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  1. #1
    SjoerdAE is offline Junior Member
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    Default Dutch Convict Conditioning Journey

    Intro
    I started the CC-approach September 4th 2017. So Iím fairly new to this. Before starting I searched the web for others who have tried it and came to the conclusion that there wasnít much out there. Some individuals maintain(ed) a blog on their journey and of course I found the CC-vlog by Eoin OíChionnŠigh.


    Since I find it very useful to read other peoples experiences, I thought Iíd be good to serve something back. Hopefully other people will find it useful too. I'll do my best to post a new blog each month, so that one can follow my progressions.


    Tools
    Although very little is required for CC, there are two tools that I use worth mentioning.


    Just before I found CC, I build a ĎBarstarz-parkí (rack) in our backyard. That provides all that I need (and way more). Our children use it the most now, becoming kinda enthusiastic about calisthenics. So itís already worth building! To be honest, if I would have found CC before I would have build me a smaller one. But who knows, maybe one day I will actually begin to use all these awesome features.


    During my workouts, I use the Calistenics Mastery iOS-application by Zoltan Ferke. This man really is to be commended for what he created. It really helps during workouts, especially because of the audible feedback for pace. If you donít know the application, be sure to try it out for free!


    Pace
    I instantly adapted to the 2-2-1 pace. It's definitely more exhausting to do it this way, but it makes it possible to even gain strength from Wall Push ups. That says something!
    It's a matter of time to see for how long this pace will be doable for me. Paul Wade says things will start to change around step 6, so I'll be definitely taking it slowly for the upcoming months.


    First month
    Following Paul Wadeís advice, I started with the New Blood program. So no Bridges and Handstands here. Even though I was already able to do a good deal of push ups and even some pull ups, I started from scratch and worked hard on them all.


    Routine
    I tried different things throughout the month, hoping to find that perfect routine for my body. Both with extra sessions as extra exercises. Both turned out to be too fatiquing on my body, so they got ditched.


    I ended up using the New Blood 2.0 routine, working out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, alternating routines.


    Progressions
    Wall Push ups
    Worked on them for the entire month. At the end of September, my routine contained 3x50. Although that was enough to progress, I decided to keep doing them for a while noticing my wrists getting a great workout out of it. Since they are one of my weak spots I thought itíd be the wise thing to do.


    The lower frequencies were easy. But the higher it got, the more sore I felt. Itís a really simple and novice exercise, but I sure did gain strength (and endurance) from it.


    Knee Tucks
    These bastards were hard! Especially on my groins. I really had to stretch them good to prevent being unable to complete my workouts. No problem ab-wise, it was all about the groins.


    Eventually my reps were 2x32 / 1x22.


    Vertical Pulls
    I did them on a pole and they were embarrassing easy to me. It felt nice, but more like a good stretch. Later on, I decided to do them on a horizontal bar (sternum hight) placing my feet direct under the bar. That gave more of a workout, so I stayed with this one for a month as well.


    Shoulderstand Squats
    My neck is the other weak spot in my body. Obviously, Iím seriously hoping (expecting!) that to cure as well doing CC. It will take time though. My neck got something to endure with this workout. Also, compared to the rest of my physique, my back is fairly long. So it caused extra trouble to keep it up nice and straight. Sometimes it was quite painful on the hands and arms.


    Eventually my reps were 2x31 / 1x21.


    Second month
    I donít see much change in body definition, but I am noticing a significant strength gain. My muscles are harder than before and lifting things (e.g. our children) requires less effort. Itís good and stimulating thing to notice.


    Better eating also helps. My weight has dropped significantly the last year (all together around 10 kg). I think my weight wonít go down any further, though. Rather, it will probably go up once muscle starts to develop.


    Routine
    I think I found my eventual routine: Iíll workout every other day, alternating my schedule weekly. It seems to provide just about enough rest for me.


    Also, I decided to add Bridges again, yet in a slower pace. I really need the spinal benefits, so I sure donít want to wait until step 6 of Squats and Leg Raises. I figured that as long as Iím going slow, injuries will be avoided. Bridges are placed in conjunction with Pull ups and Squats.


    For grip training, I included the Hang Exercises in the Push ups and Leg Raises workout. Here too, I will go slow. So I'm starting out with the Horizontal Hang.


