Convict Conditioning Ban & 10 Minute Squat Challenge

Convict ConditioningI don’t know, Convict Conditioning being banned in California Prisons is something not-short of comical, if not out-right sad. Maybe absurd would have been a better descriptor. Seriously, have you heard about this? One might think that the guards didn’t want the inmates getting stronger or tougher or more resilient, but no, the ban had nothing to do with fitness or strength. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Convict Conditioning contains: “sexually explicit material which depicts frontal nudity in the form of personal photographs, drawings, or other pictorial format”

CC StatuesYes sir, pictures of old statues are considered “sexually explicit material.”

Well, the good news is that if you are not currently incarcerated in a California Penal Facility, you can & SHOULD still get a copy of Convict Conditioning. (As of the writing of this post, Dragon Door is actively pursuing an appeal, so if you are in California and incarcerated, there is still a good chance that the book will once again be available to you.)

Convict Conditioning, and whatever the name means to you, is a book on using body weight for strength & conditioning. Push-ups can make you stronger, but the strongest among us can do single-arm push-ups. Pull-ups, likewise, require much more strength when only one hand is used. Squats become pistols, and our legs pump like well oiled pistons.

Squats are considered by top trainers to be the single most effective exercise for increasing strength & enhancing body composition. This might begin to explain why “top trainers” are the ones who get the best results out of their athletes & clients.

On that very subject, Al Kavadlo has released (unleashed) a 10-minute Squat Challenge. The summarized version is that you set a timer and don’t let your feet drift from your Squat spot for 10 minutes. Additional details can be found at the 10 Minute Bodyweight Squat Challenge.


Al’s plan is a good warm-up for practicing Pistols, the King of all Squats. Doing between 100 & 200 Squats won’t necessarily help learn Pistols (check out the Squat progression in Convict Conditioning), but doing them will help acclimate your body to the demands Pistols induce.

Then there is the Mind F–k aspect of doing anything for 10 minutes. Your body will want to quit, and it will tell your mind all sorts of nasty things about you . . . none of which are true. Doing Squats for 10 minutes won’t help you achieve world domination, but if you can do Squats for 10 minutes & not talk yourself out of finishing, whatever you do want is just a matter of focusing that same level of commitment & attention.

Semper Fortis


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