Former Student Reveals Truth About Combat Conditioning
Last night was one of those "can't fall asleep" nights. Woke up
this morning, brushed my teeth with "nails and vinegar" (okay, that's
a slight exaggeration) - did some Combat Conditioning and now I'm
ready to whomp butt.
Today, mucho questions to entertaino. Let's do it:
When you do regular pushups, isn't that the same as bench pressing?
I am doing a lot of your program but haven't mastered very many Hindu
pushups yet so continue to do the regular push ups. I am almost 60,
female and love your program. I have been sprinting instead of a lot of
running and am enjoying the results. I can run circles around people
half my age thanks to your program.
M.F.: Torey, love your name and love the fact that you're making mince
meat out of those young chumps. They're all "worthless and weak" - to
borrow a line from "Animal House." Anyway, pushups are not exactly
like bench pressing because you have to support your body while doing
them. With the bench press, you lie on your back the same way you do
when sleeping. Not much talent needed to do THAT. The pressing and pushing
themselves are similar - but regular pushups don't harm the shoulder and elbows.
Plus, even if you're a complete dork - it's hard to slam your face into the floor -
or your chest when doing pushups. With benching, and I'm not kidding you, I
know people who have lost control of the bar and dropped the bar and 400+
pounds of weights right on their MOUTH.
A heavyweight wrestler at Iowa State did it TWICE in the early 1980's.
Once was not enough to learn his lesson - even getting a mouthful of stitches
didn't teach him. Then there's all the ma-rooons who bounce the bar off their
chest, arch their lower back, and so on - just so they can strut around and say
they have beach muscles. In regard to Hindu pushups as seen in Combat Conditioning,
they don't resemble the bench at all - which is why they're so great. They simultaneously
build strength, endurance and flexibility. Keep up the fine work. Glad to see you doing
I had a car accident that shattered my pelvis horribly-the surgeon
said it was the worst he had ever seen in his years of practice.
Anyway, I started in February performing a laughable 30 Hindu squats and
now did 800 of them! I am on my way to 1000! The hill sprints have
been really exhausting and good! thanks to you!
Larry in Dallas
M.F.: Larry, you are a stud indeed. It's going to take more than a measly
car accident to slow you down, that's for sure. Keep kickin A.
I just, in the last few days, started receiving your newsletter and am anxiously
awaiting my Combat Conditioning DVDs and books. I'm going to start lying
across a Swedish Ball until then, but I have a question. Isn't the bench press a
good indicator of upper body strength? If so, is benching once a week or every
other week OK, just to test strength? You've convinced me about deadlifts.
M.F.: Jim, the bench IS an indicator of upper body strength from the sleeping
position. But even the old-time weight lifters knew that REAL strength was that
done "standing up." Tis true. You can test once a week if you'd like - but a far
better test of upper body strength would be handstand pushups, one-arm pushups,
arms extended pushups and so on. All of these are in Combat Conditioning as
well. I say get good at Handstand Pushups - then check out your overhead pressing
strength with military presses and you'll know far more than you will from el bencho.
I've been doing bodyweight exercises for quite some time now, but
feel as if I've reached a plateau. Basically, what I'm trying to figure out
is, on exercises such as the Hindu Pushups and Hindu Squats, should I be
doing them to failure, hitting only a certain number of reps, doing multiple
sets, etc? I've heard from several individuals, who lift weights only, that
you should train to failure. Does this apply to the Royal Court? What are
your views on training to failure? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
M.F.: Mike, never take sex advice from a eunuch. People who only train
with weights ain't qualified to tell you nuthin bout Combat Conditining.
In fact, they may not even be qualified to teach you much about weights
as most who use weights use them improperly. For confirmation of this
read Brooks Kubik's "Dinosaur Training." Its' riveting stuff. In regard to
your question - "to fail or not to fail" - here's the answer: In the early stages
you can train to failure every workout if you want. Reason why is it won't take
long to HIT failure. For many people it's only a few of this and a few of that.
However, once your numbers start to climb, I suggest only going to failure
periodically - once a week at most. For more in-depth training advice and
know-how, check out the Matt Furey Inner Circle.
I was a student of yours in San Jose, CA. You probably don't remember
me, but I wanted to tell you how much Combat Conditioning and
handstand pushups have helped me. I bought a weight set about 5
years ago and used it for about two years. I packed on about 25-30lbs
of muscle and ended up benching about 325. I am 5'5", ultimately weighing
about 185. I looked strong, but my shoulders were destroyed. I couldn't raise
my arms to put my shirt on without cringing in pain. I eventually stopped working
out completely and watched my body turn into a big chunk of lard. So now
the 25-30lbs of muscle turned into about 30 lbs of fat.
The occassional back and knee pain that I've had since I was 14, became chronic.
To make a long story not so long, I started doing the "Royal Court" excercises to
whoop my arse back into shape, and I threw in the handstand pushups for my
shoulders. I've also changed my eating habits according to some tips you gave me
years ago. I've been doing these excercises for just a few months now. My back has
become much stronger from the bridging. My knees don't hurt nearly as bad as they
used to, and my shoulders no longer hurt at all. In fact, I have a greater range of motion
than I did prior to injuring them. Of course, that could probably be attributed to the towel stretches that I learned from the Combat Stretching videos.
I'll get to the point. I've lost all the fat. I'm now down to a healthy 155 lbs. Suprisingly,
I feel stronger and faster than I did when I was 185. I'm feeling so much better that
I started taking Shuai-Chiao lessons at Dr. Weng's school in Cupertino. I'm sure you're
familiar with that place ... I'm coming after your title. Hehe.
P.S. That last sentence was a joke. I'll be setting my sights a little lower for now.
M.F.: Cory, my friend. How are you? You think I won't remember you? Have you
forgotten so quickly? Zen Masters don't forget good uh-student. As Miyagi say:
"No bad uh-student, only bad uh-teacher." Thanks so much for the update. It's
good to hear from you after so many years. Say hello to Dr. Weng and the gang
for me. Maybe someday I'll make it back to that area for a visit - but the air is
so much cleaner here that I'm in no hurry. All the best.
Well, that's enough for today. My son is calling. The baby
is crying and it's all my fault. Hehe.
Kick butt - take names!
P.S.: If you haven't jumped on the Combat Conditioning book and video package,
do so now. You can find all the information on them, along with some sensational