Matt Furey's Conditioning Tips by hjkuiw354


									                                                                December 2000
                                                                Vol. 1 - No. 1
  Dear Friend,
    When I attended a three-day super-conference in Atlanta last month,
it became time for me to put myself in many of my client’s shoes. When
I’m away from home, I get a taste of what many people go through with
their heavy travel schedule. When you’re out of your normal routine, it
can be hard to get yourself into the mindset you need for exercise.
   This presumes, of course, that you even need the so-called mindset?
To a certain degree, you do, but getting a daily training regimen in is
not as hard as you’d think and in this edition of Fitness & Conditioning
Tips, I’ll explain why. In addition, I’ll give you some routines you can
follow that will make the pangs of travel seem like no big deal.
   When packing my suitcase, there is one item that I always manage to
find room for. And that item is ...
                        my 18” x 24” bridging mat.
   My good friends at Quality Mat Company in Waterloo, Iowa, made the
mat for me several months ago. It’s the same thickness (1.5”) as the
wrestling mat I train on. It’s light weight and easily fits into my
suitcase. Most importantly, it deprives me of any and all excuses for
not training while I’m away.
   With my small mat I can practice the King of all Exercises in my ho-
tel room ... or in the hallway.
   I can use it for holding a three-minute back bridge. I can use it for
holding a three-minute front bridge. I can use it for headstands. I can
use it to practice bridging gymnastics ... and believe me, when you
learn how to do that, it is much more than a workout. It’s an all-around
... butt-kicker. Having it in my suitcase is a reminder that I can al-
ways make time for a 15-minute workout, no matter where I am, no matter
what I have going on before or after.
   Bridging is something I love so much, I make sure I do it everyday.
So that much goes without saying. What I really want to impress upon you
in this issue of Conditioning Tips is how you can use your unfamiliar
travel environment to your advantage, giving you some quick but highly
useful workouts you can follow when you have conferences, meetings or
other business engagements taking up most of your day.

   Unlike most of my travels, the trip to Atlanta was a whole family
affair. My wife, Zhannie, and her parents came, and so did my five-month
old son, Frank.
   Zhannie and I were in Atlanta to attend a three-day Internet super-
conference, which meant a lot of sitting, a lot of note taking, a lot of
thinking, a lot of studying ... and it never seemed to end. Then, when
it was over, we were to jaunt over to Birmingham, Alabama, where Zhannie’s
mother’s sister and cousins live.
   As for the super-conference, the only bad thing about the seminar was
the fact that we had to sit on our rumps all day. Sitting is the worst
thing for your lower back ... and it makes the stretch you get from
bridging a necessity.
   Anyway, on Thursday, the day before the seminar began, I took a tour
of the Hilton. I noticed they had a gym and pool in the lower lobby, so
I checked it out. The gym was huge ... with machines and dumbbells all
over the place. It also had a good-sized aerobics room.
   Imagine, now, what it was like when I asked the receptionist if there
was a charge to use the place. “Are you going to use the gym or the
pool?” she asked.

“The pool,” I said.
“Well, the pool is free. The gym costs six dollars extra.”
   I grabbed a towel and headed to the pool. Little did the receptionist
know that I could get one helluva workout there.
   As I trotted past the men and women “pumping up” in the weight room,
I was struck by the fact that there wasn’t a single one who appeared to
be even remotely fit. Sure, they can get fit with weights, but no one in
there had a clue as to how to use them. Most importantly, I don’t think
a single person had an idea that he could get into great shape with
nothing more than his own bodyweight.
But they can’t be faulted for this. They haven’t read Combat Condition-
ing yet, so I feel compelled to forgive them.
   At any rate, once I got to the pool, I stripped off my shirt, took
off my shoes and socks and started cracking off some push-ups. Now,
because I had just driven nine hours, this workout had a different pur-
pose. I was not going to strive for my best in anything. I was not going
to train for an hour or more. In fact, all I wanted to do was rev up my
engine for a few minutes, get myself huffing and puffing ... then go
back to my room, take a shower, read a good book and fall asleep.
  So guess what I did?

