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.
Daniel Behling says
If possible you should give this kid the link to the Dragondoor page so he can get the Super FAQ for Convict Conditioning that was released 2 weeks ago or so. Just thought I should let you know since I’m sure you can get a hold of this kid better than me
Keep killing it!
Matt Schifferle says
One of the biggest lessons I ever learned from ya Zach was that no program is the be all and end all and that we all need to mix and match for optimal results. Since I learened this from you I’ve come to notice that everyone who is successful in sport, business, strength or whatever charry picks info from multiple sources and uses them as they see fit. Thank you for opening my eyes to this!
im gonna buy teh convict conditioning now. i have a similar question though that may get teh same answer. i’m doing a ton of gymnastic ring progressions right now such as L-sits, front and back levers, L pull ups, Muscle ups, dips, and progressing into iron cross. but i still can’t do very good hand stand push ups, or rep very many pistol squats, or get a 1 arm push up very well. should i start this at teh very begginning or start at a higher level that i feel comfortable doing properly? I do understand that importance of proper form even in things like a push up where most people think they are doing the right but aren’t and am very confident in my form during most movements.
Mike, if you are killing muscle ups yet can’t perform handstand push ups, 1 arm push ups very well, focus on STRICT muscle ups, NO kips
Yes, if these moves are tough for you, go to Step 1
Pistols I find are tough due to body structure, and, often times knee issues
They kill my knees from the floor but feel somewhat better from a bench or hanging from a rope, for assistance, allowing me to sit back
It’s OK if something doesn’t work for you, like a prior post I made, rack pulls SUCK for me
kick ass bro and get busy!
Hey Zach !
I’ve tried the CC program and although I feel the book contains some really powerful information I had injuries issues with it. When I received the book I was like a kid at christmas. I didn’t really have the time to read the book cover to cover ( exam’s…). Anyway I ended Up doing it the DUMB WAY ( and I’m ashamed about it). I did the push-up series ( step number one) untill the 3 sets of 50 ( which turned out to be really hard) for 3 days in a row. After that I finnaly read the “Smart and dumb way” and I started back to do it with a smoother technique and less reps but as described in the book I had nagging pain in my joints. Since that time I’ve stop all kind of pressing because of this pain in my forearm and triceps. What do you think I should do to get back to pressing?
Thank’s a lot for taking the time to answer my question and to run your blog bro all the info you put up is priceless men.
You’re desprate Push-Up Junky
P-S : I’m sorry if some sentences don’t sound right I’m from Quebec province.