Convict Conditioning 3: Explosive Calisthenics

by Paul "Coach" Wade on October 14, 2014

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Al Kavadlo Danny Kavadlo

Our ancient ancestors were incredible bodyweight athletes. Just a basic grasp of history will make you realize how true this statement is. What’s more, they were explosive athletes: can you imagine the inherent power, the speed, the agility and reflexes it would take for a team of human beings to take down a mighty creature like a rampaging boar, a wildebeest or even a giant mammoth?

Hell, who wouldn’t want to have all that back today? Who wouldn’t want to become that explosive again—for sports, athletics, or maybe even self-preservation in a survival situation? Perhaps just for the natural pride of knowing that you’ve taken your body back to the primal “default” settings you were always meant to have?

Mother Nature gave you this incredible machine for becoming almost Spider-Man explosive. That machine is your own body. But somewhere along the way, something in the fitness world went wrong. We turned our backs on this birthright. Instead, athletes looking to gain qualities like speed, power, and agility started using gimmicks. They are jumping off boxes; using straps and bands; throwing weighted balls around; and dancing around cones. None of this will get you explosive as fast as just moving your body! Your body is really all you need. It was all we ever needed.

Did your ancestors have any of this crap?

Explosive Calisthenics: Convict Conditioning Style

Here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re going to follow a Convict Conditioning approach. We’re gonna field-strip our training: we’ll get rid of the crash mats, the foam pits, wedges, wires and spotters. You just need to find something to hang from—a bar, a branch. No more specialized gear than that. We’re going back to basics, baby!

Forget intricate training schedules with hundreds of exercises programmed into a periodized routine. None of that junk works—it spreads your energy and focus too thin. We are going to use just a handful of movement “chains”—we’ll pick six of the finest, most mind-blowing examples of explosive speed and power on the planet, then we’ll work up to them progressively.

What examples?

The “Explosive Six”

First, don’t get me wrong: slow strength is crucial for the athlete—it builds muscle mass, teaches the soft tissues to resist force, and builds joint integrity. But it shouldn’t be the end of your calisthenics story! In the real world, you gotta be able to use your strength quickly, and with agility. You gotta EXPLODE!

In Convict Conditioning’s “Big Six” I shared with you my philosophy on the world’s greatest bodyweight strength exercises. But there is more to the story. There is also an “Explosive Six” which will turn that strength into incredible power. Take a minute to absorb the Master Steps on this list:

1. The Suicide Jump

Forget box jumps and go old school. This move is long known as a bodyweight feat for only the finest jumpers: Grab a broomstick…and jump over it. Sound easy? Try it, dude—you’ll find out how it got its name.

Danny Kavadlo Suicide Jump
2. The Superman

Also known as the flying Superman, this is possibly the archetypal power pushup: you just bend your arms, and explode your entire body off the ground, before shooting you’re your arms then landing safely. Warning: medicine ball work will not get you there!

Danny Kavadlo The Flying Superman

3. The No-Hands Kip-up

You’ve seen Jackie Chan do it; you’ve seen The Rock do it. Lie on your back and BANG! Whip up onto your feet. But since you’re cooler than those two dudes, I’m gonna teach you to do it with no damn hands.

Al Kavadlo No Hands Kip-Up

4. The Front Flip

Forget the relatively slow Olympic lifting everyone is into these days. Now we are talking speed-strength. Now we are talking perfection of muscular synergy. No running. No steps. From standing, explode 360 degrees and land on your feet like a cat.

Front Flip

5. The Back Flip

Beloved by parkour masters, martial artists and acrobats—if one exercise symbolizes agility, it has to be this one. We all know it—dip down and flip around, landing on your feet without using the hands. But how many have learned it? Mastered it, dominated, it? No funny little plastic cones required.

Back Flip

6. The Muscle-Up

The first five moves in this list build incredible power and speed. But they are performed off the floor. For a balanced power-physique, you need to pull upwards, as well. And for true explosiveness—which works every muscle in the upper-body and trunk—there’s only one choice. Hang from the bar and power up and over!

Al Kavadlo Muscle Up

Knowledge is power

Just take a look at that roll call. It’s pretty elite right?

Let’s dream for a moment. How much raw power would you possess—in every single muscle of your body—if you could bust out all six of these movements? How fast would you be? How conditioned would your responses, your reflexes become? How much would all that power improve and enhance your strength training, your bodybuilding, your sports? Furthermore, how many athletes do you know who can complete all six? Hell, how many human beings in history could? And yet, achieving this incredible level of ability can be done.

…And it might be easier than you think. But you need to open your mind and drop all thinking about modern methods, current gimmicks and trends, and be prepared to go Spartan as Hell. Old, old school.

Don’t be misled into thinking in terms of gymnastics, either. Gymnastics is great, but it’s a sport based on aesthetics and external judgment. What I want to share—progressive, explosive calisthenics—is much more ancient. We’re just moving. Nobody is judging you. I’ll help you find your own way. It doesn’t matter if you put this foot out of alignment, or that arm in the wrong direction. As long as you are building power, you are winning!

Most athletes—even dedicated, impressive men and women—shy away from “big” exercises like these. They assume that only naturally gymnastic folks can do them, and that they gotta start off real young.

BULL!

Any regular man or woman can build up to these exercises! You just need to do so progressively.

I am incredibly proud of my first book, Convict Conditioning. One of the reasons I’m so proud is that the manual persuaded many thousands of folks who were intimidated by incredible strength feats—like the one-arm pullup and pushup—to begin working on these movements by starting easy. Sure, you can’t pull off a one-arm pushup on your first day of training! But you can do wall pushups well, right? And when you’ve been working with them for a while, you can do incline pushups. Then kneeling pushups. Eventually, asymmetrical pushups. And before you know it, you’re on your way: you have experienced—first-hand, not via theory—the fact that progressive calisthenics can unlock your innate strength!

The exact same is true for the legendary explosive movements above. You can achieve each of them—if you know the “secret”. What’s the secret? The correct progressions.

My new book, Explosive Calisthenics is the third volume in the Convict Conditioning series. In it, I’ll be teaching you all the programming theory you need to optimize your power training. I’ll give you my training tips, my “performance hacks” to get you crashing through barriers. I’ll also give you dozens of extra zero-equipment drills to help you in your training. But most importantly, I’ll share with you my progressions. Each movement in the Explosive Six is carefully broken down into ten steps—ranging from “pretty easy” all the way up to the Master Steps above—and beyond. And I promise you, you don’t need a gym, foam mats or a spotter. Just your body, like I said.

I know all you reading this have been thinking about, and working on, your bodyweight strength—and I love you for it. But—if you’re ready—it’s nearly time for us to commence a new journey together. It’s time to shift up a gear—several gears—and transform that strength into power.

It’s time to go back to where we were meant to be, kid.

It’s time to explode.

***

Paul “Coach” Wade is the author of Convict Conditioning, Convict Conditioning Volume 2, the Convict Conditioning Ultimate Bodyweight Training Log, and five Convict Conditioning DVD and manual programs. Click here for more information about the Convict Conditioning DVDs and books available for purchase from Dragon Door Publications.

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  • Aleks Salkin

    This post was so goddamn mother fucking good I can’t help but swear in my description of how excited I am to read this book! Seriously, it cannot possibly come out soon enough!

    • It does my heart good that you are psyched, dude.

      I will help you on the path to these techniques!

      • Aleks Salkin

        Naturally I’m psyched!

        By the way, I’m not sure what it didn’t register, but it was none other than yours truly, the Hebrew Hammer, who posted that swear word-laden expression of excitement.

        • The Hebrew Hammer!!!

          Naturally I recognized your 160% motivation level!

          Bless you my friend, great to hear from you and I appreciate the support. How’s things in Jerusalem brother?

          • Aleks Salkin

            The pleasure is all mine. Super excited for this release. Things in J-Ru have been pretty good! Summer’s wound down so business is winding up. Can’t complain there! How’s life in your neck of the woods?

          • J-Ru! All is good here, except this book has beaten me up…need some calisthenics for my eyes, man.

            Thought about you the other week, Aleks. Been talking to a student of mine with a screwed up lower back, and he sent me a link to an article of info that he felt really worked for him. Guess what–it was one of yours!

            http://www.alekssalkin.com/unjack-your-back.html

            Just goes to show, The Hebrew Hammer is helping more people than he probably knows…

          • Aleks Salkin

            Ho-lee shnikees! That’s amazing! Tell him to hit me up if he needs any more help. A friend of the Coach is a friend of mine!

          • Thank you buddy, I will take ya up on that.

            Always the man!!!

          • Halil Mutlu

            mann my eyess hurtt from all the readings let alone reading how can you read understand and answer all those questions Hope god give you to patience for it man:Dd

          • Halil, good buddy–no patience required to talk to my bodyweight brethren! It’s all good!

          • Halil Mutlu

            brethren? what is that?:DDD sth like brother?

          • Yep. brothers!

          • Halil Mutlu

            there’s more different variations of brother like brethren?:DD

  • Awesome stuff Coach. Convict Conditioning made me believe I could one day do a one arm pull-up, I’m not there yet but I’m progressing. I have no doubt you’ll have me believing I can do a back-flip after I’ve read CC3

    • Bless you Dave! And yep–you CAN do a back flip. With the right progressions–anyone can, my friend.

      PS. Been meaning to email you–sorry for the delay. Been crazy trying to get the manuscript just right!

      • No worries mate, figured you’re pretty busy writing CC3.

        I’m already thinking about where I can add these into my training sessions, pretty sure my students will love these new progressions!

        • You’re a good man! I’ll give you some ideas in the book, but we can always back-and-forth privately if you got any issues.

          I appreciate that you are already getting ready to spread the word Down-Under! I am more grateful than you know, Dave!

          • Sounds good thanks Coach, will get in contact if I have any questions after I’ve read it.

            It’s my pleasure to spread the word of progressive calisthenics, thankfully Australia is a country that is already very much into it, with the outdoor training culture here.

          • God’s land, I reckon. You sure are lucky–poor Al did some of the shooting for CC3 topless in Tompkins Square Park, NY, just weeks ago as fall was coming in.

            I’m not saying it was cold, but in the shots you can distinctly see two lumps in his cheeks!

          • Haha, I can imagine. I’m originally from North England, where I wouldn’t dream of training topless!

          • I didn’t know you were an Englishman! In which case you probably understand/can withstand shitty weather better the 90% of folks here.

            I heard the weather in North England is so bad, some people eat the local food, just for the heartburn.

  • Mark L

    ‘They are jumping off boxes; using straps and bands; throwing weighted balls around; and dancing around cones. None of this will get you explosive as fast as just moving your body! Your body is really all you need. It was all we ever needed.’

    Actually this is just false, ‘jumping off of boxes’ builds incredible amount of explosiveness, in fact depth jumps and depth drops have been proven to be perhaps the most potent and effective plyometric exercises for building explosiveness. To say that jumping off of boxes and throwing weighted medicine balls around will not get you explosive is outright ridiculous.
    Depth jumps or simply ‘jumping off boxes’ as you put it are perhaps far more effective for building lower body power than any of the exercises that you have laid out in this article, I’m disappointed to see Paul Wade make such false and misleading statements. To outright say that jumping off boxes and throwing med balls don’t make you explosive if he truly believes that, is simply showing a lack of knowledge in terms of building explosive power and speed.

    • Mark, buddy–you got me wrong. It’s hard to get an entire book over in one article, but I’m NOT anti-box jumps! In fact I promote and endorse them in the book. I also include depth jumps in the book as a useful technique.

      The problem I have is when athletes rely on JUST box jumps–or if they rely on ANY equipment-based regimen alone–they will not build maximum explosiveness. (Part of this is because I define explosiveness as including agility: the ability to move your body in different directions at high speed.)

      So alla you who love your box jumps–calm down! I’m one of ya.

    • David

      Dear Marky Mark. If you think jumping onto and off boxes is superior to any of the exercises described by Coach in the article above? That’d make me wanna laugh bit as you do it writing in a disrespectful manner to a man, who has motivated and helped numerous people get in shape and becoming athletes and furthermore helped us all see through the gym and gimmick scam, it makes me f***ing angry. rediculous post. what have you done that make you think you have the authority to do that?

      • Wow, I really appreciate the defence, Dave! But hey, we can take on all viewpoints and discuss them here in a cool way, right?

        Besides, if I got upset every time I met someone who thought I was an idiot, I woulda had a stroke by age 12.

        That said, I want you at my back in a streetfight, David…

        • David

          Sorry Coach! Normally I try to keep calm but when this long-awaited book of yours is about to hit the shelfs and Mark here took the box jumping personally by treating you disrespectfully it kind of was too much..
          Streetfight!? Erh, normaly I only fight from behind my big-ass computerscreen 😉
          Ps. can’t wait for the book to come out. Ds.

  • PGJ

    Oh man finally! The only reason I got into CC was that I wanted to do parkour but I realized I lacked the basics. Then after CC I realized I lacked the basics of the basics. And that was what I loved about CC. Anyway, you can count on me Coach, I’m gonna read the crap out of CC3. Seriously, it happened to CC2, I need a new copy. I’m mostly excited about the flips. I’m fairly tall (6’2″) with long limbs and I’ve been told all my life I’m way too tall for this kind of stuff. I guess we’ll see

    • PGJ! Thanks so much for your post, man!