  Here is the routine:
                             51   Hindu Push-ups
                             10   Elbows-in Push-ups
                             10   Fingertip Push-ups
                             10   Decline Push-ups (feet elevated)
                             10   Arms Wide Push-ups
                             10   Hindu Push-ups
 Total number of push-ups = 101

   Now, this doesn’t sound like much, does it? But if you did 100 push-
ups this way for one year without ever missing a day, would you be in
better condition?

Of course you would.
   It isn’t how much you do when you train, although I do encourage you
to train hard and push yourself. But most importantly, CONSISTENCY is
the KEY. Doing something once in a while is of little help. Doing a
little something all the time is far better.
   The next morning, I got up at six and ....
because I wanted to be wide awake, clear headed and relaxed when the
seminar began, I knew of no better way to accomplish this aim than an-
other round of push-ups.
   I don’t know exactly why it is, but Hindu push-ups and the deep breath-
ing that goes along with them, energize me much more than most other
exercises. Each repetition stretches the spine, shoulders and hips. Each
repetition forces more blood to pump in my arms, chest and shoulders
.... but it’s THE DEEP BREATHING from Hindu Push-ups that is most impor-
tant of all.
   It amazes me how often I see people going through the mechanics of
Hindu push-ups and squats, yet I cannot even hear them breathing. This,
my friends, is not the way to do them. It is not the way to get the
greatest benefit.
   As Martin “Farmer” Burns said in his 1914 mail-order course, Lessons
in Wrestling and Physical Culture: “Deep breathing alone has made many a
weak man strong and many a sick man well.”
   Deep breathing is nearly the whole point of exercise. There are some
teachers who go so far as to claim that all exercise is nothing more
than a technique to get people to breathe deeply. I won’t go that far,
but I will say that ...
                   breathing is the most important part
                       of your exercise program.

   If you don’t breathe deeply while you train, you’re cheating yourself
of the results you want and deserve. As more oxygen pours into your
lungs, your blood stream is purified and every cell of your body is
   When you breathe deeply you rid your body of toxins, namely carbon
dioxide in the lungs. And each time you rid your lungs of these toxins,
new life, new energy comes to you.
   A while ago a customer wrote me and questioned exactly how deep breath-
ing could strengthen the organs of your body. The question caught me off
guard as I believed the notion to be so basic to human survival. Without
the capacity to breathe, you die. It is the first and last thing you do
on this earth.
   When you breathe deeply and fill your lungs to their capacity ... the
first organ that is strengthened is YOUR LUNGS.
   The increased oxygen in the lungs then goes on to purify your bloodstream.
A clean bloodstream helps keep your heart healthy (organ number two).
   Deep diaphragmatic breathing improves your digestion as well. As your
diaphragm moves up and down in sync with your breathing, your intes-
tines, stomach and other organs are massaged. This internal massage
improves and strengthens the functioning of your body. Isn’t this taught
in school? I guess not.
  Okay, enough about the obvious.
   On Friday morning, my push-up routine was supposed to consist of 101
repetitions. Instead of beginning with Hindu push-ups I did the elbows-
in variety first. After 51 of these I did 10 reverse push-ups, 10 fin-
gertip push-ups and 30 sumo push-ups against the door jam. Then for good
measure I finished off with 25 Hindu push-ups ... giving me a total of
   The blood was pumping. I was breathing deeply. I BE raring and ready
to go. And this great energetic feeling lasted the entire day.
   In the evening, I was so excited with the material I had learned, I
couldn’t sleep, so I took time to relax and let the information soak in
by going to the jacuzzi to “set a spell.”
   In the jacuzzi were three of the seminar presenters and we got to
talking. I ended up getting even more excited and around 10:30 that
night I took to the stairs for another brief workout, in the hopes that
I would work myself hard enough to relax and unwind.
   One of the great things about Combat Conditioning is that you can do
it virtually anywhere. You don’t need a lot of space and the only limits
are your imagination.

