Full Name: Al Kavadlo
How did you get involved in the street workout world?
I started doing calisthenics in 1992 and began working as a personal trainer in 2003. In 2007 I moved to NYC’s East Village neighborhood and discovered the jungle gym at Tompkins Square Park, which quickly became my favorite place to work out.
Though I’ve been practicing bodyweight strength training and working as a fitness trainer for much longer than the modern “Street Workout” phenomenon has existed, it’s been very exciting to see this style of workout gaining popularity in recent years.
How is street workout reflected in your life?
Street workout is very appealing because you don’t need a gym or any fancy equipment. All you need is the drive to push yourself and a little creativity. I consider myself a minimalist in all aspects of my life and this style of training reflects that philosophy.
I’ve always been a “do it yourself” kind of guy and I love that street workout places all responsibility on the individual. We can inspire one another, but nobody else can do those pull-ups for you!
What are your short term, mid term and long term goals with street workout?
My goals are to continue to practice and refine my skills, but more importantly, my primary goal is to spread the word about calisthenics and share my knowledge and passion with as many people as possible.
How many times do you workout during the week?
Usually 5-6 times a week.
Do you have any specific workout plan or you just improvise and do your thing?
To really give this question a complete answer would take way too long for this interview. I’ve actually written several books about calisthenics. If people want to know how I train, they should read my books. I wrote a book called Raising The Bar that is a must read for anyone who wants to know more about my training.
Which would be the most complex move you achieved (tell us about the process it took you, to achieve it)?
The moves that it took me the longest to achieve are the human flag, one arm chin-up and freestanding handstand. I’ve written extensively about all of these moves. Here are links to articles I’ve authored on each:
Human Flag: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/how_to_perform_the_human_flag
One Arm Chin-up: http://www.alkavadlo.com/2011/04/25/one-arm-pull-ups-and-one-arm-chin-ups/
Freestanding Handstand: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/turn-your-presses-upside-down-and-master-the-handstand.html
Which would be the best experience you had doing street workout?
My first muscle-up and first one arm chin-up were not only the most satisfying moments in my training, there are two of the most satisfying moments in my entire life! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of achieving a move that once seemed impossible. Overcoming those obstacles can give you more confidence in all aspects of life.
What inspires or motivates you to keep on doing street workout?
I just love it!
Which would be the worst experience you had doing street workout?
I’ve fallen or gotten bruised a few times but I always come back for more no matter what!
What do you expect from the street workout community in the next couple of years?
I expect it to continue to grow to new heights. The camaraderie and support of everyone in the community is what has allowed the movement to expand as much as is has in recent years and the momentum only seems to be growing.
Can you give an advise for all the people that would like to start doing street workout?
Stop thinking and start taking action! It all starts with that first rep so you’ve just got to start from wherever you are, with whatever is available to you.
Al Kavadlo – Extreme Calisthenics 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh_xtaQKXNU