      One of the reasons I wrote the book was because so many athletes seem to think they are not physically suited to the very explosive stuff, like flips. You ARE–you just need the progressions. As a tall athlete, there is no reason you can’t pull off ANY of these moves. You just need the power to do so, and I can teach that to ya.

      It may take time and patience, sure. But we weren’t goin anywhere else, right?

      I appreciate the comment and I’m here for you on the amazing journey you got ahead, brother.

  • Tim H

    I only began my journey with old-school calisthenics just this past April, so I’m still on New Blood (with calf and grip work added in), but I’m already chomping at the bit to see CC III! I’ll wait until I’m further along on the Big 6 before diving right into the Explosive 6 though. If there’s one thing CC I has reminded me of, it’s that patience pays off in the long term.

    • “Patience”Tim…you got it! You have already mastered the first lesson of body wisdom! Give your body the time it needs to adapt in small increments, and you can do amazing things. Great comment.

      You are ironically already doing the best thing you could do to prepare for power training, by strengthening your joints with the SLOW basics. Great job! And don’t worry about being “ready”–you don’t NEED CC1 or 2 to get EXPLOSIVE CALISTHENICS! but if you already use my system I will give you guidelines about when to progress from the strength work to using power stuff, also.

  • Marcus

    Damn Coach! I’m so excited I can’t sit still. Which is a good thing cos all this sitting down is dangerous stuff =)

    I remember my mate used to laugh at me wriggling around at the bottom of his pull up bar like a fish on a hook… He wasn’t laughing when I showed him my completing The Century Video =)

    That’s all thanks to what I learned in CC1 and 2.

    Can hardly wait for CC3 – Explosive, when is it available?

    Thanks again Coach for sharing this priceless wisdom with us.

    Marcus

    • Marcus, if you have aced The Century, then this stuff will be like Mother’s Milk for ya!

      The big boss John is fast tracking the book: December or January is a good bet. The PCC family are the first folks to hear about it–John only got the manuscript this weekend.

      Bless ya for the support Marcus, it means a lot to me man. Thanks.

  • martymonster

    I see both the Kavadlo boys are in the photos. Danny with his googly eyes. Al with a 1000W grin. But whose the guy with the rag and the pony tail?

    • That’s Luciano Acuna Jr–Google the man, he’s awesome, Marty. Obviously Al and Danny are the main models (expect to see them on another cover!) but we brought in some alternate athletes to handle the workload on this one–there are more photos than in any of my books. Incredible talent all round. I know you’ll love it!

      • martymonster

        I shall, I have, he is!
        I am really looking forward to this book. Thanks heaps Paul.

        • Thanks for taking the time to check him out, Marty! I know he’d appreciate it as much as I do man!

  • Giovan Maria Catalan Belmonte

    YO BABY! YO BABY! YO BABY! LETS’ROCK!!!!!!

  • Karen Lee

    I’m intrigued, this looks great. And these pictures are fantastic, looking forward to having this one in my hands!

    • Awesome Karen–thanks for the support. I wrote it just for you!

  • Sel

    I hope they offer a box set of all three Convicted Conditioning books!

    • Rodolfo Oliveira

      Yes, yes, YES!!!!

      • Another book lover! My main man Rudolfo! Thanks for the comment man!

    • God bless you, Sel…somebody else who actually loves training BOOKS! I swear to god, in a few years it’ll all be e-books, and I’ll be lost. Seriously, there’ll be nothing to read if you can’t get wi-fi in the can.

      Seriously, this is an awesome idea and it would be a dream come true for me. I don’t know if DD will ever do it but as a reader, my dream is a “Kavadlo Library” of all Al’s and Danny’s books in a set. That would be awesome. I would love to see the Kavadlo set donated to every high school library in the country, to help get kids on the right track with their training.

      Any rich philanthropists reading this…?

  • Halil Mutlu

    will cc3 be shared with pcc members for free like cmass?

    • Giovan Maria Catalan Belmonte

      It’s my opinion. But when you really have something to share, you have to be paid. And “the coach” is really one of few who deserve it.

      • Wow, that means a lot to me, Giovan, thank you. What a classy thing to say: I appreciate it more than you know.

      • Halil Mutlu

        okay dude thanks for your opinion have a nice day

    • Rodolfo Oliveira

      Give them a hand, they want the arm, sheesh…

      • Halil Mutlu

        okay ı know ı am kinda a bit greedy about cc series:DD since it is the only kinda book ı read:DD

        • Rodolfo Oliveira

          Hey bro, I just wanna mean that Coach, the Kavadlos, John Du Cane, Pavel and every other soul in Dragon Door produces awesome content and use all their energy to put something epic for us. So 20, 30 bucks is not that expensive, is it? The money you pay goes to keep them motivated to keep on doing it bro!

          • Halil Mutlu

            i dont know rodolfo for me it is kinda expensive since ı am economically dependent on my family and i dont want to ask for money to my dad

        • It’s good to be greedy for knowledge, stud!

          • Halil Mutlu

            yeaa but ı think ı am misunderstood

    • John Du Cane

      Halil Mutlu, the only reason we did that with C-Mass was because of a promise Paul made to you guys about the expanded version of two blog posts that formed the basis for C-Mass. This new book is a whole other matter and will be offered with a launch discount but otherwise will sell in the normal manner. Thanks.

      • Halil Mutlu

        thanks john have a nice day

    • Sadly, no. Thanks for the comment thought, Halil–I’ve emailed you, too. Hope your training is going good!

      • Halil Mutlu

        still thanks a lot paul have a nice day man actually ım really wonderin what you gonna do after cc3. Will you end up with writing?

        • Like I said in my email bud–I will get the entire system to you guys somehow.

          But there are so many great young writers out there. I don’t wanna be one of these old bastards writing the same book over and over…

          • Halil Mutlu

            no mann ı would read your books but it must be a tough thing to write a fuckin wholee book

  • Bobby Cambodia

    I’ll just add to the chorus of excitment on this one, I’ll be first in line to get this just like CC1 &2!

    • Bobby, thank you SO MUCH for your comment, my friend. It’s for athletes like you that I worked so hard on it. Your words mean a lot to me!

  • This is going to be fantastic! 🙂 Hopefully everyone who has been curious about the book will find this post ASAP!

    • Speaking of talent, here she is! Thanks for putting up the post, Adrienne, I appreciate how great it looks and all the links you’ve done.

      You’re the best!

      • Thanks, I love being a part of sharing this info 🙂 It’s always exciting when there’s a Paul Wade post!

        • No doubt about it–the PCC/bodyweight community are THE BEST.

          The positivity, the knowledge, the motivation here is just off the charts. It’s inspiring, huh?!

  • V Kishore Vancheeshwaran

    Hey Coach. Long time no see. How are you? Glad to see CC3 is coming around J CC3 is Holy Grail. The Judgement. The Absolute. The Conclusive. The Ultimate finisher to the trilogy.

    As usual I wanted to ask a couple of things if you don’t mind.

    1. I read a lot about gymnastics in the past few weeks. I wanted to know. How do you consider the “principles” of progressive calisthenics(PC) in comparison with gymnastic training? I mean, cut the part of skill training away from gymnastics. For the strength part, does PC and gymnastics follow the same principles of progressive overload? Both are
    bodyweight strength training. Is there any difference in the strength training part? Or is it just the same with PC and gymnastics? What are the similarities and differences between the two?

    2. I see you have expressed a lot on bent arm strength. What are your views in straight arm strength? How can one train for it from the basics? How can it be incorporated with the programs in CC?

    3. How do you define ‘perfect’ form for an exercise? Is there any such thing?

    4. Just out of curiousity. How did you train the horizontal pulls in prison? I mean to say, let’s see, suppose a person is deprived of a gym and a park. How can he do horizontal pulls with no low bar? Should such a person start directly with jackknife pulls?

    5. Does CC3 have the dips progression you promised?

    6. Right now, I am not so consistent with my training. I have gone back from thrice a week to once or twice every 2 weeks. Please give me some words of motivation, I am serious. I find myself very inconsistent nowadays for the past few months. I just find myself too lazy to go out there and fucking workout. Make it a general motivation for the public too if you can.

    7. I hope you have heard of hollow body holds and hollow body rocks. Where do they fit it in the CC progressions of leg raise?

    8. I set some goals of training towards the front lever, side lever, planche, manna, pistols, one arm pull ups, and one arm pushups all at the same time. Is my training too vast or spread out? Should I make it simpler? Do I train for each of them, or do I need to master some (if so which ones) and then start training for the others? Any suggestions?

    9. Joints adapt slower than muscles to stimulus. A person knows he is not ready for a higher progression if he feels his joints pain after trying out the higher progression. But how can a person know that his joints have adapted, that he is READY, to move up? Is there any set number of days or time after which the joints adapt to the same stimulus that the muscles are getting?

    10. What is this ‘mobility’? I have been hearing this a lot in the fitness industry, frankly I don’t understand. Is it the same as active flexibility?

    11. I have been trying to get the elbow lever, but it still evades me. I just can’t bear the pain, when I put my elbow in my stomach. Does that mean my core is weak?

    I guess I have exhausted all my doubts. Hopefully I
    remember more.

    Regards,
    Kishore

    • Anon

      I know I’m not Paul Wade but I thought I could give some helpful hints. Just start making working out a habit. You are aiming very high with your goals which is good but once every couple of weeks isn’t going to get you anywhere with those goals. Work out 4 or more times a week for a few months working through the basics and there are carry over between a few exercises so focus on fewer goals and do them better. As Pavel says ‘Do fewer exercises better’ so get to a good pull up standard and then start training FL for instance.
      Gymnastics is a lot of straight arm strength so add planche once you are progressing with PU but I think someone needs to stop reading and start working out 😉

      • Rodolfo Oliveira

        Don’t say it will be the last one, V, my man! I am still hoping to convince Coach to do another one with Survival Athletics!

        • Rudolfo! Master of my system!

          YOU are RIGHT…there IS more info to put out. If CC1 was the Big Six, CC2 was the advanced material, then CC3 is “dynamics” (although I tend to use the term “explosives” in the new book for various reasons).

          That leaves “survival athletics”. To be totally honest with you, much of this kind of material has been done–real well–by other authors. Dragon Door readers pay good money for the best books, so I will ONLY put something out there if I think it’s really, really original or the best value I can make it. I’m just not sure I can do that with survival athletics: the jury’s out, anyways.

          That said, IF I don’t decide I can make it a paying book, the PCC community will still get this material one day.I’ll make it a free e-book for you, like I did with C-MASS. I won’t leave you guys and gals who read this blog hanging, y’all mean too much to me. Yep, even the lurkers. You know who you are.

          • Paul Swade

            haha looking forward to it already

          • Great name. Maybe we are related? Distantly.

            …it doesn’t work that way, does it?!

          • Lee

            Very excited to see CC3! I was blown away in CC2 with the diagram that outlined the whole system of CC, comprehensive yet simple. Survival Athletics just needs to happen though and I will gladly pay for it.

          • Lee my man–I WILL get you that information eventually! Your enthusiasm means a huge amount to me. It makes the writing worthwhile, actually.

            I never let a bodyweight brother down!

          • Porter

            Another ‘yes, please’ for the CC take on stamina training and muscular endurance. (From an EMT on the clock and hiker when off duty.)

          • Awesome to hear from an EMT–you guys do an INCREDIBLE job, thank you Porter. No way will I let you down man: thanks a million for the comment!

          • Rodolfo Oliveira

            Even if you decide it is not worthy its weight in dollars just like you did with C-Mass, I will find a way to deposit the book’s worth in your bank account Coach. I feel obliged to do that. A couple of bucks will never compensate the lifetime of education you are putting out there Coach!

          • My bookie thanks you–as do I, Rudolfo!

      • Anon–you should start using your name and posting here regularly please. I like your style. You’ll fit in.

        Wise words.

        • Euan

          Thanks coach!

  • harley

    Paul,

    I read your book CC I a few months ago on my flights out to the middle east. I study exercise science and found your book to be inline with much if my own thinking. I have been on the injury side of exercise from improper lifts and progressions that were too heavy. I have been following your program and have indeed seen some good improvements. I have made it to the pistol squat, to uneven pull ups, step 9 in pushups, hanging frog raises and combined steps 7-8 to walk down and up fir bridges. It has been a great journey so far. It has also made me realize just how strong you need to be for some of these! My triceps took a beating today doing close handstand pushups. All in all great book, and I look forward to reading the new one.

    • Harley, thanks for commenting, and thanks EVEN MORE for letting me know about your progress! I’m also glad my stuff makes good sense and is in accord with your own thinking–especially regarding progress which is too quick, and injury: you hit the nail on the head there, my friend.

      Keep up the great work and keep torturing those triceps, you hear?

