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Explosive Calisthenics by Paul "Coach" Wade
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Explosive Calisthenics

Superhuman Power, Maximum Speed and Agility, Plus Combat-Ready Reflexes—Using Bodyweight-Only Methods

By Paul "Coach" Wade

392 pages paperback

How to Lead, Survive and Dominate Physically—By Becoming “The Complete Package” As an Athlete…

Explosive Calisthenics is for those who want to be winners and survivors in the game of life—for those who want to be the Complete Package: powerful, explosive, strong, agile, quick and resilient. Traditional martial arts have always understood this necessity of training the complete package—with explosive power at an absolute premium. And resilience is revered: the joints, tendons, muscles, organs and nervous system are ALL conditioned for maximum challenge.

Really great athletes are invariably that way too: agile as all get-go, blinding speed, ungodly bursts of power, superhuman displays of strength, seemingly at will…

The foundation and fundamentals center, first, around the building of power and speed. But Explosive Calisthenics does a masterful job of elucidating the skill-practices needed to safely prepare for and master the more ambitious moves.

But Explosive Calisthenics doesn’t just inspire you with the dream of being the Complete Package. It gives you the complete blueprint, every detail and every progression you could possibly want and need to nail your dream and make it a reality. You, the Complete Package—it’s all laid out for you, step by step.

“The first physical attribute we lose as we age is our ability to generate power. Close behind is the loss of skilled, coordinated movement. The fix is never to lose these abilities in the first place! Paul Wade’s Explosive Calisthenics is the best program for developing power and skilled movement I have seen. Just as with his previous two books, the progressions are masterful with no fancy equipment needed.

You don’t have to achieve a full back flip or kip up to get HUGE benefit from mastering the early progressions. It doesn’t matter if you are a 20-year old looking to push your power and agility to new heights or approaching middle age, trying to slow the hands of time. Do yourself a favor and get this amazing work. This book will be the gold standard for developing bodyweight power, skill, and agility.”—Chris Hardy, D.O. MPH, CSCS, author, Strong Medicine

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Teach your body to be the lightning-
fast, explosive, acrobatic super-hunter
your DNA is coded to make you…

With Explosive Calisthenics, Paul Wade challenges you to separate yourself from the herd of also-ran followers—to become a leader, survivor and winner in the physical game of life. But he doesn’t just challenge and inspire you. He gives you the direct means, the secrets, the science, the wisdom, the blueprints, the proven methods and the progressions—that make success inevitable, when you supply your end in consistent, diligent, skillful application.

Now a legendary international bestseller, Convict Conditioning can lay claim to be the Great Instigator when it comes to the resurgence of interest in bodyweight exercise mastery.

And—while Convict Conditioning 2 cemented Wade’s position as the preeminent authority on bodyweight exercise—there is no doubt that his magisterial new accomplishment, Explosive Calisthenics is going to blow the doors off, all over again.

What makes Explosive Calisthenics so exciting—and so profound in its implications?

See, it goes back to the laws of brute survival. It’s not "Only the strongest shall survive". No, it’s more like: "Only the strongest, quickest, most agile, most powerful and most explosive shall survive." To be a leader and dominator and survivor in the pack, you need to be the complete package...

A vanishing percent of people who workout even attempt to unlock their body's inherent power and speed—choose to be different: reclaim your pride and dignity as a fully-realized human being by fully unleashing your true athletic capacity...

Now—for those who have the balls and the will and the fortitude to take it on—comes the next stage: Explosive Calisthenics. The chance not only to be strong and healthy but to ascend to the Complete Package. If you want it, then here it is…

"Explosive Calisthenics is an absolute Treasure Map for anybody looking to tear down their body's athletic limitations. Who doesn't want to be able to kip to their feet from their back like a Bruce Lee? Or make a backflip look easy? Paul makes you want to put down the barbells, learn and practice these step-by-step progressions to mastering the most explosive and impressive bodyweight movements. The best part is? You can become an absolute Beast in under an hour of practice a week. Way to go, Paul! AROO!"—Joe Distefano, Spartan Race, Director of Training & Creator of the Spartan SGX Certification


1: Power Up! The Need for Speed

Power defined—understanding the difference between strength and power…P 3

Functional speed—and the golden mean for power in athletics…P 6

Discover how to move your entire body with lightning speed… P 6

Agility defined…P 7

Discover how to efficiently alter your movement at high velocity…P 7

The difference between complex power and simple power—and what it means for athletic success…P 7

Discover how to enhance your reflexes to generate higher levels of power speed and agility…P 9

Why most gym-trained athletes lack THESE qualities—and will therefore NEVER attain true athleticism…P 10

Explosive Calisthenics Power and Skill

2: Explosive Training: Five Key Principles

How modern Americans have become the slowest, least agile members of our species in all history—and what we can do about it…P 11

How you CAN teach your body to be the lightning-fast, explosive, acrobatic super-hunter your DNA is coded to make you…P 12

