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Three Advanced Bodyweight Workouts

Women do it as well, but men are often guilty of thinking they are more advanced then they are, especially when it comes to the weight room. Every time my dad decides to lose a few pounds, it is “time to go super hardcore.” He starves himself. He lifts with bad technique and pushes too hard too soon. And then he gets hurt and quits.

A beginner at one of my strength training classes recently told me he wanted to start doing a “really advanced bodyweight workout” a few times a week. This confused me. I asked him what his goals were. His answer surprised me, but it shouldn’t have:

“I want to lose body fat and get strong,” he said. Hmm…now what in the world would convince this likable young man that a bodyweight workout, let alone an advanced one, was what he needed. I’m not saying he couldn’t get incredibly strong with his bodyweight alone, I’m just saying that this is how a lot of men think when they’re in the gym.

I’ve been there, in that mindset. Sometimes I’m still there.

Anyways, my job when I train people is to help them get better at what they want to do, and what he wanted to do was…well, you already know.

Whether you are advanced or not, if you are looking for some bodyweight routines that will make you feel like you’re working hard, here are three options for you.

Convict Conditioning

Written by Paul “Coach” Wade during a 19 year incarceration, Convict Conditioning focuses on taking beginners through 10 step progression for six extremely advanced bodyweight drills.

  • The one arm pull-up or chin-up
  • The one legged squat
  • The hanging leg raise
  • The bridge
  • The one arm push-up
  • The one arm handstand push-up

I have focused most of my efforts on the one arm pull-up. I’m getting closer every day, so on this front, I can vouch for this program.


My brother has been doing this. A man in a black sleeveless muscle tee screams at you while you do bodyweight drills at a breakneck pace. When my brother finishes these workouts, I often watch his body on the floor and wonder if he has died.

I have no idea if this makes you advanced or not, but the guy on the DVD certainly thinks so. It does make you sweaty and miserable, however. If you like that, enjoy.


I teach kettlebell classes at a Crossfit Utah gym. Crossfit isn’t exclusively about bodyweight exercise, but they do a lot more than most fitness geeks. And their volume can be very, very high, which might help them make the case for calling them advanced workouts.

Honestly, I’m never that concerned whether what I’m doing is advanced, or hardcore, or sufficiently testosterone-laden. I care about results. Most people who think they need something advanced never spent much time on the basics. Many men I know want to work on one-arm chins before they can do five bodyweight chin ups with two arms.

If you’d like more information, please check out this Convict Conditioning Review.


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