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Tavis G

Gymnastic bodies book vs convict conditioning?

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Tavis G

SERIOUS DEBATE! I am debating to get Convict Conditioning Or Gymnastic Bodies. Convict conditiong sounds hardcore in testimonials and the descriptions. 100 one arm pushups is UNREAL! But gymnastic bodies has those "little" pieces of info that can take your strength to a new level. Can anyone help me which one is better? Does anyone have both? HELP!

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FREDERIC DUPONT

Get the Gymnastics body, even if Convict Conditioning offers (mostly) good progressions, it is a no contest! There is no debate!

CC will take you to CamelBack mountain, BtGB can take you on top of Everest (so to speak) :)

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Rik de Kort

CC sounds hardcore, but it actually kind of sucks. I tried it. More gains on a gymnastics-style routine in one month than on CC in four. The programming crappy, some progressions make little sense (uneven squats, really?), 'weightlifting is bad for your joints', etc. Not to mention the mythical one-arm handstand pushup and all-around broscience in the book.

Seriously, do gymnastics style training.

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nf46

Also, don't rule out "Overcoming Gravity" by Steven Low. The book offers a different approach to BtGB for some elements and also explains programming and creating a routine in great detail - something that the current edition of BtGB has been criticised for. That is not to suggest that either one is superior, both books have their strengths and weaknesses. Just something to consider. :)

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John Sapinoso

this thread made me :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

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Rik de Kort
Also, don't rule out "Overcoming Gravity" by Steven Low. The book offers a different approach to BtGB for some elements and also explains programming and creating a routine in great detail - something that the current edition of BtGB has been criticised for. That is not to suggest that either one is superior, both books have their strengths and weaknesses. Just something to consider. :)

I second Overcoming Gravity. Definitely one of the best books out there.

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Quick Start Test Smith

Speaking of "Overcoming Gravity", has anyone else noticed that Steven Low looks a lot like that asian agent in Prison Break? The one that was always smiling, although he never meant it? :lol::lol:

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Paradox

:facepalm: You are asking this question on a website dedicated to gymnastics oriented strength training created by the man who wrote Building the Gymnastic Body. How do you think people are going to reply? Judging by your syntax, I'm assuming you're a fairly young guy. Polite life advice: Put your critical thinking hat on and leave it on.

Convict Conditioning is a shallow book that barely reaches into the intermediate level of strength oriented training. It has good progressions for some of the movements, but it's not enough for a lifetime of training. To give you a bit of perspective, I have been exercising for only 5 months and I can do 3 of the master steps in CC (one arm pushup, hanging leg raises, pistol squats) and I'm capable of step 9 in the bridge progressions. I never trained the one arm pushups specifically, I just follow the GB WOD's and achieved the skill as a byproduct. The book is not worth it.

Overcoming Gravity is a good book. The first two sections of the book are spectacular, but the final section detailing the progressions for movements is subpar. I do have a hard time agreeing with a few things Steven wrote. However, the injury prevention section of the book alone is worth the money.

I remember reading somewhere, Tavis, that you are low on money and cannot afford BtGB yet. My suggestion in that case is to wait until BtGB ed. 2 is released later this year, but others may disagree.

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FREDERIC DUPONT
(...) BtGB ed. 2 is released later this year (...)

Oops, the cat is out! :D

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Cole Dano

It's not official yet to my knowledge but Coach is hard at work.

Don't forget, Coach just got Allen on the national team.

That's also part of the reason that anything Coach Sommer puts out will be in a league of it's own compared to the above mentioned material. There simply isn't anyone in fitness with Coach's level of qualification.

I'm not the fanboy type, but in this case, I feel this point can't be emphasized enough.

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nf46
That's also part of the reason that anything Coach Sommer puts out will be in a league of it's own compared to the above mentioned material. There simply isn't anyone in fitness with Coach's level of qualification.

I'm not the fanboy type, but in this case, I feel this point can't be emphasized enough.

