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Convict Conditioning is a game-changer. If you are looking for REAL results, superhuman strength, and rock-hard leanness from head to toe, then Convict Conditioning is for you. Coach understands that looking good and feeling good go hand in hand, and anyone who truly implements the CC principles is not only sure to reach new levels of physical prowess, but also lifelong vitality and joint integrity. Take it from Coach, who understands the philosophies of the greatest minds in the industry, in addition to the evolution of fitness itself, these methods and progressions work. Coach Wade takes what one could consider "self-limiting exercises" and puts them at the disposal of anyone and everyone who has a true desire for physical superiority - regardless of weight, size or body fat percentage. Convict Conditioning is a must have. Give the progressions a try; you have got nothing to lose except weakness, unresolved injuries and stubborn body fat.
I've been working out for a solid ten years now, always trying different books and methods and ideologies, and I am positive that this book the answer to all my years of searching and experimenting.I am now about fourteen months into this style of training, and the results are absolutely undeniable.I've posted a picture of my results on facebook with a message condoning convict conditioning and I have had numerous friends ask me about calisthenics and how to begin and all that. Just to give you an idea of the results that I personally achieved at least.Small caveat, you won't get big. With a shirt on I don't really look any more imposing than I used to, or the average person does, but with a shirt off I am looking muscular and athletic (something I've never been before), statuesque even.In short, you will gain strength, size, repair damaged areas of your body, build a physique, all without wasting money at the gym or on stupid supplements. What you learn in this book can be carried over to other exercises which can be added to your routine, for example I've added some gymnastics moves like the iron cross, but it's all built off of the knowledge that I learned in this book.This book is one of the best purchases I have made in my life, period.No joke, If I could find my ten year old self and give him some piece of advice or knowledge, I'd hand myself this book.
I'm 52 and was a teenager in Europe during the original Pumping Iron craze when Schwarzenegger was just hitting it big and the Dassler brothers were competing with their shoe companies Adidas and Puma against the American upstart Nike.Those were the days when coaches wouldn't let us drink water in order to toughen us up, and we drank milkshakes with raw eggs and ice cream to get extra protein.The science of athletics has evolved astoundingly since those days, but after all those years, with everything I have learned (and I can do 5 sets of ten pull ups at my age and enjoy swinging on the rings in Santa Monica), this is the single best book I have ever read on fitness and strength.Paul Wade confirms everything I've learned about strength conditioning, solves puzzles I've wondered about for years, is totally consistent with my yoga and Tai Chi teachers as well, and goes far beyond anything I knew--but I've tried it and it works.The secret is his progressions--how they start and how they transition beyond ordinary push ups, pull ups, and the other four exercises.Well done Paul Wade--you are a master!
I've been doing the fitness thing for over 25 years. Originally, I entered the Navy at 5'11 and 127 lbs. Very skinny, not imposing, and totally insecure about my appearance. Four years later, I was 240 lbs of muscle. Yeah, I used roids and yeah, I worked my ass off. I also damaged my joints and probably am a walking time bomb due to the drugs.So, in the last few years, I started reading Pavel, and Sonnon (even buying many of his fine products), doing TacFit (great, BTW), backyard training, etc. All of it worked, to a degree, but my lack of flexibility and joint problems made some of the moves impossible. Enter Combat Conditioning. After reading, in one day, CC opened my eyes to not just sound training, but a way to possibly fix my ruined shoulder and knee. It promised to develop real power and control (hey, I was curling 80# dumbbells for reps) while also laying a solid foundation of joint, ligament, and tendon strength. So, even though I consider myself to be in decent shape, as well as strong, after reading Coach Wade's suggestions, I decided to start at Step 1 for the four exercises while using his "New Blood" routine (later adopting New Blood 2.0 because I have training experience and decent recovery). Since I wanted to follow Wade's prescription exactly, I only went with the four exercises he recommended and followed the 1-2, 1, 1-2 program precisely. I also saw an excerpt of CC Vol 2 in an online review and added flexibility training (though I already do Sonnon's Intu-Flow), along w/calf and forearm training (for my push-ups, I simply switched to fingertip vice flat palm (figuring this will develop those parts of my forearm in a nice, slow progression).LONG story, short version, is these exercises (I'm on Step 2 now for all of them) work. My shoulder, though not perfect, feels better, as does my knee. I've planned to get to Step 10 in all six exercises over a 3-4 year period (if you are a young man or woman, this may seem like a long time, but for us older folks (I'm 44), hopefully you recognize the time value and the amount of REAL work required to get there. I have zero desire to rush this, but I look forward to being a 48 year-old man who can do what men half my age cannot.In summary, this book is SO WORTH your small investment of money. Though it will take a few years, it's only 10-15 minutes of work every other day and before you know it, you'll be sproutin' new muscle and ability. Keep what you are doing quiet for a year and perform the exercises in solitary fashion. In a year, you WILL be stunned at your progress and physique. Give it another year or two and damn, you'll be in the top 1% of athletic performers.
Being a physician, martial artist (for over 30 years), and a former US Army commander, I enjoyed an intimate understanding of health, fitness and practical strength. This is one of the finest books I have read on a realistic and healthy approach to tremendous practical strength. I have trained, in the past, with many of the exercises demonstrated in this book but, have been unable to progress, in most of the 6 fundamental movements types, to what Mr. Wade calls, "master step exercises". His 10 step approach for each of the six movements starts at the level of near rehab level and takes you to superhuman levels of coordinated, practical strength in a very doable systematic manner. With this fine breakdown of steps virtually anyone can benefit from this strength program. The program is very portable and inexpensive since it requires no special equipment, except for a pull-up bar. The book seems expensive at first glance but with nearly 300 pages chocked with color plates its a bargain. So much so I bought 2 extra copies for my adult children. I cannot say enough about this revolutionary, systematic approach to strength training using only your body mass...simply brilliant.
I got this book half a year ago because my friend suggested it. It sat on my bookshelf for about a month or two at first. Upon first glance, I thought I could finish all the exercises detailed in a few short months and decided to combine with weight-training for a while. Results were okay to say the best, so I never truly heeded any attention to it at first. Little did I know that it was actually weight training that ACTUALLY HINDERED my results. A few months ago, I lost my gym membership and had to make due. So I went to a playground near my house and got up on the pullup bar. It has been around a couple months now and the results are nothing short of amazing. My stamina, strength, and flexibility have gone through the roof. I managed to make it to the master step of the leg raise and my waist is slimmer, my core is stronger, and my hips are so much more flexible. This book truly separates the truth from the bull. The modern obsession with getting a toned body rather than one that is truly strong is just ass backwards, because without the strength, you would actually get hurt or burned out doing so much volume. Quit the p90X or insanity programs everyone is obsessed with, and get your ass down on the floor or up against a wall. The only fault that is book has I might say is that the steps do not actually have to followed to the letter, sometimes there is a intermediary step between progressing through exercises. For example, I could not kick up to a wall handstand for months, even though I managed to get through the steps before. So instead, I followed Al Kavaldo's method of doing wall crawls up the wall until I could hold the handstand position for a minute, then the kick came easy because I had the stability in my shoulders. But, that is a minor flaw, because everyone has different problems with these exercises and no book can account for them all. I plan on mastering all of the big 6 in the next few years. Therefore, quit the gym and pick up this book, its much cheaper and better than all the supplements, dieting, and gym memberships, and start seeing your body become pound for pound stronger than anybody in the gym.
I've read, studied and used many strength training protocols over the last 20 years. I've even injured myself a few times by progressing incorrectly in my younger years. But this book has definitely changed my approach to strength training. I'm 47 years of age and have given up on "gyms" with all their associated nonsense that goes on in them. Had been lifting at home using dumbells, deep pushup bars and a pullup rack, when I discovered CC. Now, my wife and I have started over at our age and are seeing and feeling the difference after 3 months and around progression 3 in all movements. We are taking our time and "owning" the movements in slow motion until moving to the next ones. It is truly awesome to be feeling the strength and seeing the thickness gradually being put on, while cuts starting to be defined as well. Thank you for giving this information in a rational manner, for all to enjoy and benefit from.
I have already reviewed CC1. That was a while ago, now I'm back just to remind y'all of how incredibly awesome this program is (just in case you've forgotten, and if so shame on you). Since I began the CC lifestyle, the changes are crazy. Literally in just six months (June - November), my mass has increased dramatically, and I've never felt stronger. Read the book, listen to the Coach, and he will take you far. Schedule: VeteranoPushup (6) Squat (4) Pullup (4) Leg Raise (4) Bridge (4) HSPU (4)
In light of the current research on sports specific training specifically with the youth of this nation, and the great need to give people strength and conditioning routines that enable them to progress toward fitness throughout life, Convict Conditioning couldn't have come at a better time. Every Young Athlete I have uses the progressions found in it, because it's simply the best thing I can do for them to make them strong enough to survive their sport. As a trainer I made the mistake of telling kids I could make them better football players by making them jump off plyo boxes, and do hundres of lunges, but as the research continues to reveal the only way to get better at your sport is to practice your sport's techniques at practice, and then get your conditioning and strength from other movements, and Convict Conditioning is the progression to true strength and mastery of your body weight.Other than the Naked Warrior, it is simply the best book on body weight training in print today
I knew within the first chapter of reading this book that I was in for something special and unique. The last time I felt this same feeling was when reading "Power to the People". To me this is the Body Weight equivalent to Pavel's masterpiece. Books like this can never be duplicated. Paul Wade went through a unique set of circumstances of doing time in prison with a "old time" master of calisthenics. Paul took these lessons from this 70 year old strong man and mastered them over a period of 20 years while "doing time". He then taught these methods to countless prisoners and honed his teaching to perfection.I believe that extreme circumstances like this are what it takes to create a true masterpiece. I know that "masterpiece" is a strong word, but this is as close as it gets. No other body weight book I have read (and I have a huge fitness library)...comes close to this as far as gaining incredible strength from body weight exercise. Just like Power to the People, I am sure I will read this over and over again...mastering the principles that Paul Wade took 20 years to master. Outstanding Book!
I purchased Convict Conditioning a little over 18 months ago, and have been using it as a foundation in my physical conditioning since. My review focuses on whether the program delivers. I am not the target demographic for this book. I am in my 40s. I have arthritis in my knees. I am below average physically. And if the title was not enough, the picture on the cover of this book nearly scared me off. But I took a chance and purchased this book. Unequivocally, it was money well spent.As you probably know, the book provides a training program for six major muscle groups. For each group, there is a progression of body weight exercises that start off easy and get increasingly difficult. For each given exercise, when you meet the progression standard, you may begin to work on the next exercise. With the easy exercises, you build up high numbers of reps; with harder exercises, you end up doing fewer reps. The goal is to work up to the ultimate exercise (or master step) in each progression. If you follow the program, you will get stronger, regardless of how quickly you progress towards the master step in each group. Now, just over 18 months in, I have reached the master step in one of the big six progressions. I am doing hanging leg raises like a boss. My waist looks good, and my wife has taken to punching me in the stomach because she cannot believe how hard my midsection is. I have made some good progress in the pull-up progressions. I am now able to do uneven pull-ups, much to the amazement of bulked-up kids half my age at the gym. I have made less progress with the squat, pushup, handstand pushup, and bridge series, mostly because of injuries (more on that below). However, I am building strength with each.Pro tip: follow the exercise instructions exactly and do them slowly. You might be the kind of person that can knock out 60 push-ups in a minute. Good for you! If you are doing push-ups in the Convict Conditioning system, there is no way you should be able to do more than 12 in a minute (two seconds down, pause, two seconds up, pause). You are going to feel embarrassed by the low number of reps you will be able to do correctly, and you weak you feel. You will want to push through the exercises faster. Don’t! While I strongly recommend this book for anyone who wants to get stronger, I do think it falls short in a few places. The first has to do with what happens when you cannot do “the next step” in a progression. I will use the pull-up progressions as an example. I mastered close pull-ups (step 6), but could not do a single rep of uneven pull-ups (step 7). No additional amount of work on step 6 could get me to step 7, because I did not have the strength to hang from a pull-up bar with one hand. I spent a month just building hanging strength before I could move on. The program does not cover every possible barrier that you might encounter (realistically, it cannot). If you find yourself in a position where you cannot do the next step, you are going to need to find the source of your weakness and find exercises to eliminate it.The second limitation is that the book oversells the safety of bodyweight exercises. I found that some of the exercises in the bridge and handstand pushup series are hard on the wrists. I also found the advanced steps in the progression to one-handed pushups were hard on the shoulders. I ended up injuring my rotator cuff doing uneven-pushups, which in turn affected my ability to do head bridges without shoulder pain. So for now, I am really milking close pushups and close bridges. I am squatting despite arthritis, but I am focusing much more on quality of movement rather than strength. My progress through this series is limited to close squats.Lastly, the book contains no information on high-tension techniques. Learning to hold tension in your body is important for so many of the movements that a student of this program would be wise to use the techniques offered in Naked Warrior or P
If only I had this book while I was an active duty marine. My marines fitness levels as well as my own would have sky rocketed. Every one gets caught up in the need to have a gym to work out. This book shows you that not only is a gym not required, only your body weight is needed to deliver strength and flexibility gains that most in the gym never see!!!
I have read several strength-fitness books lately, some of which I have been asked to review. But nothing has impressed me nearly as much as this little number. The problem with most strength authors is their lack of capacity for systematic explanation. Many are entertaining or motivating writers; some are even good writers. But hardly any seem capable of really expressing all their dense years of knowledge into a coherent system. This is not the case with this book. At first sight, Convict Conditioning appears to be a glib attempt at generating some interest in the bench press efforts of incarcerated tough guys or urban thugs. Nothing could be further from the truth. This book is a well-oiled machine of exercise ideology; nothing else I've read even comes close to it's power and elegance. This book is about a method. There's no ambiguity here; none of the ubiquitous "choose whatever exercise you prefer" or "select a rep range you feel suits you". No. There are six movements. That's all. But, like all great physical art-forms (dance, gymnastics, etc), each of these basic forms is altered and expanded into many more, thanks to minor technical alterations. You learn them from all the ground up, with the most excruciating focus on form and performance. It's much more closely akin to a painstaking martial art than a work out approach. When do you move on from step-to-step? When Wade says you can! Initially there were many questions about the efficacy of Wade's training ideas, so different are they from the norm. However the book has been Dragon Door's best-seller for months now, and some of the "before-and-after" reports are so radical as to be disbelieved. This prison stuff really works. My only minor bugbear is in the text found in the exercise descriptions. I hate to mention it, but there's no getting around it. In the earlier and later sections of the works, Wade's voice--that of a gruff, no-nonsense ex-convict--shines through with great vibrancy and character. The exercise descriptions, however, are harshly clinical. They have clearly been very heavily edited; in several sections they even appear written by another hand. However this is a small niggle given the quality of information therein. All in all, if one purchases a book by a man who was a career criminal, and incarcerated for decades, one must expect that he had significant support during the editing phase. Do I agree with Wade's basic premiss that body weight strength training is totally and unassailably superior to training with weights or machines? I'm not sure I do; but that's not the point. The point is, this book is a convincing, focused, 100% ready-for-war manifesto, written by a man who has clearly spilled buckets of sweat forging his body into a powerful machine under the most ghastly circumstances one can imagine. It's challenging, invigorating, and completely unforgettable. It's like striding over hot coals or swimming through icy water. You might hate it, you will possibly come to love it, but if you are a serious athlete you cannot fail to be changed by the experience! Ten out of ten!
If only this book was available when I first thought it was time to start using dumbbells and barbells 20 years ago?! Honestly, if you can not move your own body through the exercises and progressions detailed inside, why add any other resistance? I will be making my way through the stages qualifying and determining my level my athleticism or lack there of over the next several months. Looking forward to posting my progress as I make it to the master step in each of the Big Six.
When people like Brett Jones, Pavel and Mark Reifkind give this book a glowing recommendation, it's time to pay attention and get the book.I've lifted weights since college in the 70's, practiced Shotokan karate since 1980, and I run, bike, swim, climb, rollerblade, ski and everything else I can think of to stay in shape. Kettlebells, sandbags, truck tires, sledgehammers, BTDT, got the T-shirt.This book focuses on a limited number of exercises, clearly explained in color pictures with a progression to take you from infirm to master. Just BUY this one book and get to work.
I read CC in one go. I couldn't put it down. I have purchased a lot of bodyweight training books in the past, and have always been pretty disappointed. They all seem to just have pictures of different exercises, and no plan whatsoever on how to implement them and progress with them. But not with this one. Yes, there is at times some cheesy prison themes, but who cares!!!! The information in this book is AWESOME! I like to have a clear, logical plan of progression to follow, and that is what this book gives. I have put all of my other training books away. CC is the only system I am going to follow. Bodyweight vs barbells? Who really knows. What I do know is that bodyweight training is what I like, and that's what I'm going to do. There have been some passionately negative comments about this book on forums all over the internet, and I have to admit that this nearly stopped me from buying CC, but I'm so glad I listened to guys like Zach Even-Esh and Pavel, and not some faceless, self proclaimed "guru" who's got some weird problem with the title, or the fact that Dragondoor is !!! shock horror!!! promoting one of their products. This is now my favorite training book ever!
As a dedicated martial artist for more than seven years, this book is exactly what I've been looking for. I really adore the classical forms, both hard and soft, of my chosen art (hapkido). I also love the breathing and inner development that goes with classical martial arts, as I love the independence and spirituality that come from the body only methods, generated in solitude.For a while now I have trained with machines at my local gym to improve my muscle strength and power and get to the next level in my training. I always felt that the modern health club, technology based exercise jarred with my martial art though, which only required body movement.Finally this book has come along. At last I can combine perfect body movement for martial skill with perfect body exercise for ultimate strength. Some of the amazing pictures in this book remind me of how the ancient shaolin monks used to train. Just the body and spirit in unison.All fighting arts are based on body movement. This book is a complete textbook on how to max out your musclepower using only body movement, as different from dumbbells, machines or gadgets. For this reason it belongs on the bookshelf of every serious martial artist, male and female, young and old.
"Coach" Wade's system is a real eye opener if you've been a lifetime iron junkie. Wanna find out how really strong (or weak) you are? Get this book and begin working through the 10 levels of the 6 power exercises. I was pleasantly surprised by my ability on a few of the exercises...but some are downright humbling. If I were on a desert island with only one book on strength and conditioning this would be it. (Could I staple Pavel's "Naked Warrior" to the back and count them as one???!) My only criticism is that the description of Uneven Squats and the accompanying pictures didn't quite seem to jibe. Could be my own interpretation of the instructions, but it all worked out in the end. Thanks Dragon Door for this innovative new author. Just goes to show you..."what's old is new again"!
While I'd love to call this book eye opening, it is really much more a restoration of good sense! Why we ran off the rails and decided we needed fancy gyms and lots of props to get strong and healthy... who can really say. This book is a guide, a wake up call, a training partner and a coach. Awesome stuff ... as usual, the very best is already inside us but we need a light to show us it's there...
coach wade is right on target with his 10-step progression.I've done 1-legged squats(pistols) and 1-armed pushups,so,this should be easy.Well,after reading the coaches cc manual,i learned the right way to do them,so i decided to start at progression 1,and get it right.The thing is,i like the program so much,i cant wait for my workout days.Not only is it helpful in terms of correct movement,but you can see improvements.I'm not putting down my k-bells,but convict conditioning is a welcome addition to my routine.Thanks dragon door and coach wade.
I have been working out diligently since 1988 and played sports in high school and college before that. My stint the Army saw me doing calisthenics, running, conditioning courses, forced marches, etc. There are many levels of strength and fitness. I have been as big as 240 in my powerlifting/strongman days and as low as 185-190 while in the Army. I think I have tried everything under the sun: the high intensity of Artur Jones and Dr. Ken, the Super Slow of El Darden, and the brutality of Dinosaur Training Brooks Kubic made famous. All were worthwhile in their own way. I have to say though that I have never seen anyone in any gym, at any time, who could do all the master exercises in Paul's book. There are A LOT more people who can lift big weights in the gym (with the help of great genetics and anabolic drugs) than can chin themselves 15 times or do even 1/2 of a one legged squat. Back bridges? Are you kidding me? That takes flexibility which most people are sorely lacking. This is one of the BEST books I've ever read on real strength training which also covers other just as important aspects of health; like staying injury free, feeling healthy and becoming flexible. It's an excellent book. I like Matt Furey's writing too but Paul has him beat hands down. He tells you the why and the how with his progressive plan. This book is a GOLD MINE and worth 100 times what I paid for it!
I gave my first copy to one of my sons so I had to buy a second. This book gives a 10 step program in six fundamental exercises which can bring anyone from wimp to superhero. No matter what kind of shape you are starting out in, following the the guide for each exercise will bring you to real, usable, no fake muscles strength. The progressions show how to strengthen the ligaments and tendons so that the foundation is laid when the ultimate exercise in each progression is reached. You can not go wrong buying this book.
I am 52 and was forced into medical retirement at 48 w/ heart disease. My Medicaid spend-down wouldn't pay for cardiac rehab and I gained weight for a few years. But then I found Convict Conditioning and the workout has been great for me. I haven't seen anything like this anyplace else. Thank you Dragon Door, you guys may have saved my life.
I NEVER gush about a book, but this is a very rare exception. Frankly, I am already athletic, giving my three dobermans (80 pounds each of muscle and energy) a hour walk each day while they pull hard (this is deliberate). Convict Conditioning makes me seem like a pussy. If you want the body like the actors in the movie 300, then practice this cheap practical and very effective program. Thank you Dragon Press, I owe you one.
Dear Paul 'Coach' Wade - Much respect to you.Before purchasing your ebook version of 'Convict Conditioning' I was turning into a bit of a 'Tin Man' (yes I've borrowed this term from Pavel) in terms of my mobility, as while I am only 39 I have unintentionally misused and subsequently damaged some parts of my body in the past ten years through work and sporting activities. These pains have reared their ugly head over the last year quite significantly, which became a point of concern to me because they were affecting my mobility. And as mobility is one of the essential ingredients to having a long and enjoyable life, let alone being able to defend yourself, I thought I'd better source some information to deal with the problems at hand. Enter 'Convict Conditioning'. I have found over the last few years that I'm becoming a big fan of simplicity, efficiency, effectiveness, and minimalism. Bodyweight training largely embodies these key characteristics, and since reading, and implementing the methods described in your book I have felt my body pull-together so beautifully. The exercise progressions are very accessible which is a encouraging - there really is no excuse not to give them a go to see where your potential takes you. The funny thing is is that I'm only on the first progression of the first four Master Steps, I've been training for about a month in your methods roughly three to four days a week, and I have experienced so many gains. It's been nothing short of magical. I have felt some of my muscular pains greatly minimise, as well as experiencing some unexpected strength gains. For instance, the other day while on a bike ride and preparing to head up a hill, I stood on the pedals and started accelerating, and while doing so, I felt my mid-section brace harder than it had before, and as a result, I just powered up the hill - fast - with much less effort than on prior outings. I was shocked, and thought to myself, I wonder what I'll be capable of when I'm further along the 10 step progressions. It's brought some real excitement into my life.I am eager to get to the stage where I can begin the bridging exercises, as I'm interested in both the strength and healing potential of this movement. But don't fear - I'm prepared to PAY MY DUES, which is quite the opposite of how I've been living in the past, putting Appearance Over Ability and subsequently getting nowhere fast. Your book and its philosophies have made a timely entrance into my life - I love your core values. Your no BS approach and mentality shines strongly through the text, and I've found it greatly influencial in the way I approach not only exercise, but my life now. I'm interested to see how far your methods will take me considering the injuries I carry. Whether I am able to make it to the final master steps, well, only time will tell, but I sure as hell am enjoying the journey. Thank you once again.
I teach martial arts and body weight excercises are key to developing strength and agility. "Coach" makes it simple to follow and easy to learn. Use it and you will become unpredictably strong.
Hardcore advice, that is, just raw, basic routines that make almost all exercise advice look damned silly. Paul Wade's coaching should constitute the core of all exercise. Everything should build on it. This is foundational stuff. Forget machines. Forget props. You need none of that. I love unadulterated advice and this is gold boiled down to its pure essence--24 kt commandments.Go for it. Get it. A 21st century exercise bible.
I have lost even more weight but my chest, back, legs, ab muscles and arms are noticeably bigger. I have lost 4 inches from my waist since October. I have been making sure that I can easily do each excercise before moving on. This means that my progressions are all over the place and sometimes I hit exercises that just take a bit longer to get the hang of before moving on. My pull ups no longer seem to generate the tendon/ligament pain that I used to get before trying this out. This could take years to get to the end but I actually have a ton of fun doing this stuff.I still go put for a pint occasionally so I wonder what would happen if I cut out beer altogether. People, especially women, usually comment on my fitness level and women I don't know are a lot more touchy when they introduce themselves to me. It could just be my attitude change or the fact that you can do some funny party trick with the things you learn in this book.Generally smiling more and able to beat the stress of my super stressful career. :)
When do you describe techniques that have been used for decades as cutting edge? When most of the general public is unaware of them, that's when. In his books "Convict Conditioning 1 & 2", Paul Wade takes the disciple from novice to "hard core" (literally). I don't know if I would have appreciated these books as much if I were a pain-free 25 year old, new to weight-training. As a 46 year old long-time weight lifter, complete with all of the joint pain and frustrated with my lack of "whole body" and core strength, I found these to be just what the doctor ordered. Wade's writing style is excellent, and he takes the reader effortlessly through the numerous theories and steps, managing to be both informative and entertaining. The whole concept makes so much sense, I'm amazed that the principles have become lost to the general public over the years. Thank you, coach Wade, for re-introducing them to an appreciative public!
I just turned 50 this year and I have tried a little bit of everything over the years: martial arts, swimming, soccer, cycling, free weights, weight machines, even yoga and pilates. I started using Convict Conditioning right after it came out. I started from the beginning, like Coach Wade says, doing mostly step one or two for five out of the six exercises. (Be sure to read the sections titled "The Smart Way" and "The Dumb Way"). I work out 3 to 5 times a week, usually for 30 to 45 minutes. Long story short, my weight went up 14 pounds (I was not trying to gain weight) but my body fat percentage dropped two percent. That translates into approximately 19 pounds of lean muscle gained in two months! I've never gotten this kind of results with anything else I've ever done. Now I have pretty much stopped lifting weights for strength training. Instead, I lift once a week as a test to see how much stronger I'm getting without weight training. There are a lot of great strength training books in the world (most of them published by Dragon Door), but if I had to choose just one, this is the single best strength training book ever. BUY THIS BOOK. FOLLOW THE PLAN. GET AS STRONG AS YOU WANT.
I bought CC as a 55th birthday present to myself. I’m 15 lbs. overweight, with 20 years of lower back issues and a minor heart procedure 5 yrs. ago. In other words, not yet ready for shuffleboard, but the days of marathons, century rides and 3-hour weight sessions are gone for good.I’m now 6 months in and can say that following CC and Coach Wade is a great blueprint as I go forward. The instruction and progressions are great, the language fun and easy to understand. CC allows you to progress at your own pace, identify strengths and weaknesses -- I push way better than I pull -- and grow from there. Progress to date has been slow and steady, thanks to Coach Wade’s mantra of proper form over everything. More reps without safe, perfect form is no progress at all.So I’m in for the long haul. I doubt that I’ll ever be able to pop a human flag, a handstand pushup, or a perfect pistol (wouldn’t hose be great tricks to roll out at a 50-year reunion). But I will be a stronger hiker, biker and paddler. I’ll be far more useful and self-reliant around the house. I’ll feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. Maybe I'll even get to pass along a little wisdom to my peers.And I’ll never wake up in stiffened agony the morning after a round of golf again.
