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Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
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enderilluminatus Offline
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Post: #1
Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
I'm starting with the most basic program:

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This is my Monday:

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[Image: GPad2nF.png]

This is my Friday:

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I did my workout and went 10/10/10 on the pushups and 9/1/3 on the leg raises. My questions so far:

Am I supposed to be doing sets of work sets? Like 2-3 sets of 1 set of 10, 2 sets of 20, and 3 sets of 40 progressively for vertical pulls?

When I do my leg raise workout are my knees supposed to stay together? I can't get mine very high at all unless I spread them apart.

I can't get into the position at all for the squat workout. Do I just keep trying and wait until I'm strong and lean enough?

I know a lot of guys here have tried it because of Roosh's recommendation. I'm looking to make this program my lifestyle and am in no rush for huge muscles. I appreciate any and all help you guys provide.

I will also upload videos if that helps with commenting on my form. Thanks again.

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12-15-2014 02:46 PM
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Hannibal Offline
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
(12-15-2014 02:46 PM)enderilluminatus Wrote:  I did my workout and went 10/10/10 on the pushups and 9/1/3 on the leg raises. My questions so far:

Am I supposed to be doing sets of work sets? Like 2-3 sets of 1 set of 10, 2 sets of 20, and 3 sets of 40 progressively for vertical pulls?

When I do my leg raise workout are my knees supposed to stay together? I can't get mine very high at all unless I spread them apart.

I can't get into the position at all for the squat workout. Do I just keep trying and wait until I'm strong and lean enough?

I know a lot of guys here have tried it because of Roosh's recommendation. I'm looking to make this program my lifestyle and am in no rush for huge muscles. I appreciate any and all help you guys provide.

I will also upload videos if that helps with commenting on my form. Thanks again.

I know the author says to not ever go to failure and to leave reps in the bank, but if you're only hitting each lift once a week you can definitely go to failure, or real close to it.

I'm not sure what you mean by "work sets". I was under the idea that you "test" your comfortable training max for two or three sets and then you slowly add a rep each week or every other week until you hit whatever goal, then you add another set.

Yes your knees need to be together. You likely have very tight hamstrings. That's what you might call active flexibility.

I would do regular bodyweight squats (with good form, there's no added weight so you might as well have perfect form) and then practice the shoulderstand squat if you think it is valuable. I don't, it looks useless to me. There's a reason why gymnasts don't really consider the single legged squat a skill. It's not hard to get if you're relatively lean and it should be the fastest skill that you reach the mastery step for.

Also, don't agonize too much about your form. You should try to get perfect form when you try to test out of an exercise onto the next one, but if you're new to a certain exercise and you're struggling with some aspect of the flexibility or balance required, just set a stopwatch for 10-20 minutes and try to do as many perfect reps as possible with no regard for structured shit like reps, sets, time between sets, or cadence. Too often you'll see guys try something new, fail at it, and then bitch on the internet about how it's impossible or "oh god what am i supposed to do to progress, there's no way I can even get four reps in a set". This is one of those things where you'll likely have to identify your own problems to see where your shortcomings lie.

I did convict conditioning for six months, it works but I had to increase the volume to see any gains.

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If you want some PDF's on bodyweight exercise with little to no equipment, send me a PM and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
(This post was last modified: 12-15-2014 03:14 PM by Hannibal.)
12-15-2014 03:13 PM
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Hades Offline
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
You're hitting pushups, leg raises, pullups, and squats.

Skip the shoulderstand squats, they are worthless. Go straight to bodyweight squats.
You can milk gains from regular pushups for a long time.

The other two steps are bridges and hspu progressions. Try to start hitting these soon.

Once you can safely kick into a handstand against the wall, start doing that for time. Go for three or four sets of 30 seconds. Try to work up to eight to ten sets of 60 seconds. Once you get to the next step (I think it is 1/4 hspu) don't bother with using the basketball, the author's forced inclusion of the basketball everywhere is foolish. Just do little handstand pushup dips for sets of ten on top of stacks of phonebooks. Keep trying to get lower over time, though it will take you about six months to get to a hspu.

