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    Danno2013's Avatar
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    You are Your Own Gym vs Convict Conditioning - anyone done both?

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    Hi,

    As the title says, looking for up to date opinions on You are Your Own Gym vs Convict Conditioning - specifically, how did you find both programs in comparison?

    I will explain my reasons for asking: I am stuck over which to use at the current time. I have been using YAYOG for a few months (both the book and the app), but have had several re-starts due to outside circumstances causing breaks. Prior to that i did a bit of weight training for a year or so. My results so far have been very mediocre with YAYOG, I have been eating OK, but I have found YAYOG to be lacking in some direction/progression. There are no goals or details on how to progress from one stage to the other, which I find slightly frustrating; one "class" to another is not a clear jump or progression from one to the other, which leaves me feeling a bit lost in knowing what to do.

    YAYOG comes from a valid source, CC comes form a dubious source, either a convict who spent 19 years in jail, or, as some say, it is just a marketing ploy and is written by the publishers.

    YAYOG has a varied and regular routine, 4/5 days a week, going between Linear and Daily Undulating types of periodization, working endurance, strength and power, with this being the "Key point" - that periodizaion helps you progress faster all round. There are no clear goals, no clear targets, and knowing which exercise variants to substitute when another gets to easy, but the top tier is too hard, is not clear, especially when mixing in the different set types, ladders, intervals, super sets etc. I feel like I wasted a lot of time "experimenting" just trying to find which exercises would work for each type (as the book routines do not always apply to each person) - in some cases I still do not know, even though this will be the third time I go through the first 6 weeks or so of "1st class". I essence it feels like a lot of "work" just trying to get YAYOG going; following the book/app verbatim does not work because certain exercises are too easy/too hard to fit the set type and/or be effective. Whilst my push-ups seems to be improving on this program, I have actually noticed a decline in reps on my let me ups (horizontal pull ups), and they feel weaker too. Since starting this I stopped working pullup and chin ups in the way I was when training in conjunction with weights, and have gone from 3 full pull up max to 1, and 10 chin up max to 2. Since my first round of YAYOG when I was doing 50+ let me ups with straight legs during the ladders, this time I managed only 34, with legs bent! I could put this down the the fact that when I was working with weights as well I had a whole 1.5-2 hour session dedicated to back work. Full/assisted pull ups, chin ups + 5-6 back specific weight exercises, twice a week, on top of the other wrokouts, 6ix days a week total. On the flip side of this I did develop several minor injuries, which is why I stopped.

    Conversely CC seems to be all about strict clear goals; take exercise variant 1 and do it until goal "A" is reached, then progress to goal B, and C, then switch to exercise variant 2 etc. which for me feels much more logical, there is a clear cut line/goal to get to, which I feel would dramatically help with motivation and monitoring progress. On the other hand it has you working out only twice a week on the new blood program. It also goes into detail about putting "strength in the bank" - i.e. working a variant until you have squeezed all you can from it, strengthening not just the primary muscle but all the related tissues, tendons, ligaments etc. I have read a lot of positive reviews about the method of CC. It takes a very different approach to YAYOG with it being really just about gaining reps, using a slow 2-1-2 cadence. There is no direct periodisation, other than the natural flow of going from low rep, high intensity, to high rep, lower intensity over the course of each "step", which is the opposite to YAYOG in many ways. You essentially start each step at the low rep range and then by the time you are ready to move on you are doing multiple high rep sets. My concerns with this program are that it asks you to go way back down for all exercises. I could currently start more than halfway through for the push exercise, but it recommends going back to the basics and spending a month (ish) on each step building up.

    Really I am stuck over which would be better at this time. I see YAYOG as a better long term program over all, most especially once the top tier (or close to it) have been reached. Once a person can do those high tier calisthenics moves then a mixed balanced program like YAYOG would seem a better long term solution as it offers more variety and customization; and at this stage you would not have to worry about how to progress to the next "one up" as you would already be doing the harder variants; progression would be just about varying those excises with tempo, added weight etc. My quandary is that whether CC would be better approach/program now, and for the next 1-2 years, to build up to those harder variants, as the progress just seems so much more clear cut, and really appeals to me. On the other hand I do not want to shoot myself in the foot if YAYOG is just more effective all around. I just hit 30, and want to get in really good shape, and dont really want to "waste time" trying out loads of approaches, as they all take a couple of years to really take effect I suppose.

    Really I am looking for someone who has done both programs to comment on their experience.

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    fat belly frog's Avatar
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    I havent done CC, but have played with YAYOG, My goals are to progress thru the 4 stages (Basic, 1st class, master class, chief class) I am at the 1st class stage. If I ever get to chief class that means I am good enough to do one arm pushups with feet elevated, one arm chin ups and full range of motion pistol squat... For me thats enough of a goal.

