Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Companion Bible Appendix # 184 - The Synonymous Words for "Grace", &c.

iconThis is a new feature I have started on my blog. As often as I can, I will be posting one of the 198 Appendices of the Companion Bible. It is an amazing study and reference tool, and I thought that it might be helpful and interesting to preview some of the resources available in it. This Bible was compiled by one of the great scholars of the past, Dr. E.W. Bullinger. You can check out some of his other books here. If you would like to access the entire Companion Bible in an online edition, it is available here. Hope you find this interesting and inspiring.

The Companion Bible Appendix # 184 - The Synonymous Words for "Grace", &c.

E.W. Bullinger on Amazon and Barnes and Noble


Friday, April 27, 2012

"The Rapture Plot" by Dave MacPherson

I am still a believer in the Pretribulation Rapture, but regardless of your position, this is a fascinating story. I have also read Dave's book, "The Incredible Cover-Up," in which he began his investigation of this topic. You can order a copy of  "The Incredible Cover-Up" at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

What They Are Saying About ... THE RAPTURE PLOT!

Gary DeMar
(President American Vision): "A majority of prophecy writers and speakers teach that the church will be raptured before a future tribulational period. But did you know that prior to about 1830, no such doctrine existed. No one in all of church history ever taught pretribulational rapture. Dave MacPherson does the work of a journalistic private investigator to uncover the truth....The Rapture Plot is the never-before-told true story of the plot - how plagiarism and subtle document changes created the 'mother of all revisionisms.' A fascinating piece of detective work."

Robert H. Gundry (Professor Westmont College): "As usual, MacPherson out hustles his opponents in research on primary sources. His interpretation of those sources will be disputed at points, of course. But it is very unlikely that anyone will be able to explain away the avalanche of evidence that MacPherson produces for pretribulationism, as originating in Irvingite circle,s and despite counter claims as migrating from there into Darbyite circles."

C. S. Lovett (President Personal Christianity): You don't read very much of Dave MacPherson's work before you realize he is a dedicated researcher. Because his work has been so honest and open, his latest work The Rapture Plot has produced many red faces among some of the most recognized rapture writers of our time. When their work is compared to hi,s it is embarrassing for them to see how shallow their research is."

Robert A. Morey (President California Institute of Apologetics): "Regardless of where you land on the rapture issue, Dave MacPherson's books on the historical origins of the secret rapture doctrine are a 'must read.' His documentation seems not only in contex,t but ruthlessly honest. I recommend The Rapture Plot...." 

R. J. Rushdoony (President Chalcedon): "Dave MacPherson has been responsible for major change in the eschatology of evangelical churches by his devastating studies of some of the central aspects thereof. In The Rapture Plot, MacPherson tells us of the strange tale of 'rapture' writings, revisions, cover-ups, alterations, and confusions. No one has equaled MacPherson in his research on the 'pretrib rapture.' Attempts to discredit his work have failed...."

About the Author: Born 1932 of Scotch/English descent, Dave MacPherson is a natural for British historical research. His calling was journalism. Receiving a BA in English in 1955, he spent 26 years as a newsman reporting and filming many notable events, persons, presidents, and dignitaries. His wife, the former Wanda Radar of Kansas City, has for years been his "research partner." Through these many years Dave has been honing a delightful writing style, a flair for journalistic sleuthing, and a meticulous research accuracy, which for over a quarter century has been focused on the history of pretrib rapturism which now culminates in The Rapture Plot.

Order a copy of  "The Rapture Plot" at Amazon or Barnes and Noble


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Al Kavadlo's Clutch Flag Tutorial Video

Al Kavadlo demonstrates how to perform The Clutch Flag, which is the precursor to being able to execute the full Human Flag. This is a great exercise to have in your repertoire, so for more information about the Clutch Flag, as well as the standard Human Flag, check out the book "Convict Conditioning 2", and don't miss Al's new book, "Raising The Bar - The Definitive Guide To Pull-up Bar Calisthenics"!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Companion Bible Appendix # 183 - "This is That" (Acts 2:16)

iconThis is a new feature I have started on my blog. As often as I can, I will be posting one of the 198 Appendices of the Companion Bible. It is an amazing study and reference tool, and I thought that it might be helpful and interesting to preview some of the resources available in it. This Bible was compiled by one of the great scholars of the past, Dr. E.W. Bullinger. You can check out some of his other books here. If you would like to access the entire Companion Bible in an online edition, it is available here. Hope you find this interesting and inspiring.

