Convict Conditioning: How to Bust Free of All Weaknesses Using the Lost Secrets of Supreme Survival Strength by Paul “Coach” Wade is a good resource for body weight exercises, especially for the progressions taught to go from the easier versions to the more difficult as strength increases. Without a doubt, if you work your way up through these progressions, you will become stronger.
Personally, I could do without all of the “prison” aspects of the book. Sure, I realize it is part of the marketing and selling of this program, but I didn’t care much for it. (Yes, I do think all the prison and convict aspects are for marketing.) Nor did I care for the notion that this program is so much better than other exercise or body building programs, etc. I get it, it’s marketing, but those parts of the book didn’t do much for me.
So the first part of the book didn’t win me over. However, when the book got to Part II The Big Six Power Moves, I liked the information, and I liked the progressions. The program is basically performing six main exercises. These include: the pushup, the squat, the pull up, the leg raise, the bridge, and the handstand pushup.
Yes, many people do these exercises. What I really like about this book is how these big six are presented. For each of these big six calisthenics exercises, there are ten different variations taught. When a person can do the recommended repetitions of the easiest exercise (or step) the go to the second and so on. When you go through all ten steps and get to the most difficult exercise, you will undoubtedly have gotten a lot stronger and in better shape.
Going through these steps allows a person to set goals and advance without injury. It is these variations and the progression through them that I believe is the best thing about this book and program. At the end of each chapter of the big six there is a chart to use as a reference regarding each step and how many reps to work up to before going to the next step. There are also some additional variations and ways to go even further for those who really want a challenge.
Part III Self-Coaching focuses on principles to assist the reader in customizing a program for themselves. Warm ups, starting slow, training momentum, intensity, and more are covered in this section. I really like the idea of developing workout that work for you, and I think this book provides some good advice on doing so.
Overall, I really liked the exercises and routines in this book. While I could do without some of the “prison” aspects, I do think this book will help people gain strength and get in shape. Personally, I don’t want to give up lifting iron, but I will use some of the progressions in this book on days that I do body weight exercises. (I also believe you can obtain the best results with a mix of body weight exercises and weight training.) Recommended for anyone wanting a progressive body weight strength routine.
Convict Conditioning from amazon: