What is Progressive Calisthenics?

If you have checked out my book, “The Calisthenics Quest”, then you have a small idea of what calisthenics is all about. But, what is progressive calisthenics? Calisthenics or as it is translated “beautiful movement”, is using your own body’s weight for fitness. But just like in any other fitness routine, you have to progress and, in some cases, regress. Let’s face it, after a wile those push-ups, pull-ups and squats are going to get a bit easier and you will have to add in a ton of reps to get that burn… or do you? There are many ways to progress your calisthenics workout without boosts reps or adding weight. So let’s look at some options…

First, look at slowing that tempo down. Sure you can now knock out 30-50 push-ups, but now try it slow with a tempo of 3 seconds down and 3 seconds up. That time under tension can be killer and your muscles will be burning with far less reps.

Another option is to increase the range of motion. A few good examples are, instead of bringing your legs to 90 degrees in a squat, go all the way down bringing your butt to your heels. In push-ups bring your chest all the way to the floor, or in pull-ups try pulling your chest to the bar. Full range of motion makes a big difference!

Finally, try to progress to a more challenging version of the basics. This can be done is many different ways. First look at the push-up. You can knock out lots of classic push-ups, so now try bringing your hands closer together or try them with your feet on a bench to change the angle. Of course, if that isn’t challenging enough, you have the one arm push-up. Pull-ups also have many varieties to choose from. Try progressing to the archer pull-up or even commando or L-sit pull-ups. As far as the squat goes, yes they can be made more challenging. Try the archer squat or the Bulgarian Split Squat. If you feel really adventurous, you can also try the pistol squat or the shrimp squat. They will not only challenge your strength but also your balance.

When it comes to progressive calisthenics, never be afraid to try new things but never forget the classics. They will always have their place in your routines. Keep advancing your Quest!

By, Ray Shonk NASM-Master Trainer, PCC Instructor

Have questions? Contact us.

ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION SCHEDULE

Saturday September 15, 2018 8:00 am-6:00 pm

Please join us for this free family friendly event! Take free classes, get a complimentary mini massage, and receive a free consultation with a personal trainer. Also, don’t forget to enter the raffle to win great prizes!

★Enjoy beverages and snacks.★

★No appointments are necessary, just visit and see our beautiful space!★

Full Schedule of Events:

7:45 am Coffee and Questions with Ray Shonk, Owner and Trainer

Meet the Quest Fitness Crew: Ray, Kenny, Tani, Dani, and Meg

8:15 am Sun Salutations and Balance Poses with Dani

Join this 45 minute all levels vinyasa yoga class to empower your day!

9:00 am Beginning Tai Chi Class with Ray, Robert, and Gerald

No idea what Tai Chi is? This is the class for you.

9:30 am Intro to Kid’s Tai Chi Class at Quest with Ray and Kenny

Meet the Quest Fitness Kids Crew: Corbin, Devin, Oscar, and Mason

Challenge Mason to a push-up contest!

9:30 am Static and Dynamic Posture Clinic with Tani

Learn to help avoid lower back pain from common posture problems both seated and standing.

10:00 am Tai Chi Forms and Weapons Demonstrations

Sit back and be amazed as our instructors and advanced students perform Tai Chi forms including Sword, Spear, and Fan

10:00 am-12:00 pm Free mini consultations with our certified personal trainers

10:30 am Calisthenics is What Now? with Ray

Why is our “bootcamp” class called Beast Club? What are calisthenic exercises? Ray will give a short lecture with Q&A time, and then lead his legendary Saturday Beast Club. Try the club free today!

11:00 am-11:45 am Beast Club: Speed Agility Cardio

11:45 am-12:30 pm Beast Club: Strength Power Core

12:00 pm-2:00 pm Free mini massages with Meg, our State Licensed Massage Therapist.

1:00 pm Beginning Tai Chi Class with Robert, Gerald, and Brian

No idea what Tai Chi is? This is the class for you.

1:00 pm Mini Flow and Hip Openers with Dani

Join this 30 minute all levels vinyasa yoga class to increase range of motion and flexibility by relaxing your hips..