The Companion Bible Appendix # 183 - "This is That" (Acts 2:16)

E.W. Bullinger on Amazon and Barnes and Noble


Friday, April 20, 2012

Dragon Door Interviews Al Kavadlo

by Adrienne Harvey, RKCII

Dragon Door:   What originally attracted you to pull-up bar calisthenics?

Al Kavadlo:   As a teenager, pull-ups were the first exercise that I really caught my interest. I never thought they would lead to a career path, it was just fun. I feel really lucky that I can help people with their fitness, because I really feel passionately about it.

Dragon Door:   What are your own workouts like?

Al Kavadlo:   My workouts are very informal most of the time, and that’s part of why it's fun. People often over-think their workouts, that’s why I didn’t want to be too specific on workout guidelines in the book. Also, I wrote the introduction to Raising The Bar to help people realize they have to actually do the exercises to achieve results. People constantly look for external solutions to their problems, when the best way is often more from the inside out.

Dragon Door:   Definitely. You were talking about the informal nature of your personal workouts. Could tell me more about that? Is it intuitive in real-time or is there a plan?

Al Kavadlo:   I always have some sort of game plan, but there's room for improvisation. Sometimes an idea hits me in the middle of a workout, or something doesn’t go as well as planned so I shift gears and try something else.

Dragon Door:   I really liked your pull up progressions. You have a lot of incremental approaches and variations in Raising the Bar, how did you come up with them?

Al Kavadlo:   I learned a lot from the experience of working with many clients over the years. Also, just seeing what works for clients and myself. I used to put people on machines a lot and do all the things that you see from mainstream gym trainers. My clients would make a little progress for a while, but it would always stop. That's when I began to try other things. Pull-up bar exercises provide an intense workout, and intensity is the key to getting strong. Bodyweight strength training is also a type of skill training, especially in terms of familiarity with a movement pattern. Obviously, muscular changes occur when you train, but there's also improvement in body awareness and coordination.

Dragon Door:   If you only had to pick one bar exercise to do, what would it be?

Al Kavadlo:   The muscle-up—it’s the ultimate upper body exercise—a push and a pull, plus so much more! Many people think of the muscle-up as being a combination between the pull up and the dip, but it’s more like a pull up, a hanging leg raise and a dip. I get more into this idea in the book.

Dragon Door:   I noticed in every picture in Raising The Bar, you have a giant grin on your face. It looks like you’re having a really good time.

Al Kavadlo:   That’s the point I was trying to convey: pull ups are fun! I’m not pretending, and I think it comes through in the pictures. It’s more about having fun than getting a workout, the workout is just an added bonus. I don’t understand how people wouldn't want to exercise. 

Dragon Door:
   What's your next personal goal?

Al Kavadlo:   Goals are tricky. My plan for now is to keep doing what I’m doing: training, making YouTube videos and working on my writing. I'm taking things one day at a time. I think it’s very hard to plan anything too far ahead. I do what I have to do on that day, then move on to the next day.

Dragon Door:   In NYC, you’re very lucky to have a lot of public parks; it seems like there’s a real history and culture out there for bar training. Could you tell me a little bit about that? 

Al Kavadlo:   There's definitely is a culture emerging and a lot of interest right now in this kind of training. In general there’s some backlash against the idea that high-end, expensive gyms and specialized products are required to get in shape. The internet is a big part of it, too. Now, people are able to connect and organize meet-ups. When 20 or 30 people come out to the park together to motivate each other it can turn it into a big all-day thing. Then they post pictures online, and more people get interested.

Dragon Door:   Do you train clients mostly with the pull up bar, or do you use anything else?

