Good Morning America

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What’s pop’n ninjas? I’m stoked to report this past week I was invited by Crunch gym media to be featured in a spot on Good Morning America demoing exercises. They were doing a story about the physical requirements to be an F.B.I. agent! Me along with fellow trainers from Crunch had to demo push-ups, sit-ups, and running on national television. Even though I’m not a fan of sit-ups, it was still a dope opportunity to be on live tv! I think I only did like 30 sit-ups and already my back hurts! Maybe they should consider Hanging Leg Raises instead? 😉

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Speaking of leg raises, these last few weeks have been so awesome preparing for our trip to Europe for PCC. Al has been so kind to have invited me to assist at his workshops in Munich, Germany and Alessandria, Italy! It’s been several years since I’ve left the country and I’m stoked it’ll be to assist at another Progressive Calisthenics Certification! Look out Europe…it’s a Ninja Invasion!

I’m looking forward to eating all the delicacies that both countries have to offer! Beers, sausages, strudels, in Germany…oh my! And LOTS of Italian food and wine!

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In preparation for da trip, I have been skimping on dessert so I don’t feel guilty indulging overseas! It’s gonna be EPIC!!! Anyways hope all is well with you folks out there! Have a great day! 🙂

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TRAIN for Her

What’s pop’n ninjas! Super excited to announce my latest article “Mastering the Chin-up” is available for you to check out in the latest issue of TRAIN for Her! Be sure to check it out!

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In other news, yesterday I had the opportunity to teach a mini-bodyweight workshop for my fellow trainers at Crunch. I was promoting the Kavadlo brother’s 1-day intensive workshop next Friday!

If you are a trainer interested in expanding your knowledge of progressive bodyweight training, be sure to check this out! You will learn progressions for your clients for moves like the Squat, Push-up, Pull-up, Bridges, Leg Raises and Inversions.

PicMonkey CollageI had an awesome time training with my co-workers and expressing my enthusiasm for being a bodyweight ninja! This was a mighty strong group. We worked on everything from pistols, to levers, and even an intro to hand-balancing.

I was grateful to have an opportunity to practice presenting this curriculum in front of a big group to prepare for assisting the bros at the upcoming PCCs in Munich, Germany and Alessandria, Italy later this month! If you are interested in possibly signing up for this or upcoming PCC’s click the link below to check out future workshop dates!

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Hope everyone is having a diesel Saturday! Stay strong, friends! Peace, <3, and Ninja Kicks! 😉

Handstand Push-ups on Bodybuilding.com

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 9.40.31 PMThese are some exciting times….first the release of CC3 and now my latest article for Bodybuilding.com is up! If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to learn how to perform reps of the mighty handstand push-up, then look no further than this tutorial.

I’m breaking down this relatively intimidating movement, so you can confidently achieve your first rep. I always thought this movement would never be accessible to me, but thanks to the steps I learned from Progressive Calisthenics I’m now repping out 10 HSPU’s at a time. Click the link below to read the article:

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I am honored to be a regular contributor to this website, and am looking forward to my next series: Yoga for Strength Athletes. I want to address all the amazing revelations I’ve learned from years of experience of fusing my training regimen with kettlebells and yoga. Practicing both modalities regularly has completely transformed my physique making me stronger, focused, and way more flexible, as well as boosted my enthusiasm for training. 🙂

If you’re looking for a way to stay Zen, bendy, while still getting stronger, then be sure to SUBSCRIBE for my next post.

Stay Classy, ninjas! Peace, ❤ & Ninja Kicks! 😉

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CC3: Explosive Calisthenics

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What’s poppin ninjas!? I wanted to share some exciting news with you: Convict Conditioning 3: Explosive Calisthenics is officially on SALE TODAY! If you are not familiar with Coach Paul Wade’s Convict Conditioning series but are looking to explore the potential of bodyweight training, then look no further than these books. When I was getting into this type of training, this book along with Al Kavadlo’s Pushing the Limits, became my bibles!

