watch instantly on Dragon Door Direct

Master The Art of Bar Athletics and Forge the Upper Body of Your Dreams—Without the Need for Weights, Machines or Gym Memberships!

Personal trainer and bar-athlete extraordinaire, Al Kavadlo believes you don’t need a gym membership or any fancy equipment to get in the best shape of your life. All you need to build a strong, muscular upper body is a simple pull-up bar.

In Raising the Bar: The Definitive Guide to Pull-up Bar Calisthenics, Kavadlo breaks down every type of exercise you can do with a pull-up bar. From the basic two arm hang, to the mighty muscle-up, all the way to the elusive one arm pull-up, the “bar master” takes you step by expert step through everything you need to do to build the chiseled frame you’ve always wanted.

Whether you’re a die-hard calisthenics enthusiast or just looking to get in the best shape of your life, Raising the Bar will meet all your expectations—and then some!

"With Raising The Bar, Al Kavadlo has put forth the perfect primal pull-up program. Al's progressions and demonstrations make even the most challenging exercises attainable. Anyone who is serious about pull-ups should get this DVD."—Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint

"This DVD is the ultimate training course on bar athletics, masterminded and presented by the man who—for my two cent’s worth—is the greatest calisthenics coach alive today. Raising the Bar is motivational and looks cool as hell, but more important than that, it’s an incredible source of instruction."—Paul “Coach” Wade, author of Convict Conditioning

"Al Kavadlo consistently puts out the best info on calisthenics and bodyweight training. His book, Raising the Bar is a killer introduction into the world of the Bar Athlete. Now with the release of the accompanying DVD, Al has truly raised the bar to a whole new level. The DVD combines solid info along with fun and entertainment, as only Al can."—Mike Fitch, creator of The Animal Flow Workout

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Master The Art of Bar Athletics and Forge the Upper Body of Your Dreams—Without the Need for Weights, Machines or Gym Memberships!


The message is clear: you can earn yourself a stunning upper body with just 3 basic moves and 1 super-simple, yet amazingly versatile tool.

And what’s even better, this 3 + 1 formula for upper body magnificence hides enough variety to keep you challenged and surging to new heights for a lifetime of cool moves and ever-tougher progressions!

Cast in the "concrete jungle" of urban scaffolding and graffiti-laden, blasted walls—and sourced from iconic bar-athlete destinations like Tompkins Square Park, NYC—Raising the Bar rewards you with an inspiring new vision of what the human body can achieve. 

Embrace Al Kavadlo’s vision, pick up the challenge, share the Quest, follow directions—and the Holy Grail of supreme upper body fitness is yours for the taking.

Raise the bar of your self-image, raise the bar on what it means to be a man, raise the bar on your fortitude, raise the bar on your toughness—and BE THIS:

• Stride down the mean streets with a whole new swagger—your etched set of washboard abs, your righteous pecs, your gnarling forearms and your whipcord frame broadcasting a newfound strength and an animal vitality.

• Enter a room and command immediate, primal respect from male and female alike—as you exude a quiet sense of confidence and raw power.

All this from a bar and 3 basic moves…

A word of warning to the wise, though: you’ll discover drills included in Raising the Bar that take the wildest skill and the greatest of functional strength to pull off. Like any true quest there are dragons to be faced here at your peril.

Be inspired by the ultimate vision of human performance you’ll see in the playful yet detail-packed instructional sequences—but as Al Kavadlo would be the first to recommend, find a strong band of training brothers and a solid training mentor if you are intent on attaining the greatest of feats that lie before you in Raising the Bar.


Feel Better, Look Better and Sure-as-Heck Move Better—Guaranteed


Check out what you’ll possess when you invest in Al Kavadlo’s ultimate upper body training program:

Pull-up or Shut-up

Well put indeed, Al! Al’s pull-up program is NOT for shirkers or wannabes. If you’re ready to get to serious work and ready to grab your bar, then be our guest.