Al Kavadlo: 
  Absolutely. A lot of people have the misconception that I only do pull up bar and bodyweight training. I see a lot of different clients throughout any given week, and we do what my clients want to do. Some people prefer to train with weights, and I also have a very extensive background in weight training. Kettlebells, barbells and dumbbells are great ways to build strength. At the same time, I like to keep it simple. The human body has only a few natural movement patterns, but within each of those there’s a million subtle variations. In Raising the Bar, I talk about how there are really only three possible movements on the bar. Off of the bar, there are only about four or five. We have the ability to push, pull, squat, lunge, twist, and that’s about all. Everything else is just a combination or a variation. A favorite quote I used in the book is from Da Vinci, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Dragon Door: 
  I totally agree. What's a simple way to know when to progress in a movement or variation?

Al Kavadlo:
   I love Paul Wade’s answer to that question in Convict Conditioning: move on to the next step when you’ve milked the previous step for all you can. Of course, someone can still benefit from pull ups even after they’re strong enough to do muscle ups. Sometimes knowing when to move on is a product of trial and error. Usually, when someone's ready, they're ready and it’s that simple. I’m really into the idea of intuition, I feel like intuition is our sixth sense. A lot of people ignore their intuition or just haven’t cultivated it. Sometimes the best thing I can do as a trainer is to let someone figure it out on their own, they might fail a few times, but that's how they learn. Of course I give people cues, encouragement, and make sure that they stay safe, but I can’t do the work for them! 

Dragon Door:   Earlier, you picked the muscle up as your go-to exercise. Is it also your favorite?

Al Kavadlo:   Actually, the pull up is still my favorite. The good old regular pull up is a classic. It’s also more universal. The muscle up is kind of esoteric, it’s not something that everybody can work towards right away.

Dragon Door:   Agreed, everyone at least knows the pull up. How often do you recommend training on the bar?

Al Kavadlo:   Individual conditioning has such huge variables. The more someone trains, the more they can train, but it's important to ease into it. I work out every single day, but I don't do pull ups every single day. Sometimes it's a leg day, or I'll go for a swim, recovery activities, or go to a yoga class. I like to do some sort of formal exercise every single day—formal in the sense that I’m making a conscious effort to set aside time for exercise. There’s still a lot of fun and there’s a lot of improvisation.

Like a lot of young guys, I started out with the bodybuilding mentality. All I was concerned about was getting big arms, a big chest and a six-pack. It wasn’t until I became a trainer that I considered there was more to fitness than aesthetics. If someone just focuses on aesthetic results, they'll never be happy with how they look. Focusing on eating and enjoying clean food, enjoying a good workout, and doing it for the enjoyment of doing it often brings about great aesthetic changes anyway.

Dragon Door: 
  It’s a different mentality, and unfortunately not really mainstream yet. I think performance-based goals can be incredibly empowering for many people.

Al Kavadlo:
   Everyone has the potential to be better than they are today. In Raising The Bar, I talk about how there was a time when I couldn’t even conceive of doing a one-arm pull up. I just couldn’t imagine that the human body could do it. I had to actually see it performed in person to realize it was possible. Then, my desire to train toward it became much stronger. Now, I try to keep my mind open. Anything is possible, and we need to remember that in our training. Don't fall into the trap of thinking, "I’ll never do that."

Dragon Door:   How long did it take you to write Raising the Bar?

Al Kavadlo:   It seemed to happen quickly, but that’s because much of the book comes from conversations that I’ve had over and over with clients. It was just a matter of writing down those thoughts. Writing is a lot like fitness—it gets better with more practice. My first book took me a long time to write because I was also learning to be a writer. I’m a better writer now, and definitely plan on writing a lot more books, because it's fun. Like I said, there is always room for growth and progress.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dragon Door Interviews Paul “Coach” Wade

**Almost reluctantly, Paul Wade agreed to be interviewed via email. Normally he doesn't grant interviews, but made an exception this once. We had a great email conversation, most of which is represented below.
Dragon Door:   What originally inspired you to write Convict Conditioning?

