Recommendation: Convict Conditioning

I actually shy away from telling people I use Convict Conditioning, not because there’s anything wrong with it, but because I don’t want to come across like I’m trying to be hardcore. I am not even slightly hardcore. I admit this freely. I just like the program.

See, I know strength training is important, but I have a few problems actually doing it.

  • Time. Or more to the point, scheduling. I already go to the gym 2-3 times a week to run when it’s cold, and it’s hard to find more time to add to that.
  • I don’t own weights to use at home, and I’m trying not to spend money so I’m not going to buy any.
  • Lifting is boring. I realize a lot of people find it more interesting than running, but at least when I’m running I can listen to a podcast and not have to worry about dropping 50 pounds on my foot because I wasn’t paying enough attention.
  • I just don’t know how to do it. I don’t know what exercises to do, how much I should lift, how many reps I should do. There are a ton of programs out there, but I’m not interested enough to spend a bunch of time evaluating different ones.

Convict Conditioning mostly solves these problems for me.

  • I can do it at home1, whenever I get a few spare minutes.
  • The only equipment I’ll ever have to buy is a pull-up bar, eventually.
  • I can watch TV while doing it, as long as I set aside enough brain cells to count my reps. I’m pretty sure I did a bunch of extra squats yesterday, so maybe I should work on this one.
  • For me, this is the best part — each exercise is divided into 10 steps of increasing difficulty, and the web site has a flowchart that tells you exactly how many sets and reps of which step to do next. It eliminates ambiguity, which is exactly what I need a strength training program to do.

I’m sure the best way to do CC is to use the book, but again, trying not to spend money. I’m not saying don’t buy the book, and I’d like to someday, but if you have to you can get by with the web site and the YouTube channel. So far I’m making slow but steady progress, and more to the point, I’ve kept at it.

In other beating-my-body-into-shape news, one week of marathon training down, 17 to go!

1It turns out that being overweight and having crap upper body strength is a bad combination for doing pull-ups. Who knew, right? I can’t even do 10 reps of step 2 on the pull-up progression, and I’ve spent weeks trying. So right now I’m using the assisted pull-up machine at the gym to try to build up a little strength.