Bridges are a somewhat useful movement, you should be able to start at least doing the first couple progressions for it. IIRC it's basically an unweighted pelvic thrust.
12-15-2014 07:05 PM
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VolandoVengoVolandoVoy Offline
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
Interesting

"Me llaman el desaparecido
Que cuando llega ya se ha ido
Volando vengo, volando voy
Deprisa deprisa a rumbo perdido"
(This post was last modified: 12-15-2014 08:23 PM by VolandoVengoVolandoVoy.)
12-15-2014 08:22 PM
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Frank Rook Offline
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
FR-Congratulations on starting. Been doing CC for just a little over a year now. I'm regularly using Good Behavior & occasionally Veterano as my current schedule.

Am I supposed to be doing sets of work sets? Like 2-3 sets of 1 set of 10, 2 sets of 20, and 3 sets of 40 progressively for vertical pulls?

FR-My understanding is those are progressive work sets. Start slow. Then build up to the progression standard before you can move on to the next Step. Don't worry about not even making the Beginner Standard at first. If all i can hit at a particular time are 5 reps, then i'll work from there.

When I do my leg raise workout are my knees supposed to stay together? I can't get mine very high at all unless I spread them apart.

FR-Yes. Knees should be together in every Step in the Hanging Leg Raise series.
Just work on the earlier steps to build comfort. I was a fairly fit guy before i started & found my lack of flexibility & core strength when i first started out very humbling as well.

I can't get into the position at all for the squat workout. Do I just keep trying and wait until I'm strong and lean enough?

FR-Agree with Hades. Skip the Shoulder Stand Squat. I did come back to it later, though. But i did not bother with hitting Progression Standards. Just wanted to see if i could do it. I can comfortably do Single Leg Pistol Squats (Master Step) now without having put in a lot of time on this first step.

(Note: If you feel you need to diet off a certain amount of weight, the author advocates doing that in the book while still working your way as much as possible through the steps)

I know a lot of guys here have tried it because of Roosh's recommendation. I'm looking to make this program my lifestyle and am in no rush for huge muscles. I appreciate any and all help you guys provide.

FR-Yes. Take your time & have fun with this program. It does make one considerably stronger if done properly. Don't forget the sleep & nutrition aspect of course. I still haven't mastered all 6 Master Steps yet, but having fun getting there.

-FR

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12-16-2014 03:15 AM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
I finally figured out how to set up Level 2 pull-up exercises.

I roped two strands of thick rope around a ceiling beam in my basement, then looped the bottom ends of each rope to an un-used broom handle. Then I carefully tied knots in the bottom end, so that the broomstick was the perfect height off the floor.

Instant adjustable pull-up machine. Smile

---------------------

Am currently in level 3 push-ups (can do three sets of almost the progression standard, level 3 leg raises (can do three sets of almost the progression standard), level 2 pull-ups (can barely hit two sets of beginning standard), and level 4 squats (just hit the intermediate standard today).

I love how my body "fails nicely" when I do an exercise that's three levels beyond my current strength, and I really love how consistent discipline in this program makes me functionally stronger. (I smiled so broadly when I was finally able to do a full squat - level 5 - without falling backwards.)

I'm currently running a one-day-on, one-day-off, alternating schedule. If I feel any pain in my joints - particularly elbow or knee - I'll take an extra day off, which heals it. I feel like my joints are getting stronger through these exercises. Smile

I also insist on "perfect form" before I move on to the next progression standard. So no heavy breathing, extra rest, or any other form-corrections.
(This post was last modified: 04-19-2015 11:56 PM by MMX2010.)
04-19-2015 11:54 PM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
I got into this in a similiar way to you, I started at the beginning and I'm still working my way through it.

Although, because a lot of the earlier steps are too easy, what I did was just go for the 'advanced level' of like 3 x 50 of each step straight away, first time. And if I managed it, I would then just go to the next 'advanced' level for the next step, just to prove to myself I could do it, and to get through the book quicker.

Although I missed out shoulderstand squats, because they were harder on my upper body than lower body, lol so it felt an absolutely pointless exercise to do. I'm also struggling with the steps where you use a ball to balance and end up using something solid instead and moving on.

I'm still working out the best way to go through it, I want to do a lot more volume than those routines, for example all six exercises every 2 days. But my back is constantly aching and feeling tired, so I may have to cut down the pullups I'm doing.
04-20-2015 06:22 AM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
IIRC - Straight shoot:

The book was written under a pseudonym by John Du Cane (a Brit, and note the Britishisms that litter the book) who has never been in prison. Like most DragonDoor products, a gimmick has been attached to attract attention.