Hello, all:I am adding the good things to my life and letting the detritus fall away. Be patient and follow the steps. At 44 years-of-age, I am not in danger of hurting myself like some other programs out there. I work evenings as a Massage Therapist--so, leaving something in the tank for job performance is important. Starting on Week 4: Step 1, and I am cool with that. Also, doing yoga and walking--plenty of energy to accomplish everything.Peace,George
Convict Conditioning is one of the most effective training progressions I have ever seen. the instructions are clear, the method safe, and the exercises build from "very easy" to "legendary" in a stepwise manner, allowing the steady accumulation of functional strength. I have tried a lot of similar products, and this tops them all. Great work, DragonDoor.
I never realized how out of shape I am. I always thought that I was doing full push ups for 35 reps which I think is not bad. Turns out, the push ups that I did was only a half push up, and a rather sloppy one at that. I am now at step 5. the full push up, and I never realized how hard it is until I did the push up properly, with my chest only "kissing" the ball, instead of using gravity for the negative part of the exercise. Thank you so much Paul Wade. No matter how long it takes me, I will make sure to master all the 6 power moves, and even go beyond that.
After having just recently purchased and reading completely through, I have to say that Convict Conditioning is a "MUST HAVE" book in anyone's library of fitness books. For the individual serious about mastering the use of their own body and bodyweight, Convict Conditioning should be at or near the top of their list. In my opinion, Convict Conditioning is one of those books that provides proper instruction in a step-by-step format in regard to true functional physical fitness at a level on par with or near military bootcamps. In short, this is what I call "Real World Strength". There's no fancy, glittering gimmicks... the typical "smoke and mirrors"... puffed-up superficial facades... or pushing of some magical miracle pill or device. This is real results from properly executed hard "work"!
I've been training with kettlebells and some bodyweight exercises for the past 10 years now and I thought I had strong joints and bones. After reading Paul Wade's book I decided to follow his instructions and see what happens. I was already able to do sets of some of the most difficult forms of the exercises he talks about hanstand pushups, pullups and pistols), but after following his advice for a month I'm doing more sets and higher reps with less effort. My elbows, wrists and knees are stronger and feel more stable then ever, even with more total work done. People keep asking me if I've lost weight, but I've actually gained weight - and it's got to be muscle gain because my clothes don't fit any tighter and I feel much faster.I love that I can do Paul's program anywhere I go. My body is now my portable gym.
Steps 8-pushups, 7-pullups, 6-bridge, 10-squat, 10-hlr, 5-hsputhis will take time,maybe a lot! ive been going for nine months now and got taught a lot of lessons! im 22 years old and been a bit cocky! tried to push bridges, I got to step10 about the same time I left a physical job to an office and found sitting in a chair all day you really have to spend time on your back if you really want safe results, I had to drop back to step 6 to consolidate my strength gains and prevent back pain! Paul is right! hold your self back a little and you will find massive strength gains! im no psycho-analyist! but it will help your determination for the harder steps if you listen to Coach Wades advice and take it slow building strength.Planning to reach 10-pushups & bridges in next 6 months, 10-pullups in 12 months, 10-hspu in 5 in years maybe!!" unless first he bind the strong man" Matthew 12 v29
This book takes you back to the basics of strength training and the steps to get you to the master step without injury. It explains how the body truly works together as a unit and not as separate muscle groups. I have learned so much already from this book and it is very hard to put down. :)
This is the best work out book that I have read. Paul Wade has more knowledge about the human body than alot of doctors and physical therapists that I have been to. Progressions is the only way to go. I'm going to buy his second book also.
This is the perfect workout series for us truckers! I going out to find some steel bows to replace the aluminum ones I got on my flat-bed for the pull-up series. Intently focusing on form over the full range of the movements makes for deep strength! Over the Top!!!
Excellent book. I highly recommend it there nothing better than training with your body weight. And you can do these workouts anywhere.
My teen son and husband are working their way through this book now and are pretty excited about the process. I am still continuing the strength regimen outlined by my workout coach, but have begun using the progressions in Convict Conditioning to improve my technique on the six basic workout moves it covers. I do pushups, pullups, etc. as part of my regular training, but have had a lot of trouble progressing and have had injuries and strains in the past I would not like to repeat. In going "back to the beginning" with these basic strength moves (and yes, I started at the very first progression--why mess with a program that makes so much sense!), I'm finding I am FINALLY able to progress in strength and reps in the basic moves I've been doing for years, without adding more weights or complicated techniques. It's amazing to see the difference it makes to go back to basics, and this book makes it so simple. The explanations and photos are excellent.
The best strength and fitness book I have purchased.I don’t care about the story line or jail scenario and if it was true or whatever people are wasting their time discussing - All I am concerned with is that I can make progression with my strength and fitness goals.This book has really helped me. The content is quality.Most people at any level of fitness don’t even know how to get past the basic body movement exercises. I didn’t realise that a lot of the first three to four exercises were as hard as they are. And then you have to get a fair amount of volume in before you can get to the next progressive exercise.I just love it. The comments that really astounded me were when the book talked about all the joint and tendon issues a trainee can get from lifting external weight (especially if they can’t even lift their own weight).That was me - Now after only a few weeks, I feel stronger and I am slowly and gradually increasing my volume of the basic exercises.The best advise I can give (which is given in the book too) is to start from the absolute beginning and leave your ego at the door.That goes for the guys who can lift heavy in the gym (even more so to those people).If you are someone who is only doing this for a type of look or physic and you want the results now, it is probably not for you. This will take time and patients for every trainee.It depend on what you want out of it.Thanks
I have several conditioning books, this is the best one. a lot of information in this thing. If I only could have one book, this would be it. A must have!!! It is well written, and a easy reader. thanks CBH
I am glad I bought this e-book.Why? Because this e-book teaches me how to progress the power six moves.No, only that it also explain why it is important to take my time to adapt to the exercises too.These power six moves are extremely important for anyone who want build a strong(not bulky) and functional body without injuries.If you want to effectively condition your body with advance body-weight exercises.Then,this is the e-book or book for you.
As an older member of society who travels for a profession as well as being a husband and father, I always have searched for tools to supplement my workouts when unable to go to the gym. This is it period!! I have always been a fan of bodyweight exercise and old school training and I hate the flashy gyms with crap machines. This is my new bible and will remain so for years to come. I will also implement this training for my children as well. If you are interested in training the body correctly, you need this book.
I have been following Convict conditioning for almost 2 years.This is the best information I have ever received about working out. Previously I was lifting weights for 10 years, and have stopped completely, occasionally using bands for some exercises. I have progressed very far and look foward to advancing every week. I wish the videos were cheaper and all included in one DVD. I want the new book to come out to see the explosive exercises.
I think this workout routine is great. I've always wanted to be muscular and strong, but never got very far with weight training due to injuries. I have been working out with this routine for 8 months and love it. I definitely see a change in my body from 2 simple workouts a week. I feel much stronger. Every week I can do more than the previous week. My only problem with the program was stage 1 of the squat routine. I could not get myself in the right position for the shoulder stand squat. I skipped to step 2 and enjoyed it very much.
Don't get me wrong I love my eBook version to bits, but there is something about having a real book. After starting with the exercises from the eBook I quickly found this is not a book to read through, you need to skip chapters where you aren't ready for yet. I want to have the real book in hand to add post it notes, bookmarks and highlights to. this way I can quickly skip through the book to the chapter and exercise I need.I can't wait to get my book in hand to aid in my training. I'll add another review later when I have progressed
The book is great, I recently started weight training and haven't done any body weight exercises in quite some time. I use to be pretty good at them before I started weight training. I knew my strength wasn't what is used to be and started doing body weight exercises, but nothing like what is contained in this book. Pretty amazing stuff, can't wait to reach level 10 in all of these exercises.
Going to the gym is so dull and boring, the most i managed to keep going to the gym for when even following an excellent, rewarding workout program... was one month. (and this not going the full 3 times a week i always had planned)Convict conditioning is a bit different i don't need to leave my home, go into a dull environment, i can train at my own time, own pace in my own place on my own terms with this, altho like someone else said there were a few inaccuracies, oversimplifications and lengthy descriptions, the book was well written in an entertaining manner so its a fun read anyways.I personally modified the workouts of this book (like i said my terms) with what i've read about strength training, and just... in general, do the same thing and get the same results.so instead of doing 3 sets of 50 wall pushups, i decided to make it much harder for me by doing 1 set of 150 wall pushups (strength training in gyms is going with something near the heaviest weight you can lift once, and lift it as many times as you can which would be 3-6 times, then jumping up to heavier) i jump up roughly 10 reps per week sometimes i wont make the extra 10 but thats all right. even if i go this far, i always have at least 1-10 extra reps i could do but drop them cus i don't need them this week (save some in the bank like the book said) i once stepped outside this when doing my first set of jacknife squats. and my legs completely shut down until the next day (only way i could stand was locking my knees and using my legs as sticks, if i bent a knee i'd lose all ability to stand with that leg, if i bent both i was doomed to fall, which i did... i crawled into the shower tho.) even if weight training has come somewhere close to that, it has never pushed me so far beyond my limit. so this is definetly no worse than weight training, thats proof enough to me.The concept of this book is perfect, but the methods are not always the same... i hear knee tucks can be hellishly hard for some people (luckily not for me)Crow stands are not easy to learn and do right.and then theres the satanic horizontal pullup, a lot of people skip this one but i refuse to do so. its hard enough to find a base for it but even after you do that, good luck with getting those 10 reps, right now i could make a 20, maybe even 30 or 40, but my problem is that my fingers will hurt too much to keep my grip before that happens if my base isn't round enough. table usually isn't good enough for it (i've tried 3 dining tables, and 1 work bench)But my 1 set of the books progression standards number of sets multiplied with number of reps as ultimate goal, so far from step 1 to step 2 has worked out pretty good. i'm feeling immense progress even if i'm still just on step 2 with most things.But training this way has one major downside which is that you wont be able to use your muscles very much immediately after training, and possibly they wont be very responsive the day after.I spent 1 month in the gym, and sure i got some ballooned up muscles in say.. my arms. but they had low substance, if i flexed they were still just that.. "ballons"then i did 1 month of wall pushups... and those balloons which i still just so happened to have turned rock solid.after just 2 months of convict conditioning i accidentally glanced at the mirror and thought "wow did i ever look this strong before?" and thats from wall pushups and knee tucks.what bothers me is the question to stretch, or not to stretch, the subject of stretching in my opinion was not covered well enough in that book.
This book is awesome, it gives you all the keys (well...all that *most* people will ever need) to building TRUE strength, not simply pumped up muscles. I recently had a friend who was "inside" get out and he was amazed at the level of strength that I had attained since he had been inside (he only did pushups, not the rest of this. Evidently no one informed him of these other exercises); the funny thing is that I had only been working out on the Convict Conditioning program for about three weeks at that point!! When "Coach" says that your body will naturally react to body weight exercises and that you will get crazy strong crazy quick, HE FREAKING MEANS IT (Well... mine did anyway!).One word of caution, this isn't mentioned until the last page but I'm going to give away the secret to making the whole thing work in this review so pay attention: START AT LEVEL ONE! I don't care how strong you are, you may have well developed muscles, but this program is about LIFETIME STRENGTH and I assure you that you do not get there without strong joints, ligaments, tendons, and everything else. Start at level one and stay there for 6 months, then move on as you meet the progression criteria. The only thing is, to be honest, I am on level two for squats because I physically cannot do shoulder stand squats. Great information!!(There is a Facebook support group, I'd recommend joining it for motivation and for instruction as well)
I have a degree in P.E. and am a practicing martial artist. I am also 68 years old. This book is excellent for anyone of any age. The progression lets everyone start slowly (as suggested) and build to their own level of ability. It is nice to see someone with some sense in today's gadget crazed world. I personally don't have the money for all the fancy equipment and this gave me a perfect out line to go back to basics. Thank you!
I've been working out and coaching my whole life and this book has changed my entire approach towards conditioning.
Up until 6 months ago I was very active in roller derby skating 5-7 days a week. I broke my collar bone and 4 ribs non-derby related and haven't skated since due to a job change. Since that time I've put on 30+ lbs and am at my heaviest non-muscle weight ever. I'm not sure if I will ever be able to do a one handed hand stand push up however, this book is helping me to get back in shape, and rebuild muscles I haven't felt since I was a kid. This is a very well written and easy to follow book. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to get in shape. I drive tractor trailers for work and my living space in the truck is no bigger than that of a prison cell. This book is perfect for truck drivers.
This is the best approach I have seen to a low cost personal conditioning program. Physically the actual book should have a spiral bound workbook addition.
After years of judo, heavy lifting, and now kettlebels, I've found the ultimate challenge: if you can do these exercises, not only will you loose the extra fat web all need to get rid of, but you'll be as strong as you can possibly be.
So Convict Conditioning argues that the human body is its own gym, and even lays out training progressions, detailed explanations and diagrams of the exercises, and information on "old school" calisthenics / body weight conditioning for insane strength. I have been working through the progressions personally, and teaching from the books to students in my boxing, MMA, and karate classes. I can say that the progressions are the real deal. The body was built to run, jump, climb, push, and pull - all of these being survival skills. Convict Conditioning teaches these in its training progressions. Essentially, body weight conditioning is the way to go for optimal athletic performance. From easy wall pushups to one armed pushups, remedial pull ups, basic ab work to hanging leg raises, and many other types of exercises. All in all, I would argue that a lot of these exercises are similar to what is taught in many martial arts and karate classes, especially the pushups, squats, and leg raises.The author also argues against what he calls the modern fitness scam. We're put on a variety of weight machines that isolate muscles, or work out on a bench and told to work out to pressing or curling genuinely heavy amounts of weight, or lifting very light free weights for lots of reps. Sure, we do see some results, and there's no doubting the serious strength exhibited by the world's best bench pressers. Although, on the other hand, the body was not meant to handle those kinds of loads - the joints and tendons don't naturally cope with them. Also, machines, heavy benching, and light free weights do very little for overall health or overall functional strength, especially compared to body weight conditioning.Prison inmates won't always have access to any kind of equipment. Hence, the name Convict Conditioning - the author's training progressions lay out a lot of things that prisoners practice when in lockdown. The argument is not that the prison lifestyle is something to be sought after, but that the human body is its own gym. All you need, at most, are a wall, something to hang from, a chair, a tennis ball, and a medicine ball or basketball.Convict Conditioning also contains history about exercise and old school strongmen, as well as details on warming up, supplementary exercises, workout routines from beginner to very advanced, and more. The second book goes beyond the basics, and includes such things as training progressions for the neck, forearms, and calves, and how to train your joints.The full body, functional strength training that Paul Wade lays out is very beneficial to athletic performance in general, and certainly for martial arts. I especially recommend his books to everyone enrolled in self defense, Kungfu, Taekwondo, and Karate classes, or similar styles
What I enjoy about Conviction Conditioning is that it doesn't matter what training level you are at, there's a level for everyone! If today is your 1st day training, or you are a serious, in shape, trainee, there is a level of training for you.It also eliminates the excuse of needing special equipment, not bring to afford a gym membership, etc. you can truly train ANYWHERE! It also fits my style of training in that the exercises are what I classify "no cheat" exercises. With lots of techniques, there are ways to cheat yourself into thinking you did the exercise, even accidentally. But with body weight training, there's far less of that. Either you can do the level of push up, pull up, etc, or you can't. So you have to do it, or you don't receive results!If I "had" to give up all my training except 1 concept/method, this would be the system!!!Real world effort produces real world results!
I became interested in body weight exercises this Spring and thought I would check out Convict Conditioning, which arrived 2 weeks ago. Talk about a humbling experience! Thought I would be a lot stronger since i've lifted weights in commercials gyms for close to 20 years, BUT I'm at the intermediate level on Wall Push-Ups and the beginner level for Shoulder Stand Squats (my knees don't even touch my foredhead)! Very excited about progressing through all the levels (really want to master the single leg squat by early next year) and am thrilled with the book. Pictures are great (showing you the correct form) and bonus points to Dragon Door Publications for the high quality paper the book is printed on! Have ordered Convict Conditioning 2 which should be here next week. A+
I first discovered Dragon Door while doing a keyword search for kettlebells. Then, I discovered Convict Conditioning. In many ways, it has been my introduction to bodyweight training; I've owned a copy for approximately three weeks, and I have already noticed an increase in strength, and my arms have become slightly more muscular. I never related to bodybuilding in 'gym' terms. I like the solitary nature of the training, and the fact that you need a bare minimum of equipment; in actual matter of fact, the beginning exercises of the 'Big 6' make use of your environment.For anyone looking for a weight training program that doesn't require a huge initial investment, and that gets you results fairly quickly, then check this out. On a side note, an old case of tennis elbow that bothered me a little has eased up to a considerable degree. Can't wait to check out Volume 2.
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:http://convictworkout.wordpress.com@franklinturtleThanks in advance, and keep pushing!-B#convictconditioning #bodyweight #training #calisthenics #cc
The literature at the beginning regarding the history of physical culture is quite interesting, and the writing style is a joy to read. I have experienced great results since adopting many of the principles in the book.
I am a self-proclaimed skinny white nerd, relatively new to fitness and strength. When I started taking Krav Maga, I noticed that I was well behind my peers in power and physical competence. This book was recommended to me on several websites, and though I shied away from the title at first, what I kept hearing about the content was too compelling to ignore, so I finally bought the book.The result, you ask? I LOVE IT! Because I started out weaker than the average bear, I was worried that the program was going to start out at a level that was beyond my ability, and I'd have to work up to it. Nope! There's something in here for everyone, even people like me who have to start from less than zero. My fiancée and I are only a few workouts in, and already, we feel an increased sense of power and well being - I have to admit, the added hard bulk hasn't hurt our love life, either ;)I would recommend this book to anyone, but most especially to people who have suffered joint and tendon injuries in the past - follow the program. It is gentle and progressive, fostering steady improvement and solid gains that will stay with you, and be practical and useful in work, sports, and life!
I think CC is a good introduction to bodyweight training, particular for younger athletes who are open minded enough to think outside the box. Very often strength and size training turns into ego training, with the number on the dumbell or plate valued more than the quality of the training techniques. Ego training is always useless, inefficient and often dangerous.However, bodyweight training is very honest. Much harder to "cheat" up a full bridge or handstand press. It gets the young trainer's mind into the quality of the practise rather than impressing himself or others with how much is on the bar. This is a lesson that will pay off for a lifetime. Not to mention the lack of need for expensive memberships, equipment etc.One caveat - too much time is spent in the saggital plane (front/back). Spending many months in solely this plane is problematic. I would suggest throwing in some supplemental movements at some point in the week that allow usage of the other planes - types of bends, twists and laterals.The progressions seem sound and offer the trainee with an exciting challenge ahead, which helps with the psychological motivation and engagement, not too mention significant strength gains. Leave the ego at the door with these, put in the time and dedication, and the trainee will be very impressive indeed.
thank you. definitely a 10
I'm still reading "Convict Conditioning". It becomes my before night time read instead of a fiction literature. It's extremely interesting and just a pleasure to read. And, despite the fact I'm doing a lot of different type of exercises - as a ultra-marathon runner, rock climber, fitness (especially kettlebells and now clubbells) addict, I already started to incorporate Paul Wade's exercises into my routines.Great book, I recommend it to everyone.
It has been 2 weeks since I recieved this book, and although I am still reading it, I am currently working on the pushups section. I am only on step 8 of 10 and can definately say this is giving me the challenge I sought and needed along with the enthusiasim to finish this book by getting the type of body that this author predicts if you follow throughout !Was not a waste of money!!!!!!!!
This book has given me a solid out-line to continue my strength training. I had reached a plateau in my weight training and was looking for a way to gain all over strength whilst being kind to my joints. Convict conditioning provided this along with the words to inspire me to start my body weight training. After reading it, all I could talk about was body weight work and as a result several friends have now decided to give the system a try. I can't wait the results from a few months of training! Thanks for a great book Paul!
I'm a man of few words but summing up this book only requires a few words. Its a great book, well written, no bullshit and a must read. If you want to get fit and strong without wrecking your body this is the way to go! I've even got my wife and two daughters started on step one of each of the big six. You cant be too careful in this day and age with all the freaks walking around out there! Cheers Coach!
Eh, to me this book was more of a marketing ploy used to quickly sell some books.Convict Conditioning is a good book, but it's not that great either. Just my opinion though; I mean who is this Paul Wade dude, and why not show him? I didn't think that there was a need to bash all other forms of strength training. There is more than one way to skin a cat, besides, whats more satisfying than a bar bending deadlift? I felt that there was indeed some useful information pertaining to body weight training. Convict Conditioning lacks the quality and in-depth instruction as that of Pavel's Naked Warrior. . However, I did recommend this book along with The Naked Warrior to a couple of my friends currently serving at Naval Stations Pearl Harbor, and San Diego. Both of them were well received, so keep up the good work guys.
I am a teenager that have been training for a couple of years and have learned a lot of how to build muscle in a gym, but I got sick of the gym and wanted a training method outside the gym and then I found this book, everything I know about training is mentioned in the book and by that I mean facts, opinions about weight training and when he describes the disadvantage of some things, then I feel that his right because I recognize the problem!I have learned alot of this book!If you are intrested of becoming big and strong over a long period of your life then you should buy this book, but if your all about shortcuts and steriods then just go to your drug dealer and live in the gym.
I'm a 41 yr old woman who worked out at a Golds Gym in my 20s. Saw all the giant body builders and used some basic barbell workouts. Never focused on increasing strength or performance - not sure I understood exactly why I was doing it. This book shows the how and why to get stronger vs just cranking out random reps. I hope to turn my middle age pudge into some STRENGTH and this book shows me how safely step by step!
I'm a 46 yo desk jockey, part-time martial artist. I started this program a month ago. Up until then I was always just trying to pump out another push-up, sit-up, etc, with no particular system. I love the incredibly detailed progression this book lays out. I felt a little silly starting with the basic step 1 (wall push-ups? Seriously?). But glad I did. And 3 sets of 50 wall push ups freakin hurts! Anyway, I'm totally into this book and training system. I love the emphasis put on ligaments and tendons (soft-tissue), and I love having the long-term goal of one armed pushups, pullups, etc. I haven't read Naked Warrior, which I hear is great, but I can honestly say this is the best strength program I've ever come accross
as someone who has practiced physical culture and martial arts for 50 years i have read most books on the subject of exercise and employed most methods. while i believe all exercise has value and weight training done correctly will build strength, muscular power and joint strength. i do agree on the absolute benefit of body weight calisthenics for anyone wanting total body strength, coordination and agility. the real beauty of paul wade's book is the step by step progressions. even though i was able to perform most of the exercises at a higher level i started with the most simple and made sure to own each level before moving on. in this way i have found areas of weakness that i have been able to work to eliminate even at the age of 61. i do believe everyone can benefit fro the ideas contained in this book. buy it, read it but most of all use it.
First off, got the product from Dragon Door super fast, and it came in excellent condition.As to the book itself, I just started using the routines this month, and even though I'm in decent shape, I decided to start from step one with everything. I'm hoping what he says is true, that by doing it in the exact steps he says, the later steps will be that much easier/better. The progressions seem to make a lot of sense.Note - this is not a workout book, in the sense that most people think of a workout as something where they're exhausted when done. Its a book to gain strength, and Wade specifically says to avoid things like training to failure (leave some strength in the bank is I think how he puts it). I have nothing against weights, but I do have trouble getting a gym, and I've always found working out at home a huge time saver, so I've always favored bodyweight exercises. And while I've done all these exercises for years now, the very specific ways to do each exercise and the specific progression of each is something new to me, and I think it's a great way to train instead of just going for a few more pushups.All in all, I'm very happy with this product. I wish I would have had this years ago. By now I'd be doing one arm pullups, handstands, and pushups!
I got this book for my husband and he is eating it up! He looks in this book every day for reference and reads and rereads a little each day. This is a wonderful book for anyone looking to master their body weight.
Forget the whole convict back story and all that,it was most likely fabricated to help sell books.All that fluff aside,this book contains a great progression program that uses logical steps to take through 6 of the best calisthenic exercises out there.Each exercises has ten steps,with 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest.These steps also have a progression standard that you must meet comfortably before moving on to the next step.The author emphasizes proper form and taking it slow,a minimum of one month per step,which may seem ridiculous to some people but is actually perfectly sound thinking,especially if you're new to progressive calisthenics.The book contains some nice routines and training advice as well,and mixing these routines with my kettlebell training has given me great results.I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in progressive calisthenics.Don't let the hacky convict theme fool you,this book is packed with great info.
I downloaded this book two weeks ago, and bought it the next day. Which says as much about how great this thing is as it does about IP law.This book is the only one I've seen that is inspiring and doable for me. I started two months ago at 290 lb. Eating right, getting exercise and doing this has gotten me down to 250. Mr. Wade makes an excellent case for why his techniques work. I've been doing them for only two weeks out of those two months, and I'm now a believer. I've made noticeable gains already (!!), and I'm pretty sure anyone in better shape than me to begin with would do even better. This is the first book that's managed to light a fire under my ass and get me off the couch. It is equal parts motivating and educational. I don't know a damn thing about working out, all I know is this works.
Like many I wish this information was available at an earlier age. I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Wade and ask at Dragon Door for bringing this tried and true method of obtaining strength to the rest of the world.
i was not a weakling before i got this book but it made me feel like i was. the best part is i,ve only had it a few weeks and am already seeing results. it is definitly worth every penny. i like it so much that i plan to get cc2 in a couple months
Paul Wade, through his own extreme experience has put together the "how to" the "why" and logical progression to take the beginner, intermediate and advanced athlete through a bodyweight training program - in detail. Follow the program, don't skip stages and you'll keep injuries at bay while improving strength, endurance and flexibility. I believe that's so important for those new to starting an exercise/strength program. Then you can consider adding the kettlebell and / or weight training once you have the solid joints and stabilizers in place to support the next phase. It does require patience, but hey, learn from someone who has been through it all.
I purchased Convict Conditioning and a pull up bar with hanging leg raise handles for my husband for Christmas since I couldn't afford to buy him a good quality Olympic weightlifting set. My husband flipped through the book and very impressed by it. He hasn't tried the workouts yet but is already planning his routines. I'll check back in with another review once he starts one of the programs from the book and share his results. Also, I read the book and am starting the New Blood training program as soon as I recover from a mild cold I have right now. My hubby's goal is to gain super hero strength; my goal for now is to get as strong and fit as possible before my second pregnancy, planned for sometime in 2012. Can't wait to try out the progressions and see how far I can get in the next 6 months or so!
I've just finished reading Convict Conditioning and can't wait to start implementing it into my training program. I'm always looking for quality programs to help me stay strong and healthy and Convict Conditioning seems to be a logical choice. Keep up the good work delivering excellent products Dragon Door!Jacques Aiken
I thought I was fit when I started this. Some of these routines kicked my butt. I didn't even go in expecting to lose weight- just wanted to get stronger in pullups. But In 2 months I have lost another 12 pounds while my arms, back and shoulders are bigger and stronger than they have been in the last 5 years. And here is the kicker. I am still drinking beer.