    Lastly, I decided to include Trifecta in my workouts. Paul Wade speaks so highly of it in CC2 that I just had to try them out. I use them to start and finish my workouts and sometimes on off days too.


    Current Trifecta Routine

    Straight Bridge Hold (step 2) - 2x19 sec
    Straight Leg Hold (step 2) - 2x15 sec
    Half Twist Hold (step 2) - 2x19 sec (both sides)


    I will progress onto the next step once I can do a straight 20 sec hold. So things are about to change.


    Progressions
    Incline Push ups
    Near the end of October (so after almost two months of Wall Push ups) I progressed onto the Incline Push ups. I was really ready for them; had seen more than enough of our wall print!
    I started out with 2x20 / 1x10. That was about right. Since then I'm progressing 2 reps per workout, which I plan to continue doing (unless it turns out to be too tough).


    Iím using the rack outside, a bar about hip height. That brings good leverage, making it a sturdy workout. I might try some close-grip reps as well.


    My chest is quite sore the next day, so I'm expecting quite some gain from this one.


    Current reps: 2x24 / 1x14


    Flat Knee Raises
    I decided to progress well before the progression standard. My groins made it unpleasant and since my core was definitely strong enough I decided to go on.


    Now with Flat Knee Raises, again Iím feeling my legs (front of the upper leg). Just as with the groins, they need a good stretch before starting this exercise.
    Different than with the first step, this time Iím really feeling my abs. Now I know itís not about the feeling, but it' provides helpful feedback's nice to know that Iím working out the right way.


    I started out with a 2-rep increase per workout, but had to cut back to 1. That seems to work well for me. It does mean that it will take me at least another two months to progress to step 3. Thatís fine though, that step isnít going anywhere. Right?


    Current reps: 2x29 / 1x19


    Horizontal Hang
    I first started off with the Bar Hang right away, but I switched back when I realized I rushed it unnecessarily. So Iím hanging from the horizontal bar now, hoping to increase my grip strength.


    Current reps: 3x18 sec


    Horizontal Pulls
    Right with the turn of the month, I progressed onto Horizontal Pulls. The book says to use a base at hip height, but the video talks about sternum height. I use the latter, finding that this exercise is really hard when performed well. Maybe I will go lower later on, but Iíll probably progress to the next step instead. Weíll see.


    Just as with the Flat Knee Raises I started off with a 2-rep increase per workout, which got cut back to just 1. It amazes me how hard this is. I will be using this step for quite some time. Thatís right, using! Itís not that I will be stuck here, Ďcause Iím sure the gains are/will be there.


    Current reps: 2x21 / 1x11


    Jackknife Squats
    These are easy. Itís only with the last workouts (almost progression standard) that Iím starting to feel my legs. I think that playing soccer for 15 years is due to this. There will be a point where the Squad-progressions will become (very) hard, though!


    I am still hearing a crack in my right knee (sometimes a louder in my left knee too). Hopefully this will go away by not progressing too quickly through the steps and thus conditioning the joints and soft tissue.


    Current reps: 3x40


    Short Bridge
    I started low and am progressing 2 reps per workout. After the first session I noticed a nasty headache. Probably because I went too far (to get a nice stretch, you know). Now that I'm taking it easy all seems to be well.


    I'm looking forward to that overall benefit of a strong spine. Seems to me that I'm going to be in the best shape of my life. Being 34 years old, that's about time!


    Current reps: 2x14


    Lights Out
    I'm really glad that I found CC. It will take a lot of time to progress through all of these steps (Ūf I will be able to accomplish that at all). Let alone being able to perform perfect Muscle Ups and Levers. Yet, those two are some of my (longer-term) goals. I think I will get there one day. Hopefully when still in my thirties! One progression at the time.


    In the meanwhile, I just plan to keep on enjoying my workouts (even the nasty ones like Flat Knee Raises!). And the strength that I'm gaining from it.


    Thanks for reading and a respectful bow to Mr. Wade! A job very, very well done.

  2. #2
    John Du Cane is offline Administrator
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    Excellent to see and many thanks for the detailed information!

  3. #3
    Maelstrom's Avatar
    Maelstrom is offline Administrator
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    Way to go!! You're off to an awesome start - be sure to keep in touch on here as well (and if you have questions) since PCC instructors, including myself, as well as Master PCCs Al and Danny Kavaldo check in to answer questions, too!

