I’m Going With . . . The other day, I compared several bodyweight exercise programs and asked for comments to help me figure out which one I wanted to use as I start exercising regularly again. As I looked at all five programs again, Convict Conditioning holds the most interest for me so that’s what I’m going to do.*
Why I Chose Convict Conditioning. Because it is a well-designed program using logically progressive exercises to develop all the major muscle groups and give me the well-rounded strength and body-reshaping I’ve been looking for.
(Plus, if I do it right, maybe I’ll be able to do all those cool bodyweight tricks I’ve seen on YouTube when I’m done. ;-))
It combines the best of the other programs — simple and effective exercises, good explanations of both the moves themselves and the reasons behind doing them, illustrative pictures, smart suggestions about progression / going beyond /variations, etc. — into an appealing all-in-one package.
I did not chose Convict Conditioning because it is the ultimate program, because training with weights is “bad”, or because of the ridiculous hype about it being a “secret to surviving” in prison. I don’t believe those statements are true and, even if they were, I just don’t care about such things.**
The Routine: Good Behavior. This training program involves two exercises three days each week, hitting on all of the Big Six exercises. It’s the second-level program suggested in the book but, since I have a fair amount of experience with bodyweight exercises and I haven’t totally lost the strength I gained in my previous regimens — I can still do 50+ consecutive push-ups / squats without too much trouble and pretty good form — I figured it was a better match for my fitness level than the beginner level (New Blood, two exercises twice a week, excluding bridging and handstand push-ups).
|Day||Exercise Progression||Work Sets|
Most times, there should be a day or so of rest between exercise days.
Exercises. I am, however, going to follow his recommendation to start at the most basic level of exercises for each group so as to build a strong base for future power moves.
Before the work sets, there are supposed to be some short sets to get your blood going but, since I’m going to be doing the most basic exercises anyway, these are the warmup. I’ll come back to them to get loosened up before I do the harder exercises when I have progressed to the more difficult workouts.
For rest between sets, he differentiates between training for stamina (brief rests) and training for strength (take as long as you need to give the next set everything you’ve got). I am still debating with myself which I plan to do.
Today, I will aim achieving the intermediate standard.
- Knee Tucks, 2 sets of 25 — His description is basically like this video except that he adds a one second pause in the middle (contracted) position.
- Wall Push-ups – 2 sets of 25 — This is the same exercise as Mark Sisson uses as his first movement.
If I can do both of these perfectly, I’ll move to the “progression standard” (3×40 and 3×50, respectively) for next week, working those set & rep numbers until I can do them without problems. Once I can do the required number of “progression” reps and sets with perfect form, I’ll move on to the next exercise the following week.
My guess is that I can do the push-ups without problem but that the leg-raises may take a while longer. We shall see.
UPDATE. As I expected, I was able to do the intermediate level of both of these exercises easily. I’ll do day two tomorrow and day three on Friday.