   The Hilton was great because it had 17 flights of stairs. How many
possibilities for great workouts could you come up with, if the ONLY
thing you could train on were the stairs? Those who don’t follow the
concepts of Combat Conditioning may only think of walking and/or running
them. But there is so much more that you can do.
   Just think .... one simple change can shorten your workout to the
point where you’re getting more results in far less time. Although the
bodyweight exercises I teach are extremely good for your cardiovascular
system, I won’t argue the point right now. Neither will I point out the
scientific facts.
   Instead of this, if someone says, “Well, what do you do for your cardio?”
I just smile and say, “Follow me to the stairs.”
   Once I have the person there, he will follow one of the following
routines. It won’t take long ... but it’ll get his attention.
   Instead of simply running or walking the stairs over and over, why
not take a “break” at every floor? During your “break” - do 10 Hindu
push-ups and/or 20 Hindu squats.
   You could also give yourself even more variety. You could do 10 Hindu
push-ups on one floor - then 10 Hindu squats on the next. You could do
10 jumper squats on the third floor and ten stomach flexors on floor
number four ... and so on. Not to mention that you don’t simply have to
run up the stairs. You could also duck waddle, bear crawl and so on. Get
the picture. Give me 15 minutes with you and I’ll turn the stairs of a
Hotel into living hell.
   Getting back to the push-ups and squats: If you did 10 Hindu push-ups
on every floor, that would be 170 push-ups once you’ve reached the top.
If you did the Hindu squats alone, you’d have done 340. And if you’re
brave enough to do both in the same workout ... I think you’ll know what
it means to see Jesus Christ walking across the water.
                            WE CALL IT ROAD WORK
   Running the stairs, the hallways, the streets, the parks or up and
down your driveway - then mixing it with bodyweight calisthenics fits
within the framework of what Karl Gotch calls “roadwork.”

“In sports like wrestling,” he would say, “you never fight on one level.”
You are on your feet and on the ground. And when you train this way, it
forces you to get into combat shape.
   We know that wrestlers the world over are oftentimes the best condi-
tioned specimens around. So it’s good to learn from them.
   I first learned how to do “roadwork” from 2x Olympic champion Bruce
Baumgartner, when he coached me at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
Baumgartner had me running and sprinting around the wrestling room,
interspersed with push-ups, jackknife sit-ups, pull-ups and up-downs.
   Naturally, we didn’t call it “roadwork” back then. I think torture
was the word we used. Then, when I met Karl Gotch two years ago, he
talked about “roadwork” versus running, and described for me how to do
it. Baumgartner’s method qualified as roadwork, but I’ll say this: Karl’s
method is even harder. He has roadwork for one person and for groups. If
it is only two people, you’ll run for awhile, then one guy will carry
the other, then you’ll trade off. He’ll have you doing bridging gymnas-
tics, literally lifting one guy off the ground, turning him head over
heels. As that guys feet touch the ground, he does the same to you ...
and you keep moving like that. He’ll have you run three steps, squats
and pick up a rock with your right hand. Run three steps and do likewise
with your left.
   Believe me now and listen to me later, these are only a few of the
things Karl will do to those who dare to learn from him.
                               BEGIN SLOWLY
   For those of us who have never done “stairway-to-hell road work” -
you should begin slowly. Don’t try to accomplish too much in one ses-
sion, otherwise, when you wake up the next morning, you may not want to
get out of bed. I’m talking major soreness.
   In the hallways .... you can run up and down the carpeted terrain,
but do not sprint. I’d hate to see someone open his or her door and have
a collision with you. Simply run at a moderate pace.
   When you get to one end, drop and give yourself 25 push-ups. Jog to
the other end ... drop and do 25 v-ups (jackknife sit-ups). Then bear
crawl to the other end. Then walk back. Then crab walk. Then do 25 more
push-ups .. and so on. Believe me 15 minutes of this and you are spanked.
   But ... you’re going to feel like a million bucks and the changes
that take place in your body ... the increased energy and vitality ...
the deep breathing that will come naturally ... my God, you’re not going
to believe it. It’s awesome.
                      ONE THING FLORIDA DOESN’T HAVE
   One thing you won’t find an abundance of in Florida is hills, so when
we got to Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday afternoon and pulled into a
motel that sat alongside a steep meandering hill, you can imagine my
delight. Can you guess what I did on that slope?
   Yes, you can do it almost anywhere you go. In fact, new surroundings
are literally begging you, asking you to test your mettle.

