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Thread: My Thoughts on the New Progressive Calisthenics Certification

  1. #41
    Convict Conditioner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by senorchupacabra View Post
    On a side note, I am beginning to get pretty annoyed with the "gymnasts" who go on all the message boards and slam people whose form may not be up to the gymnast standard. That's like people taking trash because good street ball players aren't as good as Kevin Durant. It's ridiculous and frankly betrays a distinct insecurity on behalf of the critic.

    People like Al Kavadlo, Mark Lauren, Ross Enamait and, yes, even "Paul Wade" have had a remarkably profound effect on my life and my fitness. Without these men, there's a good chance I'd still be overweight and out of shape and slightly depressed about my life. And I'm sure I'm not the only person who can say this.

    And despite this, people will search out their videos and critique their "form" even though they are doing things that less than one percent of the population can do. They shouldn't have to apologize because their arms are a little bent during a hold, or because their hands are in a slightly wrong position. Most general fitness enthusiasts, such as myself, have neither the time, nor the desire to be a competitive gymnasts. Most of us want to be in better shape the most people, and it doesn't hurt if I walk into a jiu-jitsu class and my strength carries me through some matches that I would otherwise lose.

    I saw a video of some guy doing sets of 5 one-armed-pull-ups. It's a fairly remarkable feat. And yet there were still people in the comments hassling him because his "range of motion sucks." Even though he was still doing something that the vast majority of human beings will never accomplish--even if his arm never became fully extended. Mark Lauren has a video of him doing straddle planche pushups. Yes, his form is, technically, "terrible," and there are people in the comments section that are going out of their way to let you know this. But he's still doing something that the vast majority of men will never be capable of.

    I just don't get it. If you can do better, great. Good for you. Maybe you can write a book or make a video to help people do it better. If not, shut the fuck up.
    Can I get a "hell yeah"!!!

    Thank you for posting exactly what I felt! Well done!

    FWIW, I am a climber and have learned a huge amount from Al and Paul Wade. I have zero interest in gymnastics, and for gymnastics to get snotty with these people makes no sense to me.

  2. #42
    Convict Conditioner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Naterman View Post

    Overcoming Gravity was both a huge breach of confidence AND a large mess. There's some good stuff there, and certainly things like one arm dips that are not in other books, but it's mixed in with a bit of crap. If you like it, that's your business, and if you like it more than BtGB, that's also your business, but there were good reasons for Coach to be upset.
    Impartial readers should be aware--in the interest of fairness, of course--the Henry Ross is not the only one to prefer Low's work: on Amazon, Overcoming Gravity has 64 reviews, and a massive 58 of those are five stars. There are no one star reviews.

    http://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Gra...gymnastic+body

    Despite being out much longer, having a cult-like forum and teaching professionally for many years, Sommer's Building the Gymnastic Body has a mere 11 reviews; of these only 3 are five star, but 4 are one star!

    http://www.amazon.com/Building-Gymna...gymnastic+body

    This review was particularly enlightening reagarding Coach Sommer's (well-known) attitude to others. Read it--it's fun!

    http://www.amazon.com/Building-Gymna...R1M9JCPDMFS2J6

    Again the rule of Sommers' clique seems to be; "if it's not Sommers, we look down on it". But people should take Joshua's "crap" insult with a pinch of salt!!

  3. #43
    Wild Pegasus is offline Senior Member
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    Bummer that Post 36 from Naterman is gone. It's the best thing I've ever read on this board - head and shoulders above any other post.

  4. #44
    Wooden Leg is offline Senior Member
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    All I have to say is - Al Kavadlo, your youtube stuff is genuinely helpful, informative, impressive (to me certainly) and above all, entertaining. Thanks & please keep it up.

  5. #45
    md corral is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al_Kavadlo View Post
    I just wanted to say a quick thank you to those of you who've chimed in to speak up on my behalf. I appreciate the positivity.
    Al- Much respect to you. I'm a big fan and love the quality (and very good humored) videos on your site. Best of luck with the cert. I hope you sell out as long as you teach them. It must be very cool to collaborate with Coach Wade.

    Your "stand up" response the the comments on this thread was not a surprise to me based on the stuff I've seen from you since you came to Dragondoor.

  6. #46
    Rich in Nor Cal is offline Senior Member
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    I think $1000 is an outrageous price to pay for a weekend of learning calisthenics of any kind. But it strikes me that is not what the PCC is about. It's about imparting knowledge of correct form, progressions, corrections, and ideas for teaching progressive calisthenics, and being certified that the possessor of the certification has passed the course by demonstrating competency in performing and instructing PC.

