What is Convict Conditioning? A Honest Review


Welcome to Perfect Health At Home’s Convict Conditioning Review. In this article we’re going to be looking at what is Convict Conditioning, different aspects of it and most importantly is it worth your time and money.

If this is your first time visiting Perfect Health At Home I’d like to welcome you and tell you a little about myself and the website before we get into the review. My name is Dylan and I started my health journey a few years ago with one thing in mind–the truth.

I have seen and been given bad health advice in the past. You won’t find any of that here. Everything is tested and honest and is only meant to give you positive health results.

Convict Conditioning–The Background

Convict Conditioning is written by a former prisoner called “Coach” Paul Wade. Wade entered the prison system at 6 feet and 150 pounds. He quickly learned he needed to beef up if he wanted to survive his stint behind bars.


He didn’t have much at his disposal and didn’t have much time to learn. After bunking with an old timer he learned the secrets to getting in shape and increasing strength fast using only his body.

The old timer came from a time before steroids and other unhealthy supplements were pumped into your body to make you into an abomination of a human. This pre steroid time was known as the Golden Age of Iron Men. Men worked out for strength, size and health but did so in way that was completely natural. They used their own bodies to build massive amounts of muscle and to make themselves inhumanly strong.

Some of these men were Eugene Sandow (father of modern bodybuilding), JP Muller (who’s a main part of this website and 6 week training course can be found here) and other American greats like Charles Atlas and Bernarr Macfadden. They performed extreme feats of strength like changing a car tire with out a jack (by just lifting it up!), tearing phonebooks and bending steel rods.


Eugene Sandow–He built his amazing body in the 1800’s!! Before modern equipment and steroids

Wade knew any man or women could transform himself into a hulk with the right knowledge and just their body. With this in mind Convict Conditioning workout routine was born.

The workout is divided in 6 different exercises with 10 steps for each exercise. Wade uses what’s known as progressive calisthenics to get you from an absolute beginner stage in each exercise to an extremely advanced and inhuman stage at level 10.

The six exercises are based around exercises you’ve heard of before:

  1. Pushup
  2. Pullup
  3. Leg Lift
  4. Back Bridge
  5. Squat
  6. Handstand Pushup

You might be wondering what’s so great about a book that teaches you how to do that. What makes Convict Conditioning so great is it teaches you how to do this:

  1. One Armed Pushup
  2. One Armed Pullup
  3. Hanging Leg Lifts
  4. Standing Back Bridge
  5. One Leg Full Squat
  6. And the incredible One Armed Handstand Pushup

You’ll learn exactly what steps it takes to go from no training and little strength to doing those incredible feats of strength.

The Good

What really caught my eye about this book is how it reads. This isn’t just a boring book on exercise with dry commentary on the actual exercises themselves.

You learn about the history of bodybuilding and how great men used to workout and achieve levels of strength unmatched–even today. You’ll see not only can you develop great strength with just your body, you’ll see that it’s actually the better way to do it.

By using your body you improve:





You aren’t just putting on useless muscles. You’re actually gaining functional strength.

Also, the routine is extremely easy and anyone can work themselves through the steps. In the beginning you start with simple exercises like wall pushups. You don’t even get to a full push up until the fifth level. You really focus on form and breathing in the beginning.

Also, Wade explains about putting strength in the bank and working out less now and to save yourself when you need it in the future. In the beginning you won’t be working out for more than 10 minutes for each routine.

Lastly the “Big Six” exercises are really cool. Imagine going to the gym and being able to crank 10 one armed pullups or to be able to do 50 one armed pushups. There isn’t a person in the world that wouldn’t be impressed with that.

Also, the publisher Dragon Door is very respected in the fitness industry. They are very well known and employ some of the best athletes and trainers.

The One Bad Thing

There’s not much to complain about in convict conditioning. The philosophy is really sound, the workouts are extremely smart and you learn some of the best exercises in the world.

The only bad thing (and i’ll explain how to turn into a positive in a second) is it can be slow to learn.

People who are in good shape will probably find it too slow. The first few routines are only one or two of the “Big Six” and takes about 7 to 10 minutes to do.

Not only is the workouts brief but you are instructed to do each one for a month or so. Doing wall pushups and pushups form your knees (step 3) for a month can be tedious.