  • Rodolfo Oliveira

    My god, My GoD, MY GOD!!!!!! January is too far away!! Almost had a heart attack when I saw ‘Convict Condidioning 3’ written on my email… I CAN’T WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIT

    • Rodolfo Oliveira

      BTW, These Master Steps looks surreal!!!! I wanna be able to topple a Mammoth and I believe Coach has just started showing us the way to do just that.

    • In the dictionary, under “Motivation” it says: See “Rudolfo Oliveira”.

      How can you possibly fail, man?!

  • Phenometron

    Oh man, it’s like Led Zepplin IV just hit stores shelves or something….this is awesome.

    • Rodolfo Oliveira

      Exactly that feeling!

    • Yep, that just about made my YEAR….

  • Seriously my friend, you have no idea what an honor it is for ME that a younger generation of athletes like you are willing to take the time to reach out to me on a forum like this.

    Whether guys are thinking about bodyweight, already advanced athletes, or just coming back, it really blows my mind to hear from you all. Thanks for the encouragement, man!

  • Logan Christopher

    Awesome. Can’t wait to read it and see the progressions you have in store for these moves. I’ve got some of them, like the back flip you can see here, but am a ways from the standing front flip. Having done a few front flips with running and jumping I know those are quite a bit tougher. Can’t wait!

    • Now here we have an explosive calisthenics master! Hey Logan.

      The front flip is MURDER and definitely the hardest drill in the entire book. To me, the key is peak power in the lower body, and I emphasize a lot of power jumps, tucking, etc.

      I have read a lot of your stuff since recently and loved it: I’d advise others to check your site and do the same: http://legendarystrength.com/

      When the paper copy comes out, I’ll have the office shoot you a copy, brother. I really hope you like it.

      • Logan Christopher

        Thanks. I’d really like to get that front flip down so I think I’ll start working on the suicide jumps. Don’t know if I’ve ever really worked on that…

        • I had Danny do them BACKWARDS for some photos! Now THAT is a jumping feat.

          I really, really believe in the suicide jumps for building a super-tuck. Honestly though, if you have got up to the running version there’s not much more to teach you in the book, besides re-drilling all the initial 8 steps.

      • Rodolfo Oliveira

        I back it up 100% Coach! Logan’s materials are amazing and I am proud to be a member of his inner circle program. He always deliver WAY more than promised! I wanna be legendary like you two someday and PC is gonna help me achieve that for sure!

  • V Kishore Vancheeshwaran

    Hey Coach. Long time no see. How are you? Glad to see CC3 is coming around J CC3 is Holy Grail. The Judgement. The Absolute. The Conclusive. The Ultimate finisher to the trilogy.

    As usual I wanted to ask a couple of things if you don’t mind.

    1. I read a lot about gymnastics in the past few weeks. I wanted to know. How do you consider the “principles” of progressive calisthenics(PC) in comparison with gymnastic training? I mean, cut the part of skill training away from gymnastics. For the strength part, does PC and gymnastics follow the same principles of progressive overload? Both are
    bodyweight strength training. Is there any difference in the strength training part? Or is it just the same with PC and gymnastics? What are the similarities and differences between the two?

    2. I see you have expressed a lot on bent arm strength. What are your views in straight arm strength? How can one train for it from the basics? How can it be incorporated with the programs in CC?

    3. How do you define ‘perfect’ form for an exercise? Is there any such thing?

    4. Just out of curiousity. How did you train the horizontal pulls in prison? I mean to say, let’s see, suppose a person is deprived of a gym and a park. How can he do horizontal pulls with no low bar? Should such a person start directly with jackknife pulls?

    5. Does CC3 have the dips progression you promised?

    6. Right now, I am not so consistent with my training. I have gone back from thrice a week to once or twice every 2 weeks. Please give me some words of motivation, I am serious. I find myself very inconsistent nowadays for the past few months. I just find myself too lazy to go out there and fucking workout. Make it a general motivation for the public too if you can.

    7. I hope you have heard of hollow body holds and hollow body rocks. Where do they fit it in the CC progressions of leg raise?

    8. I set some goals of training towards the front lever, side lever, planche, manna, pistols, one arm pull ups, and one arm pushups all at the same time. Is my training too vast or spread out? Should I make it simpler? Do I train for each of them, or do I need to master some (if so which ones) and then start training for the others? Any suggestions?

    9. Joints adapt slower than muscles to stimulus. A person knows he is not ready for a higher progression if he feels his joints pain after trying out the higher progression. But how can a person know that his joints have adapted, that he is READY, to move up? Is there any set number of days or time after which the joints adapt to the same stimulus that the muscles are getting?

    10. What is this ‘mobility’? I have been hearing this a lot in the fitness industry, frankly I don’t understand. Is it the same as active flexibility?

    11. I have been trying to get the elbow lever, but it still evades me. I just can’t bear the pain, when I put my elbow in my stomach. Does that mean my core is weak?

    12. What is the difference between this http://www.alkavadlo.com/wp-co… and this https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akam… bridge? Is one better than the other?

    I guess I have exhausted all my doubts. Hopefully I remember more.
    Thank you for all the support you are giving to all bodyweight enthusiasts.

    Regards,
    Kishore

    • V Kishore Vancheeshwaran
      • What an amazing pair of images! One difference is obvious: slightly bent limbs (like Al is using) requires more limb strength.

        The second photo is truly amazing, and I’m glad you posted it. Wow, what an athlete!! In CC I said that one of the signs of a PERFECT bridge is that the arms and legs are straight. I had a lot of feedback from “experts” (even yoga teachers) when I said this calling “bullshit”…telling me that it was IMPOSSIBLE to straighten all the limbs during a bridge.

        Well, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

        • V Kishore Vancheeshwaran

          Well now you can share this photo with the people who disagree with you. Nothing is impossible. There are two kinds of people in this world. One who say something is impossible and the other who don’t care but train and achieve it.

    • V Kishore! Hey man, great to hear from ya! Let’s see if we can’t tackle those questions of yours, huh? I will try me best to be brief!

      1. Explosive calisthenics is NOT gymnastics. You will not find anyone who respects gymnasts and gymnastics more than me, but I am NOT an gymnastics expert and do not pretend to be. Gymnastics is a movement SPORT, based on subjective aesthetic judgements. In explosive calisthenics, nobody is judging you: the goal is to just keep getting more an more explosive–if what you are doing WORKS, nobody can mark ya down!

      2. Bent arm strength must come first. Straight arm strength is super-advanced. I would focus on the basics first–the pullups, pushups, etc,–and look at the straight arm stuff later.

      3. In CC3 I give you a rule–the PARC Principle–to tell you when you should move up a step. As for “perfect”…like Bruce Lee said, what is “perfect” differs for different folks. Don’t get hung up on “perfect”, just “better”, my friend.

      4. There’s plenny of gear for horizontal pulls if you look. A table or bench aint easy to work with, but god damn–it’ll make you STRONG!

      5. I promised you dip progressions, right? Then they’re there!

      6. Everyone suffers from motivation issues from time to time, kid. EVERYONE. They key is to not quit: because when your motivation returns, you’ll be pissed that you lost so much time. My advice–change things. Find 4 exercises that you are passionate about, and hit them HARD for a couple months. Take plenty of rests, and don’t be TOO strict with yourself. Change is better than quitting, kid!

      7. This is more gymnastic stuff–you don’t need this for CC leg raises but I do include “hollow body” work in the form of swing kips in the muscle-up chain in CC3.

      8. If you are struggling to even work out, I’d stick with the basics–cut back to four (or even three) exercises for a little while. Honestly, these are pretty advanced goals. I’d stick with working to advanced pullups, pushups, leg raises and pistols, but you can vary this. The straight arm stuff will come later!

      9. A really good way to know whether you are ready to move up is simply whether you can perform a handful of reps in acceptable form: the “beginner standard” in CC.

      10. Different definitions, but to me, I absolutely agree: it HAS to be defined as active flexibility, yes.

      11. Practice, practice, practice! Try different angles, say on a table first, then lower objects. You WILL get there!!

      Thanks for your awesome questions my friend. Remember, I believe in you, even if you don’t!

      • V Kishore Vancheeshwaran

        Thank you for all your advice Coach. Sure do appreciate it a LOT. Fills up many many gaps in my mind.

        And thanks again for believing in me even if I don’t. Inspires me a lot.

        • Your problem is that you are too damn smart. It’s awesome to be a “thinker” but that can screw with your training if you let overthinking conquer you. Some of the great athletes I worked with in jail were dumb as a box of tacks: they never suffered from overthinking, they just hit their training.

          You naturally brainy guys CAN do ever better than us IQ-challenged brothers BUT you gotta learn to switch off the internal chatterbox first!

          • Rodolfo Oliveira

            And sometimes this damn chatter is LOUD! I also want to thank you for these advice Coach, as I am one of the analysers geeks (I wouldn’t call me smart though). Logan materials sometimes deal with this chatter and it has helped me a LOT!

          • Logan has some amazing material, for sure. We are real lucky to have him as part of the PCC family: some of his articles here have been like mini-books!

  • Vasily K.

    Hey Coach! I thought that something happens to you, ‘cauze you don’t write any articles all those days. I really missed it. Maybe you will laugh at your student (me) but I have a one year on CC these days. And I don’t just sit and spit out into the ceiling. I have a very painful journey towards PC. And it wasn’t painful physically (yep, maybe sometimes it was), but it was very hard mentally. As for me that was a real struggle within to stay on CC. Sometimes, when I going wrong with your testaments, I was lacking progress (and rolling back, saying truth). Sometimes I thought to use weights, kettlebells, dumbells, barrels etc etc. Sometimes I thought to delete your books from my computer, smartphone and throw away paper-books. (Yeah, CC is everywhere with me). And I made so tiny little progress (2 level of pull-ups, 2 level of push-ups *through the year I almost hit 4 level of push-ups, but my body started to fight against me with lack of progress – maybe I doing something wrong? and 4 level of squats) for this year that I thought to start some other bodyweight programs. But I don’t. I realise that CC became my passion, my obsession, my gulp of the freshest air in this world. It helps me not to “break bad” like smoking and drinking alchohol, ‘cauze it’s so attractive when you are young. I read CC, CC2, C-mass, your articles and comments throughout the internet to find something interesting and useful for me and my training. I’m thinking, that you became Joe Hartigen for me – teacher and *maybe* a father-in-calisthenics. Please, don’t think that I’m crazy. It’s just because a year ago I found CC just on the right time, when I was in need of it. And now I realize that CC changed me mentally more than physically. It made me strongest version of myself within. Hope, that with your help I will become strongest version of myself physically. Thank you, Coach. I think, that you don’t even remember me and my questions, but you did a lot to me. I’m very exciting with CC3. We, the PCC-community, will always support you, no matter who will try to slam your books. I will try to buy and read CC3 as soon as I can. And, I hope, that you will find some time in future for one of your students and his silly (most of it) questions. There are so many things that I want to know from you. *Hit me when you will ready for ’em:)*

    PS. Sorry for such a pathos post. Hope, that it will not sound like crazy-man speach. And I’m not that-kind-of-guy-who-will-try-to-kill-you-‘cauze-you-are-so-cool. It’s just an act of gratitude for all this things I learned from you.

    Vasily.

    • Hey, Vasily! Great to hear from you, my man. I’m glad you missed me, coz I missed you, too!

      I am PROUD of you for not quitting, Vas. That is the sign of a true MAN…not whether or not you can do a one-arm pullup. You know, in martial arts, they say you only fail when you quit. The same is true for calisthenics.

      It is an honor to have helped you, and I’m truly inspired that you see me as a mentor. I’m also real happy that you mentioned old Joe–I include a photo of him in CC3!

      I’m glad you gained wisdom from CC, but it concerns me that you’re not happy with your progress. That’s not right. What routine are you on?

      • Vasily K.

        Right now I’m on full-body with pull-ups, push-ups and squats. 3 times a week. Before that I was doing New Blood 2.0. I tried (and trying now) to add 1-2 rep per workout *cauze there is ALOT of reps on these early stages. that was one of the reasons why I change 3rd level of pushups to second – I stopped progressing on 24-20-17 and thought to re-make second level of pushups*. What’s your thoughts on it? And how can I ask you the rest bucnh of questions? (I think that you may be too busy these days and have no time for questions from students like me)

        • Thanks Vas. Listen up: your program seems very good–great work! If you really can’t add reps, first up try adding in some rest days and see what happens. If you still aren’t gaining reps, look at your diet and sleep. If you readjust and still don’t gain reps–and you have worked a LOT with an exercise–just consider moving up to the next step anyway. There are a few athletes who just find it murder to increase another rep, but they can add more load.

          You can ask me any questions you like here, Vas. And ALL questions from bodyweight athletes are interesting to me, trust me on that!

          If you really have in-depth issues you need help with, email Dragon Door support and ask them to pass an email on to me. I never, ever turn a genuine athlete away. I answer everyone, but all I would say is if you go this route please be patient–between my own training, my students and all the emails I get, it can be a month before I respond.

          • Vasily K.

