Convict Conditioning

In Bodyweight Mastery by admin11 Comments

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!

Convict ConditioningThis 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
Stand-to-Stand Bridges
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.

You can get Convict Conditioning by clicking here.

In strength,
Logan Christopher

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.


  1. Thanks for the fascinating review. I like your blog, and your instinct to pick up the most interesting new trends…not just the fashionable stuff, but the shizzle that really WORKS. I recently bought this book so I was interested in what you had to say. I also know someone who was in jail. Tho he didn’t train in the yard, he saw training, and like you say, it seemed to be just *bad* macho bodybuilding. But the book makes it clear that the bwe inside are “old school” systems and methods, honed by the generation of jailbirds BEFORE weights came in and ruined everything. So I found it fascinating! Also, I am REALLY impressed that you can four of the “master steps”. I cant do ONE, altohugh I’m actually pretty strong with weights! Can you tell your fans and readers what four can you do?!!

    Keep up the awesome information!!


  2. Haven’t really had time to read your review up until now but from what I can see this looks like a good read. I’m at 4 of the moves and close to some others. :D. My friend recently bought this book so I plan on borrowing it from her. It sucks being a broke 16 year old high school student who loves to train. Haha.

    One armed handstand training is going extremely well, really trying to develop dynamic shoulder flexibility under load and my pistols are at 45 and 40 straight for the right and left legs respectively. My goal is to get the one armed handstand pushup by the age of 19 however i’m trying to get it before 17.

    I hear you’re out in Ann Arbor, MI. Is this true? If so, do you do parkour? Do you know Muse? In any case if I’m ever out there I would love to train with you and exchange ideas and whatnot.
    Jesse “Wolf” Anderson

  3. Hey Jesse,

    I’m actually in Santa Cruz, CA. Don’t know where you heard that. Maybe you’re mistaking me for someone else. But you seem to be quite strong so keep at it.


  4. excellent book. a must have… very powerful information. a must for anyone interested in building REAL strength

  5. This sight is awsom. the advice, the links, everything I have seen is great. How can I get into the business of recieveing commision for promoting strength training books

  6. Thanks for posting these. As a purchaser of the book its nice to see that others are out there doing Convict Condioning as well! I’ve actually just started doing CC and am logging my entire journey for others. If you want take a look and provide me with any constructive criticism, it would be greatly appreciated.

    If you want to follow my Journey all posts are tweet’d:

    Thanks in advance, and keep pushing!


    #convictconditioning #bodyweight #training #calisthenics #cc

  7. This is the bodyweight course that got me started. The funny thing is that with the addition of Volume 2 (which, of course, was not out at the time of this review) your opinion about the need for neck and grip work was answered. I started in on this five months ago, and have healed old injuries in my body on top of increasing my strength. To me, that’s the biggest endorsement there is. And, the neck exercises, of which I’m on the preliminary steps, are, along with the flags, my favorite exercises; I think this has to do with the fact that they’re so brutal. And, learning about Professor Paulinetti in Volume 2 is what eventually lead me to find your site; a name used in a google search yields the most interesting results. So, yeah… if you’re looking to break into bodyweight training, this book starts out real gentle. Combine with Volume two for the circles and the Trifecta static holds, plus the flags, grip, and calf work, and you’re on your way. Thanks.

    1. @Paul Paradis: Thanks for sharing. Even after the release of this first one I figured there would be more. I’m looking forward to what they’ll be releasing next.

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