How To Turn the One Negative into a Positive

The best way to turn the negative of Convict Conditioning being too slow is to combine it with another workout. You can use the principles in Convict conditioning and make a  hybrid workout with other exercises.

This is exactly what I do. This book is actually the book that sparked my interest in working out–especially using your own body to workout.

I’ve been an athlete my whole life but never liked lifting weights. I find the process too slow and boring. I also don’t like the idea of working out until exhaustion.

Which Routine to combine CC with

I’d like to introduce you to the inspiration of this website–My System by JP  Muller. My System is the perfect combo for Convict Conditioning. The video series of My System combines the power of exercise, deep breathing and self massage to scientifically relax, tone and strengthen the body. All this is done in 20 exercises and takes a total of fifteen minutes.


Snippet of the 6 week My System Video Course

You not only workout your muscles, but you are strengthening your lungs, internal organs and skin in the process. From this your digestive system improves, you improve you lung capacity, and wrinkle proof your skin for life.

I mentioned I hated working out to exhaustion. This routine is the opposite and you have more energy after working out then before.

You can learn more about My System Here

What makes the two a perfect combination is My System has three of the “Big Six” in the routine–the pushups, squats and leg raises. You can easily work the last three exercises of Convict Conditioning into your weekly exercise schedule. In Convict Conditioning 2 (the next book in the Convict Conditioning series) Wade mentions JP Muller and My System as an innovative workout routine.

Of the two My System is the superior exercise routine. So if you are only going to dedicate yourself to one make sure it’s My System. But, combining the two even improves on the genius of My System and you won’t be disappointed with that decision.


10 Comments What is Convict Conditioning? A Honest Review

  1. NemiraB

    Hello here. Your website is a great tool to those who want to be in shape. I guess it would be good for me too, because after spending whole day by computer, posture and overall structure of body can change to not so desirable side.
    Using own body as instrument for training is a great idea, especially if you need to lift yourself from floor. I know, it is not easy.
    I tried few times pushups, but I was unhappy with my results.
    Overall I prefer yoga over machines, but once or twice a week it would be great to work with my weight, I mean to use my body for building some muscle.
    I like your website because here all provided ideas can be accomplished at home. Saving time and money is a big plus for everybody , who is conscious about their spendings. This your described Convict Conditioning is worth to check out.
    Thank you, all the best, Nemira.

  2. Justin

    This is a really intriguing workout system by the sound of it. You typically don’t hear much about working out by just using your body anymore. If you’re talking about bodybuilding and building muscle, weights are probably the main topic of the discussion. It’s refreshing to hear something like this, and the concept behind this seems sound. This is definitely something that I’ll check out when I get a chance. Thanks!

    1. Dylan

      Thanks for commenting Justin,

      And you’re right. Most people only think of lifting weights when they think of working out. There’s so many good workouts that only use your body.

  3. RuthM

    This is great! An exercise program that actually has a story behind it! And a story that makes sense and give the right, believable background.

    I like the way you can do it with not much equipment. I like that its probably geared towards beginners which is what I am, and it a slow starter. It sounds interesting. I am going to have a think about starting this program

    1. Dylan

      Thanks for commenting Ruth

      It really is a great program for beginners. It will teach you all the standard workouts and how to do them right

  4. Riaz Shah

    Hey Dylan,
    This is really intriguing, its a like a more balanced way to improve your body and health without focusing only on the muscles. I think it will really be a great idea for a beginner like me to get started as I still don’t feel comfortable in straining my body too much. I remember the first time I went to the gym after 3 years of not working out, the trainer pushed me until I started vomiting. Is that normal when working out?

    1. Dylan

      Thanks for commenting Riaz,

      And health is about way more than just muscles. You should divide your time every where in your body. And the fact you weren’t in shape contributed to you throwing up. The trainer pushed you too hard though. There’s an incorrect belief that you must exahust your self to get in shape and that is simply not true.

  5. Kris

    Hi Dylan,
    It’s a pretty cool story about convict conditioning. I guess doing all of these exercises with a not so optimal diet makes it even more of an achievement. I imagine the food was not all that great in prison?
    Would this sort of conditioning be appropriate for women do you think?
    Thanks, Kris

    1. Dylan

      Yeah I don’t think prison is known for their cuisine. This is good for women too. There are a lot of women that excel in this type of exercise.


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