Convict Conditioning 2

After much anticipation, Dragon Door Publications has finally released Convict Conditioning 2!

While the actual paper book will not be available for purchase until mid-December, you can download the E-book in PDF format right now by clicking the link above!

This follow-up to the groundbreaking bodyweight training guide Convict Conditioning contains the most thorough write-up of how to train for the human flag ever in print. Author Paul Wade and I worked together to design the flag progressions, so for everyone whose written me asking for more advice on this move, make sure you pick up a copy!

The cover of the book features a photo of my brother Danny and I performing our infamous two man human flag and the inside of the book features over 50 additional photos of Danny and myself. In addition to the section on human flag training, there is lots of other useful info crammed into the 300+ pages of Paul Wade’s latest masterpiece. Check out for more info.

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  • Nyall

    You dignified that with a response?  You are far too nice.

  • Al Kavadlo

    Haha – I make it a point to try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment on my blog, but I appreciate your sentiment!

  • Mark

    Is there anything that covers cardio in CC2? or is it all just strength training?

  • Al Kavadlo

    It’s primarily a strength training book.  However, my understanding is that there may be a CC3 that will address things like cardio not discussed in the first two books.

  • Jmorris259e

    Hi- Kind of a weird question- i have CC1 but personally I have found a conflict. When i hit a pr in weightlifting I’m all kinds of happy, but adding reps in the early phases of CC gives me no joy. I can’t explain why a 5 pound gain in the weighted back squat makes me happy but going from a 20 level 2 pushups to 40 level 2 pushups I feel kind of meh about. I would like to master the 10th step but i have a hard time sticking it out. any suggestions?

  • Mark

    What are your goals? Do you want to squat 200kg + etc, or do you want to complete feats of strength like in the videos to the right?

    If you’re going to lose interest do bodyweight only training, it’s maybe best that you start lifting weights again. Nothing wrong with either, just whatever gets you motivated.

  • Mark

    Thanks for the reply!

  • Al Kavadlo

    I agree with the advice Mark gave you below.  If you prefer weights to bodyweight training then do weights – both are great ways to build strength.  If you’re looking for advice on staying motivated, consider ordering a copy of my book, We’re Working Out! A Zen Approach to Everyday Fitness.

  • gastar91

    Hey Al! I am a huge fan of yours and of CC. I also agree with the whole training system in CC, but there is something Im not sure about and that is the flexibility part. Id like to hear your thoughts if I should really drop passive stretching entirely. I am trying to get flexible enough to do a high side kick and and some acrobatic feats that require split legs and I am really in doubt if active stretching is the way to go for that.
    I hope you can help me with that. Because I honestly think you are the only person I can turn to about this. Really appreciate it

  • Al Kavadlo

    Paul Wade’s active flexibility trifecta is a great tool, but it is designed to help tight individuals achieve a healthy range of motion while eliminating joint pain.  If you’re looking to achieve hyper-flexibility (splits, etc.) you’ll probably need to do passive stretching.  Remember that no book has all the answers for everyone.  Books are resources, but ultimately we must each decide for ourselves what course of action to take.

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  • Brandon Diaz

    Hey you and your brother in the book’s cover? (your bro looks like cm punk hehe)
    I remember asking you few months ago about CC “1″… and now youre on the cover of CC2!! And over 50 fotos inside, instead of bathurst (He’s a skilled beast)? Wow guys, keep on the great work, your blog has become a source for inspiration, thnx!!

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks, Brandon!  Jim is in this book too.  There’s lots of pictures!

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  • Michael K

    Do you think the book will be printed one day??

  • Al Kavadlo

    Haha – Yes!  The paperback version should be available in a few more weeks.  I’ll be sure to mention it when the time comes!

  • Sroysm

    I just bought the book. Nice work.

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks!  Hope you like it!

  • Chris

    Al, Any word yet if the book CC2 has been shipped? Really looking forward to it.

  • Al Kavadlo

    I believe that they have shipped by now.  Sorry for the delay!

