Today I want to talk about two different sorts of Convict Conditioning and which one you might want to try.
I know a guy who recently got out of prison after spending just a couple months inside.
We got on the subject of working out while he was there and the stories he told me where ridiculous. This is close to an actual overheard conversation he heard:
“Let’s see, we did chest and arms yesterday so today let’s work our pecs and biceps. And then tomorrow we’ll go big and do some benching and curls.”
Zero leg work. Zero back work. In my opinion, the bench press and curls can be part of an effective program. PART. Not the whole damn thing!
And the worse part was he said three people in the whole place could bench 225 lbs or more. You’d think if you only did a couple exercises you’d at least get good at them.
And most would do heavy cheat curls with…80 lbs. I wish I could show you his imitations of their atrocious form. And moving from barbell curls to preacher curls to isolation curls and so on. The advanced guys might…MIGHT do a few one arm rows.
When my friend was doing pullups (yeah I know, a real ‘out there’ exercise) one inmate asked him if that worked the shoulders. He was the only guy doing pullups in the whole place!
This whole conversation started when I showed him Convict Conditioning, a recent publication from Dragondoor. On the cover is a man in the middle of doing a one arm handstand pushup. Must be very different penitentiaries for this colossal chasm of difference in training.
Considering I do lots of training with bodyweight exercises (and have my own courses devoted to two of the moves found inside – bridging and handstand pushups) I bought the book and read through it. In it Paul “Coach” Wade takes you through 6 exercises which lead up to some impressive feats. These include:
One Arm Pushups
One Leg Squats
One Arm Pullups
Hanging Leg Raises
One Arm Handstand Pushups
Each exercise is broken down into ten progressive steps. These steps take you from remedial exercises (usually the first 3-4 steps) up to these advanced moves.
That’s a real important thing most people don’t grasp. Making bodyweight exercises progressive isn’t as easy as throwing another plate on the bar. And in all training progression is the name of the game. So I have to applaud the effort of systematizing the progression as its laid out in this book. I don’t 100% agree with every one in here (for example some jumps in steps are small and some are real big) but overall it’s really good.
Now, I can do four of these moves but was particularly interested in the progressions he used for the other two, as they are exercises I‘d like to do one day. (I’ll let you guess which of the two exercises are quite a bit more difficult then the others.)
For anyone wishing to do the same I recommend getting Convict Conditioning and applying what you learn inside. It’s well worth it.
Even if you just did this routine you’d be fairly well off. Of course you really should add conditioning work as well and hand and neck training but besides that it’s a great program.
Anyone who wishes to train should master their bodyweight to some degree before touching any other training tool. You don’t have to be able to do all six of these moves but being at steps 5 or 6 in the progressions would not be a bad idea.
P.S. I would never recommend a product I do not believe it and use myself. That being said I will be paid a small commission if you buy this book by clicking on the links on this page. After all I am running a business here. For the price its an excellent value.
P.P.S. Be sure to also check out this follow-up post on Convict Conditioning Routines.