Pull-up Battle

Your old buddy Al has been starting to get a little attention from the mainstream media.

If you happen to fly American Airlines this month, keep an eye out for me in the January issue of their in-flight magazine. (You can also see the article online by clicking here.)

I also appeared in a new video series about the human flag for Men’s Health.

Don’t worry – I’m still going to keep putting up new content here on my blog! Check out my newest youtube clip, featuring Danny and me in a brotherly pull-up battle:

46 thoughts on “Pull-up Battle

  • Pingback: Pull-up Battle *Video!* | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page

  • By BS1199 - Reply

    Any reason why you guys prefer to use a false type grip with your pull-ups?

    Great video thanks!

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      The grip I use for pull-ups is called a “hook grip”  (it’s a little different from the false grip).  My next book will include a thorough discussion of different grips.  I’m gonna keep you in suspense til then.  :)

  • By Feinguy - Reply

    You guys have backs like an ogre. Also, I never tire of the OAP! Yowza..

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      Thanks!  That’s Danny’s ogre-like back in the photo above, by the way.

  • By Matt - Reply

    Can something be badass and adorable at the same time?  I think you guys pulled it off.

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      I guess so!  Thanks!

  • By Anonymous - Reply

    Ha! Awesome video, Al.  Love it!

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      Thanks!  You’re a big part of why it’s awesome!

    • By Etienne - Reply

      Sick video guys! I would like to see a “trifecta” circuit til failure between you two.

      • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

        Thanks!  That might make for a looong video though.

  • By Cwilson115 - Reply

    hey Al I have a quick question, I always hear people say that bar strength is a different kind of strength compared to weights, so i was wondering if you feel stronger doing body weight training compared to your days when you had a bodybuilder type body which I saw a picture of  when i read your book . thanks

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      If I felt stronger when I was bodybuilding, don’t you think I’d still be doing it?  :)

  • By Ion3003 - Reply

    Phase one of Men’s health human flag tutorial just takes you 1 minute to explain.
    Takes 1 year to pass to phase 2…!? working at it…

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      Tis true.  Men’s Health likes the whole “quick fix” angle but I made sure to get my “be patient with this exercise” in there.

  • By Lt_dan - Reply

    Danny’s expressions are hilarious. :) Great videos.

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      Thanks!  We had a lot of fun with this one!

  • By Body Speech Mind - Reply

    Man, I can’t wait till I can do all these cool moves you and Danny do. Your posts are always inspiring.

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      Thanks!  Keep training hard!

  • By Tommy - Reply

    I really like the little touches like the walk up and the shot of Tompkins State sign at the end.

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      Thanks, Tommy!  We put a lot of work into getting this one just so.  Good to know people appreciate the little details.

  • By Neil - Reply

    Al, when I found out about you I watched every video. Then when I bought Convict Conditioning II and saw you and Danny on the cover I flipped out. Super cool! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      Thanks, Neil!  I’ve seen your blog before – keep up the great work!

  • By Rafael - Reply


    First of all, as my first comment, congratulations to you. You rock. Determination and dedication is key. And you rule it. 

    I wanted to know if you think the front lever can replace the deadlift. What do you think?

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      Thanks, Rafael!  A back lever (I think that’s what you meant) is a good exercise to work the posterior chain, but the only way to deadlift is to deadlift.

  • By Lou - Reply

    Just recently found your site and am amazed at some of your videos.  Thanks for all of the info you have available here.

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      Thanks, Lou!  More to come!

  • By Christina - Reply

    Why did Danny have his shoes off during the human-human flag? Just curious

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      You’re really watching closely, Christina!  :)

      I think Danny feels like he gets better traction when he’s barefoot.

  • By Yeyo - Reply

    I just find this video, and i think about you! You must see it! Do you can do the human flag wearing high heels? xDD http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StJ0wxond_E&feature=player_embedded

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      She’s very strong, but it kinda freaks me out that you want to see me in heels!

  • By Ollie_P - Reply

    Al just a quick comment to say how much I’ve enjoyed your website, you’ve inspired me to get out around my local town in England and start using the urban environment as my gym! Keep up the good work!

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      Thanks, Ollie!

  • By Anil - Reply

    Hi Al,  very nice video.  When would be your second book roughly out for sale? I cannot wait to read it.  Thanks.

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

      Thanks, Anil!  I’m glad you’re excited for my next book.  The plan is for it to come out in June, though the exact date is still to be determined.

  • By Rob White - Reply

    Awesome vid Al and Danny. I love the bicep curl pullup, and the switch-to-straight-arm-at-top pullup (dunno what the hell you call that).

    Any chance of doing a vid with some finger pullups? A compilation of fingertip pressing work and finger pullups (a la CC2 grip work) would be awesome.

    Can you do a fingertip L-Sit Al?

  • By bum - Reply

    badass guys! inspiring.

    • By Al Kavadlo - Reply


  • By Cesar Baez - Reply

    This is nuts!!!! See you on Saturday Al!


  • By Rob - Reply

    Hi Al,
    I have a question, I do a simple circuit training routine of pullups, dips, pushups, and hanging leg raises to get my foundational strength up for more advanced movements; but my question is about the pullups. For now, they only consist of semi close grip pullups (because on my pullup bar, the wide grip is too wide for me right now) in your opinion, should I practice close grip, wide grip, and neutral grip in my circuit training? The only reason I ask is because I know my muscles will fatigue faster, and I will not be doing as many pullups.


    • By Robby Taylor - Reply

      Do a different variation every set. This will hit the muscles differently and consequently, in my experience, you will be able to actually do more reps overall this way, as well as getting a more broad coverage of work with your pull ups. Do the hardest variations (for me it’s probably wide grip pull up > super close grip pull up > super close grip chin up > mixed grip) in the early sets, then the easier variations (chin up > neutral grip) in the later sets. For the close grip pull/chin ups I prefer to have my hands touching.

      Besides that, push ups, as you know, are rather basic, and since you are training dips anyway, you don’t really “need” them. I would instead suggest that you practice handstands against a wall for time. I practice my handstands with my fingers maybe 4~6 inches from the wall with my back to the wall. This forces you to learn the proper body alignment because there is very little room for error in form, even if your feet are against the wall. When you put your hands on the ground, point your index fingers directly toward the wall, rather than the middle finger (what most people, myself included, naturally do). This encourages a more natural shoulder angle that is ideal for the handstand.

      I would also recommend that you work on pistol squats, but if you can’t do them yet then shrimp squats.

      • By Al Kavadlo - Reply

        Thanks for fielding this one, Robby!

      • By Rob - Reply

        Thanks, Robby!
        I do the pushups for my chest mainly, I only have a set of parallete bars made out of pvc that stand about 1 foot off the ground, so mainly my triceps are getting worked with my dips. Thanks for the idea about the pullups, I will start tonight!

        • By Robby Taylor - Reply

          Ah, I see. I just assumed you were doing full dips. If there is clearance above your pull up bar and it is stable, you may want to try getting above the bar and doing straight bar dips that way. Otherwise, try hip push ups or pseudo planche push ups (basically the same thing, the only difference is hand placement); these will be a good bit harder than push ups; in my experience they are somewhere around the difficulty of pull ups. Also, some of the pull up variations do a pretty solid number on the chest (in my experience, most notably the super close grip variations).

          • By Rob -

            Awesome, thanks again Robby!

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