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  • Convict Conditioning

    Hi everybody, this is my first post. I just bought and read through PB this weekend and it really lines up with a lot of things I already believed in. I have been strength training with bodyweight exclusively for the past year after reading a book called "Convict Conditioning" by Paul Wade in which he recounts his days as a prisoner obsessed with working out in his cell. The book outlines "The Big Six", or the six main bodyweight exercises necessary for total body strength (pull ups, push ups, pistols, back bridges, leg raises and handstand push ups). These kind of exercises seem to be an ideal fit with PB, I was just wondereing if anyone else has read Convict Conditioning (or is interested in it) or if there are any other bodyweight enthusiasts on here in general?

    P.S., if anyone on here is interested in learning more about the book, just email me at bjbrown5@mail.usi.edu. I'm not selling anything, I just like to talk about it. Lord knows my wife is getting sick of hearing about it.
    “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

    What is Spartan Strength?

  • #2
    I've been doing CC for about 5 months. I think it's a great read and a solid program. I am finding that my progress on the pull up is VERY slow. I am sticking with the program, but I do other workouts as well.

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    • #3
      Don't own it, but plan of getting it. Most Dragon Door stuff is top of the line, IMHO.
      "Suffer no guilt yee who wield this in the name of Crom"
      Quote on the Father's Sword

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      • #4
        Just starting it. The whole convict thing is a bit hokey (but I think the same thing about the Grok thing), book would be rather thin w/o it.

        I like the philosophy of starting easy, learning the motions and progressing slowly. As someone who has never been in shape ever it is what I need. I tried one of Horton's programs (the easy one, not P90X) and hit that wall as described in CC, it was too much to soon for me.

        We'll see how it goes.
        Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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        • #5
          There are lots of bodyweight enthusiasts here - welcome!

          I just recently added back bridges to my routine but hadn't heard of them in a bodyweight context until recently, so it's interesting to me that CC classifies them in "the big six." The book is on my reading list, but I have a ton of other material to get through first...
          The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

          You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout

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          • #6
            Bodyweight enthusiast here! I've got tons of bodyweight exercise articles and tutorials on my blog.

            As for CC, it's a great starting point, but the world of bodyweight training goes beyond where the book leaves off. Btw, if you like Paul Wade, check out this article.
            "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

            "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

            My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

            sigpic

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            • #7
              Wow! CC is a lot more popular than I thought. Here's a question for the bodyweight pros that has been bothering me ever since I started doing CC. All of the exercises in the big six are real butt kickers - I can feel the burn in my muscles when I do them EXCEPT for back bridges. I have a slouching problem (I work in an office) and at the end of the day my middle/upper back area is sore. Wade makes it seem like bridges are God's gift to the erector spinae, but I just don't feel it! It feels more like yoga than an exercise. I don't really understand it. He says you should do "reps" of the back bridge, but that just feels awkward so I usually just try to hold the gymnastic bridge for 2-3 minutes.

              Do any of you do the back bridge, and what do you think of it as an exercise for the spinal muscles? Am I doing it wrong or something?
              “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

              What is Spartan Strength?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Roy G. Biv View Post
                Wade makes it seem like bridges are God's gift to the erector spinae, but I just don't feel it! It feels more like yoga than an exercise. I don't really understand it. He says you should do "reps" of the back bridge, but that just feels awkward so I usually just try to hold the gymnastic bridge for 2-3 minutes.

                Do any of you do the back bridge, and what do you think of it as an exercise for the spinal muscles? Am I doing it wrong or something?
                When I was in gymnastics, our "reps" on the back bridge were either walking our hands and feet out a step or two and back in, or arching down, then back up.
                Most people don't realize how much energy it takes for me to pretend to be normal.

                If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I'd fart.

                Twibble's Twibbly Wibbly

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by IvyBlue View Post
                  Just starting it. The whole convict thing is a bit hokey (but I think the same thing about the Grok thing), book would be rather thin w/o it.