Like so many of us, Al chased his own endless parade of shiny balls that promised one get-fit-quick scheme after another. But when all was said and done, Al returned to what had worked best for him in the first place:

Bar + Bodyweight = Back to Basics

Al tried it all—you name it—and returned to the source of all that is good, to the mother ship: pull-ups, pull-ups and then more pull-ups…

Ah, pull-ups, yes, the great equalizer, "the purest way to measure or train pound-for-pound strength…"

To each his own in the strength game, but the bar will take you as far as you could ever dream for upper body physical development—if you let it and let Al show you how…

Many females have an almost visceral fear of the pull-up. Al confronts this fear and the associated myths that drive that fear. Women, if you’ve been scared/on the fence about engaging with pull-ups, here is all you need to inspire you into pull-up action.

The 3 best exercises for a novice to incorporate as a precursor to successful pull-ups

This golden tip for your negatives could immensely enhance your strength development

The surefire master tip for pull-up weaklings

This progressive Australian pull-up is a great secret for working toward the standard pull-up

The single greatest error you can make with your pull-ups

This "jumping" tip could be the magic strategy that propels you to push-up glory

The perfect assist—and how not to sabotage your partner’s progress

The key muscle to zero in on for ultimate success in the pull-up

The very best grip position for fastest grip development

Oh Dip!

The next great move to master for upper frame magnificence is the Dip. Again, Al Kavadlo takes you deep and wide, serving up the complete menu of dip progressions and variants you’ll need to etch out your concrete triceps, chest and shoulders, while blasting your core.

Dip Novice? Then start your progressions with this drill for the best foundation

Parallel Dips are one of the best possible exercises for either gender. See why here

Straight Bar Dips—this challenging yet under-utilized variation will scorch extra toughness into your upper frame while prepping you perfectly for the muscle-up

Now say hello to the monstrous full-body killer, The Korean Dip—don’t say you weren’t warned!

Plyo-Dips Anyone? Anyone? Whether you run for the hills at the very idea, or you have skin in the game, check out the wow factor for champion level dipping

Hard Core Training

Those in the know (and those not trying to sell you a gizmo) all agree: if you can master the Hanging Leg Raise, you have mastered all you really need to stun the world with your brutish, hyper-functional six-pack.

Al Kavadlo gives the blueprint for Hanging Leg Raise mastery—just follow and get stronger.

The first progression on the path to HLR godhood starts here

And here’s a perfect second progression, The Hanging Bicycle

Ignore this crucial secret for HLR progress at your peril

From the L-Hold to the incredible V-Hold—do if you dare!

How to perform the One-arm Hanging Leg Raise for reps—and enter the bodyweight masters’ Hall of Fame

Advanced Pull-ups

As promised, there’s a whole wide world of fun and challenge lurking within the one Big Move that is the Pull-up in all its greatness. You may not have ever wished to BE a monkey, but you gotta feel humbled when you watch a chimp bounding around in the branches. You have to envy the amazing tensile strength and the power-acrobatics that the chimp can pull off with a nonchalant shrug of the shoulders.

Well, jump into Al’s Advanced Pull-ups program and even the most brazen of high-flying chimps might bare his teeth at you in a gesture of grudging respect—and that’s nothing to the adulation and envy you’ll garner from the hominids-in-suits and other mere mortals who cross your path.

The advantages of the Head Banger Pull-up

The dread Commando Pull-up—another great weapon to stack in your arsenal

The very cool Archer Pull-up will speed you on your way to the bullseye of a One-arm Pull-up

Bang out some of these Typewriters for stronger shoulders and a more powerful core

Get down with the little-known X pull-up

Master the startling L-sit Pull-up—and be proud

To kip or not to kip? The more advanced you want to be, the more you should know how to best incorporate judicious kipping. Learn how and why here (One of the best secrets comes from your early childhood)

These Plyo Pull-ups will help you develop the perfect combo of strength, power and confidence in your freestyle workouts

Enter the Muscle-up

Intensity, your name is "Muscle-up". So, if you want to add a full-auto burst of intensity to your calisthenics, make friends with Muscle-up and he’ll never let you down…

With its unique demand for both pulling and pushing power, the Muscle-up can single-handedly build serious strength and sculpt a powerful upper body—and it does a serious number on your abs while you’re not looking. According to Al, then—and who am I to argue?—"the Muscle-up is truly the ultimate upper body exercise."