The 5 key principles for developing speed, power and agility… P 12

How to be the COMPLETE explosive machine…P 13

Why traditional box work, core training and Olympic lifting simply won’t cut it—when your goal is high-level explosiveness…P 14

If you really want to build monstrous power, speed and agility in the shortest possible time—HERE is what you absolutely MUST stick with…P 18

The 6 movements you must master—for the ultimate in hardcore explosiveness…P 19

The true essence of calisthenics mastery lies here—and only here…P 19

3: How to Use This Book: Core Concepts and Answers

Do you need to learn the Explosive 6 in any particular order?...P 26

Do you have to start with Step 1?...P 27

How to train short-distance speed…P 32

"Martial arts supremacy is all about explosive power and speed, and you will possess both once you’ve mastered the hardcore exercises in Explosive Calisthenics. Take your solo training to a level you never even imagined with these teeth-gritting, heart-palpating exercises—from a master of the genre."—Loren W. Christensen, author of over 50 books, including Fighting Power: How to Develop Explosive Punches, Kicks, Blocks, And Grappling and Speed Training: How to Develop Your Maximum Speed for Martial Arts

Mastery of progressive calisthenics is like building an arsenal-full of weapons for your physical transformation. The Power Jump and Power Pushup will set up your foundation by supercharging your nervous system, ramping up your reflexes and amping your speed and power.

Expect to be remarkably and resiliently strengthened in your bones, joints, tissues and muscles—over the entire body.

In other words: hard, dedicated work on just the Power Jump and the Power Pushup alone can turn a slow, clumsy Joe Average into a lightning-powered cyborg…


4: Power Jumps: Advanced Leg Spring

If you really want to become explosive, then the legs are the source of it all—and the best way to train the legs is with progressive power jumps. Here is the 10-step blueprint for achieving ultimate leg power…

Understanding the importance of developing springy legs…P 37

Deconstructing the power jumps…P 38

How to develop the crucial skills of launching, tucking and landing…P 38—40

How to take advantage of Myotatic Rebound—to correctly absorb and redirect force…

How to correctly block when you jump…P 41

Do you need Plyo boxes?...P 43

Step One: Straight Hop—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 44

Step Two: Squat Jump—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 46

Step Three: Vertical Leap—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 48

Step Four: Block Jump—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 50

How to develop the ability to transfer force in dramatic fashion…P 50

Step Five: Butt-Kick Jump—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 52

Step Six: Slap Tuck Jump—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 54

Step Seven: Tuck Jump—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 56

Confer some serious explosive power to the lower body—and is a perquisite for becoming really fast…P 56

Step Eight: Catch Tuck Jump—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 58

Step Nine: Thread Jump—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 60

Master Step: Suicide Jump—Performance, X-Ray…P 62

The ultimate tucking drill—once you master this drill, kip ups, front flips and back flips will come much easier than you ever imagined…P 62

Going Beyond…P 64

Reverse Suicide Jump…P64

Small Space Drills—3 useful speed and power techniques…P 69

Cossacks—for great supple strength and balance…P 69

Wide-to-Close Pop-Ups…P 70

Wall Threads…P 71

"Explosive Calisthenics by Paul ‘Coach’ Wade is a masterfully constructed roadmap for the attainment of power, functional speed, and agility. The book is extreme in that only a small percentage of the population would be able or willing to fully take the challenge, but at the same time, brilliant in that the path proceeds methodically and progressively from relatively simple to extremely advanced, allowing a discretionary endpoint for each individual.

The book is also refreshingly raw. The exercises are all done using only bodyweight and little in the way of equipment. There are only five moves to master and yet each is a proverbial double-edge sword—at the same time dangerous yet potentially transformative.

Take this on and I doubt you will ever again be satisfied with the mundane bench press or the other exercise machines found in the typical gym."—Patrick Roth, M.D., author of The End of Back Pain: Access Your Hidden Core to Heal Your Body, Chairman of Neurosurgery at Hackensack University Medical Center and the director of its neurosurgical residency training program.

5: Power Pushups: Strength Becomes Power

To round out a basic power training regime, you need to pair jumps with a movement chain which performs a similar job for the upper-body and arms. The best drills for these are power push ups. Here is the 10-step blueprint for becoming an upper-body cyborg…

How to get arms like freaking jackhammers…P 73

How to skyrocket pour power levels, maximize your speed and add slabs of righteous beef to you torso and guns…P 73

How to develop upper-body survival-power—for more effective punching, blocking, throwing and pushing…P 73

How speed-power training trains the nervous system and joints to handle greater loads…P 73

The more power you have in your arms, chest and shoulders, the stronger they become. And the stronger they become, the harder you can work them and the bigger they get…P 73

Gives you an extra edge in strength AND size…P 73

Why the best way is the natural way…P 74

Deconstructing Power Pushups…P 74

Correct elbow positioning and where to place your hands (crucial)—to spring back with optimal power…P 74

Why cheating with the Earthworm will only rob you—if freakish strength gains are your goal…P 76

How to apply the Myotatic Rebound effect to maximal advantage in your power pushups…P 78

The Power Pushup Chain…P 79

Step One: Incline Pop-Up—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 80

A perfect way to gently condition the shoulders, elbows and wrists for the harder work to come

Step Two: Kneeling Push-Off—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 82

How to turn your strength into power—and an exceptional way to build your punching force…P 82

Step Three: Pop-Up—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 84

A nearly magical preliminary exercise to get better at clap pushups.