            Ok, Mr. Wade, I got it. But what your advice on my pushups – should I rework my second level and decending every time I hit progression standard, or should I return to third step and use your advices? Cauze, being honest, through this year I hit my pushup-plateau twice – and came back to the second level twice. That was a disaster to me, because I think that it reaaly stopped my progress. If you really don’t mind, I’m pleased to request your email from DD-support. Promise to not throwing to you lots of questions (most of the time). Thank you, Coach. This will be my upcoming New Year present 😀

            God bless you, Coach, and all of us.

            Vasily

          • Bless you Vas!

            No–don’t go back. If you are not progressing in reps, if anything–go forward! You may not respond well to higher reps. You have my permission to move up a step!

            Look forward to hearing from you via email. But cut me slack my friend–it may take a while, but I WILL get back to ya!

  • joe williams

    This is going to rule, coach thank you sir
    the cc series is as close to the mighty zeppelin
    as training literature has ever got.

    Joe

  • Sheath

    Greetings Coach,

    As a martial arts practitioner and enthusist, I found progressive calistenics to be the missing ingredient for my training. All too often there are set numbers of pushups working towards endurance, not strength or size. I have forgone the strength training philosophy that I was taught, and found CC1 & 2, to be exactly what I was looking for.

    Waiting for CC3 has been a journey. Now that I can see what is awaiting me in only a few months has given me the boost to really work harder through my current progressions (half pullups, half bridges, laying frog raises, assisted squats, and full pushups). Great to know CC3 can be started immediately and interested to see the way to program all 3 books into a complete routine.

    Thanks Coach.

    • Sheath! Hey, great to hear from you my friend. It’s clear we share the same philosophy of calisthenics!

      It’s also great to hear from a martial artist. I’m real intrigued to see what you make of CC3–I think (or I hope) the progressions really appeal to you. There’s a bonus section of building advanced speed which will be of real use to you fighters…

      Congrats of your excellent progress my friend, and thanks so much for the positive comment. I appreciate it buddy.

      • Sheath

        I appreciate the kind words. I’ll definitely check it out once its released and let you know what I think, along with an update on my progress.

  • Jérôme

    And during this time in France, we are still awaiting the release of C.C2 which should have appeared there six months.

    Hope the explosive thing of this book will inspire the translator to hurry for it !!!

    Cheers, Coach and the community

    • Awesome–hey Jerome, a bodyweight brother from the great calisthenics land of France!

      I will try and speed it up for you–hell, I’d translate the sucker myself, but my French is merde totale.

      • Jérôme

        You have the basics, Coach !!! And now, off to the masters levels !!!

        Now we have so much patience as Buddhist monks look like dirty hyperactive kids on speed compared to us.

        • Woah…that IS a lot of patience! As for the dirty hyperactive kids on speed, didn’t realize you had visited Oakland?!

  • Hey Mark! I remember talking to you before man–and enjoying it. Thanks for stopping by!

    First up, thanks for buying C-MASS–I hope you like it. I guess ya missed a couple of blog posts, because John Du Cane made it FREE for readers of this blog for a few days! But I appreciate you buying it anyway, all that cash goes back into the PCC to promote bodyweight training worldwide.

    Clapping handstand pushups? Damn, you’re a beast son! You sound like a perfect candidate for explosives work…you can pull off a clapping handstand pushup, you can pull off a handspring, right? So a front flip can’t be too far behind!

    And who am I to say about smoking? My own habits have been much worse in the past. But please think about quitting, kid–I want ya around for a long time doing those pushups!

    • Mark Hermann

      Just got Explosive Calisthenics and im lovin it. Thank you for this awesome construction manual to becoming a complete athlete. One thing i have been doing is handstand to bridge to stand and repeat. Just fun to play with. Cant wait to ease into front and back tucks. One thing i really want to accomplish is stand to stand bridge and lift my feet into handstand. This movement seems impossible to me at the moment. But I am going to take advice with the kicking off a wall or something maybe like a reverse wall closing bridge except with my feet. Thanks and cheers to ya Coach.

  • Genius comedy from Marty.

  • Asatar Bair

    More awesomeness… thanks again, Coach Wade! I’ll get started on these right away.

    • Asatar! Thanks for the awesomeness of the comment bud!

      Get building some serious bodyweight power my man and please keep me posted on your training and results…

  • SimplyHuman

    Hey coach…so question…when’s it coming out? I’m primed to buy it literally right now this second. God explosive work is what I need, I’ll be among the first buyers. After seeing so much progress with C-Mass and the first two volumes of convict conditioning how can I resist?

    • Hey, Simply Human! Thanks for the support here, it means a lot! John Du Cane says December or January– don’t know if that means the paper copy though. Trust me: the paper copy will be better. It’s designed like the first book, to open out with descriptions on the left, photos on the right.

      It’s AWESOME to hear that you have made such good progress with CC1, 2, and C-MASS! That’s what really keeps this old heart beating. Thank you!

      • SimplyHuman

        The wait will be worth it I’m sure. I’m positive I’ll be stronger by then as well so it all works out haha. Looking forward to more of your teachings coach. Life=Changed

        • You got this nailed, dude–I can tell.

          Also looking lean as hell and rocking those abs. Keep on making me proud, kid!

  • Mike E.

    Coach, in case you read this, you’ve changed my life. You’ve taught so many of us how to properly train and made use believe that amazing bodyweight feats are within most everyone’s grasp. It’s largely because of your books that I teach a fitness class at my middle/high school that focuses on progressive calisthenics. I hope to inspire a generation of young athletes to be health and fitness-minded, and your books have helped me do that. Thank you for brining this to us. I can’t wait till PCC this January!

  • Les Gross

    Even though I’m not at a level in my basic strength training to execute these cool moves, I’m still gonna be waiting in line to get my hands on this, if only to read more of your awesome work on exercise theory and logic. You’re books keep me turning the pages, and I’ve probably read through all of them at least 3 times, and reference them at least 2 or 3 times a week. Good stuff.

    Been doing calisthenics for almost a year now, and working on CC progressions for 3 months. I was looking to take my bodyweight strength up a notch, and discovered your books. I was already doing 4 of the Big Six when I started, but I took your advice and went straight back to the beginning and started over, blowing through the first 3 to 6 steps of pushups, squats (Hit progression standard of first six steps first try), and leg raises, so I decided to add Handstand progressions, and Bridge progressions to my program. I’m making progress on each move, but I’m struggling with the Pullup, and Bridge progressions, and I’d like to ask you a couple of questions, if you will hear it:

    1: I can do 5 strict Full Pullups (I took them out of my program to start at step 1), but I’ve been progressing really slow on Horizontal Pullups- only gaining about 5 reps in two and a half months. Is this normal? Would you recommend a couple weeks of GTG work?

    2: I can’t quite start at a right angle on straight bridges as there is a tendency for my body to tip backwards- sliding my feet across the floor and maintaining good form is impossible it seems, really strains the hamstrings, and once I get to about 15-20 reps, my arms start to tingle as if the circulation is cutoff. I can push through to about 22-25 reps on each set at this point. Any tips?

    Thank you for your life-changing books, I’m looking forward to CC3! Thanks!

    • Les my main man! Big respect for the comment, I appreciate it–sorry for the slow reply, I wanted to do these questions justice, like you deserve.

      First–thank you, thank you for reading and understanding my stuff. That really means the world to me. And that you are using it all, too–wow, thank you man. I am proud of the progress you been making–let’s see if I can help you make even more.

      1. Congrats on the pullups–5 strict pullups puts you in the top 5% of humanity already!! As for the horizontal pulls–it depends on your current rep range. If your reps are already strict and decent in number (higher reps: 20+ on all your sets), just move on the next step. One GREAT option is to continue performing the HPs while ALSO doing the vertical work. You can either keep building reps or get stronger (closer grip: lower angle: asymmetrical grip: one-arm work, etc).

      2. Loving the bridge question! Sounds like you are actually doing great on this exercise. My harsh advice? Convict the f up and get through it! Your hammies and triceps will thank you. I’m just teasing Les, but seriously: aim at getting at least one set of 40 reps. What it does for your body is not to be believed. And it’s cool for your form to start altering–but make the first ten reps count, okay? Grit your teeth and get passionate about making those reps. The more advanced bridges aint going anywhere.

      Thanks for the questions–if they don’t make sense, please hit me up again. Great to hear from you. Keep me posted on your training and progress my friend. Remember–I believe in ya and you are capable of three times what you think you are!!

      • Les, I forgot to mention: for more info on the horizontal pull, check out my mini-manual: The Convict Conditioning Super FAQ. Google it–I wrote it for free, just for you!

        • Les Gross

          Thanks for your reply Coach! It’s great to get advice directly from the source, and it means a lot to me, and all the other trainees you’ve helped, that you are willing to do this.
          My last HP session results were 1 set of 12 reps and 1 set of 11, shoulder width overhand grip with my shoulders about 12 inches off the floor in the bottom position.
          Being one of those guys who learned the hard way that it’s best to be patient and keep working hard (I ended up with an MCL sprain while trying something way out of my league, among a couple other minor injuries), even to get just a single rep in 2 weeks, I’ll be patient with my Horizontal work, and maybe add a single set of Vertical pulls at the end.

  • Paul D Paradis

    Hey Coach Wade,

    Like most everyone else on here, my life was changed by the publication of the first two volumes of CC. That may sound overblown, but I’m sure I speak for at least some people on this site when I say that I can’t thank you enough for providing a completely awesome and legitimate alternative to mainstream weightlifting. While I have a long way to go working through both volumes, not to mention C-Mass, I have already witnessed my health and fitness and strength improve steadily for the better.
    I have been waiting for volume 3 for a while now, and am so very stoked to know it’s on its way. I will be among the first to purchase a copy, and then tear my routine apart to add in the explosive six. Thanks for all that you have done.

    • Paul! Wow, it’s always such an honor to hear from bodyweight athletes like yourself–especially those tough guys who still wanted to get tougher, but were looking for an alternative to the usual fake-tan, heavy barbell, arthritis-inducing crap! That’s the true reason why I wrote the book–genuinely, not to make money. So to read your comment honestly made my day. It means a lot to me that you took the time to reach out. Thanks Paul, and please stick around–there’s loads of great stuff to come on this blog!

  • Lee Smith

    Hey Coach! First time poster here. Gotta tell you that CC and progressive calisthenics totally changed my life. Was never into “conventional” fitness, hated gyms (still do)… I’m a lifelong bodyweighter now. Just recently finished CC2 and C-Mass and I can’t believe CC3 is already on its way! It’s like Christmas.

    Quick question for you: What is your recommendation for someone struggling to progress beyond a certain rep range? For example, I can’t get 10 full pullups (slow, controlled, overhand, chin over the bar) for the life of me, and I’ve been rocking them for nearly 2 years now. I’m sort of a heavier dude, 6’1″, 185 lbs, so do you think there is any merit to progressing with fewer reps achieved, or are the rep standards pretty universal? Do I have to keep trying for 10 full pullups (while still doing half pullups, and jack-knifes, and some other lighter progressions on the side) before I can advance? I can get about 8, maaaybe a shaky 9 now. But never any higher. This applies to a couple different exercises, but I’m mostly frustrated with my pullups. I want to get progressing! Getting that one arm pullup would be so badass.

    Thanks for your time! I really like how much you dedicate yourself to the fans — that shows true expertise. The bodyweight resurgence is upon us! (I hesitate to use the word “revolution” since it’s really a reawakening of tradition, the FIRST training methodology.)

    • “I hesitate to use the word “revolution” since it’s really a reawakening of tradition, the FIRST training methodology.”

      What this guy said!!!

      Hey Lee good buddy, we got another lurker-turned-poster! That’s so fantastic, I appreciate you reaching out. Damn, I love writing posts and getting to connect with the New Bodyweight Generation…

      First things first, you CAN get that one-arm pullup! Plenty of tall guys have done it. Yes, the loads you gotta tackle will be greater due to your leverage, BUT the payoff will be that by the time you get there you will have greater strength and mass. Cool!

      A couple of points. CC–as a methodology–is really pretty akin to bodybuilding. The purpose is NOT to race to the Master Step: your muscles don’t care what step you are on, only how hard they are working. The purpose is to USE the steps as TOOLS for as long as you can keep getting muscle gains out of them. I’m guessing you know this already though.

      A second point would be–NO. Rep ranges aint universal. Some guys–like me–are reppers. They can just keep adding reps, session after session, seemingly forever. But the second they move to a greater load (read: harder technique) they falter. Other guys are the opposite: loaders. The can get a handful of reps, maybe 8,9,10, but adding another rep is excruciating. They find it much easier to just add load. Very likely you are in the second category. One option is to try something harder and see how much your reps drop. If they don’t plummet too badly, you’re winning!

      A final point: “try something harder” does not NECESSARILY mean “go up a step”. The steps can be big jumps. The best way to progress is to find little “hidden steps” to make things a little bit harder without destroying your reps too much. For example, on jackknifes: how about using one leg crossed over the other? Then just one leg to push? Bend it if you gotta, then straighten it out over time. So there, you have maybe another four progressions to work with. Get the idea dude?

      Thanks so much for the comment and the question. Big respect goes out to my fellow “lifelong bodyweighter”! Hope to talk again Lee.