    I think its use is mainly for trainers who want to train others to develop strength through PC, and it should serve to give confidence to someone considering spending the kind of money asked by a personal trainer, or a gym considering allowing a trainer to conduct a class, to teach PC, that the trainer has been certified as being able to do so. In other words, it's not per se a seminar in PC, it's a professional certification for instructors.

    Certainly, if you want to learn from some of the best without any intention of teaching it, I'm sure DD will accept your money and you are welcome to attend if you get in line early enough. But I think the OP misunderstood the purpose of the cert. I have read many of Kallos Thenos' posts in here, and they are usually thoughtful and contribute to discussions. I don't know if he was PUI (posting under the influence--a bad idea ofttimes), just misunderstood, or really thinks that a cert in PC for professional trainers is stupid. But, if his issue is that trainers don't need such a cert, then that is his right, but he didn't really argue that point, and really, trainers are big boys and girls, and should be able to decide for themselves if it is useful or not. I think this point has just about been beat to within an inch of its life in here.

    The other discussion here is about schools of exercise philosophy orthodoxy and demands of conformity. Sommer's GB people do it, but they are far from alone. I have read Olympic lifting enthusiasts writing of cringing at methods used by Crossfit. I have read RKCs criticizing Girevoy Sport methods and endurance orientation, and GS people criticize RKC for being to obsessed with form. I have read Crossfit people criticize some other modes of exercise. Not unlike how schools of martial arts always think they have the best methods in the world and criticize other schools.

    Orthodoxy is good to an extent, but then it can go to far, as Robb Wolfe points out in his critique of Crossfit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnPA3znZjGs where he talks about Crossfit's leaders excommunicating people for varying from CF doctrine. And we all know many former RKCs who left the RKC for similar reasons--Mahler, Cotter, Maxwell, etc. A stable philosophy of health is good, and criticism of it and experimentation with other ideas in my opinion is how it grows. The line between orthodox rigor and rigor mortis is fairly thin. Excessive orthodoxy and demands for rigorous conformity can stunt growth and lead to a moribund state for anything. There should be more openness to criticism and experimentation in most areas of knowledge, in my opinion, including exercise and health.

    I know these are two barely related topics, but my excuse for chundering on so long is that they were both in this thread. I've already taken up a lot of space, so I'll shut up now.
    Last edited by Rich in Nor Cal; 01-05-2013 at 09:27 AM.

  7. #47
    Easey Jack is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich in Nor Cal View Post
    The other discussion here is about schools of exercise philosophy orthodoxy and demands of conformity. Sommer's GB people do it, but they are far from alone. I have read Olympic lifting enthusiasts writing of cringing at methods used by Crossfit. I have read RKCs criticizing Girevoy Sport methods and endurance orientation, and GS people criticize RKC for being to obsessed with form. I have read Crossfit people criticize some other modes of exercise. Not unlike how schools of martial arts always think they have the best methods in the world and criticize other schools.

    Orthodoxy is good to an extent, but then it can go to far, as Robb Wolfe points out in his critique of Crossfit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnPA3znZjGs where he talks about Crossfit's leaders excommunicating people for varying from CF doctrine. And we all know many former RKCs who left the RKC for similar reasons--Mahler, Cotter, Maxwell, etc. A stable philosophy of health is good, and criticism of it and experimentation with other ideas in my opinion is how it grows. The line between orthodox rigor and rigor mortis is fairly thin. Excessive orthodoxy and demands for rigorous conformity can stunt growth and lead to a moribund state for anything. There should be more openness to criticism and experimentation in most areas of knowledge, in my opinion, including exercise and health.
    Now, this is a really interesting analysis. I too am intrigued to see the approach here...

    Pavel very much seemed (I may be wrong) to push the idea that "the part is always right", and one wonders whether the athletes you mentioned left because they felt they could not express their own "styles" within the dogmatic framework of the Pavel-led RKC. (Again, I may be wrong.)

    People have likewise criticized Convict Conditioning of being far too rigid and dogmatic...saying "you must do this exercise first...you can only go at this speed...you must complete X number of reps..." and so on. (Again, this may also be unfair.)

    If you read Al's books or watch his Youtube tutorials, this is not his style at all. He seems very laidback, flexible, and even--God forbid--open to criticism and change.

    I wonder what kind of "feel" these PCC certs will have. The "excessive orthodoxy" you mention, or the "open experimentation"....?

    Great post.

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