My Philosophy

Nothing Lasts Forever
You’ve probably noticed that I have a few tattoos.

A lot of people tend to ask me about the one on my neck. It says “Nothing Lasts Forever” and it is applicable to everything in life, especially the world of fitness. Another way of putting it is, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” That was too long to fit around my neck though.

Sometimes people misinterpret my “Nothing Lasts Forever” tattoo as a pessimistic or cynical statement but it is actually the opposite. It is a celebration of the present moment and a tribute to the beauty of the temporary nature of existence. (I often joke that the tattoo is my homage to irony as well.)

Beginner’s Mind
There is no finish line in fitness. It is an ongoing journey that must constantly be approached with modesty and an open mind. To paraphrase from Shunryu Suzuki, one of the great Zen masters of the 20th century, “In the mind of the beginner, there are many possibilities; in the mind of the expert, there are few.”

I think what Suzuki is saying here is that when we think we know everything, we look at the world through a narrower scope. We think we’ve seen it all and heard it all already, so we find a way to reject whatever isn’t within that small spectrum of vision. We lose the ability to learn and grow. We also can lose our appreciation for the beauty of simple every day things. It’s kind of like what we often call “taking things for granted,” which is something we all do too often (myself included).

Believe and Achieve
I believe in the power of positive thinking and I know that we all have the power to manifest our own destiny. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as simple as books like The Secret would want you to think. There is a key step in between believe and achieve that sometimes gets overlooked: TAKE ACTION! You can’t just sit back and hope for good things, you have to go out there and work for it. But I promise you this: if you seriously put in the time and effort (and don’t kid yourself about it!), you will get great results.

Now don’t start getting defensive over there. The idea that you (and only you) are responsible for your own circumstances is not something to be afraid of. It is actually an incredibly empowering concept once you put it into practice.

I got these tattoos on my wrists to remind myself and others that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and truly dedicate yourself. If you don’t get what you want, maybe you just didn’t really want it enough.

Be a Free Thinker
I don’t ever want my clients (or anyone else reading this) to follow my advice just because I am someone who is an authority figure. You should only do what makes sense to you. I want you to work out because it will make you feel better. Besides, I think we both know that you really shouldn’t need convincing. If you don’t want to be here, I’m not going to force you. Perhaps I might inspire you, but I’d never want to force you.

Each journey is unique and while the advice of someone with experience can be helpful, remember that no one else can do it for you. You must take personal accountability and deal with your life!

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks for the kind words, Nicholas!  There is a whole chapter on handstands and handstand push-ups in Raising The Bar.

  • Carter_Matic

    Started reading Raising The Bar here in the uk and it’s actually got off the couch and in to a nice calisthenics routine, this book has inspired me! Thank you Al

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks, Carter!  Glad to have inspired you!

  • Marcoleiva2193

     Excellente article, I love your approach to fitness from a philosophical stance

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks!  Always good to hear from people who get it!

  • Supermanjkl101

    This book is great! I wan to know how much u deadlift Mr Al =)

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks!  The last time I tried deadlifting I pulled 320 lbs at a bodyweight of 160.

  • Kenneth Orn

    discovered your page today and i gotta say that this is great motivation!

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks, Kenneth!

  • Patrizzi

    I could not agree more. I feel incredibly empowered now. Thanks

  • Al Kavadlo

    Right on! Thanks for the comment!

  • Dima

    Al, there’s something wrong with “my story” page. The questions just keep deleting! So I will try to ask here – what is your preferable type of music ( or even some preferable musicians?)

  • Al Kavadlo

    The comments seem to working fine. I actually answered this question for you on the other page. Check it out:

  • Mike

    I discovered your site today, and I think if there were more people like you in the world things would be better.

    I really enjoyed your philosophy of life and I think that tomorrow I will start to train according to your style.

    Thank you.

    Mike from Italy

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks, Mike! That’s a very nice compliment!

  • John D

    You are an inspiration Al !

  • WorkItOutYourself

    I just found out about you and your website and I am sincerely amazed by what you do. Definitely going on my favourites list :)

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks, John!

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks! There should be enough content on this site to keep you busy for a long time to come!

  • WorkItOutYourself

    Oh yes ! and I am delighted :) So many things to learn. Very nice of you to take the time and answer to all messages.

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