For anyone that doesn't know, the book is sold as a low-volume linear progression program calling for two-four days per week of training. The book's argument is that it allows one to remain 'fresh', so that utmost attention can be given to practicing the movements. (The author also claims this is how prisoners train – try not to chuckle – so that they are always be ready for physical confrontation.) It's essentially a vague stab at Pavel Tsatsouline's concept of building strength.

The problem:

Doing wall push ups, shoulder-stand squats and nigh on everything up until level 5 for 3 sets/1 x week will not get you fit or burn fat, let alone strong. However, it is easy and is likely why the book has moved the units it has - ignoring the gimmick. Take a look at the logs on the Dragondoor forums. There are people who have stuck to the program religiously for years who have barely got anywhere – and would look like absolute shit if they posted photos.

In short, while the progressions are sound, it's not enough work to get someone fit, healthy or muscular. You could try the variations DD forum users recommend (GTG approach, one move per day/all movements x 5days per week etc), but then you wouldn't be doing CC. Anyway, I'd seriously consider going with Tsatsouline's The Naked Warrior, which is a much improved stab at the low volume BW strength building approach. (Though keep in mind it's meant for individuals training for other endeavors. If you aren't working construction, training for a sport etc it is TOO LITTLE work to get one fit. And it will not get you anywhere near a decent body.)

My advice? Chalk it up to error and download Never Gymless by Ross Enamait or join a gym and show Victor Pride some love by buying Body of a Spartan. If you think CC is a workout you'll have a heart attack when you see what that calls for.

[My creds: Just under a decade around the KB scene and Dragondoor.]
(This post was last modified: 04-21-2015 11:09 AM by Grizzly Bear.)
04-21-2015 11:05 AM
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Menace Offline
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
I'm curious what body weight stuff people do as a supplement to lifting weights.
04-21-2015 12:00 PM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
(04-21-2015 12:00 PM)Menace Wrote:  I'm curious what body weight stuff people do as a supplement to lifting weights.

It depends how hard you're lifting and what your goals are. Personally, I try to get a couple of days/week in where I do light calisthenics - bw squats, pressups, situps, HeSPU, pullups. No added resistance, sub max reps, shooting to increase total volume over time, rather than intensity of individual sets.

So for example, if I'm doing 5 days hard lifting in the gym, with intense conditioning each time, I'll set a rep goal for a few body weight exercises for the week, and just try to hit it comfortably during the time I'm outside of the gym. EG. This week, I've done 1000 pressups, 2000 situps, 300 chinups, 3000 bw squats, 100 HeSPUs, 800 neck curls.

The purpose of this is to just get extra work in and put blood through the muscles I'm already working. My max pressups in 2mins, for example, is 93 at the last test. But I may not do a single set of pushups over 50 reps, basically operating at 50% intensity. It doesn't place any great demands on my recovery ability, but allows me to make steady progress.
04-21-2015 12:30 PM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
I'd also second the opinion that Convict Conditioning is basically a marketing scam aimed at conning wanna-be tough middle class whiteboys into thinking they could hang with Cali's toughest gangs. From reputable sources, my understanding is that many prisoners in tough jails who take their fitness seriously will do 1000 burpees/day 6 or 7 days per week, and thousands of bodyweight squats, pushups and pullups every single day. Any manual claiming you can get fit, or strong, or ripped doing a few pushups twice a week is lying to you.

Strength and conditioning is hard won, through frequency, intensity, and consistency. Most of Convict Conditioning is a warm up for anyone serious about fitness or performance. I have a copy and I wouldn't follow one of their routines if you paid me.
04-21-2015 12:41 PM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
(04-21-2015 12:00 PM)Menace Wrote:  I'm curious what body weight stuff people do as a supplement to lifting weights.

1. Conditioning, I.e. the classic deck of cards workout, or timed sets.

2. Supplementary to the big lifts if in sets of 3-5 for around 8-15 reps. Difficult* BW exercises - hanging leg raises, single arm push-ups, handstand (holds), single leg squat, one arm pull (holds) - or ones you can easily add weight to (dips, pull ups).