   And that’s what I’m asking you to do once you put down this issue of
Fitness & Conditioning Tips. Test your mettle. See what you’re made of.
Probe yourself for strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, when you
find your weaknesses, don’t avoid them. Get to work on them and make
yourself a better, a tougher, a more rugged and physically fit human

Y’all take charge now - ya hear. I be off to do some roadwork myself.


Matt Furey

P.S. Many of you have asked me to keep you informed of new products as
they come out, so I’ll have a category for that each month as well as
answers to your questions.

P.P.S. Merry Christmas to all of you. I’ll send my Happy New Year’s
wishes in the next issue.

                    December Workouts
 Copy & clip these workouts to take with you when you’re on the the road!

      December Program #1:                 December Program #2:
     Hallway “Roadwork”               Post-Drive “Refresher”
  • Jog the length of the hall.       • 51 push-ups (Hindu)
  • 25 push-ups (elbows-in)           • 10 push-ups (elbows-in)
  • Jog the length of the hall.       • 10 push-ups (fingertip)
  • 25 V-ups (jackknife sit-ups).     • 10 push-ups (arms wide)
  • Bear crawl to the other end.      • 10 push-ups (feet elevated).
  • Walk back to the other end.       • 10 push-ups (Hindu)
  • Crab walk to the other end.
  • 25 push-ups (arms extended).

                           CONDITIONING MAILBAG
Mr. Furey,
 My name is Winston. I’m usually an active person. I would run on a
semi-regular basis but would have to lay off at times because of lower
back problems. Recently I came across an article on you in a martial
arts magazine and checked out your website. Intrigued by your theories,
I started to practice bridging even though I was told by others that
this would be detrimental to my back. I have had no serious back pain
since then; only what I would consider normal muscular soreness from time
to time. I’ve looked at the items you offered and wanted to know what you
would suggest I start with to get in shape for your more intense work-
outs. I have not wrestled before but have been active in Kenpo Karate.
Your information is one of the very few straightforward offerings that
has helped me. Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Detroit, Michigan
   M.F: Hello Winston. Great news on getting yourself out of lower back
pain. This makes my day. I would suggest everything I offer on the sub-
ject of conditioning, but you’ll probably want to begin with the Combat
Conditioning book and videos. There are over 50 exercises that will help
you. You can start at your own pace and make progress as you adjust. The
exercises work so well and give you so much energy that you’ll look
forward to doing them. Keep in touch.

 I just bought your book five weeks ago, and I gotta tell ya, it’s cool.
I’ve been a swimmer, breaststroker and IM-er for 14 years, that’s how I
got here on a swimming scholarship, three years ago from Croatia. I’m
not swimming any more, and I started to lift the weights using the
“Charles Poliquin” principles, and it worked great. I cursed and cried
but results came. Now I’m 6’4'’, 250 lbs., all natural, none of that ste-
roid bull.... So, my question is this: I don’t wanna lose my size, and I
wanna do your thing. How does it look? Possible? I don’t know. I just
wanna know if I stop using weights completely, and just do your stuff,
will I be able to get bigger, will I lose my size...?
Once again thank you for sharing your knowledge w/ me.
    M.F.: Srdan, Congrats on the scholarship and the vast improvement
you’ve made from your training. The only size you should lose from fol-
lowing the exercises in CC is excess fat. You can get much bigger and
stronger using these exercises, it just depends on how you eat. Weights
don’t make you huge without food either. Be sure to do the more difficult
exercises like handstand push-ups, one arm push-ups, one legged squats,
etc. But even if you don’t do these, with Hindu squats, push-ups and bridg-

ing alone, you will continue to develop. Look at the Great Gama from In-
dia. He was about a foot shorter than you and weighed 260 pounds. And he
wasn’t the only big guy from that era who trained that way.