      • Lee Smith

        Thanks for the detailed reply, Coach! Genius insight as always. You’ve totally inspired me to keep fighting on my pullups. (Is it really fighting though if you enjoy it?) Can’t wait for CC3! Proud to be part of the New Bodyweight Generation. I’d love to attend a PCC someday and nail the Century!

        • Fighting is life my friend–never, ever stop fighting!

          Glad I could be of help–be great to have you at a cert one day, but never forget, you are an important part of the PCC family just by checking out this blog kid. And it’s awesome to have you contribute to the discussion: proud to have ya.

  • joe williams

    Abs courtesy of the abs from hell section
    of the infamous cc a book so cool it
    makes ice blocks look toastie hot (if that makes
    any sense). Anyway this book will be listened
    to along side corrosion of conformitys jaguar
    song on you tube.

    Thank you
    Joe

    • All pure awesomeness!

      I love this guy!!

      • joe williams

        Thank you sir you are too kind
        I’m off to do my press ups.

        Joe

  • Hey Coach! I’m glad to see CC3 approaching it’s release. Its definitely going to be interesting to see your take on old school plyometrics. CC3 is definitely something I’ll gradually work to include in my routine. It will be a bit of a challenge to adapt to plyometrics because most of my exercises are done at a snail’s pace.

    Are there any exercises other than uneven push ups that I can use to help rehabilitate my rotator cuff (specifically the teres minor)? I was trying an iron cross for the first time a few weeks ago and my shoulder hasn’t been quite the same since then.
    Thanks!

  • Sean ;-)

    December is usually a make it or break time of year for biz so if Mr.Du Cane is smart (hint, hint) I’m sure he will have it out by December. This would make a great gift for many fans of BW work. Hello John? You listening?

    • You got a future in marketing, Seany-boy!

      Not sure it can be done, but we’ll try–I promise you that. Derek has to design the entire book and format it, fit all the text and images in, then it needs to be proofed again…you get the idea. Plus, I don’t think I mentioned it but this sucker is HUGE. My original draft was over 400 pages, and the edited one I sent to John was around 385…

      I appreciate the motivational encouragement though, Sean my friend.

      • Rodolfo Oliveira

        My goodness… more 385 pages of pure calisthenics education… not sure if I have enough years in my lifetime to learn all that but I am sure gonna learn it by heart. You rock Coach! And if Santa could deliver this to our chimneys it sure would be awesome!

        • We’ll do our damndest, Rudolfo. But if we miss…get ready to rock a New Year’s Resolution to get some real POWER!

      • Sean ;-)

        If ya need help proof reading I’m available…..just a thought 😉

        Awesome, another tome of bodywieght goodness, gotta love it!

        • What a kind offer, Sean! Unfortunately Dragon Door only employ dyslexic proofers. They are the only people who can understand my handwriting.

  • Lee

    Hi,Coach.

    I am trying to improve CC squat Step 1 for a long time now. I have not luck so far.
    As push-ups,pull ups and leg raises have progressively steadily. I read from CC2.

    You wrote about L-sit.It can cure bad hips and lower back stiffness.
    Do you have any other methods to improve the shoulder-stand squats?

    • Lee! Thanks for the question, stud. First up: you are doing the right thing by building mobility and alignment with shoulderstand squats BEFORE hitting your leg exercises hard. Too many men launch into heavy exercises and their mobility and alignment is so bad, the weights bend them into terrible form: and guess what? They never recover! Getting good (or better, IDEAL) squatting form from the get-go is a fabulous idea and will take care of you for your whole life.

      I’m guessing you can’t touch your knees to your head, right? There can be several reasons for this. If you have a paunch, it just may not be biomechanically possible and you may have to settle for a more limited range. If it’s just flexibility, this can be cured. Try touching your knees to your head in different positions: lying, even standing. When this is easy, repeat it upside-down, one leg at a time. Soon, you’ll be there with both legs. Daily training can help you get your first rep–even several times a day. But just on this step!

      Good luck and please keep me posted. You can do it, kid.

  • nico

    He Coach, awesome news. I got an unrelated question if strenght depends mostly on your nerve system, how do your hormones influences the strenght building proces?

    Nico

    • Nico–now there is a great question! Great to hear from you man. I’m not a big brain like many of the readers out there, but I can make the long story short.

      Actually it’s not the nervous system ALONE that determines strength: but the interplay of the nervous system and the muscular system. In C-MASS I use the following analogy: the nervous system is the power supply, the muscular system is the bulb. The more power (neural efficiency), the more light (strength). Likewise, the bigger bulb (muscle size), the more light (strength).

      So you see–BOTH are important; they work together. Hormones primarily effect the muscular system, but that’s still enough to increase total strength. A good big athlete–all else being equal–will be stronger than a good, small one, right? Make sense?

      Deep thinking, Nico–keep it up!

      • nico

        thanks a lot for the reply coach. makes a lot of sense.

        as long as hard questions go, where I come from we have a saying : “an idiot can ask more then seven wise men can answer”. Its what I always think of when people ask me things I find hard. hope that helps

        Nico

        • I hope to get plenty of more questions from ya in the future–I think you are a wise man, as it happens!

          • nico

            thanks coach, I happen to have another question for you.
            This one is about mass and its relation too stamina.
            basically your muscle cells are energy stores right? Does this means building more mass will help building stamina? because it seems that more mass means more lactic acid build-up as well (big strongman seem to believe that, I actually got this from manfred hoeberl). On the other hand among others, people who practice yoga are able to “steer” energy to replace lactic acid with oxigen. I got this idea from wim hof (the iceman).

            Just from a stamina point of view, what do you think more mass or not?

            Nico

          • In terms of TRUE endurance–like running, fighting, etc, for an hour or more–muscle is a hindrance, Nico. This doesn’t mean of course, that there are no muscular athletes with great endurance: they do exist. But they would have even MORE endurance if they didn’t carry all that bulk around.

            You are right: the muscle cells are little stores of chemical energy. But this energy is anaerobic–it doesn’t require oxygen and burns over a short emergency period: we are talking seconds, a minute or so. After this, the old bod shifts to different energy forms, such as fatty acids.

            Does this mean that adding slabs of muscle is BAD?Well, yeah–if you wanna run a marathon in the fastest time possible. However, in reality virtually all survival scenarios for humans–combat, emergency, etc.–are fairly brief. So for me, muscle is more useful than huge amounts of stamina.

            Hope that makes sense my man. You are on your way to a PhD by the sound of it!

          • nico

            thanks a lot coach, my ideal picture is an enormous amount of useful muscle mass. so I think i’m on the right track. Marathons arent my cup of tea anyways

          • My kinda athlete!!

    • Your nervous system plays a big role in strength development, it controls your entire body. You could have the largest muscles in the world, but without the nervous system they won’t move anywhere. Conversely, your nervous system relies on your muscles to execute the commands it gives. There’s a lot of Russian research about the nervous system and how it affects training which you may be interested in reading. As for your hormones, C-MASS has one of the most comprehensive sections you’ll find in any book.

      • This is one of the big brains I mentioned. Thanks Carter!

      • nico

        Thanks for the reply Carter I’ll look into that research

  • Dan

    Hey Coach,

    Big Dan here, again. It’s been a while since we last spoke. I am super stoked to hear the news about CC3 and cannot wait for it to come out. As a martial artist (and stickfighter), I’m all about explosiveness and power.

    As an aside, I’m pretty much on level 7 on most exercises in CC. Last we spoke, I was on level 5. Feel stronger at 46 than when I was 26.

    I was hoping to hear from you via email but I haven’t gotten an answer yet. Not sure if the email address has changed. All good though, I know you’ve been hard at work on your new masterpiece and I for one cannot wait to get my hands on it!

    Take good care

    Big Dan

    • Big Dan!

      Great to hear from you! Wow, that’s some goddam amazing progress: I’m proud of ya! Sorry about the reply: I’m betting you are emailing my older, now-defunct email. Resend your email to Dragon Door support, ask them to pass it on and I PROMISE to get back to you. I hate it when I miss a reply–you have my apologies. I didn’t do that shit deliberately, I assure ya.

      Thanks for reaching out, and looking forward to getting back in touch!

      Paul

  • Leo! Great to hear from ya, kid–it wouldn’t be a Paul Wade blog post without ya! Let’s check these questions….

    1. Yep–there will be plenty of added explosive bodyweight drills for you to try! All with photos this time.

    2. If height is an issue, why not more books? Or a cinderblock? Or bricks? Always go with simple engineering before you hit the fancy stuff. Better AND cheaper.

    3. Nope–you need to strengthen those wrists. You don’t want to do a handspring on yer knuckles, kid!

    4. You need more friction. Are you wearing socks? If so, lose em! Also, “root”–imagine your feet getting tense, twisting into the floor. The mental technique will help.

    5. You can tape up torn calluses, but I would take it easier–torn skin may look hardcore but it will only scar and interfere with your training if it becomes a habit. Build volume over time–give your skin the time it needs to toughen up, Leo: give it fair warning. Sounds like you ambushed your skin this time!

    6. Yes, that’s acceptable with higher reps. Well done.

    7. Oh, HELL yes.

    8. Clapping HSPU isn’t in the book: in terms of power, I prefer front handsprings–which have the same effect, but are less artificial. And yes, front flips are harder than back flips, believe it or not. For one thing, you can’t see where you’re landing!

    9. I don’t know–maybe the ship has sailed? You can push for a CC3 DVD if ya want!

    10. Just goes to show you can work any bodypart with calisthenics, eh? Looks cool, but my advice would be to begin with the neck work in CC2. This stuff you linked to is super-advanced.

    11. They ARE in CC3 you know! Dip strength progressions, PLUS explosive dip progressions!

    12. Obviously beware injuring those delicate digits kid, but yeah–you should feel fingertip pushups in your fingers a bit, sure.

    13. Do a work set every other day for a month, and get back to me!

    14. Well, your basic hanging sounds pretty good: for sure you can explore skinning the cat now. You can also play with basic, early lever progressions. Maybe after your pullups, eh?

    15. Double figures is enough. 20 is better!

    16. Once your pullups are good, hold at the top, and start pushing your torso in and out–like a quick pushup. And pray to god for superhuman strength!!

    17. I’m not a huge fan of these; they get a mention in CC3 though. Some coaches use them as an ancillary exercise to the muscle-up.

    18. I’d get stronger in pullups first. Believe it or not, they work similar muscles. but you can explore/experiment anytime!

    19. As ever, straight arms is harder, yes. But if you can frog stand with bent arms I don’t see why you can;t start looking into elbow levers. Al has some awesome progressions on his site.

    20. Lots. But you are really looking at frontal shoulder and inner elbow/wrist issues.

    21. You should be able to do elbow levers perfectly, plus decent handstand pushups and uneven pushups before even thinking about it!

    22. Maybe not “better”. But certainly less risky and requiring less skill-to-benefit ration. Also better for moving exercises, therefore a good muscle-building tool. Just my opinion, my preference. Others will disagree, remember.

    23. Hailing a cab to a whorehouse.

    24. Try horizontal clapping pulls with the feet on the ground.

    25. This is going to sound crazy, but right now I’m (seriously) exploring “occular calisthenics”–eye movements, to help my eyes recover from all the writing. I (very briefly) mention it in CC3. You asked!

    Hope that helps some. God bless you for the questions young man–fun talking as ever. Big respect to you in Germany!

    • Sean ;-)

      #23 OMG that is hilarious, my sides hurt….Leo your questions get great responses keep it up kid.

      #25 It’s called EMDR coach, not only do we benefit from your physical culture knowledge but you will also get to exercise some skeletons out that closet at the same time. Google it… Ha

    • Rodolfo Oliveira

      Hey Leo, just addin’ one cent to Coache’s answers, in #17 I would do it using the “Kiss the Baby” philosophy of CC1. If you do it like some of the guys do in the barstarzz video you posted you’re gonna probably bang your elbow in steel and that injury will follow you to the grave, so be very careful. Also, always keep it fresh and at least two reps in the tank. That will prevent total fatigue and an unfortunate accident. Other than that, I think their progressions are very good. I would just substitute the spotter for some kind of padded object that would limit your range of motion so that you can protect your elbow too. I don’t know how hard it would be inside the joint though. I would only do it after getting a one-handed normal dip.

    • Lee

      Not sure I understand #9 Coach….so we are not getting the HSPU DVD? I know I’d be a little bummed out by that.

      • I’m not saying no for sure, buddy: for all I know they are holding out for the box set?

  • Mohammed

    Greetings, Coach!

    How are you? Great to read a post from yourself but with over 3 months to go, this is such a tease! I cannot wait!

    “Quick” questions:

    1) Last time I wrote you, I had issues adding reps to kneeling pushups. I experimented with ladders (1, 2, ….9) and got a total of 45 reps. One day, I was very tired and knowing I could not manage high reps, I tried full-pushups, since they would be lower reps (I had been on kneeling pushups for 6-8 months and I knew my tendons were strong enough). I could do 10 and 5 reps = 15 total full pushups. Thus, I have remained on full pushups and in my 3rd session managed 10, 6, 5.

    Based on an answer you gave below, I assume I am in the 2nd category maybe, i.e., a “loader”, who cannot handle high reps? Although I can do high reps with squats, strangely enough. Do you think I should continue full pushups or would you recommend going back to kneeling pushups to get higher reps?

