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Tavis G

Gymnastic bodies book vs convict conditioning?

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Robert Del Popolo

Excuse me for bumping this topic again but I couldnt help mentioning my experience.

I started my first workouts (Im in my teens) with CC, actually not the way it was meant to be but I mainly did Calisthenics as described in the book. After going through the book a couple times (even memorizing it!) I was a firm believer of this system,thinking that the combination of these moves would make one reach their physical limits of strength. I denied any other advice, weight lifting was useless in my eyes, and anything else was surplus (any other Calisthenics moves).

I did my stuff up till around this year's summer, when I started to see problems with the system, big gaps between steps, not full ROM (HeSPU,Leg Raises etc),the variations were not dificult enough etc.

Im not saying its a bad system, it just isnt as good as this one.

Now at first I was very inclined to CC because there was a system of progression, its most valuable asset, which the first edition of BtGB is lacking. This all changed after going to the GB Scottsdale Seminar. I finally saw the obvious simplicity behind BtGB and it superiority towards CC. Maybe this post wont change your mind, however please think about it,what will give you the most strength and muscle development? A full ROM Bench Press, or a half ROM Bench Press, the same applies to a HeSPU and a HSPU or even a FREESTANDING HSPU,which also requires nearby muscles for balancing. This in combination of the thought on Half ROM leg raises against MANAS or OAPushups in comparision to Bowers, OAPullups against Iron crosses. Once you think about this dont be afraid to be depressed because these moves (except for Iron Cross) are all just basics,I repeat basics.Gymnasts are so Incredibly strong, its just mindblowing, I would never wrestle with a gymnast,with one basic move they could destroy you with their bruteforce, something you will never reach with CC. This all is coming from someone with 2 full notebooks on CC, with everyday training, no skip ups and as perfect of a schedule as I could allow myself, I loved CC, however Coach opened my eyes.

On a flip side, for anybody who has MINIMAL strength, should try to do CC, it helps alot for beginners.

Excuse me again I just had to let this go out.

And if OP is a troll, well we had a nice thread.

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Markus Klein

I was 34 years old as I started with the book "Convict Conditioning" and all I can say is that this book worked just fine for me.

The programming is idiot proof and in the beginning you are required to workaot only twice per week with only two exercises per session. That`s really great for a newbie because there is no danger of overtraining. Every step is layed out to follow.

BtGB is also a very good book, but in my opinion the steps are way too difficult for a newbie in his 30`s.

My wish for the second edition of BtGB is the layout of programming for absolute beginners. This starts in my opinion with a proper hollow body position etc.

If you look at Goldmedalbodies.com I must admit, that these guys have some very goog beginner programms for people who have never worked aut before. I absolutely don`t see them as a rippoff of BtGB because their approach is very different. Also the video tutorials are great.

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Cole Dano

I certainly understand where you are coming from there. I also thought that CC was a good stepping stone to the GB program at one time. I'm not going to sit here and knock anyone who chooses to go that route.

Gold medal bodies is a lot like many of the adult gymnastic classes I've seen, not as methodical, but it does get people doing some fun things, which certainly isn't a bad thing. Again I'm not going to knock them and I don't think they are a rip off of anyone, however it doesn't have the depth of Coach Sommer's program either. For many people though, that's just fine.

Right now the GB seminars have been where the gaps you bring up are being filled, and GB reveals itself as being a very complete system, that is difficult to compete with, at least if one is willing to be patient and methodical.

When the second edition of Building the Gymnastic Body comes out, you will see a program set up as you describe from the most basic of elements, and it will be truly suitable for anyone. The only requirement is a willingness to put in the time and effort.

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Karri Kytömaa

One thing I really liked about CC is how it's written. There are great stories about prison and old strongmen that at least to me managed to be great motivation. Of course it has some silly stuff compared to any "real" training program coming from someone who has actually taught the elites. But it has lots of good stuff in it too, it's just bit problematic in that you need good base knowledge to get to good stuff.

I still read it when I feel I'm lacking in motivation to train, it really gives nice morality boost.

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Ricky123

Having researched a fair bit over the last six months as to what training is better for pure strength(eg bodyweight,weights)before embarking on a programme and to a somewhat lesser degree which source/book is better I came to the preference that bodyweight training would suit my goals.Following this I came to the conclusion that each literary source has something unique to offer and shouldent be neglected in sole favour over another.Eg I have bought convict conditioning and it is a very good book.Likewise I have bought overcoming gravity and was further impressed .There is also Ross Enamaits book never gymless that has won a lot of rave reviews as well.I have a lot of respect for Coach Sommer as I have gleaned a lot of info from some of his articles on this site and T Nation however I will wait for his second instalment (if he writes it ) of building the gymnastic body 2 (before I purchase his material) as opposed to the first.