And who better to school you in the joys of the Muscle-up than Al?

Employ these two "cheaters" as a fantastic precursor to success in the Muscle-up

Use this False Grip, for an easier transition between the pull-up and dip phases of the Muscle-up

How to employ the essential "S" shape for a successful Muscle-up

Close-grip and wide-grip Muscle-ups for an even greater challenge

Employ this special false grip for slow Muscle-ups—for better leverage and to really cook your forearms

How to develop monstrous grip strength and total body control, with the Muscle-up on parallel bars

Behold the intimidation factor of the Muscle-over

Only for the brave and very skilled: the Standing Muscle-over

How to generate explosive power with the Reverse Grip Muscle-up

Welcome to the extreme challenge of the Switchblade Muscle-up

For those who like to live dangerously: the badass-beyond-belief 360 Muscle-up

Handstands and Shoulder Health

Could you be so obsessively in love with your pull-ups that you’re setting yourself up for serious shoulder problems and other dysfunctions—by not balancing your pull-up work with "equal and opposite" training in pressing?

Al Kavadlo’s pressing chapter will ensure that you maintain the necessary balance not only for shoulder health but for the highest levels of upper body fitness. The advice here is golden and essential for any serious bar athlete. Achieve the advanced drills in this section and you will be at the pinnacle of human performance.

How to use Shoulder Rollouts as the perfect warm-up before an upper body workout

How to perform the Frogstand—the perfect precursor for a freestanding handstand

Wall walking: another excellent progression for training into a handstand

Special tips for maintaining balance in the freestanding handstand

The Press to Handstand—a much more challenging way to get into a freestanding handstand push-up

Very risky! The Handstand on the Bars requires tremendous control and grip strength. Check it out

Golden tips for acing the One-handed Handstand—and upping your personal wow factor

The Pike Push-up: a brilliant way to ease into the Handstand Push-up

The prerequisites for the Freestanding Handstand Push-up, for tremendous strength and balance

The Handstand Push-up on Parallel Bars, for a bigger range of motion

The Holy Grail of Push-ups: Can it be done? The One-arm Handstand Push-up invitational

Lever or Leave ’Er

Only those with a burning passion for building bodyweight strength should proceed with body lever training. Are you that man of passion? If not, step aside—you have more than enough already to aim for and contend with. If yes, then please proceed into the dizzy realms of the hyper-achiever…

How to develop formidable strength in your core and enviable strength in your arms, chest, back and abs

The Elbow Lever, hard enough, but the perfect progression toward a full Lever

Advanced training tips for the perfect Elbow Lever

The very challenging feat of the One-arm Elbow Lever—subtle tips for best success

The Back Lever: as close as you may get to flying—a fun, functional and badass move that will build total body strength

The High Angle Back Lever: check out the musculature you could achieve with this evil move!

The Bent Knee Back Lever: a great way for newcomers to get a feel for the exercise

The Front Lever: one of the most difficult and coolest calisthenics exercises you can ever perform—it’s like laying down on air

The Straddle Front Lever: here’s a nifty way to add weight, yet make your Front Lever easier

Chapter Eight: Zen and the One-arm Pull-up

Gandhi said: "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will". Now this I love—and never was truer word spoken than when confronting the one-in-10,000 or some say the one-in-100,00 achievement of the One-arm Pull-up.

Al clearly possesses that indomitable will, because he owns the One-arm Pull-up. Want to join him in the rare air where champions roam? Al gives you all the training tips you need—now you supply the necessary Will!

Pay close attention: here are the minimum prerequisites you should have under your belt, before embarking on the One-arm Pull-up challenge

One-arm Hangs—the next step on the road to One-arm Pull-up glory!