Dear Matt:
 Just got your tapes yesterday. They are great. I reviewed them quickly
and many of the exercises reminded me of the Turnverein (Gymnastic orga-
nization) in my childhood, that I was part of in Austria and Germany.
During that time I was in the best shape of my life. My Uncles and Grand-
father practiced wrestling and boxing and I remember copying many of their
routines as well.
   When I came to the United States I let myself be convinced by martial
art instructors and weight lifters that what I had been doing was wrong,
and what they did was right. I was so thoroughly brainwashed that even
when I went to practice Judo, Karate, and Aikido in Japan I never truly
followed their emphasis on non-weight routines. Still to this day, pick
up any magazine about weights, health, or martial arts and everyone
disagrees or says nonsense.
   Well I’m 40 years old now, 5-10, 250 lbs., and have a waist measure-
ment of 46. Except for my childhood I have never been in shape, and
always thought it was an individual flaw I had. Until recently I lifted
heavy weights, last week I squatted 1,000 lbs. (in a free-weight contrap-
tion, 1/2 way down for 5R X 8S) but I can hardly walk now, and couldn’t
start your program due to my knees hurting so much.
   I have participated in martial arts since I was 4 or 5 years old. My
last major sport was Judo, from 1980 1993, but I only reached a medium
level. One note of interest in Judo which shocked me at the time was,
whenever wrestlers came to visit the club they would kick our butts. The
only thing that saved some of the advanced players were arm bars and
   Anyway, for the last year and a half I’ve been practicing boxing, not
at a pro-level but hitting mitts, the bag, etc. I started getting in
shape but a stomach problem and 2 month layoff put me back into fat
town. At this point I have nothing to lose, everything you say makes
clear and perfect sense, and I’m going to devote myself to your program.
I can barely do even a few of any exercises you are showing, therefore I
will do them one step at a time.
   There is so much nonsense out there it’s really hard to find good
advice. I feel I’m back on the right path. I’m going to start doing the
routines tomorrow, step by step. The book is great but the tapes are
really essential to see the finer parts of the movements.

W. Mann
New York City

   M.F. Glad to hear you got the tapes and like them. I’m glad to hear
of your commitment and you can count on me to guide you along the way.
The very best to you.

   It is been awhile since I spoke to you but I want to tell you your
combat conditioning videos and book have improved my fitness 100%. At a
150 lbs, 38 years old and not much of an athlete, I found your exer-
cises have given me the ability to continue to be able to hang in there
with 20 year olds while I train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and JKD.

Another benefit to your exercises was that it helped me with my lower
back problem. Over the last month I have not been able to swim so I had
to rely on your exercises to keep my lower back healthy. I was sur-
prised that the walking the wall exercises and bridging did the trick.
 My wife loves the fact that I will be canceling my membership at the
local gym since I no longer need to lift weights. What she does not
know is that the $40/month I will be saving will enable me to train more
in the martial arts!

Kali Ramachandran
New York

P.S. As a Hindu I love the fact that your key exercises are named after
my religion.

M.F.: Thanks for writing to tell me how you’re doing. I’m very pleased
to hear of your improvements and know you can expect much more in the
future. Continued success to you.

Matt Furey,
   I was so excited to discover your website and plan to order some of
your products. I have heard of dinosaur training from another source,
in Ned Beaumont’s book on street grappling, and as strange as it sounds,
I heard of Hindu squats—only they were called “Indian squats” in a text
on Bruce Lee—however, it contained no explanation on how to do them. I
appreciate you providing instruction free at your website. I do want to
ask you a question about bodyweight exercises that has always befuddled
me. In weight lifting exercises, as you know the standard advice is to
wait 48 hours or there abouts before performing weight exercises for the
same parts of the body again, why do I hear from various sources that it
is alright to perform the same bodyweight exercises everyday for however
one wants or needs? I would really appreciate your reply to this ques-
tion, which has been on my mind at different points throughout the past
several months. Thank you for your kind attention. God bless you.

