T Nation

Combat Conditioning

In early July I will be taking a two week vacation to Florida. I will probably not have easy access to a gym and even if I do, my wife and kids may have a hard time with me leaving each day for the gym when they want to go see Micky unless I can find one open 24 hours. I read the article called “Combat Conditioning” here and just recently ordered the entire book by Matt Fure (I did not receive it yet). I am thinking that I will do workouts in Florida following the routines and exercises outlined in this book. Has anyone else read this book or tried the exercises? How about without doing any weight training along with it? Should I expect to lose any strength or muscle mass if I perform the exercises from Combat Conditioning for two weeks without any weight training?

It’s more of a long-term program; as you are gonna pretty much suck at all the exercises when you first try them. It takes time to get used to, adapt to, and get stronger at the movements. I wouldn’t see the benefit in doing it for only a 2-week period.

I have to disagree with Joel on this one. Since, it’s my assumption, you’re not accustomed to these exercises it would be a “break” of sorts for your body. I’ve done them quite extensively for my fighting class and it takes 2-3 weeks for your body to get used to it. So by the time you hit the gym again you should be fine. As long as your nutrition stays up to parr, you shouldn’t have any loss in strength or muscle mass. I found the opposite for the first month. Since it was a new stimulus I gained a bit of muscle. Maybe some supplementation to avoid the possibility of muscle loss but it was my experience that it shouldn’t be a problem. Hindu squat away!!!

Go ahead with Frank’s advice; he’s actually tried it and is speaking from experience…I was just offering my thoughts; as most of the exercises are very unusual and may take some time to adjust to, but if Frank didn’t have a problem, give it a go…It’s definitely going to be better than nothing while on vacation.

I bought combat conditioning because I have allways been looking for good ways to build strength and size without weights due to how frequently I find myself without access to a gym. I spent three years as an Army Ranger, and spent about two or three weeks out of every month in the field where workout benches are hard to come by. The combat conditioning book is a good guide as far as providing you with bodyweight exercises that require absolutely no equipment and still challenge your muscles with decent resistance. However, Matt Furey recomends doing inordinate amounts of reps per exercise, and I don’t believe that will help you build larger muscles. Matt wrote his book with ‘Combat Conditioning’ in mind, hence the name, so it is geared more towards stamina, although you will gain strength and moderate definition with his recomended workouts as well. I don’t know what you have been doing for workouts, or what your goals are, but if you are like most T-mag readers and going primarily for size, strenght, and definition I would do the more difficult exercises and explode up on the positive phase as much as possible, and maintain strict form with a 3-4 second negative phase. I noticed that Combat conditioning didn’t really have any pulling movements, Matt Furey claims that you will still gain strength in pulling movements even though you only do push type movements. I wasn’t too sure about that, but it does keep it simple as far as eliminating ‘ALL’ equipment. However, I love doing pullups of all kinds and if you can get access to a pullup bar I would add some chins/pullups to the program. I got pretty good results with elevated pushups(elevate your feet on a chair or bed) and you could have one of your kids sit on your back for extra resistance. One thing about combat conditioning that I really liked was the emphasis on exercises that really strenthen stabilizer muscles. Back bridging was really difficult at fist, I had been completely unaware of how inflexible I was, but I stuck with them and they have done wonders for eliminating back and neck pain, not to mention stretching my hip flexors. Anyway, if you use the higher resistance exercises, you should be able to maintain what you’ve got for two weeks, maybe even see some improvements in some areas.

Thanks for the comments all. I found them very informative and interesting. I had the book waiting for me when I got home today. I think I will plan on taking KOM-BATS advice and pick a few of the more resistant movements (like hand stand push-ups!) and stick with them for the 2 weeks. I will also try and find a straight tree limb or something for some pull-ups. Using the kids is a good idea to for some extra weighted push-ups. I hate having to miss gym time like this but I’ll make the best of it.

An additional way to supplement your training would be through the use of bands. The Westside crew uses bands all the time for extra workouts, feeder workouts, recovery, etc. You won’t build a lot of strength, but you will be able to maintain what you have and the list of exercises you can do with bands is phenomenal. Check out the Q&A board at elitefts.com and you might want to post a question or even call Dave Tate to let them know your situation. Bands are totally portable also and make a great device for training on the road.