Callisthenic Secrets Found in Convict Conditioning

I recently found myself wondering if there was a better way to do fitness after I Started a 90 day no-gym fitness journey, and I think I found it.

First of all, I don’t think that you will be able to find this book in a traditional book store. And truthfully, if it wasn’t for the immense library at Library Genesis, I doubt that I would have ever known about this book.

Convict Conditioning: How to Bust Free of All Weakness-Using the Lost  Secrets of Supreme Survival Strength - Kindle edition by Wade, Paul.  Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @

This book was an absolute god send to me after I noticed a strange pain in my right foot, right behind the Hallux Bone. If you don’t know what bone that is, that’s okay. Its the proper name for the big toe. Anyway, I found that this part of my foot was hurting soooo bad and I really couldn’t quite explain it, and so I was propelled to find something that would help remedy this problem.

See, there are really only one of four things that influence the body’s pain (from my limited understanding of the body): the way you use the body, the food you feed the body, the condition you have received your body, and the way that other’s are using your body. That last one sounds weird, but bear with me; the way that a virus uses your body will determine if your body will deteriorate or not, and which parts. The other things that influence your experience of you body are pretty self explanatory.

Now, I haven’t been sick. So that ruled out the last one. I haven’t had any major changes in my diet recently. I tend to eat pretty well six out of eight days a week, so that ruled out the food aspect for me. I have only recently been experiencing this pain and so I strongly doubted it was congenital. So what that really left me with was how I was using the body.

As it turns out, this is exactly what was happening. I have been misusing my body ever since I left the gym and began using weights at home. Now, I am not using crazy amounts of weight, below is a picture of the weights I have been using. But did you notice something?

Yes, that is a hard wood floor. I have been working out barefoot on a hard wood floor and the repetitions using weight on this floor caused serious soft tissue damage to my feet. I know, crazy to think about how sensitive the body is when placed under tremendous repetitive strain. And that’s exactly what Paul Wade describes in his book.

The human body wasn’t made to lift weights over and over again. Day after day after day, with every increasing weight and intensity. This is, in his opinion, a recipe for disaster. And why is that? From his point of view, the human body is only as strong as the weakest link. And when you are lifting heavy weights, in his opinion, you are unnaturally applying resistance on parts of the body that take a tremendous amount of time and training to be able to perform some of the feats of strength that are being demanded of them. Specifically, the ligaments and joints.

Your body is incredibly adaptive when it comes to hypertrophy, or muscle building, but it isn’t very good at adapting to stress with regards to ligaments and joints. Look at the picture below, do you see all those ligaments and tendons? Those bad boys will never become muscular like the calves or the biceps. They have to be trained over a long period of time. So how do you do that?

foot anatomy | Foot And Ankle Bones, Ligaments, Tendons And More | Foot  anatomy, Muscle anatomy, Ankle anatomy

On the surface calisthenics, or the art of beautiful strength, makes sense. But when taken into account against modern methods found in #gymlife, they seem lame. That is until you take some time to look into some of the strongest people on the planet: Convicts. And from the perspective of someone who has been going to the gym for almost half a decade, the ideas that are presented in Convict Conditioning are life changing.

It almost goes without saying that the body is capable of incredible feats of strength. But when you think about your body, is it capable of incredible feats of strength? Can you do a single one-arm pullup? I know that I can’t, and in the years of going to the gym I have never seen any one who can at the gym. If you are having a hard time conceptualizing how you would do one, here’s how.

I have found my self incredibly intrigued by this book and Paul Wade does an amazing job of explaining how you too can make your body into an incredible gym. And you don’t need a gym membership or weights or anything like that. You simply have to dedicate time, in a graduated way, doing progressively more difficult exercises until you are able to do the unthinkable. Like 100 one-arm pullups or pushups or one-legged squats or one-arm handstand pushups or one-arm leg raises or standing to standing bridges.

Anyway, if you have been thinking about changing your life: Convict Conditioning has begun to change mine.