   M.F.: Hello Mariano. Thanks for writing and asking this question. Be-
fore I answer, let me say this: Not ALL schools of weightlifting advocate
rest. Some train everyday as well, i.e. Bulgarian, etc.
   As for bodyweight calisthenics, they represent a natural form    of
training, just like animals in the wild. Animals don’t train one    day and
rest two. They exercise everyday as it is part of their survival.   People
who do bodyweight exercises each day will note that they get into   condi-
tion faster if they train everyday. This doesn’t mean that you do   the
exact same routine each day. Variety is the key.

  Mr. Furey,
   I just received your book from Dragon Door Pub. I don't really have
to much trouble with the Hindu Squats. My Hindu Push-up is weak, but it
is there, and I am sure I can develop it more. However, the Back Bridge
seems to be totally beyond my grasp. I can't even get my hands by my
shoulders properly let alone press up with them into the proper position.
   Can you suggest any intermediate steps to help me develop the flex-
ibility to get my hands in position. I am sure my upper body strength
will improve with the Hindu Push-up, but I am really frustrated at this
point with the state of my "Back Bridge."
   I am convinced that the Royal Court is very effective from having
tried them. I have become convinced that the most effective exercise
comes from a few of the right exercises (exercising the whole body) done
correctly, rather than doing a lot of repetitive, isolating exercises.
Your (and Karl Gotch's) system seems to me to be very sound. I look
forward to making great gains with this exercise system.
  Mark Buhrdorf

   M.F.: Mark, one of the things you can do is work on your wall walking
and reverse push-ups. I know you're having trouble getting into posi-
tion with your hands, but you have to keep trying, even if it seems to
no avail. Eventually it will come. Another thing to help develop some
strength and flexibility in your arms and shoulders is to do the
"Table Maker Push-ups" as seen in the book. Best of luck to you.

                              NEW PRODUCTS
Combat Conditioning Videos - This exciting three-volume video series is
based upon Matt Furey’s bestselling book, Combat Conditioning: Func-
tional Exercises for Fitness and Combat Sports. Each video goes into
great detail on the exercises found in the book. Those who thought they
knew how to do the exercises from the book alone have reported what a
difference they have made since getting the videos. Entitled The Leg and
Lung Workout, The Push-up Workout and The Ab & Back Workout, each video
takes you through the mechanics and benefits of each exercise, then has
a 10-minute follow along workout segment to top things off. Only $99
plus $6 S&H.

Karl Gotch’s Conditioning for Combat Athletes - This video comes from
the personal archives of the great mat legend, Karl Gotch. Shot over
five years ago for remembrances, Karl decided to release it recently so
that all may see a broad overview of his expertise. Learn how Karl got
his athletes in shape in Japan and Europe with nothing more than body-
weight exercises. See the unlimited possibilities that exist with this
method. Rope climbing upside down? Yes, it’s on the tape. The still
rings from gymnastics, including muscle-up and two-finger pull-ups. Hand
stand push-ups from wooden apparatus that allows you to change the level
and intensity of each repetition. Bridging gymnastics and much more. 37
exercises on one tape. Only $49 plus $5 S&H.

Combat Abs: Rock Hard & Punch Proof - This smashing book is Matt Furey’s
latest, and will be available for Christmas. Learn how to build a rock
hard stomach with bodyweight calisthenics. In fact, find out how the old-
timers flattened and hardened their waistlines with exercises done while
STANDING. Nearly 50 different exercises you can use, most of which you
have not seen before. Talk about results: After a month of training you’ll
be able to take shots to the midsection with no trouble at all. This book
is only $29.95 plus $5(US) S&H($10 foreign).

Call and place your order today at 813 994 8267. Visa, MC, Amex accepted.
 Or send a check or money order to:
                               Matt Furey
                          10339 Birdwatch Drive
                         Tampa, Florida, 33647.


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