Are you referring to the 2nd ed.? I ask this as I found BtGB ed. 1 was extremely confusing at parts, especially so when one is a beginner. The Overcoming Gravity book is much more comprehensive and is more focused on basic programming than BtGB ed. 1 is, so from that angle, is probably better for the beginner. Sorry to be blunt, but in my opinion, BtGB edition 1 cannot be said to be in a league of its own, if a 2nd edition must be written to clarify all of the mistakes and omissions in it.

Just my opinion :)

P.S. It's hard to get the right tone across on the internet sometimes, so just keep in mind that I think BtGB is a good book, and really contributed to the GST community. I am also grateful to Coach Sommer for sharing his knowledge through BtGB and the forum- it's a great resource that we have here :)

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Cole Dano
Sorry to be blunt, but in my opinion, BtGB edition 1 cannot be said to be in a league of its own, if a 2nd edition must be written to clarify all of the mistakes and omissions in it.

That's a little bit like saying a calculus text written by a PhD professor isn't as good as an algebra book written by a grade school teacher because you can't understand it.

The 2nd edition is more for beginners than the first, but that takes nothing away from the 1st edition, but it does assume a certain level of competence, that sadly was found to be lacking.

In fact I highly doubt there would be an Overcoming Gravity or Convict Conditioning if it weren't for Coach laying the foundation with his work in reaching out to the general population.

I think many people are living in a fantasy world where things that take many years to do should somehow be done now. Putting this program together isn't like popping a TV Dinner in the microwave.

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nf46

The point that I was trying to make is that you shouldn't confine other books to the scrap heap because BtGB is a good book. In my opinion, Overcoming Gravity has a lot of useful info that is not in BtGB ed. 1, and certainly neither book is inferior.

That's a little bit like saying a calculus text written by a PhD professor isn't as good as an algebra book written by a grade school teacher because you can't understand it.

Not sure what you meant by this comment :? . I assume that you are saying that BtGB is pitched at a higher level than the other books. If so then I would have to disagree. In parts, Overcoming Gravity is pitched at a lower level, but due to the book's enormous size it can afford to pitch at many different levels. We can see this from the fact that Overcoming Gravity has about 100 pages on program design and 250 pages on exercise description. BtGB has about 150 page on exercise description and 15 on program design. Are you telling me that in ~15 pages (with pictures) BtGB does what OG does in ~100 pages? I don't think so. That for me highlights the differences between the two books. If you want a list of progressions then BtGB is perhaps better as it includes progressions for leg strength (this is lacking in OG as Low believes that barbell work is more useful for leg strength). However, if you want to learn how to program a routine for advancement, then OG is by far and away the better option.

By the way Cole, have you read Overcoming Gravity? I ask as I find it hard to believe that someone who has read both books would instantly dismiss OG as inferior. (Unless I misinterpreted the quoted post above, in which case, I apologise :) )

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Cole Dano

Please don't misinterpret my words.

I'm not reviewing CC or OG here, I don't believe that would be appropriate.

My point is that Coach Sommer is an actual gymnastic coach, moreover one who consistently places athletes on the US national team. In fact he just did that again last weekend.

When this kind of person talks, I listen.

Nowhere did I dismiss any other book or author, nor will I on a public forum, but it should be clear that Coach Sommer does have unique qualifications that simply put him in another league.

Honestly I don't understand how this doesn't register.

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nf46

Ah, in that case I agree with you. I was just confused by this comment:

anything Coach Sommer puts out will be in a league of it's own compared to the above mentioned material
This does sound like a direct comparison to me, but I apologise if I have in anyway misinterpreted or offended you. :)

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Rik de Kort

That's a little bit like saying a calculus text written by a PhD professor isn't as good as an algebra book written by a grade school teacher because you can't understand it.

No, it's not like that at all. A very crucial aspect of a learning text is it's ability to convey information to the target audience. Do not tell me that the target audience in BtGB wasn't the common fitness enthusiast; because it was. Due to coach's limited experience with this audience, the book was a tad unclear.

What Overcoming Gravity and Building the Gymnastic Body teach very similar topics; building strength through gymnastics-style training. Each of them has a different approach, yes. But that would be more like a calculus text written by a mathematician (who will take more of an analytic approach, being rigorous) compared with a calculus text written by a physicist (who will take more of a practical approach).

