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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

REVIEW: Barology 101

Barology 101 is the first in what is likely to be a series of DVDs that covers the activity commonly called 'extreme callisthenics'.  The activity itself uses bodyweight (this doesn't prohibit the use of weights outside of the time you devote to the activity).  Basically you have a bar, or bars & throw yourself around like a cross between a gymnast, a trapeze artist, a tumbler & a hand balancer.  It is VERY high intensity stuff.  If I remember correctly the word 'callisthenics' is derived from the ancient Greek words 'beauty' & 'strength', so callisthenics would have roughly translated to mean 'beautiful strength' (my guess I'm not sure if that's fact?).

In this 2 DVD set you are introduced to the movements commonly used in the sport.  It is not an instructional DVD as such.  They do show progressions, but you are not taken through the activity.  The DVD set is more of a demonstration film, showing you what can be achieved & showing you the progressions, but you don't get training advice & pointers.  For a visual learner this would probably be enough, but if you are a trainee who likes to be talked through their training, then this one on it's own will not be enough.

The 2 DVDs cover a lot, from memory I can remember progressions for:
ab wheel
some flag progressions
obviously muscle-ups
even some equipoise thrown in

...& there were plenty more I probably have forgotten about.

One small niggle I did have was that although each progression was clearly stated, they didn't name each exercise & as someone not experienced in the extreme callisthenics field I had no idea what to call some of the movements?  Even a numbering system would mean you could say "Let's try muscle-up variation number 2" so you could have some idea what you should be calling something.  I'm guessing detailed instructional DVDs are to come in future instalments, at least I hope so as some of the movements look tricky for a novice & I'd certainly be interested in seeing some detailed instructions on how some of this is done as I've not seen any other product attempt to bring this sort of training to the general public.

A final point is it does seem that a lot of vegans gravitate towards bodyweight exercise, so if you're going in that direction it will certainly be worth you seeing just how far you can take it, this certainly isn't the callisthenics your mother did watching that VHS video in the living room!

Would I recommend this set?  If you are interested or intend to try out extreme callisthenics then yes I think it might help you avoid some pitfalls you might stumble into without some advice being available.  I think with some spoken instruction this would have made the ideal starter kit for the novice 'barologist', as it is it offers many insights that will help you design progressions, but not give you all the details you need for every exercise.  As more instalments come out hopefully they will cover these shortfalls.

One of the guys involved in this project Dan Attanasio (aka Kalosthenos on the internet) is a vegan & you can find out more about him here
To get hold of barology 101 Click here

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