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Why do I dig progressive bodyweight training? Well for one thing, there are so many variations on moves that will keep me busy for a lifetime. I’ve only been training calisthenics for the last 2 years and have come a long way from barely even being able to do a push-up to now banging out 1/2 superman push-ups, elbow levers, and handstands! Yet I’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg because there are still so many moves I want to conquer! Practicing calisthenics ignited a passion in me for training that I never thought I would have had. I always look forward to every training session as playtime.

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I am also proud to say that I’ve been featured as a fitness model demonstrating several moves in CC3!! I feel like I’m living the dream! A little over two years ago I was just reading this book and now I’m modeling some badass plyometric moves for the last in the series!

Check out my latest vid in honor of the release of CC3:

Click the link below to get your copy now and have an epic day, ninjas:

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Baby Got Back Bridge

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I usually find any excuse to bust a bridge. Like for example, in this random contraption I found on a playground in L.A!

Back bridging is a skill I’ve been able to do since I was a kid. Gradually, as I got older the skill became harder and harder to maintain. Thankfully I found yoga and Convict Conditioning and both highly recommend bringing this exercise back to the forefront of your training. Coach Paul Wade, author of CC1 & 2 says, “No other exercise or method comes close to bridging for strengthening the muscles and tendons of the entire body. Bridging also increases lung power and flexibility!” Now that is a powerful statement! Why wouldn’t YOU want to include an exercise in your regimen that can help improve your posture and your breathing?

The back bridge is an exercise I recommend for all my clients. It can compliment your deadlift practice and any bodyweight strength routine. If you’ve had any kind of back surgery or injury in the past, or are new to bridging in the first place, it’s always good to ease into the easier variations. With practice, you might even be able to lessen your back pain! I’ll show you a few variations that can help you take your power back! 😉

Easy Bridge
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The Easy Bridge is a great place to start for beginners. In yoga, this is the first step towards the full expression of the pose and can also be used as a restorative pose. I could “chill” in this pose forever!

Start by lying flat on your back with your arms at your side, and palms facing down. Walk your feet in towards your butt with your heels flat on the floor. You want your feet to be about hips-width apart with your knees pointing straight towards the sky.

Now press your hands and your feet simultaneously into the ground while lifting your hips up and squeezing your butt. Avoid letting your knees flare out, by imagining you are squeezing an invisible block between your knees. This will help create tension in the pose so you can stay in it longer.

Tuck your chin in towards your chest and roll each shoulder underneath the body while you attempt to interlace your fingers. Squeeze the palms together and hold the pose anywhere from 10-30 seconds.

Table Bridge
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The Table bridge requires a bit more “juice” than the first variation because you need more upper body strength!

Start by sitting up with your heels on the ground, feet hips-width apart and knees pointed up towards the sky. You should have about 1 foot of space between your heels and your butt this time. Place your hands a few inches behind you, with your elbows locked. You can turn your fingers completely away from you or off to the sides.  Press into the soles of your feet and your hands as you lift your hips off the ground. Squeeze your butt to maintain a straight back in the position, and allow your head to drop back as your neck relaxes. You can practice these for reps or long holds.

Neck Bridge 
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This pose is sometimes known as the “Wrestlers Bridge,” because a lot of wrestlers practice this move to make their necks strong for grappling with an opponent.

For this move you want to start in the Easy Bridge position, lying flat on the ground with heels in towards the butt. You can place your hands by your ears to assist in lifting your head into position. Lift your hips towards the sky and press into your hands as you slide onto the top of your head.

Keep squeezing your glutes and pressing into your feet to take some pressure off your head. Eventually when you feel confident with this move you can remove the hands from the equation. Don’t rush to get to that final step as you want to avoid any kind of strain in the neck.

Full Bridge/Wheel Pose
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Once you’ve conquered the above steps and can hold each pose confidently for 30 seconds or more, you can attempt the full expression of the back bridge.

Start by lying on your back, with the same form as the wrestler’s bridge. Place your hands by your ears, and press away the ground by squeezing your butt and holding the position.