*Relative to you, not anyone else.
04-21-2015 12:44 PM
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Menace Offline
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
Got it, thanks gents. I have this book, so it's good to know the caveats about it. I guess I fell prey to the marketing scam. I'll try incorporating some of the harder types of push ups, leg raises, etc.
04-21-2015 03:05 PM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
This week I've been doing all of the big six exercises every day, except for a couple days I left out squats cos I had football or running.

I already am making progress doing this, and its not as hard as I thought it would be, I think I could even add some weightlifting on top of it. , maybe its just because my muscles are getting a lot better at working together, I feel a lot stronger, even though my strength is probably the same or only slightly improved.

I disagree that its all a scam, the master steps and steps leading up to it are ridiculously hard.
04-24-2015 07:04 AM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
(04-21-2015 12:00 PM)Menace Wrote:  I'm curious what body weight stuff people do as a supplement to lifting weights.

I do pushups and pullups every morning, at lunch/first break, and before I go to bed. This is done whether I hit the gym or not.

The only person who ought to give a fuck if they detract from a workout is me, and I don't.

Several times a week I also do handstand pushups and/or dips. Usually no more than ten-twenty reps total divided into however many sets I feel like. It took me about six months to get to where I could do handstand pushups consistently for triples, and I'm not going to let that skill disappear.
(This post was last modified: 04-24-2015 07:55 AM by Hades.)
04-24-2015 07:54 AM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
(04-21-2015 11:05 AM)Grizzly Bear Wrote:  My advice? Chalk it up to error and download Never Gymless by Ross Enamait

I downloaded this and will read and practice it over the weekend, starting it on Monday. Thank you for recommending this, I skimmed it and it looks great.
04-24-2015 09:50 AM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
(04-24-2015 07:04 AM)RedPillUK Wrote:  This week I've been doing all of the big six exercises every day, except for a couple days I left out squats cos I had football or running.

I already am making progress doing this, and its not as hard as I thought it would be, I think I could even add some weightlifting on top of it. , maybe its just because my muscles are getting a lot better at working together, I feel a lot stronger, even though my strength is probably the same or only slightly improved.

I disagree that its all a scam, the master steps and steps leading up to it are ridiculously hard.

Listing tough exercises is not the same as putting together a comprehensive program with a suitable model for progression. The Master Steps, if I remember correctly, are one arm chins, HSPUs, back bridges from standing, etc. These are all excellent exercises that are fantastic strength builders and demonstrators.

Your own post says 'it's not as hard as I thought it would be' 'I could add weightlifting on top' 'my strength is at best only slightly improved' (paraphrasing that last one - not sure what time period you are referring to). That doesn't sound like a particularly effective program to me, unless your goals are to be not noticeably stronger, and to leave you wondering if you should be doing more.

This is not a personal attack, there are many excellent bodyweight only programs (Ross Enamait being the very best, in my opinion, for anyone with performance goals). I would encourage you to remain skeptical about the program (and about my advice too - fair is fair), until you are a little more seasoned. If it is an option for you, I would strongly encourage getting Never Gymless. It's the real deal. Having done a number of bodyweight programs myself a few years ago (including CC), and developed a reasonable proficiency, it is still my opinion that CC is a marketing scam and a far from optimal method of training for almost everyone. Even The Naked Warrior is far superior.
04-24-2015 10:54 AM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
(04-24-2015 09:50 AM)Honorable Man Wrote:  
(04-21-2015 11:05 AM)Grizzly Bear Wrote:  My advice? Chalk it up to error and download Never Gymless by Ross Enamait

I downloaded this and will read and practice it over the weekend, starting it on Monday. Thank you for recommending this, I skimmed it and it looks great.

Best thing you could have done. Enamait is the real deal, and very generous with his time (assuming you paid for it - he's one of the few people out there who really does deserve proper support). I followed Never Gymless when I was boxing and it got me into fantastic condition. Can't recommend it enough if BW is your thing.
04-24-2015 10:56 AM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
I don't have access to a gym right now, so BW is necessary for a while. And yes, I have a self-improvement fund for purchases just like this. Sometimes I end up spending money on things that don't help me, but that's nothing compared to how much money I've wasted on fast food.
04-24-2015 11:09 AM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
Thanks, H1N1. I downloaded Never Gymless and will look through it this weekend.
04-24-2015 12:13 PM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
(04-24-2015 11:09 AM)Honorable Man Wrote:  I don't have access to a gym right now, so BW is necessary for a while. And yes, I have a self-improvement fund for purchases just like this. Sometimes I end up spending money on things that don't help me, but that's nothing compared to how much money I've wasted on fast food.

