In September of 2017, Quest Fitness underwent a huge change. We moved from a small garage to a big new 1600 square foot location. This was a big leap, but very worth it! In the last year, we have continued to grow, first by adding a new Yoga class with Dani, then bringing in our own massage therapist, Meg, and finally bringing in 3 great trainers, Erica, Kenny, and Tani.
Quest has also managed to put on some amazing events, as well! My favorites so far have been World Tai Chi Day and the seminar led by celebrity trainer Danny Kavadlo. But now it is time for the next big event: the anniversary of the opening of Quest Fitness! To say thank to everyone out there, we are opening our doors not just to our many loyal clients, but also to the entire public. Stop in and meet the entire Quest Crew, meet with a trainer for free, try out a class at no charge and even get a massage from Meg! The event will be September 15th starting at 8am until 6pm. No appointments are necessary, just swing in and see us. Snacks and beverages will be provided and we will be holding a raffle for more great prizes! I look forward to seeing you there!
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To call the event with Danny Kavadlo an “experience” is a great understatement! First lat me say, running this event with my Calisthenics mentor and friend was an amazing honor! The day started with sign ins and meeting some new friends from out of town, all the way from Wisconsin. For putting this together with short notice, we had a great turnout. As the class started we went around the room each one of us introducing one another, and everyone seemed like minded with Calisthenics and fitness.
We started the class with squat progressions, beginning with the most basic, using a bench or partner to assist. We progressed through full squats, archer squats, split squats and even the pistol squat. I’m thinking everyone’s legs got a little cooked there.
Once we finished legs, we hit the push-ups. Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking. Not everyone can do push-ups, but in this class we prove that wrong. We started with the knee push-ups and moved into elevated push-ups, and like every thing else we focused on perfecting the movements and queues to aid others. Then we hit the floor working on classic push-ups, staggered and archer push-ups, feet elevated and many other including the handstand push-ups.
We finished the morning by taking a trip to the bar… the Pull-up bar. Yes, I fully understand that pull-ups are difficult, but we had something for every level of fitness. Getting started on the pulls we hit Aussie Pull-ups, a.k.a bodyweight rows. I have to say, everyone here killed these! Then, we moved on to flex hangs and pull-up negatives. We had a strong group, because again everyone nailed these. We discussed the chin-up, pull-up and other variations like the commando pull-ups. Of course we finished this section with the mighty muscle-up. Then, we took a much needed lunch break, took some photos, signed books and chatted it up.
Upon our return from lunch, we hit hand balancing, starting it off with frog and crow poses. For some the hand balancing was a bit new, for others it was a chance to show their skills. We knocked out the tripod, and the headstand, and for a few attending the Elbow Lever! I was impressed with everyone’s performance.
When we moved on we hit some ab training both on the ground and on the bar. We all hit the basics with knee tucks, knee raises and leg raises. As we progressed, a few people tried Skin The Cat, Back Levers and even the Front Lever! These are not easy if you are curious.
To finish off the workout, we hit flags! So many people got their first flag! We covered a large variety of them, too! I cant tell you how overly impressed I was with everyone! “The beauty of the experience is that no matter what level a practitioner was at, everyone can do a push, pull, and squat exercise. You need not be able to do a full human flag in order to train with Danny Kavadlo or learn from the experience,” one of the attendees, Gerald Browning, stated.
When we hit the closing of the seminar, Danny gave an amazing lecture on calisthenics progressions, building programs and even being a better trainer. A lot of great questions came out from the group as we wrapped up and chatted it up. Because of the great turnout and the level of fun we had, Danny and I decided we may try to make this an annual event with new material each time. I want to absolutely thank everyone who made it out, and a special thanks to Danny for flying all the way out here to teach the class!
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A good friend and mentor of mine, Danny Kavadlo, help me out with my book “The Calisthenics Quest“. Here is what he wrote…
In my years as a health professional, I’ve been a personal trainer, a PT manager, an author, a blogger, a fitness model and even an international presenter. Suffice it to say, I’ve worn a lot of hats in this industry and I’ve met a lot of trainers!
Some of these trainers are more memorable than others. Some have impressed me while others have not. But every now and again a trainer comes along who just “gets it.”
I’m not just talking about understanding the science of training like sets, reps, and human anatomy—I’m a strong believer that anyone can learn that. No, I’m referring to something larger. Love, passion, spirit and more.
What I’m speaking of is the ability to connect to people, to resonate and to change lives. Hell, maybe even change the world.
