A New Approach to Getting Strong

Justin Lind

Coach

Kettlebells, CrossFit, Mobility & Recovery

Fitness, self coaching, bodyweight exercise, daily exercise, strength and conditioning

 

Great coaching, great programming, and great education come in many different forms but share a foundation of being:

 

 

  1. Simple - Straight-forward, easy to follow, and un-intimidating.
  2. Effective - Uses beneficial, functional movements, but is also presented in a way that will encourage maximal adherence and fun.

 

The Get Strong program and education system laid out by Al and Danny Kavadlo strikes the perfect balance between simple and effective.

 

It's Simple

Al and Danny built Get Strong to have the lowest barrier of entry possible. They know that beginning a training journey can feel intimidating and many will look for reasons to never begin. Get Strong has the easiest possible beginning.

 

You need nothing more than a small patch of floor space, a bar to hang from, and an elevated surface. This program is perfectly suited for any gym in the world, as well as any park or small apartment, and even natural and metropolitan environs. We need only take Al and Danny’s lead to use rocks, trees, scaffolding, and public staircases to see how easily accessible this program is.

 

The Get Strong program comprises of four different 4-week phases whose names say it all. The system progresses from The Foundation, through Brick and Mortar, Concrete and Iron, all the way to Forged from Steel.

 

Simply put, Get Strong begins at the beginning. The first phase offers scaled-back versions of all of their foundational movements to welcome even the least-experienced athlete. The brothers present each movement with a captivating, full-page photo and a clearly outlined set of steps of ensure you perform it well. They describe the details of each movement in three simple bullets and then include a “Trainer Talk” section to discuss the finer points or common pitfalls.

 

After teaching all the movements of a phase they outline a program of how to utilize them for the next four weeks. These are presented as simple list of reps and sets to be repeated 3-4 times per week. Each week brings progression in the intensity or volume, culminating in a test after the fourth week. The program amply prepares you to meet the passing standards to move into the next phase, but describes how to continue if you cannot quite pass yet.

 

Get Strong encourages more advanced athletes to skip the earlier phases. If you feel you are ready for a later phase, simply attempt each test and begin on the first phase test you cannot pass yet.

 

As the phases progress so does the instruction. Al and Danny wonderfully teach the intricacies of more advanced movements while allowing enough freedom and self-discovery to encourage of deeper understanding of your body.

 

Regardless of where you start, this program will move your calisthenics (and overall) strength forward.

 

It's Effective

While I believe in the movements and progressions in Get Strong, a program is only as effective as its adherence. Get Strong accomplishes just that.

 

The program is laid out to be extremely accessible for the brand-new trainee, meeting any individual exactly where they need to begin. Get Strong also offers the perfect balance between remaining manageable while not causing discouragement yet encourages hard work and focus.

 

While the simple program itself encourages fun and adherence, perhaps the most valuable aspects of this book come in subsequent sections. After the program, Al and Danny include Stay Strong, a section that offers practical advice and wisdom to guide you. In “Ask Al” and “Danny’s Dos and Don’ts” they answer common questions, dispel common training and nutrition myths, and offer actionable advice to glean the most benefit from your training. They also offer an in-depth discussion of many supplemental movements not included in the original program because they are either more advanced or require additional equipment. Finally, Stay Strong includes a list of additional workouts and partner exercises to add variety and fun to your program.

 

Get Strong concludes with a Bonus Section of Al and Danny’s top 10 articles from their history as trainers and teachers. These are the most valuable aspects of the book. These articles add the missing link not included in most other programs. They offer some practical guidance but, more importantly, help you craft a positive and growth mindset to support your training. The wisdom that they share in this supplemental reading is what truly makes their program shine. They draw parallels between the hard work and dedication required to complete the program to real-life benefits. Al and Danny know (and so beautifully convey) that a fitness journey can be a gateway toward higher-level self-work.

 

The book’s name and declaration to Get Strong applies to so much more than your physical body. This program and additional reading will not only get you into the best shape of your life, but will help you to begin to understand your mind/body/spirit in a deeper way. Now go out and get strong!

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