With no slowdown in sight, the fitness industry is projected to reach a revenue of 435 billion by 2028. Add to that a growth rate of 173% year over year since 2020, and suddenly… business is booming!

Now why do I tell you this? Well, because with any booming industry, comes the usual cast of shady characters and unscrupulous individuals, where in this case are your drug-addicted superheroes, psychotic life coaches (and trainers), and slick snake oil salesmen being introduced to your life. All of them telling you what you want to hear – all in the hopes of building up your self-esteem and worth, while tearing through your bank account of all disposable income. And to think I am the felon.

Face it, we tend to overcomplicate things. Situations, relationships, problems, and even our health. Adding to that, we also lack the patience it deserves – because we want it now. I mean why wait, when you can take something to get you there much faster, consequences be damned. Meanwhile, someone else is out there achieving the results you may want yet lacking the advantages you may already have.

How is it that some people are able to produce outstanding results in some very difficult circumstances, with limited resources, and still don’t bitch and complain like you and I. How is that possible? One of the questions inquiring minds want to know is…


Well, there are a few reasons. Most importantly though, it takes hard work and dedication, and not so much having fancy equipment or the latest supplements. That’s it. And when you combine that with regular, vigorous exercise, with regular, controlled meals, and pair that all up with consistent, adequate rest, whether it be in or outside a prison cell, then the body does not care and has no choice but to be in an extremely fit state.

For those at a disadvantage and have had their freedom restricted, there are a set of challenges to contend with, however, the ever-resourceful convict will always come up with solutions for modern day problems that those living in the free world seem to be challenged by.

1. Routine Can Be a Great Thing.

Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse… Yeah, you get it. Boring, huh? Of course it is, otherwise they wouldn’t call it a routine. But there’s something beneficial to your mindset when you do something so often, you don’t even think about it anymore.

Nor do you stress or spend endless amounts of anxious energy trying to see “when” you might do something. You just do and it becomes a second nature ingrained into your life. This could be done in the morning, evening, or just about any other time you want, as long as it works with your schedule, and you dedicate to do it on a consistent basis.

For our locked-up brothers and sisters, this opportunity is forced upon them, where they are relegated to certain times in accomplishing their tasks, but for the person walking in the free world, they have more flexibility and control with their time.

The point still remains, the key benefit of routine for anyone (prison or not) is in its regularity: if you find what works for you and then turn it into a process that requires zero thought, you free your mind up for more important things.

2. Environment Plays a Key Role.

Much like prison, health clubs and gyms feed off environment. It’s all one big social experiment where you’re lumped together with others, forced to cohabitate, but very soon discover who’s serious about exercising, and who’s there to screw off. If there was to be any large benefit of having a gym membership, it would be the atmosphere of a club environment is so stimulating to the senses, that the only thing to rival it is that of a prison.

The overload of loud sounds, smells, and visual effects can all be very overwhelming and intimidating to the senses, that in response, the brain receptors are stimulated and forced to release certain chemicals – blood flow, endorphins, adrenaline, etc. that you would simply not get anywhere else.

3. Testosterone Production.

To piggyback off what was just said, there’s a mix of hormones that freely get released when one is exercising, and more so when the environment supports the release of those hormones, whether that environment is good or bad. With that, one should harness and maximize these “natural” anabolics that will be traveling through your system. The way it works is…

  1. Brain sends signal to pituitary to release hormone.
  2. This then triggers the testicles to release testosterone.
  3. Testosterone increases protein synthesis.
  4. Resulting with increased muscle size and strength.

4. Charles Bronson.

No, not the 80’s action star, a more notorious, albeit interesting one. Dubbed “Britain’s Most Violent Prisoner”, he was also an artist, author, and most notably, a self-declared exercise freak (even holding several strength and fitness records) who spent many years in solitary confinement, and writing the book Solitary Fitness, detailing a creative training process where one has minimal resources and space, yet can achieve tremendous shape.

“Samson didn’t do drugs, and Hercules didn’t need expensive running shoes – they both had more sense! You don’t need a fancy gym or expensive equipment to be as fit as me” – Charles Bronson

5. There Is No Overtraining.

In keeping up with what good ol’ Charlie Bronson was talking about, this is simply something that’s been conjured up to allow one peace of mind in not having to work out or “take it easy”.

Ask yourself a simple question and answer it honestly: How much actual time do we devote to exercising in a given week? Remember that just driving to the gym and showing up doesn’t constitute working out. We’re talking about truly breaking down the body tissue, and mind you, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to work out for hours on end.