Please understand that I'm not trying to offend anyone, but here's what I'm thinking:

You are solely basing your reasoning on an argument from authority (Coach's unique credentials). While authority is helpful in deciding in what order you're going to look at the information (the most credible source first), it would be a mistake to assume that a certain source is always right. You have to check if the advice itself given is valid (ie. consistent with earlier advice and training principles).

It is always good to broaden your horizons, as long as you keep a critical mind and don't believe everything you read. This is why I think it should be mandatory for everyone on every exercise forum to have a solid grasp of training principles (stress, recovery, adaptation, supercompensation, dual factor model, healing rates of various tissues in the body, training modalities, some biomechanics). It certainly doesn't need to be such an in-depth understanding as Coach, Joshua and Steven have, but you have to understand the basics.

Now I'd like to add that Coach is a very good source. Not once have I seen him contradict his own training principles. There are a few minor not-really-training-related things I don't fully agree with (heat in relation to tendonitis depends on the stage and individual), but coach is a very good source indeed.

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Paradox
(...) BtGB ed. 2 is released later this year (...)

Oops, the cat is out! :D

Haha, I'm completely going off of Coach Sommer's last forum post here :D: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4298&start=15

I'm fairly new here, so I know just as much as most everyone else here. And, yes, things change and Coach Sommer is obviously a busy man. That post was written a few months back, so things might be different now.

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Cole Dano

Rik did you notice who's name is at the top of the forum? No further comment.

Paradox I remember that comment, naturally we all hope the time line holds, I just haven't had final confirmation, so want to keep it real until then. Everyone is anxious for it to come out.

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Philip Chubb

You all do realize there are other ways to learn about programming right? BtGB is a great book. And the 2nd edition will be awesome. But why not learn from another source until it comes out if you are so in a rush to get your programming down? Or use the WOD.

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Ian Legrow

I am going to say something becasue certian threads have triggered this. First off, the OP was, although a legitamate question, i feel, was inappropiate. Just my opinion. I feel that any answer other then "definitely coach sommer and his booK" would have kind of like been spitting in his eye.

That being said. In reguards to the second edition, i was reading a long thread at one point, and someone said "i am getting very fruustrated becasue the second edition has not come out yet". Coach responded "respecfully, i have to say, you shouldn't worry about the second edition yet, because you cannot yet do every exersice in the first edition." After reading this it humbled me. It made me understand that it is so true. Why is it so important to knwo when the second edition is coming out when it will probably take me 5 or 6 years at least to do everything in the first one. After understanding this, i became more understanding of coach and what he does for a living, and therfore became mroe patient.

That being said, we all shuld really just stop posting on this specific thread, as we all agree that Coach's book is one of the bets one there, and we all know it will be out at some point, but none of us know when, so why do we keep asking about it. Becasue even if people knew, they would respect Coachn enough to not say anything.

just my opinion, no hard feelings.

-Ian

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MCem222

BtGB over CC, any day of the week. IMO convict conditioning is highly overrated. It covers six exercises, and most of the progressions you could probably find out on your own with a little googling. The text of the book doesn't really give you much profound information. I've never tried the programming but it doesn't seem particularly good. That is not to say its not worth reading, but it doesn't even compare to BtGB

Also, as some have mentioned, Overcoming Gravity by Steven Low is a great choice. I think there was some controversy on this forum because Coach Sommer didn't want discussion about it on the forum, but frankly its hard to have a discussion of good books without mentioning this.

In summary, buy BtGB and/or Overcoming Gravity.

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gravy
anything Coach Sommer puts out will be in a league of it's own compared to the above mentioned material

Coach Sommer does have good credentials. But so do other writers of the same genre. Discrediting the work of all other writers would be a silly thing to do. There is no single book that covers everything there is to know about gymnastics. So, if one wants to learn as much as possible about training and methods, then one has to sample various sources.

Rik's post hits home.

It is always good to broaden your horizons, as long as you keep a critical mind and don't believe everything you read.
Rik did you notice who's name is at the top of the forum? No further comment.