Ray Shonk is such a trainer.
Ray and I first connected over social media several years ago. Since then, Ray has been my student at Dragon Door’s acclaimed Progressive Calisthenics Certification, my comrade as a lifelong advocate of bodyweight strength training, and ultimately, I’m proud to say, my friend.
Ray has the rare gift of being able to motivate and inspire, while never coming across as overbearing. He leaves the work to his students, while providing exactly what they need from him in terms of instruction. Nothing more, nothing less. He is a true expert of his craft.
So as you might imagine, when a copy of The Calisthenics Quest appeared across my desk, I couldn’t wait to tear into it. I found Ray Shonk’s writing to be informative yet friendly. It’s comprehensive, yet casual. He explores serious concepts with simplicity and humor. For example, when discussing the notion of challenging yourself, Shonk simply states: “It is called a workout, not an easy out. None of this will happen overnight.”
So honest, simple and true—but definitely not easy!
Whether Ray is exploring the roots of bodyweight training, sharing his own anecdotes, or explaining the details of step-by-step exercise progression, he delivers the goods on bodyweight training—and then some!
One of my favorite passages appears toward the end of the work, when Mr. Shonk discusses the character building virtues of working out. In his signature style, he explains the importance of focusing on form and quality of movement, rather than only shooting for high reps and letting the ego take over. This type of process-mindedness is at the very core of Ray’s philosophy as a trainer, a martial artist and a man. No rush here.
As Ray himself says, “This is your journey, so enjoy it.”
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Now is the best time to get signed up for personal training! We all know once New Year’s hits, the gyms get crazy. Luckily, here at Quest Fitness , there’s no waiting for equipment no crowds to push through just one on one training with a professional trainer to get you to your fitness goals quickly. So, from December 18 to January 31, 2018, we will be offering special pricing to get you started on your fitness resolutions!
3 / 1 hour sessions $90 (normally $120)
3 / 30 minute sessions $66 (normally $75)
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When it comes to improving your fitness, you have to constantly keep yourself challenged. In weight training, this is done by increasing weight to increase difficulty. With calisthenics, however, it works little differently. Challenging yourself and calisthenics can mean changing the angle, changing the depth of the movement, or looking at different variations of exercises for the same muscle group. Whether you’re lifting weights or doing calisthenics most of us are familiar with dips. When I was starting to increase the difficulty of my dips, I add weights. But taking a step back and taking a better look at the exercise I found that the weights are not necessary. As I progressed I moved from bench dips, to elevated bench dips, to parallel bar dips, the straight bar dips, and eventually Korean dips. Before I would progress from one to the other I made sure I was reaching the maximum depth with proper form to make sure I was maximizing my range of motion. One of the things I love most about calisthenics is the near limitless amount of exercises you can do if you get creative. You can find a video of all these dips here.
Want to get fit without paying for a gym membership? Do it all in the comfort of your home or local park with my new book The Calisthenics Quest!
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Taijiquan (or tai chi) can be many things to many people. For some it is an exercise, for some it is a meditation and others it is a form of self defense. However when you continue to practice and reach a higher level of training, the above reasons lose their importance. At this time, you need to find the real meaning of your practice or you may become satisfied with your training and lose your enthusiasm for the art. You must start to wonder what is the meaning of this meditative martial art? Daoist practitioners use tai chi in their strive to become immortal where many non-religious practitioners used tai chi to gain a peaceful mind and reinvigorate their lives.
What you need to understand is that Taijiquan emphasizes meditation both in your stillness and your movement. Practitioners like a Buddhist priest trains himself in this meditation to be calm and concentrated. In your training, it is possible for you to achieve a sense of peace and centeredness that will allow you to judge things and events in a neutral way without any emotional disturbance. When you can truly calm and clear your mind, the spiritual side will start to open up. You’ll start to see things more deeply. As a practitioner’s skill increases, they may be able to sense a person’s intentions before they are expressed and you become more capable at looking deeply into people and events in a non-martial way, as well. In the past, many martial art masters were considered wise man and were consulted for their insight into the meaning of human life this world and the universe. Because of their training they learn to live in the world without confusion or doubt and find peace and happiness and all of this comes through meditation and continuous pondering.
In your practice and meditation, you need to concentrate your whole attention in order to develop the higher levels of the art. This concentration and dedication will carry over to the rest of your life and the strive for perfection becomes the real meaning of Taijiquan.
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Ready to take your own calisthenic quest?