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Regular readers of this site know that it's no secret how much I love the Convict Conditioning series of books - so I really couldn't wait to get my hands on the two new (there will eventually be a total of SIX!) DVD and Manual sets ASAP!!! My full reviews are on the Dragon Door site, so scroll down on that product page and see what I had to say about them (Spoiler alert: THEY RULE!)
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Recently I posted a link to the new Shot-At-Alcatraz Convict Conditioning Bodyweight Squat DVD. I had also recently posted a my review at that same link. Yes, the price is daunting - but if you're serious about mastering the pistol (aka the one leg squat) then this will be a worthwhile investment. ESPECIALLY if you are training others—this is essentially on-demand coaching in and manual form. Having read, studied and applied the info from Pavel's Naked Warrior along with 1 & 2 I was really pleased with the new ground covered on this —the hidden steps and variants alone are incredibly cool. Anyhow, a discussion ensured after I posted the link/review/etc. with a friend—here are the highlights—maybe some of it will help you! :)
Legend: G= GiryaGirl; F=Friend
F: Are there any tips for those who can do close squats andwith a counterweight, but not with only? That was one of the issues with the book for me, many of the steps can't be done if you need a counterweight.
G: Did you try assisted (with a basketball or medicine ball under the straight leg? How about box- just going half way down?) What happens when you do those? Is it a balance issue? Check your shoes/feet/toes are they gripping the floor or flopping around? (I like troubleshooting the pistol... can you tell?) The answer to your other question is that the /Manual really goes into greater depth of the hidden steps and progressions than the book. LOTS of subtleties - which are absolutely crucial with this exercise (in my opinion)
F: I tried them with the basketball, and it didn't work because I fall backward without a counterweight. Not a balance issue, just a body proportions issue. Have done many many many boxover the years, I find them to be of no help whatsoever. Ditto for assisted holding on to a pole in front. With an , no issues. Yes, gripping with the toes etc.
G: Ok... how about... are you flexible enough to grab the toe of the straight leg at the bottom of the pistol? How about any hamstring flexibility issues?
F: At the moment I can't do it; I'd gotten to the point last fall where I could get into the bottom position with support, grab the opposite foot, and hold briefly, with great difficulty, but it didn't seem to translate into the eccentric at all. Does that make sense? I was thinking L sitand stiff legged deadlifts to improve flexibility, and see if that helps. I'm close to full front and side splits now, would like to get the rest of the way, so it would serve two purposes.
G: I can't do a full split of any kind (but I haven't worked on that either). Hamstring flexibility might be part of the issue though, I'll be curious to see what happens with your plan. Also, try hanging out down in the bottom position for longer and longer - even just a few seconds, I actually consider it a "rest" and occasionally "hang out" down there and talk on the phone!
F: I re-read the section fromon the Pistol. Yes, there are good recommendations for building up to do the pistol well. I am taking your advice to be persistent. I have a few questions; hope you have time to address them.
G: If it's any consolation, it took me a full year to do it (2008-2009) - I was also increasing my general fitness and losing weight at the time too.
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