Given the situation you've described, I cannot think of a better way you could have spent that money.
04-24-2015 12:32 PM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
(04-24-2015 12:13 PM)MMX2010 Wrote:  Thanks, H1N1. I downloaded Never Gymless and will look through it this weekend.

Good man. It's a fantastic book, and his website is full of DIY methods of building training tools.
04-24-2015 12:33 PM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
(04-24-2015 12:32 PM)H1N1 Wrote:  Given the situation you've described, I cannot think of a better way you could have spent that money.

Why don't you make a Never Gymless thread for logs and questions and link it here.
04-24-2015 12:59 PM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
(04-24-2015 10:54 AM)H1N1 Wrote:  
(04-24-2015 07:04 AM)RedPillUK Wrote:  This week I've been doing all of the big six exercises every day, except for a couple days I left out squats cos I had football or running.

I already am making progress doing this, and its not as hard as I thought it would be, I think I could even add some weightlifting on top of it. , maybe its just because my muscles are getting a lot better at working together, I feel a lot stronger, even though my strength is probably the same or only slightly improved.

I disagree that its all a scam, the master steps and steps leading up to it are ridiculously hard.

Listing tough exercises is not the same as putting together a comprehensive program with a suitable model for progression. The Master Steps, if I remember correctly, are one arm chins, HSPUs, back bridges from standing, etc. These are all excellent exercises that are fantastic strength builders and demonstrators.

Your own post says 'it's not as hard as I thought it would be' 'I could add weightlifting on top' 'my strength is at best only slightly improved' (paraphrasing that last one - not sure what time period you are referring to). That doesn't sound like a particularly effective program to me, unless your goals are to be not noticeably stronger, and to leave you wondering if you should be doing more.

This is not a personal attack, there are many excellent bodyweight only programs (Ross Enamait being the very best, in my opinion, for anyone with performance goals). I would encourage you to remain skeptical about the program (and about my advice too - fair is fair), until you are a little more seasoned. If it is an option for you, I would strongly encourage getting Never Gymless. It's the real deal. Having done a number of bodyweight programs myself a few years ago (including CC), and developed a reasonable proficiency, it is still my opinion that CC is a marketing scam and a far from optimal method of training for almost everyone. Even The Naked Warrior is far superior.

Maybe I wasn't clear, I was only talking about my progress that week. I kept it up all week, but been pretty tired and sore this weekend.

I'm just trying to understand the criticism for it.

I agree a lot of unneccesary steps are in there, and some useful exercises left out, for these progressions. I've had to figure out a lot of stuff myself.

Is that what people don't like? or is the actual idea of six exercise progressions chosen? Is there better exercises than those?
04-27-2015 08:33 AM
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RE: Ender's Convict Conditioning Log & Questions
Want to post my experience with CC.

I have been doing CC for a month now. I started with the very first steps and only skipped shoulder stands after I hit the progression standard. In other words if I was able to do the progression standard (3 sets of 50 with the short bridge for example) I moved to the next exercise.

I think there is some unwarranted criticisms here. For me this program has been working great and I have lost a lot of weight and had some good beginner gains. I have experience with crossfit and training in the military and I always kind of felt lost in how to progress. If I wanted to do more push ups for a PT test I would only keep doing pushups. Very basic shit with crossfit added in. After crossfit was banned from bases I was unable to go to the Crossfit cert classes. Now that I am doing CC I have a journal and all my workouts written down for each day. Meaning I have no excuses when I wake up. I don't have to think about what to work out I just look at my journal and do it. Too easy.

I like the approach too. Sure it is marketing and things like that but like everything else in life we should take the good and use it throwing the rest away. It's easy to get and I like that too.

Also, I have some injuries from the military and this program starting slow has kept me healthy. My back doesn't hurt as much, my broken hand isn't sore, my nerve in my leg has stopped tingling and honestly I feel and look much better than I have since I got out. Sure, I am new to this program but it has brought lots of value to my life. Not saying anything bad about any of the comments here just offering my experience with it so far.

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."
John 5:24 (KJV)
05-04-2015 08:48 AM
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