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Scott Malin
Having researched a fair bit over the last six months as to what source/book is better I have come to the conclusion that each source has something unique to offer and shouldent be neglected in sole favour over another.Eg I have bought convict conditioning and it is a very good book.Likewise I have bought overcoming gravity and was further impressed .There is also Ross Enamaits book never gymless that has won a lot of rave reviews as well.I have a lot of respect for Coach Sommer as I have gleaned a lot of info from some of his articles on this site and T Nation however I will wait for his second instalment (if he writes it ) of building the gymnastic body 2 (before I purchase his material) as opposed to the first.

The proof of the system doesn't come from reading reviews online, it comes from actually training it. I'm going to be direct, in six months of research, how many of our seminar attendees did you talk to? If you want a genuine review, you need it from someone who actually has followed the program consistently. There are plenty of people I can recommend who made tremendous progress with the first edition.

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Ricky123
Having researched a fair bit over the last six months as to what source/book is better I have come to the conclusion that each source has something unique to offer and shouldent be neglected in sole favour over another.Eg I have bought convict conditioning and it is a very good book.Likewise I have bought overcoming gravity and was further impressed .There is also Ross Enamaits book never gymless that has won a lot of rave reviews as well.I have a lot of respect for Coach Sommer as I have gleaned a lot of info from some of his articles on this site and T Nation however I will wait for his second instalment (if he writes it ) of building the gymnastic body 2 (before I purchase his material) as opposed to the first.

The proof of the system doesn't come from reading reviews online, it comes from actually training it. I'm going to be direct, in six months of research, how many of our seminar attendees did you talk to? If you want a genuine review, you need it from someone who actually has followed the program consistently. There are plenty of people I can recommend who made tremendous progress with the first edition.

fair point though I have been training religiously with convict conditioning since March and have made gains from it.I take on board what your saying and a quick search of other reviews aside from Amazon have revealed overall good reviews(though some flaws with the book) of Coach Sommer's programme

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Coach Sommer

It is very simple actually. All semantics and posturing aside; where are the results of these other programs?

Go to the GB.com facebook photo albums and check out the physiques there showing that the GB program is not only effective; but incredibly so for adult fitness enthusiasts.

Note also that all of the photos and videos (not simply pencil drawings as in OG!) demonstrating GB materials are my own personal athletes whose physiques were actually developed with the GB program alone and not hired fitness models (as with CC).

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

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Ricky123
It is very simple actually. All semantics and posturing aside; where are the results of these other programs?

Go to the GB.com facebook photo albums and check out the physiques there showing that the GB program is not only effective; but incredibly so for adult fitness enthusiasts.

Note also that all of the photos and videos (not simply pencil drawings as in OG!) demonstrating GB materials are my own personal athletes whose physiques were actually developed with the GB program alone and not hired fitness models (as with CC).

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

appreciate your input Coach

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Ricky123
It is very simple actually. All semantics and posturing aside; where are the results of these other programs?

Go to the GB.com facebook photo albums and check out the physiques there showing that the GB program is not only effective; but incredibly so for adult fitness enthusiasts.

Note also that all of the photos and videos (not simply pencil drawings as in OG!) demonstrating GB materials are my own personal athletes whose physiques were actually developed with the GB program alone and not hired fitness models (as with CC).

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

following my first edited post I apologise as I should have been more thorough in some of my research as to what source is better. Once again thanks for the info you provided Ricky

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acrobatlegend

Having read both, I think Gymnastic Bodies definitely has the better exercises, pictures and explanations of how to do the skills. It is really dense.

Convict Conditioning definitely has more philosophy on how to train. It is very insightful and motivational. I mean this guy had to survive in prison and find a way to work out, so it is very inspirational. I think the moves he shows in it are not that hard to begin with and they don't get that advanced either.

If you are looking for straight up raw exercises and how to do them, and really terrific photos showing perfect forms and progressions, go with Gymnastic Bodies. If you are looking to be inspired and given the wisdom of someone who has spent their life training in a prison and the tricks they picked up along the way, go with Convict Conditioning.

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AlexX

My answer probably won't make me too popular but I'd just have to say that it really depends. Before everyone jumps on my answer let me state that for training and obtaining gymnastic moves like the Planche, Manna, Front Lever, Freestanding Handstand Pushups and so on, Coach's book is literally the best and only thing on the market that you should consider period. I am not saying this because I think that the book is the be all end all on bodyweight training like a few others posting here (people have different goals and for some a planche or a front lever is just not one of them) I am saying it because it is the best book on gymnast progressions for adults. Nothing else even comes close and trust me I've searched.

However if your goals are not to acquire any of those moves there are other things out there. Maybe your goals are to do bodybuilding and get as big as possible but do so with bodyweight training (but without training for planche or front lever) or to find a substitute for weights and you want carry over to bench press and military press.

I don't really understand why the people around here feel like when talk of bodyweight training comes up that everyone's goal is an iron cross or a planche. That's like a powerlifter proclaiming that powerlifters are stronger than Olympic weightlifter and powerlifting will get you bigger than bodybuilding training. That just isn't true.

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