Convict Conditioning: Yeah I know…
According to my sources, the above video is not an actual prison, or an actual prisoner, or mostly in the contents of Convict Conditioning. But, yeah…
I know prisoners are bad guys. That’s why they’re in jail. And I know they’re not all super jacked wolves. We’ve all seen “prisoners” working out in movies: Nicholas Cage doing handstand pushups in Con Air, and Leonardo DiCaprio doing dips in The Departed. And, knowing how to workout and become super strong with no resources is an attractive idea. How would it be done?
Convict Conditioning answers that question. Published by DragonDoor (the same outfit as Pavel Tsatsouline, who endorses the book), it is simply a unique calisthenics book. A lot of stuff out there is either so standard that it’s boring (who doesn’t know how to do a push-up?) or geared towards guys who are already in great shape and trying to take it to the next level (one handed, one legged, jumping backwards push up anybody?). Convict Conditioning falls into neither of those traps.
This is a great book because it is way more sensible and complete than you would expect a something named “Convict Conditioning” to be. The author doesn’t spend a lot of time glorifying prisoners, or, indeed, engaging in much “prison chic” at all. This book has something for you whether or not you are just starting out, or are already quite advanced. This is because of the meat of the book: progressive calisthenics.
This is an idea you’ve seen before in 5BX, simple bodyweight exercises progressing to more difficult variations as you get stronger. His six basic movements (Push up, pull up, squat, leg raise, bridge, handstand push up) cover just about every conceivable muscle group and all require little or no equipment. The initial movements are easy enough for just about everybody (who can’t do push ups off a wall) progressing to truly awesome feats of strength (strict one arm push up).
He also has very common sense recommendations about taking it slow and respecting the progressions so you don’t get injured. Also for most of the programs for structuring your workout, you’re doing a max of 2-3 exercises each day, so, it is pretty easy to implement even if you don’t feel like giving up your current workout, or are not working out all (who doesn’t have time for two exercises a day?).
The only warnings I would give is not to go for the handstand pushups (use the “Marion pushups” and a few others he recommends for the shoulders), you don’t want neck, head, or spinal injuries from falling down. Also, ease into the bridging (the first two movements he recommends in the bridging section are good to go for most people, however).
There is “controversy” surrounding this book, but little of it is actually centered around the contents, which are excellent as far as I’m concerned. There is also a reportedly a sequel, “Convict Conditioning 2″ coming out which deals with recovery techniques, boxing, etc., and I’m certainly looking forward to it.Print This Post