I love everything about this book: it's written and illustrated extremely well with plenty of in-depth explanations as to the pro's and cons of each exercise. The progressions are sensible, achievable and very safe. My experience in the fitness world consists of 30 years of martial arts studies, gymnastics, dancing and pole fitness. Since I tweaked my own workouts to incorporate almost exclusively the 6 exercises that are part of the CC syllabus I have been able to almost reverse the ageing process that I feared was robbing me of my strength. Not only I receive a lot more random compliments for looking extremely fit and strong, I can back that up with being able to continually progress with my pole fitness which requires enormous amounts of strength and supreme co-ordination.All my Personal Training clients and Pole Dance students go through these workouts on a regular basis and their bodies are changing shape very quickly, their strength and flexibility are increasing and they feel so much more confident as a result. Admittedly sometimes I get funny looks from my male clients when I tell them to do bridges and handstand shoulder presses but as soon as they understand the reasons behind my recommendations I can hardly keep them upright! Well done to Coach Wade for reminding us all of the long lost art of effective body weight exercises for ultimate functional strength!! :-)
Exercise content and progression is good but there is a lot of fluff, a lot of hyperbole, a few inaccuracies, and some oversimplification. Also, the book is overpriced. I could summarize the useful content very well in a 20 pg. booklet.
I very like CC. Paul Wade is my hero :)
Convict condition provides all of the great body weight exercises for anyone looking to get strong and fit. It provides exercises for the upper body, legs, core, and abdominal areas. It can help athletes and anyone looking for fitness. You don't have to be locked up to be in shape.
One of the best books on bodyweight training out there! I bought both the printed book and the e-book (for my iPad). This is solid knowledge that really gets you started on your way to supremacy!!
I only wish I had these concepts pounded into my head by the time I was 15. I wish I had pounded it into the heads of my 3 sons before they were 15 years old. But I am happy that my 4 grand sons are getting a good dose from there dad. The book is so well researched and documented. But it's real strength is it's the simplicity and logic in the progression / body weight concept. There is always a place to start and a logical next step and goal. I recommend to ANYONE that is concerned with body health and muscle tone.
Although I don't agree with the cursing, I do think this is a great, great book that cannot be duplicated. It is exactly what I am looking for, however, it is somewhat expensive. The reason I gave this an 8 is because he said this art has only survived in the places the civilized dare not go. Prison is not the last place.If you go to most traditional schools of martial arts-the real ones who actually 7 hours on Martial Arts a day alone excluding other exercises such as the Shaolin Temple- you will see people who can do these exercises for the elite without much effort. I'm quite sure that Coach meant the Western world, in which I would wholeheartedly agree. With the exception of the gymnasts and a few true athletes, these tasks are all but impossible to do without years of training for the average person not in prison.
Awesome eBook. One of my goals has been to be able to do 100 push ups. I am confident that I will make it by using the recommended progression except with the goal of 100 at each step. It's been only a few weeks, and already, my wife has noticed a difference in my arms.
I live in a transitional housing facility along with a number of ex-cons who have become my good friends. They realize that physical, mental. and spiritiual conitioning is important for a sucessful life 'on the outside'. As there are no weight sets here, Mr. Wade's book would be useful and inspirational in the pursuit of these goals.
I have now bought both volumes of Convict Conditioning and have to say they are the best books I have read on strength and muscle building....and I have read dozens.Both are easy and interesting to read, full of good, helpful information and instruction. Since I am now 78 I thought that this training would be too hard for me, even though I have been weight training, on and off, for many years. I was wrong, Paul starts you off at an easy level and helps you build towards what ever level you want to achieve. The strength and muscle you build will be useable, not like many huge bodybuilders.Would highly recommend these books to anyone.
On page 262 is a photo of a person with the caption "Everybody has to pay their dues on the early steps". It is the only photo of this person in the book and he is not identified. Pay their dues?. Couch Paul Wade, perhaps?
Fansastic Concept:I've struggled with back and joint problems since I left the Marine Corps. CC so far (two months in) has given me great relief from the pain and seems to be strengthening the little weak spots that the "new fitness disease" has neglected. It's so simple, it has to be right. I can't wait for the second volume!
Amazing book- has changed my fitness level to never before- I can do things now that I couldn't do 20 years ago. Thank you so much for the incredible insights and easy to understand progressions! And now as an eBook- a little cheaper price- instant delivery- no waiting- convenient- take it with you anywhere- brilliant from cover to cover. Just a tough title to get around. But it is completely understandable why the title needs to stand. This book represents Paul Wade's life achievement in the darkest of places. And we are all grateful. Can't wait for Convict Conditioning 2!
As a long time martial artist with a couple of joint injuries, I have great respect for any system of working out that does not destroy the joints (unlike weight lifting, which I have done for years on and off). Strength training can be difficult for me; in the upper body, over-enthusiastic arm-bar practices with burly partners ended up causing shoulder pain for years, and in the lower body my job working on concrete floors while wearing steel-toed boots for 10 hours a day has hurt my knees. With my shoulders tweaked every time I bench pressed and my knees tweaked every time I squatted, I finally gave up on the gym.The progressive exercises laid out in this book, starting at step 1 for each series, are providing much needed recovery and strengthening for these joints. What's more, muscles that have not been properly trained in a while are receiving a real workout. I use this book every day and have really started to feel that I will reach my strength goals, without the gym. Try out even the first step of any series at the progression standard level and you will be surprised at the gentle burn.I enjoy Paul Wade's no nonsense, cut-the-crap style of writing. He conveys an authoritative sense of knowing what he's talking about as he spent 20 years learning it, figuring it out, and proving it. Besides all that, there's something visceral, even primal about gaining strength and power this way. Not to mention you'll never need a gym again. And the balance in overall strength as your various muscles learn to work together rather than being isolated is great.
I find this book gives me great ideas to help me better my classes in taekwondo
This idea of progressions is so essential I'm now working towards applying it to areas of life from vocation to avocation. Apply this book's lessons and become stronger than you ever thought possible, physically and otherwise.
What's goin' on COACH!Using your strategies in conjunction with my "no nonsense" diet tweaks and I'm quickly shedding excess fat and building lean muscle...AND functional strength!I thought I was already in decent shape, lifting weights regularly and having a solid fitness base to build on with my martial arts background. Heck, this year I set a bunch of personal bests in the squat, benchpress, and deadlift!But that was a few months ago.Fast forward to now...I've completely STOPPED using free weights (only type of "bell" I lift is a kettlebell).I haven't touched a bar bell, except to move it out of the way when I'm cleaning the garage.And the brand new 90lb hex dumb bells I just bought have sat....UNUSED.I don't need them now that I've got "the keys" to building strength and muscle using my own body weight! (And there's plenty of THAT to go around)In two weeks I've dropped 9 lbs in body fat, my midsection is starting to get more defined, and although I can't do 100 sets of 5-rep one arm pushups, I'm working on it! (Just jokes!)For real though, I feel better than I ever have in the last five years. I wake up with vitality...I feel ALIVE...And when I do happen to toss something over my shoulder, I do it with more ease than I ever could with a sore back from weight lifting!If you're looking for a serious course to get you on track, what the h*ll are you waiting for?? Whip your credit card out now and to heck with the interest payments...Paul's manual is worth 10x what you pay for it!Drive FAST, Take CHANCES-Justin
This book is a fantastic tool for showing how to progress all the major muscle groups from the very start of laying a great foundation for strength all the way to taking it to it's possible potential with the last big 6 exercises. Forget any ill notions or misconceptions with the title and treat yourself to one of the better books out there on body wieght strength training. I'm looking forward to the 2nd one.
Maybe the best fitness book I've ever read and practiced from. Simple perfection. This book has the secrets to some amazing strength development. The "ladder" system used is amazing! By sticking to the system and keeping it simple and not overworking you can definately achieve what the writer of this book claims. It's all up to you. I'm a big fan of slow and persistant training and this book is proof I havn't been fooling myself. Even using the most basic excercises I felt muscles being energized and prepared for more difficult tasks. Well worth the money! I'll be a beast man in no time.
This book rocks! Liked it so much I bought my son one because he flipped through mine an said he was going to save up and get one. I highly recommend this to anyone who has any interest in getting fit, to whatever level suits you, not everyone wants to become as fit as they can but it will take you to wherever your idea of fitness is. it,s just a matter of putting in the time!
I wish I had this years ago, but am happy I now have it. I'm in my third week. It's weird, but I feel like I'm getting a different kind of strength. It's hard to describe, but my son refers to it as a survival type of strength. I just noticed that is the subtitle of the book. Would definitely buy again!
The book is great, has steps from beginner to advanced, and is much cheaper here than amazon!
I'm a gymnast, have been doing straight leg raises for years. I found out that was the final step in the ab section and I chuckled to myself. The true final step is what we called windshield wipers: hang from a bar, tight shoulders (to prevent shoulder injury), lift your legs totally straight, and when you touch your toes to the bar you drop them to the right to about 45 degrees then to the left, 45 degrees. Slower is better, your legs will be swinging left to right, like windshield wipers, and if you can do ten reps, L/R with a 3 second leg raise after each LR rep, you just showed Paul Wade that step 10 isn't the last stage.
I have to say that this is by far the best book I have read on the topic of building real strength. I will however sum it up for everyone in three points: 1.)stop worrying about outward appearances out fo vanity and focus on realities, build yourself from your very core. 2.)No matter how strong you are or what you CAN do - you still must build a foundation and this takes humility, focus and patience. 3.)Science, medicine and history join together in telling mankind that using the boday is not only sufficient to build the body, its the best way to do it. My only complaint is that it seems to reflect an atheistic evolutionary view of the author but that is personal and has no bearing on the information itself. All that's left after this is to internaize the message and get to work. Information is only power if it is used.
I became a certified personal trainer to get myself through college...I've always trained in some form or another since high school. I only wish I had this book back then!! I blew out my back pretty good doing deadlifts that the muscle heads told me was necessary for me to grow big and strong. My 2nd of 2 laproscopic back surgeries for the same herniated disc (yes, the same disc twice) was 2003. So yeah...I'm kind of an expert on what not to do with weight training. Anyway, this book is IT. I'm not at the Master Step for any of these exercises yet, but I'm feeling stronger already....when I am I'll be ready for anything. This book is very well written, plenty of motivation (but not in a cheesy way), the right amount of science without getting to deep, great descriptions & pics. I can't put it down!all in all...i'm just happy i went ahead and bought it. I can't wait to recommend and purchase this as gifts for my friends and family.Thanks putting this together COACH!
I wished i had this when I was in high school. A well rounded read that explains exercises well and techiques. I only wished I would have heard of it sooner. A must for those looking to maintain/build a strong base and have limited resources.
I have been lifting weights and doing fitness training for the past 13 years but after reading this book I found out how truly physically weak I was. Thank you Paul Wade for telling the truth about how to gain real power.
This book is somethin' else! I'm so glad I bought it, I'm applying it almost everyday & getting much stronger. THIS BOOK IS A MUST HAVE! And I must say...the bridgeing exercises are my fav! Right now currently on short bridges & straight....gotta build up my reps before moving up....but talk about building up my sexual power, WOW! YEP, that power is in the low back/glutes! LOVE this book. A fun, great read. Thanks!!! Can't wait for what's next from Coach Wade.
I lifted weights pretty extensively from about the age of 14 and had gotten extremely strong doing so (strongest person pound for pound at a division 1 NCAA school) without ever having used any steroids. By the time I reached 28 years old, I started to have a lot of joint pains from all of the heavy training....from back pain, to shoulder, to wrist, elbow, hip, neck....you name it. As much as I loved working out, my body was in complete rebellion at this point. That was 9 years ago. I'm still in decent shape as I still work out, but I can't do it to the level I once did. After reading "Convict Conditioning" and starting the workouts, I've noticed a marked decrease in joint pain, improved flexibility and new found tendon/ligament strength. I wish I had found out about the benefits of calisthenics when I was younger. I think I could have tapped into greater potential and foregone some of the joint pain I was experiencing. Great book: Add it to your workout routine.
I am 69 years old and still very active. I have been lifting weights, but have had two problems: one is that I have a tendency to bulk up and two is I have sustained many small injuries while lifting. What I want is to get strong without risk of injury and without getting bigger than I am already. 5' 11" @ 170 pounds. This is my second week on the Convict Conditioning way of training and I am ecstatic. I am working out without fear of injury and am getting stronger everyday. Plus, I can do all the exercises right at home. I no longer need to go out to a gym. My wife has started working out now also. I highly recommend this book for anyone at any age. A Great Big Thanks to Paul Wade. He's done us all a valuable service.
This book has it right! I'm a martial artist and train 5 days a week. I don't have time to go to a gym, when I did, the results for the time invested were not adding up.This book has it all! Great descriptions, Progressions which make sense. Training schedules for different levels. All just by using your own body-weight. I'm taking it slow and am almost ready to head into Section 2. Section 1 may seem easy at first glance, but because it strengthens the tendons and gets the joints prepared for the work later, I didn't want to lose out on the benefits gained. For example wall press-ups at the max side is 3 sets of 50, well I'm up to 3 sets of 40, and already I'm seeing more definition in my Triceps. Oh - lol, just because they're wall pressups don't let that fool you, when done as suggested you feel it!, I have my notebook and am writing everything down, seeing the progression I find to be an excellent motivator! This book is now my strength training "Bible" A great tool indeed!
I just recevied convict conditioning and I was very impressed by the content. I can't wait to start after I finish my current powerlifting regime I'll be trying the CC program to heal little dings and dents as well improving imbalances and overall conditioning.
I've always been a bodyweight enthusiast, but never was able to find anything like this. I was frustrated, because the modern idea of bodyweight training struck me as pretty wimpy, (with the exception of the military and gymnastics) and I wanted strength and conditioning without the use of weights. The only other book in this category of excellence is Pavel's Naked Warrior, which I plan to purchase. This book gave me everything I wanted and more, I learned so much and am still learning, before this I'd never even heard of old school calisthenics (progressive bodyweight training). I've gained more strength and confidence than I ever did on my own; and I'm only on the first progression. Thank-you so much Paul for writing CC. I highly recommended this to anyone who has a passion for progressive bodyweight training, patience, and a strong will to succeed.
I have not finished the book yet but it is really impressive in its organization and writing. I have just tried to do the standard pushup the way the "Coach" says they should be done and what a difference it makes, much harder! He gives a very clear description of how to do them and uses a great analogy in "kissing the baby"; this really helped me connect with how much control I needed to exert to do these pushups correctly. I am a big believer in body weight exercises and I am sure this book will be one of the best ones out there.
The results Paul talks about in this book are real. As a former gymnast, wrestler and presently martial artist. I can attest to the strength this program of simple exercises like push ups and pull ups and leg raises etc. can do for you. I had no idea why I was so strong as a kid but I do now and I have a method to regain some of that strength. I didn't lift weights until I was fifteen but I could do 500 lbs squats, 400 lb dead lifts and defeat wrestlers 100 lbs heavier than me because I was faster and stronger. Convict Conditioning is giving me back some of the strength from my youth. At 60 years old I have already begun. My clothes are looser, my body is stronger and I just started on 5-21-2011. I would strongly suggest that you add this book and this training to whatever you are doing now and as the book suggests take up to a year, maybe more to get to the master level with each exercise. I will use this training to get ready for the RKC Certification.
A good resource for the beginner or for the advanced athlete. A well devised system of progression and back to the basics text that is invaluable in particular to people that travel or have very busy schedules and can't make it to the gym. Regardless of your fitness level you can start from the beginning steps if you have never exercised in your life or as I did jump to the more advanced stuff because I have a well rounded foundation in different fitness methodologies. The newest method for me was "Bridiging" which is great for combat athletes and of which I started at step 1! Though the author recommends everyone start on step 1 with the progressions. I just don't see the viability of that with people who are more advanced in certain areas. But I do think this book will have something for everyone and most EVERYONE will start at step one for at least on of the movements therein. It covers full body strength conditioning using only your bodyweight or at most a pull up bar.
I don't get this book. I love working out at the gym. Often and at least for 90 minutes each time. This book insists seriously I should start with doing 10 wall pushups 2 x a week or so. It reamphasizes over and over again not to jump any steps. That just doesn't make sense at all. It's not a work out. Than it suggests to buy Pavel's book - which is completely contradictory to this book. I'm going back to the gym
I am only halfway through the book but I am very impressed. Paul Wade gives an explanation for convict conditioning through irrefutable theory and explanation. The steps are easy to follow and the pictures provide a great visual guide!
I wish I had had this book as a teenager - I would never have taken up weight-training, because the exercises here provide a superior alternative. I now feel I have a realistic prospect of achieving feats like a true one-arm chin or one-arm press-up, which I wouldn't have thought possible before. This book and its method deserves much wider publicity.
I like the simplicity of the 6 exercises. The progressions start easy enough even for a women who is in her 40's and a beginner to bodyweight conditioning. The author does not have anything to say about how women should do things differetly, but that is fine. I figure I will just progress at my speed. I don't think I will ever be doing one armed pull-ups, but then neither will many men. The author gives good advice on how often and how much to train. The book is very readable, with lots of pictures. The model who demonstrated the exercises is so strong. He is an inspiration. I wonder if the author is a real person, there is no photo of him in the book, and quite a lot if mystery surrounding him. Regardless, I think the advice is good.
Convict condition is chock full of great information, but it could have been a lot shorter. Too much of the book is hokie prison schtick and an over-the-top sales job touting the benefits of bodyweight (BW) training. Well, I already know BW training is great or I wouldn't have spent $39.95 on the book. As for the prison shtick: I honestly don't even think the author went to the "joint." I wish he just presented the very useful information and spared us the corny jail lingo. I mean come on! They even dressed the guy demonstrating the movements in photos in a little jail outfit complete with a black knit wool cap. Jeez! That said, the BW progressions presented in the book make a lot of sense and are laid out clearly. Each movement in each progression is described in clear and easy-to-follow fashion. I've been on the program for 2.5 weeks and I love it. I'm making progress, especially with HSPUsGreat program, but I could do without the nonsense. Buy it for the useful stuff.
The first chapter alone is a intense read. I tore through this book as soon as it arrived! This is practical real world conditiong for anyone who wants to improve their strength and power! Very natural synergy with RKC philosophy! Must have for HKC, RKC trainers!
This book is absolutely fantastic in its content. Ten progressive steps to bodyweight strength glory, accompanied by extraordinary physiological detail, explanations and tips. The only thing I would say is that it needs to be proof-read! More spelling mistakes than acceptable for a published book, occasional grammatical errors, and a few sentences that don't quite make sense detract a little from the shine. But function before form! Overall: I spent $70 Australian dollars to get this book and its been worth that twice over. Highly recommended, hence the 9/10.Dave
this book is perfect for everyone. from those just beginning to those who want to build true and useable strength. the best part is you can do it anywhere with no specialist equipment needed. the progression in exercises are realistic, achievable and advice is given on how to push past the flatspots in training. motivation is the key and the book inspires you to get up and start working.aternate exercises are given for those training with injuries so you dont miss out on gains in performance. cant recommend it enough. .
I have spent so much money on workout books that I end up throwing away because they are not precise enough or too hard and so on. This one is different. It gives you a plan that really gives you a rock solid foundation for the harder exercises. It gives you an understanding of bodyweight exercise. Never mind the make up with prisons. I'm a state attorney, it's good enough for me:-)
I have various bodyweight training books, and this one seems to be the best one I have at the moment.The 10 progressions on each of the fundamental 6 exercises are easy to follow.However, I am not going to do Handstand pushups in the way that it is described in the book. I plan to do pike pressups and it's progressions. It is just my preference for safety reasons.Also, a note about Pistol Squats. I have found that by using an external weight to the exercise like a dumbell can improve the non-weight variation of the exercise. As the D/B acts as a counterweight to the extended leg, in the exercise.Apart from that, I find a lot of the information excellent. And because of the simplicity of the exercise progressions and the way the book is layed out for the beginner, I have to rate this book highly.However, I believe, weight training should be used to some degree in a programme to enhance a person's fitness e.g to increase maximum strength lifts. 1RMs. Beginners - Buy it!!!
Convict Conditioning is amazing. I've only spent about 2 weeks with this book and already I'm sure it's one of the greatest pieces of fitness advice that I've ever gotten my hands on. I plan on buying a few more copies this year to give away to people I care about because this will certainly help them get stronger and healthier. I'm also going to recommend it to anyone I coach on fitness as it will make my approach and goals with them that much faster.I've been fairly strong all my life but I'm paying my dues on the earlier steps just like Coach Wade suggests and already I am noticing improved strength, balance, and coordination between body parts, strength in areas that I have neglected and muscles that were strong but not particularly hard have gotten HARD like I would never have expected.This radically changes my approach to strength conditioning for the better. And at $40 it was an incredible investment, I would have paid $200 if I knew just how great this book would be.
Gentleman,Its all in this book. The destination of being a muscular bad ass is broken down to the single step of beginning with a a singular push up. The thing is, Each one of us has to pay the price. No one else can do your push ups for you. But WOW, after having this information, you can NEVER say you didn't know the formula.Buy this book, The FORMULA is here.Now, go execute!
This book is a must have for anyone who wants to be fit but has been disillusioned by the corporate engineered "gym" environment. You already have all the tools you need (except this book). No gimmicks or supplements required.
I kid you not, this is the book I have been waiting all my life for. If you want to build raw power, and completely master your body, this book is a must have. None of that mamby pamby body building bullcrap; this book is for real men.
I PURCHASED AND READ CONVICT CONDITIONING AND HAVE BEEN USING THE PRINCIPLES OUTLINED IN THIS BOOK. I THINK IT'S A GREAT BOOK AND CAN HELP ANYONE. IT'S WHAT I CALL A LADDER BOOK AND ALSO CAN HELP YOU WORK AND SOLVE OTHER STRATAGIES IN LIFE FOR ACHIEVING SUCCESS. SO TAKE YOUR TIME AND TRAIN, HAVE FUN AND MAKE IT HAPPEN. COACH YOU DID GOOD.
Great book! I like how it starts you off from the ground floor and builds you up, even if you have some experience with bodyweight exercises. I would recommend this book to everyone.
I've had this book for two weeks and already see a difference. I am a 45 year old stay at home mom and tore my ACL/MCL/Meniscus playing tennis 6 months ago. Also, they used part of my hamstring to repair my ACL. So, basically, my right leg is trashed and still very weak. Up until now, I was doing the squats and rehab the way the Physical therapist wanted me to, and not progressing the way the doctor wanted! My bro, who is also an orthopedic surgeon recommended the book. With the book's guidelines, I am on step two of the squats and already see a massive difference in strength. It's also great that I can just keep progressing and getting stronger with each variation. I'm doing level 2 of all six groups every other day - already, I am flinging garbage bags like tissue paper - I'm not kidding!!! Also, my workout time has been sliced in half! Not too much soreness, except the bridge extensions really worked my triceps. Next, to get my x-box-couch potato kids on the program.
I have followed so many routines over my 40 years of training that I can't even remember most of them. This book is so simple it almost seems too obvious! Fact is, it is the basic six compound exercises that I have been following since I received my copy are extremely effective and Coach Wade's approach is pure genius!Coupled with my Kettlebell training, I can honestly state that I am now having the best workouts I have ever experienced and my shoulder/elbow/knee pains are actually decreasing while my overall strength and cardio levels are moving upward! That is something I haven't seen on a regular basis in a long time!Absolutely a must have for any serious athlete of any level!!
I have been doing strength and conditioning work since I was 39. Now at age 57, I have to say that Convict Conditioning is the most practical and useful conditioning information that I have ever come across. I worked toward competing in amateur power lifting until work prevented me from training regularly when I was 48. Injuries began to occur and I had to back off. At this point, I am using this method to get myself back on track as my body's connective tissue continues to be a concern. I highly recommend this method to all, preferably before connective tissue damage sets in. This is a great book, with loads of useful information and no B.S. It is clear and easy to follow and appears to be a very well thought out training method.
Convict Conditioning is a great workout book. It contains a very direct and effective series of excersises that may seem simple at first, but gets challenging as you progress. I've been following the steps contained in this book and am seeing some good results so far. This is an awesome book, and I definately recommend it to anyone who likes to use bodyweight excercises.
Paul Wade presents a readable, enjoyable, and easy to digest comprehensive progressive bodyweight training program which, if you follow it, will get you to the pinnacle of your personal physical potential.
After one workout from this book I knew it was the one. I've been working hard with my kettlebells, but was looking for strength building exercises that didn't require me to stock my basement with weights. The exercises in this book are safer than weights, better on the joints, can be done anywhere, and I can do them with my kids. This is the most comprehensive body weight exercise book I've ever seen. The best part is I can get as strong as a power-lifter without destroying my back, knees and shoulders. Thank you Paul Wade. Thank you Dragondoor. Every household must have a copy of this book!
..so that I keep one at home while I lend one out to friends who usually end up loving it and buying it themselves. To me this is the first time I'm actually enjoying (and therefore doing) strength training since the exercises are much more "technical" and therefore don't become boring to me. With every new step you're not just pumping one muscle more but are improving the complete balance and movement of your body. Like many have said before me: wish I'd had this when I started training (in my case martial arts) 20 years ago!
I have been practicing martial arts over 15 years, but due to lose ligaments in my joints I've always struggled with finding a way to build strength that would work for me with out causing joint dislocation and/or pain.Then a friend suggested Dave's book, I read it covert to cover and fell in love with the concept. and yes start out with 10 (I made the mistake of trying too much), this is where you set your ego aside and work your way up naturally.I've being following the system for about 5 months, am only on the first or second level with most excersises, and yet have noticed a huge difference in my over all power, mostly by effortlessly breaking something unintentionally.I tell everyone who will listen about it, with minor adjustments anyone can do this. the only fall back is that I can't buy it in Canada or would be giving it away.
This book is amazing! Finally, a book that shows me how to progress into the bodyweight skills I want to know how to do. Instead of aimlessly trying to figure it out for myself. With Convict Conditioning and The Naked Warrior my gym membership is a thing of the past.
this is a very basic and easy book to follow and use! body weight is the way to train
Had just given up weightlifting due to recurring back injuries that were continually aggravated by several different lifts. Gave this a shot and so far back is feeling better and am still able to push myself. I'm only 3 weeks in and its new but I'm pain free and still getting stronger. I give it an 8 as It helps though to have read Naked Warrior. So your are better off to get your hands on both.
I highly recommend this book. Being a athetle, I have always strive for excellence when it comes to training. This book help me achieve greatness. People will have great respect for you if you do the stuff in this book. For example, while I was do uneven pullups, I had a typical body bulding guy come up to me and said: Not a lot of people can do what you are doing right now. I am impress! BUY IT!
This is the type of program that I have been searching for. It is practical and effective and can be done while at home or in a hotel room. At least for me the best part of the program is the steady 10 step progression. Mr. Wade has a winner here and I am thrilled to have a copy of his book. In fact, my son has his 18th birthday in a few days and I gave him a copy of this book - Train!!!
I am a healthy and fit young man of 30. I have practice martial arts for years and have been looking for a way to stay fit outside of a gym. I've never been a fan of weights so I was very intersted in this book. I am a proud Norseman and have desired to have the legendary strength and stature of the Vikings of old and now I have found a way to achieve that. Thank you Paul Wade!