Step Four: Clap Pushup—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 86

How the clap pushup builds exceptional levels of torso power and quick hands, whilst toughening the arms and shoulders—invaluable for boxers, martial artists and football players.

Step Five: Chest-Strike Pushup—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 88

Step Six: Hip-Strike Pushup—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 90

A killer bridging exercise between clapping in front of the body and clapping behind.

Step Seven: Convict Pushup—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 92

Step Eight: Half-Super—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 94

Builds high levels of pure shoulder speed—excellent for all martial artists.

Step Nine: Full Body Pop-Up—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 96

Master Step: The Superman—Performance, X-Ray…P 98

A wicked, wicked move that works the whole body—both anterior and posterior chains.

Get upper-body pushing muscles that are king-fu powerful and robust as a gorilla’s…P 98

If God had handed us a "perfect" explosive upper-body exercise, it might be this…P 98

Going Beyond…P 100

The Aztec Pushup…P 101

The Crossing Aztec Pushup… P 102

The One-Arm Clapping Pushup…P 103

Small Space Drills…P104

The Push Get-Up…P 104

Round-the-Clock Pushups…P 105

360 Jump…P 106

Fast feet and hands go together like biscuits and gravy—here’s how to make it happen.

"Coach Wade saved the best for last! Explosive Calisthenics is the book all diehard Convict Conditioning fans have been waiting for. There has never been anything like it until now!

With his trademark blend of old-school philosophy, hard-earned wisdom and in-your-face humor, Coach expands his infamous system of progressive bodyweight programming to break down the most coveted explosive moves, including the back flip, kip-up and muscle-up. If you want to know how far you can go training with just your own bodyweight, you owe it to yourself to get this book!"—Al Kavadlo, author, Stretching Your Boundaries

6: The Kip-Up: Kung Fu Body Speed

The mesmerizing Kip-Up is the most explosive way of getting up off your back—and is a surprisingly useful skill to possess. Learn how here…P 109

Deconstructing Kip-Ups…P 110

The Roll-Up, Hand Positioning, the Kick and the Rotation…P 112

Step One: Rolling Sit-Up—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 114

A fantastic conditioning exercise, which strengthens the midsection, hips and back…P 114

Step Two: Rolling Squat—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 116

How to generate forward momentum.

Step Three: Shoulder Pop—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 118

Strengthens and conditions the wrists and shoulders for the task of explosively pushing the body up.

Step Four: Bridge Kip—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 120

Learn how to generate enough lower body power to throw the head, shoulders and upper back off the floor.

Step Five: Butt Kip—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 122

Step Six: Half Kip—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 124

Step Seven: Kip-Up—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 126

Impossible without an explosive waist, super-fast legs and the total-body ability of a panther—which you will OWN when you master step seven…

Step Eight: Straight Leg Kip-Up—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 128

Step Nine: Wushu Kip-Up—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 130

Master Step: No-Hands Kip-Up—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 132

If there is a more impressive—or explosive—way to power up off the floor, then humans haven’t invented it yet…

Master this advanced drill and your total-body speed and agility will start to bust off the charts…P 132

Going Beyond

Roll Kip, Head Kip and Ditang Breakfall…P 134—136

Small Space Drills…P 137

Bridge Push-Offs, Sitting Kips and prone Kips…P 137—139

"Once again, Paul ‘Coach’ Wade, inspires with a life-changing approach to fitness that relies only on the weight of one's body. In his comprehensive new book, Explosive Calisthenics, he presents how calisthenics can and should be taken to the next level. Starting as he always does, with history of the early practitioners of bodyweight training, Explosive Calisthenics explains the widely misunderstood difference between 'strength' and 'power' as perhaps the key theme. This crucial distinction is what defines truly functional exercise as a life-long endeavor that has been a fountain of youth since ancient times.

To that, Wade ties his dynamic calisthenics to popular disciplines including my own, martial arts—drawing on exercises specific to the combative arts, but applicable to any physical activity. Wade also includes basic jumps, rolls, and somersaults as key parts of the regimen. Correctly, Wade prefers not to define these as ‘gymnastics’ but as whole-body explosive power and speed training. While this may not be for everyone at first, I would encourage the calisthenics-advanced non-gymnast, to give these ‘explosive’ movements a try.

Of particular note to me as a long-time proponent of time-tested, more functional fitness training, I very much appreciated Wade's discussion of developing the senses as a fundamental part of Explosive Calisthenics. As a professional, more traditional martial artist and Chen Taijiquan practitioner, development of the senses through exercises that utilize whole-body movement and stringent eye-hand-foot coordination practices, Wade's presentation of total senses development as part of advanced calisthenics training is fantastic to see.

