Convict Conditioning - Build Penitentiary Style Functional Strength!
Convict Conditioning takes us back to the day of old school calisthenics - long before the barbell and dumbbell rose to fame in the 1950's.
Paul 'Coach' Wade talks of a time in the early 1900's when 240lb power lifters were utilizing bodyweight exercises (including one armed handstand push-ups!) to increase their speed, power and flexibility. They were far from muscle bound like the bulky power lifters and bodybuilders of today...
I bet you've seen a bunch of guys deadlift 500lbs, but how many guys have you seen perform a set of strict one arm pull-ups? This is a far more impressive measure of strength, functional strength (I've only ever seen one person pull off a set of strict one arm pull-ups, the same guy can perform reps of +45lb muscle-ups).
Weight lifting builds strength, no doubt.
Intense bodyweight training and calisthenics will build functional strength.
Convict Conditioning delves into the importance of old school calisthenics in your workout regime - coach Wade discusses implementing a form of Convict Conditioning regardless of whether you're an athlete, weekend warrior, bodybuilder or professional power lifter - tangible benefits are apparent regardless of your discipline.
The beauty of this style of training, and the convict conditioning regime as taken straight from the book is...
"All you need is your body, the right knowledge and a big bucketful of determination" - Paul Wade
No money spent, no fancy equipment or expensive gym memberships and no BS supplement recommendations - this is efficient, Spartan-style training.
Still not convinced?
- Bodyweight training requires virtually no equipment (a tree branch or similar can easily be used in place of a pull-up bar)
- Bodyweight training focuses on useful, functional movements
- Bodyweight training can be performed anywhere - a bedroom, a boardroom, outdoors, indoors etc.
- All exercises are integrated, natural movements - no useless or artificial isolation exercises exist
- You are overcome by a feeling of zen as you progress and master the control of your own bodyweight
"Calisthenics: Gymnastic exercises to achieve bodily fitness & grace of movement"
Convict Conditioning Exercises - Get Strong 'N' Functional
Coach Wade's Convict Conditioning workout regimes are all based around 'The Big 6' fundamental exercises including:
The push up
targeting your pecs, deltoids and triceps
Targeting your quads, glutes, calves and hamstrings
The pull up
Targeting your lats, rhomboids, traps, forearms and biceps
The leg raise
Targeting your rectus abdominus, serratus anterior and obliques
Targeting your lower back, hips and spine errectors
The handstand push up
Targeting your shoulders, traps and triceps
You're probably thinking "SJ, I already do push ups, pull ups and squats..."
You're right... these are some very basic exercises - so what makes Convict Conditioning worth checking out then?
1.) Paul Wade breaks down each exercise to discuss and teach you the perfect form - the amount of people out there using bad form on these basic exercises is shocking (and as a result they're failing to target the correct muscles, risk of injury is increased etc.)
2.) Each exercise is broken down into 10 different levels or progressions. You don't start by smashing out one arm pull-ups - that's your goal... Convict Conditioning will show and teach you the 9 progressive variations of the pull ups leading to the 'elite' level of the exercise, the godly one arm pull up. The beauty of this is the variations of each exercise are suitable for absolute beginners and experts alike.
"Start slow and get to know the movements!" is heavily stressed throughout the book - and I couldn't agree more.
Should you choose to buy and follow this workout regime spend your time working your way up - regardless of how easy it may see initially.
I truly believe if you take your time and follow each of the progressive exercise steps in this book there's no doubt with enough perseverance you'll be able to master the 'Elite' variation of each exercise e.g. the one arm push-up, the handstand push-up (according to the book only ONE out of every ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND men can perform a strict one arm pull up).
The Convict Conditioning Workout
This book contains 5 different bodyweight workout routine variations including:
New Blood - a 2 day per week beginner routine
Good Behaviour - a 3 day per week routine, suitable for everyone and anyone
Veterano - a 6 day per week intermediate workout regime
Solitary Confinement - an advance workout regime
Supermax - an elite/endurance based workout regime
Convict Conditioning strips training down to the bare essentials, focusing on your bodyweight before building immense strength and precision while doing so.
You may not look like Mr Olympia by following this style of regime, but you'll learn how to master your own bodyweight, a feat very few individuals pursue and achieve in these days of superficial weight lifting.