The twelve week year, Parkinson’s law, and quantified goals

Recently I was thinking to myself about how I needed to make a point to plan this/next week what I would like to see happen over the next year. Instead of sitting down and staring to plan, I went and started looking for a book in the stacks. What do I mean by the stacks, well, I went to Library Genesis and found a book on time management.

You want to speed things up in your life?

So the basic idea here is that we all have this conception in our brain of what we want to see happen, and a lot of times we don’t take the time to sit down and write it out. Well, as it so happens, if you do this, you are like most people.

You might be asking, what’s wrong with just knowing what I want to do and what I have to do and just doing that? Well, nothing really… Except that, according to this study you are 20% more likely to achieve your desired results when you write what you want to accomplish down vs just thinking about them. A 20% increase in success is no big deal, I guess. I mean, if you want to achieve results, you can just wish that you’ll do what you need to.

But let’s say that you take the time to actually write down what you want to see happen for your life, i.e. you want to lose weight, get fit, become wealthy, go to the moon, what ever it is. And lets say that you make deadlines for your self, i.e. my fifteen year goal is to go to the moon. Okay, and let’s say that you break down that goal into a 10 year epic, and a 5 year journey, and your 3 year vision. Are you following me:

  • 15 year goal
  • 10 year epic
  • 5 year journey
  • 3 year vision

Now, what if I asked you to take some of the objectives from your 3 year vision and I asked you to have 1-3 items completed by the end of the year. Could you do it? Of course you could, and you know that you could. But let’s say that we get to the end of the following year and you didn’t get that big objective done. Would you have excuses? Oh yeah.

Why would you have excuses? You knew that your big goal of going to the moon required getting this one thing done this year, why didn’t you get it done, or put if off till the last second making a poor effort towards it?

If your answer isn’t anything other than ‘because stuff got in the way’, you have got bigger problems that are beyond the scope of this book. Do you want to know how I know that stuff got in the way? Well, it is because of a little known law called Parkinson’s Law. What this law says is that a task expands in scope according to the time that is allotted it. So if you give your self a year to get something done, you will have an entire year go by before you get it done (if at all).

But what if we made a change in our definition to what a year is for the time being? What if we decided that instead of 12 months, we are going to use 12 weeks as our arbitrary line in the sand to get something done? You would have less time to allow for stuff to get in the way. You would, wouldn’t you?

So the premise of this book is redefining what your time horizons. It is quite clear that using annualized thinking gets us trapped in thinking that we have more time, enough time, plenty of time. But what ends up happening is that we aren’t taking the time to say no to what isn’t getting us closer to the moon.

I strongly encourage you to take the time to read this book, regardless of where you are in the world or what time of year it is. You have the ability to draw a line in the sand at any point in your life and say that you are going to make things different. So what’s stopping you from doing that today?

Just an Education, According to Socrates

Many of you have probably heard of Socrates, and Plato by extension. You may have even read the Republic in some class. Today’s book report is an over simplified examination on one of the themes from The Republic

If you have never read this book, you are going to have your mind blown. 🤯

The major theme of the book is a discussion on Justice. What it is and what it is not, and if being Just is all it is cracked up to be. Along the way there are ideas presented that serve as foundational undertones to what served, in my opinion, our Founding Fathers as they formed their new republic. I mean, those guys were educated men and so they most likely had read Plato’s Republic.

For this report, I want to explore one thing that I found particularly noteworthy while reading The Republic. And truthfully, this was my first time reading The Republic. This text has had an exceptionally profound effect on any me after I read it and I can’t help my self coming back to the things I read.

But I digress from what I want to report on here.

I would like to cover Socrates’s ideas on what a just education would look like. I think this is an exceptionally relevant theme to this blog as I have covered the topic of learning before.

A Just Education

Lets dial this back a little bit.

The conversation found in the Republic makes it quite explicit that the education that Socrates promotes is one to be shared by all. We all know that men and women are different, and children are too. But, as it is explored, there must be an education for all the people of this ‘City of Justice’ that fosters a world view of justice. And at different stages of life, you would take on different subjects.