And lastly, Wade's emphasis on solo training, which he explains so well, is something not to be over-looked. The importance of solo training not only builds true functional fitness, but as Wade describes, provides an inner strength and focus that spoke directly to me as a traditional martial artist. In my teachings I've always maintained that relying on no one else or any apparatus other than your own body for core training is what truly separates the master from the student and from those who can't let go of psychological and physical baggage that holds them back, from those whom depend on nothing other their own strength. Wade's discussion of this ageless wisdom is magnificent to see and is to me the heart and soul of Explosive Calisthenics."—Stephan Berwick, author True Strength Yang

7: The Front Flip: Lightning Movement Skills

The Front Flip is THE explosive exercise par excellence—it is the "super-drill" for any athlete wanting more speed, agility and power.

Explosive Calisthenics Running Front Flip

Discover how to attain this iconic test of power and agility—requiring your entire body, from toes to neck, to be whip-like explosive…P 141

Deconstructing Front Flips…P 142

Run-Up, Take-Off, Unfurl, landing…P 142—143

The Front Flip Chain…P 144

Step One: Shoulder Roll—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 146

Step Two: Press Roll—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 148

Step Three: Jump Roll—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 150

Step Four: Handstand Roll—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 152

Step Five: Backdrop Handspring—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 154

Step Six: Front Handspring—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 156

A phenomenal explosive drill in its own right…

Step Seven: Flyspring—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 158

Step Eight: Back Drop Flip—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 160

Step Nine: Running Front Flip—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 162

Master Step: Front Flip—Performance, X-Ray…P 164

Going Beyond…P 166

The Round-Off and the Cartwheel…P 166—167

Small Space Drills…P 170

Kojaks, Thruster and Unilateral Jump…P 170—172

"Your body is the ultimate ‘training tool’. Paul Wade shows you how to transform your own body and turn it into a weapon! I've taken these methods and applied them to the training of my athletes as well as my own training and the bottom line is that they work. The workouts and exercises deliver. They are powerful and results driven.

If you are done wasting your time on fads and gimmicks and simply want a training program that works BIG time. This is it."—Zach Even-Esh, author The Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning

8: The Back Flip: Ultimate Agility

The Back Flip is the most archetypal acrobatic feat—displaying integrated mastery of some of the most fundamental traits required for total explosive strength.

If you want to be a contender for the power crown, then you have to get to own the Back Flip—which defines true agility…

Discover how to develop a super-quick jump, a massive hip snap, a powerful, agile waist and spine—and an upper body that can generate higher levels of responsive force like lightning… Simply put, this is the single greatest test of explosive power, true speed and agility found in nature. Here is how to pass the test…

Deconstructing the Back Flip…P 176

General tips for the many skills needed to master the Back Flip…P 176

5 key exercises to strengthen you arms and shoulders…P 178

How to achieve a powerful Tuck…P 179

How to use the Depth Jump to further condition your joints…P 179

The Back Flip Chain…P 180

THIS is the most important consideration to have in place for finally achieving the Back Flip…P 180

Step One: Rear Shoulder Roll—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 182

Step Two: Rear Press Roll—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 184

Step Three: Bridge Kick Over—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 186

A great antidote to fear of the Back Handspring

Step Four: Side Macaco—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 188

Step Five: Back Macaco—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 190

Step Six: Monkey Flip—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 192

Step Seven: Back Handspring—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 194

Step Eight: One-Arm Back Handspring—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 196

Step Nine: Four Point Back Flip—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 198

Master Step: Back Flip—Performance, X-Ray…P 200

Going Beyond…P 202

Small Space Drills…P 205

One-Arm Wall Push-Aways (great exercise for powerful, bulletproof elbows)…P 205

Donkey Kick and Scissors Jump…P 206

"Explosive Calisthenics continues the epic saga of the Convict Conditioning opus, which has become a staple for any bodyweight training library. If you've applied all the incredible techniques taught in the first two books, you'll be able to maximize your training with even more impressive moves. Coach Wade offers up a blueprint for pushing your workouts to a whole new level. Lots of books say they are taking things to a whole new level—this one really does.

Where books one and two laid a strong foundation with exercises like muscle-ups and human flags, Explosive Calisthenics literally brings in the explosiveness by introducing flips and other power-based moves. With his usual step-by-step guides and clear instructions, Wade covers an extensive list of exercises with progressions and regressions that makes this book perfect for both beginners and advanced calisthenics enthusiasts. Holding true to the Dragon Door style, the pics are bold and easy to follow. I'm inspired to go do some flips right now!"—Mike Fitch, creator, Global Bodyweight Training

9: The Muscle-Up: Optimal Explosive Strength

If ever one popular strength exercise qualified as a "complete" feat, it would probably be the mighty Muscle-Up—one of the most jealously-admired skills in all of bodyweight training…

The Muscle-Up requires a very explosive pull, plus a push—so works almost the entire upper-body; the back and biceps pull, while the chest, triceps and shoulders push. Your grip needs to be insanely strong, your stomach crafted out of steel and you require a highly athletic posterior chain.