    2) With harder exercises like the full pushup or pullups, is it ok to go slightly faster? I normally use 2-1-2 seconds tempo but at this rate, sometimes struggle to add reps. Is a 1-1-1 tempo ok as long as I don’t use momentum?

    3) Do we have your blessing to change reps/sets schemes or the style of exercise to suit our needs (like I did for the pushups) as long as we do enough reps/sets to make the next step safe?

    4) I wanted to buy the the paperback of C-Mass (I like to have books at hand for quick reference and don’t wanna turn on the PC everytime) but there are no distributors in England at the moment and to get it shipped here from America means I will have to pay shipping costs almost equal to the price of the book (or more). I really want to read it now but I do not want to pay for the ebook and then buy the paperback again. Are you able to get me an ebook copy, please? To keep me going until Dragon Door find a distributor here or until I finish my studies and get a job. Sorry to sound cheapskatey; I don’t mind spending money when required (like buying CC) but I like to avoid unnecessary costs like high shipping prices or buying things twice.

    Thanks Coach,

    Mohammed

  • Thanks for the link, that’s a pretty complete list of rotator cuff exercises. I am familiar with Coach Sommer’s work and will definitely follow his approach for my iron cross training. My first attempt at an iron cross was just something I did because I had access to some rings (Not exactly a bright idea). I agree everyone needs to watch how they progress because gravity isn’t forgiving.

    • Watch this, Carter–but only watch from behind the couch with the lights on:

      What makes it worse is that the guy in the video is a helluva athlete, strong AND knowledgeable. This kind of thing just happens–often–with straight arm stuff like this.

      • Sean ;-)

        Sickening pop but boy is he springy on his feet though after it went…dear Lord baby jesus…thats not right…

        Perfect example coach of what happens when you don’t condition your ligaments to handle the required stress load when you don’t focus on the basics and proper progressions….it’s doable but you have to earn your strength first.

      • Ouch! Yeah, you put yourself at much greater risk for injury with a lot of straight arm stuff. It’s definitely different seeing someone knowledgeable get injured from an advanced exercise as opposed to someone getting injured out of their own stupidity. I’ve seen someone hurt their shoulder pretty badly trying to do a one arm chin up. He could barely handle regular calisthenics, but decided to try one.

    • Sean ;-)

      Glad to know it was helpful thanks. I saved that one myself for same reason. pretty comprehensive. I’m into Coach Sommer’s work as well for same reason as you I would assume, I like the ring work and because of the BW/mobility focus. I gather your no amateur but I think your lucky to just get a rotator cuff tweak only after trying the iron cross. Don’t even want to think what would happen if I tried it….

  • Thanks, Coach!

  • LaMont Jones

    why for the past 2 or 3 months I’ve been thinking to myself man self I. wish I could do a front and backflip and self remember when the Rock used to kip up way back when during his time in WWE I wish I could do that…now the steps are laid out for me

    • LaMont, you musta sent me a telepathic command. I wrote this thing for you, and pretty soon The Rock won’t have nothin’ on ya!

  • Nick297

    Hey there.

    Whoa. There’s a lot of comments here already. Why am I not surprised? 😀

    I have a question: will CC3 be exclusively about explosive things?

    I have sort of a shin-bone injury from an accident. Still can do some squats but not so many without a pain coming after and now do calf raise progression from CC2 to try to strenghten these calf muscles. But when it comes to explosive leg work (those mindblowing flips and jumps) I don’t think I can do these without worsening the problem.

    Still look forward to the book, Coach. Best wishes from Russia.

    • Nick from the mighty land of Russia! Great to hear from you my friend. CC3 is exclusively about explosiveness: which I define as power, total-body speed and agility. Jumps may be an issue with shin splints, but there may be a work around. And you can do the power pushups and kip-ups, right? Until you heal!

      Keep pumping up those calves my friend!

      • Nick297

        Thanks for the reply, Coach 😉

        So are kip-ups pretty safe for the bone? The accident was in january and there wasn’t any kind of pain after a few days of recovery ’till the summer. I was like “Ok. I’m fine again”. But in july I kind of overused squat work with too much reps and intensity and there’s discomfort with my knee almost every day from that time. Hospital workers didn’t care and without x-ray said: “It’ll go away”.

        I still moderately work on squats when discomfort and pain go away for some time and really want to get into explosive work. One more question: will book contain explosive upper body work except muscle-up?

        • Nick–certainly the first few steps of the kip-ups will be okay. Don’t forget, you gradually make your way to the master steps: the first few steps, to get you into the techniques, should be workable, even with mild injuries. Feel your way, kid.

          The key is not to quit–as long as you can train without too much pain, that’s a good idea. The “near the bone stuff” you describe–deep tissue injuries–will take forever to heal if you quit working out. In fact, they may not heal at all.

          As for explosive upper-body work…it’s not like bodybuilding, where you work “body parts”. To a large degree Nick, power work trains the whole body. Look at front and back rotations: you have handsprings which work the hell out of the arms, and even flips involve the upper body. In most kip-ups, you push up with your arms, too.

          …And of course, the power pushup chain is KILLER!

          • Nick297

            Appreciate the answer and looking forward to CC3 🙂

          • Anytime man. Please keep in touch.

            Paul

  • There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers–and as I told Adrienne recently, I got plenty of those, so don’t worry.

    • sean ;-)

      man not liking this format, sorry for the double posts. waited a day to see if they would show up before writing again, since they disappeared after sending. Sorry gang….

      • Trust me, Disqus is just screwy that way man. Sometimes posts go missing for days–even the admin can’t see them. True.

        I blame the NSA…

        • Rodolfo Oliveira

          Hahahahahaha you always make my day with your answers Coach! Quality education plus refined humour… can’t lose with these

          • I’m here all week. Try the veal.

  • Mohammed

    Thanks, Coach!

    I did apply to get a free copy back then but for some reason it was not accepted. However, £3?? I have just purchased it! I just don’t remember it being that cheap. Aren’t I the douchebag? I don’t have a Kindle but have downloaded a Kindle app for my laptop. I still might get the hard copy in a year and gift this to a friend.

    I have been keeping the full-pushups 2-1-2 but it’s good to know that I can speed up a little at the end of a set in order to help add a rep or two. I promise that I’ll try to avoid sacrificing form though; in fact, good form is an obsession with me, sometimes too much. When I compare my pushup form now to those I did 5 years ago, I wanna go back and kick myself! All those early steps really helped towards perefecting my form.

    Thanks again!

    Mohammed

    • I am sorry to hear you didn’t get your copy my friend! I am having the team shot in the morning, even the coffee boy!

      However I am grateful for your purchase…it is keeping my bookie in beer and for that, I thank you! Seriously, I refused to accept payment for that book, the money is ploughed back into the PCC and Dragon Door…so in fact you have just done your bit for the world bodyweight revolution! Thank you!

      Keep working those pushups man! I believe in you!

  • g.i.f.d

    cant wait for this book, this system changed my thinking in big ways, now i have moved to cyprus and with the money i earn ive been pushed into bodyweight training and i love it
    jono

    • Jono! Great to hear from ya! It is an honor that something I wrote has changed your thinking about training, and a true pleasure for me that you too the time to reach out and let me know. Thank you!

      You have a legendary strength writer out there in Cyprus: Stuart McRobert! Keep doing the pushups, Jono!

  • My man! Many thanks for following the blog with such dedication. Even I haven’t read all the answers to this post, and I’m the bastard that wrote em.

    Funny you should mention it, but I discussed something similar with Al a few months back: just the idea of opening the blog up to the community every so often, and having the PCC team answer any and all questions. Not just me–there are some INCREDIBLE coaches in the PCC team, many with skills and areas of knowledge I totally lack.

    Your Crossfit question is a great example of this. I have a vague awareness of Crossfit; I know many folks love it, some hate it. For me, Crossfit has definitely improved awareness of bodyweight training and for that I admire it. But I know jack about Crossfit programming so I just can’t answer the question, it wouldn’t be fair.

    Gotta see if anyone else can chime in on this one, Rudolfo…

    • Sean ;-)

      Yo, Rodolfo,

      My two cents and I hope I haven’t missed the point of your question or this will be a real boring read. Sure crossfit could assist with weight loss but if that’s the sole aim then any good GPP (general physical preparedness program or called conditioning in some circles) and proper nutrition could do so as well. If I may quote Bruce Lee “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” So if your focus is bodyweight then focus on that to become a master at it. You want weight loss, try doing a 100 burpees everyday spread through out the day. I’m sure you will at least lose a few pounds when your lunch comes up. 😀

      Also remember what Coach Wade says in his books. Bodyweight practitioners tend to lean out with time and experience. The body finds its own balance with itself as you work on the different progressions using your own bodyweight as resistance. Don’t want to be lean then crack open your copy of C-Mass and get busy. So why hurry to lose all that weight? Your missing out on a opportunity to use that extra resistance to your own advantage and pack on some beef!!

      I’m not for crossfit or against it personally. I like the olympic lifting part for the full body hit and yes I think its fun too. But i think a good place to start addressing the question of crossfit and BW work (in my opinion) is to head on over to gymnastic bodies site and click on the podcasts link and listen to what a US national level gymnastic coach has to say on the issues your asking about in terms of crossfit, injuries and best approach on combining both. There is big advantage to focusing on proper bodyweight progressions that translate to weight lifting but not the other way around it seems. Educational if nothing else.

      My apologies, I hope I’m not committing PCC blog heresy by mentioning others work here that’s not PCC focused. Let me know if its a concern. just trying to be a helpful member. If you read this far I thank you for indulging me.

      • Sean, I really appreciate the input! And don’t worry about bringing other methods into the discussion. PCC is not dogmatic–we created it to ADD to the toolbox of coaches and athletes, not take stuff away.

        The only heresy in PCC is NOT MOVING!

      • Rodolfo Oliveira

        You just got me homework Sean my brother! Thank you so much for your help!

        • Sean ;-)

          your most welcome, glad I could be of service. If your ever looking for combat type conditioning, and until Coach puts out his next tome on this subject, Ross training site is a quality spot to stop for a no B.S., actual experience in the trenches, take on this subject. His book Never Gymless is a must read on BW conditioning for combat athletes in my humble opinion.

    • Rodolfo Oliveira

      Amen to that Coach! Dragon Door got the best there is and this blog is living proof of that. All my fitness education for the last year is from people from here and I am having a blast! There is SO MUCH to be learned I can’t sit still to work some days! Unfortunately I can’t put a door bar in my work but I have done some pushups and squats when the excitement was too much… the thing is that when you discover what that little machine your body is, even if you neglected it for years, you simply gets more and more excited to know more by trying to improve your movement. It’s amazing! And if we could have the elite team at Dragon Door answering our anxiousness… that would be heaven! About the Crossfit: it is really cool because of the group support and mixed modalities of movement but I am a bodyweighter in my heart! So I am not neglecting my CCs and will keep moving up the steps!

  • joe williams

    Hi Coach,

    I have a topic that I would like to quiz you on and that would be detoxing. Now ever since I read the brilliant section on nutrition in cc2 and recently c-mass, I have religiously eaten three meals a day as suggested by your good self. My calorie intake is roughly about 3000 calories a day a good varied diet with a mixture of bread,meat,veg and fruit plus some junk food for good measure.This formulae works fantastically for me a good wholesome no nonsense approach to nutrition great for my tough workouts. What I would like to know is do you know of any information (books,internet,you tube videos etc) on a decent detox system. I would like to “clean” or purge my insides out once in a while. Any information is appreciated.

    Many thanks
    Your student Joe

    • Joe! Three meals a day? But you have a six pack and a healthy looking stack of muscle? You should be fat and weak! I just don’t understand how you can look that way without eating eight times a day…

      Just kidding! You look a great, and I am a fan of your diet and MILD fasting (as opposed to the modern trend of constantly drip-feeding athletes with food). But the first thing I would say is that–if you are eating three times a day, you are already detoxing. If you eat at seven pm, then eight am, you are fasting for thirteen whole hours, each day. This allows your stomach to empty, your gut to clear, and your enzyme pools to regenerate to ensure maximum absorption of food the following day. In addition, you are training hard: you are exhaling in a focused manner, expelling useless gases from your system; and you are sweating out toxins via the pores regularly.

      I’m hesitant to recommend anything much more than this. Yep, fasting has its benefits, but prolonged fasting…I just don’t know. (To me, a liquid diet is not a “fast”, as so many folks seem to think.) When you breathe, move, or just exist, your body is building up by-products and toxins which require nutrition to be washed away: your biological processes all require calories, minerals and vitamins. For this reason, prolonged fasting (more than 3 days without liquid or solid food, not counting water) can actually INCREASE the toxin balance in your body. So if you are lean, eat a balanced diet and aren’t ill, I just don’t see the purpose in any further measures.

      Fasting aside, I’m CERTAINLY not a fan of detox “diets”, which are generally just left-overs of our hippy infatuation with anything from Asia, and which are generally meat-free, carb and fruit loaded diets, which will do you no good at all. Just forgoing fats and animal proteins and stuffing your gut with carbs with cause a flash-fire in the flora environment of your gut, and can cause all kinds of problems from acid reflux upwards.