Let's put it this way. I gave it six months. The results? NECK: 15.5" - 16" ARMS: (l) 14.4" - 16.2" (r) 14.8 "-16.5" CHEST: 42" - 45.3 "LEGS: (l) 24"-25.2" (r) 24.6-25.5 ABS: Blurred to highly visible. Will I be giving it another six months? *%$" yeh! Stevie
I buy this book for my customers who are inmates. They have small spaces to work out in and love this book. it describes all the exercises you can do with them being illustrated. It has come highly recommended by all the people who get one.
I'm a collegiate level strength coach and I have used all of the progressions with my athletes. The levels and beginner standards make it possible for me to hit all ranges: injured athletes, movement prep, technique improvement, extra work and pure strength! As a side note, it feels amazing to be 3/4 of the way to a one-arm pull-up as a female.
Excellent book that stresses patience and building a foundation, two concepts that are becoming increasingly hard to find in modern training. These principles, along with the fact that these exercises require almost no equipment makes this text extremely versatile and a must have for any fitness library.
I am a personal trainer, dancer(housein, bboyin, poppin, lockin, & wackin), & martial artist... Great book; it speaks the truth... I use some of the basics on my clients and they love it. As for myself I'm working on trying to get as far as Joe(he's in the book) got to buy to find out. And I will be using the work outs with my students. Paul Wade is very good; gives great info. and he gives you an all around view point; even though you know one half of the story with "Free Weights vs. Calisthenics"... ENJOY!!
Two weeks into convict conditioning and now I have a convict conditioning training log aside from my regular training log. I'm already seeing results in this, pin pointing my weakness and vulnability. Hand stands, pullups sometimes are difficult but this book gives everyone a chance to start.
I have been lifting for over a decade. This book has changed everything for me. It is easy to follow and very challenging. The price seems steep at first, but it is well worth it. The information on bridges alone is worth it. Thank you for this book.
This book will change the way you think about fitness. Get it, read it (ALL OF IT), and live it. You'll be better for it!
A few things I liked about this book: It starts the exercises out from basically ground zero, the absolute beginner. It gives lots of motivation. It shows you how to do a training log. I have read a few books on training, talked to a lot of people about it, but this is the first time I have been given the advice to keep a log. May seem like a no-brainer to others, maybe most, but to me this was new and it helps keep my motivation up. I recommend this book.
This book has inspired a whole new (or ancient) attitude towards training, putting the emphasis on long term, high yield gains with perfect form rather than quick hypertrophy. If you want to look like a buffed out 'roid user within 6 weeks, keep moving, this is not for you. However, If you want to be in the upper 90th percentile in strength, flexibility, and dexterity for the rest of your life, get this book today and start sweating.
Dear Dragondoor, I have been practicing kettlebells since 2002 when I attended my first RKC. At 57 years old I am always looking for ways to improve my practice and add innovations. Further, I travel a lot and sometimes carrying KB's just does not work. Mr. Wades book fits in perfectly, bridging and handstand pushups, these work for a hotel room nicely!! I very much like his progression ideas for every exercise. Will let you know when I am cranking out the handstands!
Do not let the title fool you, this book is based on Scientific Principles.
I am an ex-football player, so I was always working out like I still played football. I've been doing convict training for 2 weeks and I love it. I can feel my tendons and joints getting stronger and the fat is melting away! You have to start with the beginner exercises, dont just jump into the harder ones. Be patient!
As I approach my 50th birthday I have been searching for the right kind of exercise format. Conventional weights haven't done it for a long time now. Coach Wade's routines are perfect. I have been building muscle and not experiencing the sore back, shoulders, elbows that I always did in the past. The exercises and there progression from step 1 through step 10 are excellent! Good stuff, it's even helped my right leg which I shattered in a motorcycle accident 6 years. I feel that with coach Wade's gritty down to earth approach coupled with Pavel's wisdom and usage of kettlebells, I have all the tools I'll need to take me through my next 50 years as well. I couldn't recommend this more. Simple but excellent. Anyone want to buy some used free weights?
First, this is a very well written and easy to follow book. That's not as common as it should be with physical training books. Bodyweight exercises were good enough for the legendary strong men in the early 1900's, so why just use them as light warm-ups today? There's nothing light weight about 1 armed pushups, 1 armed pullups, 1 armed head stand pushups, single leg squats, hanging leg raises, and full back bridges from a standing start. Paul Wade uses 10-step exercise progressions from easy to hard core to show how most of us can achieve these feats of strength.
kinda strange read...poor editing. The contents are excellent. A simple program you can start at any level a get in killer shape. True functional fitness. If you're serious..get it!
This book is very well written. Being a fitness professional for several years I am always looking for different and more challenging body weight exercise. I especially liked the levels of exercise from beginning to elite. I was humbled with the amount of strength that can be gained from bodyweight only. I have used the programs in connection with my overall training goals and will continue to do so.
I'll just keep it short and sweet. This is a great book with great knowledge within it's pages. I am very happy I bought it. That's all.
GREAT BOOK!! Easy reading and easy to understand. Ensure that you read through the book in its entirety before you start jumping in and doing all the exercises. No matter what level athlete you consider yourself, start off with the beginning steps doing them slow just as advised. This is the basics from times past and is applicable to everyone!! In all the work-out programs I've purchased and studied, this one makes the most sense to avoid bodily injury with good, solid results that will last a life time, not just the weekend. Stick with it long-term and you'll be impressed!!
I purchased the book for my brother mainly because he has no access to a gym, but his work needs him to be @ the top of his fitness game. After reading reviews for almost a year I finally got it and after reading it I almost kept it myself. Of the bodyweight routines I've read from others, this has to be among the best starting with the progressions to advanced. I will be getting one myself next for my birthday.
this book was a very quick read. took 1 evening to read, absorb the story, the background, and the theory. Then the book dumps you right into the 6 exercises, the progressions and the variants. I have been using body weight exercises for a few years now, and this is a refreshing change. during the warmer months, I prefer to do my workouts outside, at playgrounds or large open fields to mix in sprints, and agility training. Historically, my workouts fade during the winter due to the cold, snow and ice. Coach Wade's program has given me a new set of goals to work on during the winter months. Though I am sure i could power my way thru the first 6 or 7 progressions, I am taking a more focused approach and starting the program at progression 1, working on form, and a steady controlled rep speed. After hitting each exercise 2x a week, for 2 weeks, I move to the next progression. Still very motivated and anxious to see how this plays out. I am sure I will continue to incorporate these into my outdoor workouts as soon as things thaw.
I bought this book for my son (his recommendation). He loves the minimal approach and has been pleased with his results. From my observation, he looks thinner, stronger, and more fit than when he left for college (He had been a wrestler in high school, so he was already in good shape.) My husband, 56, looked at the book and intends to read it when my son lets go of it.
After reading this book and learning all the knowledge packed inside, I feel like I have been missing out on all of this good information for all of my life. Who knew that you could achieve superman strength just by doing body weight exercises. I suggest this book to anyone who is looking to gain loads of strength and also strengthen their joints and tendons. By the time you reach the master level of each exercise you will be able to do some things that body builders won't be able to do. Buy this book and soak in the information and get to training.
The only training program that not only did not make old injuries worse, it healed them as I have been progressing through the steps. This book should be in everyone's library and the most used. Start at the start, start right here with this book. These six movements should be the foundation of every person's training program. I wish I knew this material 30 years ago.
Everybody who is serious about becoming strong should buy this book! After reading it and doing the exercises for only a month I have NO doubt that I will be able to achieve the Master steps in all 6 exercises within a year! Combined with Pavel's "The Naked Warrior" I see no reason to ever have to pay gym membership fees to stay strong. I can't recommend this book highly enough - essential reading in the field of strength and conditioning!
But this book is brilliant. Im making a mixed routine between this and the KAT fitness system (check out my review of the 5 dvd set, highly recommended!) and its so so much fun and at the same time productive. Ive been stiff as a board a great deal of my life, and now i can do a full bridge by "walking" down a wall with my hands. How about going from not being able to do a wall handstand to making 5 handstand pushups? and i only have a couple of weeks with it. the only thing i would add is a little bit of deepening on the nutrition part, but hes not a nutrition expert so its responsible from his side not to include it. Still, if they can get an RKC who also happens to be a nutrionist to add a bit for the next edition, it would be THE complete book to transform you to a functionally strong beast!
This book is excellent. It can turn an overweight, couch-potato into a powerhouse in less than a year, without spending a fortune on gym-membership cards. Within the pages of this book, any trainee who is serious about his physical development will learn how to: develop patience, consistency, progress through a fool-proof system that will take him from a complete beginner to one of the most all around developed athletes he will ever encounter.My hat is off to you, Paul Wade. This book is a masterpiece.Can't wait for CC2.
Only on my 5th week, but the book's principals are great and I have less joint pain than with weights or other muscle-building exercises. And the exercises still allow time for other workouts, which is great. Progressing right along! Definitely recommend it to novice and expert alike.
I've read the book. It all sums up logically to me. I've had over 40 years experience in fitness training in calisthenics/running/weights during army service and I agree that the more you can do with bodyweight and whatever else may be at hand when you can't be in a weight room, the better off you can be. This book is one to carry with you if you are on the move. I recommend that no matter how fit you may be that you do start at phase one in all exercises and avoid short-cuts. You will find that you can develop into some exercise moves that you thought only a gymnast could do.
This is the best book I have read on the subject of training with body weight (except for naked warrior, of course). Everything you need to know explained in a simple to understand way. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to increase their functional strength.
Before you buy a gym membership, or spend hundreds on videos or machines they sell in the infomercials, TRY THIS FIRST. In fact, try this book before any of the other Dragon Door books. It does not matter your age or current level of fitness. CC is designed to start with the basics and build up. If you are already pretty fit, you'll move quickly to the harder stuff. If not, you have a safe and sane progression to take you where you want to be.But I'll be honest, you'll probably find--like I did--that you aren't as fit as you thought. I've been weightlifting a while and I arrogantly thought I'd progress very quickly. HA! I was rudely awoken to the huge disconnect between functional strength and appearances.
Having gathered a lot of free weights and gear for a basement gym for 30 years, I found Paul Wade's book seriously challenging me to employ the most minimalistic approach possible to strength training. His reasoning is hard to argue with, as the human body was meant to move itself first, before it became a mechanism to move larger objects. With over 600 muscles in the body, it only makes sense to stress that they all work in concert, and that heavy isolation exercises can easily throw things out of balance. Wade isn't selling you the latest gadget or supplement that claims to work miracles, (but doesn't even come close), and I appreciate that. The book is well written, logical, and appears to be done out of motivation for something other than monetary profit. The jail setting is necessary to convey his message, since that's where he learned what he is passing on to the rest of us, and it's highly effective in stressing the minimalistic aspects of this type of training. Thanks from a 50-year old guy who trains in his basement for general fitness, functional strength, and to stave off premature deterioration.
I gave this to my son who is thinking of joining the service next year and he was really impressed with it. He was very glad to have something like this to help him. Thanks! Recommend highly!
This is an excellent fitness book. The progressive techniques discussed in the book will definitely lead you into a world of increased strength and conditioning. I like the fact that extreme strength can be achieved without all the machines and free weights that many consider to be mandatory pieces of equipment. Truly, your own body is all you need. The book is packed with timely and wise information. You will not be disappointed.
Wow! Superb book! Really help me for my calisthenic training! Coach Wade have show me the way of making the big six easier for adaptations. With the mix of Convict Conditioning plus RKC Program Minimum, I saw tremendous strength and stamina gains for my gymnastic and pole dancing! Buy it! Practice it! The most vital part, Trust it!It works comrade!
I started this as a wimp with a bad back and duff shoulder, thinking I could never do press-ups in my life. Six months after being given this book, I'm only two steps off one-arm press-ups! My *permenant* shoulder injury has HEALED, my back is totally better, I've put nearly TWO INCHES on my previously puny arms, my strength is through the roof and I'm getting more attention from the female of the species. ;-P Thank you Dragon Door, and above all Coach Wade!!!!
A good bodyweight manual, but it didn't live up to the hype. Extremely hyped up. Not much different than naked warrior. The progressions are for grandmas, yet he swears by them. Rants against weights and tells too many prison stories. The editing is horrible, this book is filled with typos. I wouldn't be so critical if dragondoor didn't charge so much. All that said a decent book for those new to strength training. But don't expect to do 12 free oahsp.
Nice and big,easy to read and full of what I want to know.For the most part we are all in prison.My workout time is the only time I enjoy.I hope this book will increase my athletic performance and allow me to return to others that which has been given to me.
Along with "The Naked Warrior", this book is a masterpiece of bodyweight training literature.It teaches you logical steps towards achieving incredible feats of strength with just just bodyweight. That is, if you follow all the steps diligently and train with discipline and intensity.Good work, Coach!
I am really pleased with this book. It is pretty straight forward and no-nonsense. Initially I was a bit shocked that we may only need 6 exercises but having 10 progressions for each exercise makes me realise that each difficult exercise is within my grasp but I have to put in the work progressing through each stage. The only thing lacking for me is how to gain the flexibility to do deep squats with my feet flat on the floor. I just can't do it. If I go deep I fall backwards and how to overcome this isn't addressed.I have been following the book for several weeks now and I am fitter and stronger than I was before I started. I will carry out this program for the next 2 years.
This book has been a great help in not only getting a workout, but also better understanding your limitations while allowing you to push yourself in the right direction. I have been using this book for almost a month now and I feel better physically and mentally just from doing step one! I highly recommend this book for people with little to no experience working out, to those who have been working out their whole lives.
awesome book. recommended to all people who want to get into shape and save money. avoid steroids, get a kettlebell and steve cotters dvds and buy this book
This book is like none other, hands down! It is simple to follow, great pictures, for anyone from couch potatoe to conditioned athlete! A health and fitness library is far from complete without Convict Conditioning. This is easily one of the best!
I think it's about time someone writes the downsides of the book, and why I highly dislike it.1) Progression by increasing the Range of Motion (ROM) is strictly inferior to negatives combined with assisted positives. For the One-arm Push-up, the One-legged Squat, and the Handstand, the author adds moves that are half of the ROM. Practice has shown us again and again that doing a move through the full ROM (there are plenty of studies supporting this, but I'll stop myself from listing them)is faster.2) The weight-hate from the author is not well found. Weights are just as dangerous as bodyweight exercises, if strict form isn't followed. I myself got Shoulder Impeachment because I didn't tense my Lats correctly during Push-ups! I dislike when authors of high-quality go back to the "functional and dysfunctional strength" "argument".3) The author says you'll get a "six-pack from hell" by doing Hanging Leg Raises to... parallel?! Gymnasts do them all the way! Furthermore, he explains that full Lag Raises are so challenging, that only elites working out for a long time will get them (didn't Coach Sommers write a tutorial on his book to full Leg Raises? And that wasn't even the hardest level of Leg Raises he made his athletes do!). I was also disappointed to find that Handstand Push-ups were included, but not freestanding. How can the author set such a high level of "eliteness" for his exercises, and fall short on those?4) The One-arm Chin-up progression will simply not work for everyone, and will get a lot of people frustrated. There are two main methods to work up to it. Weighted Chin-ups and Negatives. Combined them both, and with hard work, you'll get the skill in 6 months. The author dislikes BOTH of them! Again, he goes on to showing that half-ROM exercises are the way to go. I'm sure it works... eventually.5) Finally, the programs the author lists are not intense enough. Working each skill once a week (as shown in Good Behavior, the author's favorite program) will get you the skill after a very long time. I personally don't have the patience to work on something for 3-4 years to get to it. Solitary Confinement is more like it, adding grip work and Calf work plus working with each skill at least twice a week (and the author says that should only be done by very experienced athletes).Why do I think it's getting such high reviews? Because people are still doing the steps they could do before, and thus, get the illusion of progress. If you can manage 3 squats, and work with the progression and squats for 2-3 months, you will obviously do more squats. Wouldn't it be smarter working on the actual squats on the first place?. Say I can do full Push-ups. If I start from the beginning, that means 5 months in which I'm going to feel "great, and my joints are younger", but not until we get to steps 7-10 will we see people getting incredibly frustrated. Let's see how many people get to the Master Steps they couldn't do before, and how long it takes them.So the whole point of the book is "letting the joints adapt to the load, and making them feel better because they can't keep up with the muscles growing". Yet, absolutely no evidence by the author is shown! The only small thing he offers is that in Gyms, big guys have hurting joints because they can't keep up with the muscle growing. Maybe it's just because of bad form during exercises (all of the bench presses I've seen in real life lack a lot in form for instance), or because steroids do end up having bad effects on joints, or maybe because people are trying to progress too fast. Seems a bit tentative to blame it all on the actual weights, and the fact that you didn't work the "soft tissue" with better exercises before (?). Unless you show me strict research backing statements like that, you won't get my attention. It can all be a placebo for that matter!I personally couldn't do step 7 on Push-ups, but could do 6. So I did 6 for a month (incorporated in my 4-times a week Routine) and after a month, I could do step 7! Will I use it? No! I will do One-arm Push-ups on inclines, as they have proven to be superior.Bottom line, I'm sure the whole thing works, but it'll get a lot of people frustrated. Not for now, since they are all on the first easy steps, but once a year passes, and we see people stuck on the same step after 1-2 months, the reviews will start changing. I assure you.
Anyone who's spent some time around the fitness industry -- especially those who prefer to stay out of "mainstream fitness" -- knows that if you do anything for a while, you'll hit a plateau.The brilliance behind the progressions of CC is that you are working the same muscles in a different way each time you move to the next difficulty level for a given muscle group -- and each exercise progression is specifically included to help get you to the final movement.A case-in-point: regular pull-ups are step #5 on your way to 1-arm pull-ups. Steps 6 and 7 point you in an intentional direction to focus on the weaknesses that most people will have while only working on steps 1-5.Testimony: Following the "Young Blood" program was, at first, something I scoffed at. However, I recognized that it was a scaled-down version of one of the programs that Purposeful Primitive included. I started out on May 25th doing my first pushup workout with a whopping 10 reps (regular pushups are Step #5 in the pushup progressions). Following the Young Blood protocol, in 1.5 months (July 12th) I went from 1x10 to 2x20. Less than a month after that (August 11), I hit 2x20 in Step #6.Having shed my gym membership, this book has been a godsend to providing me with a workout template and the necessary bodyweight exercises and progressions to implement into my fitness regimen, especially since I have started getting rid of some of the unused equipment that I have at home.
Bought this book less than a month ago, and although I was skeptical at first, I am totally convinced now. I was surprised with the simplicity of the book, the progression of the workouts, and the sheer amount of information the author was able to jam in there. The book lays out a serious case for how calisthenics can make one REALLY strong. And the results? Since then, I can now bang out a hundred pushups after only being able to do 25 (good form), and just today I finished fifty pull ups after only being able to do 3. This book will be your secret weapon at the gym. Seriously.
I haven't been using convict conditioning for very long, but I've already started noticing an increase in my strength and muscle tone. Everything is set out and explained very well, and really, it all just makes sense when you think about it. Seems I've paid well under $100 for a training program which is worth much, much more.
I am a infantry soldier. I have lifted weights for over fifteen years with great results, but I now have to work around various injuries. Calisthenics allows me to do this while still improving my strength. Lifting weights, objects, resistance bands, or calisthenics is simply resistance training. I feel progressive calisthenics is the best resistance training for me. I have recommended it to all of my friends and co-workers.
ive used this now to help with cheerleading trials and hope to use it to help me become a cop a few years down the line...theres no better workout routine for us ladies becuase not using weights tones the arms legs and core without adding muscle like a body-builder. highly recommended tara x
I've previously posted a review. Several months on and the routine is still working. I'm able to add reps to all of the big six consistently. I'm learning more about my body than I did through years of powerlifting. This is it! I don't even do cardio any more. My lungs seem to get plent of work from the big six. My peak flow was measured recently and its better than when I was cycling five days out of seven.
After eagerly anticipating the arrival of Convict Conditioning I was deeply disappointed. The info was basically the same as Pavel's "The Naked Warrior." The exercise progression listed was ridiculous. Perhaps if you are a little girl or have never exercised a day in your life you would start where the author suggests. Spending a month standing next to a wall and pushing yourself away from it with both of your hands may be mildly invigorating for a geriatric invalid but most people reading this book are interested in pushing their existing strength to a new level. The info presented could have been condensed into a 25 page pamphlet and sold for about 10 dollars or less; 39 dollars is outragous! Save your money. You can get the same info on the internet for free.
I just love when I read books and feel that they change my views of training. You develope your own view of training methods and strength and books can help you along the way. This book changed my view on many things. Insightful chapter on back health and strength, clear descriptions on progression through the different exercises and a fantastic view on how functional training really wokrs. I ve trained the big six for two months and already see great improvements in my strength. And the weird thing is that I have had a shoulder problem the last two years that just did nt want to go away. Without any other form of rehab, that problem is now solved! Better pullup techniques, hanstadning? I dont know, but it worked. The only thing I would like to see in his (hopefully) next book is a chapter on mobility. Some of these excersises are quite difficult for many people from a mobility standpoint. Pavels "relax into stretch" would certainly take care of business too! Overall, I can t think of a better book I have read on how to develope superhuman strength!
This is possibly the best reference I have seen for bodyweight exercises and, more, importantly, practical progressions that anyone can follow. A great workout without visiting the gym is possible following Paul's guidance. Highly recommended.
Living in a very limited space, I do not have the room for weights, and noise restrictions would limit my use of them anyway. Convict Conditioning has given me a plan I can use in the situation I currently have, as well as whatever may come in the future.
It was exactly what I needed. Now I am super buff.
This book points out the fallacies of the "going to the Gym" school of Fitness. The old school Calisthenics with modern staged progressive training allow anyone to improve their condition, no matter where they are at the begining. The historical anecdotes and photos are absolutely fascinating, providing wonderful examples of the difference between Functional Strength and Gym strength. I love this book. Of the 6 people I have shown it to, one has already ordered it, and another will probably do so soon.
I got this book and sat down to read some of it and ended up reading the entire book cover to cover. It is easy to feel that the author is extremely passionate about the information in the book. The Big 6 seem daunting at first, but each step leads to the master step in a logical progression. The steps of each exercise give very quantitive goals that can be achieved. There is on top of all the information on the exercises sample routines which are surprisingly absent in a lot of other books. I have to say this is one of the best books out there and if you want to learn how to gain real strength you NEED this book!!
Let me start by saying that I'm a guy who stands 6'2 @ 160-165lbs. I'm definitely on the thin side but consider myself athletic and "in shape". I cycle a lot & play basketball as regularly as possible. My cardio endurance is definitely above average. That being said, I've never seriously done strength training with weights or bodyweight before. Sure I've done pushup & pull ups and all of that for track in high school but I'd consider myself new to intense upper body exercise. Of all the people who will read this book I consider myself in a sort of middle ground between two extremes. I'm definitely not out of shape but I could also use to pack on some extra muscle, especially on the top half of my body. Enough with the bio.For me, this book is packed with great information & is actually a pretty fun read as well. The photos are pretty good at giving you a visual of each exercise and if you're into body weight training already you may recognize Jim from beastskills.com as he's the model for 95% of the photos. The very best thing about this book is no doubt the 10 step progressions for each exercise which begin with the easiest step that anyone can do providing you're not injured or otherwise unable to move. They progressively get harder until you reach step 10 known as the "Master Step" which almost no one can do without a long period of intense training. No matter what level of strength you may have this book leaves you with something to train towards. It's inspirational, but not in a preachy way and damn useful. I believe this book will suit beginners as well as those who have been training for years and everyone in between. Pick it up and see for yourself, you won't be dissapointed.
Entire book is very easy to read. Its written in the way a normal "joe" would talk about this book...in a bar. Alot of the exercise plan seems too easy almost elementary. But take your time! seriously. Im an experienced endurance athlete and martial artist and the easiest of movements are kicking my ass! get this book! This book makes mentions of ancillary movements and exercises and the one that has sparked me is grip training. I just wish there was an explanation of what "extras" he reccomend.
Probably worth the price for the section on bridging. This is also covered by Matt Furey, but here it's presented with a better focus.On the other hand, there are better resources on the web (free) for information on achieving one-armed pullups, handstand pushups and the like but precious little about bridging and the reasons to get into it. Progressions are well thought out but lacking on instructions for how think about tensing the muscles.His disparaging of weightlifting is simplistic and, frankly, unnecessary. We calisthenics enthusiasts enjoy being creative and saving time/money on gym memberships.I also sincerely doubt that Paul Wade was actually in prison. Though I've never been there myself, the descriptions sound as authentic as James Frey's experiences in rehab. As a marketing gimick, this only works if you can plausibly bluff good prison stories. His don't rise above the basic requirements of cliche.Despite this, I see the book as less of an instructional manual and more of an inspirational guide. One-armed pullups, tiger bends, and one-armed pushups seem more plausible after reading this guide. It certainly makes me want to do more close grip hand stand pushups and back bridging.
Great book , The excercises in this book will truly get you strong. The best part is that you can do these excercises just about anywhere and all you need is your own body.
I had chronic shoulder pain. Between the bridges and the shoulder stand pushups it went away.
I got this book because ten years ago I feel on a drilling and havn't been doing anything too stay in shape.after reading many reviews I picked this one I have had for two weeks and love it. While I cant do all the workouts yet I can see myself doing them in time,so if any one out is thinking about getting back into shape and you have been hurt or are an older person GET THIS BOOK it will help you so much. I look forward to my workouts and they don't take a long time.no pain no gain
Injured? Returning from a long layoff? Well, you've gotta start somewhere, and this book is the place to do it. Get up to level five in all the progressions before you go back to lifting weights, you'll be stronger than you ever were and your body will thank you. Very highly recommended.
My RKC trainer introduced these body weight exercises into my routine, and seeing the benefits as an adjunct to the kettlebells, I picked up the book. There is much wisdom here, and the progression of exercises in the basic groups makes great sense and allows one to begin at a point where there is success, not failure. The exercises also help to pinpoint personal areas of strength and weakness that roll over into kettlebell work, such as the pullup and handstand work aiding the kettlebell press. The exercises also require no equipment other than you, hence can be done anywhere while traveling- but hopefully not in a jail cell by any of the readers!
So far, this is a great workout. I stopped doing weights for strength and decided to devote myself to this workout for a while, to see what effect it has. I have to say it has been great. I'm a 55 y.o. male, fairly strong, with a long athletic background. I have numerous ankle injuries and a mild shoulder injury from volleyball, and a moderate knee injury (LCL and ACL) from judo, and wrist pain from somewhere that makes push-ups on flat palms too painful to do. Stopping weights seems to have helped my shoulder, it feels better than it has in years, the pain has virtually disappeared. Initially, close squats hurt my knee, but by zooming ahead to step 8, the half-single leg squat (2 sets of 5 per leg), that pain has disappeared, and my knees actually feel great as well! My wrists are still an issue for regular push-ups, but they don't hurt doing the close push-ups, so I have hopes the one-armed push-up will be painless for them as well.Another thing that is great about the workout is that I'm only spending about 10-20 minutes a day, 6 days a week, doing strength work. That leaves me a lot more time and energy for flexibility and aerobic work (time is hard to come by sometimes, with a family, house, and yard, and working 50 hours a week). I've ordered Pavel's "Super Joints" and I plan on replacing my light calisthenic and hathayoga morning routine with that, if it works for me.To sum it up, "Convict Conditioning" is a great workout, so far. I will post again a few months on and let you know how it's working then.
