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  1. #1
    Roy G. Biv's Avatar
    Roy G. Biv is offline Junior Member
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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

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    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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    Nick the Destroyer's Avatar
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    Don't own it, but plan of getting it. Most Dragon Door stuff is top of the line, IMHO.
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    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.
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    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...
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    Al_Kavadlo's Avatar
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    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."

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    Roy G. Biv's Avatar
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    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?

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    Twibble's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
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    Quote 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?

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    JeffC's Avatar
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    Quote 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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