Discover the complete blueprint for achieving the planet’s hottest bodyweight move…

Learn how to achieve the elusive, total-body-sync, X factor the Muscle-Up requires—and build insane explosive power in a highly compressed time frame…

Deconstructing the Muscle-Up...P 211—214

The Muscle-Up Chain…P 217

Step One: Swing Kip—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 218

A fantastic conditioning exercise, which conditions the deep tissues of the shoulders, spine and hips as well the grip and forearm/elbow complex...

Step Two: Jumping Pullup—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 220

A key progression so you can develop the necessary power for the Muscle-Up...

Step Three: Kipping Pullup—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 222

The cornerstone of all power-training on the bar...

Step Four: Pullup Hop—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 224

Step Five: Clap Pullup—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 226

Step Six: Chest Pullup—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 228

Step Seven: Hip Pullup—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 230

Once you can achieve the Hip Pullup you will have mastered the pulling portion of the Muscle-Up…

Step Eight: Jumping Pullover—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 232

Builds the skill of correct technique for pulling your torso over the bar…

Step Nine: Bar Pullover—Performance, X-Ray, Regressions, Progressions…P 234

An incredible exercise for harnessing nuclear-level explosive strength—having this technique under your belt might even save your life…

Master Step: The Muscle-Up—Performance, X-Ray…P 236

An incredible exercise for harnessing nuclear-level explosive strength—having this technique under your belt might even save your life…

Bonus Progressions: Dips…P 238

If you can comfortably perform a horizontal bar dip, then your chances of completing a Muscle-Up have skyrocketed…

The Ten-Step Chain of Dip Progressions

Bent Dips, Straight Dips, Feet-Elevated Dips, Feet-Up Parallel Bar Dips, Self-Assisted Parallel Bar Dips, Self-Assisted Parallel Bar Dips 2, Parallel Bar Dips, Legs Forward Parallel Bar Dips, Perpendicular Dips, and Horizontal Bar Dips…P 238—241

Russian Dips and L-Hold Dips…P 242—243

Korean Dips…P 244

How to take your dipping to superhuman levels…

Double Dips: Explosive Variations…P 245

Dipping drill for speed-strength…P 245

Walking Dips…P 245

Hopping Dips…P 246

To step up the shock factor…

Clap Dips…P 247

Power Dips…P 248

This will add that much extra explosivity and agility into your Dip work…

Swing Dips…P 249

Take things even further and build total-body power and coordination…P 249

Going Beyond…P 250

Underhand Muscle-Ups…P 250

Throws new power demands on the body, particularly the grip and biceps…P 250

Archer Muscle-Up…P 251

The asymmetrical performance makes this version even more demanding—and therefore rewarding, for the power-fiends amongst us…

Full Kips…P 252

Small Space Drills…P 253

Sideways Pop-Up…P 253

Requires outrageous ab strength and is a fantastic movement to build a super-powerful core…

Pike Slaps…P 254

Jump Kick…P 255

A useful, fairly low-stress exercise for healthy hips…

"Explosive Calisthenics is aptly-named. This book is a power-boosting ‘smart-bomb’ that delivers a payload of immensely practical info. The content is not only interesting and unique, it practically screams at you to try it out. You will love the skills and their associated progressions. For multi-sport athletes, prospective parkour-enthusiasts, budding badasses and aspiring ninja warriors everywhere, here is your textbook!" —Mike Gillette, author, Rings of Power


10: Making Progress: The PARC Principle

If you can work your way up to the ice-cold, bad-ass master Step for all Explosive Six—you will become the most explosively powerful athlete you know. No question…

So how DO you move safely and effectively upwards through these chains—and achieve bodyweight immortality? The answers, my friend are fully contained in these next sections…

Progression Standards for the Explosive Six…P 259

3 reasons why "rep-building" simply won’t cut it for fast-power techniques…P 261

How to know when to move up from one step to the next in the chain…P 264

PARC and the 4 key competence components in explosive training...P 264

How to best apply the PARC principles in your training…P 266

11: Power and Skill: Twin Training Methodologies

Twin Training Methodologies…P 269

Why two different methods and when to pick which…P 269

Power and Skill Methods…P 272

How to express your power in a more sophisticated manner through skill-based movement training…P 274

12: Power Building: The Rule of Three and the Rule of Six

What is raw power?...P 275

The 3 main qualities you need to have established in order to successfully perform Kip-Ups and Flips…P 275

Explosive Calisthenics Rule of Six

How to build enduring power and joint integrity throughout your whole athletic life…P 276

How to build a bigger and more turbocharged "power vehicle"—fail to achieve this and you will be like a speedster running on empty…P 276

Injury bulletproofing…P 276

How should you program your basic power moves?...P 276

How to apply the simple engineering of 2 basic rules—so your power will take off like a ramjet…P 276

The Rule of Three…P 277

The Rule of Six…P 279

The time-tested formula for determining the optimal rep range for your sets.

