I am new to calisthenics and I am reading the book Convict Conditioning. I have to say, it’s great!
I know that a lot of guys here have read it too so I have some questions about the book.
My first question is that are all of the exercise done with 2 secs up, 1 sec pause and 2 secs down?
Secondly, I believe that I am not a total beginner to strength training (I think somewhere between starter and intermediate). So, with the first exercise of some movements, I can easily meet the intermediate or advanced standard right away with the right form and maybe right timing (at this moment, I presume the correct timing is as mentioned in the above question). How long do you suggest that I stick to this exercise? Is it one week or one month. For example, I (and most people) could meet the progression standard of the Wall Pushups. Should I perform this exercise for one month and move on to the next?
The last question is, regarding squat, that I see most people said when we squat, our back should be straight while in many pics in the book, the poser’s back is fairly bent. Which one is correct?
Please answer these questions for me.
Great advice, TaaronFoote! Thanks for helping out!
Thanks, TaaronFoote. Your answers are of more than help for me :D.
Thank you, Al Kavadlo, for creating this forum :)).
You’re welcome! Thanks for participating!
Al talks about that issue in his book Pushing The Limits! Basically feet together body straight is the ideal, but it’s so difficult and cumbersome that I can’t even recall seeing a completely perfect rep anywhere. Although Al and Jim Bathurst from beastskills.com (one of the models for CC) have put up vids of very good attempts, probably the best I’ve seen.
But in the real world, since you practically have to twist your body so much when your feet are together, it’s better to spread your legs. But, this should be minimal, I would shoulder width or less is ideal, but no more than 1.5x shoulder width. And with this modification you should be able to keep your body pretty straight and level. If you need to twist and lean a whole lot and spread your legs super far then you probably should just do an easier exercise instead.
I’ll look over the book.
I am at the first level of the Squat series in the Convict Conditioning, the shoulderstand squat. After 2 sessions of working, I have some questions. First, I will tell you about my “unsual” findings:
– When I keep my body locked straight, I feel the pressure is very hard on my arms, especially the biceps. Moreover, I feel breathing is a bit hard as well.
– After doing the exercise, I suffered from a pain right below my neck whenever I pull my head backwards
So my questions are:
– Are the above “symptoms” normal when doing this exercise or is my form uncorrect?
– Does the body need to form straight line from the toe to the torso?
– Before I know of the Convict conditioning, I could do the squat without any problem. Therefore, can I pass this exercise and move on the the second one, jacknife squat? If not, is there any substitute for this exercise?
In my opinion, shoulder stands are a great exercise, but they have no place in a beginner’s squat progression. Frankly, I am not a fan of most of the specific progressions in CC – especially the squats. That’s part of why I felt the need to create Pushing The Limits! I urge you to pick up a copy! 🙂
Thanks for the recommendation, Al. I will certainly look over the book for myself later since I dont want to just read books and do no actual workouts. It is true that 1 book is never enough, especially about this wide subject as calisthenics but at least I need to spend some time to really study and follow what is taught in the book to see it for myself.
Anyway, if you said so about the squat series of the CC, then I think I may pass the first exercise and go right to the second one.
Regarding the CC, I think there are many guys out there sharing your opinion as well. The paradox I see is that although many people claim the CC is the no.1 book for calisthenics and the book itself also assure that if you use what is taught in the book, you will be strong and muscular over the period, I however havent seen a lot of “convict conditioners” with amazing results.
Thanks again for the advice, Al :).
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