Finally, a strength training program that makes sense. I am so encouraged by the common sense of this book. The program makes sense physiologically and it's graduated progression should help anyone build strength naturally. I appreciate the no nonsense approach. Thank you
Fantastic for those who do not go to a gym or like being around people.
Paul Wade is a cornucopia of knowledge. His vast experience and years of calisthenic experimentation have made for a "must have" book.I am a fan of repetition for instruction, like paul ingraining in your skull that you must be patient and start with step one of all of the "Big 6". I will oblige. However, I don't need to be told countless times that bodybuilders are useless and swimmers are weak etc. Once is enough.That being said this book is thorough and would make anyone strong. A Note to Dragon Door: What I would like to see from Pavel or DragonDoor or anyone is a complete program. To include kettelbell conditioning to calisthenics to loaded stretching. Now that would sell.
paul wade knows what he is talkin' 'bout. he explains in detail how to become "no ordinary man". his work is better than matt furey, that ross guy, john wood, etc...
book is amazing, gives very precise and detailed explainations of all workouts and really helps understand how the body works and why bodyweight is much better and healthier than weights. designed for athletes of all fitness levels, from the weakest among us to the elite.
Are you not making progress? Is it your program? Is it the amount of weight you use? No, it's your technique. If you can not lift yourself, why do you think you can lift a weight? This book should be the starting point for anyone, yes, anyone - man, woman, or teen who wants to improve their health. Do not get me wrong. You can change your physical appearance with a bodybuilding-type approach, but if you want command of your physical actions, confidence in yourself and a lifetime of progress then learn calisthenics first. This book has become a foundation to improve my technique. Are you bothered by the title? Get over yourself.
Best exercise book i ever read, and i've read em all. I felt like the author was talking to me personally. I like the honesty and truth the author wasn't afraid to expose. You made the right decision by allowing this book despite the word "convict". Who cares about that anyway.....if your looking to get in shape. Better than Pavel's stuff, which i find difficult to understand due to the over technical and confusing use of american metaphor's by a russian.
Just because the exercises in this book are all body weight exercises doesn't mean it's cake (and that's a good thing). This book is platinum!And before you even get half way through, I promise you, you will slap yourself! Coach Paul brings up a valid point when he mentions the Spartans and Gladiators. THESE MEN WERE BEASTS and they never used weights or machines (because they weren't around back then). Only THEIR BODIES, and Coach Paul shows you how too. Even if you have never done a pushup or pullup, Coach Paul gives you the blueprint to not only make doing these exercises possible, but make you a master at doing them. I can honestly say I haven't felt this strong in years and you'll be saying the same too. And besides, what's not to like about a strength training program you can do anywhere at anytime?
I was looking for a way to increase the intensity of my workouts without joining a gym. I love the progressive program he has outlined in this book. I will have plenty of challenge for years to come.
I read almost everything I can get my hands on concerning fitness. For example, Athletic Body in Balance by Gray Cook, Advances in Functional Training by Michael Boye, Periodization by Bompa and Haff, Periodization Training for Sports by Bompa and Carrera, and many others. I purchased this book after reading the reviews and am not disappointed. The quality of the book itself is quite high. Dragon Door really does a nice job on the page quality making this an excellent self reference.The best thing about the book is the progressions for the six main exercises and alterations. I have been attempting to do pistols and free standing hand stand push-ups for quite some time without much success. Now, I can start at step 1 (although I can easily start much higher, but it isn't advised) and I feel confident that I will be able to progress as far as I am disciplined enough to go.This book provides a nice contrast to everything else out there. Tons of books cover weights, tons of books cover functional movement, tons of books cover body weight exercise without the explicit focus on strength (although Ross Enamait's Never Gymless is quite good as well, but different).Overall, this book will be one of few top references, along with Gray Cook's and Michael Boyle's work!
I have enjoyed reading this. I mainly went straight to the exercises and skipped all the prison information, whys and science behind it all. The progressions make sense, and you get a feel that this is something you can accomplish if you are patient and persistent.
This is true exercise. This is the natural way. This is how it should always be. Being true and natural is THE way, nothing else matters. This book is the Alpha and Omega of exercising. Nature does not use weights to get strong, ask any Polar Bear or Bald Eagle do they use weights. This is what natural man should come back to. Priceless book, even my crew can not comprehend on the simple yet hard to master techniques. I recommend this book to all. Forget the gym, save your money, save the space, save our planet, and lets focus on being natural. That's the formula.
I work, I sleep, I eat. Then I repeat. I am stressed out. I hurt all over. I have no time for anything but my job. I hate gyms. I hate weights. This book is going to save my life. I read it straight through. Couldn't put it down. You can do this anywhere, anytime. It is as addictive as crack cocaine! Lol. I took a before photo. I'll show it to you in a year, along with an after photo. In time I will be a mutant. My body is already changing.
Great book! Just started the work out not long ago and have already felt a little stronger. I cannot wait to see what it does in the long run!
This is a great book to get any person with the right work ethic and determination to get super strong. It gives you the proper progression to achieve unbelievable bodyweight feats.
Since I bought this book 4 months ago more then a dozen co-workers have borrowed it and then bought it. In 4 months co-workers have progressed to the point where even they are surprised by their strength increases. I stopped working on heavy bench for gains and started my one arm push up routines. In two months time I tested my bench gains- from 275 to 355. Amazing for not doing one rep of bench in two months? That is just from pushups! Just think about what I and co-workers have accomplished from the other big 5? You will look at weight training and true strength very different after reading this book. Enjoy.
I got this book after it first came out about 7 moths ago. This is my second review. Just wanted people to know that I am still following the book, but not quite to the letter. I now vary my rep speed (and pauses) as I move through steps, plus I have added some flexibility work. Other than that I'm following the book very closely. Previously, when working with weights, I hit a "wall" quite quick, but I am still improving week by week pretty much, using Con Con. I have no idea where it will stop, although I guess it must! In seven months I've gained 12 pounds (this is after lifting weights on and off for years, remember), and people at work actually tell me I look much better. My bad shoulder is now my good shoulder, and now I can do more chins than any of the other fathers! This book has changed my life and I will still be using it when I'm a very healthy (and strong) 80 year old great grandfather. Thankyou Dragon Door.
I have always had my workouts at home, but due to a busy schedule, many times I was caught away from my bars and dumbells. Besides I use to have pain in my joints or back due to the use of weights, so I decided to give convict conditioning a try.I am in the program for a month now and a great deal of the pain has disappeared while I have found weaknesses in my body that did not know where there. It is amazing how I can have a good workout almost everywhere now using the principles of this book. Fantastic!
In the last year I've read fitness books by Steve Ilg (TBT), John Peterson (PYTP), Pavel Tsatsouline (NW), Ross Enamait (NG) and although all of them took me forward and helped me grow, all of them left me hanging for... something else. Something to tell me exactly what I have to do! CONVICT CONDITIONING does exactly that and is much more than all those books. I think the approach to training found in it can be used for anything e.g. I am a musician and will integrate the training principles into my music training. It is exactly the book for me. It's perfectly in line with my whole philosophy on life. Ultimately, it's a book about patience and all the fruits that can be grown when it is truly and deeply cultivated. I do admit that I was originally put off by the "overhype" and over the top marketing which all dragondoor products suffer from. Seriously, it's annoying. But after several months and not finding what I was looking for, I gave in and ordered it. I read it in a few days. Now it's a new month. I am starting the program from the bottom steps. I am in this for the long run. I don't want no quick fixes. I want a simple program that will build me up little by little. I look forward to reporting my results in my training journal. Great book. PS. you guys better get this thing on Amazon! I am sure it will sell.
This was exactly what I was looking for. Six months later i'm stronger and slowly shifting the weight. An essential requirement if i'm to hit those master steps!
I bought it 6 month ago and now I've converted my training to bodyweight only - with no gadget to steal the focus, the results are simply better: real-world strength, movement quality, definition, the works. If you only want one book on training, this is it.
I wrote a review of this book when I first bought it about 6 months ago. I'd been doing b/w training for a while and found Convict Conditioning to be by far the most thorough and informative book on the subject. Finally a book about bodyweight training that had a pure strength focus and did not require 300 repetitions of each exercise! OK, I'm being a little sarcastic...although MF might have taken me seriously :)I'm writing a second review to say that not only has my view of this book not changed, but that the more I train using the techniques in CC, the more enthusiastic about it I become.Since sticking with Paul's programs my strength has increased far more dramatically than when I was weight training, and I used to focus on the heavy stuff - like Bill Starr's 5x5 routines. Don't get me wrong, Bill's stuff worked, I got way stronger, but Paul's stuff works better! I've built a whole new body in the last 6 months using Convict Conditioning and I am sticking with this forever!Paul - thanks so much for writing this book, mate! Can't wait till the next one.Cheers all,Mark
I am very impressed with the message of Convict Conditioning. I have practiced strength training for the past 30 years, mostly with weights. However, this book shows one the proper method to strengthen joints and tendons as well as muscles without weights or machines. After only a week, my knees and shoulders are already feeling better. Thank you Coach Wade for reintroducing true strength building techniques. I will surely be preaching the word.
It works. Period. I'm a martial arts and rock climbing enthusiast and the system Paul developed and published in this book has helped me tremendously. I feel much better than lifting weights; as a matter of fact, I haven't touched a weight in 6 months and feel awesome! Thanks "coach" for such a kick ass book. I'm definitely a happy customer.
Everyone serious about strength training or being in shape should have this book. It definitely isn't your average calisthenics book. I like the progressions for each exercise so that anyone can benefit no matter thier current level of strength/fitness. Coach Wade makes his point that you don't need fancy equipment. I'm doing the hybrid workout combining it with my kettlebell training. I have a number of Pavel's books and have never been disappointed with any Dragondoor products.
This is an excellent book. It gives you a step-by-step training program, from easy excercises your granny could do, right up to the master steps. It gave me, for the first time, a roadmap for how I can achieve some of these excercises (like pullups) without struggling to do full pullups before I am ready for them. I don't know if the author has ever done time in jail or if it is just marketing - it is not important. What is important is the training advice and program, both of which are excellent.
The exercise progressions are fantastic and harder than expected. An experienced kettlebell guy, I can press half my body weight etc... I am finding the early steps a lot harder than expected. Looking forward to mastering these old time feats of strength. A valuable and challenging book for those intersted in building real, useful, true strength. The first three chapters could have been condensed into one short one, the reptition of the basic facts is unecessary. The underlying premise of the book and value of the exercises is compelling enough!
I train muay thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu at a recreational (and sometimes also at an amateur competition) level. I like to do some other type of strength and conditioning training on the side. With the excersises and training plans from the book, I feel that my pure strength is increasing. I am hoping to reach the master steps in all the six excersises. I think it will be possible with some hard and determined work, and with the help from the book.
I can't believe how great this book is. The progressions through all the exercises are logical and prepare you for the later/harder stages. I'm 40 years old and after only 6 weeks or so on the program I feel stronger and more flexible. I'm going slow and steady and not in a big hurry, just following along and doing the exercises strict with no cheating. Paul Wade has really laid out an easy to follow plan, and this isn't a "get huge in a hurry" type of book. It's a realistic plan for true strength and flexibility that pretty anyone can follow.
It's difficult to describe just how much this book means to me. I've been training hard since I was in the RAF nearly ten years ago, and to say this book is a break through is an understatement. If you are looking for just another book selling something (supplements, weights) or saying the same old thing, this is not that book. How often do you really read something so new, so fresh. This book contains a complete new system of callisthenics drawn from American prison training methods. When I say 'system' I mean it. It's complete (rank beginner to expert), it's comprehansive (all the exercises and photos are here), it's graded (progressions from exercise to exercise are smooth and pre-determined) and it's totally original. Whether you love or hate the author, you have to listen to him. And you will learn something. This book just makes SENSE. In twenty years people will still be buying it.
Was largely unhappy with this purchase. Nothing really new here. Although valid, it's not fresh material. Pavel's 'The Naked Warrior' is a much better option. Dragon Door's range is vast & of excellent quality, but I would have steered clear if I'm honest. If you're interested in strength & might look no further than Marty Gallagher's 'The Purposeful Primitive'. Next to Pavel's 'Beyond Bodybuilding', you have all you need. Both are modern day classics & essential reading in this field.
The whole lay out of the book is very simple and easy to read. I found it really inspiring that a guy in that situation can end up doing something so useful with his spare time. What I liked the most about the book was the fact that he was not trying to sell any product, only his theory. Its so refreshing to see a way to get an all over workout without using a single piece of gym equipment. If only more people could grasp this concept of training they would be so much better off.
This is a great book, the progressions and general fitness tips are fantastic. Five months in and there is already a significant change in my physique.One of this books best features is its convenience. with a bit of thinking, you could perform a workout virtually anywhere!!All in all, this is a great book that delivers everything it promises.
This book has really given me the body weight training i need. With its genius well put together progression of exercises, you get the full body max strength without using weights.
Very good, the progressiosn alow you to go from whatever level of strength you are now and get to elite level, if you put in the work of course.You must master your bodyweight first, and this is the best guide to do it that I have found so far.
Even though I'm a martial arts practitioner and instructor, and not new to the field of bodyweight exercises, this book has realy impressed me and brought very good results to my workouts. I've toned down my exercises according to Paul Wade's advice, and my joints stoped aching and I'm enjoying my workouts much more. The program is very detailed and meticiolous on one hand, and very simple to follow on the other, which makes it easy for anyone to follow provided they have enough patience and look at the long term goal of improving real core strenght and flexibility. A very good book definitely worth working with.
great information, guidelines, and training protocol. definitely would recommend this book to someone serious about getting stronger and better at bodyweight movements.
I am a 22 year old college student who has been very unsatisfied with my previous workouts...I needed a change badly. My brother recommended Paul Wade's book to me and I was definitely intrigued. I ordered it the next week and have been going through the progressions for a few weeks now. I already feel stronger than I can ever remember feeling and it is amazing. I am going to continue with this book until I reach all of the measures of a TRUE man. This book is full of absolutely amazing material and everybody who is interested in improving their fitness should go out and grab a copy. You will never look at conditioning the same again.
One day I would like to meet Coach Paul Wade because he is a master of bodyweight strength and also a master author! He clearly and concisely outlines a plan to improve your ability from average or even "couch potato" fitness all the way to freakish, show-stopping strength and conditioning. In addition to the great explanations of the exercises and progressions, he also provides routines, interesting historical notes, a great philosophy, and very helpful pictures. Since starting this program I have not only gained size (and lost fat) but the muscle I have now feels like steel instead of merely flesh...Get this book and start this program ASAP!
Like most other people who saw the title of this book, I was skeptical. Thinking about it, when you see "convict", images of the weight yards go through your head. So, for someone to put out information about old school methods of strength training got me curious. It was a definite pleasant surprise. I find that not only is Coach Wade very knowledgeable with the forgotten methods of "old school" calisthenics but has put it into an easy to understand step by step methods anyone could follow. The "Big Six Methods" are a great way to comprehend the strength training for the athelte who wants to learn how to totally control your body in ways you'd only could dream about. Being a combative artist in this day in age, I found this book to be a valuable necessity for strength training the combative athlete to the reality based fighting arts practitioner.
My wife and I heard about Convict Conditioning through our kettlebell instructor and were intrigued enough that we decided to give it a look. Am I glad we did. Regardless of your fitness level this book will work for you, the simple, plain language makes it an easy read and with the focus primarily on a slow progression throughout the exercises, there's no way you can go wrong. But the key is you have to follow the progressions, no skipping ahead. We've both embarked on our own "convict" conditioning journey and we look forward to seeing the end results once they are achieved.
I can't stop reading and re-reading this book. It is going to get dog-eared and old-looking in only a month or two due to use. I used to think that body weight conditioning was only traditional calisthenics but Coach Wade has opened my eyes to the many ways of upping your strength using body weight only. His breakdown steps are priceless. I am actually getting close to a one-arm chin and his techniques are giving me direction to help me get over the plateau I am at. There are 6 basic bodyweight exercises to train with and all of them are quite hard to do but I can see their applicatioin to real world survival and pure strength situations. This book is not about endless reps of push-ups. It is about developing "tear-your-opponent's-arm-off strength." I am working on all 6 bodyweight exercises and working on getting superstrong. One quoate Coach Wade made was that it may take 3 years to master some of the strenth progressions. At that time you will be superstrong. And you were planning on being 3 years older anyway, right? So why not arrive at the 3 year mark with superman strength. I am shooting for that. And these exercises are so fun they are crowding out my gym routine. Buy the book! Lewis Cone, DC
I've been working in fitness for two decades, and designing and patenting exercise equipment for eight years of that. During my time, I've been exposed to many clever, well thought-out ideas. This is the best. Six exercises, ten levels. All progressive, all doable by anyone at any level, from coming out of surgery to near super-human. The exercises are all highly effective, develop the nervous system and muscles as well as cardiovascular fitness and flexibility. To top this off, they can all be done at home. Amazing system, bathed in lucid photos (sadly only black and white), and dressed with enough writing (yes, there's *writing* in this Dragon Door book!) to make everything easy to understand and follow. A pleasure to read. My only concern, as I work in the fitness equipment innovation industry, is that this kind of workout could very well put me out of business!
An absolute must for those in Law Enforcement, especially Corrections.The theory & methods I found in this book are on point. The system is definitely applicable, although some may find it difficult to integrate into their existing fitness schedule. Worth it's weight in gold.
Words cannot describe the excitement I felt while perusing through Convict Conditioning at first. A few days after, I sold my dumbells to a friend, with a word of caution ! I truly wish my physical education teachers knew 10% of what I learned just reading it. Despite of its relatively small size (288 pages with the acknoledgements) it's the most complete reference work on bodyweight training I've ever encoutered. It's infused with the author's wealth of experience, plus it's a good read. Go get it, it's priceless !
An indispensable collection of exercise progressions geared toward human perfection. The amount of work that went into this manual is both staggering and inspiring...worth every penny and some serious change--highly recommended.
I was given this book during a trip to see family in the states. I'm currently based in Ramla, where I teach KCC (Kapap Combat Concepts). I have been interested in Dragon Door's fine books since I read the incredible Hoffmekler book, The Warrior Diet. I devoured both books in a single evening. We've been experimenting with weights training at our KCC center, but as soon as I take this back I'm going to make this form of elite-level body weight training the core of our strength work, with running and sparring for fitness. This book represents a complete system for optimizing strength, agility and most importantly the ability to move your own body around, and it does all this while protecting the joints. I will be teaching this system exclusively to all my students and fellow instructors, who train KCC to defend their lives and the lives of their families. That's how much I beleive in this system.
Having been a strength coach for many years, I have read about everything and let me tell you...this book is a keeper! I have seen all of the exercises presented here before, but the progression is by far the best I have seen for them. This is a must for ANY serious athlete and/or coach looking for another piece of the puzzle. Get this book or be weak! Your choice...
I feel like I understand so much more about working out after reading Convict Conditioning, all because the exercises follow a simple yet novel progression from embarrassingly easy to seemingly impossible.I'm a 27 year-old who, until exposed to Convict Conditioning, has never really taken working out seriously, mainly because I never knew anything about working out. The logical flow and progressive nature of the workouts gives me a clear path to follow, making it easy to envision myself completing some of these superhuman feats. For example, I've always been to weak for classic pushups and pull-ups, so I never tried to work on them. Now I can see myself mastering these basic strength exercises and beyond!
when i was incarcerated back in the nineteen eighties, i also practised body training like this, but nothing so sophisticated. an excellent book, well worth the effort of getting hold of this copy.
if you have the time and patience to maintain the schedule, the progressions in this book will allow you to reach your goals with, not just great muscle strength, but good joint health and tendon strength as well. well worth the read.
I come to this review after having Mr. Wades book in my hands for only two weeks. A little background; at 16 I discovered power lifting and then sadly blew 3 disks in my lower back. I never thought I could ever get back my strength or fitness levels until now. I always thought the bridge was a big no-no with my back, to the contrary, it RULES, just do the progression! After only two weeks of starting with the first stage progressions my spine feels a million times more flexible and resilient. If you want true full body strength you must get this book! If you have a bad back you NEED these exercises, your body will thank you. Thank you Coach Wade!
I read this book with the intention of taking some time off from my gym this year--especially now that the weather is getting better--and I was very satisfied with my purchase. The best part about this regiment is that you can do these exercises virtually anywhere, and as long as you continue to challenge yourself and keep decent records of your workouts, the progress will follow. I thought the book was a little wordy and repetitive (certainly not written in the tradition of the Naked Warrior), but I did appreciate a thorough explanation of the benefits of body weight exercises as well as the history. One of the things I still wrestle with is the suggestion that you start at the beginning, with exercises that feel pathetically easy. I have struggled with wanting to skip steps and continue to do so, but I haven't given in...yet.All said and told, this is a great book, and I am hoping that by the end of this year, I'll be able to complete all the master level exercises, and become a strongman in the fine tradition.
One of the best put together books I've ever read. Step-by-step instructions and demo's to increase strength and performance. Highly recommended.
My interest in functional strength has led me to look at the use of body weight exercices as my primary means of strength and conditioning. I have another "conditioning" program, and various other body weight programs that are on the market. Paul Wade does something with his program that I found to be lacking in the others that I have utilized to achieve my goals in functional strength..."WHERE AND HOW TO START". Each exercise has 10 progressions, each progression is build upon by the basic exercise proceeding it, in other words you crawl before you walk, and walk before jogging,and jog before sprinting. You learn to be patient, building strength, real strength, not "all show and no go" muscles that are soo prevelent in today's "gotta have it now" mentality. If I understand the progressions, this process takes almost a year to complete properly, all the time building the strength and physique that you want.One word to describe this book would be "AWESOME". Thanks Paul,for putting your knowledge down on paper!
In this book Paul "Coach" Wade has given the world a comprehensive and intelligent system for building strength with minimal equipment. I highly reccommend Convict Conditioning to anyone who is interested in bodyweight exercise.
I was reluctant to buy into the convict conditioning movement that I kept seeing on the Dragondoor forum. It didn't seem worth the trouble to give up the kettlebell workouts I normally do. I saw some Russian "parkour" and realized I could move iron around pretty easily, but couldn't move myself around without struggling. I bought this book more out of curiosity than anything else, and I am now an ardent follower. I've been at it for a month, working patiently, and hopefully conditioning the joints (I'm one who strength-wise could jump in anywhere between stage 6 and 10, but am putting my time in at stage 1 and 2). I've had numerous positive changes, some of the shoulder aches I had are gone, and am increasing flexibility and mobility in my ankles. Since I'm in no rush, I can't comment on how strong I can get off this program but I've no doubt I will due to the improvements I've seen in such a short time already. All in all, the concepts of the book are simple, to the point of I wonder why I didn't think of that. The progressions and stages are what make the whole thing fun. That's the best part of it, there's nothing overwhelming or complex...just do the work and improve.
I'm crazy about this book, and am incredibly pleased that I bit the bullet and picked up a copy. I'm proud to have a whole shelf of the world's best classic training books at home (everything from a first edition of 'Only the Strong Shall Survive' to Hinburn's great re-releases), and I'm actually honored to give this new release pride of place. My only real criticism is, like 'The Purposeful Primitive' and so on, Dragon Door makes their books too tall to fit alongside regular books. (Seriously, this book is the size of a clipboard and the weight of a Bible.) This is a small critique though, given the content. I know that this book has been surrounded by controversy, but honestly, it's very hard to imagine anyone who is into training or coaching picking up a copy and not loving it because it genuinely has something for everyone. If you like old ideas, you will love this book. (the strongman stories, the history of traditional kalisthenics, etc) If you like exciting new ideas, you will love this book. (the big six, the ten steps, the Paul Wade system) If you like your books wordy and full of smart, interesting training discussions, you will love this book. (There's an interesting idea on every page) If you prefer your books to be all about the hands-on training, you will love this book. (nearly half the book is big, clear photos, and the exercise explanations are easy-to-follow) If you like building big, scary muscles, you will love this book. (the extreme unilateral loads x relatively high volume) If you are more into functional strength, you will love this book. (the tactical body weight techniques; pull-ups, leg lifts, bridges, etc) If you like complex training theories, you will love this book. (the in-depth biomechanics, anatomy, little-known but useful concepts like 'Lombardo's Paradox', etc) If you prefer to keep your workouts and training approach simple, you will love this book. (it doesn't get easier or more simple than following ten steps for each movement) Basically, I love this new book and you will too. Do yourself a favor and don't be the last one to get your hands on a copy. Better yet, get two. If Dragon Door ever discontinues this book because of the controversy surrounding it, the bastard will be worth a fortune on e-bay. Steve D
Paul Wade gives great history lesson on bodyweight strength training. Provided with good looking progression plan to achieve true strength. I would probaply be more suited to evaluate this book after a year, but after doing the excercises 2 months I have feeling that they are effective and virtually without equipment. Also liked the writing style.
This book is the mutts nuts!!Think about a book on building muscle and strenght with weights that presents everything you'de ever need to know. That book would be the most awesome book in the world. Well this is exactly what you have with this book written by a prisoner who trained using only his body for 20 yrs. You have the only book on bodyweight strength and muscle you will ever need. If you arent inspired by this book, you are probably six foot under!
The book presents some really good information. The progressions are invaluable. However, the book itself is lacking. The writing is wordy, the book could have easily been a third shorter. And I've yet to meet anyone that can come close to a one arm handstand push up. I find it doubtful that the author, or anyone else, was doing this for reps at any point.
I really like this book. It does a nice job of explaining each exercise of the workout and some photos for additional clarification. Each 'core' exercise has progression levels which is fantastic. When I first read through the book, I thought I could start at level 4 or 5. As suggested in the book, I started at level 1 and it's been tough! The progression keeps you motivated and working towards the Master Level. The best part is you can do the entire workout at home and very little equipment is needed. In just a couple of weeks I've seen improvements in my strength and I'm excited to continue on. If you're reading the reviews you're already intrigued and you should buy the book, it will not disappoint.
This book is well written and gives you plenty of ideas of how to get in the best shape possible. He regresses each exercise down to the basics so anyone can do them. Great book.
I really enjoyed reading "Convict Conditioning." I'm already following Paul's advice and have started from the beginning,which is really easy. I just hope that I have the patience to continue following the program to the end. Like all Dragon Door books I have read so far. I find Convict Conditioning easy to understand and inspirational. Thanks Paul for writing the book and Dragon Door for printing it.Oh yeah, I find the looks I get pretty funny when people find out what I'm reading and the title of said book.
It's amazing the amount of freedom that comes to your life when you can work-out virtually anywhere, without ever having to worry about getting to some type of equipment regularly.And who better to learn the raw fundamentals from than someone who "had" to get strong or die?Seriously, if the work we've been doing doesn't enable us to move our own body-weight with ease in any plane, then what good is it really doing? The progressions are amazingly effective and clear.This book, combined with all of Pavel's teachings, brings it.