So again, how much time do you truly devote per week to true exercise? Cause it probably isn’t enough to actually be overtrained. Chances are that if you think you are overtrained, you’re actually just under-recovered.

6. Sleep Sound


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We all sleep. We all have that in common. But it’s the quality of sleep, along with the quantity where everyone differs. While there’s many methods of rest and recovery, by far the most important way for your body to heal is through good quality sleep.

One differentiation from prison is that someone in the free world may say they do not have the time or see the importance in sleeping for a solid eight hours each night. And while I’m not going to go about teaching you how to sleep well (I do have another article on how to sleep well, click here to learn), just know this is the time your body uses to heal, along with producing growth hormone and more testosterone, all having a residual effect of positive benefits on your mind and body.

7. Make Your Diet Work

Ahh, the coveted PB&J, oftentimes referred to as “jail steroids”

We all know you are what you eat. Of course, diet is critical, but even if you lack certain foods, you can still be creative and find ways to get your nutrition. Like anything in life, there has to be a balance, and here’s what I mean:

In prison, more often than not, you have the opportunity to exercise for a good duration of time each day, and the upside is this can find you in a place where your training outpaces a diet that lacks certain qualities.

Supreme Court rulings have evidenced that prison food is “nutritionally balanced”, however, you and I know that’s b.s. Be that as it may, it is not total garbage. You make it work, and the result is many prisoners who are jacked off prison gruel.

On the other side of the spectrum, those roaming the free world may not have the same opportunity to exercise for hours on end as our locked-up friends (and that’s okay), however, we do have to be more mindful of what we shovel in our mouths, since we don’t exercise with the same volume as prisoners.

And you don’t need me to tell you the upside to not being in prison is much more broader choices of accessible food. That said, make whatever you eat work for you, whether it be prison gruel, mayonnaise sandwiches, protein powders, or steak.

8. Make Your Body and Mind Work Together

You and I have access to the best resistance equipment humanly available – whether we are in prison or out – ourselves. You must not underestimate the value of bodyweight exercises, in its ability to build strength and endurance, increase muscle mass, and reduce body fat.

When the covid outbreak took on a life of its own, people were in a panic and aghast as to how they were going to structure their workout routine and did not know what to do without the modern conveniences of all sorts of fancy equipment at their disposal.

They were forced to work out and come up with ways to challenge the body, and for many, surprised as to just how intense and grueling bodyweight exercises, calisthenics, and shadow boxing can be for a workout. Remember, you do not need anything but yourself.

9. Focus

Chances are if you are reading this, you may have had a brush (or two) with the law. Chances also could be that you may have had a chemical imbalance (or two) that lead to that brush with the law (just saying).

Look, anyone who’s been in contact with the justice system knows what it’s like to try and piece a life back together. And with that, there’s many different emotions that come packaged with this whole experience.

Anger, frustration, animosity, just to name a few. But one needs to channel that destructive behavior into something positive – or succumb to the vices to quash those feelings. Exercise is something that can help. It’ll rid the mind of negative energy, and you may start to see things more clearly, center yourself, and start making better decisions for your life as a result. Better yet, you may start to look towards exercise as your go to stress relief, as opposed to drugs and alcohol.

We all have some form of addiction and need an outlet. Thing is, we should always seek out a healthier one.

10. The Industry is Based on Lies

The industry is based on lies and oftentimes tries to tell you what you “need”. Health clubs, their trainers, equipment suppliers, and the supplement companies all do it. It is called marketing (by definition – the action or business of promoting and selling products or services). You need nothing but yourself though.

I know I’ve spent loads of money on so much of that garbage (with little to no results), thinking it would be the difference between success and failure. The fact of the matter is you just don’t need anything, and the industry won’t tell you that because they’d be out of work, and a whole lot of your money.


One of the things I always say is that when you are a felon, you have to do more with less. I mean, it’d be great if you had all the resources at your disposal, and the world smiling and bending over backwards to accommodate you, but unfortunately that isn’t how this thing works. You have to be resourceful, even without resources at times in life. So, to answer the question…


Once again, it takes hard work and dedication, and not so much having fancy equipment or the latest supplements. That is all. And when you combine that with regular, vigorous exercise, with regular, controlled meals, and pair that all up with consistent, adequate rest, whether it be inside a prison cell or out, then the body doesn’t care and has no choice but to be in an extremely fit state.

The Educated Felon