THIS is the bread-and-butter rule-of-thumb followed by most successful explosive athletes and coaches…P 280

Definitions of Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced…P 282

How long should you rest between sets?…P 283

13: Skill Development: Time Surfing and Consolidation Training

Consolidated Training…P 285

How to choose the right exercise…P 285

Hebb’s Law—and what skill training primarily improves...P 286

Time Surfing…P 287

The 3 main benefits of time surfing…P 288

When to employ Consolidated Training…P 289

Why Consolidation Training is the most natural way to train…P 289

14: Sample Programs: Session Templates

Why you should focus on progressions, not templates…P 293

Some fundamental, applicable approaches to training plans that will fit different goals and objectives…P 294

Warm-Up Protocol…P 295

How much and how should you warm up?...P 295

4 keys to an effective warm-up protocol…P 295

Pure Power, Sacred Trinity, 4-Leaf Clover, 25’s, 2-Day Split and their variants…P 296—300

The Muscleman…P 301

How to integrate explosive work with strength and bodybuilding programs…P 301

Johnny Kung Fu and variants…P 302

"Paul Wade’s series Convict Conditioning continues with the newest addition, Explosive Calisthenics. I applaud the loss of the convict/prison shtick and we get to explore what Wade does best: he progresses a movement from the basic and simple to, in this case, it’s most complex (and awesome). The chapter on programming, the sets and reps of things, has a series of rules that you will instantly claim as your own.

I can’t believe we abandoned traditional calisthenics in our schools and training programs, but this book is the best argument I know for carrying signs in front of schools proclaiming ‘No More Dodgeball’ and ‘Calisthenics Progressions for All!’"—Dan John, author, Never Let Go


Bonus Section 1: Advanced Speed Training: "Coach" Wade’s Top Ten Tricks and Hacks

The Top 10 Tips and Tactics for becoming faster than a speeding bullet… P 307

Super-Speed Tactic # 1: How to Hack the Speed Cycle…P 308

The 5 stages of the Speed Cycle…P 308

Super-Speed Tactic # 2: How to Exploit Gretsky’s Law…P 310

Super-Speed Tactic # 3: Train the Senses…P 311

Understanding how to train sensory mediation and sonic location…

Training the Kinesthetic…P 313

Training the Olfactory/Gustatory…P 313

Super-Speed Tactic # 4: Exploit Reflex Channelling…P 314

Understanding the Yerkes-Dodson Law and how to program your reflexes…

Understanding Hebb’s Rule as it applies to training-mastery…P 314

Super-Speed Tactic # 5: Utilize the Plyometric Edge…P 315

How to take proper advantage of "shock" training…

Super-Speed Tactic # 6: Lose Weight…P 317

Why calisthenics is the perfect discipline to accompany a weight management program…P 317

Super-Speed Tactic # 7: Optimize Joint Health…P 319

How to cultivate supple strength and stay injury-free…

Super-Speed Tactic # 8: Explore B-Ball Drills…P 321

Super-Speed Tactic # 9: How to Master the Speed Illusion…P 322

Super-Speed Tactic # 10: How to Think Yourself Faster…P 323

Bonus Section 2: Animal Agility Drills

10 major animal-type movements that can be your wild card/X-factor in your power and strength training…P 327

Explosive Calisthenics Animal Movements

These animal agility drills increase strength and efficiency while reducing the chance of injury. The legs stay "springy" whatever your age and total-body coordination improves…

Bear Walk…P 328

Great for beginners and experts alike…

Panther Stalk…P 329

This wriggly beaut is AKA Spiderman Crawls

Dog Sprint…P 330

Locust Jumps…P 331

A wonderful total-body warmer

Crab Walk…P 332

A fantastic workout for the back muscles and the triceps…P 332

Duck Walk…P 334

Builds tension-flexibility in the hips, thighs, knees and ankles—very, very valuable to radically improve mobility and enhance joint health…P 334

Kangaroo Hop…P 335

Chimp Swing…P 336

Bat Flips…P 337

Wonderful explosive grip exercise that also works the forearms, elbows, shoulders and abs…

Monkey Turns…P 338

The Explosive 6 Complete Progression Charts…P 342—344

Explosive Six: Complete Progression Charts

"I have found in my work with world-class athletes that they have a common skill; the ability to generate explosive power. Paul Wade's new book shows you not only how to generate explosive power, but how to direct and control it as well. If you have ever wanted to join the rank of superhuman, this book gives you the road map of how to get there. The progressions allow anyone to master the skills of the athletic elite. Plus you'll also learn Speed Hacks that will give you lightning quick reflexes and Animal Drills for agility. Get this book and become amazing!"—Jon Bruney, author, Neuro-Mass

