Convict Conditioning Routine

In Mental Mastery by admin6 Comments

I received this question the other day after my post on Convict Conditioning, and since it was well thought out I’m going to give an in depth answer.

Hey Logan,

You obviously have far more experience than me and I don’t even compare to you in terms of strength/conditioning. You’ve done an awesome job from what I can see! I’d like your opinion, please I read Coach Wade’s “Convict Conditioning” and I want to do the “Big Six” moves!

Goals – strength in the “Big Six” and mutant conditioning.
Preference for the kettlebell swing.
‘Decent’ recovery abilities.
Equipment – barbell, dumbells, 35lbs & 70lbs kettlebells, & pullup bar.
Not much money.

I was planning on trying out the ‘Veterano’ routine with swings three times a week (light, medium, and heavy swing days). A concern–over training with back bridges and swings.

Do you think this a great way to reach my goals?
Is ‘Veterano’ not enough strength work?
Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you & God bless!

Considering your goals and equipment, I think what you have laid out is a good plan. If you want to get good at these moves you should do them. Adding in a conditioning component with the kettlebell swing makes it even better.

For those of you who don’t have the book yet the Veterano is a routine that consists of doing a few sets of one of the six exercises each day. In my opinion, since the volume is already kept minimal I believe this program would be better with more frequency.

These moves require a high degree of strength but also a high degree of skill. So practicing them more often should result in faster gains. One thing I learned from Pavel is that its better to do one set of an exercise everyday then six sets one day a week.

For this reason I would modify this routine to do two exercises each day instead of one. One arm pushups and bridges. Handstand pushups with hanging leg raises. And one leg squats with one arm pullups. This way you do each move twice a week instead of just once. Adjust the volume if you have to but I think this will give better results.

I wouldn’t worry about overtraining with the bridges and swings. If you’re knew to bridging or swinging just be sure to ease into it.

A light, medium and heavy swing days is a good way to approach it but I personally never liked light and medium days. When I train I want to go hard all the time. If it works for you do it but here is how I’d approach it.

While swings are one of my favorite exercises I caution you against relying on just one movement for your conditioning. When you do this you may become real efficient at that movement and your conditioning may not actually improve that much.

Its good to have a conditioning goal like a number of swings (see Bud Jeffries recent Kettlebell Swing article) to go after. But its good to have some variety too. Personally I would focus on swings one day a week and do some sort of circuit conditioning on another day. You can mix swings and snatches with other exercises like sprinting, burpees, jumping rope or many others. This’ll give you a different feel and end up being better for your endurance.

In fact this is what I am doing in my training right now except I’m focusing on kettlebell snatches instead of swings.

I hope that helps you out and if you have to ask any follow up questions. Be sure to let me know how you progress.

In strength,
Logan Christopher

P.S. If you want to check out Convict Conditioning, click here.


  1. Hey Logan,

    Thanks for your answer! Detailed, to the point.

    Two questions: I forgot to ask, how would you add grip, neck, & calf work in there too; and can you give a more in depth outline of circuit training – how you would plan it?

  2. Brilliant article!!! I ADORE the progressions in CC, and think its one of the best training books of all time. My only qualm is that i would have liked to see more on programming…say another 50-100 pages at the back. (Dragon Door probably couldn’t fit this in, since its such a big book.)

    so im really greatful that experts like you are stepping up to the plate and providing us more food for thought here! Wonderful work as ever my friend! great post!!!

  3. Keep in mind if you are new to this type of training to really focus on form and technique and start at step one for all the big six. The first exercises might be very easy but will smooth out any range of motion issues and prep your joints correctly!

  4. You’d be surprised how many great athletes are starting at step one and still getting some benefit out of them.

  5. It’s been two months! I sent a follow-up email to you. I’m running into roadblocks.

  6. Hi David and Logan,

    I’ve been using Veterano and the Programme Minimum from Pavel’s new book ‘Simple and Sinister’. This means I am training 6 days a week, but because the volume is relatively low, recovery isn’t an issue. I believe CC and programs suck as ETK and S&S compliment one another beautifully.

    When I reach at least step five of all the CC progressions I will add ancillary work from CC2 and will begin practising explosive calisthenics from CC3. By then I will keep kettlebell drills to 2-4 sessions a week.

Leave a Comment