    You dont have to start at Basic level start where you think your current level of fitness is at it may be 1st class or higher and you can sub in exercise harder or esier if you need to. At then end of the day either of the programs will better than doing nothing. YAYOG is 4 by 10 week programs but may take me a few goes of Master to reach chief.


    cheers


    cheers
    "Times fun when you are having Flies" Kermit the frog

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    Quote Originally Posted by fat belly frog View Post
    I havent done CC, but have played with YAYOG, My goals are to progress thru the 4 stages (Basic, 1st class, master class, chief class) I am at the 1st class stage. If I ever get to chief class that means I am good enough to do one arm pushups with feet elevated, one arm chin ups and full range of motion pistol squat... For me thats enough of a goal.

    You dont have to start at Basic level start where you think your current level of fitness is at it may be 1st class or higher and you can sub in exercise harder or esier if you need to. At then end of the day either of the programs will better than doing nothing. YAYOG is 4 by 10 week programs but may take me a few goes of Master to reach chief.


    cheers


    cheers
    Thanks for the reply, but I think you missed the point slightly. I have already done YAYOG 1st class, or at least the first six weeks at least 3 times. My issue is not that the "Goal" of getting to the chief class is not enough, but that the itermediate "goals" are not present. For example, the jump from 1st class to Master is huge; there is nothing built into the 1st class program that will allow a person to progress without making their own modifications, (doing press ups with feet elevated will not naturally allow you to do 1 armers after a while, the strength gap is just too great) YAYOG gives no real goal to help get over this, where as CC will have you progress through more steps, with the aim that once you can do X reps of an excercise you should be capable of moving to the next step.

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    I am just starting out on CC, so I can't comment on YAYOG (haven't used it). I have been doing pullups/pushups quite a bit for the past few months. I am definitely more advanced on these movements than the starting moves in CC BUT, I started with the "wall-pushups" which is step one on pushups for cc. I can already do 50 straight military pushups but completing 3 sets of 50 wall-pushups was much harder than I thought it would be. Definitely building some small muscles that I wasn't aware that I had.

    I think CC will work well as long as you take it slowly and do not try to progress too fast. It definitely feels like it is going to put some strength in the bank.

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    fat belly frog's Avatar
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    Ok , sorry now I understand yep some of the next level ups are big jumps, I would suggest that you sub in a exercise if you are struggling with a particular one. or spend a couple of weeks working on that particular one before moving up a level.

    If you havent already Jump on to mark's forum (Welcome to You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises by Mark Lauren) and ask him the questions, I think in his book he mentions that you might have to repeat weeks 7-10 a few times to go up a level. Also if you are struggling with one exercise in the next level sub in the next level down, that allows you still to progress the other areas. As you have said you have done the first 6 weeks 2-3 times of a ten week program, suggest that you do the ten week program and repeat the last 4 weeks a couple of times to see how you go.

    cheers
    "Times fun when you are having Flies" Kermit the frog

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    Definitely building some small muscles that I wasn't aware that I had.

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    I've done both CC and YOYOG and I can safely say that both are great to create a knowledge of body weight exercises- the structured routines leave a lot to be desired. I'd also say that "Never Gymless" by Ross Enamait is a much better value.

    If you are looking for a program to give you some body weight strength gains I'd highly recommend something from Gold Medal Bodies. I just finished their P1 course and got some good gains from it. The videos are very well put together and they give you an specific schedule to follow for your work outs. It was really fun and worth the $95. I'm going to pick up their ring course next.

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    I've read both and to me CC seems to be more practical for me in my circumstances. And I reckon it's that last phrase that counts. You need to see what suits YOU in your circumstances.
    Why use a sledge hammer to crack a nut when a steam roller is even more effective, and, is fun to drive.

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    I was recently made aware of 'Fitness 666' from a post in another thread which is another bodyweight routine that I think merits consideration. They're all similar in that they use progressions, but '666' has a simple easy to follow program set up which might help. It uses a 6x6 structure with the first set being a warm up, and you advance to the next progression once you can complete 5x6 work sets at the current progression. this seems a bit more strength focused than CC where reps seem to vary a fair bit.
    All free content.
    Fitness 666: Bodyweight 666

    or the 'fat burner' version which adds conditioning workouts on alternate days

    Fitness 666: 666 Fat Burner (home workout version)

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    I've read both CC and CC2, The brutal simplicity of the books and the insights into “old time” training philosphy make it enjoyable to read. I really enjoyed how your whole body can basically be trained to any level you aspire to with 6 basic bodyweight movements.

    Convict Conditioning weekly logs

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