So here’s the final part on my experience with following Convict Conditioning for a few months now. If you want an introduction to the approach and to my thoughts on it you can read the first part here while the second part can be found here. For this one I chose a QnA format.
- Q: Is CC a good program to follow if you want to build strength?
A: Yes. I have seen strength gains in all exercises. I used to break form when doing pushups after a few ones while now I perform
12-1316-17 strict ones in a set without going to failure and with a 2-1-2 tempo (doesn’t sound impressive but take into account that that’s more than a minute under tension while the progression standard is 2 sets of 20). I can almost descend to the bottom position of a pistol squat which is something I could never do before. I learned to get up on a wall headstand and hold it for 2 minutes or more and can hold a crow pose for about 30″ (currently and on a good day, that hold is tough as nails). I have gotten reasonably stronger in my pullups even though I haven’t reached the full pullup step yet and my grip gives out much later than it used to. There is no magic there, it’s a solid strength training approach.
- Q: Is CC a good program to get big?
- A: It depends on two things: what you mean by big and how fast you expect to get there. CC is not a bodybuilding program therefore if you’re after the bodybuilder physique it’s not going to give you that. Moreover, CC involves a lot of skill and acrobatic work. Which immediately raises the level of difficulty making progress slower. Honestly speaking there are faster training approaches to get big, CC is a slow program and it is tough. But you will be seeing results along the way. I am a skinny guy to begin with and I have put on about 3kg on a lean bulk diet in approximately 3 months. Considering the fact that my waist has not gotten noticeably bigger you could say that a good deal of that is muscle. I see a difference on every muscle group and generally feel I’m headed where I want to be in regards to size. Building muscle depends a lot on your genetics as well. If your muscle synthesis capacity is better and you are stronger in the progressions you will get bigger. At the end of the day getting bigger is a product of strength, the discipline you follow makes little difference.
- Q: Is CC a good program to get ripped?
A: If there’s any point in time I’ve ever seen ab definition then it’s after I started doing the CC progression on Leg Raises. I have not even started the hanging from the bar work yet, at the time of writing I’m on Step 4: Frog Leg Raises (really tough one for me considering the 4s descend). I am not very low on BF, probably around 14-15% but I can see some upper ab definition when flexing. So far it seems to me that the ab work that CC includes is great for building a six pack. Revealing it is a diet story.
- Q: Do I have to do CC alone?
A: I do the CC progressions combined with some of my own. I believe in having fun with your training. My choice is only bodyweight exercises, but would you want to do something beyond CC I don’t see why you shouldn’t. As all experts say, make sure you eat well, rest enough and results will come.
So there it is. After almost 8 months I’ve summed all I can say (up to this point) about Convict Conditioning in something more than 2000 words. Looking forward to the conclusions and results of the next 8 months.