Who would have thought prisons would be the last bastions of true fitness? This is the idea put forth by Paul Wade. Wade’s story is a unique one, in and of itself. He is a nearly twenty-year veteran of the penal system. He learned about bodyweight exercises and calisthenics from the professionals – hardcore convicts without access to equipment. According to Wade, the convicts are the ultimate proof that calisthenics and old-school exercises work.
Here are eight glimpses into Paul Wade's world of Convict Conditioning. Get ready to get your get your hands dirty.


While Paul Wade remains a secretive and elusive character, the techniques he divulges in Convict Conditioning are simple, effective, and useful for athletes of all experience and strength levels.
In the 1st Convict Conditioning the focus was on the 6 fundamental strength movements. In the 2nd book, the goal is “strength-calisthenics” and work on some of the more peripheral parts of the body.
While we normally interview our featured coaches, that was not possible with Paul Wade. No interview and no photos. Why? Because the "convict" in Convict Conditioning is no joke.
This week our essay from featured coach Paul Wade discusses the lost art of bodyweight training and the true strength that can be built on a simple program of progressive calisthenics.
There was one place that the old school calisthenics never died out; a place where the older systems were perfectly preserved, like an ancient insect trapped in amber - in prisons.
If you’re a fan of the Convict Conditioning series, or of bodyweight training in general, you would be interested to know that this popular series from Dragon Door now includes a log book.
Week One of the Convict Conditioning workouts from Paul Wade. Use bodyweight exercises to build total body strength and increase upper body size.
It's NOT all downhill as you near middle-age. If you've never tested your physical limits, there's still time. I've been able to get stronger than ever and avoid injury using bodyweight exercises.
Photo courtesy of Dragon Door.
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