The Self Assist will move you inexorably closer to the ultimate goal

This cunning tip can make the One-arm Pull-up that much more attainable

Secrets for squeezing the juice out of those final freakish inches


Read Reviews For: Raising the Bar (DVD)
10 out of 10 (9 reviews)
Rated 10/10 Must have!
By Rob Kimble / Dumfries, VA, USA

Al's dvd is simply amazing! This dvd is a must have for anybody who is serious about bar calisthenics. Als instruction helped me acheive my first muscle up, and has since helped me clean up my form. I cannot recommend this dvd enough, buy it now!

Rated 10/10 Playful, inspiring and hard!
By Nikos Eleftheriadis / Thessaloniki, Greece

This is a review of the digital video version. It is an excellent production, complete regarding the bar calisthenics repertoire. Al and Danny make you really feel at ease and it is like having a one on one session with the two artists. Everything is explained clearly and demonstrated flawlessly. Mind you there are many extremely advanced exercises in this video. It will keep you coming back for years as you develop your abilities. It is refreshing to watch Al always smiling and Danny always serious and strict. This video is highly recommended. The only drawback tnat I see is that it leaves you wondering why DragonDoor hasn't already produced a video version of Pushing the Limits and Stretching your Boundaries?

Rated 10/10 Best fitness dvd around
By m.c. von b2d / begin2dig, uk

Can't say enough about this DVD -
for learning great pull and push progressions with a bar
for learning how to DO a fitness video
for the high trust generated by smart presentation
for seeing coaches who walk the walk and talk the talk
for doing this set in the wild, rather than a studio
awesome presentation overall -
just an enjoyable frickin' dvd.

awesome. really. get it for yourself; get it for anyone you know getting into movement. it will be a regular reference and inspiration.

Rated 10/10 Gotta have IT
By Joy Young / Seabrook, U.S

Al's DVD is a must have if you want to be in the best shape of your life just using your own body weight . The best for me is the step by step informative progressions on all exercises.
With just a few weeks under my belt I am truly stronger and leaner.

Rated 10/10 Inspiring, fine tuning your technic
By Mattias Wieslander / Stockholm, Sweden

Buy this one to get inspired and fine tune your technic.
I also bought C. Conditioning Pullups dvd.
I need both. The latter cover a program with reps and sets. It has functional point of view.
The first one is more playfull. After watching Al, I get in the mood of a kid. I'm 45 years old and doing my first "skinning the cat" in 35 years or ever along with the kids in the playground.
Note the differences between Raising t.B. and C.C. about "neutral elbows".

Rated 10/10 Raising the Bar: Above and Beyond!
By Phil Ross / Ho Ho Kus, NJ, USA

I participated in the first ever PCC it only made my thirst for knowledge and achievement greater. Al and Danny were so impressive in person, that I felt compelled to buy the DVD. I was not disappointed! The DVD was not only chock full of great drills and progressions for bar work, but it was presented in a extremely fun and entertaining fashion. This "no frills" instructional bar training tutorial is a must for any serious about Bodyweight Training.
Great job!

Rated 10/10 Amazing DVD!
By Mario Castrejon / Chicago, IL, USA

I got this DVD because I wanted to learn more about calisthenics and this DVD is amazing!

It covers pull-ups, dips, muscle ups, ab training a ton of more great stuff.

The music on the DVD is great and very enjoyable to watch.

I really like the chemistry between Al and Danny on the DVD. Their different approaches and personalities really make this DVD amazing and I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to learn more about calisthenics.

Rated 10/10 Fun & challenging
By Susan Antes / Minneapolis, MN, USA

This is a great DVD. I first found Al Kavadlo when I was looking for a video of perfect push ups for my 9 year old-turns out there was a lot for me too!

What I like about this DVD is that it teaches you how to work up to these moves. Al makes things look easy, but he'll tell you when something is advanced & he breaks it down: Where to start if you've never done something, how to add difficulty, what you need to master to move up. How to modify something if you have an injury.

No specialized equipment needed. Your own body weight. A park bench or a play ground. We practice levering on the edge of our (admittedly oversize) coffee table...

Al is accessible & has a positive, enjoyable approach to strength training. I recommend this DVD.

Rated 10/10 Simply
By Davide Conti / Roma, Italia

…and perfect. Love u Al. Love your lifestyle

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10 out of 10 (9 reviews)