Paul Wade:   Back when I was incarcerated, I was nuts about training my body. Several people told me I should write some kind of book on training. I mention one of these guys, Ronnie, in Convict Conditioning. I didn't want to write about how inmates train now, I was always more interested in how former generations of cons trained. They had a very different mindset, and a very different approach to training their bodies than people have today. There were no weights or equipment, just the body as its own gymnasium. I didn't want this approach—or the techniques that comprise it—to be lost. When I got out, and with a lot of help, I put the book together.
Dragon Door:   How would you sum up the mindset or approach of the old style prison training?
Paul Wade:   In Convict Conditioning I talk about "old school" calisthenics as opposed to "new school." New school calisthenics are about adding more and more reps of the same old exercises. This boosts stamina, but nothing else. Old school calisthenics are about mastering basic movements and finding technical variations to make them harder and harder over time. Athletes who train like this can become very strong and much more muscular very quickly. This method also saves the joints. It sounds simple, and it is, but only if you're trained correctly. Only a handful of modern coaches really understand it fully. The Kavadlo brothers and Zach Even-Esh spring to mind, but these men are one in a hundred thousand trainers. Most athletes won't be lucky enough to train with a coach at that level.
Dragon Door:   Do you feel like the focus/discipline required by the training helped you to cope with being incarcerated?
Paul Wade:   When I was locked up, training became everything to me. Training has a lot of benefits, but in jail it contracts time. There's no five years, no seven years to think about, there's only focusing on today's workout and tomorrow's goals. That helps inmates more than you might imagine. I'm also convinced that training eventually helped me come off drugs. I'm an addictive person, I just swapped the chemicals for the training. I have no doubt that I would be dead without calisthenics.
Dragon Door:   All of the exercises in Convict Conditioning 1and 2 are extremely powerful. If you had to pick one as absolutely essential, which would it be and why?
Paul Wade:   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. The second book is meant to be advanced, but I think the twist progressions will be very powerful for most people. Twists make the body feel younger, cure shoulder pain and kick backache to the curb. Third would be flags, athletes can gain a lot of total body and side strength from flags.
Dragon Door:   What do modern coaches miss when using old school calisthenics?
Paul Wade:   For a long time, I think coaches have seen calisthenics as endurance work, or just a warm up. There are hundreds of great calisthenics techniques, but only pushups, situps, or worse, crunches seem popular. A lot of this comes down to money—few people see the value of training in an empty room.
Dragon Door:   In jail, how did you keep from training too much?
Paul Wade:   I trained way too much in jail! Particularly back in Angola, where I had my thousand pushup days. But after a while I had to ask what I was getting out of putting in all that time. I'm as guilty as any prison athlete of really pushing endurance calisthenics. But, it's just like an endless treadmill, the body adapts very quickly, and it's easy to end up training for hours. Training that way kills time, but all it gives is the ability to train for hours and hours. It doesn't increase strength, speed, power, size, or any other important qualities. It can also irritate the joints. Eventually my training and thinking came full circle, and I became an advocate of the old school methods I learned in San Quentin. Bodyweight work should be like working with weights—keep it tough, brief, and keep making it harder.
Dragon Door:   What sort of mental strengths can we develop from old school calisthenics? Overcoming addiction is a HUGE accomplishment—can you tell me more about that?
Paul Wade:   Thank you. This is such a big topic, especially talking about addiction. I don't want to sound like I have answers that I don't really have. We use words like "overcoming" but no one ever really overcomes drug addiction. Addiction is a patient lover, she'll be waiting at the grave. I think that's true whether the addiction is amphetamines, sugar, booze, bad relationships or whatever. There's an x-factor about coming off drugs that's hard to talk about logically. It just happens for some people or it doesn't. The twelve steps begin with admitting no one can actually quit their addictions. Even after years, I still think of myself as an addict—I just replaced drugs with training.
Dragon Door:   If someone is stuck on one step in the Convict Conditioning program, what should they do?
Paul Wade:   Ultimately, all progress is about body wisdom—awareness of movements and behaviors. When progress suddenly stops there's always a reason: stress, overtraining, not enough rest, weight gain, not enough calories, or an unbalanced diet. If these issues can be checked off the problems list, then take a slight jump back in the training as a small break. If there's trouble leveling up from one exercise to the next one, get creative and use the "hidden steps" between the exercises. That's something I touch on in the books, but is explored in greater depth on the DVDs.