Read Reviews For: Explosive Calisthenics (paperback)
9.67 out of 10 (18 reviews)
Rated 10/10 Incredibly Useable, Fun and Challenging
By Phil Ross / Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, United States

It looks like the team of Dragon Door, Coach Paul Wade and John Du Cane have done it again! Take your bodyweight training to a new level with these EXPLOSIVE movements! I've been doing many of the exercises, some at the highest levels, for many years. However, the way the movements are broken down into stages of progressions is nothing short of fantastic. Back in the day, we would see a move and attempt to emulate it. This was often met with failure and sometimes injury. You no longer need to subject yourself to these pitfalls. CC3 gives you the steps to achieve new levels of explosive fitness!
The Explosive movements will also yield more muscle mass than standard bodyweight training. Explosiveness is also necessary for developing striking and throwing power used in combat. This type of training is a prerequisite for fighters, martial artists or self defense experts.
This book, like its predecessors CC1 & CC2 will be used as reference guides not only for my training, but for the training of my clients as well. The progressions are easy to understand and are set with logical steps leading the reader to the highest levels. Even if you have no desire to perform back flips, the training leading you toward them will result in increasing your strength and flexibility.
If people adhere to the training regiments advocated in these books, the days of the machine laden, strength and fitness limiting gyms are numbered!

Rated 10/10 CC1 + CC2 + Explosive Calisthenics = PERFECTION!!!
By Stephen Ventimiglia / Jamaica, NY, United States

Coach Wade has brought us CC1 and CC2 which needed the newest edition "Explosive Calisthenics" in order to sum up the perfect completion to his book series! I have so many people looking at me while I do my body-weight exercises saying, "Dude, that's not going to help you build muscle. You need more intensity! You need weights! You need to make it more challenging, more explosive, more powerful, etc. blah, blah!"

Well, when you read this book you can see why you really don't need weights to build intensity and that's even if you can get to this point of body-weight exercising. The power you build, the feeling you get when you achieve your first muscle up, the body-weight plyometrics, the way you will look!

Trust me on this after following Coach Wade's methods here it will make everything worth while and it will pay off! This is the book of the year and Al and Danny Kavadlo were the best choice of models for this. Thanks to all these guys for confirming why I truly believe in calisthenics and why I have no need to work out on a machine and why I don't need dumbbells anymore!

Rated 10/10 This book changes the game!
By Tyler Perez / Campbell, California, United States

Words can't express how great of a read this was for me and what it'll do for my training in the future. Coach Paul Wade made this book very easy to absorb mentally providing wonderful detail, not only in his writing but with images as well to help with the process of becoming an explosive athlete. Being certified through NASM as a MMA Conditioning Specialist, NESTA as a Muay Fintess Specialist, Onnit Lvl 1 soon to be KB Lvl 2 coach this book has inspired me to take on the PCC certification to learn more about calisthenics and to challenge myself to do better. If you have CC1 and 2 then its a must to add this to your library. Being coaches in the world of fitness I will say that this book got me excited to elevate my training to another level but for you as the future reader of this book, when you purchase this and say to yourself that its missing something then add it to your training. We will always continue to be students in the fitness world and this CC3 edition just proved that the human body is capable of doing so much more than we thought to believe. Have fun with it and watch yourself fly!

Tyler "The Iron Ronin" Perez

Rated 10/10 Things just keep getting better and better....
By Paul Paradis / Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Having been an end user of the first two volumes for some time now, I was incredibly excited to hear about the upcoming release of this volume. When the article appeared in the PCC blog back in December the exhilaration I experienced was quite palpable, and ever since then I have been scrutinizing every Dragon Door product update email that finds its way to my inbox. So, when I came to understand earlier today that the thing had finally dropped, I was very, very anxious to leave work and get home.
After firing up my Mac, I went straight to the product page here on Dragon Door and ordered a physical and a digital copy. I have spent the last couple of hours going through the contents and looking at the pics, and all I can say is- IT WAS WELL WORTH THE WAIT.
Are you an experienced CC person? Have you read through CC I and II? If so, you will be thoroughly familiar with the layout, starting with the advance praises given by many different people, through to the table of contents, the dedication, the forward, the disclaimer talking about the primary importance of health over strength, and the contents of the book, with the first section covering history and theory, and then on through the big six power moves and the programming, etc...
As always, the pictures and layout are stunning, the editing is great, and the sum total of it just makes you want to get up off your backside and train.
If you are at all experienced with this system of bodyweight training, you need this book. Like me, you might not be quite ready to start tackling the progressions, but the shot of inspiration and increased determination you will receive from absorbing this information will be well worth the price. Look at Danny Kavadlo busting a full on superman, or in mid flight over the broomstick at the apex of the suicide jump with that really intense look in his face. Danny, Al, Grace, and Adrienne are all there, along with a guy I don't know with a very developed physique busting out backflips.
Anyway, the long and short of it is that this book is a must have if you are part of the CC tribe. With this volume, the training system that Coach started laying down in Volume 1 becomes a little more complete. Explosive training work is the logical next step for everyone as they move progressively forward in their march through the big six, and again, the sheer amount of impetus one will receive from looking at what is possible down the road should make anyone want to pick up a copy of this book.
According to what Coach wrote in CC II, the whole system is complete in four parts, so now that CC III has dropped, I want to step up and say that we all definitely want to see the thing in its entirety. Please Coach, bestow on us CC IV. While you're busy putting it together, we will be busy pushing ourselves to master the big six, along with the neck, grip, calf and flag techniques, and then adding in the explosive stuff from the new volume. We are hungry for all that you have to offer us. Thanks for bestowing all of your hard-earned experience on us. We will repay you in sweat and hard work. My hat's off to you, El Entrenador. Cheers.

