Last week Paul Wade and the Dragon Door team launched their latest title C-Mass to the world. After reading the book several times I figured I would give a bit of a “review.”
But first, a disclaimer:
The Convict Conditioning Series alone is the spark that the entire exercise philosophy of the Red Delta Project was founded on. It has changed my entire approach to fitness both as a practitioner and a fitness professional. I shudder to think where I would be if I never came across Convict Conditioning.
So with that said, know that my views on the latest title are about as biased as they get.
Okay on with the review!
One of the things I love about calisthenics is that it is an incredibly effective vehicle towards building and shaping the body. I even recorded a podcast showcasing some of the muscle building advantages calisthenics has over weights.
Building muscle with push ups and pull ups requires a hell of a lot more than just some fancy set and rep routine. It requires an entirely different approach to calisthenics and that’s exactly what C-Mass lays out for you.
The first section of the book details the 10 commandments of building muscle through calisthenics. This list should be printed onto flyers and dropped from aircraft onto every major city. To put is simply, these are the rules of building muscle…..period. If you want to build muscle, follow those rules or suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, many people discredit those rules. Some even base their muscle building plan on doing the very opposite of what these rules recommend. I myself have ignored or dismissed each of these rules many times throughout my youth. This is why I now consider those years my “scrawny era.”
From there, the book dives into targeting specific muscle groups such as the hamstrings, calves and neck. Unlike many writers who keep throwing in new tricks to keep the reader entertained Paul keeps to the basics. The message I got from this section was “Quit looking for pointless variety and tricks. This is how you stick to the basics and make them work for you.”
Those techniques work and work very well. Why stray from the most direct route to muscle Mecca?
The programs in the book are solid and serve as great templates for training. However, this is one of the areas I can’t comment too much on because I’ve got my own program that I’m still following and it’s working great for me.
The following chapter is kind of a muscle building troubleshooting guide. If you’re struggling to put on muscle then check it out ASAP.
The second to last chapter might seem a little crazy to include in a book all about building muscle. It’s all about how to build strength without building much muscle. I almost skipped over this chapter the first time I read the book but I’m glad I didn’t. The fact is simple; strength doesn’t come from muscle. Muscle comes from strength. If you want to build muscle you simply must become stronger in both mind and body. If you don’t get stronger you simply can’t build muscle. Your muscle is limited by your strength, not the other way around. So this chapter is a list of tactics on how to build strength so you can open a Pandora’s box of hellish muscle potential.
The last chapter alone is worth the price of the book many times over. It’s all about habits that can help to improve your hormonal profile (ie crank up your testosterone levels.)
Paul pulls no punches here. Be ready for some true fatherly advice on how to optimize your muscle building hormones and how many modern day habits are wrecking your potential.
I felt that this book had just as much, if not more, heart than the first two CC books. There is no fluff or filler. No sappy stories reiterating the same idea over and over. It’s nitty-gritty mass building advice to the very core pure and simple. It doesn’t matter if you’re a calisthenics fan or you enjoy using the latest weight machines. The rules apply regardless of what exercise method you enjoy.
Get it, Read it, then read it again and again.
Or stay skinny.
The choice is yours.