    You're starting at a great time, and are smart to take things slow. As we mentioned at the PCC workshop this past weekend, the early steps build a foundation of strength in the connective tissues along with the muscles.
    _____________________________________
    Adrienne Harvey, Senior PCC Instructor, RKC Level 2, CK-FMS, Fitness Strategist, Content Strategist
    Personal journey blog, recipes, workouts and fun:
    http://www.giryagirl.com

  4. #4
    conviction is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you for details
    A post from a while back tracking progress after 100 weeks of Convict Conditioning:

    Convict Conditioning 1: Week 100 of Veterano

    recent milestone (week 132)was doing first single wall handstand push-up.
    I am age 40.

  5. #5
    SjoerdAE is offline Junior Member
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    I tried to post a reply before, but it didn't seem to come through. Another try.

    Thanks for the replies. I do have one question already. I noticed that my neck starts to ache after the Pullups workout. Probably because it's under quite some tension during the workout.
    Any tips how to avoid it? Or is it just a matter of progressing slowly and letting my neck get used to the tension?

    @conviction: Great progression you made! Too bad your post didn't receive any replies at the time. Do you have any particular goals in mind CC-wise?

  6. #6
    conviction is offline Junior Member
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    I tried to post a reply before, but it didn't seem to come through. Another try.
    -similar experience with this forum

    Thanks for the replies. I do have one question already. I noticed that my neck starts to ache after the Pullups workout. Probably because it's under quite some tension during the workout.
    Any tips how to avoid it? Or is it just a matter of progressing slowly and letting my neck get used to the tension?

    -Progression through horizontal pulls took from week 9 to week 45 (36 weeks) in total. Neck tension could be result of body getting used to new exercise. Maybe video yourself doing exercise and potentially notice that neck in not in a neutral position? Check out Matt at RedDeltaProject[dot]com for some insightful videos on CC form and full body tension techniques which may help for pullups.

    @conviction: Great progression you made! Too bad your post didn't receive any replies at the time. Do you have any particular goals in mind CC-wise?
    -thanks. post was a benchmark and glad it can give persons starting some idea of how long this could take. This is no 10 week get fit program. Goal is to stay on the CC journey. The 1 arm chin-up will be a nice skill to achieve.
    Last edited by conviction; 11-13-2017 at 08:31 PM.

  7. #7
    conviction is offline Junior Member
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    I tried to post a reply before, but it didn't seem to come through. Another try.
    -similar experience with this forum

    Thanks for the replies. I do have one question already. I noticed that my neck starts to ache after the Pullups workout. Probably because it's under quite some tension during the workout.
    Any tips how to avoid it? Or is it just a matter of progressing slowly and letting my neck get used to the tension?

    -Progression through horizontal pulls took from week 9 to week 45 (36 weeks) in total. Neck tension could be result of body getting used to new exercise. Maybe video yourself doing exercise and potentially notice that neck in not in a neutral position? Check out Matt at RedDeltaProject[dot]com for some insightful videos on CC form and full body tension techniques which may help for pullups.

    @conviction: Great progression you made! Too bad your post didn't receive any replies at the time. Do you have any particular goals in mind CC-wise?
    -thanks. post was a benchmark and glad it can give persons starting some idea of how long this could take. This is no 10 week get fit program. Goal is to stay on the CC journey. The 1 arm chin-up will be a nice skill to achieve.

  8. #8
    SjoerdAE is offline Junior Member
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    36 weeks; that's a long period indeed! I plan to progress through them faster, although I won't be doing them exactly as the CC video prescribes. The bar I use is about sternum height (instead of hip height). Would you recommend using a lower bar before progressing? Than I'm sure it will take me another week or 12.

    I asked my wife to watch me train and she did notice that my neck was tilted a bit. Now that I'm keeping it more straight, the tension seems to get less fierce. Some of it will remain, I guess, since it's just a pretty though exercise.

  9. #9
    conviction is offline Junior Member
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    I worked through a few variations (table edge; bar) at hip height, but eventually moved to rings at sternum height and achieved progression standard. Also used blocks at heels so feet would not slide out of position.
    best of success. it is a journey.

  10. #10
    SjoerdAE is offline Junior Member
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    I'll keep using the bar at sternum height then. Thanks for thinking with me and good luck on your journey too!

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