  • Chris Hope

    Al, I just got CC2 today, and I am psyched. The cover photo of you and your brother is awesome. Is there any way of getting a copy of that photo autographed by the brothers Kavadlo?
     I have been using CC1 for the last 2 years, and made good progress. Right now I am focused on getting my first muscle up, which your tutorials have helped immensely.  With that in mind, I am particularly interested in the Trifecta holds section, and the clutch/press flag sections.  My question to you is, can I begin the clutch flag progressions using a 4×6 post that has my pullup bar and parallel bars in my yard, rather than finding a pole in the neighborhood? Is a 4x 6 post too wide or potentially painful i.e. splinters?

    Another quote from the book that resonates with me is the line “advanced pullup techniques are damn near impossible unless you are lean ‘n mean.” I’m 6’2″ 185.  I’ve found that by dropping from 190 to 185 has really improved my height on explosive pullups, and I’m thinking another 5-10 pounds of weight loss may finally get me over the bar for my first muscle up.  Thanks in advance for your input.

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks, Chris!  Glad you’re enjoying the book!  You can try practicing the clutch flag anywhere that you want, though as you noted, a thick post will make it more difficult.

    As for an autograph, if you’re ever in NYC, shoot me an email and maybe we can meet up so I can sign your book.

  • Barry Wu

    wow I thought that CC1 was amazing, but to know that you were involved with the making of CC2 is just fantastic!

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks, Barry!

  • JDBoelter

    Hi Al,

    I’m primarily interested in CC2 for the information on calf training – I’ve always had skinny calves and as I’ve gotten past 40+ I seem to have picked up some knots  and trigger points that keep me from running and jumping rope. Without giving the game away, can you give me an idea of how are the calf progressions are structured and if you think they could help? 

    Love the site – you and your brother are the best possible proof of how good BW can be as a fitness and conditioning method!

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks!  While reading the book isn’t going to magically fix your calves, I definitely think you should pick up a copy.  There’s a lot of good info in there you could benefit from, both calf and otherwise.

  • Branl

    Do you think thats true? I was asking my self this, I thought for someone in prison, all this info seems a bit to technical for a convict to write!  I maybe wrong, but I think maybe pavel may have some input..Very fishy

  • Branl

    email me,
    I wan to know more about this? I was thinking the same thing..

  • warty_2

    Track your CC workouts on Android with Criminal Record!­apps/details?id=com.scurvypig.­criminalrecord

  • Big B

    Thanks for posting these. As a purchaser of the book its nice to see that others are out there doing Convict Condioning as well! I’ve actually just started doing CC and am logging my entire journey for others. If you want take a look and provide me with any constructive criticism, it would be greatly appreciated.
    If you want to follow my Journey:
    Thanks in advance, and keep pushing!
    #convictconditioning #bodyweight #training #calisthenics #cc

  • Al Kavadlo

    Nice blog, Big B!  Keep training hard!

  • Barret Nobel

    Hard work and Dedication man, I will always be training hard. A line in CC that stuck with me was ‘ This will probably take you two – three years to be able to do, but you were planning on getting three years older anyway right?’ ( not verbatim but close )

  • Mitch

    Hey Al, loved the book!

    I’m currently training with convict conditioning 1, and in the case of all the “shotgun muscle” workouts they fit nicely with the CC1 schedule, except the flag training. I was wondering if I should substitute my abdominal work for flag training every other week, or should I conduct them both in the 1 week? Thanks

  • Robby Taylor

    Ah, the flag…quite an odd move, when it comes to training. The thing about the flag is that, even though it is about as difficult as the back lever, in my experience it is actually more stressful, which I think is due to the unilateral aspect of the exercise. Not only do you have to train each arm for pulling and pressing, but also you have to train the on both sides! I personally have a problem with this, because my left shoulder does not feel secure when it is doing the pulling. So this exercise can be very tough, especially on the shoulders. In training for the flag, true, it is important to work the flag…however, don’t view it as abdominal work; while it is largely an abdominal exercise, it should be viewed as skill training because of the stress involved. But, don’t worry; you can build up a solid framework for pressing, pulling, and abdominal strength with other exercises.