Ideally for beginners you can ease into the bridge by lifting your heels off the ground in order to allow you to push your chest forward more. Gradually as you continue to practice this move, aim for heels on the ground.

At first you may only be able to hold for a few seconds and that’s quite the feat of strength. Give yourself some time to rest before attempting again. The first few bridges are always a bit brutal but the more reps you do, the easier they become. Be patient with the process as this is a very intense pose. I promise you the more your practice, the better you will feel! I’ve noticed improved posture, better breathing in my lifts, and even eliminated my low back pain!

I’ve also included an extra video below for folks who are having trouble with wrist flexibility in the full bridge! Ch-ch-check it out:

Eventually as your back flexibility and strength improves, you can work on adding a stability challenge to your bridge by extending one of your limbs in the air, like an arm or even a leg. It takes some time to progress, but your back will thank you for your effort! Stay the course! 😉

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If there are any ninjas in the New York area interested in deepening their knowledge of Progressive Calisthenics, be sure to check out my Bodyweight Bootcamp class every Sunday at 10am at Momentum Fitness! Spots are limited, so sign up at info@momentumfitnessnyc.com! Hope to see you there! Peace, <3, and Ninja Kicks!!

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PCC Encinitas & Bodybuilding.com

Greetings ninjas! So much has happened over the last 2 weeks: been to Cali and back to NYC! It was great getting a reprieve from the cold but it’s sweet being back home! My first ever bodybuilding.com article came out!  The article was aimed towards the ladies who are training to get their first pull-up! The article was so well-received that I have been invited to be a regular contributor to the site! Be sure to stay tuned for my next piece! Feel free to click the link below to read it: Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 11.55.30 AM In other news, Al and I flew to L.A. the week prior to PCC for a mini vacay which was sweet! We went to a friend’s wedding in Koreatown the first night and then hung out with my girlfriend Auxy, who took us on a hike through Griffith Park up to the Observatory! The view was breathtaking! IMG_9002

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After we parted ways, we drove out to Santa Monica, where Al and I trained at Muscle beach and hung out for a few days! I love training at that park because you end up witnessing such a high level of Calisthenics talent! It seems like everyone on that beach can do one-arm handstands and muscle-ups all day! I also did a photoshoot for my next article that will be published in TRAIN for HER magazine! DSCN0099 We got in a few workouts and training sessions in before finally heading over to Encinitas for PCC! I had been looking forward to this event for sometime since we had the opportunity to go back to Cali, my ol’ stomping grounds. I also knew a few of the folks that were attending from Facebook and I was excited to officially meet them and cheer them on all weekend!  The event was held at Master RKC, Max Shank’s gym, Ambition Athletics. I had also been here previously for my HKC about a year ago! It was a group of about 25 people, 3 were women, and even a few latinos in the bunch! I got to assist Al and Danny Kavadlo and Senior PCC Adrienne Harvey along with David Colon, this badass Puerto Rican Calisthenics coach! The attendees were a mix of backgrounds from soldiers to scientists all bound by their love for Calisthenics! There was even this amazing attendee named David Rodriguez who was an amputee and was such a light the whole weekend. He attempted every move in every module and passed the Century test at the end of the weekend! It was moving and beautiful and I felt blessed to have been there to witness that feat of passion and strength! Amputee davidshot Overall the weekend was a blast, and at the end of PCC, I always say the same thing, “I wish it could last forever!” You meet these people and become like brothers and sisters almost instantly! When I think back to my childhood and how difficult I always found it to fit in with the cool crowd, I just laugh. Who knew that as an adult I wouldn’t need to “fit in” anywhere, that I would be fortunate enough to find a group of fitness weirdos just like me! Congratulations to all my new PCC brothers and sisters!! As Danny says, “The posse just keeps getting bigger!” I’m looking forward to hopefully assisting again in the future and meeting more ninjas! In the meantime I’ll just keep blogging, training, and spreading the word about PCC!!! Thanks for reading! Peace, ❤ and Ninja Kicks!!! Group photo

Started from the bottom, now we here!

