A few people have asked me what kind of results I’ve seen from doing Convict Conditioning.  I support my earlier assessment that Convict Conditioning includes the best bodyweight exercises and that those exercises would be a valuable part of any workout routine.  The progressive training steps for each exercise are sensible and realistic as well.

The one criticism is that the designated workout routines were a bit lacking in intensity.  I like to get that nice “HGH flush” and honestly feel a sense of accomplishment when I’m covered in sweat by the end of a workout.  Convict Conditioning, while requiring a lot of strength, was a workout I could perform and not shower after in many occasions.  So I’ve decided to keep performing the exercises but as part of a broader workout routine.

Below are the results I achieved.  I generally don’t like providing results because each person will have different success with different routines.  However, I’m hopeful this will give you a better sense of what Convict Conditioning entails.  Each exercise has 10 progressions.  While Convict Conditioning recommends starting from the beginning, I wanted to speed the results along by starting at a point where I could successfully complete the recommended number of repetitions.

One Arm Pushups

  • Started by doing 2 sets of 20 reps on step 5: full pushups.
  • Currently performing 2 sets of 10 reps on step 9: lever pushups
  • This provided a great way to make pushups more challenging while focusing on low rep strength training.

One Leg Squats

  • Started by doing 2 sets of 20 reps on step 5: traditional squats
  • Currently performing 2 sets of 10 reps on step 8: 1/2 one leg squats
  • One leg squats are really challenging.  I find that I have trouble maintaining my balance as I try to go lower than half way.  I usually don’t like leg training, but I will continue to incorporate one set of one leg squats as part of my plyometrics training exercises.

One Arm Pull Ups

  • Started by doing 2 sets of 10 reps on step 5: full pull ups
  • Currently performing 2 sets of 8 reps on step 5: full pull ups
  • That is not a typo above.  Pull ups actually decreased during this time.  However, that requires some explanation.  I started by doing pull ups the same way I always have by incorporating a really explosive upward motion, freefall downward motion, and repeat as fast as I can.  Now I do pull ups in a much more challenging way: 2 seconds up, 2 seconds down.  This balances the strength requirement for the up motion and forces me to maintain control for the negative rep.  It provides a much better workout than rapid pull ups.

Hanging Straight Leg Raises

  • Started by doing 2 sets of 10 reps on step 10: hanging straight leg raises
  • Currently performing 2 sets of 20-25 reps on step 10: hanging straight leg raises
  • I had prior experience with leg raises so immediately jumped right into the final step.  I have managed to significantly improve my endurance though.  This is one of the three ab exercises I recommend along with planks and renegade rows.

Stand to Stand Bridges

  • Started by doing 2 sets of 10 reps on step 4: head bridges
  • Currently performing 2 sets of 10 reps on step 7: wall walking bridges (down)
  • I’ve had past experience with back bridges back in high school and have maintained pretty good flexibility and back strength.  This really took back bridges to a whole new level though.

One Arm Handstand Pushups

  • Started by doing 1 set of 1 minute on step 1: wall headstands
  • Currently performing 1 set of 1 minute on step 2: crows stands
  • This is definitely the most difficult progression for me.  First of all, this is the last exercise I do in the routine so my arms are already tired from pushups and pull ups.  Additionally, I’m not used to performing isometric holds.  The first time I tried to do step 2, I only lasted 10 seconds.  Now I’m around 1 minute so I’m just about ready to progress to step 3.

Revised Workout Routine

I’ve started weight training again and haven’t seen a decline in any of my lifts.  I’m still doing a full set of Convict Conditioning exercises one day per week and have added circuit training on that day.  On the other days, I perform a regular strength training routine and include the Convict Conditioning exercises as part of my conditioning workout.  I really do think these are some of the best bodyweight exercises and would highly recommend including them in your regular routine.

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