Having ran the gauntlet of heavy weight training, and made all the stereotypical mistakes that most young guys make, I needed a change. Even after correcting those mistakes as I got older, bodybuilding style training had gotten very stale. It can be great for some, but was becoming unhealthy for me. A few minor training injuries were slowly getting worse and going lighter didn't help. Being a tall lean guy, blessed with great genetics for gains, but cursed with small joints, I realized I needed to reprogram my mentality to ensure comfortable training for the rest of my life. My search for something new brought me to CC. As soon as I got this book I could tell I had something unique. The sheer volume of training data was incredible, and got me excited immediately. That alone was worth the cover price. From the progressions, to the the self-coaching, and even the history of calisthenics got me hooked, and fired up to start training again. What got me as well, was how it made me rethink to some degree, what has been banged into everyone's head through the years about what training should involve. While there are alot of great training methods out there (weight training included, if done properly), this style is VERY valid, and if one can put ego aside and be honest with one's self...the sky is the limit. After a month and a half of using only CC, i'm much stronger already and have a feeling of vitality, not to mention 5lbs of new muscle. People ask me "so your lifting again eh?" without me mentioning it and when I say "nope", the resulting quizzical look is priceless. My joints are great and my training motivation is through the roof! Don't let any issue with the title, or the author's view on weights, or what the latest T.V. or magazine trainer of the month says is the 'only way to work out' stop you from trying this book. Open your mind a bit...and the rest could be history.
I've basically been playing around with bodyweight exercises for the past couple years. As a Physical Therapist who has messed up my shoulder pushing iron I've found that I can do bodyweight exercises without any problems! The results have been outstanding in that I can still press 110 pound dumbbells for reps despite having not touched them after close to a year! This book, however, gives me a whole new recipe with which I can train to become more powerful than I ever imagined! After purchasing this book 2 weeks ago I've now set my sights on performing exercises I never dreamed I could do - one armed pushups, single arm handstand pushups, one legged box jumps. These are more than just party tricks. This is true FUNCTIONAL strength. When it comes to sports it doesn't matter how much iron you can move. What matters is how well you can move your own butt around! Get this book to be truly strong! (You should also get Pavel's The Naked Warrior - which I also purchased!)
Seems you either love it or hate it. It's gotten enough reviews from people I respect (like Zach Even Esh) that I bought it. Want to know if it works? Check the dragondoor forums - people are posting their progress their daily. As for myself, I'm sticking with it for a year. If it produces the results it says, I'll be stronger than every one of the naysayers. If it doesn't? It's worth trying for a year given the sheer volume of rave reviews, isn't it?
As a long distance runner this is exactly what I have been looking for in a strength training program. Convict Conditioning has it all laid out in a highly progressive and very thorough manner. Those who have the patience to work through Coach Wade's program will definitely reap huge rewards at having developed all around functional strength.
I am a 55 year old retired Airborne, Ranger, Infantryman---fitness has been very important in my life and still is. This book focuses on a few key exercises and SHOWS HOW TO BUILD UP FROM BEING IN VERY POOR SHAPE TO BEING IN GREAT SHAPE.Very well done, highly recommended to beginners and advanced fitness folks.Again--the book focuses on a few key exercises and how to build up from nothing to being in great shape.The only exercise I would add is the burpee/squat thrust/8 count push-up.
Simply the best book on bodyweight training ever written. Paul Wade gives a sound and effective progression for 6 groups of exercises which train the whole body. Anyone can take advantage of this book, increasing own strength and building up a fine physique, without using weights. I highly recommend this book to any athlete.
I have never seen a more complete training tool in my entire life. Anyone from toddlers to seniors can safely perform exercises within each of the stages of progression for all six of the skills. There is literally almost no end to the implications for the rest of us. What this book can teach you about your own body and how to safely take it to freakishly strong and coordinated levels of training is simply astonishing, yet so incredibly simple in it's approach . If you do not have this book yet, what are you waiting for? If you are a fitness professional and you actually think you don't need it, you should find another line of work.
The progressions are the key to success in Paul Wade's program. I believe the emphasis on conditioning the joints and putting in the time will pay off for me. In a society where we want, and unfortunately are often granted, instantaneous results, Convict Conditioning helps you to understand that true strength and fitness gains aren't made overnight, but rather, with months, and maybe even years of concentrated effort. I can't see how anyone could go wrong purchasing this book, or following the progressions.
This book stresses essential movements and progression. Even if you are physically capable of jumping ahead in the progression, "Coach" tells you to follow the progressions he has honed through the years with his "clients."Mastery of the more advanced movements does not happen overnight,it takes several months of dedicated practice.There is not a doubt in my mind that following the progressions he has laid out will lead anyone to their strongest body.
After a month, I feel brand new. I dedicated everything I had, and changed my lifestyle to try and get the best results. And while it's ONLY been a month, results I've had. I feel like the things around are getting weaker haha. But I'm happy with my purchase, but now I need to somehow combine this, The Naked Warrior, and 44 pound Kettlebells altogether, to try and maximize my training. I need a schedule that's what I need. .
THIS BOOK IS WRITTEN FOR MEN, HOWEVER FOR A LADY I AM UP FOR THE CHALLENGE. FOR ALL FEMALES PLEASE GIVE THIS BOOK A CHANCE. JUST TAKE ONE STEP AT A TIME IT CAN BE DONE.
I thought I knew a thing or two after years of bodyweight training, but this book blew me away. Convict contitioning will be a part of my fitness and strength training for the rest of my life. Even the first step exercises are worth going back to no matter how far along you get.
Excellent knowledge of the human body. Why break your body down with heavy weights when you can accomplish so much more. Paul Wades plan of attack is full proof and will bring even the worst body back to shape. I have lifted heavy all my life and will give my word that I will not use weights anymore! This is the real deal!!
Overall, this was an excellent book to add to my training library. The modified exercises and progressions were very helpful,however I found I was unable to progress past certain steps despite having achieved the progression level of reps. I also had some concerns about the book's authenticity. Nowhere is there a picture of the author. Instead, someone from another fitness web site is seen demonstrating the exercises. Why? If the author is who he says he is and can perform these exercises why did he not appear in the book, even in an author's bio? I also question the fact that the author advocates only 2 sets of each excercise with low reps, but in one passage tells how he was observed doing pushups for over 40 minutes. The strength building strategy, however, is something I have included in my own training and believe is a sound philosophy.
I read it cover to cover, twice! Paul shares with us not only the secrets of prison body weight exercise, but also a motivating perspective on why weight room culture fails most people. He gives a historical perspective on these calisthenic methods which in itself was eye opening for me and added to my motivation, especially as a Martial Artist. Coach Wade has laid out these 6 exercise progressions in a logical training series and he provides valid reasoning for starting from the beginning, even if you think you are already a "strong man".These calisthenic series are exactly what I needed to accompany my RKC minimum and to put all my plates away.This book is a wealth of fitness culture and is a most have for everyone's library.
The only thing that can make this book and it's contents fail is the failure to patiently follow the progressions. I have noticed an increase in my over all strength after just several weeks of doing the basics. Anyone that submits their ego to the chronological progressions is going to get real strength. I use the easier steps as a supplement to my kettlebell and suspension workouts so that I don't get bored with the ease of it, but I do'em. Once I get up to the more challenging steps they will get their own time slot.
I was lucky enough to receive my personal copy of Convict Conditioning straight from the author himself, signed by his own hand. We have been in correspondence since early 2007. We have a mutual interest in the old time strongmen, although we come at the subject from opposite "sides of the pond". Whereas Paul has an interest in many of the old-school American strongmen (in particular and Warren Lincoln Travis and Joe "The Mighty Atom" Greenstein), I'm more interested in the Victorian strongmen of Great Britain. European strongmen were much more muscular than their American counterparts before tissue-building drugs were invented. Bill Bankier, the Scot, had the world's largest arms, and held the record for half a century before PEDS came onto the scene in the 1950s. I'm lucky enough to be related to the great Thomas Inch on my mother's side. (Some of you might remember the famous "Inch" dumbbell.) Although Paul does not advocate the use of weights, his mind-set and training ideology is very similar to many of the old-timers. This is noticable in his book in three ways. First, he advocates building the tendons and joints primarily. Second, he advocates total-body strength feats, like one arm chinups and tiger bends. Thirdly, he advocates the gradual increase in training demands, to allow the joints, cells, heart and internal organs to slowly and safely adapt to heavy stregth training. If you train like this you will never need drugs to get big and strong. I have always found Paul to be incredibly helpful and generous in his advice. His knowledge of training techniques and history is beyond belief, and when it comes to bodyweight body building skills he is surely the world's greatest expert. Nobody who ever buys his book and reads it with an open mind will regret it. Henry "Hank" Ross
I've been following the program for about 2-3 weeks now and I'm liking it so far. Okay, except for maybe when I'm cursing out the program when I'm doing my squat sets in the morning. The exercises are simple to learn, but still quite challenging to carry out and master. I'm not sure how I feel about these 6 exercises working all of my muscles, but it's still early. For example, I don't really feel my hamstrings or biceps challenged that much, but that could just be a matter of my weaker muscles catching up before the stronger muscles get worked. I'll stick with it and see. I've still got a long way to go...
I began my training as a gymnast in high school and I went on to powerlifting in my early twenties. I'm a bit of a theorist at heart as I think a lot of ideas are totally wrong that are around right now. I had a lot of good ideas for making gymnastics training better for strength. This book very much coalesces everything I've learned. It combins the long productive recovery periods and pure brute strength of extreme powerlifting with the control and movement knack you get in gymnastics. A wonderful 'third way' which will be of value to anyone who trains. I've been out of the game for years as I focused on aikido, and this is just the way back into the strength world I need. Interestingly I have found some of the ideas I learned in advanced Japanese martial arts in this book! I defy anyone not to benefit from it.
I am 47 years old former college basketball player looking for a way to stay in shape without spending hours in the gym pumping iron. This is the best book I have seen on bodyweight conditioning. I love the progressions.
i have nothing against the title or the fact that the author did time. i was shooting the breeze with an elderly 'community service officer' the other day, he said he himself didn't manhandle any drunks or crooks, but he gets to go through all the various training seminars and updates that the department has. he said he raised three boys and rassled around w/ them as they grew up, and he learns all the takedowns and cop-style wrestling when the dept. holds training sessions. "now the REAL cops," he says, "of course they all lift A LOT of weights, they have a REAL good weight room" he says, "because of course they NEVER want to lose. they CAN'T lose." he says. and he had a point. this book is great to bring your BW moves up to speed. but i wouldn't bank on JUST that, if i had weights too.
Interesting insight, great exercises, and great description of progression. However, critical reading skills are must. Here are two examples why.Obviously the author himself has lifetime experience coaching people who can and do dedicate lots of daily time to exercising. However, he now has to advise general population (folks hitting gym 3 times a week for 45 min), and the coaching experience doesn't carry over. One ridiculous example of this is the programming advice that implies most people can achieve one hand pullup mastery by doing pullups just once a week, for couple of sets (few minutes).Also, the comparison with traditional exercises is unfair. For example, the diagram that shows how handstand pushup is superior to overhand barbell press shows incorrectly done barbell press (that is inviting injury). Basically, too much strawman through all comparison examples.
I know a lot of gym rats like me are going in every day just trying to push your iron up in the squat, bench, curl and military. Well I was the same until I read this awesome book!! IT has opened my eyes about the true d nature of real body strength. I have a 12 week challenge for you! Forget the heavy bars for a while, and for 3 months focus on getting 6 examples of geniune body stregth. The one leg squat/one arm pushup/five strict pull ups/five strict hand stand push ups/five good full bridges/ten strict leg raises off a hanging bar. Despite squatting over 400 I failed at all these first time of asking, but in just 2 months I could do them all. If you try this like I did and the coach reccomends, you will never look back and your strength speed and looseness will be better than batmans!!
As a Soldier in the U.S. Army I am constantly searching for new ways to improve my strength and fitness. Being the loyal Dragon Door customer I am, I decided to purchase Convict Conditioning by Mr. Paul Wade. It is one of the few books that I've read in one sitting. It's filled with practical, proven and useful information that anyone can understand and apply to their fitness plan. This book has completely changed the way I work out and has definitely "schooled me" in the true meaning of functional strength. Thank you Dragon Door and Mr. Paul Wade!
this book was a birthday gift to me from my great uncle. he has a lot of experience in hindu wrestling the best in the world and this system is very very good also. reminding of the old indian body only warriors. recommeded for all readers to learn new good things.
it will be my fitness bible for a long time...
Really, really, really love this book. I've been working through the progressions for the last two months. I'm getting stronger and looking forward to total shoulder rehab and getting to the advanced progressions. I've read and tried many different programs of body weight and weighted exercise with lots of focus and intensity going back at least 25 years. So far this program is totally excellent and very worth the investment.
Bodyweight training is definitely the best way to get your body in peak condition and achieve true functional fitness. Unfortunately it is not being taught in the majority of commercial gyms, where members instead are 'dumped' onto isolation machines instead. If you want to find out how to get in really great shape without the use of any equipment whatsoever, I definitely recommend this book.The basic movements are well explained in a progressive manner, so that any individual at any fitness level can get started on this program. If you need a solution of how to train if you dont have time to attend a gym, or if you're travelling, this book has the answer.
Convict Conditioning is packed with useful information to get strong all over in terms of strength-to-weight ratio no matter what fitness level you are currently at. The author, Coach Wade guides you through these exercises while being safe and explaining the principles behind it in detail. I am 20 years old and I will do all these exercises in the book until I am 80. Best investment I've made in fitness and health.
I have been strength training for a good 3 years, i mastered Enter the Kettlebell and was looking for something a bit different. Having never tried bodyweight training exclusively!! I love the fact this book starts at the very beginning and builds up to some very extreme exercises!! This was perfect for me...someone who has never really done bodyweight exercises...but also for my old man who has suffered with being overweight and back problems for aslong as i can remember! And a complete novice when it comes to any sort of training. after only a couple of months he is noticing his strength change and because he is thinking about his body it has helped him to start to lose weight! Every execise explained and broken down! all in all i love this book! my new bible!
This book is great! Goes over building a solid foundation which many including myself lack. Full of information.
this book will take you to new places in discomfort when you get past the seemingly boring 'easy' phase of build-up training - seemingly snail-paced, agonising reps are actually just controlled and good form! the focus on form and stabilisers opened my eyes to the shoddy technique some supposedly strong men use in rocketing high reps
Convict Conditioning is the ultimate guide to body-weight strength training. Showing the way to super strength through body-weight-only exercises in a way that not even "The naked Warrior" managed to do. After reading this book, even a dedicated weight-lifter like me start to question the necessity of external loads to build overall and complete strength.Apart from being an excellent guide and the ultimate "handbook" of calisthenics this volume is full of great information, facts, tips and tricks on strength training, health and prehab, and these sections alone are worth the buy. It is also a great source of inspiration and can give a kick-start to anyone moving in circles with their training. Highly recommended!
I am a 35yr old police defensive tactics instructor in the UK with 12yrs experience. For the last 5yrs, I have been plagued with injuries and illness from pushing myself too hard in the gym with weights and fighting with offenders during arrests. I am more than just battle scarred, 'to say the least'. I was getting to the point where I thought I would have to take up a desk job position, as my body had just about had it. That was, until, I found convict conditioning. Having read hundreds of reviews and threads at Dragon Door, I think that the book may be very underrated and misunderstood by many. It is actually a very insightful, science based text. It starts with high volume easier steps, that promote joint health, correct physiological movement and some sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. These things have all allowed my battered body to recover and feel healthy again, for the first time in years! As you progress through the steps, the volume decreases and muscular tension increases; there is a subtle and imperceptible shift of bias, towards myofibrillar hypertrophy and neuro-based strength gains rather than sarcoplasmic, strength-endurance based training. The clever bit, is that if you have stuck to the programme and not skipped the first few levels, your body will be fully prepared to tackle some heavy duty strength work that may have caused pain,injury, bad posture and soreness, if you had tackled them straight off. I suspect that most people will dismiss the first stages as too easy or 'for beginners'. To do so, will completely miss the whole point. The first stages are the key to moving smoothly and uninjured through the entire programme. I am now feeling healthier and stronger than I have done for years, and I have a convict to thank! I am used to putting them behind bars, not praising them!
Six weeks into the program and I have been humbled. Don't get me wrong I have made progress. In fact the only exercise that I have not graduated from ar the dreaded knee tucks. The above having been said let me tell ytou a bit about me and where I am coming from. I work full time a critical care R.N., part time photographer and trainig a ina few martial arts. At my strongest I had a #500 bench press. At my strongest I couldn't do a 1 arm push up. Moving around and witching shifts has kept me out of th egym and the dojo. Let's just say I am not at my strongest. LOL Six weeks into the program my waist is down, my stamina is up and I'm getting positive feedback on my body changes. Yes I have changed my diet as well but the program is easy to keep up, it's hard to say you don't have time when you can knock it out in 20-30 minutes without leaving the house. As far as who wrote the book go , frankly I don't give a damn. I take knowledge as it comes keep the wise, dump the rest. This book is a keeper. A clear, concise well written full body program.
The ideal companion for the minimalist minded athlete. This book is a breath of fresh air in a world overrun with tired gimmicky gadgets. Kudos to Paul Wade for writing this mighty book.
To me, anyone who wants to get strong, and has to start at the basic 100 lb weakling level, let alone even semi in shape, then this is the place to start. Barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, are the next step up and are for those who are already strong enough to start at a higher level. For those of us who are young, old, and anywhere in between, and want to get in shape, this is the best resource ever. It takes you from 100 lb weakling to what ever level you want to go to. If you then want to go to weight lifting after you are in shape, you will at least be strong enough to be able to do it with out hurting yourself. This book is cutting edge, and needs to be in anyone's library, and be put to use. It should be the text for any gym trainer, if they really are there to help people, but of course, using it would get them thrown out of there, as it is not about using gym equipment, and it would not bring in customers who would use their equipment. IT IS THE BEST!!! Buy yourself a copy, or more.
I am very pleased with the Convict Training. Its like a Breath of fresh air. Paul Wade takes you step by step. I highly recommend this book.
It does not get any better than this book. Just reading it you can tell it will work.I have read them all and this is by far the best. From zero to hero and you can do it, just follow the plan.
I travel a lot to weird locales, and need a workout program I can do anywhere, with nothing. This is that program. Provides a clear-headed approach to building the strength necessary to master the big six power bodyweight exercises. Although I'm fit, I started at the beginning and I'm putting strength in the bank as I move through each progression. I'm building power and getting leaner, but the biggest payoffs are the improvements to my posture, elimination of joint pain, and general feelings of well-being and being "in my body." I'm committed to following this book through to the mastery steps of each exercise.
This exercise plan is designed to take a year or more to complete. That was refreshing to hear. Most plans promise "insane" results if you work your butt off for 90 days, give or take.
I have enough things in my life causing mental trauma without adding my exercise plan. Slow and steady is usually more reliable over the long term. Each exercise is broken down from a very basic beginner level to very advanced. My 3 & 4 year old daughters can do a few of the beginning exercises. I can't do any of the top level ones. The advise in the book is to start with the basics and advance a level each month or so. In about a year, you should be in the advanced levels at that pace. If you start with the basics at the number of reps required to advance, I believe that you will feel it. They are working something I don't normally use, even though my basic exercises before would fall into the mid level exercises in this plan.
If you have the attention span of a gnat, this is not for you. If you get off on lifting things in front of a mirror and telling/listening to gym stories, this is not for you (try The Purposeful Primitive). If you are looking for something to build a solid body for a lifetime, this is what you are looking for.
I love this book. I am pretty fit already but I haven't found a system that works for my body type until now. At first I thought the innitial exercises were beneath me since I can grudgingly squeeze out a single one arm pushup but after just trying it I realize the significance of his approach. It is easy for me while still getting me to work hard. Plus the workouts are very intense/strength style and don't take a 45 minutes to an hour to complete which honestly can be a pain in the a$$.I give this book a 10/10 because there is very little fluff, it is easy to understand and most of all it works. I keep it near by bed as a reference whenever I have a question. I look forward to my new fitness. Thanks Paul Wade! Blessings, peace and power to you all.P.S. I also recommend The Naked Warrior by Pavel as a supplement to this book.
This book is one of the best. Anyone who finds it remotely interesting should buy it. I'm sure other reviews give more detail, but this work is perfect for developing great strength (and all other necessary physical attributes) in the most bare-bones set-up possible. The first work from DragonDoor which I purchased was The Naked Warrior (by Pavel). It changed my approach to everything. The book itself only covers two basic exercises, but gives enough information on training for it to be useful for any sort of routine. Convict Conditioning gives exercises and routines to make anyone with a functional body, no matter its condition, a master of strength using a well designed program and progression. It, however, does not go into great detail on the strength techniques found in the Naked Warrior. It does not have to, as the progressions will cause one to "discover" them as needed, but it would serve the would-be strongman well to buy both this book and the Naked Warrior. I would bet money that one could surpass anyone with these two books, or even with just one of them.
THIS BOOK ROCKS I HAVE LOTS OF TRAINING BOOKS AND DVD ON BODY WEIGHT TRAINING BUT THIS KNOCKS THEM DEAD . THE PROGESSION THAT COACH WADE HAS LAYED OUT IS JUST RIGHT. SOME OTHER BOOKS (MATT FUREY) CAN NOT COME CLOSE . GREAT JOB "TRAIN HARD FIGHT EASY"
I was a teacher in an Illinois medium security prison for nine years. I talked with convicts about training every day. I was also able to watch them train in the gym and yards. So I know that Paul Wade's Convict Conditioning is the real deal! If your desire is to be functionally strong (REALLY STRONG!), Paul's book shows you the way...step-by-step.
Something new and different, yet tried and true. It's simple to follow and to the point. No one will be disappointed who buys this book. A must read for anyone who takes strength and fitness seriously.
I thought this book was going to be a good book for people who were already in good shape and wanted to get into better shape. It does that, but it's also the best book I've read - and I've read a bunch - for people who are completely out of shape and want to get into better shape. Very well written, very easy to follow.
I'm a martial artist and I've been training for years with a combination of weights and bodyweight training and had good results from both (but had the ususal injuries from weight training). I prefer the bodyweight stuff though as it trains me to use my whole body as a unit, much more than weights do, and I notice the difference on the mat and in the ring. Since reading this book I have given the weights a break and focused purely on the bodyweight exercise progressions as described by 'Coach' Wade and my strength had increased more than ever before. So far I've built up to 12 strict one-leg squats each leg and 5 uneven pull ups each arm (the heaviest curls I've ever done - 60kg at 70kg bw - were a piece of piss compared to these buggers!) - my goal of course is the master step of complete one arm pull ups). I've never achieved this kind of strength before - and this stuff builds solid muscle mass as well. It's very intense training. I also apply the various high body tension and GTG techniques that Pavel outlines in 'The Naked Warrior', which I know has enabled me to make more rapid progress. I am so confident in and happy with the results I'm getting that I've decided to train for a fitness/bodybuilding comp just using his techniques, no weights, just to show for real what kind of a physique these exercises can build. In sum, I cannot recommend 'Coach' Wade's book highly enough - it is by far the best of its kind ever!
I love to train my body. But sometimes my body rebels and calls forth the ghosts of injuries past. Recently that injury manifested in herniated discs and pinched nerves. Training comes to a screeching halt. "You should try yoga" my wife says. Yeah right. Then I stumble upon Convict Conditioning. I read the reviews about the progressions and I give it a shot. Boy am I happy I did. Most body weight conditioning books make lots of promises, but never give accurate instruction on how to achieve the mystical strength goals that are promised at the outset. In Convict Conditioning, this is not the case at all. The progressions are the key, at least for me. Even though you may be ready to tackle a higher level progression, by starting at the bottom and working my way up I am actually increasing my strength and rehabing injuries at the same time. I honestly can say that my ability to walk upright like a normal human at this very moment is not due to my physical therepy sessions, it is because of the bridging progressions in Convict Conditioning. For that chapter alone I will be forever grateful.
I was introduced to this book by a buddy who bought three copies. When I read it, I immediately went to my truck and fished out some cash to buy one of them off him. Anyone who has skimmed through this book will know why! After six years of on-off work in both in a commercial gym and my basement, I became intrigued by gymnastics and began researching it deeply. My first brush with body-weight training came oh, about a year back when I bought Coach Sommer's 'Building the Gymnastic Body'. DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!!! Man, what a disappointment! I had hoped for some solid ideas about building strength and power as an adult, but what I got was a flimsy, badly written brochure full of a bunch of photos of hyper-mobile eight year old boys. Nothing for adults. 'Convict Conditioning' is the book I wish I'd bought first time around. It's a complete system of strength training for MEN. (And women!) One of the things I disliked about gymnastics was the faggy dance/posing element of the floor routines. Coach Wade talks about how gymnastics and old school callisthenics started from the same source, then split up many years ago. Prison callisthenics retained all the dangerous, brutal strength techniques used by warriors rather than the pretty dance routines. Inspiring stuff, and it makes PERFECT sense to me! I've heard gymnasts bitch about how a one armed handstand push up is IMPOSSIBLE. Yeah, right...it probably is to gymnasts, because they don't train for it. They train for what they get judged on...elegant moves, not ugly strength. But for really dedicated strength athletes who shoot for this goal, it IS possible. People said the five minute mile and the five hundred pound bench were impossible, until people kept doing them under official conditions. Are you seriously telling me that at the Olympics guys can clean and jerk close to 600lbs overhead, but that a 190lbs guy can't kick his own body-weight up with one arm?! Take off!! An elite goal, sure. But NOWHERE NEAR impossible. Belief becomes reality. As soon as we are seeing one arm handstand push ups on youtube, there are going to be a lot of red-faced gymnasts eating crow. (Let them go play with their ribbons.) There's a load of controversy surrounding this book, and I LOVE it! It's all smoke and mirrors though. All the chatter will be helping Dragon door sales, but I will remind you that all the controversy is around superficial stuff...the qualifications of the author, glamorizing crime, and so on. None of it has to do with the real meat and bones of the book, which is 24 karat gold. Even the nastiest reviews of this book (and there will always be some) admit that it is pretty damn good! John Senerchia B.A.
This is just a terrific book. The progression of exercises is laid out so clearly... it's got me believeing that if I stick to it, I might actually make it to the master steps. Far too often I have seen vague suggestions about how to make the jump from common exercises like push-ups, pull-ups and squats to their elite single limb equivalents by changing the leverage but I never got there. Convict Conditioning has the intermediate steps you need to bridge the gap.
I wish this book was about when I was 18! It contains vital information that would have saved me from making countless mistakes and having the wrong attitude towards strength training; or self improvement for that matter. Still, it is a blessing that I have found it at 29, rather than 39. This great work takes you from Step 1, and explains how to train! Most books I've read, start at step 6 or 9, give you a load of random exercises and expect you to be able achieve the physique of a greek god. This book does no such thing! It is also very realistic, in that the author states 12 months+ will more than likely go by before you are ready to attempt, a one armed pull-up for example. There's NO quick fix bullshit; which is so refreshing. It has taken me many years to realise that "Short cuts make long delays". Anyone who diligently follows the programs set out in 'Convict Conditioning' will surely achieve, over time, their genetic potential strength; and have a superbly powerful body. Calvin Klein models need not apply! I should add for UK buyers: I bought this and Viking Warrior Conditioning (I have a kettlebell, but am in no hurry to start swinging it about). With postage, both were expensive books. ALSO, I got charged 16.20 (pound sign is invalid here) Customs by Royal Mail, 8 of which was VAT. So, CC prob worked out at 40+ pounds. Expensive for a book, but absolutely worth every penny!!! Standard shipping was quicker than I expected. Approx 2 weeks. If you were to only have one strength/fitness book, this should be it. A nearly lost art, brought to those of us who will pay heed. An absolute treasure and the greatest gift. I am extremely thankful for Paul Wade, and all those at Dragondoor who made this book possible.
An excellent book. So much work has gone into this that even if you never use the great ideas inside, you will still get a lot out of the purchase.
