Convict Conditioning Stage Progression - Post your levels here

(Vladaar Malane) #1

If you’re doing the convict conditioning series, post your progress in stages here. I’ll start it off by posting mine.

I keep track of the stage I’m on by using this phone ap.

You can log it down on paper but I find this super easy and it gives demonstrations of the exercises.

Push ups -> Just started stage 7 Uneven pushups
Leg raises -> Just started stage 9 Partial Straight Leg raises
Squats -> Just started stage 7 Uneven Squats
Pull ups -> Still on stage 5 Regular Pull ups
Handstands -> On Stage 2 struggling with core strength Crow Stands
Bridges -> On stage 2 Straight Bridges

Keep Calm and Convict Condition on? LoL.

(Vladaar Malane) #2

Managed 3 handstand push ups today, and was feeling pretty good about myself till I realized the correct form of Convict Conditioning requires you to go down until the top of your head touches the ground. So by those standards, I actually did maybe a little better than half range of motion. Still a step forward is a step forward. Still only at about 30 seconds on my crow stands though. I lost my balance this time though, I think I got the strength to go the full minute, it’s just staying focused to keep balance.

(Vladaar Malane) #3

Did uneven pushups today for the first time. It actually isn’t difficult to do, but certainty I can feel it burn out my arm that is doing more of the work.

I got 17 reps with the right arm using the ball, and only 12 with the left. So that annoys me to no end being so far off between both arms. Instead of doing one arm as many as I can then going to the other… I’ll just roll the ball back and forth between arms going from left to right that way failure should be closer to the same repetitions between arms.

I think I just got to tuckered out by doing all the repetitions on one arm first.
The goal to progress further is 2 sets of 20 though and I only did one set for each arm as I am just starting it. It may take me a few weeks to get my endurance up to doing to sets of 20.

I followed this exercise up with one that I saw Al Kavaldo do. Leaning downward onto a dip-like bar with one arm push ups. It’s like a Australian Pullup version for 1 arm push ups.

Yeah got a pretty good burn going today.

(Vladaar Malane) #4

Some good and bad results over the weekend.

Leg day, I did terrible with the Pistol sit down box squats, which is basically squatting with one leg raised up in front of you and lowering yourself to sit down on a bench. I found I had literally no ability to stand back back up with the one leg after I went down. So I changed that exercise till I get stronger to be negatives. Just trying to slow down my momentum to sitting down as much as possible. I did 1 set with each leg 20 repetitions, then did a wall squat for as long as I could 2 different times, which the second time was only maybe 30 seconds. This burned me out bad as if I was squatting free weights with 225 on my back. My legs hurt for 3 days afterward. Amazing how well a workout you can do with bodyweight resistance. But I do need lots of improvement.

So that was the bad, now for the good. I made some improvements on my core workouts, I got more repetitions on my hanging leg raises and when my form started to suffer, I switched to hanging knee raises. Also, I managed to complete my table bridge stage, 3 sets of 40 repetitions, now on to straight bridges next week. I had to add table bridges, because I was not doing a single repetition with good form with straight bridges, and some yahoo on youtube suggested table bridges as a progression before straight bridges. It has been very good for strengthening my bridging.

(Vladaar Malane) #5

I made some improvements to my bridge work today.

Managed 2 sets of 15 with angle bridge exercises.

My core workout was about the same, except for adding parallettes exercises at the end. It’s always nice to see some improvement though.

I’m not sure what to do about increasing the pull up repetitions though, I might just need to give it time. I definitely know losing weight would help. Carrying around 20 pound spare tire is kinda like having a weight hanging from a chain of a belt when trying pull ups.

(Vladaar Malane) #6

I got 2 sets of 15 with hanging leg raises today. Even managed a few repetitions bringing my legs up to a V position. I seem to need to work on flexibility and or strength to go higher. Probably both.

Speaking of flexibility, I figured out that my calves were lacking mobility. Meaning, when I would go down into a deep squat touching my butt to my calf muscles my heels came off the ground. So I thought about it, and realized that even happens when I’m doing a full step on the elliptical machine.

How do I increase that mobility/flexibility so my heels stay flat on the ground? Well I turned to old youtube and yes, there was some youtuber that explained unless you have a disability that you can increase your mobility to what it should be by doing single leg downward dog stretches. Pushing the heel downwards to get a good stretch, and after a weeks, that mobility should return. I’ve only done it for 2 days now and noticed my heels are already closer to being flat on the ground.

Stretching is hugely important. Not just for us old guys, but for young folks too, to prevent injuries that might not bother you in young age, but could be a factor as you get older.

(CharleyD) #7

Just finished reading this book and will see where I’m at this evening. Got the app too.

(Maha) #8

I just bought the book and installed the app. I’ll see where it takes me! I need to start some kind of exercise again.

(Vladaar Malane) #9


Sweet glad you guys are trying it out. I actually am not specifically following it now, going towards my gymnastic rings workout. Which you can see here My Gymnastic Rings Workout
Convict Conditioning is great though, and it shows you don’t need to pay all these membership fees joining Gym’s to get in the best shape of your life. LoL, I guess that is opinion though, some feel like being big and bulky is best shape of their life and I certainly did back in the day, but now I want to be able to move explosively if needed and pain free with strength when I need it and not have it all turn to fat because I’m not benching 300 pounds anymore.

(Mike Williams) #10

I finished Convict Conditioning a few weeks ago. I have started working through the progressions. Here is where I am at so far. Pull ups: stage 3 - jackknife pullups. Pushups: stage 4 - half pushups. Leg Raises: stage 2- floor knee raises. Bridges: Stage 1 - Short bridges.

(Angela) #11

Haha you all are beasts. I just finished reading it and my couch potato bod is on level one across the board.

I did start following this thread and will long distance cheer you guys on.

Thanks for the inspiration.
-Ang :heart:

(CharleyD) #12

Good heavens I underestimated how long these sets would take. I completed all sets for step 1 on all 6 exercises.
That was about 1.5 hours all told.
Needed the most rest between sets on the wall headstand, actually. Neck isn’t happy right now. It’ll remember the fun we had doing neck work with bridges when we wrestled though!

I think I’ll run through just progression standard sets on all the level 1s again tomorrow and then move up.

(CharleyD) #13

@Angela_in_AR it’s always fun to see a new ‘white belt’ in something. Please keep us posted with your improvements!

I’m doing this 50/50 to 1) help fix my left elbow which I hurt attempting a full pull up (think I’m sensitive to the wrist pronation) and 2) build me some arms that would make Thor jealous.

I’ve got years of taekwondo and wrestling and army calisthenics, most of which I hated since it was used punitively. This is now for me and The Coach has done us all a service with his book.

(CharleyD) #14

Push ups -> Stage 3 Kneeling Pushups (hanging out here doing Progression Standard for a bit, banking this strength, I do Stage 6 Close Pushups in TKD class)
Leg raises -> Stage 5 Flat Straight Leg Raises
Squats -> Stage 4 Half Squats (love the burn on the Progression Std, will hang out here a while. we do Squat Jumps to failure in TKD class)
Pull ups -> Stage 2 Horizontal Pullups (Been going to well nigh failure, but elbow still weak link here)
Handstands -> Stage 2 Crow Stands (I’ve experimented and skipped ahead, but it bugs me I don’t have the balance/hand strength to go a minute)
Bridges -> Stage 2 Straight Bridges (almost to Progression Std, will likely hang out here until it feels easier)