So everyone gets the same education. And this education looks like the following (I wonder if it looks kind of how we structure education today):


Now before you get it in your head that we are talking about doing back flips or parallel bars, gymnastics is meant to cover a broad spectrum of topics. Yes, weight lifting and cardio training are included in that. But I want you to think about what is meant to be a physical being, to have a physical body. You are born into an organism that has very little strength or dexterity, and as you develop strength in your limbs, flexibility in your joints, dexterity in your appendages, and become a capable body, are you not better able to do just acts in this world?

You cannot be just if you cannot do your bodily business on account of a weak and incapable body. And so from a young age we help children become strong by making the play ground a game of gymnastics. Ever wonder why they thought to call it a jungle gym?


For those of you who don’t play music, calm down. Although music of today is not the same as it was over two thousand years ago, I want you to think about what music encompasses. Music is not only the sounds of instruments and the art of playing them, but music is also singing and song writing, rhythm and rhyming, knowing lyrics and telling stories through song. If I could more closely define what Socrates meant by Music, I would call it the field of liberal arts. You could call this the right brain training, or creativity.

Why would we focus on teaching, or becoming educated for that matter, in Music (as Socrates puts it)? Would you be a very just person if all the music you listen to implied a benefit to being unjust? Or how about this. Would you do justice unto others if every story you have ever been told was that helping others led to pain and suffering? And one more. Would you compel others to do justice if you were inundated with images (pictures and paintings) that advocated for violence and bloodshed?

The simple answer is, no. Your probably wouldn’t. And if you don’t believe me, look at what children are taught in schools and ask your self if they are teaching them to be just. Or how about what you are reading, are you learning about how you too can be a just person?


If you say that you aren’t good a math, than you need to take a second and rethink your education. If you can’t do 1+1, then there is a serious problem. But maybe you are asking, what does math have to do with justice? Well, I will tell you.

Of all the different subjects that I didn’t anticipate coming from the mouth of the trickster, Socrates, Maths was the last. His arguement is that in pursuit of the absolute, as we play with the forms of numbers, shapes, bodies and movements of them, we begin to gaze upon the eternal ideas that form our reality. Let’s try an example.

Algebra: Is it just to tell someone that you handed them two bananas when you only handed them one?

But how about geometry? Is it just to tell someone that the square footage of a home is more, when in all reality it is less?

How about trigonometry? Is it just to tell someone that they are getting a gallon when you are giving them a cup?

And how about calculus? Is it just to tell the officer that your car was going 5 mph when it was really going 50 mph?

If you answered yes to any of these, you need to seriously reconsider any statement like, ‘I am not very good at math.’ We are all very good at math, it is only a matter of computation that tends to stump us.


The last, and most dangerous, part of a person’s education in this hypothetical ‘Just City’, is the art of dialectic.

Dialectic is essentially the art of argument.

The subject of arguing one’s point of view, the art of asking well placed and reasoned questions, would be the one part of every person’s education that would most likely lead to their downfall as a city. Don’t believe me?

Why do you think it is that there is some information that we withhold from children? Why do you think there is some questions that you never ask a child? Why is it that we go to seminars and classes to learn how to ask better questions of our selves and those around us?

The reasoning for this is because those who are skilled in argument, skilled in asking defensible questions, can erode the very foundations of another simply by knowing all the right things to say. These corrosive arguments can be exceptionally helpful in destroying self-limiting believes, but wrongly applied some of the arguements that we interact with, if repeated or parroted to others in the wrong context could lead to corrosion in others for unnecessary purposes. What’s more is that once a person has learned questions that alter their reality, they go in turn and perpetuate these corrosive arguments ad infinitum.

However, as dangerous as it is, Dialectic is according to Socrates what leads us further and further up towards those absolute and eternal ideas: like justice. As we go about defending our selves from the arguments of others, we strengthen our understanding, we preserver. And when we ask the right kinds of questions of others, we open them to possibilities that were never thought possible.


I want to end this post today with a question.

A simple question, and I think you will like it.

Is being uneducated in these five categories just?

That’s all.