I'm a 16 year old sophomore out of Dallas, TX, a varsity football player and wrestler. I've been a proud Undergrounder since the Summer after my freshman year, and I can't begin to tell you what incredible results I've gotten from performing simple, ground based barbell movements mixed with some light strongman work (sandbag stuff, mostly) has done for my athletic career. The UTM taught me how to program my own strength and conditioning to my needs and not just follow a sheet of paper my coach gave me. I'm indebted to you for a long time.
My question comes with regards to convict conditioning. I bought the book a few months ago, threw a variation in the program every other week or so, but the attention you've been giving this book has opened me back up to the progressions and Coach Wade's theories.
First of all, congrats on your current success, I dig your attitude. Your young and aggressive, you invest in your knowledge and take action, I am not surprised at your success, my man.
I hear what you're saying about Coach Wade wanting you to start from square one and being a wrestler. Training at the simplest forms is tough on the mind because we're trained to attack.
I do, however, see Coach Wade's points. Many people say they can do pull ups, push ups, etc and then when they demonstrate these movements the technique is horrific. Often times we see half rep pull ups, sagging core push ups, etc. So, to play it safe AND smart, he has the readers start at square one.
I would tweak the workouts ever so slightly. If you're ready for step 5, crank it, but, I bet you can benefit from starting at step 2 or 3 while your other workouts w/barbells, sandbags, etc are heavy. The bodyweight training will offer a slight break which will improve recovery and very likely your overall performance.
Remember, Coach Wade expects those who follow his Convict Conditioning Workouts to be performed as bodyweight only. I personally like the style of mixing his workouts with some odd objects and powerlifting. Coach Wade wants entire focus to be in his bodyweight training.
If you have proven to be able to perform the standards of Steps 1 - 4 then you can begin at 5. I'm gonna tell you why.....
As a wrestler I understand that the training you go through is not just for the physical edge, but for your mind as well. When you KNOW deep down that your workouts are superior, tougher and harder than everyone else's workouts, it gives you a mental edge that tough training gives you.
I have spoken on this with Martin Rooney a lot, that sometimes we need to stop being overly scientific and nerdy about the workouts that we forget that we need to bust our ass in the gym or where ever you train (outdoors, gym, garage,etc).
If you want to combine outside elements with Convict Conditioning I suggest the good ol' 5 x 5 on a main lift BEFORE your bodyweight workouts. Then, go ahead and crank your bodyweight training.
Keep me posted on your success, my man. Two times in a row 3rd place at states is awesome, BUT, you ened to go for the gold this time around. Gold is what counts!
PS: If you don't have Convict Conditioning in your hands yet, get it done ASAP. I highly recommend this book for Sport & Strength Coaches, Parents of athletes and of course athletes of all types. Click HERE for More Info on This Bodyweight Training Book.