Dragon Door:   Speaking of the DVDs, on the two I've seen so far, there are a lot of variants including plyometrics (tuck jumps and sentry pull ups for example). What's a good rule of thumb for adding these to a training program?
Paul Wade:   People who've read Convict Conditioning know that I believe in working hard with the "Big Six" exercises. These are the six most basic ways the body moves. Each of these six basic calisthenics movements also have a corresponding explosive movement. Squats are a great muscle building strength movement, and the corresponding plyo move would be a tuck jump. The explosive version of a bridge would be a back handspring. Just like strength calisthenics, athletes should build up their explosive power progressively by dedicating themselves to a chain of increasingly harder moves. The area of progressive calisthenics, speed, power, and reflex training will be the subject of Convict Conditioning 3. You heard it here first!
As a rule of thumb, I keep explosive power training fairly low volume, just like strength work. If someone wants to increase their power, explosive exercises should come first in a workout, or have their own workout—but this isn't universal. I've met combat athletes who swear by putting their explosive work after they work the same muscle groups. For example, box jumps after exhausting squats. They claim this helps keep them explosive even after they're tired in a hard fight. In Convict Conditioning 3 I'll give all kinds of workouts and programming tactics—the approach to power depends on the desired goal. A footballer or Parkour athlete will play by different rules and have more interest in explosive work than someone who trains for increased strength and muscle alone.
Dragon Door: There's a lot of discussion in the fitness world about intensity versus volume for strength and sports performance. Many athletes and coaches are still stuck on the idea of near constant training to failure or exhaustion for nearly every workout. What kind of advice would you give to someone who is uncomfortable "only" doing the amount of work suggested in the programs in Convict Conditioning 1 and 2?
Paul Wade: You might be too young to know, but it seems to me as an old geezer, the fitness world has always been obsessed with the idea of intensity versus volume! Back in the 50's weightlifters were talking about how much volume the Soviets were supposedly doing, which was rumored to be very high volume. In the 60's the new-school, Arnold-type high volume bodybuilding hit the muscle rags—which clashed with the Peary Rader style of abbreviated old school work. Then, in the 70's Nautilus and Arthur Jones exploded onto the scene with controversial HIIT programs. In the 80's the "pumping style" three day splits and double splits were all the rage, until Mike Mentzer came along with the Heavy Duty one-set-to-failure approach. In the 90's many guys in gyms were taking high volume to the limit, then along came Dorian Yates who won the Olympia and made everybody go back to Heavy Duty again. Today you have pioneers like Pavel and Dan John talking about "greasing the groove" and the ideas in Easy Strength, where the frequency of training is increased, but the intensity is dropped back a bit. All of this has made people look at training in a new way, which is good. The debate will still be going on for another fifty years, no doubt.
My attitude is old and pretty simple, a bit like me. The reality is that building real strength and muscle mass is how the body adapts to stress. The adaptation is proportionate to the stressor—there's no getting around it. The harder someone trains, the better results they'll get. When it comes to building muscle, the stressor's effects aren't cumulative. The body judges it over a short span of time. If someone does a 500lb bench press, then five minutes later, a 50lb bench, the body doesn't register it as a 550lb bench! There's a limited window to stress the body, before the chosen adaptation ceases to be muscle growth and becomes stamina instead. For muscle growth and strength, there's no point thrashing away to exhaustion—it's just a waste of energy, like the 50lb bench press.
I generally dislike the idea of training to failure for safety reasons—always leave some energy in your body for control. Or, what if someone jumps you on the way out of the gym, or another survival situation? You never know! I usually advise bodyweight athletes to warm up, then work hard for two or three sets while avoiding total failure. This is the way to go for most folks.
Dragon Door:  What's next for you?
Paul Wade:   Right now? An early night, I need the rest. Tomorrow is inverse work and bodyweight grip work. This summer I'll be working on Convict Conditioning 3. I have massive hopes for that book. I'm getting excited thinking about it right now! Other than that, I just take one day at a time, stay healthy, and see what life brings. I still train hard, and I still train a select handful of personal students. I also seem to be answering hundreds of emails from the Dragon Door audience. That brings me more fun and pleasure than I ever imagined. Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bud Jeffries' Super Human Training Workshop DVDs Now Available!

I consider Logan Christopher and Bud Jeffries to be good friends of mine. They are also some smart people worth listening to when it comes to training.

They’ve got different levels of expertise in many different areas.

Since they work together, they created the Super Human Training Workshop, which is dedicated to giving their best information for helping normal and not-so-normal people achieve super human levels of strength and endurance.

Unfortunately you missed their latest workshop.

But they recorded the whole event and are making DVD’s of it available in a special limited time offer.

What is covered here:

Advanced Kettlebell Training (3 DVD’s)

More on Isometrics than you ever knew existed (3 DVD’s)

How mental frames affect your training (a MUST for coaches and trainers) (2 DVD’s)

Easy to do grip training with tools you’ll find in any gym (1 DVD)

A complete example of Strongman Performance (if you’re an aspiring strongman, this is great for you to model how to talk between the feats) (1 DVD)

And a whole bunch more.

They’re offering the DVD’s at a cheap price, considering there are 13 of them in total.

But you have to hurry, as it’s a one time offer. After this special, this will not be sold, ever again.

P.S. Check out the testimonials from the people that were at the workshop, on this page.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Intro For The Tunecast Podcast

Here is the intro I did for my old friend Johnny B's "Tunecast" podcast. Check him out at the Tunecast website, and subscribe to his podcast!


The Companion Bible Appendix # 182 - The Lord's Brethren

iconThis is a new feature I have started on my blog. As often as I can, I will be posting one of the 198 Appendices of the Companion Bible. It is an amazing study and reference tool, and I thought that it might be helpful and interesting to preview some of the resources available in it. This Bible was compiled by one of the great scholars of the past, Dr. E.W. Bullinger. You can check out some of his other books here. If you would like to access the entire Companion Bible in an online edition, it is available here. Hope you find this interesting and inspiring.

The Companion Bible Appendix # 182 - The Lord's Brethren

E.W. Bullinger on Amazon and Barnes and Noble


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Secrets Of The Holy Lance: The Spear Of Destiny In History And Legend" by Jerry E. Smith and George Piccard

As Jesus Christ hung on the cross, a Roman centurion pierced his side with a spear. And there is an ancient legend that whoever possesses this Holy Lance and understands its powers, holds in his hand the destiny of the world. "Secrets of the Holy Lance" traces the Spear from its possession by Constantine to Charlemagne. In the hands of kings and emperors for two thousand years:

* did it come within Hitler's grasp?

* did it rest in Antarctic ice?

* was it infused with magic by shedding Jesus' blood?

* is it now hidden in Europe?

Neither debunking nor worshiping, Smith pierces the veil of myth and mystery around the Spear.

Order a copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!


Saturday, April 07, 2012

My "Convict Conditioning" Progress - Bar Hang

My "Convict Conditioning" Progress Audio Blog
 Listen in the player or download here
Bar Hang
Uneven Hang

If any of you are working on the Bar Hang Progression, drop a comment, or email me and let me know how you're progressing. If not, what are you waiting for? Get your copies of  "Convict Conditioning" and "Convict Conditioning 2" today, and GET BUSY!


Monday, April 02, 2012

"Convict Conditioning" DVD, Volume 2: The Ultimate Bodyweight Squat Course

Convict Conditioning, Volume 2: The Ultimate Bodyweight Squat Course

By Paul "Coach" Wade - featuring Brett Jones and Max Shank
DVD 56 minutes with Companion Manual, 88 page

Paul Wade's Convict Conditioning Ultimate Bodyweight Squat Course explodes out of the cellblock to teach you in absolute detail how to progress from the ease of a simple shoulderstand squat—to the stunning "1-in-10,000" achievement of the prison-style one-leg squat. Ten progressive steps guide you to bodyweight squat mastery. Do it—and become a Bodyweight Squat Immortal.

This home-study course in ultimate survival strength comes replete with bonus material not available in Paul Wade's original Convict Conditioning book—and numerous key training tips that refine and expand on the original program.

Whatever you are looking for from your bodyweight squats—be it supreme functional strength, monstrous muscle growth or explosive leg power—it's yours for the progressive taking with Convict Conditioning, Volume 2: The Ultimate Bodyweight Squat Course.