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Foreword to Next Level Strength by Jeff Cavaliere


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When I was putting together a list of presenters that I wanted to speak at my annual live event in 2018, I knew I wanted to assemble a group of people that were not only knowledgeable in their field of expertise, but masters in it. My audience had been demanding that bodyweight training and calisthenics be one of the "must-have" topics. At that point, I knew who my "must-get" speaker would be: Al Kavadlo.

You see, what Al and his brother Danny did not know was that throughout the years, whenever I needed an additional resource for the proper way to perform, progress or regress a bodyweight exercise, I turned to them. Well, not literally. In this digital, on-demand world we live in, the answer to any question can be obtained within a few clicks of a mouse or a few strokes on a keyboard. Virtually any video or tutorial you need can be viewed from anywhere in the world on YouTube. That is where my education from these guys began.

But here’s the thing.

Finding a video that addresses the questions you seek is not the challenge.

Finding someone you trust—and that’s capable of delivering the right answers to those questions is much harder.

From the first video I watched, I knew who I’d be counting on to be my calisthenics resource.

You might be shocked to hear that it wasn’t just the knowledge possessed by Al and Danny that kept me coming back to each new video. After all, my channel is known for putting the science into training and understanding not just "what" we’re doing but "why" we’re doing it. So how was that not the only thing that mattered to me at the end of the day?

Well, it’s simple. Dating all the way back to grade school, I’ve found that there are two criteria beyond someone’s grasp of the subject matter that can turn an average learning experience into something extraordinary and much more impactful: The first is a teacher that has a genuine desire to help—the type of person who lives to teach and would do it even if they weren’t getting paid for it.

Hopefully, we’ve all been fortunate to have had at least one of them in our lifetime.

The teacher that stayed late, put in the extra time, and wouldn’t consider their job done until they knew you understood everything. If you had one, you certainly remember them… and there’s a reason for that—they cared about YOU and you knew it.

My second criteria is a teacher who teaches from experience. The very same experience that you’re trying to understand at that moment. In other words, they’ve been where you’ve been and have now gotten to where you want to be. This makes that teacher not just able to relate to you better, but sympathetic to the challenges you’re likely to face along the same bumpy road to mastery.

Heck, they have likely even failed at the same things you will find to be a struggle.

So what is so appealing about someone who has failed?

As the great Thomas Edison said, "Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."

Persistence always wins.

And there is no way in the world that Al and Danny would have gotten to the level of mastery they have without being persistent, caring people.

They love to teach, live for challenges, and have learned their craft by refusing to accept failure as an option. What others might think is impossible, the Kavadlos see as something that will take just a little bit longer to achieve.

So whenever I am asked why, in a sea of so-called calisthenics experts, I choose Al and Danny Kavadlo as the gurus of my bodyweight gains, I come fully prepared to defend my choice because they make my decision so damn easy.

They are experts in their field. They care about helping me and every single person that wants to learn from them to achieve the same. Lastly, they possess the "in the trenches" experience that’s been tested and mastered on themselves first, giving them a level of credibility and trustworthiness unable to be earned any other way.

As you’re reading this, preparing to embark on or continue your bodyweight fitness journey, know that you are learning from the best. Al and Danny cut to a depth that most calisthenics 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

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