Matt Furey’s Combat Conditioning – Review

A few years back a guy told me about Combat Conditioning.  Frankly, I was skeptical.  I was really into just lifting weights back then, so I gave the Combat Conditioning workout a half-hearted attempt or two, then set it aside to collect dust.

Fast forward a few years to the present.  Last week I was sitting around the house after a day at work.  I wanted to exercise, but I did not want to drive to the gym.  I thought, “Is there anything I can do that will give me a good workout without having to drive to the gym?”  I looked around the room, and there on the bookshelf was the copy of Combat Conditioning I had purchased so long ago.  I decided to give it a try.

Now, a little over a week later, I’ve just finished my 5th Combat Conditioning workout.  I have been pleasantly surprised by the program.  I like the workout for several reasons.

– Combat Conditioning is cool because it is convenient.  I don’t have to drive to a gym.  I don’t need any equipment.  I don’t have to worry about missing a workout because the gym is closed.

– Combat Conditioning saves time (our most valuable commodity) because I don’t have to drive anywhere to workout, I don’t have to wait my turn for any gym apparatus, and the workout itself doesn’t take a lot of time.

– Combat Conditioning is good to my wallet because it cost very little (especially when compared to a gym membership), because I don’t burn gas traveling back and forth to the gym, and because I don’t have to get a babysitter or pay to keep my kids in the gym’s childcare facility while I go workout.

– Combat Conditioning is effective because it is challenging and can be an intense workout that works the entire body.  Also, it works the body the way the body works every day, i.e. as a unit.  Think about this.  When we go about our daily activities, we don’t use any muscles in isolation.  When we walk somewhere, when we pick up our child or a jug of milk, even when we just stand up, we are using multiple muscles throughout the body.  Combat Conditioning helps us to become stronger in a very natural way — by exercising the body using multi-joint, multi-muscle exercises.

Concerning the workout itself, the Combat Conditioning program is a bodyweight workout with 3 exercises that form the foundation, or “Royal Court” as author Matt Furey calls them, of the workout.  The Royal Court consists of three exercises:

Hindu SquatsHinduSquats,

Hindu PushupsHinduPushups,

and Bridges.Bridge  In addition to the Royal Court, there are dozens of other “supplementary” exercises that can be added to the workout to add challenge and variety.  Matt Furey recommends performing the Royal Court for a month before adding additional supplementary exercises.  I think this recommendation is prudent for nearly any person that hasn’t in the past done the exercises Mr. Furey recommends.  This is because not only are the exercises pretty tough physically, they’re also kind of hard to master…at least they were for me.  As a beginner to the workout, I’ve found the Royal Court to be challenging, especially The Bridge exercise.

As I right this blog post, I’ve done the workout five times.  Mr. Furey recommends exercising every day.  I’ve been doing the workout roughly every other day, although I think I’m going to increase my workout frequency to 6 times per week.  In addition to the Combat Conditioning program, I’m still doing some cardio work, and will probably continue doing some weightlifting, although I haven’t lifted weights since starting the CC program a little over a week ago.  Right now, since I’ve only been doing the program for about a week and a half, I’m doing only the Royal Court.  After I finish the Royal Court, I do a front plank, side plank (on each side), then a back plank.  For me, this has been a great workout!

Now, as with anything, in addition to the pluses, there are some minuses.  Here are what some people may consider to be the less positive attributes of the CC program:

– There’s not much instruction on diet.  M. Furey does provide some judicious advice on what to eat at the beginning of the CC book.  However, that advice is 1 small paragraph long.  What you eat, how much you eat, and how often you eat are all your choice.  So, if you’re looking for in-depth dieting advice, look elsewhere.

– The CC program is a do-it-yourself program.  You get out what you put in.  However, isn’t that true of pretty much any endeavor?  With CC, you are required to motivate yourself.  How hard you exercise, the pace at which you exercise, how long you exercise is all up to you.

– If you’re looking to get “huge” like a bodybuilder, then the CC program isn’t for you.  This program will give you functional strength and the muscle tone that comes along with that type of strength development.  If you’re looking to be a beast in wrestling (like Matt Furey), or in football, or in basketball, or any other kind of sport or activity (like everyday life) where you need to use your strength to accomplish a goal, then the CC program will likely be a great addition to your exercise regimen.

In summary, Combat Conditioning is a great program.  However, it is a do-it-yourself program.  If you have the discipline and motivation to work the program, then it will work for you.  If functional (i.e. useful, useable, coordinated) strength is important for you, then Combat Conditioning will work for you.  If you’re looking for nice muscle tone and development and you don’t care or want to look like a bodybuilder, then Combat Conditioning will work for you.  If diet either isn’t an issue for you, or you’re willing to consult other sources for diet details, then Combat Conditioning is a good option for you.  My plan is to do the Royal Court for a month, then to start incorporating more of the supplementary exercises.  What about you?  If you give it a try, let me know how it works for you.

— Darryl

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