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What’s cracking ninjas?!? Today I wanted to discuss push-ups! Why you ask? Because I see folks at the gym on a daily basis banging em out with some ugly form! This happens to be one of my strongest moves, but I didn’t get here by pumping out endless reps of ugliness!

I started from the bottom now I’m here! 😉

I had a client recently who I regressed from a knees down push-up to an incline push-up because her form was not ideal. She put up a bit of a fight because she felt embarrassed that she had been reduced to this exercise. Placing her hands on an inclined surface definitely cleaned up her form exponentially and made the reps more manageable for her level!

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The point of this story is there is nothing wrong with working easier moves. I can already do a 1-arm push-up; however, this doesn’t mean that I jump right into that progression every time I train. Some days I enjoy warming up with incline and knees-down push-ups to ease into my session. Just how in weightlifting you gradually increase the weight; you don’t just start a beginner with a double-bodyweight deadlift. The same is true of Calisthenics, but since there are no actual “weights,” we just manipulate the “leverage” of our bodyweight.

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My suggestion is when you can bang out a solid 30 reps of each move: the incline push-up and the knees-down push-up then you’re ready to take on the standard push-up! If you are a beginner and 30 sounds insane, break it down into 3 sets of 10 reps! When should you start? As soon as you are through reading this blog! I sprinkle in reps anytime I feel the urge to train! This is a great way of “greasing the groove,” and progressing faster in this or other moves.

As far as form goes, a push-up is a moving plank. This means “zip up” the midline by squeezing your glutes to avoid a sagging waist. Press down through the palm of the hands and all ten fingers in order to create a strong base and help you avoid “energy leakages.” If your fingers and hands aren’t actively pressing down, then it will become increasingly difficult to achieve more repetitions. “Breathing to the beat” definitely helps me max out! I like to inhale on the descent and exhale as I push up!

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The reason why I enjoy teaching progressive Calisthenics is because there are so many ways to break down each exercise so no one is excluded! I’m talkin men, women, abuelos, y abuelas…there’s a starting point for all levels! You should never feel embarrassed or ashamed to start with Step 1! There are a ton of moves on the fringe even for me! If you feel a tad frustrated with your progress, translate that to passion, ninja! You want to get better and there is nothing wrong with that! Just because you are at the level your at, doesn’t mean your not getting stronger along the way! That should be a comforting side-effect! 😀 Keep practicing and stay true to the path! If ninja training was easy, everyone would be doing it!

If you are interested in deepening your knowledge of Calisthenics, check out Pushing The Limits, by Al Kavadlo or Convict Conditioning by Coach Paul Wade. If you ❤ it, then definitely consider signing up for the Progressive Calisthenics certification taught by Al and Danny Kavadlo based on the Convict Conditioning curriculum!

Peace, Love, and Ninja Kicks!

-G to the Izzle

Zen Mind Strong Body

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HIIIIII-yaaa! Comin at ya with more amazing news! Acclaimed bodyweight expert, YouTube superstar, Master PCC Instructor, and my baby, Al Kavadlo just recently released his latest book, Zen Mind, Strong BodyThis book covers everything from Al’s personal favorite blog posts, philosophy on fitness, diet, cardio, calisthenics and cultivating the spirit of the “Beginner’s Mind” into everything you do! I am honored to be included in some of the photos as a fitness model demoing some Calisthenics exercises! Here’s a sneak-peek of one of the photos in the book:

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It’s been a big year for me, moving to NYC from Cali, being featured in books like Coach Paul Wade’s C-Mass, Danny Kavadlo’s Diamond-Cut Abs, Zen Mind…, and the soon to be published Convict Conditioning 3: Explosive Calisthenics! I have nothing but gratitude for all these amazing opportunities and confidence that I am on the right path doing what I LOVE training and inspiring myself and others to be healthy, confident, ninjas!