Dragon Door specifically asks that we "Focus on the product's content and context" and "include not only whether you liked or disliked a product, but also why." I have done so. The one arm push up,pull up, SLS, and bridge progressions are great. The ab section is weak and nowhere near the quality I'd expect, and the last few steps of the one arm handstand progression go from misrepresenting the model's ability to an outright falsehood on the part of the author in regards to HIS ability. It is not acceptable to say you could do unassisted one arm handstand push ups when you were doing elbow lever kips. That may not have been intentional, but it is the author's responsibility to verify his information, his editor's responsibility to make sure the author didn't make mistakes, and the publisher's responsibility to make sure that content they stamp their name on lives up to their reputation. These responsibilities were not fulfilled.When I look at a photo in an exercise book, I expect the person in the photo to actually be performing the exercise. Jim Bathurst, the model and a well-known figure in the online fitness industry, can not even come close to performing a one arm headstand push up. Not even close. He barely manages a few decent single repetitions of the assisted version using pretty heavy assistance. It doesn't look like he does if you don't work wall handstands, but I'm 6'2 and 227 lbs, and I can do what he's doing. Watch the fingers bend. Watch the assisting dumbbell stop as he bends his arm and pushes up. He can't even do the lever version for one rep. In my opinion, this is the same as lying to your consumers. I certainly expected that photos taken were legit. This particular progression of exercises is about as realistic as the building-jumping scenes in Iron Monkey or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. After discussing this with one of the coaches of the USA Jr. National team, who was himself a professional gymnast, it appears that there has never been a true one arm handstand push up. Ever. To not mention this, to not be straight forward in explaining the particulars behind the author's claim, which turns out to actually be a kip from elbow lever to one arm handstand, is inexcusable for anyone, but far more so for a company of Dragon Door's size and reputation.Here's a direct quote from Jim's youtube account, on the video. Dragon Door doesn't allow me to post the URL, but if you search for "Assisted One Arm Handstand Pushup" and check the video by the user "beastskills" you can look at all the comments and see for yourself."BeastSkills (4 days ago) BarStarzz: I was the model for Convict Conditioning and directly asked Paul about this exact feat.He said his were done from a one arm elbow lever with a kick (like Tikhonivich's). An amazing feat which we'll have to trust he once did."THIS MAKES THE PROGRESSION A LIE. Not only can the model not even do correct single repetitions for the last three exercises, even the author can not perform the move as shown in the book. Popping up from a one arm elbow lever, while incredibly impressive, is not even close to the same thing as staying in the handstand. None of this is mentioned or even hinted at in the book. It's disheartening to think that Dragon Door has allowed such blatant misleading photos and ideas to be spread to a trusting consumer base.The ab progression is also a joke. As shown, it's incredibly easy. I was expecting to see body levers, full range HLL with the back against bars, etc. Nope.I think the one arm push up progression is pure gold. The one arm pull up and SLS progressions are similarly well laid out, and I love the advice given regarding the tempo that should be used during the exercises. It would be better if the author explained more about how important this is to building joint strength and why fast movements should not be used until a surplus of joint strength is developed, but he's got it right.The bridge I have some issues with, because Paul specifically states that the arms and legs should be straight, yet the photos clearly show the model to be unable to do this. There are better people, like Ido Portal, who shows a perfect bridge in his youtube video "passive flexibility tests." Still, it's a great exercise progression.In addition to the other outright incorrect and unverified information regarding the one arm handstand push up, there is the issue of the author being completely wrong in his photo and explanation of the "Planche." He shows an elbow lever, which is not even remotely close to a planche. A planche is a push up position with locked arms, hands on the floor hear the hips, and a perfectly straight body that is held horizontally in the air. It takes truly monstrous strength, unlike the elbow lever. I can barely hold a 10 second tucked planche on the floor but I can do an elbow lever no problem. The author and the editor both failed their audience in this regard as well.I think that this book is overall very good, but I CANNOT give a high rating to such blatant disregard for the truth. I am disappointed in Dragon Door.In total, my review is 998 words. I am putting this here, along with keeping an original copy of my review just in case this review somehow gets misrepresented. I have reviewed their guidelines carefully, and I have typed nothing that violates their guidelines. I suppose they could say I am being spiteful, but spite is defined as "a malicious, usually petty, desire to harm, annoy, frustrate, or humiliate another person." It is not defined as "Explain and provide evidence of the falsehoods in this book."
Excellent book. I have no doubt that by the time that I am through with this program I will have great functional strength. Who wouldn't be strong when you can do a 1-handed push-up, 1-legged-squat, and 1-handed pullup? I can actually feel my body becoming more Bruce-lee-like compared to my regular program of bodybuilding. I am currently around level four out of ten toward the 1-handed variations. Although I have a decent home-gym and myriad of equipment, I'm pleasantly surprised by how much you can do with just a chin-up bar and your own body-weight.It's an expensive book, but well-worth the money if you just buy one workout book this year.
Great content on how to go from imbalanced to balanced and very strong. Working great...
I've not even dusted the surface but CC keeps it simple. 6 exercises, 10 progressions for each. You don't need much & I purchased the perfect pull up bar which has worked nicely on the pull-up progressions for those considering the book. If you wan't to train calisthenics there isn't a source that compares IMHO. I wish "Coach" Wade had a blog/forum resource to discuss it.
I rate this book as a 10. Progressive exercise descriptions are excellent. After completing my bodyweight exercises I felt energized. I was exercising on a daily basis and found that I do better when I do these exercises every other day. I am 63 years old and look forward to mastering these exercises. I would highly recommend this book to anyone willing to put in the effort.
This book gets you pumped up just reading it. You have constant goals to meet which always keeps you motivated. You can be an out of shape couch potato and still begin the exercises. You really can see yourself meeting the seemingly impossible goals. I constantly recommend this book to my friends.
i have prior books on bodyweight exercises. this book which is a complement to the naked warrior is a great,well thought out book that shows how u can develop functional strength without any equipment or machines. Reaching the master level in all six sections is a goal of mine...all in all Paul Wade shows to be very educated in this terrific book.
This book changed my viewpoint completely on gaining strength through bodyweight exercises! The progressions are solid, the program templates are easy to follow, and I can't wait to see the results after a year of using this book as my main program. I highly recommend CC to anyone regardless of their current physical capabilities. I'm already looking forward to the rumored CC2!
This is really a brilliant book. Anybody can use the progressions and make immediate gains. His emphasis on working slowly and getting plenty of rest is spot on. My only hesitation is on the initial squat. A shoulder stand is an advanced yoga position and is not easily done correctly. If you don't look exactly like the picture, go even slower.
This is a great book for demonstrating how to maintain & gain fitness and strength in a small space without any costly equipment.It is possible to achieve definition and fitness with body weight exercises alone.Now, can you let me out of this cupboard?
I am 51 years old and have done nearly every workout there is. I recently did the P90x series (twice). I've also participated in Kenpo Karate for 6 years, played soccer for longer, spent 10 years as a competition level bodybuilder, played basketball and lifted all types of weights for more years than I care to remember. I'm only two weeks into the program outlined in this book and I can tell you it's the most complete, common sense strength training system I've been exposed to.After many years of building bulky muscles with insufficient connective tissues (ligaments and tendons), I tried yoga and found out I wasn't as strong as I thought. I suddenly realized there were some major core weaknesses in my body in spite of being big and scary looking. This book and this program have been the NEXT STEP for me. After only a couple weeks following the progressions, I can tell I'm strengthening areas that I've neglected way too long. And it's the right kind of strength. If you think you can't get strong using just body weight, think again.I would recommend this program and this book to anyone that's interested in developing true all round strength and not just bloated vanity muscle. That's not a knock on anybody, that's just my own personal experience over the years. Get it. Read it. Do it. Your body and your joints will thank you for it. A high quality, no B.S. product that does what it says.
Paul Wade writes in a way that is vastly entertaining and informative. He backs up all his training philosophies with a solid knowledge base of anatomy and personal experience. You will learn more from this book than you would in a university classroom or another "expert" in the field. Coach Wade's "big six" progressions are exciting, making his "master steps" less intimidating and seemingly achievable. His method is simple, but by no means easy. This a program you should be on. Convict conditioning is a book you should own.
I really liked this book and could not put it down. Well written, fun to read and inspiring at the beginning and end. I was really interested in the idea of setting progression goals for each move, so you know when to move on and where to. The training is nothing really out of this world, very basic. But genuine strength training really is. In powerlifting we only have three movements. Here there are six. All heavy lifters could benefit from at least something here. People with an open mind to new ideas and approaches will appreciate this book. Dickwads and fat sofa surfing slobs will be intimidated and cry like bitches because they won't get anywhere near the moves in this book.
I love this prison training book! If you, like me, have experimented with bodyweight exercises but never really got the best out of them and wondered how to really use them to the best of their potential then this is book you really need! A complete white belt to black belt program in bodyweight strength!
I have been dedicated to training for about five years now, and have even worked as a p.t. in two gyms where I recently moved from. My main goal is muscle mass but strength and explosive speed are secondary goals. I learned the value of fast moving power when I played Aussie footy (a real "man's game") back when I was at school. To my mind strength is also crucial even for body builders, because the weight you can use properly on body building movements (to build your muscle bellies) is mostly dependent on strength. This is how I first became a fan of the evil one. Anyone who wants to build muscle should read his "Power to the People" and adopt his methods as a cornerstone of their approach. I also really rate Parillo and Poliquin. (If you can dig out "The Poliquin Principles" from an old book shop, you wont ever regret it. After all this time and training, I now have a "little black book" of training ideas and useful tips up in my brain. I still read some fitness and body building books, but most of them are the general "mens health" bodgy type, which can perhaps teach some info to beginners (basic movements nutrition ect) but will gain you nothing if you are intermediate or more. To me, a "good" book is anything I can learn just one idea from that I can actually use to build muscle for my workouts. If I learn more than one little tip, then the book is "great". This book is "beyond great". I cannot tell you how much new, useful material I got out of this. For each chapter I got at least one piece of info I can use for different body parts in my weights work outs. I also thought I knew every type of kit free exercise in the world, but I picked up loads of new ones from the book too. Who ever heard of lever press ups, jack knife pistols, assisted one arm chins, frog raises or standing to standing back bridges? All really nice movements I can use or will learn to use but the most important new thing I picked up was the idea of "progressive calisthenics" (old school style), which to my mind is a whole new strength sport, like power lifting, kettle belling or odd lifting. I disagree mega strongly that weights work is bad for you, and will be pumping iron until the day I die. But this book has really added an exciting and motivating new dimension to my bulk standard work outs in the gym and that's as rare as. Ace book. Thanks Dragon Door, nice one! Ten on ten.
This an excellent book with well-thought out series of exercise progressions that can safely help many people achieve greater levels of mastery, no matter where they are in their quest for strength and health. Each progression builds on the next and is accompanied by Paul Wade's tips and insights. This is one textbook that is several decades overdue. In a world where life itself can be a prison of sorts with all of our daily demands and stress, Paul Wade has diagrammed a successful path to freedom. I've already given away several copies to friends and patients. Leave it up to DragonDoor to come out with yet another incredible book to go along with Pavel's Naked Warrior.
I have purchased most of Pavel's books and videos and a smattering of the books that other Dragon Door authors have published. But hands down, if you can only buy one book, Convict Conditioning is the book for you. When I saw Pavel and others doing one-legged squats and one-arm pushups, I always wanted to do it. My weight and lack of physical training prevented me from making much progress, so I simply stuck with kettlebell workouts. Coach Wade's book succeeds where the others don't exactly because he breaks down the exercises into manageable steps that anyone can do. He also lays out a plan where you can measure your own progress and move on to the next level of training when you have reached his benchmarks. This is exactly the motivation I needed. It has so jazzed me up on working out that even my daughter has started doing some of the exercises with me when I work out. Thanks, Coach! Great job!
Nothing sparks up the spirit and the sinews like the excitement of revolutionary thinking. The word "revolution" means "going back to the start"; and this sums up John Ducane's achievements appropriately. Twenty years ago the kettlebell was consigned to the junk heap of training history. A decade back, the hottest new exercise guru on the planet, Pavel Tsatsuline, yanked it out. It now ranks as the premier training tool for all thinking muscle athletes. Just five years ago, true callisthenics was in a crumpled, defeated heap. Beaten, bloodied, it lay twitching at the feet of barbells, dumbells, and all manner of new training machines. Now, Paul Wade has given this ancient art a massive shot of adrenalin, and hot damn, it's back on it's feet and looks in pretty fine shape. Given the phenomenal internet-wide reviews of "Convict Conditioning", bodyweight training is more than just a competitor; it's actually a contender again. God help us. There might be some hope for the next generation of athletes after all.
The greatest training book ever written. As a kickboxer, I always wanted to know some superior spine and hip training methods which would add real power and suppleness but not bulk. I began doing the bridging series and realised that the author really knew about old school training. Started the leg raises not long after. The next week I put my Weider weights bench on ebay and I haven't looked back since. My body has not felt this good since I was 16 and my girlfriend can't get enough when I take my top off now. Most noticably my arms pecks and shoulders, have really gained some meat. My goal is to look like the man in the photos, and I know I can do this by next summer. Thank-you Dragon Door and Coach Wade.
When I saw the title of this book I nearly puked. I'm a policeman and have met a lot of convicts in my time. They can be summed up in one word: selfish. They do what they do because they don't care about anybody else. Watch the prisons documentaries on Sky to see what a bunch of losers they are. Despite that I bought the book. I'll be honest and say that I quite like it. The author's style is easy to read and engaging. The information is presented in a well-organised fashion. His approach and rationale are explained clearly. The exercises are nothing new, however, the progressions are quite good although there are alternatives which are just as good. On the downside...First, here's a bit of macho talk but it goes with the territory. Second, there are some unverified claims, such as bodyweight exercises improving joint health. Says which medically-trained authority? Third, I'm not sure where he gets his suggested reps from. As we know 3/5 by 3/5 five is the best for strength so surely you should keep your reps within this range and adjust your progressions so that progress at an appropriate rate. On the whole I'm happy with what I paid for. But lads...you really need to watch the reviews you write. They're getting to the point of being ridiculous which means that no-one will believe them soon. The best review of this book was Pawel's. Short and to the point and not like "a thrust from a razor-sharp shank".
This Book has simplified the methods to strength production for the gym wary!! I will be putting my friends, family and clients through the convict conditioning experiment that i have begun!! Thank you very much Coach Paul Wade!!
This is a book most anyone should read. It's easy to understand and the far reaching goals are true products of real world strength. The 6 exercise progressions are easy to understand and stress the importance of progression towards a strength goal. Oh and by the way....every exercise is a body weight exercise! Convict conditioning lays it out step by step. How to build your foundation so more advanced stuff will actually stick. This book even advises the advanced exerciser to go back to step one for a while to re build the base, travel back up the progression and refine the movement. Why? To give your tendons and ligaments time to strengthen again. How many of us devote the necessary time to that? I know I will from now on! As we learned in the karate kid. Wax on, wax off. My only complaint would be not enough explanation of exercise form, but you can certainly learn most of what you need to know there from The Naked Warrior. If you own that book and this one I don't see how you could ever fail. After reading Convict conditioning, I have decided to stick to this philosophy and so far it is working. I am slowly building up towards some major strength goals and I am turning 50 this year! Having patience with the process is always a must in strength training or any real fitness program. Use this book to help yourself stay on track during the process. You will always know what the next step is and you will be confident that you have built the foundation to succeed. Highly recommenced.
I am from Germany and ordered the book because I am very interested in bodyweight stuff. I have a lot of weight training behind me and wantet to try something new! The great thing about this book is that you have one big goal at the big 6 exercises and 10 smaler goals to get there. So each session is an unique challenge and that is very motivational. I just find that the first 3 steps at the pull ups decreasd my ability to do pull ups. so i would start at step 4 if you actually do pull ups. Great book and great motivation! Thanks
One of the easiest to follow,but most challenging workouts Ive ever done.Worth every penny.
i've been looking for a new workout routine and this book was just what i've been looking for. i have no time to workout at a gym, but this book has shown me a new way to work out on my lunch break. i'm looking foward to achieving all 6 goals put forth by paul wade.
A solid book with some novel ideas but not it's the be-all-and-end-all book it's probably described as...as so many are...
I'm over 50 and bought this book for my sons and myself as Christmas gifts. I am really impresssed with its simplicity and its ability to challenge. If you are a "get stuff quick" kind of person, you best leave this one on the shelf. There is no way to short circuit the instructions and the method without running square into a brick wall. Though I am only on the initial steps of the big six, I am impressed with the slow but sure progressions. One of my sons tried the speed route and got stood up at step seven on the lunges after reporting an ability to "go all day" at step six. I expect that this is the natural result if one attempts to rush it. This appears to be a program that works in months rather than weeks but if one has the patience to take it slow, this is a program with awesome potential for full body strengthening that anyone can find a place in. In addition, you don't need to buy anything special to start and once you have the steps down, you can exercise virtually anywhere. The only caution is be prepared to be patient for the power.
First book focused on body weight that provides a step by step progression to truly implement the body weight concepts found in this and other books.
Great read and a great book.The exercises in this book are your standout bodyweight ones such as the one legged squat and one arm handstand push up.Coach Wade does a awesome job by giving you 10 steps as well as progessions levels within each step.If you follow the levels and steps you should get there and be a warrior!As tempting as it is to skip steps, go through each step as this will help to build endurance for the next step.
What I like most about this book is the progression standards. This way you know exactly when to move up to a more advanced exercise. Some people might think that there might be too little work in the beginning since the exercises might be too easy. But if you do them in the prescribed speed, they will be a little bit harder but still pretty easy (for most people). There is however a reason for these exercises in the beginning and the author explains it in the book. And I am quite certain that once a person progresses to the more difficult exercises, the workout programs that are provided will be more than enough. I have many books on bodyweight training, including "Naked Warrior" by Pavel, "Building The Gymnastic Body" by Cristopher Sommer, "The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness" by Stewart Smith and "Never Gymless" by Ross Emanait. All of these books are great and I really recommend people to buy them if they are into bodyweight training, but I feel that Convict Conditioning, for me, is better since it provides a clearer path to master your own bodyweight.
Great material and provided routines that allow for progression that other literature is lacking. The layout of the reading isn't as linear as I would prefer and causes one to keep digging back into the book and flipping through the pages. Would of been nice to have a book that would open and lay flat so could look at pictures and recommendations while doing exercises. Maybe a poster included would be helpful or the ability to digital download the book so could print out routine and level one is at. The content is the most important to me and this is where the book shines. It works and allows a person to progress to higher levels with minimal equipment.
I've had this book for a week and it is difficult to put down. I have been lifting weight for 30 years and have been experiencing various pains: neck (barbell military), back, shoulder (rotator cuff) and recently patella tendinitis. This book is a breath of fresh air to read. Currently my rotator cuff is inflamed so this book came at the right time. If I had this two plus years ago perhaps I would not be suffering with patella tendinitis as I strained the tendon on a 1 leg squat to the floor?I will follow the veterano program for a year and assess strength and joint health next January (will continue with my KBs). I'm grateful that Paul Wade used his time in prison to produce a profound piece of strength and fitness literature. I'm looking forward to more information regarding diet, rest and stress. I always wondered how prisoners became so huge on their limited protein intake? Perhaps the huge protein intake is not a prereqisite to a strong and muscular physique? Fascinating, intriguing reading. Looking forward to healthy joints and a stronger, more flexible spine.
If you never did one exercise in this book at any level the intellectual content alone is worth the price! Wade's pragmatic insight
into the human body historically, anatomically and developmentally are beyond impressive. This is, indeed, the one and only fitness "bible" you will ever need. I only wish the publisher would make the book more durable because, at least in my case, I know these pages will be turned many times through years.
This is a great book, I have used many exercise programs with weights, equipment, and Calisthenics; this book is one of the most complete that I have ever read, the exercises start whereever you are and build to wherever you want to be.
I've been "working out" for years, with joint pain getting progressively worse. I'm 33 years old and have been worried about my joint health for a few years now. I've tried everything from light weights/high reps, to supplements, to specialized stretching sessions that last longer than most of my workouts. After I received Convict Conditioning, I loved how good I felt from workout # 1. And now after just 4 work outs, my joint pain is gone. Paul Wade has brought back a superior, more natural work out that men were foolish to ever change in the first place. Thanks, and the lesson that I glean is this; in all things having to do with our bodies natural is always superior.
When it comes to hard training, I'm probably what you'd call a "lifer". I started working out back in '91 when I was at MCG. (Is it REALLY nineteen years ago?) I began with body weight exercises and gradually moved to free weights work in an off-campus gymnasium. Now I still work hard in my own home gym (which is actually my wife's garage.) This book was a thoughtful surprise gift from my sister. If I had owned this manual back when I was a freshman, I would have stayed with the body weight exercises to this day.Over the years, it seems that all the real greats of coaching, the pioneers, always go back to the basic paradigm of gradual progressive training methods: you do some work, get stronger, try harder, get stronger, and keep going. This idea is at the heart of the work of Peary Reader, George Jowett, Bradley Steiner, Bill Starr, Arthur Jones, Mike Mentzer, Louie Symmonds, Stuart McRobert, Ken Leistner, Brooks Kubik and Marty Gallagher. The basic message of all these writers is actually fundamental, just keep trying harder things and getting stronger! It sounds like a simple message, but it's by no means easy to execute, and it's VERY easy to forget in the modern training miasma.The "progressive" paradigm is straightforward to apply to weights work. Just lift heavier and heavier weights. But the idea is much harder to apply to pure body weight work, as a very advanced knowledge of biomechanics, physics and anatomy is required. Mr Wade is the first writer to essentially and comprehensively apply the progressive paradigm to body weight training. As such, this is not simply "another" training book, it is the first of its kind. There will be copycats, no doubt.I am certainly no lover of the book's title, and I believe that there is far too much crime, and glorification of crime, in our great nation. Despite the surface appearance, I can confirm that this book is NOT a part of that disturbing trend. If Mr wade genuinely wishes to atone for his past crimes against society by helping honest, lawful citizens, then this book is a wonderful start. Thanks to his hard work, there will certainly be TONS more healthy muscle in the world over the next few short months, and it will be built SAFELY.I am no real fan of Dragon Door's generally flashy "comic book" promotional methods, but the company deserves great respect for releasing this important work. Not least because the book is decidedly anti-weight training, and Dragon Door makes the bulk of their income from selling weights (ie, kettle-bells). I think this shows surprising integrity. My respect also goes out to Mr Tsatsouline, who has endorsed this book despite the fact that it is clearly in competition with his own works. He must be a real man of honor. I had bypassed his publications up until this point because I found his apparently Soviet themes distasteful, but now I think I will give his books and dvds a try too.
This book picks up where "The Naked Warrior" leaves off. I go home after work every day looking forward to doing more bodyweight exercises. I am slowly but surely progressing through each of the Big Six Movements. The instruction is easy to read and makes perfect sense. I have gone back to the beginning with both one-arm push-ups and single-leg squats and am developing better technique and greater strength. I am now also doing wall handstands, bridging, leg raises and pull up work. I am very methodical when it comes to exercising and so I love that the "Progression Standards" clearly let me know when its time to move forward. I know that by following this simple instruction, at some point in the near future, I will be doing one-arm pull-ups,one-arm handstand push-ups,stand-to-stand bridges and full straight-leg raises. I am watching my physique get better every day and I'm stronger than ever. Thank you for introducing me to Paul Wade.
This has the best breakdown of how to get stronger with bodyweight conditioning that I have seen in a long time. The way the exercises progress have helped me get over the hump on several different exercises. It's clear and concise and I would recommend this book to everybody.
I bought a copy of Convict Conditioning for my youngest son for Christmas; He'll be going to university in the fall. He's one of those kids who enjoys all sports although volleyball is his favourite and he's been known to do a hundred or so situps when he's studying and losing concentration,so, knowing how small university dorm rooms are I thought Convict Conditioning would be great for him. We've both read it through by now and have started to apply the principles.Now I wish I'd bought two of them since I won't have one when he leaves. At least I can borrow his for the time being. I really appreciate that Convict Conditioning takes us from the most basic stages to the ne plus ultra since I am 63,80 pounds overweight and have arthritis in both legs, yet since I signed up for kettle bell training at IronKore, here in Toronto, I feel as if I've found a miracle cure - the miracle of hard work. And Convict Conditoning gives me something to do on off days. Thank You, Paul Wade!
Coach Wade provides the material that allows anyone to train hard in any location! As a frequent business traveller, I was always in search of a hotel with a squat rack, or heavy dumb bells. With the Convict Conditioning, there is no longer an execuse to skip strength training. No club membership. No weights. No track. No tredmill. No stationary bike. Just a man, some floor and something to hang from. I dont know a single person that will not find a challenging stage for each of the 6 exercises. The development of each exercise is simple and highly effective. I can not recommend this training strongly enough. I bought 10 extra copies two weeks after I started for my friends and co-workers.
Coach you've made me an instant fan! I'm combining "Convict Conditioning" with "Enter the Kettlebell" and now have the tools I need to all but throw away my barbell! Buy this book and incorporate kettlebells for "a heart of liquid steel" and longevity, inhuman strength, and battle-ready hardness, will be yours! --Without ever having to deal with the numerous shoulder injuries that barbells so often cause!!The ideal book for everyone from pro athletes to your mother!!
I HAVE WANTED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PRISON TRAINING METHODS SINCE WATCHING CON AIR WITH NICHOLAS CAGE, PARTICULARLY WHERE HE DOES THE UPSIDE-DOWN PRESS UPS AGAINS THE BARS. I HAVE SCOURED THE INTERNET BUT FOUND NOTHING ON THIS TYPE OF SOLO TRAINING WITHOUT EQUIPMENT BUT THIS BOOK HAS EVERYTHING I WANTED TO KNOW PLUS MORE. IF THERE IS A BODY-WEIGHT EXERCISE THAT IS NOT IN THIS BOOK IT IS PROBABLY NOT WORTH KNOWING.
I have spent years studying martial arts and training with bodyweight calisthenics. Convict Conditioning is far and away the best program available regarding bodyweight strength training. "Coach" Wade created a scientific and systematic approach to strength training utilizing only ones own body. It's a great read with tons of knowledge packed into its pages. This program is perfect for the novice, and will also challenge the most advanced of strength trainees. Get this book today!
This book is priceless! WOW!!! It is exactly what I have been searching for. It is laid out in a format that even a youngster could understand. I also really enjoyed Coach Wade's unique and entertaining writing style. I always recommend Dragon Door products to my friends and aquaintances as they have excellent materials. In my humble view, this piece of work ranks at the top of the mountain of any strength publications.
I am a 67 year old who has been practicing yoga almost daily for over 40 years. For resistance training Pavel's instruction with russian kettlebells has been helpful in focusing on natural movements to enhance strength by bringing into play things like balance and coordination to muscular development that we don't see in isolation exercises. Now Paul Wade has added to this by bringing you the knowledge of a master regarding strength development. Trust me - this book is a bargain - do not pass on this opportunity as I almost did. You will be glad you did!
