This was my third time around competing for the title of Combat Conditioning Athlete of the Year, a contest held at Matt Furey’s annual fitness seminar.

The first time through in 2006 I performed decently but was out performed by others. After losing I was angry with myself because I knew I had not given it my all.

The second time around in 2007 I was stupid. I assumed that the contest would be the same. I was ill-prepared to meet the demands put on the contestants and I failed. This time though, I had tried my hardest. While I hated losing, I was even more committed to winning the next time around.

Finally this year’s seminar was approaching. I knew that I didn’t know exactly what would be involved in the contest. But I did have the previous years experiences to guide me. Of course I figured the Royal Court consisting of the Wrestler’s Bridge, Hindu Pushups, and Hindu Squats would be a mainstay.

Therefore the majority of my focus was on these three exercises. Last year’s final event which I didn’t even make it into was a 5 minute Bridge, 500 Hindu Squats, and 100 Hindu Pushups. Since I expected it to be tougher this year, I got it in my mind to more than double those numbers.

Thus the Ultimate Royal Court Challenge was born. A 10 minute Bridge, 250 Hindu Pushups, and 1000 Hindu Squats. The goal was to complete this in under one hour.

Each exercise is done non-stop. No coming out of the bridge. No touching your knees to the floor on the pushups, and no breaks in the squats, except to regain or change up your footing. You can rest in between exercises.

I had been training in other manners leading up to the last few months coming into the seminar. Slowly I started incorporating more and more of these moves, along with a few others I expected to need in the contest. As time went on I went to exclusively bodyweight exercises and mostly the Royal Court exercises.

The challenge was my goal. I knew that would give me a damn good foundation to help win. But working up to it was not easy. Various efforts and building my numbers up were tried. Mostly it was one long set done to failure or a goal number. I even did 6 days straight of last year’s final challenge (5 min bridge, 500 HS, and 100 HP) mixing up the order of the exercises. My best time doing this was 24:28.

On my first try at the challenge I had to quit at 200 Hindu Pushups. My arms were fried and I collapsed to the ground. I finished off with 500 squats and called it a day.

The second time I went after the challenge I completed it. Don’t know what exactly had happened but the pushups were much easier this time around. I had found the groove, the most efficient way possible to do them. I could have done more than 250 but I still had the squats to complete. The squats were just a matter of pumping them out until complete.

My time was a little slow at 1 hour, 3 minutes. I know I could do it again and beat the hour mark but I don’t want to. It’s not a fun workout. The important thing was I completed the thing, when during my training I had some doubts if I‘d actually reach it. I don’t think doing it again would actually help me anymore than it already has.

I think these are great exercises. Doing them for this many reps though is more than necessary in my opinion but certainly fit for a challenge.

Click here to read about the Combat Conditioning Athlete of the Year Contest


  1. These Hindu squats, push ups and bridge – are they enough and cover the whole musculature ? I was introduced to these by my uncle when i was 11 years old and only exercises that i have done are hindu squats and push ups and i could do 300 push ups and 500 squats when i was still in school. I like your articles,newsletters very inspiring and interesting and i try and learn from them. I am 59 years old now but I want to do free hand stand, levers, l-seat.

    1. Author

      @ajit: I think they’re a good base and relatively complete but no they don’t cover everything.

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