Rated 10/10 This is what was missing!
By Kevin Gardner / Durham, NH, USA

Explosive movement and training is what I was missing! Going slow and gaining serious strength using Get Strong and Convict Conditioning has been great for me and my physique (at now 52 years old). It has helped me gain flexibility and strength and helped me work through injuries from 35 years ago that had progressively lost strength and range of motion from years of running and biking. But I was missing the fun factor and also my power is pitiful! I used to be able to do clapping pushups when I was younger, but now I'm starting over. I love adding explosive pushups and jumps, rolls and kips. It is a blast. Takes very little time but adds an important element. I am expecting it will help my sports as well - dynamic movements in climbing, etc.
If you want to add some serious fun and serious challenge to your workouts, this is it. While I started convict conditioning well along in each series, I am at the very beginning in these series for sure. Talk about a challenge!

Rated 9/10 Excellent stuff!
By Dominic Humphries / London, London, UK

Another "Big Six" moves with excellent progressions from "anyone can do that" to "can anyone DO that?!?", in Coach's usual clear style. A bunch of useful extra stuff at the end, too. If you've read the other CC books, you'll know what to expect.

I've been following the CC progressions for about a year and a half now. When I began I was starting from square one due to a long period of forced inactivity due to a broken shoulder and severe whiplash. Courtesy of the Big Six and CC2's trifecta, I'm stronger and more flexible than I ever have been in my life, and have no reason to think I won't continue getting more so as I carry on with the progressions. I don't doubt that the explosive Big Six detailed in here will prove every bit as effective as the strength Big Six in CC. I'm certainly looking forward to mixing them in.

The only reason I can't give it 10/10 is the occasional serious proofreading failures: The catch tuck jump's first bullet point is "This bullet-point description is wrong"; Super-speed tactic #2 has the line "Most people are too used to instinctively 6 than 6 making rapid predictions"; etc. These really detract from the quality of an otherwise excellent book. I hope they can get these fixed before too many copies make it out.

Rated 10/10 An excellent addition to a fantastic series
By Karl Agius / Birkirkara, n/a, Malta

Detailed, concise and easy to follow. Although they were a hard act to follow, this book is even better than its predecessors in the Convict Conditioning series.

Even though I decided that I needed to cut back on the exercises described in this book and spend more time developing the basics from CC1, the progressions are easy to understand. I look forward to revisiting this book once I have worked up to it again - if anything, it's given me even more motivation to work on the basics.

Rated 10/10 Great addition to the series
By Abe No / Sydney, NSW, Australia

This is a great addition to the series and really puts all the foundation that CC1+2 built to good use. Gaining strength is great, but actually putting it to use in these techniques is amazing. Highly recommend.

Rated 9/10 A great book for all levels of athlete anywhere
By Luc Pedneault / Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

I gave it a 9 as 10 is elusive and I'd like to think always to be worked on.

First off, I'm not famous. I am in my 40s and generally out of shape but working to turn that around. So why did I buy these CC books? Simple. Each book can be done and take time. No promises were made of instant results or that it would be easy. The pictures and statements are straight and to the point. Get working. Get working hard. And keep working hard. For the rest of your life. Seems real to me.
The breakdown of each exercise is simple and logical and most people can start on step one of almost any exercise and if they can't then they can work up to step one. I'm cool with that in any task. The images are quite inspirational but there is a bit of history sprinkled around.
Lastly, I can go do these things in a park and my city, Ottawa (Canada) has two calisthenics parks and the closest one to has kids parks and soccer fields. So my daughter can be there and see me doing stuff. So she won't just have a dad who does exercise but she will see him and maybe join in; no chance of that at a big box gym. And calisthenics was the gym class standard when I went to school in the 70s so any kids can join in.
What could be better? Cities make these parks and these books show you what you can do in them. Love it. Sorry, it went from a book review to a lifestyle review which is probably how it should be. Good books aren't just books.


Rated 10/10 Amazing!!!
By Daniel Cirilli / Allumiere, Rome, Lazio, Italy

I think it's the best Explosive Calisthenics book I've ever read.
With a great content about to train your power with bodyweight exercises progressions. Them explain very well in a easy form any kind of exercise. You should read it!!!

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