    I built up the abdominal strength for the flag with L sits. Of course, training the other levers (back lever, front lever) will help here as well. Furthermore, training the other levers will also increase your pulling strength and shoulder stability for the flag, however in my experience those moves are less stressful on the shoulders. This is probably because, not only is the stress of pulling evenly distributed in both arms, but the shoulder angle is less extreme than that of the flag (that is, the flag simply pulls your arm outward from the socket). Hanging leg raises will also be helpful, of course.

    For the pressing strength, keep working those handstand push ups! Furthermore, you may want to work with one arm handstands against a wall. In my experience, this is *very* similar to the type of shoulder stress you have on the bottom arm in the flag. After having been able to hold one arm handstands against a wall for 20~30 seconds, I have had no problems with the strength aspect of the bottom arm in the flag.

    For pulling…this is the interesting one…regular pull ups are fine and will be helpful, however I really think you need to go harder. Basically, progressing toward the one arm chin up will help here. One arm dead hangs will help give you the proprioception necessary to actively pull your arm into the socket while maintaining the tension in the arm. One arm flex hangs will help with your ability to simply pull hard enough for the flag. But, doing full range pulls is still very beneficial for the flag. I’d suggest weighted pull ups (enough to make it challenging), and in my experience muscle ups have a nice carry over to the flag.

    Basically, just make sure your training is balanced so that your overall fitness level is progressing at an even rate. Work the flag as skill work. I personally worked it probably a couple of times a week for just a few minutes at a time. The thing is, you don’t want to be tired, and if you’re working out consistently odds are a lot of the time you are not going to be at 100%. You need to be well rested for flag training. But don’t worry, you will get there eventually.

    Oh, one more tip. When you press hard with the bottom arm, it creates the baseline for the tension that you need for the move. That is, you can feel your body start to gravitate toward horizontal, around this “line” of tension that comes from your arm and goes out horizontally from the pole. Think of your body as a zipper, and when you press down it is allowing you to “zip” yourself up into the horizontal plane. Facilitate this by pulling really hard with the other arm.

  • Al Kavadlo

    Thanks, Mitch! There are many ways one can structure a workout. I think Robby’s given you some good food for thought.

  • Mitch

    Thanks Robby! I’ll definitely keep working on those excersises! And thanks heaps for the advice, very useful!

  • Logan Murphy

    Lol, when I started training the clutch flag, I noticed after a few months that my right bicep had become disproportionately larger than the left, so I started training the left side, and it came a lot easier than my right( I was able to lift right up horizontally without going through the progressions again!). Still trying to figure out the press flag though. Ever wonder WTF you’re going to do when you run outta cool skills to train? Lol, it’ll be a while for me!

  • RobbyTaylor

    Take heart in knowing that there are always further challenges. As you progress, the harder skills take longer, even if the relative difficulty is similar to that of the last skill you trained. I think this is because, as you approach your potential, you have to put exponentially more work into your training to continue advancing at a linear pace. You will never run out of challenges. As difficult as the press flag is, it is actually a relatively rudimentary feat of strength compared to high level gymnastics rings skills. Consider that there are only a few people in the world who can convincingly do a Victorian Cross. Then there’s the C.T.I. Jasper Benincasa could hold it for about 3 seconds, yet his record for alternating one arm chins was 50 in one set.

  • Logan Murphy

    Always room for improvement, even for the best of us! That’s what makes my training/life in general worth it. And Gymnasts are beasts of another breed for sure, but that’s because they pay their dues with the foundational work. 50 one arm chins, that’s a nice bench mark!

  • MDuncan

    I just got CC1, The Naked Warrior and your book Raising the Bar love them all. been working out for a long time and this has opened up a whole new world. My question is can CC1 and 2 be worked together on one schedule?

  • RobbyTaylor

    Absolutely! The whole concept of CC2 is ancillary training for CC1, so they definitely complement each other well. Personally I would use CC1 for primary workouts and CC2 for warm up/cool down and/or “mini” workouts.