      Joe, don’t let my (uneducated) opinion put ya off a detox experiment. It may work, and you can come back and teach me a thing or two! This is just my view: many, many other people will disagree based on their experiences…(love to hear em).

      • Sean;-)

        Hey Joe,

        If I may add just for interest sake if you may want to check out the book “warriors diet” and Rob Wolf’s site and podcasts are very entertaining and educational on paleo if you think you might want to explore a different type of detoxing. Food for thought….ha!

      • Paul D Paradis

        I have been a vegetarian for over fifteen years, and I’m making solid stength and fitness gains with Convict Conditioning. I do take in dairy products, and I take a protein supplement, but, aside from that, nothing too radical. Eating meat is not necessary to progress in resistance training; in saying this, I am not trying to preach. Also, adequate fat intake is possible through taking various kinds of plant oils such as Udo’s choice, the best plant-based oil on the market. Anyway, this is what is working for me.

  • Sean ;-)

    Yep those guys will never steer ya wrong, I’m with ya on that one…

  • Some kick-ass tracks, Joe–thanks for expanding my musical horizons here!

    I’ll raise you a tune I used to listen to, back in the day: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uQAsvzeO_00

    Plus a ton of Captain Beefheart. No wonder we all took so many drugs.

    • Mohammed

      I just discovered Captain Beefheart’s music in the last few weeks after watching an excellent film called Blue Collar. I love music from the 60’s and 70’s and cannot believe I didn’t come across Capn’s music earlier. Which other bands do you like, Coach?

      • Really? A Beefheart fan in the UK? Jeez! And a youngster, too. That shocks me. Great news!

        I STILL love and listen to stuff that was floating around back in the Bay when I was growing up. To throw some names out in no order: Hawthorne, the Mau-Maus, Kim Foley, Chrome, Sparks, the Tubes, maybe some 45 Grave stuff.

        …and an entire generation under fifty is now looking blank. (Some would say, rightly so!)

        • joe williams

          You cats are awesome check out this killer zep track http://youtu.be/YKoNKbHRibs and a boss band from Cali lecherous gaze http://youtu.be/wFkg1A-PYJI

          Yours
          Joe

          • Gorgeous–you have awesome taste there, kid! Thanks for the link, Joe my man.

        • joe williams

          Great music coach, you have definitely got me onto another genre/era (I only know Killing Joke from that period).

          Thanks Joe

          • DISCLAIMER: Us old ones still listen to it–I never said it was any good while sober.

        • Rodolfo Oliveira

          Got me looking blank there Coach… guess there is room for improvement in any aspect of life eh? Gonna do some homework on that…

  • Mohammed

    After reading one of the comment threads below, I also extremely, strongly and without reservation agree that you, Coach, MUST get the final “Survival Athetics” section out there. Any way you can!! Why?

    1) We still need to learn about Muscular Endurance, Combat Athletics and Stamina Training.

    2) Even if these subjects have been covered by others, we NEED your no-nonsense view on these matters. I am sure that most people here will agree that your advice on topics like nutrition has given us excellent results and has simplified our lives and outlooks considerably. Also, your methods mean we do not have to buy expensive equipment and additional material etc. to put them into practice.

    And as Rodolfo says, I too feel obliged to buy your books. As of Thursday, I have bought ALL your published work. Yes, that includes the Bodyweight Log Book. For future works apart from CC3, I hope you do choose to get paid, unlike C-Mass. Think of all the gym fees you have saved me over the last 4 years (probably £700-1000; for all your books, I paid around £70-80).I just hope someone in the UK will take on the role of being Dragon Door’s distributor here so I can have physical copies of CC3 AND CC4 AND C-Mass. Any takers reading this?

    It is amazing how I came across CC1 over 4 years ago. I had been subscribing to random fitness email-newsletters, and one day, one of them had an advert for CC! Imagine where my training may have been (or may NOT have been), had I not discovered CC.

    I also love to help my friends with training. I even outlined a pullup progression to a member of staff in a vintage clothing store when I saw her attempting to do a pullup from a changing room curtain pole! I hope to get a personal training certification, not to mention the PCC one, so I can do this at least part time. All this just from the simple act of buying CC!

    So, you see Coach, why you should write CC4? We need your brain out there, Coach!

    Sorry to ramble.

    Mohammed

    • My friend–you’ve made my month. Seriously, thank you. I am honored beyond belief by your support, and rest assured you will hear more from me. Yes, I will be getting paid for CC3, and Dragon Door pay very well. That’s not why I do do it–it’s not why any Dragon Door authors do what they do–but it’s true all the same.

      It is still amazing to me to hear that the message of old school calisthenics–which changed, and probably SAVED my life–has also changed the life of one of my students, like you, Mohammed. What is even more precious to me is that fact that you are taking the time and energy to pass these techniques ON. A physical art form, like progressive calisthenics, is like fire: unless it is fed, unless it moves on, it dies.

      So bless you Mohammed, and a million thanks for your amazing comment. I’ve been touched by so many lovely comments on here, from such incredible individuals!

  • Mohammed

    Hey Joe (see what I did there? Hendrix, etc..),

    Love that Croms track; very atmospheric. I can picture myself riding down the rain-slicked streets of an American city late in the night. Reminds me of Drive, amongst other movies. Amazing stuff. Thanks for introducing us to these artists.

    • joe williams

      Glad you like the music Mohammed, that track really hits the mark
      one of my favourite all time songs.

      • Mohammed

        It’s a shame I cannot find a lotta music by Croms. Only two albums. And not on CD, unfortunately.

        • God bless you for at least looking, kid!

        • joe williams

          He has only done one track on general release the guy uses old analogue synth’s I tried to enquire about further releases but I did not get a response. Check the artist Ph.1 on soundcloud he is quite good.

          • Mohammed

            Can you give me a list of other artists who do the same type of music? If you can gimme a “top ten”, that’d be great. So far, I know of Chromatics, Glass Candy, maybe Kavinsky and some Tangerine Dream (if they can be classed as similar).

            Sorry to turn the focus away from working out, guys, but it’s rare to have a discussion with people who have similar musical taste as myself. I like to get as many recommendations as I can when I do.

          • joe williams

            I should really be doing my push ups fella ok last comment on music,
            I do not want to detract from the main theme which is body weight exercises.
            Check these artists out-com truise,photek,dj krush,funkadelic,Eddie hazel,
            Jon Hopkins,j dilla,the alchemist and Aton zap. Thank you that’ll the last
            I will talk about music here because it is purely about working out hope that list
            helps.

            Joe

          • Mohammed

            Joe, thanks very much! This’ll keep me going for months, if not a year. Good luck with the workouts!

            Mohammed

  • Halil Mutlu

    the reality is i would whole-heartedly like to pay but with no money in ma hand ı cant so that’s why ı asked it dont get me wrong ım not trying to diss paul’s work actually ı do like his work

  • Mika

    Couldn’t agree more with Mohammed here. I wish I had discovered CC when it was first published. Glad I did discover it eventually though.

    Always been very much into this minimalistic and natural approach towards conditioning, but it was only after discovering CC that I actually started to understand why does it work, and how to keep progressing. Also the nutritional side of things is a gold mine. If only more people would realize that by simplifying things, they could get so much more out of their given conditioning method.

    And then there’s the joint health – side of CC2. That was really what sold me fully into old school calisthenics. Always been healthy and fine in every way, but after implementing the likes of trifecta and the CC method itself, ive never been better and more agile.

    I work a physical job in construction, and doing trifecta multiple times a week has definitely helped me keep my body “fresh” and able to keep gettin stronger on every level. I can honestly say the books have changed my beliefs towards physical conditioning and how we look at ourselves, and are THE thing I (and in my opinion everyone) should internalize.

    It just a shame so many people dont believe this kind of stuff works. So they keep injuring themselves and thinking they just gotta live with the limitations caused by them.

    Nothing absolutely new in my post, just had to, and wanted to let you know how much your knowledge actually helps people. And this is coming from a 23 year old guy with a 15-year background of ballgames.

    so THANK YOU coach. We are blessed to have someone like you to share this wisdom.

    • Mika! So great to have feedback from another young athlete–in particular someone who also works a damn hard job, and uses the Trifecta to stay fresh.

      Your comment was a real blast to read, because you seem to effortlessly strike all the REAL points on why old school calisthenics scores: the important points, not the fake tan and bulging veins stuff. The joints; the progression; movement and agility!

      I know it must have taken time to write you comment Mika, and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you reaching out to tell me your story. Please stick around and make that voice heard on this blog!

      Paul

  • Rodolfo Oliveira

    This Crowbar sh*t is really good!

  • Antonio

    Hey Coach!!! I’ve read all your books man, you are my biggest inspiration in the world of training, even bigger than Al Kavadlo, which is very tough to say… So, I wanted to ask you the same thing Mohammed did, will you ever publish some of your thoughts on combat training or application??? It would be the best thing ever to hear the thoughts on these ones from the expert of our art, I’m sure you know some stuff, you’ve been in fights… so could you give some specific advice for the ones that train to, if needed, fight for their lives or anything else…???

    • Antonio–great to hear from you my friend: thanks for the comment bud. We think alike, coz Al Kavadlo (and Danny) is an inspiration to me, too!

      Combat. Now, I did originally plan to, when I sent my original CC to John. (Years back, the original CC2 manuscript had a chapter on the 52 blocks, and prison combat!) But over the last few years I’ve read so much good stuff out there right now–it was mostly shit in the market 20, 30 years ago–that I’ve decided to leave it to the folks who know. Combat and defence writing has got a lot more sophisticated than it was in my day…if it hadn’t caught up, yeah, I might’ve stepped up.

      Look at stuff by Geoff Thompson and Tim Larkin and you will have all you need to know. No 52 blocks required.

      • Rodolfo Oliveira

        More references for us Coach? That alone makes for an awesome birthday gift! I am all for Survival Athletics as I approach Fitness from a martial perspective. For me it must be all go and no show (even though the ‘show’ part does come when you can ‘go’) or it should be discarded. That’s why I am always hungry for good material! Thanks Coach for providing us with good reference in spite of all your knowledge and thanks Antonio for evoking that from Coach! I don’t see you very often around here, where are you from my brother? Don’t be a stranger!

        • Thanks Rudolfo my friend–and if it’s your birthday, happy birthday!

          Remember: every birthday is a pushup day…

          • Rodolfo Oliveira

            Well Coach you’ll be glad to know that I took your pushup day and transformed in a burpee day just to shake things up a bit… the pushups are getting better and better too… I hope this day next year they will be unilateral!

      • Rodolfo Oliveira

        Just subscribed for both Geoff Thompson and Tim Larkin Coach! Whatever you say is good, is good by my standards! That doesn’t mean I gave up on CC4! I still daydream about that beastie coming out! How greedy of me huh? Cheers Coach!

  • LaMont Jones

    Coach I’m giving up my jump boxes and other items because I believe you and your product that much

    • God bless you, LaMont!

      But box jumps can be a great addition to a training program: so, better still, keep with the box jumps but master my jump chain AS WELL!!

  • Lenti

    Coach, you have us all on edge. There is at least another e-book or two in the Survival Athletics / Combat Material. They certainly have my vote whatever form they may take.

    I would like to ask you a few different questions though, if I may, on isometrics and breathing.

    When I first read your CC system outline I thought dynamics and reflex training would refer to isometric exercises as well, given that the term dynamics has been used for that before. Is this the case?

    If not in CC3, in CC you included a few but very good supplementary isometric exercises. Are there more you would be willing to share? Have you considered doing an article, or ebook on them and how to combine/program them with regular training?

    Same for, “Deep Breathing”, in both C-Mass and various places you’ve mentioned its importance. I know you recommended Bob Hoffmans book on building the chest but was wondering if you’ve cosidered putting something out your point of view on it. I’m sure others would love to read it.

    Thanks,
    Lenti

    • Lenti! So awesome to hear from you my friend–thanks for the comment. And the support!

      To answer your questions, nope–dynamics in the book will be power work (which I also call “explosives”). As for dynamics being isometrics, I wonder if this confusion comes from Charles Atlas’ system “Dynamic Tension”? In his system, “dynamic” still means “moving”–you are mean to tense your muscles AND move at the same time, maybe leading to the confusion.

      As for the isometrics, I’m a huge fan. But you should try to steer to the hard stuff: crow stands, elbow levers, back and front levers from the bar, dragon flag holds, etc. There are great progressions to all these suckers. The tiger bend is another great isometric: Grace wrote about it last week, with some progressions too!

      Thanks for the comment on the deep breathing–you are right my man, it IS important! I will take your advice and schedule it for a future blog article my friend.

      Thanks again!

      Paul

      • Lenti

        Thanks for the reply Coach, appreciate it.

