A few people have asked me what kind of results I’ve seen from doing Convict Conditioning. I support my earlier assessment that Convict Conditioning includes the best bodyweight exercises and that those exercises would be a valuable part of any workout routine. The progressive training steps for each exercise are sensible and realistic as well.
The one criticism is that the designated workout routines were a bit lacking in intensity. I like to get that nice “HGH flush” and honestly feel a sense of accomplishment when I’m covered in sweat by the end of a workout. Convict Conditioning, while requiring a lot of strength, was a workout I could perform and not shower after in many occasions. So I’ve decided to keep performing the exercises but as part of a broader workout routine.
Below are the results I achieved. I generally don’t like providing results because each person will have different success with different routines. However, I’m hopeful this will give you a better sense of what Convict Conditioning entails. Each exercise has 10 progressions. While Convict Conditioning recommends starting from the beginning, I wanted to speed the results along by starting at a point where I could successfully complete the recommended number of repetitions.
One Arm Pushups
- Started by doing 2 sets of 20 reps on step 5: full pushups.
- Currently performing 2 sets of 10 reps on step 9: lever pushups
- This provided a great way to make pushups more challenging while focusing on low rep strength training.
One Leg Squats
- Started by doing 2 sets of 20 reps on step 5: traditional squats
- Currently performing 2 sets of 10 reps on step 8: 1/2 one leg squats
- One leg squats are really challenging. I find that I have trouble maintaining my balance as I try to go lower than half way. I usually don’t like leg training, but I will continue to incorporate one set of one leg squats as part of my plyometrics training exercises.
One Arm Pull Ups
- Started by doing 2 sets of 10 reps on step 5: full pull ups
- Currently performing 2 sets of 8 reps on step 5: full pull ups
- That is not a typo above. Pull ups actually decreased during this time. However, that requires some explanation. I started by doing pull ups the same way I always have by incorporating a really explosive upward motion, freefall downward motion, and repeat as fast as I can. Now I do pull ups in a much more challenging way: 2 seconds up, 2 seconds down. This balances the strength requirement for the up motion and forces me to maintain control for the negative rep. It provides a much better workout than rapid pull ups.
Hanging Straight Leg Raises
- Started by doing 2 sets of 10 reps on step 10: hanging straight leg raises
- Currently performing 2 sets of 20-25 reps on step 10: hanging straight leg raises
- I had prior experience with leg raises so immediately jumped right into the final step. I have managed to significantly improve my endurance though. This is one of the three ab exercises I recommend along with planks and renegade rows.
Stand to Stand Bridges
- Started by doing 2 sets of 10 reps on step 4: head bridges
- Currently performing 2 sets of 10 reps on step 7: wall walking bridges (down)
- I’ve had past experience with back bridges back in high school and have maintained pretty good flexibility and back strength. This really took back bridges to a whole new level though.
One Arm Handstand Pushups
- Started by doing 1 set of 1 minute on step 1: wall headstands
- Currently performing 1 set of 1 minute on step 2: crows stands
- This is definitely the most difficult progression for me. First of all, this is the last exercise I do in the routine so my arms are already tired from pushups and pull ups. Additionally, I’m not used to performing isometric holds. The first time I tried to do step 2, I only lasted 10 seconds. Now I’m around 1 minute so I’m just about ready to progress to step 3.
Revised Convict Conditioning Workout Routine
I’ve started weight training again and haven’t seen a decline in any of my lifts. I’m still doing a full set of Convict Conditioning exercises one day per week and have added circuit training on that day. On the other days, I perform a regular strength training routine and include the Convict Conditioning exercises as part of my conditioning workout. I really do think these are some of the best bodyweight exercises and would highly recommend including them in your regular routine.