I'm not a powerlifter but still want variety and to be in the best shape I can be in. This program can do just that forget gym class this starts you at a reasonable level and shows you how to intelligently progress. I have owned the book a few weeks and am already further than I have ever been with bodyweight exercises. Could I have figured this out by myself? Sure but it would have taken a lot of trial and error and time that I don't have. Not to mention probable injury of my 50 y/o body. Thanks for putting this together in one program. I look forward to safely progressing on to Master levels. D Zale, MD
I bought this as a Christmas present to myself recently. I was floored! Why was I floored? Because I never expected that I was STILL falling short as far as being able to move my own bodyweight with considerable ease on certain exercises that I had already been doing (well, maybe just the pushup, period.) But, as I've accepted, most of us who've purchased the book thus far have ALL fallen short of this particular glory. Convict Conditioning gives you a new level of bodyweight conditioning to strive towards and I'm glad the author took the time to write this book and give us these precious nuggets to savor. A must-have for everyone's library.
This might sound contradictory, but basically I have both love and hate feelings for this book. I love the techniques, but I hate how the author says to use them! The techniques and progressions in this book are so powerful, I must give this book a big TEN out of ten. As I say, I hate how the author says to use them, but this is easily changed so I won't let it effect my score. The author basically states that you should begin using calisthenics for your whole body, and he gives six movement types for you to do this. I disagree. These six will basically be cut up and used by various different athletes, and I think that's how it should be. I mean: -Push-ups and hs push-ups will be used by body builders to heal the joints and gain new muscle and as a replacement to grinding damaging bench presses and shoulder presses. -leg raises and bridges will be used by martial artists and UFC fighters who require flexible strength in their core and spine. -The chin-ups will be used by marines, firefighters, and people who need that tactical strength to lift their body up. The big arms crowd will also quickly adopt these progressions. -The one-leg squat series will be of great use to track athletes, jumpers, kickers, soccer players. A truly awesome book to have in your training technology toolbox, but DON'T be mislead by the author into thinking you must use it ALL. Pick up what's good for you and basically melt it into your own training. Used properly, nearly as good as the legendary CK-FMS home course, but obviously different in scope.
I first brought this big old beast of a book on the strength of the reviews... not just reviews from experts in the strength field, but also everyday geezers who train. A lot of reviews of this book are labelling it a *future classic*, or even *the best body weight book EVER*. I disagree...I think Convict Conditioning is the best TRAINING book ever, full stop. I've been loyally doing the usual "Muscle and Fitness" and "Flex" routines in my local gym for about three years, and got bugger all except what is probably the precurser of mild arthritis, chubby tits (from all the whey shakes) and a big hole in me wallet. I'm a month into Convict Conditioning (only step two on some things!) and already my sixpack is coming through, my shirts are tighter around my biceps, and my right shoulder, left elbow and knee pain (both knees) is totally gone. Best of all, my body just *feels* better in a way that's hard to describe. Lighter...easier to move around. More pleasurable to own. Thankyou Dragon Door!
I own a lot of books on bodyweight exercise and this is without a doubt one of the best ever written. The KISS principle at its best. I've no doubt I'll be banging off one arm pushups in record time with the progressions in here.
This book has some good progressions for bodyweight movements but I feel that there are better products out there such as Ross Enamait's Never Gymless and Chris Sommer's Building the Gymnastic Body.
Also, I found it annoying that the author kept talking down weights and glorifying bodyweight exercises on every other page.
Save your money on this product and buy one of Dragon Door's better products like Beyond Bodybuilding, Power to the People, or Enter the Kettlebell.
I am a retired Marine infantryman and currently work as a police officer for the federal government. I wish that I had this information 15 years ago. Myself as well as my Marines would have been at a much higher standard of readiness. This book is Phenomenal!! I have completely dedicated myself to Convict Conditioning for the next year. I'm excited to see what I can accomplish. Thank you Coach Wade for giving me the tools to revitalize a very well used 44 year old body.
This book has become the turning point for my life. There's always been something missing from my strength program, Convict Conditioning opened my eyes. I didn't put this book down from the time I received it in the mail untill I finished it the first time. This book will be given to by children as their bible!
Paul Wade has introduced different ideas to me through his Convict Conditioning. I have been a traditional weights only lifter, but after receiving this book I have completely changed my workout routine. I am 19 years old and am fairly fit, but this book is able to give me a great workout with very simple, yet tough, lifts using only my body. I have taken many of the things he suggests in his book to heart, and incorporate them into my newly refined workouts. Just recently after doing one of these hybrid workouts (weights as well as calisthenics) i have never been more sore, yet had such a sense of accomplishment knowing that his techniques do work! I plan to use this book in my dorm room as well as when i go to the gym. I recommend this book to anyone who has either hit a plateau in their workout, is looking for a new way to work their body, or who has limited access to weights. It is an incredible book and I plan to use many of Paul's techniques as long as I continue lifting!! Thank you Dragon Door for publishing this manual on how to increase one's strength with such straightforward lifts!
I've heard a lot about how training has changed over the years, but I never really understood it until I read this book. The book is the best book on strength and conditioning I've ever read. I learned an unbelievable amount I can really USE to gain power in my muscles, core and tendons. Not just a little bit, but by far. The only negative thing I have to say is that I would've liked the company to produce a dvd of the book but even so the book is the best. No kidding. Buy it.Jim (email@example.com)
Still too much Dragon Door propaganda, but the actual meat of this book is great. Make no mistake either there is plenty of substance and the progression listed are great. This book also does an excellent job explain the flaws with the way most people use body weight exercises. Why much of the information can be found for free on the web this book provide a clear and accessible way to train with out haveing to spend hours on Google and youtube try to put together your own program. Personally I think as with most dragon door products the price is a little much, but the material is great and if you actually put the book into practice then well worth it.
This book is a must for anyone who is interested in or wants functional strength. Beginners to Advanced can learn from these writings of Paul Wade. It is a virtual roadmap to success for anyone who wishes to take the journey. A must have for any collection. Thank-you for bring it to us Dragon Door.
What others have already said is the gospel. For those who have been in this territory for a while, they will immediately recognize this as a "classic." Thanks to all involved for bringing this forward.
I give it an 8 because a 10 would have meant slick paper and color, that's all, as for the content that is what the 8 is for. This is all meat and bones, no funny money here ladies and gentlemen. Every bodyweight exercise that is fundamental is cited as being a part of the 10 steps up of one of the 'big 6' exercises. Hanging leg raise, one arm pull up, one arm push up, one leg squat, one hand handstand push up and drop into a bridge from standing and back up again for reps! The big six! This has mapped out how to get there if all you have is a toilet, bed, sink, maybe a grippable bar arm attached to a wall (or a wall made of bar) and if you need help some brick or a bball. That's it, hard work and grit. Prior to lifting weights (reading Power! To the People! and finding iron versions of those nifty Chinese weights I was exposed to)I hammered out only divebombers, pistols and did every drill on a swiss ball possible, these regimes would flatten my bodybuilder client. Now, I get why. Great book, just the basics and the facts, get it!
Takes you from beginneer to advanced in a logical progressive style. It is also very humbling, you will think your above the progression, but if you fallow them you quickly realize they are very benificial and you are not as strong as you thought. By fallowing the progressions you can reach true strength you once only thought you had. This convict knows how to give you freedom with your body.
What I liked about this book is that it is different than most other books of this genre being produced today. Prior to the advent of Nautilus, and a mass of "new age" equipment that exploded mostly around the time of Schwarzenegger and others [1970's and onwards], we had Charles Atlas, Doug Hepburn, and others...and we had the well-known Royal Canadian Air Force Exercise Plans for Physical Fitness. This 5BX program was developed for the RCAF by Bill Orban in WW II and only stopped being used in the late 1980's. As well, the Fartlekking Training System was developed in 1937 by Swedish coach, Gosta Holmer. A variant of this training system is still being used by organized Sports teams such as Rugby, and others. All programs emphasized calisthenics I still have the 5BX book and the Charles Atlas Course. I also have a book that illustrates training programs of the Zaporozhian Cossacks of olden day Hetman State of Ukraine....the Cossack Dancing of today is really a warrior variant of being able to stay away from enemy sabres and lances. Think rapid squats, leg raises and jumping several feet into the air!!! There are striking similarities between these three books and the "Combat Conditioning" book. In conclusion, if you aspire to be truly powerful, not just look good at the beach, then this book is for you. It is raw and it is often brutal...but it works.
This book is full great info, not to mention the progressions are easy and smooth in transition. It is put together and presented for outstandingly easy to follow improvement. Awesome book.
In many martial arts it is often said that weapons are extensions of your hands, and that first, you must learn to use your hands.I find a strong parallel with Convict Conditioning. I have been using bikes, weights, and kettlebells- but I've never had a program that focused on mastering my body itself. This book is an excellent approach to achieving body mastery in strength training, mobility, and endurance.Of course, results are the important part, right? In 2 weeks, using just the beginning steps of this program, I have seen a dramatic increase in grip strength, usable upper body strength, and even noticeable changes in body composistion. I can't wait to work through the next 6 months!The book is dead simple- Do the (clearly explained) exercises. Do them slower. Do them again. When you can pass a self test, move on. But don't be fooled by the simplicity, it's a dynamite book, a masterful and complete program, and results WILL happen!!!
I have been training and reading about training since I first joined the US Navy in the 1960s. (Training on a frigate is really no different to prison conditions.) I thought I'd seen everything the fitness world had to offer. Sometimes twice. But I was wrong. This book is utterly iconoclastic. The author breaks down all conceivable body weight exercises into six basic movements, each designed to stimulate different vectors of the muscular system. These six are then elegantly and very intelligently broken into ten progressive techniques. You master one technique, and move on to the next. The simplicity of this method belies a very powerful and complex training paradigm, reduced into an abstraction that obviously took many years of sweat and toil to develop. Strong minds will look at this inventive feat and say "I wish I'd thought of that". More feeble brains will look and say "well, I could've worked that out!". Trust me. Nobody else worked this out. This approach is completely unique and fresh. I have read virtually every calisthenics book printed in America over the last 40 years, and instruction like this can't be found anywhere, in any one of them. Some of the more popular books are dreadful (matt Furey), while some are quite good (Ross Enemait's). But Convict Conditioning is head and shoulders above them all. In years to come, trainers and coaches will all be talking about "progressions" and "progressive calisthenics" and claim they've been doing it all along. But the truth is that Dragon Door bought it to you first. As with kettlebells, they were the trail blazers. Who should purchase this volume? Everyone who craves fitness and strength should. Even if you don't plan to follow the routines, the book will make you think about your physical prowess, and will give even world class experts food for thought. At the very least if you find yourself on vacation or away on business without your barbells, this book will turn your hotel into a fully equipped gym. I'd advise any athlete to obtain this work as soon as possible. Bill Oliver, NY
I bought this book on the basis of its claims. I thought that if even half of them were true that it would be worth it. As a martial artist I noticed that my strength was lacking in a few areas and after following this program for only a few weeks i think this is exactly what i needed. Most body weight plans focus on high intensity for fat loss, and, while this is important so is strength. In my view as a martial artist this book is all you need for good strength training. With Convict Conditioning, a good stretching routine and proper nutrition a martial artist needs nothing else.
While working in corrections, I have seen many inmates go from mini to mighty using bodyweight only conditioning. Many good books have been written about bodyweight conditioning, and they are valuable sources of knowledge. The downside to many of these books is that the beginner is left wondering where to begin. Convict Conditioning covers all the bases, helping the beginner out by offering programs, progressions, and ideas to implement training into one's life. Everything to be successful is given to you-all one needs is the will to carry it out. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to gain the skill to train anywhere, anytime, equipment or not...Convict Conditioning is a 10+ all the way!
The title and context notwithstanding, I found this book to great addition to my collection. The progressions are something that I found especially valuable. As a person who have drifted away from the gym over the past several years after finding the kettlebell, mace and club, a logical step for me (as I approach 50) was to incorporate more bodyweight work into my regimen. These progressions and protocols allow you develop the proper technique as you gain the strength to do the full movement. I highly recommend this book.
This book is great. Very easy to read, I read it straight through and then reviewed each of the big 6 exercises. The progressions are very good and the lowest step exercises are surprisingly hard. The only thing keeping it from being a 10 was the lack of an overall plan. It wasn't completely clear when to move up in the progressions. It gives levels and what is recommended before moving on, but not how fast you should add sets or reps. Coach repeatedly says to not go too fast through the progressions. But I really enjoy the book and am integrating bodyweight with KB for a great workout.
What could be the best compliment to this book? How about... I started the program! After some 35 years of martial arts and 45 years of exercise (See page 34-35 Winter 2010 Hard Style Vol 6 No.2) and several years of kettlebells, I am returning to the foundational exercises that did as a kid! Well the Step 5 stuff anyway... albeit I did Stylone type of one arm pushups for a few years. Which I thought were cool until I saw Pavel do real ones! I have decided to start right at the beginning and go as slowly as Coach Wade suggests. I will continue to do kettlebells also but I am going to give free body exercises the focus and see that at 52 years old I can master these exercises. The book is a wealth of information, thoughtfully laid out and entertaining to read. IF you want to move forward with functional strength, what better way then using the gym you were born with? Enjoy the journey!
I have been doing Bodyweight routines for 2 years now and feel that this book is a great book for new BW enthusiast or old ones. Good tips and progressions. The workout schedule and worksets seems to be a bit confusing at first but eventually I figured out how it was supposed to work. Overall a great book, very glad that I purchased it!!!
Paul is real and that is rare in the modern world of fitness. I have not done a handstand pushup since I was 13 years old. With his book, I am anxious to get back at it after 33 years. Paul, I commend you for keeping Old School calisthenics and its history alive.
Convict Conditioning is the missing link in bodyweight training. The book is simple yet very complex. If you are looking for great material on this subject, look no further.
This book is very well written- I've just finished reading it and can't wait to apply the methods that Coach Wade has laid out in the book. I've been lifting weights for years and have recently hit a barrier in my overall strength. I'm certain these methods are the answer to breaking through and achieving great functional strength.This book is very easy to understand and is an enjoyable read- a must have.
Because of my years in karate training I trained for speed, because speed equals power. On page 43, Coach Wade states, "If momentum is doing the work, it means your muscles aren't." When I removed momentum from my workout I found my strength lacking and could not do as many repsAlthough it's good to do both types of workouts,I am now concentrating most of my workouts with controlled deliberate moves. I highly recommend this book. Thanks Coach Wade.
Coach Wade creates a step-by-step, all details included, method for training strength with nothing but your own bodyweight. Why the title? Well, where else in America are you confined to nothing but a cell with bars for hours on end only to be released day-in day-out having to fight for your own survival? His years in the confines of a penitentiary have forced him to learn to adapt and create survival strength for his entire body without the help of your typical gym implements. He starts from the ground up for the "Big 6" exercises and even develops a beginner, intermediate, and progression step for 10 different progressions within the "Big 6"! All in all, the book itself is very motivating and whether you plan to go all-in with the training or not it is still an excellent tool to have in your kit.
I have always been a strong proponent of core training. I love the kettlebells, but currently I have a hip issue which prevents me from doing any ballistic exercises (the greatest advantage of kettlebells). I'm back to bodyweight exercises and find this book terrific. It is well thought out and documented. This is a timeless program that will work for everyone. Everybody will make gains following this program, no matter where you are currently. Just beginning the outlined program for about three weeks, I have already seen strength gains and a surprising, and unexpected, improvement in flexibility.Forget the title. Read what the author says, not necessarily how he says it. This is good stuff. This book and the Naked Warrior is all you will ever need.
No doubt, the best book I have read on bodyweight training & I have several dozen on my bookshelf. The 10 progressions on the 6 basic exercises are what make this book a '10'.
This is the exercise regime I've been waiting 30 years for: easy build up, highlights weak spots without over-stressing (i.e. avoids injury), practice virtually any where, no equipment to buy or lug around, very accessibly written. Brilliant!
I bought this with some trepidation, firstly about the price, secondly about the "true man" bull in the advert. In fairness, there really is no male chauvanism in the book. The "true man" talk is all in the advertising. The writer only talks about "real strength" in the opening pages which as a woman I find much more palatable. As for price, nobody is going to complain about the value of this book. As someone fairly new to training, it's all in here, everything from warm-ups and programs to every exercise under the sun, plus guidelines on how to move forwards. There's no "now you have to buy this next book or d.v.d.", it's all completely wrapped up in one tall, thick book. Sell your gym membership and six second abs machine and buy this book. It'll actually save you money.
The progressions to master each drill/move force you to scale back and be humble so you can have a great neurological connection to each exercise, be it the push-up, squat or other. Just like pros and strength mutants going back to light weights, you're going to learn to truly engage and feel everything. I never thought I'd feel my lats and pecs fire as much as they did in simple sets of 50 wall-pushups, or my hammies and glutes scorch during the Step 1 bridge when following the prescribed pace.I do have some concerns about shoulderstand squats for the neck position, though I understand the need for it (especially if performed in a constricted jail cell). I personally would have started with step 3 as the 1st step, as it reminds me of the spine position and avoidance of spine flexion as in the Goblet Squat taught at the RKC and as demonstrated in Return Of the Kettlebell. I find it is a better way to progress someone with the squat. Same with the abdominal series of exercises, I would personally place the knee-tuck as a Step 2, and put Step 2 as Step 1, because of the safer position for the back. But again, that is my personal preference and comes from my observations and notes with clients for whom the reversal of these steps came at less lower back pain cost.That being said, this is a phenomenal book and the above comments are here to provide only a difference of opinion, not a criticism of the skills demonstrated and taught in the book. There is no substitute for good judgment and you may find yourself having to adjust certain steps without necessarily compromising your progress for mastering your body and building your "Convict Conditioning" as described.This is a book I bought and also gifted proudly to others, including family members, and I do like my family :)
This book is a great read and a no nonsense map to get strong.It is easy to understand,well organized,and well worth the money.
I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to master the movement of their own body. Take a break from your current training program and try Convict Conditioning. I know you"ll love it.
As a hardcore bodybuilder and a longtime fan of strength training, I was skeptical when I first received this book as a christmas gift from an American friend of mine.But what can I say?Clear, entertaining and amazingly logical.The prison trainee begins with 'easy' free-body exercises for hi reps to generate functional motion, skill, capillary health, core strength and tendon conditioning.Over time the exercises get harder and heavier, the repetitions drop and gradually more power and muscle is developed.By the time the final 'master' level exercises are reached, the trainee will be about as strong as any human on the face of the earth.This is the true meaning of convict codnitioning.The book will become a Classic for raw strength purists who will love it greatly.
My training partner turned me onto this book. I really, really, really love the contents of this book. All the prison-based stuff aside, the method itself is something beyond belief. You really have to read it!The author (or his teacher) has taken dozens of simple callesthenics techniques and worked them into ladders. You jump onto each ladder (at any point) and just keep working until you're at the pinnacle of human power. and all you need is a basketball.I just can't blab on enough about how clever this system is. It must have evolved through many, many years of trial and error. I'm not talking about a handful of disconnected exercises like most training books. This system has been worked out to the tenth decimal place, and it shows. What's crazier is that a child could understand this book.My mom could pick this up and start tomorrow at her own level and so could a world class strength pro! Stunning. A lot of people will be turned off this book by the fact that the author (Paul Coach Wade) has apparently shunned any and all personal publicity. This may be hard to swallow for some, but in an age of blogging, youtubing internet gurus who often understand more about self-promotion than real training I honestly find it a god-damned relief.Others will proabablyattack the author for calling himself "coach" with no formal qualifications or recognized fame but hell this isn't a man who coached people to win a local championship. He coached prisoners to stay strong and survive in unbelievably violent conditions. I want to hear what he has to say! A magical, once in a life-time training manual. If it inspires and informs you the way it did for me, you'll gladly pay ten times the cover price, I PROMISE.
WOW !!! WHO NEEDS A GYM WITH THIS INFORMATION, ALL YOU NEED IS YOUR OWN BODY AND A WILLINGNESS TO DO THE PROGRESSIVE EXERCISES. I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE MY RESULTS.
In Convict Conditioning, the author has created the blueprint for effective bodyweight training. Along the way, he has created a rather interesting, if not somewhat controversial, literary ambience that makes for great, that's right, great reading. Have no fear, this book is all training, but a little pulp goes a long way to excite and inspire!
The book is well layed out and gives rationale for choices of exercises. The progressions are excellent.
It's a labor of love, that's what it is. How often does a detailed instruction manual of secrets come along? I can't think of any in the last 50 years, for training or for any other discipline. I realized a long time ago that if I can use a bodyweight exercise like the one arm pushup that it would be harder than weight training and I would be able to do it anywhere. I was already familiar with GTG and low-rep high-tension complex motions for strength, with great success over the years. But I have in the past injured myself doing bodyweight exercises for strength (as opposed to endurance). CC provides the path that safely leads to the Big Six listed on the marketing materials. Not all strength trainers will agree, but those who have done their homework and have calculated percentages, ratios etc. will agree. Each chapter ends with a "Lights Out" section where the author provides perspective and encouragement. These are a must-read. At some point the author almost begs the reader "please don't quit," knowing that people often come to him for guidance, but ultimately resort back to weight training. He talks about training alone in a quiet place. It's inspirational. There is one weight training exercise that I would add to this program and that is the deadlift. The only defect that I see with bodyweight-only training is that it does not place enough weight on the skeletal system, which some believe is a requirement for bone strength. It is also natural for the human body to occasionally pick heavy things up from the ground. And it will improve your grip strength, which will help you with CC. For that reason, I am going to augment CC only with deadlifts from Power to the People. For those in the know, this one's a gem , and I'm not exaggerating.
I should preface this bit with an apology to my girlfriend. She caved to my begging and bought me this title for christmas. But I couldn't wait and started reading it the second it arrived!!! I first got hooked by the deluge of opinions about this book by reading some forums on another website. EVERYONE has an opinion about this book. About the title, the marketing, the prison connection, the author's cedentials, yadda yadda. In fact this book is becoming an internet phenomenon in certain circles. This kind of reminds me of the Pavel backlash in the old days..."who does this commie think he is!" lol. Marketing genius aside, this book really, really, REALLY does deliver. Once I'd read page one I knew I was hooked and read the rest in pretty much one go. There was waaay too much to take in, so I'm going to be reading it again (and again) through the weeks to come. Once I got my skull round the coach's basic idea-that body-weight work should be used for muscle and power, not stamina-the rest of the book was a real eye opener. It's changed EVERYTHING for me. But be prepared to hate yourself for not having this book when you started your training. PS. This book really DOES go wonderfully with The Naked Warrior. I was astonished that there was no overlap between these two. If you buy one, I'd advise you buy the other. TNW taught me a lot about body tension, breathing and GTG; the Coach's book has taught me every single exercise I'll ever need, for every muscle in the body--biceps to abs to delts to spine! Plus some incredibly useful workout routines. I'd KILL to see a sequel written by Pavel and the Coach!!! Another unbeleivably hi quality book from the people at Dragon Door. Well done.
I can't speak highly enough of this book. It is jamed packed with useful bodyweight exercise information. Nothing more need be said if you are looking to get strong and healthy for life. Every important exercise is detailed completely. It is a throughly understandable good read. In my opinion one cannot go wrong if one buys this book.
This is a great book. The best part about this book is the 10 steps to mastery. These steps alone are worth the price of the book 10 fold. The only thing that i would change that i would make would be using GTG strategy. But with most of my comrades knowing this secret already, applying it to this lost art form will make a major change in your strength and conditioning. Putting this program with VIKING WARRIOR CONDITIONING would to me be the ultimate in strength and conditioning. This is a MUST HAVE BOOK.
I have read many books over the years on physical culture-weights,odd objects,body weight,you name it.CC is the best one I've come across.The book does not glorify the incarceration system at all.Rather,it explains the virtues and principles of "old style" bodyweight training for acheiving extreme fitness and strength which has been lost in the 21 century.The progressions ranging from easy to master/elite are superb-clear,concise,well-planned and easy to follow along(but not easy to achieve!). The author's passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge for his subject is obvious and makes for extremely compelling and enjoyable reading.He certainly earns his nickname "Coach."There is no fluff -it is clear that Coach Wade disdains BS and it shows with straight to the point pearls throughout. For anyone especially interested in bodyweight training,or fitness and strength in general;this book absolutely needs to be on your shelf.Its a gold mine of information that will never be obsolete.I applaud John for making it happen and would look forward to any other material from Coach Wade.
I was lucky enough to be able to read the Coach's book a while before it came out, because my combat instructor (who'll remain nameless!) received a copy for review some months back. He thought I'd get a kick out of taking a look at convict conditioning and I did. (I should point out that the version I got to read might be a little different from the new version with the flashy cover I saw on the DD website.)
The first thing I should say about the book is that there's a real dichotomy between the title and all the heavy DD marketing and the book itself. Having been one of the lucky band who've read the book page for page, I'm quite surprised by the ad copy on the website, and some of the Dragon Door forum discussions are a little misleading. This has made me shoot a review to hopefully help any interested athletes who might be a bit confused.
There's no glamorizing of jail going on here. There's no ghetto slang, no romance about the brutal environment, no attempt to make prisoners out to be a "super tough" breed. If you want a "gimmick" prison workout book, this one's not for you, I'm afraid. In fact the only references to convicts are not entirely flattering. The author is clearly not some screaming psycho, but a thoughtful, knowledgeable fella who has made his share of mistakes. You can tell by his vocabulary and choice of words that he's no hotshot super-genius like Pavel; more like an average Joe who's learned by a lot of mistakes. There's almost a gentleness to the way he writes. He's certainly not pushy or intimidating; quite self-deprecating actually. The method is incredibly easy to follow, but I would also say that the book has clearly been quite heavily edited by somebody other than the author, to put the text into a clearer format than was probably originally the case.
As the first few chapters make clear, the author is a man (not a young one, judging by the dates) who has spent many, many years working out in prisons. Whilst incarcerated, he clearly became obsessed with exercise as a survival (and sanity) mechanism. (I hope the author doesn't take that the wrong way. I don't mean it negatively.) While "behind bars" the author learned various cal techniques from numerous sources. The most interesting of those he cites were the "former generation" of older convicts, who apparently retained a vast amount of knowledge on bodyweight power work.
Read the book and you realize that this is no idle claim! Most books are collections of techniques, but this manual presents an entire system of training which clearly predates the author himself. I was astonished by the volume of data in this book, and a huge amount of it has changed the way I look at training altogether.
I commend Dragon Door for having the guts to publish this man's work. The book is a rare, wonderful find; the kind of jewel of a book you can really use and learn from, which only comes along a few times in your life.I began using this system immediately under the advice of my instructor. Several other students are using it too, and have achieved significant results. I do also use kettlebells, but the author gives guidelines for developing one's own "hybrid" systems, so this is not a problem. I'm hooked, frankly, and in the best shape of my 20 year training career. the most amazing thing about this method is that it's radically increased my strength levels whilst reducing or actually curing old injuries I've been carrying a while.
Just one more point which might be meaningful to some long-time DD adherents. Former DD products I've purchased have all contained excellent, super-high quality information, but they've been criticized by some as being quite light on ink. Nobody could accuse this book of being light! This time around, there's no large font, no blank spaces, no repetition and hundreds of photographs. At well over 300 pages I got the impression that the editor was trying to cram information in, rather than spread it out. The book really is a complete encyclodpedia of a massive and incredibly sophisticated training system. There's too much to review here: everything from history and philosophy to techniques, progressions, workouts, psychology. You name it.
In summary; ignore the title, ignore the marketing, and ignore the gossip. Insead, read the comments (in yellow boxes) splashed around this page by the genuine well-respected fitess experts. Buy, borrow, loan or steal this book, and you'll still be reading (and using) it ten, twenty years from now.
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