        About “dynamics”, yes probably the term relates to the dynamic tension material. I had read it in Charles Bronson’s Solitary fitness to describe exercises like E.g. using a towel, wrap it around ones hands, extend both arms in front of the chest parallel to the floor and pull apart as hard as possible for 10secs times 10 sets. Not unlike some of the bar pulls (Hulk pulls, Box pulls and Crucifix pulls) you included in the end of the CC pullups progressions. It is about similar practices that I was asking your opinion for really, rather than isometric bodyweight holds. Would make a great article for sure.

        Looking forward to seeing the article on breathing.

        Cheers,
        Lenti

        • Thanks buddy–you can take the credit when it eventually shows!

  • Randy Kirschner

    Hey Coach. First thanks for you introducing me to CC and calisthenic strength training. It’s opened up a whole new area of fitness and changed my entire focus on working out. I’m currently working through the steps using good behavior and trifecta and I see progress every week. Usually it’s just a rep but it’s progress!

    I have a couple of questions that I’m hoping you could shed some light on.

    1. Is CC3 a replacement for my current CC good behavior program? If not, how should the CC1 and CC3 programs be structured together?

    2. Do you recommend any type of supplemental workouts that I can do on my off days from good behavior? I’m struggling trying to find something that will complement the program and focus more on just getting a good sweat on.

    Thanks again!

    • Randy old buddy! I can’t tell ya how great it is to hear from ya. A rep a week is worth more than you know. Keep it up as long as you can, kid. I’m proud of ya! And for using the Trifecta.

      As for these here questions: CC3 is power training. It will not (it CANNOT!) replace any of the slow-strength stuff athletes are already hopefully doing, but it can enhance it! And I’ll give you plenty of ideas for programming in the book. One idea is to put a simple, low-rep power/explosive exercise at the front of each workout. It’ll ramp up your gains and charge your nervous system without tiring you for the muscle stuff.

      Supplemental workouts? If you are working those muscles hard and doing joint work (good fella) and you still got tones of energy, then howabout learning some skill stuff? Martial arts? Slack-lining? Parkour? Or some cardio–hiking?

      Lots of fun to be had with those limbs before your time is up, my man!

  • Simeon Reigle

    Hey Coach,
    Another great article, I was tempted to go try out the “Explosive Six” as soon as I finished reading it.
    I would really encourage you to write about survival athletics. Most everyone here would appreciate your take. Maybe you could do a Ten Commandments article to really feel out how much people want it.
    I’m looking forward to an article on deep breathing.

    Future Pheonix,
    Simeon

    • FP! Hey, great to hear from you again man! Thanks for such a positive comment! And be careful if you are gonna go out and practice explosives–start easy, and…

      Aw, you know this anyway, right dude?

      • Simeon Reigle

        Always protect yourself. 😉

  • Nick

    Hey Coach, I’ve read all your books so far and they are all awesome . I am an mma athlete and I need some help with structuring a program. I train in mma 2-3 hours per day and I have been following the good behavior program with abs grip calfs and neck work, stretching and I jump rope for cardio. Do you approve of this? How do I fit in explosive work?

    • Nick! This all sounds great–the good news is that there’ll be plenty of great stuff for you in CC3!

      I’m a big believer in the idea that explosive stuff shouldn’t be as draining as bodybuilding/strength training, which MUST drain the athlete to be effective. This is great news! It means throwing in explosives is actually pretty easy.

      If you are working three days per week, I’d start by picking three power exercises: a pull, a pushup, and a jump, and work them from 3-5 sets, one of each BEFORE each workout. Use low reps, crisp form and gradually feel your way. A perfect way to start! Move to more advanced stuff after a few months, once you have become used to the basics.

      Hope that helps, dude.

      • Nick

        Thanks Coach

  • Ariel Azvelos

    Hey coach, Thank you for your life saving books.
    I, always hated gyms and barbel workouts to the point I, stoped training at all.
    After i found your books and tried it everything became so clear.
    After I read C-mass deep breathing exercises became intresting to me, so i checked Bob hoffman book “The big chest book”.
    As I, read it something just dose’nt make sense. Bob only talk about deep breathing exercises with wights.
    Now for the questions.
    1.) In what stage of my proggresion do you think I need to add tham to my workout and if they are needed at at?
    2.) If you can give me some calisthenics deep breathing exersic?
    Thank you for your help in advance.

    • Ariel! Your comment really made me smile! I appreciate your words more than you could possibly know my friend. Thank you!

      Yeah, Hoffman’s book is just an example–but you CAN apply it to calisthenics, baby!

      1. Start now! You have been breathing your whole life, right?

      2. After every hard set, when you are breathing hard, stop and focus. Sit down and breathe deeply for ten reps. If you enjoy this, try more…after each workout, sit and practise deep breathing–any style, yoga, Taoist, Hoffman, anything–for a set time, maybe 3-5 minutes. Your goal is to use that time to supercharge your recovery: calm your breathing, get rid of toxins, relax overtonus points, center your mind, regulate your heartrate, etc.

      I’ve found that by doing this, I can cram HOURS of recovery into minutes, and get a wonderful start on the next recovery period. It works, bro. Try it and let me know your results!

      • Ariel Azvelos

        Thank you for your reply coach!
        I have another question for you.
        I am not very felxibele at all and i have to do something about it.
        As for today I am training 6 days a weak, one muscle group a day.
        So I wanted to add a streching workout but i dont know when and where.
        What’s your tought about it ?

        • Sean ;-)

          A suggestion, if you don’t mind, is you could make use of your recovery time between sets to perform a stretch AS your recovery that focuses on the areas you are working on or want to work on. Mobility isn’t supposed to be strenuous so I can’t see how this would interfere with your day to day recovery. Al and Coach have good examples to incorporate from their books as a starting place.

        • Rodolfo Oliveira

          Trifecta from CC2 after your workouts to deload bro. Will work wonders.

  • Dean

    A no-hands kip-up?! I can’t wait for this! Excited to hear about this new book.

    • Thanks my man–I really hope you like the sucker!

  • amar

    Who is that guy with the headband? Looks like a beast! And this book looks amazing!

    • That’s Luciano Acuna Jr. He does some AWESOME demos in the book from what I hear! 🙂

      • amar

        Jesus he is a beast, just found out he is a stunt man! Really looking forward to this book now.

  • Leo

    Hey Coach,
    I can do a one arm Bar Hang for 30s max each side, but I can’t do it any longer (been practising for 1-2 Months). Step 5 of the Hang Progression is easily approachable, in fact easier. Should I move to this step?
    Leo

  • Roman

    Hey Coach,

    Just wanted to say that I love your first two Convict Conditioning books and look forward to the third volume. I follow a 3x week protocol (I’m on at least step 5 with each of the Big Six), but I feel like I can handle more. Any suggestions on how to hybridize the strength sessions with explosive training? I am by no means a veteran athlete but I’ve been working out long enough to have gained decent recovery skills.

    Keep doing what you do!

    Roman

  • Hey again Coach. One thing I never understood is why most of the progression standards call for 3 sets but programs like Good Behavior require 2 working sets. I’ve been progressing at 2 but should I be spending more time on each level and do 3 working sets of the exercises that require 3 to progress?

    • BG

      Hey Randy! 3 sets are only advised for the first three stages of each progression (except for the handstand progression). When you use a program like Good Behavior you are already working on the Big Six, which implies that you have mastered the first 6 steps of the Big Four and thus only need 2 working sets (except for the first three bridge movements).

      But as Paul Wade states in C-Mass Calisthenics you don’t REALLY need that third set, because you only need to exhaust your muscles twice to pull the trigger for muscle growth. The third set is more for practice and endurance than for strength or muscles.

  • anthony

    hey coach,

    i can’t wait for CC3, this is going to be amazing, it’s been amazing thus far, but i have a feeling that this is going to be beyond amazing, thank you for every bit of knowledge you’ve given us

  • 囚徒健身

    不错的书,期待出中文版。我已经买了囚徒1和囚徒2。

  • Podcon

    Thank you for your masterpieces Coach. I think reading your first book
    is one of the best choices i’ve even made. It has made a huge difference and helped alot in my life.
    I can’t wait for number 3.

  • Maxim

    You are awesome Coach! I am very interested in how explosive training combines with the previous moves, is it bigger priority than strength or muscle, thanks for everything you are the man!

  • Maxim

    And what principles apply to explosive training? Strength or muscle building principles? probably something in between but what exactly, for example: keep fresh and do many sets, or go all out, frequency etc. Hope this kind of info will be in the book 😀

  • Devin Garfield

    I’m excited about your 3 book. The first 2 kicked Ass! Your teachings have given me something to look forward to each workout. It’s changed my life man! I’d like to shake your hand and thank you in person but I guess this will have to suffice. Thank You my brother!

  • Shahbaz

    Great effort! When will it be available on torrent? 😛

  • Srael Cohen

    Can you give the first step, you know just to wet our beeks!

  • Ian Bajwa

    Hey Coach I wanted to thank you for all your hard work! I’ve been doing muay thai for about two years now and last year I tried to supplement my daily training with a 5×5 strength training workout which involved weights. It was something I did not enjoy doing nor could I work up the motivation to even go to the gym for. If it wasn’t for you I’d still be left seeing weight lifting as my only option of gaining strength. The big six exercises you introduced into my life have kept me going and continues to make training fun for me.

    However lately it’s been about 5 sessions and I have not been able to see an increase in reps for my pushups (step 6), handstands (step 3) and hanging leg raises (step 7). I’m currently doing the upper/lower body workout routine you have listed in the C-Mass book. Do you have a possible solution to help with my plateau? Should I change up my routine or tackle these steps by doing high sets and low reps?

    Any help would be appreciated and thank you for everything. Definitely looking forward to finally learning how to do flips!

  • Edwin

    Hey, quick question. I was looking at the different programs and they usually involve 2 – 3 work set’s per workout. What exactly constitutes a work set? If the intermediate standard for a certain power move is 2 sets of 25, would that be a workset?

  • isondart

    What’s up Coach!

    Thank you for writing
    the CC books. Progressions of body weight exercises has changed the way I workout
    and reinvigorated my passion for exercise. I’ve been working on your big six
    exercises and have been making steady progress, and on the ones that I am on
    the master step for, I am focusing on perfecting the form.

    Looking forward to the Explosive Calisthenics book, I think it’ll be the best one yet! (February seems so far away!) I’ve been looking for plyometric progressive workouts so
    this is right up my alley.

    So related to this, There is this one exercise that I used
    to do in junior high (im 40 now), that I learned by watching some Bruce Lee
    interview or documentary back in the day. Let me see if I can describe it.

    He would jump from his feet onto his hands into a perfect
    handstand, hold it for a beat or two, then exploded from his hands back to his
    feet, and then continued for reps.

    Have you ever seen this exercise or know what it’s called?

    Thanks Coach!

    • W1LD

      bacjside handspring or “flick-flak”, hardness of this move is compatible for backflip

      • isondart

        Great! Thanks for the reply!

  • Gurvinder

    Hey, iv currently just started the convict conditioning series and would like to know if i would have t wait until i get to a certain period or step in the movements before i even start this book? (Whenever it comes out) for example at least 7 or be able t certain movements for certain reps before attempting to start these movements. Thank you.

    • Les Gross

      I’m guessing you would have to have at least a basic level of strength- strong pushups for example. Clapping pushups are probably the first step of the explosive pushup family so I imagine you need to be at least step five or six. Then again, the progressions could start against a wall and progress to the floor, much the same as regular pushups.
      The suicide jump looks to be the most beginner friendly move, so as long as you are strong enough to jump vertically, you should be able to begin the progressions, which I suspect start simply with…well, jumping.
      The muscle-up is a different story however, as you’ll definitely have to have a strong foundation of pullup and dip numbers.
      Just my speculation.

  • ridz

    when is cc3 coming out?

    • ungu

      Coach replied in the comments, it would come out late February.

      • Srael Cohen

        its march…

        • ungu

          yeah they had to delay it. it will be announced next tuesday.

  • Hope you guys are getting a lot of these printed for the first run. Gonna be a landslide of orders I’d imagine.Cant wait!!!

  • FinnPower

    Thought of adding my two cents. The CC approach to training is awesome! I never liked weights/gym at all, it just felt wrong for me. Becoming lithe and strong goes hand in hand with my martial arts training too, I wouldn’t want to become muscle-bound. I’ve introduced many people to progressive bodyweight training now, and am psyched about it. I’m looking forward to CC3 and wouldn’t mind if Coach wrote 10 more books, I’d probably get em all.

  • Naresh

    Hey coach wade how about adding human cartwheel and arieal to this mix. Great movements for lateral chain explosiveness.

  • ungu

    Convict Conditioning 3 will be announced on next Tuesday 🙂

    • anthony

      how do you know this, is there a link to a blog post or anything that you can share

  • Srael Cohen

    You know… it would be awesome to have the convict conditioning approach to front / back level and the muscle up!

  • anthony

    got the email yesterday and ordered my copy…this is going to be awesome

  • johny

    Bought it yesterday. If you are a fan of convict conditioning then buy it. Personally, its by far my favourite in the series. Its an excellent book!

  • bs

    you may try use app to track your progress for CC, there are many app available for android and ios

  • Mark Hermann

    I need to rediscover inner motivation and dedication. It’s begins here with Convict Conditioning. Breaking free from mental prison.

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