No need to get so defensive. This is an online forum focused on Gymnastics training. There is no "Rules" sticky that dictates that people cannot share their opinions or talk about other gymnastics related products. If the main goal of this site is to promote GB products/eliminate discussion of competing gymnastics rings brands and competing gymnastics books, then create a list of rules that prohibits users from posting such material and dish out warnings/bans to individuals who violate those rules. It's that simple. However, my hope is that this forum exists for the greater principle of sharing good information between people who share a common interest: Gymnastics training. Business and politics aside.

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Rik de Kort
Rik did you notice who's name is at the top of the forum? No further comment.

I'm not sure what you mean exactly by this, but let me reiterate that I meant no offense and that I think coach is a very good source. I stopped believing in be-all-end-alls a long time ago, so that's why I made the post I did.

The gist of it is that I listen to Coach not because he's Coach, but because he's right.

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Coach Sommer

Gentlemen,

I am more than a little annoyed at this type of nonsense being present on the GB forum. I have received several requests to delete this thread in its entirety. I have held my silence for quite some time on this subject in an effort to remain cordial, but enough is enough. It may still end up being deleted, but first it is time to clear the air.

Honestly, does it even need to be said? I am "Coach" because I have earned the title over the course of 30+ years spent preparing high level competitive gymnasts and training National Champions. "Broadening your mind" does not mean leaving it wide open for the wind to whistle through; you should be taking the time to verify that your knowledge is coming from accurate, reputable sources.

Now let's examine in more depth one of the more egregious statements made so far.

(e·gre·gious; adjective, extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant)

Coach Sommer does have good credentials. But so do other writers of the same genre.

Bull@#%*.

I will be perfectly frank here and call it as I see it. If that upsets a few people, deal with it. I just spent a hard week competing at the 2012 US Visa Championships, placing an athlete once again on the US Jr National Team and at this moment have a particularly low tolerance for nonsense and soft headed thinking.

I am a US Jr National Team Coach. And have been for many years now. My own credentials and achievements are real, world class and not the blown up imaginings of an overactive mind like some of these other 'authors' being referenced. All of the nearly 600 photos in BtGB and all the nearly 200 BtGB demonstration videos are all 100% my own athletes that I have personally trained and developed using my own system and methodologies.

What credentials, other than a talent for self promotion, do these other authors possess? And where are the finished students these other systems are claiming to have produced?

- Steven Low has no serious gymnastics credentials whatsoever; other than attaining some lower level intermediate level gymnastics strength elements (about like graduating from junior high in gymnastics terms) and having spent some time with a recreational performance group in his college. Nor have either of his co-authors ever achieved anything of note in gymnastics. However this lack of credibility has been camoflaged by his being a voluminous internet writer with an obscure vocabulary and a condescending attitude.

I have always found it interesting how no one has ever pointed out that there are no photos in his book of either himself or his supposed students going thru the progressions. Only drawings. Why only drawings? And for that matter, why no videos? Because no one has ever been developed using Steven's protocols; they are hypothetical only. There is no evidence of Steven ever having produced an athlete with high levels of gymnastics strength via his methods. So if Steven's moderate physique, intermediate level abilities and his long list of injuries are your ultimate end goal; you have chosen the correct reference material.

- Paul Wade? Even if this hypothetical author does exist (doubtful); no high level physiques have ever been developed exclusively with this product. In fact the photos and accompanying videos of the first two CC editions were not of students of the mysterious 'Paul Wade', but of other athletes who had developed their physiques through other methods, with other teachers and were hired simply to be models. Nor are there even any photos of the 'author' to support the efficacy of his methods.

Take a moment to engage in some rational analysis. No photos. No videos. No students developed thru the proposed methods. Other than the 'authors' own statements and some nifty advertising, on what are you basing your support?

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

  • Upvote 2

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D Nowell

Being a coach is not a prerequisite for writing a book on well known programming ideas, ex science and exercise descriptions...

However, seminars..live training and such the source matters.

These apple to orange comparison of products/students and "authorities" goes nowhere.

These threads are old news, competition happens and is expected, and the suggestion to post a set of rules in discussing competing products may be beneficial since these types of discussion always turn into a bitchfest and the commercial motive of the site is clear.

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