                  I like the philosophy of starting easy, learning the motions and progressing slowly. As someone who has never been in shape ever it is what I need. I tried one of Horton's programs (the easy one, not P90X) and hit that wall as described in CC, it was too much to soon for me.

                  We'll see how it goes.
                  Wasn't he actually in prison when he came up with the idea?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Roy G. Biv View Post
                    Wow! CC is a lot more popular than I thought. Here's a question for the bodyweight pros that has been bothering me ever since I started doing CC. All of the exercises in the big six are real butt kickers - I can feel the burn in my muscles when I do them EXCEPT for back bridges. I have a slouching problem (I work in an office) and at the end of the day my middle/upper back area is sore. Wade makes it seem like bridges are God's gift to the erector spinae, but I just don't feel it! It feels more like yoga than an exercise. I don't really understand it. He says you should do "reps" of the back bridge, but that just feels awkward so I usually just try to hold the gymnastic bridge for 2-3 minutes.

                    Do any of you do the back bridge, and what do you think of it as an exercise for the spinal muscles? Am I doing it wrong or something?
                    I have been doing CC very consistently for the past 6 months or so, each move once a week for most of the time, including the bridges but not the shoulder press series yet. I love the bridging but I will caution that Step 2 of the bridging series is physically impossible as shown in the book, I'm not sure if you are talking about step 1 of bridging (which is possible as demonstrated in the book) or step 2. Look on the dragondoor forum for discussion of why step 2 is not possible. If I recall, you have to either push/slide your feet forward or else position your hand a bit differently, a bit farther back from where you are sitting when you start. If you try it any other way, it is very difficult on your arms, it's difficult on your arms anyway in step 2.

                    I'm not overly concerned with fast progress on this, most of the exercises I am on phase 2 or 3, except the squats where I am starting phase 7 this week. It does get easier the longer you stick with it but I figure that even if I take longer to progress and stick with doing the same reps and sets for a few sessions, I still am getting stronger as I am less fatigued. Towards the end when you are near the progression standard, there are just a ton of reps to go through and it can feel brutal doing 3 4 minute sets.

                    Also I like to do bridging at the beginning of the day for the very reason you mention: too much sitting during the day can fatigue my back muscles.

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                    • #11
                      I'm just doing gymnastic bridges all the way off the ground. Lowering myself and going back into the arch doesnt seem to make it easier or harder for my back, just my arms and legs from having to push myself back into position.

                      Another question I have is about doing pistol squats. Do they work your hamstrings? I know they work your quads, but I want to have a natural muscle balance in my legs.
                      Last edited by Roy G. Biv; 04-27-2011, 10:44 AM.
                      “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

                      What is Spartan Strength?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Roy I think we may be talking about a different step in the 10 steps of the briding series. I don't have the book in front of me and names I forget. I'm talking about step 2, I think you are talking about a latter one, maybe 3. I thought you were talking about an earlier step so we may be confusing each other.

                        Primal way to work your hamstrings is kettlebell swings, you'll be so sore the first few times that you'll barely be able to get up from a chair or the toilet.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Roy G. Biv View Post
                          Another question I have is about doing pistol squats. Do they work your hamstrings? I know they work your quads, but I want to have a natural muscle balance in my legs.
                          Absolutely pistols work your hamstrings! And your glutes, lower back, abs, adductors, abductors, etc. There is no better lower body exercise, imo. Check out my pistol squat tutorial for more.

                          Btw, I also did a post on back bridging that you might find helpful.
                          "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                          "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

                          My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey Al, I took a look at your site, awesome awesome stuff! This is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. I suppose that you agree with CC that bridging really strengthens the spinal muscles? If I am going for strength, should I hold the bridge isometrically or do "reps" ?
                            “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

                            What is Spartan Strength?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Have you tried "The Plank" like Mark Sisson shows in PB? I have been doing situps, pushups, pullups, and squats for months and am in pretty good shape, but can only manage about 1 min 30 on a plank. I'm working on 2 minutes, can't imagine 3!

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