2:00 pm Hula Hoop Fitness with Tani

Learn Hula Hoop basics and watch Tani demonstrate more intense routines that are perfect for your personal quest.

2:00 pm- 5:00 pm Free mini consultations with Ray and Kenny, two of our certified personal trainers.

3:00 pm-5:00 pm Free mini massages with Meg, our State Licensed Massage Therapist.

4:00 pm Boffer Basics with Kenny

Follow Kenny’s well developed program for sword training, both one and two handed sword versions.

5:00 pm Restorative Flow with Dani

Join this 60 minute all levels vinyasa yoga class to release tension and prepare for a relaxing evening.

Flow Arts

By Tani Richter

What are “flow” arts? I discovered hula hooping as a flow art in the year 2013 as a freshman at Grand Valley State University. I knew rather little about this well known kid’s toy other than it was a struggle to keep it up on my waist. I started out with a hoop having a diameter just about as wide as I am tall (5’2”), weighing about 3 lbs. It took months before I could comfortably keep it around my waist. As my cardio endurance increased, the inches around my waist decreased: I was hooked! I began searching my new addiction on social media and quickly learned this hobby wasn’t just for kids. It took almost a year before I “found my flow”. As muscles evolve to memorize certain movements, finding transitions between certain tricks can make it seem almost effortless, giving a sense of illusion or “flow” as a professional dancer may portray. Almost six years later, my skills have exponentially progressed along with my determination. I found myself performing with Bangarang Circus and Circus&Lace of Grand Rapids, bringing joy to children (and parents). The most amazing discovery? Hula hooping is merely one flow art! There is also contact staff, poi, wands, fans, and my new favorite: aerial arts. I have been developing my skills in aerial silks and lyra for almost 2 years now and aim to continue growing strength throughout my body and mind with flowing on the ground and in the air. Flow arts will forever be my favorite way to not only express myself, but also challenge myself. I hope to share my passion with interested clients to shake up the “normal” workout routine and bring a more fun way of exercising into the mix.

Have questions? Contact us.

Quest Fitness Anniversary Celebration

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!

Have questions? Contact us.

Tani Richter

DSC00375Tani Richter is a NASM certified personal trainer at Quest Fitness. She is genuine and devoted to all of her clients as they progress through their fitness journey.

-Interests: circus training/performing, biking, hiking/camping, water sports, tai chi, yoga

-Focus: general fitness, calisthenics, circuit training, hula hoop fitness

 

Have questions? Contact us.

Kendrick Oss

DSC00373Kendrick Oss works as an ACSM certified personal trainer at the Quest Fitness gym. His mission is to provide a wholesome experience to all of his clients as they seek to achieve their personal goals.

-Interest: Medieval Combat (Dagorhir), Tai Chi, Calisthenics, Digital Painting, Gaming

-Focus: General Fitness, Basic Calisthenics, Circuit Training

The Danny Kavadlo Experience At Quest Fitness

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Have questions? Contact us.

Danny Kavadlo Calisthenics Experience

Join Danny Kavadlo and Ray Shonk on June 9th 2018, from 8 am to 6 pm, for this one day Calisthenics experience at Quest Fitness. We will be covering the basics including push-ups, pull-ups and squats and then going into the how to of muscle-ups flags and much more! This event is Danny’s first trip to Michigan so don’t miss out! Danny will have some of his books available as will Ray! Call or stop in to register for this one time event for only $160.

Danny Kavadlo is one of the world’s leading authorities on calisthenics and personal training. He is known globally for his minimalist philosophy, feats of bodyweight strength and motivational gifts.

 

Mr. Kavadlo is the author of numerous Dragon Door titles including #1 Amazon Best-Sellers GET STRONG and STRENGTH RULES. He has been featured in the New York Times, Men’s Fitness, and the Huffington Post, and is a regular contributor to Bodybuilding.com and TRAIN magazine.

 

When not working one-on-one with clients in his native New York City, Danny travels the world instructing groups of calisthenics enthusiasts of all walks of life.

Have questions? Contact us.

Calisthenics Quest Foreward

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.”

-Danny Kavadlo

2017

Have questions? Contact us!