Al and I have also been working on some partner Calisthenics! We actually made our first video in our living room today! This was a fun way to spice up our regular separate training regimens. If you’re interested in learning more about some moves you can work on with your friends and loved ones, you should definitely check out our friends, Rosalia Chann and Angelo Grinceri’s site, Couples Calisthenics! They’ve got all types of cool moves to make any workout mad romantic, B! 😉

Hope you have a badass Wednesday, Diesel Dolls and Dudes! Stay tuned for more videos and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!

P-Bar Calisthenics & Resolutions

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Happy New Year Ninjas & Ninjettes! I hope 2015 is off to a strong start! I know a lot of people make resolutions around this time to lose weight, get stronger, healthier, etc! Sometimes I can’t get down with the resolution talk because by the end of January the fire dies out and it’s back to whatever bad habits we were doing the previous year!

I’ll admit though, I’ve got a great feeling about the year 2015! It even has a nice ring to it! 😉 So I’ve made my own resolution to stay true to my blog and keep updating it with dope fitness info for all of ya’ll! I’m learning how to edit my own vids, and will  keep making new tutorials for all those resolution-makers out there who want to get strong and improve their calisthenics practice!

I think the key to staying true to your resolutions is to speak of them as if you already achieved them. Here’s a quote from The Secret that may help you keep your resolutions this year:

“Every good thought, every good word, every good emotion, and every act of kindness, is lifting the vibration of your being to new heights. And as you begin to raise your vibration, a new life and a new world will reveal itself to you.”

This means that what you think of constantly you ultimately become. If you KNOW yourself well, and have not kept to your resolutions in the past, this thought is swirling around in your current subconscious stunting your goals. For example, don’t just say “I am going to lose 30lbs this year!” EMBODY that feeling that you THINK you would feel like if you had already lost the weight. Be specific and make measurable goals! Think like the YOU that has already lost the weight. Would YOU have hired a personal trainer by now? What kind of foods would a healthy YOU be eating? This will help you not just think in terms of lack and want, but think FROM the present moment. NOW is really the only time you have to make those resolutions MANIFEST!

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The more you think about how good it feels NOW to have what you eventually want, the more you will subconsciously start to make choices that will lead you to your goal! If you wake up one morning and the first thing that comes out of your mouth is, “I feel fat!” Then you will “vibrate” at that lower, negative frequency, preventing any headway in your goals. You’ll eat like someone who doesn’t care about themselves, probably not exercise, etc. Just how we train our muscles to get stronger, we need to train our minds to think progressively and optimistically! Remedy any negative thoughts like that to it’s exact opposite, “I feel strong!” Even if you don’t mean it at that moment, the more you practice this mindfulness, the easier it will be to reach and even SURPASS your goals! This will ensure that you will continually be writing checks yo a$$ can cash!!

Speaking of goals, I’ve made a new video for my YouTube channel! If you have access to parallel bars and are bored of just doin dips, try some of these moves instead! Calisthenics is all about being creative with what you have in your environment! Check it out:

Also if you are in the NYC area, I teach a bodyweight bootcamp every Sunday at Momentum Fitness NYC, 10am sharp! This is a mixed-levels class based on the teachings of Coach Paul Wade’s world-famous bodyweight bible, Convict Conditioning 1&2 and Bodyweight expert, and Master PCC, Al Kavadlo‘s books!

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Thank you for tuning in friends and have an epic new year!!!

Girls Gone Strong

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What’s poppin friends? I just wanted to give a big THANK YOU to GirlsGoneStrong for granting me the opportunity to contribute a bodyweight training piece to their site!

I had the inspiration to write the piece since I officially live in NYC where the brutal winter makes anyone want to skip the gym and stay at home! I designed a workout including 3 foundational Calisthenics moves that everyone should practice with progressions from Beginner to Badass! No excuses not to continue your training even while hibernating!

I’d love to hear your feedback or comments if you got the opportunity to try it out! If you have any suggestions for tutorials or other quick bodyweight workouts, give me a shout-out, ninjas!

Thanks again for all your support!

Peace, <3, and Ninja Kicks!