Pre-Review: Matt Furey’s Combat Conditioning

Some time ago, darrylpace.com reader, Steve Chambers, asked me my opinion of the “Combat Conditioning” (CC) program by Matt Furey.  This is the first of two posts on this program.

This post is my opinion of the program, having read the book, but not having performed the exercises.

In the book, Matt says that he tried weights in high school, but that they didn’t give him “functional strength and endurance”.  He also stated that, “in the back of my mind…I knew that there had to be exercises without weights that were better than anything else I was doing”.  And he says further that “bodybuilders don’t have much for endurance…and…in most cases…they aren’t very strong”.

Well, although I don’t consider myself a bodybuilder, I do lift free weights (barbells and dumbbells), I do cardiovascular exercise in the form of running (usually on a treadmill, but sometimes outdoors) and an elliptical machine, and I stretch regularly.  I consider myself to be in pretty good shape and, in comparison to the average guy, I think I’m pretty strong.  In fact, a martial artist/wrestler I wrestled with said that in his 20+ years of fighting, he had never wrestled anyone as strong as me.  Nevertheless, because Matt Furey feels that his program is superior to weights, I’m going to take some time off lifting weights and do his program exclusively…or at the very least, I’ll cut back on lifting weights in order to incorporate some Combat Conditioning workouts into my fitness regimen.  Then, I’ll post a second review of the Combat Conditioning program.

Anyway, on to my initial thoughts about the CC (Combat Conditioning) program.  Let’s call this post the “pre-review”, or a pre-having-done-the-workout-review.

Matt Furey’s Combat Conditioning program is a group of calisthenic exercises.  Three of the exercises are the core of the program.  Matt calls these three exercises the “Royal Court”, and he says that these exercises are “the three most important exercises for developing the entire body”.  Those three exercises are Hindu Squats, Hindu pushups, and bridging.

Hindu Squats work most of your body, but more so the lower body than other parts of your body.  Hindu pushups also work most of the body, but they put a greater deal of stress on your upper body.  Bridging helps with neck and back strength and flexibility.

Those three exercises are described in detail, then the rest of the book describes “supplementary exercises” and “sample combat conditioning routines”.

All of the exercises are performed with body weight, so you don’t need extra equipment.  This is a plus.  This enables you to do a Combat Conditioning workout any time, anywhere; whether you’re at home, in the office, on the road…wherever, whenever you desire.

Matt provides a wide range of exercises in his book in the supplementary exercises section.  These exercises provide variety to the Combat Conditioning program.  I get the impression that the supplementary exercises are meant to complement the Royal Court.  In other words, you should do one or more of the Royal Court exercises in every workout; then, add one or more of the supplementary exercises to your workout in order to liven things up.  But, who knows, I could be wrong about that.  Matt has a Q&A section, which I’ve not yet read, at the back of his book.  Maybe he addresses this in that section.

Matt doesn’t cover diet in depth in his book.  He instead gives some general diet pointers in one paragraph at the introductory portion of the Combat Conditioning book.  This is an area where additional information wouldn’t hurt.  I say this because as a general rule, if you want to lose fat, you likely won’t be successful unless you adjust your diet to help you lose fat, and many people may desire specific instructions on how and what to eat.  Nevertheless, if you closely follow Matt’s advice in the paragraph on what you eat, you should lose fat, if that’s your aim.

Overall, the calisthenic exercises in the Combat Conditioning program are meant to make those that perform them regularly functionally strong.  It appears to me that the exercises will do exactly that.  By “functionally strong”, Matt is talking about strength you can use any time, and in particular when in a one-on-one wrestling or fighting situation.

It does NOT appear to me that the exercises will make a person as strong as weight lifting…at least not in the movements the weight lifter performs.  The Combat Conditioning program likely will NOT make a person build big muscles, so if big muscles are what you want, you should probably look elsewhere.

Because the body becomes stronger in the specific movements we use to exercise it in, the CC program likely WILL make you capable in lifting your body weight, or a portion of it, in many different ways for many repetitions.  If you think about it, this is what a wrestler or fighter needs to do, i.e. have the capability to manipulate a body that is his/her size (e.g. a person in their weight class) for the purpose of being maximally effective in combat.  In the process of developing this “functional” strength, this program can change the way you look IF you eat right.

Overall, the program looks pretty good.  I’m looking forward to giving it a try — especially the neck bridging exercise — and I’ll report on Combat Conditioning’s effectiveness after trying it for a few weeks.

Darryl

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5 Responses to “Pre-Review: Matt Furey’s Combat Conditioning”


  1. Keri Eagan says:

    Interesting comments on Matt’s system. Can’t wait to hear your results and if it is all worth it.

    Keri Eagan
    Alternative Healing *Insight

  2. Hi Darryl,

    what a wonderful and thorough analysis the fitness program from Matt Furey.

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    http://www.aprilbraswell.com/BoomerDating.html

  3. Chris M says:

    I’m also looking forwards to your thoughts. I also think you should try Convict Conditioning after.

    I read both books and tbh Furey’s book just is not in the same league as the prison training stuff. Bob (above) is totally right in what he says.

    Convict Conditioning really is the bomb, for real! Furey’s book breaks the laws of physics by sucking AND blowing at the same time! 😀

  4. Darryl,

    I’m looking forward to hearing your experience with the program. I did like the squats but then again squats are such a basic exercise it’s hard to go wrong with them.

    Steve

  5. Darryl,

    I am looking forward to your review. I gave this a try several years ago and found it to be totally worthless. In my 30 years plus in trying to get lean, strong and muscular I have tried most everything on the market. In fact I would be hard pressed to find a style or program that I have not used. This was one of the poorest that I found as it did nothing.

    I am currently trying a book called “Convict Conditioning” for body weight exercises available from dragon door pub.

    It came highly recommended from sources I trust. There is nothing new about the exercises as there are only so many a body can do. What I am impressed with so far is the progressions to get you from beginning to end. There is no quick route and the author recommends it take up to a year to get through each of the 10 stages for the 6 body areas.

    Good luck.

    Bob


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